Browning Hi Power Accessories
If you’ve read our recent article on the best 9mm handguns out there, you’ve probably heard of the venerated Browning Hi Power. It is a truly legendary design, supposedly one of John Browning’s last. And he may have saved the best for last. It has a few features that made it a gun well ahead of its 1920’s vintage. Many firearms historians point to the Hi Power as the first wonder nine- this weapon went a long way towards legitimizing and making popular the 9mm round, as well as the concept of the duty-sized auto loading handgun more generally. There is a very good reason that these have been carried by people in police and military services all over the planet for over half a century. You’d be doing well to add one to your collection, either has a historical piece or as a more practical choice.
First, it was chambered in the new 9mm parabellum, which has since become the world standard in pistol rounds. Second, it comes standard with 15 round magazines. Those two things sound standard now, and they are. But, this was in a firearm that was contemporary with revolvers and such fossils as the broom-handle Mauser. For the 1920’s, this gun was effectively from the future, and it’s still a fantastic firearm today. So, if you’ve picked one up, we’re here to help you use it as a competent carry pistol.
Large Frame Holster
In terms of age, the Hi Power counts as an antique. But in terms of performance, it is absolutely a viable option for concealed carry. It’s a little heavy to be sure, but 15 rounds of 9mm is nothing to laugh at, and that extra weight makes shooting the Hi Power a truly pleasant experience. With that in mind, should you choose to carry it, a sturdy holster is a must.
But, as an antique that has been kept around a long time for a good reason, there are many good duty style holsters out there. This one is a Belgian police surplus holster. It’s got great retention with a strap, as well as really tough belt loops that have the gun sit at a very ergonomic angle for draw. These polymer holsters a re a real winner, and a bargain at surplus prices.
Handgun Cleaning Kit
As we just mentioned, the Hi Power is one seriously nice 9mm pistol. It’s hard to hold one in your hand and not appreciate the craftsmanship, not to mention the fantastic trigger that shares a lot of design similarities from the 1911, making it a common choice among Colt fans as well. With a firearm this nice, you’re going to want to keep it clean.
We recognize that the disease of gun collecting afflicts many of us, and one of the best treatments for our particular condition is trying to make purchases that are useful for more than one thing. That’s where a good universal kit like the Real Avid Gun Boss cleaning kit comes in handy. Basically, the kit is a brass rod, a patch puller, a handle, and a collection of brushes from .22 to 12 gauge, all in a nice container that keeps everything handy. Picking one of these up and keeping it in your range bag, or wherever you clean your guns, is a great way to keep things organized. The 9mm brush works just fine for the Browning Hi Power, and you still have a ton of other useful tools as well.
Handgun Lock Box
Being a responsible gun owner is part of the deal when it comes to concealed carry. If we want to be able to keep our firearms and our rights, as well as prevent senseless tragedies and thefts, we all need to do our bit. Thus, we recommend every single gun owner think carefully about safety and storage.
Of course, we all have to take our guns off sometimes. We don’t recommend taking the Browning Hi Power in the shower, as sustained moisture isn’t great for springs, ammo, or surfaces that have had the finish worn off. Similarly, wearing a gun to bed is kind of uncomfortable. Thus, picking up something as simple as the Snapsafe key lock box is a really good idea. They come with a cable as well, for securing the box to something else heavy. While it’s not a fancy electronic safe, it is simple and will work. If you want to simply stash your Hi Power in a drawer but keep it locked up, this is a great option.
Slim Electronic Ear Muffs
Speaking of responsibility, it’s also your responsibility to make sure that you don’t go deaf while shooting. We’re big fans of using ear protection on every shot you take, so with any pistol we recommend a good set of ear muffs. These electrionc models by Walker’s are a great option. They’ll reduce noise by 23 decibels, but also have sound amplifiers that pick up on speech, making it much easier to hear at the range: these are great for courses where there are instructors. Additionally, you can use a standard 3.5mm cable to hook it up to a phone to hear audio. Overall, these are a great choice, and we love that each ear has its own volume control if, like us, you did, in fact, forget one ear plug one time and now need that ear up just a little higher.
Sig Sauer Elite 9mm Ammo
While some people might scoff at carrying an old, large, metal framed 9mm, we think the Hi Power is an excellent choice for concealed carry. With that in mind, you’d need some good defensive ammo to go with it. Sig makes just the thing with their Elite line. These jacketed hollow points, in 115 grain are meant to cycle reliably in any semi-auto handgun, so they’d be a great match for a Hi Power. One small word of caution, though: old guns sometimes have feed ramps that were meant for ball ammo and don’t always play nice with hollow points, so test any ammo out before you bet your life on it.
