Another Take On The New High Power

Some time back I looked at the new replacements for the John Moses Browning/Dieudonné Saive P35 High Power from Springfield and EAA Girsan.

At the time, I was unaware that FN Herstal had made plans for their own replacement for the older P35, which, as Ian McCollum pointed out in his latest video on the topic, makes all sorts of sense for FN, in that it makes manufacturing less costly and more modern, and gives FN a platform for future generations of their 9mm handgun.  (It would help if you watched Ian’s as-always immensely knowledgeable analysis of the new High Power compared to the older P35.)

Here’s my take after watching Ian’s video:  I hate the new gun with a passion.  Here’s why.  (To avoid confusion, I’m going to refer to the new FN gun as the High Power, and the older version as the P35.)

The new High Power is big and blocky, with an oversized grip and all sorts of changes to the P35’s disassembly process.  Myself, I have never had a problem in taking the P35 apart, mostly because the process is a lot less fiddly than the (also-Browning-designed) Colt 1911.  The P35’s appeal to me has always been its sexiness — that slim profile is gorgeous, it prints less in a carry holster, and mine works very well — admittedly, after a fair amount of improvement by a master gunsmith (and a reworked hammer to avoid the infamous P35 hammer bite).

I don’t care that the High Power now has a larger ammo capacity (18 vs. 13/15 rounds), because 13 rounds has always served me just fine;  I’m not some SpecOps or SWAT guy, just a civilian who has always loved the P35 for all the reasons stated above.

And by the way:  the High Power now has a longer (plastic ???!!!) guide rod, which means that the once-closed front end of the slide now has an ugly great hole to accommodate the longer guide rod (and did I mention it’s made of plastic?).

My knock on the old P35 has always been that it should been built to handle the .45 ACP cartridge.  My suspicion is that the bigger High Power will easily do so — and mark my words, I bet that FN will soon release a .45 ACP version of the High Power.

Anyway, Ian takes the new gun for a spin, and it feeds all sorts of ammo flawlessly — although I note that he didn’t shoot any +P loads.  My guess is that the High Power should handle them with ease — not always the case with the P35, or at least my P35.

Now I want you all to know that my dislike for the new FN is not rooted in my well-documented dislike of modern stuff.  I just don’t think the new High Power is a proper Browning High Power, but rather a “re-imagining” (their word)  of JMB/DS’s 1935 design.  Which is fine, but they should have called it something else.  And did I already say that the new gun is fugly?


If I were to replace my P35 with a new-model 9mm pistol, I’d rather get a SIG 210-9:


…or else a new-manufacture CZ 75 B:

…or I’d just get a new Springfield SA-35 clone, and be satisfied:

I don’t just buy guns because they can shoot well.  If I did, I’d just buy a frigging fugly Glock.  No, a gun has to be beautiful, and sexy, and fit my hand, and… and… well, you should know the rest by now.

Your opinions, of course, may vary.  (I should point out that Ian, even though he likes the new HP, is quite sympathetic towards people of my ilk, as you can see in the first video.)

Same Old Lesson

Unwittingly following on from yesterday’s post about handguns, there’s this article which compares the 9mmP Europellet with the .45 ACP Murkin [sigh]  which basically tells us nothing new about the merits or otherwise of shooting one cartridge or the other.

What it did reiterate, however, was not the desired purpose of the piece.  What all those stats and indeed the opinions of the shooter showed us is that if you’re going to be shooting a “hot” (e.g. 9mm+P or .45 ACP+P), you shouldn’t be using a lightweight pistol as its platform, either way.  That shows up in both the slower “transition” time (to switch between targets) and “reacquisition” time (to get the next shot off into the same target), which was almost as crappy when comparing the regular 9mm to the 9mm+P to the .45 ACP to the beefier .45 ACP+P, never mind the comparison between 9mm anything to the .45 anything.

Well, color me unsurprised.  We’ve all known about this for ages — see any of the myriad comments or posts I’ve ever written about the inadvisability of shooting .357 Mag loads in a lightweight revolver — and in my opinion, the author’s selection for his test of a lightweight carry piece, even a 1911 clone, proves the same.

