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Browning Hi-Power

The Browning Hi-Power is a semi-automatic pistol designed in part by American John Moses Browning during the last years of his life in Belgium, working for the Fabrique National[?] Herstal Arms Company. First produced in 1935, it is considered by many to be his finest pistol, and by some even the finest pistol ever. It operates, like many other of his designs, on the short-recoil principle, with the barrel being cammed down and away from the locking lugs in the slide (which surrounds the barrel) - unlike his earlier Colt M1911 (the famous Colt .45 automatic), the barrel is not cammed by a link, but by a ledge of sorts, which contacts a portion of the barrel and forces it down as it is moved rear with the slide by the recoil force.

It was one of the first pistols to utilize a double-stack magazine, meaning that the cartridges did not ride directly on top of each other, but instead were housed staggered, so that more could be fit within the length of a pistol grip. This necessitated an increase in the width of the pistol grip, but this is a small detail for all but those with the tiniest of hands.

Still manufactured by FN to this day (and imported into the US by Browning), the Hi-Power is one of the most influential pistols in the history of small arms, having inspired a number of duplicates, copies, and other firearms that borrow features from it (chiefly the linkless cam system). It is renowned for its accuracy and reliability, and also its penchant for "biting" its user in the nape of their hand, between the thumb and first fingers, with its hammer.



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