The 9mm Option

Developed in 1902 by Georg Luger, the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge can brag about being over 100 years old and more successful now than at any other time.


Once all design modifications, changes, upgrades, etc had been complete, the Browning-Saive "Grand Rendement" (High Yield in French; France originally commissioned it) was adopted in 1935 by Belgium's military. Ever since, the High Power has also been known as the P-35 or Model of 1935. In 1962 the design was modified to include an external extractor - an increase in reliability.

The Browning High Power was the first design to successfully incorporated a double-stack magazine design. This was created by Browning to answer the French requirement for a magazine that held 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Although Browning fell short by two rounds (the mags hold 13 rounds), he generated a big step in magazine technology by creating the double stack or staggered column magazine. Contemporary magazines do hold 15 rounds of 9mm and are available commercially on the internet.

One of the things that I don't particularly care for in this pistol design was also put in as one of the original requirements from the French: a magazine disconnect safety. The Browning High Power, without a magazine in place, won't function through pulling the trigger. Not only do I think this is a bad idea in any combat handgun, but by including this design feature the trigger pull was destined to be much harder and rougher than it should have been - especially for a single-action pistol.

The Browning High Power pistols have been used by a wide variety of military and law enforcement units internationally. During WWII both the Allies and the Axis powers used these pistols. To date over fifty of the world's armies have issued or authorized use of this weapon. Probably one of the best known special operations groups, the British Special Air Service (SAS) have used the High Power. Law enforcement teams that have used it include the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). No less than eight armies of the world still use this pistol, or some version of it, as their issued sidearm today.

The one I have in my safe I unfortunately only have one magazine for. I intend to remedy that as I enjoy this pistol and I look forward to being able to carry / shoot it more.


So that's my review of the 9mms in my collection - or that I've carried for any significant amount of time. While some folks refuse to carry a 9mm, it has a long history (over 100 years) of performance. It's even (a tad) older than the legendary .45ACP. As I said at the outset: I think shot placement is more important than the size of the hole. Your thoughts?

Stay Safe!


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