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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.

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.”

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

Now we know.

Update Dec. 01, 2016: 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.

© 2016