The Browning Hi Power pistol is one of the most popular and effective handguns in the history of modern firearms. Based on a design by John Browning, and completed by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium, the Browning Hi Power is a single-action, semi-automatic handgun has been used by the armed forces of over 50 countries.

The gun has seen action in several wars since its release in 1935, and it’s of such high quality, that there have even been times when armies on both sides of a conflict have used the pistol against each other.

If you’re interested in the rich history behind the Browning Hi Power, we’ve got you covered. The story begins with a request from the French military and a legendary firearms designer who already had the creation of several excellent weapons under his belt.

In France, a Call For Arms

In the early 20th century, the French military wanted a new service pistol for its troops to carry as a sidearm. It listed several requirements that this pistol would need to fulfill.

Since it was intended to be a sidearm, the French military wanted a handgun that was compact and easy to carry.

It wanted a gun that was durable enough to withstand the elements, while also having a simple disassembly and assembly process, allowing soldiers to field strip their guns when necessary.

It wanted the gun to feature an external safety, an external hammer and a magazine disconnect device.