Cananda Replacing Browning Hi-Powers


Who knew they still used them? I sure didn’t.

The Second World War-era pistols used by the Canadian military will soon be replaced as the federal government plans to request bids for a new handgun in February.

A contract is expected to be awarded by September with initial deliveries beginning in the summer of 2022, Department of National Defence spokesperson Jessica Lamirande said.

The new handguns will replace the Second World War-era Browning Hi-Power pistols.

The military was originally going to make an initial purchase of 9,000 pistols for the Canadian Army. But that number has increased to 16,500 as handguns will also be bought for the Royal Canadian Air Force and military police, Lamirande noted.

The firearms will be modular, meaning they can be reconfigured for various roles. Attachments such as improved targeting systems can also be installed on the guns.

“The procurement will also include options to support future requirements of additional modular pistols, but the precise number has not yet been confirmed as it will depend on requirements,” Lamirande explained. “The total procurement is expected to be up to 20,000 modular pistols.”


  1. I know a few guys who shoot them and swear by them. One of them…a Vietnam veteran ex Colonel of Engineers… had a slide crack a few years ago, and after some thought he reckoned he’d put over 250000 rounds through it after buying it new back around 1962. They’re still advertised as brand new guns for sale here in Australia…stainless versions and all.

    They’re old-school but good…sorta like the 1911. 🙂

  2. The Canadians have made some really good choices in small arms, over the years. They kept the Browning .30 going for years, after converting it over to 7.62 NATO. They laughed hysterically when the US suggested the M60 to them, and procured the MAG58 as a ground-mount gun long before we did.

    The Browning Hi-Power that they have in service is actually a left-over from the Inglis contracts with the Chinese Nationalists, who found themselves financially embarrassed and unable to pay for the guns they’d ordered. I could be wrong, but I vaguely remember hearing that the losses on that contract were going to bankrupt Inglis, and the Canadian military getting these pistols was part of an attempt to keep them going. Rumor further had it that the chicanery involved US diplomatic and CIA activity, akin to what did in the Avro Arrow, but that’s possibly just Canadian conspiracy theory at work and play…

  3. Can we safely assume that Canada will offer these surplus handguns (AKA implements of war) for sale to their civilian population?


  4. With any luck, maybe they will just demil the frames and sell the parts on the surplus market. I’d like to have some spare parts for my Inglis Hi-Power.

    Then again, I’m probably giving the Candadian Government too much credit. They will most likely demil the entire weapons, hence destroy a part of history that saved them from capitulation during WWII.

  5. Not gonna happen. The Canadian govt. wants anything the CF uses made in Canada at Colt Canada. That means the full technical data package handed over to them. This worked when it was either Canadian Arsenals or Diemaco, and there was a robust licensing agreement in place. After all, Canadian Arsenals was unlikely to be able to produce an FN MAG cheaper than FN could, and would not be allowed to sell them on the open market (licensing agreement).

    All bets are off when it is Colt Canada, a commercial subsidiary of Colt. Nobody is going to give proprietary info to what is essentially a commercial competitor for a contract that is for fewer pistols than a typical US city police department orders.

    Back in the ’60’s Canadian Arsenals told the CF that they could start production again since they still had the tooling and TDP from Inglis, but FN found out and pointed out that the license agreement covered the duration of the war only. The tooling was IIRC sold to India as scrap, and used by RFI to make totally unlicensed versions of the No2Mk1& for Indian use.

    As for the old pistols, I was issued one and own one. They are great, but long obsolete. They were all made in 1944-45, and have the old style internal extractor. The CF doctrine is Israeli style, empty chamber, draw and rack, for the same reasons the Israelis do it that way.

    In Afghanistan, a number were brought out of war stocks, brand new never issued still in the grease. Still all manufactured in 1944. I would have given a kidney for one of those. Most of those in service were old and completely shot out. In the memorable words of a crusty old Sgt during my basic officer training. “..a good pistol, the problem is they are old and shot out, particularly the magazines. The magazine feed lips are all worn out, like an old whore’s cunt lips.”


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