Another item of note is that the grip frame is significantly wider-feeling than some other double-stack 9mms. Of course, I AM spoiled for my polymer frame pistols, but an 1/8" could be cut from the width of the Hi-Power with different grips.
A couple of things that I noticed that worried me, but proved of no concern:
- The feed ramp is NARROW. I didn't think jacketed hollow point ammo would reliably feed. The pistol proved me wrong, though. It fed Federal Hydra-Shok 124g JHP +P+ and Speer Gold Dot JHPs with no issues.
- The front strap and rounded back strap are both smooth (with the exception of the serial number stamped into the front strap). I thought that once my hands were wet or sweaty I might have some trouble getting a secure grip on the wide-feeling grip. The diamond checkering on the grip panels provided sufficient friction to keep moisture from causing slippage.
One thing I will be changing on the gun...well, two things actually:
- I anticipate changing the hammer. While I don't have overlarge or fat hands, I still felt the hammer on every shot. I am going to be seeking out a burr (Commander style) hammer to replace the stock hammer with.
- While a fully adjustable rear sight is cool, my usual shooting doesn't require that level of precision; and my usual carry/handle of the weapon has proven to abuse the back sight anyway. I'll be replacing the sights with a set of XS Sights 24/7 Standard Dot sights.
I had no issues with the weapon feeding the UMC ball ammo I had at the range, nor with the Winchester factory ball. As mentioned above, the Federal and Speer JHP ammo I had on hand functioned with no issues. Accuracy was good, with the best group of the day being a 5-shot 1.3-inch group fired from 45 feet--that from the Federal Hydra-Shok ammo.
Unsure of what holsters might be available for the weapon, I had checked in with a gentleman that I consider something of a holster guru. He advised me that most holsters that would fit a Government Model 1911 would fit the Hi-Power. I hadn't known that. Sure enough, the leather pancake holster I have for my 1911 fits the Hi-Power reasonably well. The pistol also fit well in my BlackHawk SERPA Tactical holster, BUT...the end of the retaining pin--an integral part of the slide stop--sticks out far enough to get stuck in the holster. I have examined this issue and am of the opinion that a significant portion of the end of that pin can be milled off. I will be checking with a respected gunsmith and advise further on that.
All in all, I'm quite happy with the pistol. For a weapon designed in the early 1900s, I was surprised to see that the Mark III model has a finger-pin block in addition to the half-cock notch, thumb safety and magazine safety. Like most other pistols today, it also has a disconnect safety--meaning it won't fire unless it's fully in battery (or close to it)--but Browning doesn't advertise that any more than other manufacturers do.
If you get a chance to check one of these weapons out, I highly recommend it. It was pleasant to shoot and sufficiently accurate to be fun.