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France, Belgium, Nazis and the FN Hi Power

You’d have thought the French would have had the first order in for its own new FN Hi Power. Alas, it was not to be.

A fine example of a pre-WWII FN Hi Power.

“Though, ironically, the French, who started the whole concept, never did adopt it, the gun was adopted by FN’s native Belgium as soon as it was formally introduced in 1935. International interest in the new pistol was great, but the Nazi invasion of the Low Countries quickly brought Belgium into the German orbit, where more than a quarter-million Hi Powers would be produced for the Nazis, many by slave labor.”—Massad Ayoob, Massad Ayoob’s Greatest Handguns of the World, Volume 2, from the chapter “The Browning Hi Power.


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About Jennifer L.S. Pearsall

Jennifer L.S. Pearsall joined Gun Digest in summer 2011 as a books editor. She began her career selling guns in a retail gun shop and handgun range in Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. Recruited by the NRA to join its editorial staff in 1999, she then went on to succeed as a freelance writer and photographer. She's been a competitive shooter in many disciplines, including sporting clays, IPSC, and metallic blackpowder cartridge silhouette, and she has been an avid hunter for many years.

One thought on “France, Belgium, Nazis and the FN Hi Power

  1. bhp0

    The FN High Power was one of the most sought after fighting and souvenir handguns of WWII. It held more bullets, It shot flatter, its penetration was superior (penetrated helmets out to 125 yards v/s the .45’s 35 yards) kicked less and was light years more accurate that the .45 acp.

    Several G.I.’s told me they threw there .45’s in a ditch after they got hold of a FN High Power.

    Unfortunately today the gun has been trashed with cheap cast parts, the barrel hood eliminated to speed production, and a passive firing pin safety that causes slide cracking.