Pistol Review: The Nighthawk Custom Hi Power Browning


Almost all reviews on the Browning Hi Power begin with a long and detailed background on the pistol's history, in this case we won't be. For a moment, lets imagine the Browning Hi Power was never invented so that we may look at Nighthawk's Hi Power Pistol with a clear and uncluttered mind.

ENVISION

Now imagine a 9mm pistol with a grip so comfortable and ergonomic that everyone who picks it up thinks the same exact thing, "This feels amazing"! Imagine a pistol with a slide measuring less than .75-inch wide at the muzzle, a pistol with a hinged trigger that breaks with a light consistent feel. A pistol that you can strip and assemble with a single hand and even without pulling the trigger. A full-size, all-steel pistol weighing only twenty-nine ounces that has had every sharp edge removed. A pistol you can feed any 9 mm load with utter confidence that it will work reliably and deliver precise hits on target.

This is the pistol that Nighthawk is offering. Created based off an eighty-year-old design that has been used by more soldiers and in more battles than any other handgun, the Hi Power is, without a doubt, the one of the greatest milestones in firearm manufacturing ever. The Browning Hi Power features everything you could ever look for in today's popular polymer pistols from simplicity of takedown and irreproachable reliability to a incredibly ergonomic design and revolver-like pivoting trigger. The Browning Hi Power changed the world, and Nighthawk Custom has changed the Hi Power, for the better.

THE DESIGN

Variants and iterations of the Browning Hi Power have been manufactured by a multitude of different companies and to a variety of different standards. Nighthawk Custom starts with only brand-new Browning Mark III Hi Power pistols manufactured by FN in Belgium.

The first issue that Nighthawk addresses is the long-standing complaint some shooters have with the Hi Power; extending the grip tang by about a full inch. Doing so eliminates any chance of hammer bite on the hand and further enhances already superb handling. This extension of the grip tang is done so flawlessly there exist no joint lines, evidence of welding or any other indication the frame was not cast with the extended tang.

Next, the same Nighthawk gunsmith applies a a texture to the surface of the metal on the rear and front of the grip and underneath the trigger guard. This helps stabilize the grip while remaining incredibly elegant. Continuing this stylishness, the rear and top of the slide are textured and a French border is applied.

The slide is then meticulously cut to incorporate a Heinie, square-notched, Slant Pro black rear sight. The gunsmith then removes the factory firing mechanism and installs a new steel hammer, an improved sear and a straighter trigger. He also discards the magazine disconnect, which prevents the Hi Power from firing unless a magazine is locked in place. This results in a pivoting trigger that glides through incredibly smoothly and also enables the pistol to be fired with the magazine out of the gun. The trigger breaks crisply at about 4 pounds and will leave Glock shooters with buckling knees.

Other minor changes include a a contoured magazine well to assist with speed loading, a crowned barrel, tightening of the slide-to-frame fit and the removal of any and all sharp edges. The entire pistol, with the exception of the barrel, then receives a satin Cerakote rust-resistant finish.

ACCURACY

A standard procedure for all Nighthawk pistols is a test fire from the gunsmith who made it. In the case of the Browning Hi Power we currently have in stock, Mr. Allen Wyatt, a master gunsmith at Nighthawk Custom, fired it at twelve yards using 115GR-FMG and 124GR-JHP ammunition. The result was a single hole.

NIGHTHAWK CUSTOM DEALERS

As premium dealers with Nighthawk Custom we have access to all their entire catalog both standard and limited-edition. We currently house over fifteen of both their pistols and revolvers including the Browning Hi Power.


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