Still A Classic

With FN/Browning no longer making the wonderful P35 / High Power, there is a vacuum in the Force as we know it.  (In modern terminology, that’s known as a “gap in the market”.)

Step forward Springfield Armory, who not only took over the 1911 from Colt many years back, but (thanks to Reader Simon M, who told me about it) now has manufacturing set up for the High Power.

From their sales spiel:

Made in the U.S.A., the SA-35 features rugged forged steel parts for strength and durability, improved ergonomics and enhanced controls, modern sights, an improved feed ramp design, and an increased 15-round capacity.  Configured without a magazine disconnect for a drop free magazine the SA-35 features a factory-tuned trigger with a smooth pull and crisp, clean break.

If all that’s true, I cannot find a single thing wrong with this resurrected phenomenon.

My only quibble is the “matte blue” finish:

…instead of the gleaming, shiny blue of its predecessor:

But that’s just my preference;  others may vary.  Whatever:

Daughter has been eyeing my High Power for years…

And the P35 is WAY too good a pistol — better still than so many others on the market — for it to disappear,


  1. I’ve already put my name on the list (there are a dozen or so ahead of me) at the local Freedom Distro shop. Wife looked at it and said “It looks like the CZ you own…” Well, kinda – the Browning is the Grandpapa.

    Now, to wait. Patiently.

  2. I already have 2 HPs, a .40 and a former Canadian military 9mm. Love them both, and I’d definitely get this one as well, assuming that SA can get this approved for sale here in the DPRK.

  3. Still my favorite handgun of all time. Bought my first one on the recomendation of many members on the old forum. I like what they’ve done with it and will likely buy one. I hope they also offer one with a modest beaver tail and undercut trigger guard. I can never grip a stock hi-power quite as high up as I would like without getting bit, even with the no-bite hammers.

  4. IIRC, wasn’t it the gunsmith Novak, (same as the sights of that name), who did all the wizardry on the Hi-Power design back in the ’90s and mid-aughts?

    Welded-up a bit more beavertail on the frame to prevent hammer bite, fashioned those (then) revolutionary sights, tuned the trigger much as Springfield claims to have done here. One thing he did which would greatly benefit the Hi-Power, is the undercut on the frame under the trigger guard.

    I’d happily buy a Springfield, then send it off to Novak, or Ed Brown, or Wilson, or etc., with such a menu of “wants”. Oh, and yes… a deep, rich re-bluing would BE on that list.

    By today’s standards, it’s far too large and heavy a gun for the 9mm round, but who cares? It’s still a gem, and I’ll buy one when they’re widely available.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  5. Fell in love with the Browning watching I Spy back in the 1960s. The Robert Culp character carried it. Then it rose again in the movie Serpico.

  6. Here in Canada milsurp Highpowers were a dime a dozen. The cool kids hotrodded them for IPSC and other run n’ gun stuff… but I never saw the attraction of them. They weren’t bad, by any stretch… but they were by no means classics either.

    For me the 9mm is only for romance and nostalgia – and that is better done with a Luger, or a Mauser broomhandle… and those things are awfully hard to find around here these days. We need a modern company to pick up the ball on those as well.

  7. I switched to a Glock for EDC when Browning/FN Hi Powers were ending production and prices at the local Merchants of Death were climbing above $1K.

    If I had to use it for a Goblin control, my Belgian produced and assembled 80’s BHP would go into an evidence locker for who knows how long, and would be pretty much irreplaceable.

    A Glock? Is gun. Can pick up another one just about any place, and buy 2-3 for the price of a BHP (if you could find one).

    But this is a price point where I would consider switching back. I already have all of the holsters, mags etc. that I would need.

    Hopefully this becomes a long term catalog item and not just a flash in the pan short term production.

  8. If it wasn’t for the annoying Saint sales effort, that Croatian pistol debacle, the Grip Zone, laughable customer service, and the very small, but overwhelmingly douchey, set of Execs and Account Managers I ran across, I could look forward to a Springfield Hi-Power.

    Still Want.

    I understand there are 2 to 3 other high-zoot manufacturers spooling up for P-35 production. I’ll take one with the late production .40 S&W beefy frame, polished wood grips, with the high-gloss Miroko bluing, in 9mm (I’m a traditionalist.) And I won’t even mind paying a fist-full of Biden Bucks for it (it’s all Weimar Republic play money now.)

    Or…. I could just get a CZ 75 B. The somewhat illegitimate heir to the Hi Power.

  9. At the other end of the all steel 9 mm timeline was the S&W 5906, now long out of production too but available on the used market at about the same price as this new Springfield.

    Would anyone who has had experience with both the 5906 and any High Power iteration like to comment on their relative merits?

  10. Ugh. A beautiful gun from an era when lefty hostile ergonomic design was perfectly acceptable.

    It’s the 21st century people. Lefty hostile ergonomics are not ok.

        1. Well, OK, but I will point out that 21st century handgun fighting doctrine no longer assumes that your favorite (right) hand will still be attached to the rest of you. 😉

  11. I’m genuinely curious as to why someone would prefer this over a CZ 75 variant. Am I missing something?

    1. Grip size, trigger reach, single action, and JMB. That and I’ve never fired another pistol chambered in anything larger than .22 that is easier to shoot accurately.

      1. I was under the impression that there were a great deal of design similarities between the BHP and CZ 75 with the CZ 75 being the superior variant. Having never having shot either of them this could be greatly in error.

        1. The CZ-75 is a derivative of the BHP, not a variant.

          Personal Opinion: And in no way superior to the original.

          Nothing fits my hands as well as a Hi Power does, not even the 1911.

          Of course I also feel that a Double Action Automatic is a hardware solution to a training problem, so take that for what it’s worth on why I feel the BHP is superior.

  12. Have two on order at the distributor for display/sale in the shop.
    Will wait until S-A makes it available in a Hi-Polish Blue to put it into personal collection.

  13. Thought for the youngins or Lord help us, those not familiar with the BHP a video might help. Here Larry Vickers takes us thru a quick tour. (Pray for LAV as he battles the Big C, and legal problems)…

  14. Local indoor range had one on the rental board. Always red-tagged or at the gunsmith.
    Finally, after a year or more, it was available when I asked!
    It broke. Maybe two mags in it, sigh…

    They should have had more than one, but they had trouble getting any in stock for sale as it was.

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