This pistol is also referred to as HP for Hi Power or as GP for the French term Grande Puissance. Term P-35 is also used because the pistol was launched in 1935.
Browning Hi-Power was a single action, semi automatic, 9 mm pistol. The idea was conceived and later patented by John Browning of America in 1922 and later patented by Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium. Browning died before he had finished the development of production version in 1926. Belgian designer Dieudonne Saive, who worked for FN fully developed and realized the design.
This pistol was named for its 13 round magazine which was double the contemporary designs like Luger and Mouser 1910. Another common nickname is King of the Nines. In Irish services, this pistol is known as BAP for Browning Automatic Pistol.
The Hi Power was the first one to use functional double column magazine of 9mm rounds which could hod 13 cartridges, along with 14th loaded in the chamber. Now, 15 round Flush fit magazines are also available along with higher capacity magazines which extend beyond the end of the butt.
The Hi Power was designed to counter the French Military requirement for a new service pistol, the Grand Rendement or Grande Puissance. The French Military's Requirement was that the developed weapon should have atleast 10 rounds, should be compact, a magazine disconnect device, a positive safety, an external hammer, robust yet simple to disassemble and re assemble and should be capable of killing a man from 50 meters. The last criterion was that it should have a caliber of 9 mm or more, bullet mass of about 8 grams and muzzle velocity of 350 m/s. All this was to be done within weight of 1 kg.
FN commissioned John Browning to design a new military arm on these specifications. Browning designed two different prototypes. After a couple of adjustments over the next ten years, the pistol was ready. But France decided not to use this pistol and selected a Mle 1935 which was similar conceptually. Thus Hi Power was first adopted by Belgium for military services.
This gun was used in World War two, by both, allied and axis forces. FN's plants were seized by Nazi Germany and German forces started using these pistols. These pistols were produced in Canada for Allied use. It was very popular with covert operations and commando groups. This gun is now used by Belgian, United Kingdom, German, Indian, Canadian, American, Malaysian, Irish, Finland, Israel, Singapore and Australian forces. The length of the gun is 200 mm and barrel length is 118 mm. Cartridge is 9*19 mm Parabellum, 40 S and W, .357 SIG. the gun has Short Recoil.