The Browning Hi Power at Speed


A "problem" I've seen with the Browning Hi Power when used at speed is the longer trigger reset. Almost always this crops up with heavy-duty 1911 users. The reason is that the 1911 has an extremely short reset and is probably the shortest of any semiautomatic on the market. People who are really practiced with the 1911 are very "dialed in" to muscle memory with that gun from thousands of shots.  The Hi Power does require the trigger be released farther before the next shot can be fired.  I have not noticed this happening with revolver shooters, users of conventional double-action automatics, or folks just not that quick with the 1911. I've only seen it appear with really fast 1911 shooters.


In extremely practiced hands, the 1911 is almost certainly the fastest semiautomatic out there. Its extremely concise reset before the next shot is triggered is one reason why.


This does not mean that the Hi Power is "slow" for repeat shots.  There are probably differences that could be measured with electronic timers, but only with a small minority of shooters.  Most of us, myself included, simply cannot shoot the guns fast enough to tell the difference. This is especially true if trying to get at least a flash sight picture for each shot.


This lightly customized Mk III 9mm has a longer reset than the 1911, but it remains capable of extremely quick shooting and is mechanically capable of firing faster than most of us are, particularly if trying to get at least coarse accuracy. Most shooters will never be able to tell the difference.  Keep in mind that the Hi Power has served well and long with some well-trained special operations groups, most notably the British SAS as well as being used by our own FBI Hostage Rescue Team in the past.


If you actually can tell the difference under real world conditions and the Hi Power slows your accurate rate of fire, I'd go with the 1911 in a heartbeat…or whatever I shot best.


These +P loads were fired through a Mk III Browning Hi Power as fast as I could get a flash sight picture. I did not time them, but believe that an honest estimate of the splits would be in the neighborhood of a second or less.


This target was fired using a Dan Wesson Patriot .45 with full loads. Cadence was very similar to what I do with the Browning Hi Power. I am personally not capable of shooting beyond the mechanical speed of either gun.


If you are concerned about the slightly longer reset with the Hi Power compared to the 1911, be sure that you're good enough to actually be able to tell the difference.


For most of us, either will serve well.