Browning Hi Power Rubber Grips
The Hi Power is an absolutely gorgeous pistol. We really like how it looks: it might well be one of the most elegant handguns ever designed. With that said, if we’re being really, really practical, those wooden grips might be a tiny bit of a hindrance. Wood can get awfully slick when wet.
Thus, we’re recommending a change to the grips made by Hogue. Its an easy enough switch to make with a hex key set and five minutes of your time. What you get for your small investment is a set of slightly more ergonomic grips that are made out of a solid rubber. That rubber is well textured to allow for a better fit in the hand, as well as ad extra grip in adverse conditions. If you’re thinking of carrying a Hi Power, a new set of grips is a decent idea, and these are simple enough in appearance to not ruin the aesthetics of the first wonder nine.
Promag Pistol Magazine
One thing you are, for sure, going to need with your Hi Power, is magazines. Trying to track down surplus or original ones is about like trying to find a needle in a haystack, though. And even if you did, you’d probably need to at the very least re-spring those old magazines in order to make them work properly. There might be a better way to go about this.
With that said, Promag makes Hi power magazines. These flush fitting magazines hold 13 rounds and are finished to match most Hi Power’s that have been made. We recommend getting a few, given that you’ll probably want to keep shooting and shooting once you take this truly smooth 9mm pistol to the range.
Promag 32 Round Pistol Magazine
Okay, so sometimes thirteen rounds is not enough. In those cases, try one of these 32 round versions also by Promag. While they’re not the most practical for carry, these would be great for the range or just for fun. Additionally, while they’d probably print pretty badly, we can see these being actually useful in a tactical situation.
If, for example, you usually carry a bag of some kind, there’s probably enough room to stash one of these magazines in it to have as a backup if either you run out of the first magazine, or if you experience a malfunction. Overall, a 32 round stick of 9mm is certainly nothing so scoff at, and shooting it of one of these awesome old guns seems like a great time to us.
Kryptek Tactical Pistol Case
As we’ve mentioned a few times in this article, the Hi Power is a really, really nice gun. You likely will not be finding one cheap. They’re well made, well designed, and beautifully finished pieces of firearm history that also make awesome carry guns. That means that taking care of one well deserves some consideration.
One such consideration is to keep your HI Power’s finish as nice as you possibly can. Of course, refinishing is always an option if you like a clean appearance, but not much beats a patina that has been earned over decades of use, but not abuse. Contact surfaces wear down, getting slicker with time, making the Hi Power look even better with age. To preserve yours, think about a good case like the Allen case we recommend here. Even for safe or cabinet storage, this one extra layer of protection will help.
Why scratch such a nice gun when you can avoid it? For this price, this is an obvious choice. IN terms of pattern, we also think this Kryptek camo is an attractive and different choice. Black pistol cases all look the same, and it would be a shame if yours got picked up by accident by someone else. Instead, why not stand out a little with this one?
Streamlight ProTac Flashlight
The Hi Power is a fantastic carry gun. It fires 9mm, takes high capacity magazines, and has a trigger that will put any of your plastic framed guns to absolute shame. That fit, finish, and generally great construction to come with one small downside, though. Back in 1920, not many folks were slapping lasers and flashlights onto handguns.
With that said, defensive gun uses are seldom in situations of our choosing. If you’re already having a day bad enough to require drawing your weapon, are you willing to bet it will be in good lighting conditions that make 100 year old, all black sights workable? We didn’t think so. With a Hi Power, you may want to consider a separate light, like the Streamlight ProTac Flashlight.
So, there you have it, ten excellent accessories to the Browner Hi Power. This firearm is a truly excellent one. If you have the chance, at least shoot one. John Browning really knew what he was doing when it came to the design of handguns.
Now, it’s standard to have 9mm handguns that are ergonomic, easy to shoot, and reliable. That standard has not always been the case, and did not come from nowhere. In 1920, many men at arms around the world went into bad situations with a revolver, or, at about the best, a 1911 with 8 rounds in the magazine. The Hi Power was a technological revolution at the time, the first wonder-nine pistol. Now, bordering on a century since its design, it still stands up with its great-grandchildren, the contemporary polymer guns with all of their bells and whistles.
With just a few sensible purchases, such as magazines, holsters, and a light, the Hi Power still more than does the job as a carry gun. If worse comes to worse, you want a gun that has been at the sides of people on their worst days since the end of the Second World War. Polymer may be light and fast, but it is still very hard to beat the feel of an all steel handgun. This one in particular set the gold standard for 9mm pistols that inspired the designs for more than a century to come.