I understand why he did it, if the trend is towards ever-smaller and -lighter carry pieces;  but as I said earlier, that trend is not something that should be followed.

Newton will not be denied, folks.  Greater energy requires greater mass to provide acceptable recoil.

Remember, I have nothing against lightweight carry pieces — I carry a .38 S&W 637 Lady Smith myself — provided that it is, as it is for me, a backup gun and not a primary carry weapon.  And my load is a standard .38 Special and not a +P, because I find the recoil of the hotter load unpleasant in that lightweight piece.

If you are going to carry a Europellet gun [sigh, again]  as your primary, that gun should be sufficient to support the projectile you’re going to be using, and shooting it should not be a painful experience.  When I do occasionally carry a 9mm piece (because I haven’t yet cleaned the 1911, or just for kicks), it’s a full-size Browning P35 High Power and not some little 2oz 1″-barreled thing, because not only can the P35 handle any 9mm load I put into it, it is also (in my age-befuddled hands) as accurate if not more so than the 1911.

If I had the funds, I’d undoubtedly retire the S&W 637 and get a 1911 Combat Commander as both a backup- or even primary carry gun, then give the P35 to Daughter to replace her gawd-awful little Taurus .380 ACP.  (It is her late mother’s gun, after all.)

So there you have it:  carry a gun sufficient for the load / chambering if you want good results and wrists that don’t ache for days, and Baby Vulcan will be much pleased.

Here endeth the lesson.


How To Sell

Got the usual email from the folks at Lucky Gunner for 7.62x39mm ammo (among others), and I want to highlight the product blurb from the manufacturer.  Note the highlighted parts:

The big “knocks” against inexpensive “39” ammo are that:

  • the steel casing can damage a gun’s action (it doesn’t)
  • steel casings can’t be reloaded like brass casings can (true)
  • Berdan primers are corrosive (not anymore), and
  • a lot of ranges (e.g. the one where I used to shoot) won’t allow steel / alloy-steel bullets because of potential damage to the backstop.

Every single issue is addressed in the copy — nay, not just addressed but trumpeted.  As marketing/advertising copy, it’s absolutely brilliant.

I know that 40c/round is expensive compared to the old 15c price bracket, but these are different times we live in.  And for AK owners, like I used to be, this looks like a decent bargain.

And who the hell reloads 7.62x39mm anyway?

Well, Now

This is one of the better comparisons between the .45 ACP and 9mm Europellet, because the targets are actually similar to the intended targets in self defense.

Quote of the day:  “Guys who support gun control have wives who have boyfriends.”


“I learned one thing today… ”
“I’m going to continue carrying 10mm.”

Fucking Millennials.  I nearly did a little wee in my pants.

But food for thought, nevertheless.  Me, I’m going to go for .45 ACP with lighter bullets.

Oldie But Goodie

I saw this ad a couple days back, and it brought back fond memories.

The Silvertip has been around for donkey’s years, and I recall that of late, its effectiveness has been somewhat derided by the usual tests (ballistic gel, whatever).

Here’s what I know.

Back in the early 1980s, I saw an autopsy of a corpse in a police morgue (long story, not important) of a man who had been shot once with a .45 ACP Silvertip.  The entry wound was, well, .45 inches, and the exit wound about double that.  Nothing much to report, there.

What really impressed me was what damage the bullet had caused along the way.  It hadn’t hit any rib bone on the way in, but the guy’s insides still looked like they’d gone 5 seconds in a commercial blender.

After seeing  that, I carried Silvertip ammo in my carry guns exclusively until the early 2000s, when it just got too expensive.  I see that Lucky Gunner, among others, now has the 9mm Silvertips on sale for about a buck a round, which is expensive but not massively so, in today’s Bidenflation World.

In .45 ACP, however, the cost per squeeze (IF you can find any in stock) is between $1.80 and $2 (!!!), which is definitely too spendy for my wallet.

But if you want to put only the best ammo in your carry gun for those unexpected antisocial occasions (and there’s nothing wrong with that), do consider the Silvertip as well as your usual suspects in premium self-defense ammo.  I’ve seen first-hand what it does, after all.

And of course, I get no kickback from Winchester or anyone else from my recommendations.