Getting It Right: It’s Not a Browning ‘Hi-Power’ or ‘High Power’

Browning 9 mm pistol Canadian army
Browning 9 mm pistol. Source: Canadian Army website.

(Update 05 Jan. 2021: Browning’s website began using a hyphen consistently in “Hi-Power” some time after we published this article. The Internet Archive provides a snapshot of the webpage when we wrote it.) — One of the world’s most-popular pistols is based on a design by John Browning of the U.S. and was completed by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale in Belgium.

What is the name of that 9 mm handgun? Many of us get it wrong, and wants to help us get it right.

The title of the Wikipedia article on the pistol is “Browning Hi-Power,” with a hyphen. A Google search for that term returns almost a million results, “Browning Hi Power” (without a hyphen) yields half a million, and “Browning High Power” returns about 140,000 results. A search on, the U.S. retailer of guns and parts, shows 125 items for “Browning Hi Power” and 146 items for “Browning High Power.”

So which one is it?

Browning Hi Power pistol Canada guns firearms
Wikipedia’s headline incorrectly calls the Browning Hi Power the “Hi-Power,” with a hyphen.

Canadians have a particular interest — maybe even a duty — to get it right, since the 9 mm pistol has been our standard-issue military handgun for some 70 years and will remain so for at least another decade. Some models of the gun were built by John Inglis & Co. in Toronto during World War II.

The Browning website calls it the “Hi Power,” without a hyphen. The Fabrique Nationale website calls it the “High Power.” (Update 08 April 2018: The webpage was removed.)

So there it is. It’s either a Browning Hi Power or an FN High Power.

Now we know.


  • 2016 Dec. 01: Before we had to think about what to call the pistol in English, it already had a name in French. Wikipedia en français says the pistol, made by Fabrique Nationale starting in 1935, was named the “Browning GP 35.” “GP” stands for “Grande Puissance,” which means “High Power.” Some French speakers call it the “P-35.” Hyphens or not? Unknown.
  • 2018 Feb. 28Browning Says Hi Power Pistol ‘No Longer in Production’