Hi Power or High Power: What’s in a Name?


Given its near-global presence, the Browning Hi-Power goes by many names.

Hi-Power name variations and acronyms:

  • Hi Power
  • Hi-Power
  • High-Power
  • High Power
  • Inglis
  • HP
  • GP
  • BHP
  • P-35

What do we call this pistol? Verbally it is no problem, because all the choices, save one, sound the same. But is it Hi Power? Hi-Power? High Power? Or High-Power? FN and Browning varied the spelling over the years and have even used a variant of these to describe the bolt-action rifles FN made and Browning imported. The editorial form is Hi-Power, but advertising over the decades has used all of them.

From 10 to 20 rounds in a magazine, the BHP is easy to carry, simple to shoot, and brings envy in spades from jealous onlookers.

Then there are the acronyms. There’s HP, GP, BHP, and P-35, the year of introduction. If you travel in Canada, you’ll run into shooters there who call it the Inglis, and on an expedition to (of all places) the island of South Georgia, I ran into a former British serviceman who simply referred to it as “the Browning.”

A pedant would scatter the spelling throughout a scholarly work according to the time, place, and origins of the model being discussed. While precise, it would be somewhere between annoying and maddening to read, and best to be avoided.

Me, I opt for the shorthand (BHP) where I can get away with it. Hi Power everywhere else unless it is a specific model like the Inglis. And “Browning”? In Britain, there may be only the one, but for the rest of us there are more than a dozen Browning guns worth considering. Make it Hi Power or BHP for me, then.

For more information on the Browning Hi Power pistol:
Eulogy to the Browning Hi Power
Upgrading A Surplus Browning Hi-Power
The 9 “Best” John Browning Firearms
France, Belgium, Nazis and the FN Hi Power

This article is an excerpt from Gun Digest 2019, 73rd Edition.

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