Browning Hi Power (Inglis)
The Browning Hi Power is one of the greats in the industry. Used by both Allied and Axis Powers in WW2, the taken on by many armies of the world including Australia.
The Browning Hi Power is a single-action, semi-automatic handgun available in the 9mm and .40 S&W calibers. It is based on a design by American firearms inventor John Browning, and completed by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium. Browning died in 1926, several years before the design was finalized. The Hi-Power is one of the most widely used military pistols in history, having been used by the armed forces of over 50 countries. After 82 years of continuous production, the Hi-Power was finally discontinued in 2017.
On November 26, 1926, Browning was in the workshop working on a 9mm autoloading pistol for FN when he suffered a heart attack and died.
The pistol he was working on was finished by a designer at FN and later released as the GP-35 (called the "Grande Puissance" or "Hi-Power" because it held 13 rounds, which was more than the M1911 and the German P-08) and was used by both sides during the Second World War.
This model is the Canadian Made John Inglis and Company in Toronto. The plans were sent from the FN factory to the UK when it became clear the Belgian plant would fall into German hands, enabling the Inglis factory to be tooled up for Hi-Power production for Allied use. Inglis produced two versions of the Hi-Power, one with an adjustable rear sight and detachable shoulder stock (primarily for a Nationalist Chinese contract) and one with a fixed rear sight.
Production began in late 1944 and they were on issue by the March 1945 Operation Varsity airborne crossing of the Rhine into Germany. The pistol was popular with the British airborne forces as well as covert operations and commando groups such as the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the British Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment. Inglis High-Powers made for Commonwealth forces have the British designation 'Mk 1', or 'Mk 1*' and the manufacturer's details on the left of the slide. They were known in British and Commonwealth service as the 'Pistol No 2 Mk 1', or 'Pistol No 2 Mk 1*' where applicable. Serial numbers were 6 characters, the second being the letter 'T', e.g. 1T2345. Serial numbers on pistols for the Chinese contract instead used the letters 'CH', but otherwise followed the same format.
This one is contradictory as it has the adjustable sight with shoulder stock but also has the Mk1 reference.