Tag Archives: P35

Ever wanted a red dot on a BHP?

EAA over the past couple of years has been bringing in the new MC P35 platform from Girsan in Turkey, and the guns, essentially clones of the old Mk III BHP, have proven to be popular. Not content to rest on that, the company has responded to calls to update the classic and earlier this year delivered the OPS series, which adds an accessory rail to the frame and a flat-faced trigger without the mush of a magazine safety plunger to overcome.

Now, the logically named new MC P35 OPS Optic goes one better and comes from the factory micro red-dot slide cut in the RMS/RMSc footprint.

Better yet, they even throw in an optic.

You have to wonder what John Moses Browning would think of such a creature…

More in my column at Guns.com.

FDE Times Two

So on my plate in the next few weeks are these beauties by way of Fabrique Nationale’s hipper new American subsidiary, FN USA. I met both of these hoglegs in prototype/first run format at SHOT Show/NRAAM earlier this year and finally got hooked up with production versions of them for T&E purposes. 

The guns are the FN Five-seveN Mk3 MRD, the company’s third generation take on the 20+1 capacity 5.7x28mm pistol, and the new 17+1 9mm FN High Power, which looks a lot like Mr. Browning’s/M. Saive’s Hi-Power of old (notice the difference in spelling) but only looks that way.

Expect more on both very soon.

Poland’s 9mm 1911(ish) Powerhouse

Arising from the ashes of the old Austro-Hungarian, German, and Russian Empires in 1918 – countries that had wiped Poland off the map in 1795 – modern Poland was born immediately into war, having to fight the Bolshevik Reds to the east and remnant German Freikorps to the west well into 1921. With its military armed via a curious mix of surplus weapons – including Mauser, Mosin, and Steyr rifles for instance – and its larger neighbors only growing stronger, the Poles sought to form a domestic arms concern, Panstwowa Wytwornia Broni (PWB = roughly, State Weapons Plant) in 1922.

Polish troops arrayed against the Reds in 1919-1920, armed with a U.S.-supplied Marlin/Colt 1895. What a great example of oddball armament the force used.

Formed in the city of Radom, which at the time was almost as deep into the Polish interior as could be, the facility inherited the machinery from the old Prussian Royal rifle plant at Danzig (Gdansk today) and the old Deblin military small arms repair depot, by 1927 morphing into the Fabryka Broni (FB= roughly, Arms Plant). There, FB would make assorted Mauser 98-style rifles and carbines on the old Danzig machines, but when it came to handguns, they were stuck with making the Nagant revolver.

The Poles came across a liquidation notice from the Nagant brothers in Belgium whose factory was under receivership, and they got the whole works including machines, templates, plans, and parts for a song. It made sense to put in a bid on the concern, as the Poles had inherited a large stockpile of Tsarist-era Nagants and were making their own 7.62x38mmR gas-seal rounds for those captured guns already. Between 1931-37, some 17,000 Polish “Radom Nagants” were made for state police and security forces. They were dubbed the wzór (model) 1930 in Polish use. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Then came Piotr Wilniewczyc…

I do love a good VIS 35.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Battle of the (Hi-Power) Clones

I’ve been kicking around a pair of 21st-century Hi-Power clones with two different origin stories, and we have a few things to talk about.

John Browning’s GP design, as delivered to the firearms world in 1935 via Fabrique Nationale’s resident gun genius Dieudonne Saive, was given its gold watch by FN in early 2018, and BHP fans the world over wept. While Turkish gunmaker Tisas briefly sent their Regent BR9 clone over here, other one-time Hi-Power clones such as Israeli-made Kareens and imports of the same branded by Charles Daly, Dan Wesson, and Magnum Research were history.

Then came 2021.

In September of that year, EAA announced they were on the cusp of bringing in the Girsan-made MCP35 from Turkey while Springfield Armory in October started hinting around at the gun they would soon introduce as the SA-35. Both were different takes on the classic Hi-Power of old, offering new ways to satisfy that eager fan base that was left with separation anxiety after FN exited the BHP biz.

Since then, I’ve given each of these newcomers a series of tests and evaluations, including putting over 1,000 rounds through each model. With that, let’s see how they stack up against each other – and the ghosts of Hi-Powers past with which they must contend.

At the end of the day, it boils down to why you want a Hi-Power in the first place. Both guns are better clones than I have seen in some past efforts under other banners (see the FEG, PJK, and the Bulgarian Arcus 94). Heck, even when stacked against late-model FN MK IIIs assembled in Portugal in the 2000s, there is little to grouse about. This is firmly an apples-to-apples comparison.

More on said apples in my column at Guns.com.

The Hi Power was Dead, then came the SA-35…

A modern and attractive reboot of a classic complete with new features for a 21st Century market, Springfield Armory’s SA-35 has a lot going for it.

Introduced late last year, the SA-35 isn’t a page out of the old FN/Browning catalog, although it generationally has a lot in common with the latter’s 1960s “T/C-series” Hi-Powers. This includes an external extractor (a little foreshadowing is due here), ring hammer, and “smooth” slide, lacking the earlier thumbprint take-down scallop seen in guns prior to that time. I personally think the T/C-series was the summit of BHP evolution, so that’s a wise choice on Springer’s part.

