5 Little-Known Facts About the FN Browning High Power

by
posted on December 2, 2015
bhp_lede.jpg
1. High Power or Hi-Power: If the gun is marked “Fabrique Nationale,” it is a High Power. If the gun is marked “Browning Arms Company,” than it is a Hi-Power. The Hi-Power nomenclature was introduced by Browning in the 1950s in order to avoid confusion with the Browning High-Power Rifle. The original pistol, as introduced in 1935, and all subsequent variants marked and sold by FN, were labeled High Power.

2. The black paint found on some High Power pistols originated from a French request in 1929-1930. This request was, ironically, not tied to the development of the High Power for the French military, which was ultimately never adopted. It was instead requested for the FN Model 1922 for use by the French Navy. FN developed a corrosion-resistant finish by applying black enamel paint over a phosphate base finish. This finish remained a standard for decades and was used on many military arms including the post-war High Power pistols, FAL, and FNC rifles and other models.

3. FN manufactured very few pre-war pistols with fixed sights. Asides from pre-war serial numbers, these can always easily be identified by the fact that the frames are always slotted for shoulder stocks.

4. Serial numbers and contract numbers: FN maintained serial numbers for commercial pistols, military and LE guns were typically made on order. If a customer requested it, guns were marked with contract numbers (example 1-500) instead of the standard serial number. Consequently, a low number does not necessarily indicate an early production pistol, it can be part of a contract run.

5. The red paint on the back of the pre-war and post-war grips is actually a moisture barrier applied to avoid absorption of humidity/water by the wooden grips. The red color was coincidental and had no specific significance. The practice was abandoned in the 1960s and modern grips are now often painted red in order to pass them as period originals.

Latest

Qamain
Qamain

Rifleman Q&A: Shotgun Proofmarks?

Read this 'Questions & Answers' column from the American Rifleman archives to learn about Belgian shotguns and their proofmarks.

Preview: Winnerwell Fastfold Titanium Camping Stove

Winnerwell, in partnership with Dwell Outdoors LLC for U.S. distribution, has upgraded its line of stainless steel tent stoves to include a design that is lightweight with increased durability provided by the company’s use of titanium.

New for 2021: FN 502 .22 LR Pistol

FN America offers the industry's first slide-mounted optics-ready .22 LR pistol in the form of its FN 502.

The MSR-15 Valkyrie: Savage's .224 Valkyrie Powerhouse

Not many modern sporting rifles were chambered for the .224 Valkyrie cartridge when it was officially unveiled at the 2018 SHOT Show, except for the Savage MSR 15 Valkyrie.

NRA Gun of the Week: Rock Island Armory STK100

On this week's "Gun of the Week" video preview, watch as American Rifleman staff examine and range test a Rock Island Armory striker-fired handgun in 9 mm Luger that features an aluminum frame with an internal steel chassis.

Smith & Wesson's Triple Lock: A Look Back

The Triple Lock was the first Smith & Wesson revolver built on what is now called the N-frame—S&W’s N-frames have defined the modern wheelgun.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.