UK Military To Adopt Glock 17 Gen 4

After 40 years of service with British Armed Forces, the Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistol will be replaced by the Glock 17 Gen4.


The BBC reports

The Ministry of Defence has signed a £9m contract to provide the Armed Forces with more than 25,000 new side-arms and holsters from Austria’s Glock.

It will replace the Browning 9mm pistol which has been in service since 1967.

The Glock 17 9mm pistol is lighter than the Browning and can be fired faster, within a second or so.

Colonel Peter Warden, from the MoD team introducing the new weapon, says that after well over four decades in service, the pistol from US manufacturer Browning was no longer the ideal weapon and had become increasingly expensive to maintain.

“We began to lose a little bit of confidence in its reliability. So we trialled seven different weapons, and got down to the Glock as the best of the bunch,” he says.

This is a huge win for Glock who now have a major military force using their latest generation pistol.

Many Thanks To Sandy and Conor For The Tip

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Hedd Wyn

    SIG won’t like this, the military have been using the P226 in significant numbers out in Afghanistan so it must have been a big blow to hear that Glock have won the contest.

  • batshitcrazy

    I hope the MOD will sell off the Hi-Powers here in the US, I’d buy two! Then maybe when the UK comes to it’s senses I can repatriate one.

    • steveday72

      I thought exactly the same thing when I read the title. Though we’ve probably got more chance of Feinstein going postal in the senate.

  • Al 996

    I thought the U.K forces were using Sig Sauer P226’s?

    • The SAS and SBS use the 226. The regular military uses Hi Powers. They must be near the end of their lifespan.

      • Callum King-Underwood

        many 226’s worked their way into the hands of regular troops as part of an Urgent Operational Requirement contract in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hi Points were still officially standard issue.

        • Mr Mxyzptlk

          They didn’t work their way into the hands of regular troops, they were procured especially for them through a UOR. However, only enough pistols were bought to cover the needs of troops in theatre so they kept needing to be passed from person to person so they are already pretty worn out. In particular the magazines that were issued were standard commercial mags as opposed to mil-spec ones and have taken an absolute battering. The springs are so buggered that troops have taken to only loading 10 or so rounds or else you risk a stoppage. The P226s used by UKSF were procured by them and have nothing to do with the UOR P226s used by regular forces, and are a mix of unrailed and railed ones.

          On a side note, does anyone know what the new holster is, I can’t work it out:

  • Strange, the MOD team involved seems to have forgotten about the thousands of Sig P226 and P229 already in service with the british army. Or is this perhaps yet another example of stupidity in procurement.

    • jayb

      Sig not as good as glocks reliability and reputation

      • IMBW

        Right, that’s why the Navy SEALs chose SIGs even though they could use any pistols they wanted. SIGs are outstanding pistols, I’ve put as many rounds through my P226 and P228 as I have through the 5 Glocks I’ve owned over the last 10 years and I’ve seen plenty of malfunctions through the Glocks and have yet to see my first malfunction in either SIG. Keep in mind, I love Glocks, and they are better than SIGs in some ways, but reliability isn’t one of them.

  • Karina

    Well, well. Glock finally has a major military buying their stuff… Though it’s sad that they picked the Gen4.

    I wonder if that will pave the way for future adoption by any branch of the US military of a Glock variant. But that’s just me talking, and I find the M9 could use replacement…

    • Esh325

      What’s wrong with Gen 4? The military does want to replace the M9 as they are getting worn out, and they don’t feel it’s a modern pistol anymore.

      • Karina

        I’m not a big fan of the Gen4 after I heard the issues surrounding them – plus I just like better the Gen3, but that’s purely my opinion here and my (admittedly stubborn) attachment to the third gen Glocks (as well as the 2nd gen ones; when I first saw Glocks, I felt like I was looking at a pistol out of a sci-fi movie)
        In any case, gen4 or not, I am quite glad that Her Majesty’s forces are choosing Glock; even though I did hear nothing but good from the Hi-Power as well. I have a feeling they won’t be disappointed.

  • Michael

    Don’t hold your breath on the used guns. The British Government will destroy them. They would be worn out and Obama will not allow them into the country. The Sigs were bought as a UOR for Afghanistan.
    Now how many magazines will be “lost” when the British troops are working with American Troops

    • John Hogen

      Well, one of the reason they got rid of the Browning is the cost of maintenance – These pistol have seen decades of action and are reaching the end of their service life.

  • Esh325

    Loose confidence in the reliability because they are worn out I assume? Browning Hi Powers in good mechanical shape are very reliable in my experience. I can understand why they would want to replace the BHP, it’s a great pistol but there are better pistols out there today. I think perhaps the money might have been better spent on new rifles instead of pistols perhaps? Considering the rifle is the number one infantry weapon of the soldier.

    • Son Of Plug

      The L85A2 is reliable the need for a new rifle, unless your going to get a new cartridge is negligible, however the Hi-powers are older than some of the men that carry them.

  • Gidge

    The Browning Hi-Power hasn’t been updated in so long no wonder it’s loosing ground to guns like the Glock. A few little tweaks here and there would turn it into a front runner again.

    Tritium sights, an accessory rail, slightly longer bever tail, better hammer, new grips & safety leaver to allow for a modern thumbs high grip and a modern harder wearing finish would make a huge difference

    • So in other words it’s probably cheaper to just buy Glocks.

      • Esh325

        Yeah basically, it’s better to just buy new pistols than try to update an old pistol.

  • idahoguy101

    Glock has the advantage in price, simplicity of operation, and being difficult to break.

  • para1962

    Holsters will be supplied by Radar.

  • Casey

    All the UK forces in Afghanistan, that I came in contact with, used the Sig 226. Never saw a single Browning Hi-Power.

  • Esh325

    They’ve probably ironed out the issues with the newer production models.

  • Riot

    When I saw this on BBC news the reporter “holding” the pistol (on both her palms held flat) she looked like she was terrified of the (empty) thing. Looked like she wanted to throw it away and run.

    • jayb

      Glocks do that to the enemy as well

  • mosinman

    i don’t see what the major advantages are, well other than 4 more rounds and a decrease in weight

    • John Hogen

      The cost of maintenance – These pistol have seen decades of action and are reaching the end of their service life.

  • meyou

    hey,the old blog style was better

  • delarrn

    Holster is made by Radar 1957

  • Sam Suggs

    If the U.S military was to replace the m9 they should replace it with one of FNH’s wonderful offering’s as they already have factories established in the United States for the military’s machine guns

    • avocado

      “blue label” glocks are made in the US now in Georgia. and are stamped USA on the slide. im sure a nice Mil contract will provide for expansion on manufacturing capability

  • PaulLibertarian

    A wise decision, although I would have gone for the model 19. I much prefer the latter to either a BHP or a Sig. The latter are far too chunky IMHO.