Nighthawk Custom Browning Hi-Power

nighthawk custom-3

The Browning Hi Power is considered by many to the be epitome of the 9mm semi-automatic pistol. It was designed by none other than John Moses Browning in 1914, a few years after he designed the 1911. The name “Hi-Power” refers to its 13 round double-stacked magazines. Other pistols at that time were about half the capacity so these magazines were considered to be high capacity.

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Nighthawk Custom were excited to show me their custom version of the Browning Hi-Power which they have recently begun selling. It is quite honestly a beautiful gun. They have added a number of custom features including giving it a trigger job (including improved sear and trigger), adding a competition hammer, a contoured magwell, custom beavertail, gold bead front sight, Select Cocobolo Checkered Grips and a Cera Kote Satin finish. As you can see in the photos, the result is a very classy firearm. The MSRP is $2,895. It is not cheap, but it is a custom gun.

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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.


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  • I want this gun so much I’m feeling faint at the thought…

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Want.

  • Frank

    For that price I’d want something either DLC or nitrided. Not some simple cerakote.

    • Cera Kote Satin Rust Resistant Finish

      • McThag

        While it’s an effective finish, it’s not an expensive finish. It’s been used instead of other passivization methods by low end manufacturers long enough that it’s gained a stigma when applied to more expensive products, like here.

        • MDBrock

          I can see that finish on my old Charles Daily/FEG. It’s still a solid pistol and shoots good, but looks like crap.

  • manBear

    Wow … That is artwork

  • JSIII

    That is very spendy for what they are offering, if it was hard chromed I might go for it.

  • ExurbanKevin

    I’ll be in my bunk.

  • Bud Harton

    Yeah, I just bet those are flying off the shelves…..[/sarcasm]

    I have an FN HiPower that actually began life as a Pistol 640(b) for the German Wehrmacht in 1943. I picked it up and carried it in Vietnam for the almost three years I flew as an aircrewman on a Huey gunship. It was a great gun then and today, almost fifty years later it’s an okay firearm that any of my current carry pistols far exceed.

    • Mick Finn

      Bud, thank you for your service in Vietnam.

    • Bud, cheers from Canada and thank you for serving.

      I’m curious as to the regulations regarding carrying such a firearm. It obviously wasn’t issued on any level in the US Military, and AFAIK 9mm was not standard issue in your military either, but it was certainly around.

      Did you have to bring your own ammunition over for it? How many magazines did you carry with it?

      Thanks in advance for answering, I find carry of non-standard weaponry (especially in the Vietnam War, which was arguably the last war in which this was accepted on a large basis.)

      • Bud Harton

        Mick and b0ne_thief, thanks for the notes. I wrote about my HiPower for a contest for The Truth About Guns:
        http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/05/daniel-zimmerman/p320-entry-back-vietnam-hi-power/

        I had to leave it in Vietnam and then got it back, 46 years later. The story explains everything. We often supported the Australians and i was able to trade for both 9mm ammo and extra magazines with them.

        • Thank you very much for the reply, Bud! What a fascinating story, and I’m glad that you finally got reunited with your Browning. In the middle-1960’s, I would argue that based on what we know now about combat handgunning (more hits on target trumping ‘stopping power’) that the BHP was one of the best combat handguns in the world.

          I also had no idea that Helicopter crews were given the leeway you speak of in terms of choosing an unconventional weapon. Very interesting!

          Thanks again.

  • Lance

    Bit too expensive for any pistol.

  • Sam

    Because I am lazy and don’t feel like Googling, I have a question for the Hi Power pros:

    Every Hi Power I’ve seen has a super short beavertail. But after seeing this pistol’s beavertail, I Google Imaged “Hi Power Beavertail” and it seems to be a thing. My question is, are there variants that come like that or is every Hi Power with a beavertail a custom thing? I’m lazy, so fulfill my curiosity. Kthanks.

    • 757_Magnum

      I went through a Hi Power phase and had a couple of MK IIIs at one point. As far as I know, beavertails were custom jobs that involved welding one one, then blending it into the contours. That’s probably a big chunk of the price tag.

    • Miguel Raton

      BHPs do not have beavertails, nor an easy way of adding one since they don’t have a grip safety [a la’ m1911.] OTOH, as long as you replace the rowel hammer they originally came with, there’s no hammer bite, & so, no need for a beavertail, simple as that. In the case of the pistol that is the subject of this article/regurgitated press release, the custom beavertail is big part of the expense & also completely irrelevant, since it already has the lightened spur hammer. In addition, the beavertail just gives another point for something to snag on when the chips are down. I have far better ways of spending the $2k over the going price for a BHP that this thing would run me.

      • MDBrock

        It’s pretty, but you’d would be better off getting a stock Browning and spending a grand on trigger work and other internals. Other than the beaver tail, any competent gunsmith could do anything you wanted to a Hi-Power. Unless they are a Glock Armorer. However, having never shot, held nor personally seen the Nighthawk version I cannot and will not disparage it with any conviction.

  • Mike

    Would love one of these.

  • BobinMI

    Any word on whether it has a mag disconnect?

  • Boogur T. Wang

    Very nice custom pistol. And priced to reflect that.

  • Nate H

    Those grips are exquisite. But not worth the price tag..

    • ostiariusalpha

      You’d be paying for the metal work done to the frame and the trigger & hammer job mostly. The grips are a very small fraction of the cost.

      • Nate H

        The grips are the only thing I like about this particular BHP.

  • Broz

    The cause of the BHPs heavier than a 1911’s trigger pull is the location of the ‘fulcrum’ in the ‘transfer bar’ between the pawl and the sear (of course, you first need to ditch the magazine safety, which Bill Laughridge of C&S managed to do a while back with his ‘combat trigger’ or which the owner can do by simply removing it)…changing thew location of the ‘fulcrum’ requires more machining skills than the average home ‘smith has available…a factory BHP with this performed would be a seriously welcomed addition to the BHP clone line for pistols…

  • StickShift

    All that money, and it still has the factory barrel, safety, and the standard sear fulcrum location and rocker arm? No thanks.

  • $2.8k and no beveled mag well?

  • Kovacs Jeno

    ” It was designed by none other than John Moses Browning in 1914, a few years after he designed the 1911″

    Nope!
    It was designed by Dieudonne J. Saive.

    J. M. Browning only started the designing process, and died in 1926. That pistol was entirely different from the final product.