When Browning halted production of the Hi-Power in 2017– let’s just admit they allowed it to wither on the vine for 20 years beforehand– it started the clock running for someone else to pick up the design and run with it. Cue Springfield.

So far, I’ve put 1K rounds through the SA-35 since last November, and have a full report in my column at Guns.com.

$500 Turkish Hi-Power, with a Catch

A Turkish import via Florida-based EAA Corp, the affordable and well-made MC P35 is set to go the distance for those looking for an affordable Hi-Power clone.

EAA announced the MC P35 late last year and it is finally filtering out to distributors’ warehouses and gun store shelves. A resurrection of the classic late 1980s Browing/FN Hi-Power Mk III design, it is a short-recoil-operated single-action pistol with a frame and slide crafted from 4140 steel.

Basic specs are like any standard BHP, having a 4.87-inch barrel with a 7.8-inch overall length. Weight is 32 ounces flat with an unloaded 15-round magazine inserted.

The MC P35 has a couple of noticeable differences from the late Cold War-era Hi-Powers: a ring hammer rather than the more typical spur hammer used by the Mk III, and a 15-round flush-fit magazine produced by Mec-Gar of Italy. In a move sure to hurt the feelings of Hi-Power fans the world over, the Girsan has a magazine safety disconnect– in other words, it doesn’t fire without a magazine inserted.

But it did turn out to be reliable in testing.

It’s a blend of both old and new, and allows someone to get into Hi-Powers without having to spend Hi-Power money.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Is EAA closer to what the Hi-Power folks want?

As I previously passed on, FN pulled a Kevorkian on the elderly Browning Hi-Power in 2017 then last week announced a “we have the technology” FN High Power (note the extended spelling) that kinda uses some BHP DNA but is a totally new gun with a lot of the same styling but none of the reverse compatibility and support.

As a counter, EAA is working with Girsan in Turkey to produce the P35– a play on the fact that the original BHP was the Grande Puissance 35 when introduced just prior to WWII. Taking the MK II/MK III model of the Hi-Power as a starting point, they met with success last year with EAA telling me at SHOT last week that they have seen remarkable interest in the new, $500ish BHP clone.

Speaking of EAA at SHOT, they also had some modernized prototypes on hand that include an extended beavertail grip on the frame, a straight trigger, adjustable fiber optic sights, G10 grips, a built-in flared mag well, and an option for an accessory rail. 

More in my column at Guns.com.

The 411 on the new FN High Power (not the Browning Hi-Power)

I dropped by FN’s booth at SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week to get the scoop on the new FN High Power pistol line.

Not just a restart of the old FN/Browning Hi-Power, the new 9mm guns have a 21st-century flair to them, with a 17+1 magazine capacity, ambi controls, texturing on the frame, better ergonomics, and FN 509-pattern dovetail sights. They will be available in three variants including the standard black model, one in FDE– sure to be a hit with modern FN owners who collect that genre– and a true stainless steel model. 

Each will ship with two sets of grips.

More in my column at Guns.com.

After taking a half-decade off, FN has Re-entered the Hi-Power Game

FN America on Tuesday announced they are returning to the Hi-Power market in force with a new generation of 9mm pistols in three different variants. 

FN was the initial maker of the classic last handgun design conceived by John Moses Browning and realized by Dieudonné Saive, the latter the father of the FN 1949 and FN FAL. The company ended the line in 2017 and others have gone on to clone the iconic 9mm. 

To set the record straight, FN has returned the Hi-Power/High Power to production in an updated format with improved internals, a modern barrel lockup, a 17+1 flush-fit magazine capacity, and the ability to run hollow points.

Featuring ambidextrous controls and the elimination of the oft-detested magazine disconnect, the new High Power is available in stainless, FDE, and black finishes, retaining a single-action trigger that breaks crisply and cleanly.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Whelp, looks like the SA-35 is the Hi-Power FN *Should have* made

I dig FN. Not even gonna lie. I probably have 15 FN-made handguns and rifles in my collection, including three generationally different Hi-Powers. My first EDC, back in the early 1990s, was a Hi-Power. Probably only two people bought the SFS version, one of them being me. I even owned a factory two-toned .40S&W variant briefly before I realized that I made a horrible mistake and traded it away. 

But FN stopped production of the gun in 2017, after slowly declining their emphasis on the model for two decades prior. In short, I think they just fell out of love with it and the catalog can only be so big.

On the flip side of that, I am not a Springfield Armory fan.

Other than the Omega (a German-import 10mm) and a few of their latter model Operator, TRP, and Ronin models of the M1911A1, I never really found a Springer that I had more than a passing interest in.

Then they made the SA-35. For $699!

I mean look at this thing:

I’ve been kicking one around for a couple weeks and have some feedback on just where it fits in the Hi-Power evolutionary chart, and where it has some improvements that FN should have done and kept the gun in production.

One of these things is not like the other…

More in my column at Guns.com.

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