TFB Review: The New FN High Power

Matt E
by Matt E

In the last couple of years, the resurgence of the Hi Power pistol has taken the market by storm. Both Springfield Armory and FN have come out with their own variants of the iconic pistol. While my write-up of the Springfield Armory SA35 is coming soon, I have spent a fair amount of time with the FN High Power and after a couple of months shooting the FN, I can tell you my experience with this modernized classic.



FN’s new modernized High Power is certainly a deviation from the classic Hi-Power design but offers improvements from the standard Hi Power that became legendary in the gun community. The first major change that is clear right off the bat is the enlarged 17-round magazine from the original 13-round magazine. The grip is slightly wider to accommodate the bigger magazine but offers a larger capacity than the classic Hi Power. The steel frame is slightly larger than the previous Hi Powers along with polymer grips both in black as well as a synthetic brown set that resembles the classic wood grips. With a weight of 40oz, the High Power has the weight of a full-size pistol but balances in the hand.

FN included adjustable blacked-out iron sights that are 509 patterned for aftermarket compatibility. As a standard feature, the FN High Power comes with a durable PVD finish from the factory. When it comes to the barrel, the new High Power has a 4.7″ hammer-forged barrel with target crowning and a polished feed ramp. Just like the original, the new High Power is single action only and my example had a trigger with an average 5.25 lbs trigger pull weight. Another upgrade from the original design is a fully ambidextrous safety and slide stop that can easily be manipulated with both hands. Along with the pistol, FN also ships the new High Power in a soft zippable case, two magazines, and an extra set of polymer brown grips to give it that classic look. MSRP on the High Power is $1,384.99 and is currently in stores and available.

Spec List

MSRP$1,384.99ManufacturerFN America
Manufacturer Part #66-100256ModelHigh Power
ActionSemi-automaticTypeSingle Action
SizeFull SizeCaliber9MM
Barrel Length4.7″ColorBlack
GripsPolymerCapacity17 Rounds
Accessories2 MagazinesSafetyAmbidextrous
SightsAdjustable SightsSubcategoryPistols – Metal Frame

Range Time

I’ve had my High Power for roughly two months so far and in those two months, I have put roughly 550 rounds through my pistol so far. I have shot a fair amount of Hi Powers in my time and the biggest issue I have had is the hammer bite coming back and pinching the meaty part of my hand. I will have cuts on my hand from the traditional Hi Powers but with the new FN High Power, the slightly larger frame allows me to get a high purchase on the gun without having a hammer bite on my hand. For people with bigger hands, this new modern variant will allow you to comfortably shoot the pistol without the drawbacks of the original smaller frame.

Sights and Capacity

The blacked-out sights on the High Power are functional but can be tricky to pick up the front sight in dark targets. I will probably throw just a small amount of paint on the front sight for a little contrast but they are certainly functional. The single-action trigger is crisp with a clear wall, clean break, and crisp reset making the High Power a very nice experience to shoot at the range. The slightly larger frame diameter to accommodate the larger magazine gives the pistol a natural palm swell that fits my hand very well.

Purists won’t be appreciative of the larger 17-round magazine, but with the crisp single-action trigger and larger capacity, I think this is an option for carrying concealed. Between the single action trigger and weight of the pistol, this old-school pistol can put rounds on target just as fast if don’t quicker than the modern alternatives. The ability to shoot quickly with this gun was what impressed me the most in my range trips over the last couple of months.

Accuracy and Reliability

For Accuracy testing, I mainly used 115gr Federal American Eagle and tried their new 147gr Competition ammunition as well. I shot 5-round groups at 20 yards rested from the bench to try and keep things consistent. My average group size for the 115gr American Eagle ammo was 2.35″ and the 147gr competition ammo group had an average of 1.93″ so both are certainly acceptable for practical accuracy and overall the gun feels very easy to shoot tight groups with.

Reliability during my testing has been 100% perfect in the 550 round count. I know this isn’t the most rounds I’ve ever done for a pistol review but so far it’s been very reliable without me cleaning the gun and only lubricating it at the very beginning. The action has become even smoother than when I picked up the gun after only 500 miles. With the metal slide-on frame fitment, I am excited to put more rounds through the gun to see how smooth the action will become with even more use. So far though, the gun has been 100% reliable with the ammo I tried through it with zero malfunctions or oddities.

Where It Shines

The Hi Power was always a legendary pistol to me growing up and I remember the day I first shot one. Honestly, I was incredibly excited, but after the first magazine, I had enough of the hammer bite being so severe my hand was bleeding a nice stream of blood. I have always wanted to be able to enjoy a Hi Power without the constant hammer bite and I can gladly say this gun with its slightly larger frame allows people with bigger hands like myself to enjoy the history and iconic pistol without the discomfort of hammer bite.

I was impressed with the overall fit and quality of the pistol and that’s what drove me to purchase one off of Brownells and give it a shakedown. It may be a heavier all-metal framed pistol, but the balance of the guns and the ability to shoot quickly with a single action trigger make it an extremely enjoyable experience. If I had one criticism of the FN High Power, I wish they would have installed some sort of accessory rail to attach a light or laser. The extra capacity is fantastic but since they changed the frame to accommodate the larger magazine, I wish they would modernize it just a tad more with an accessory rail on the front. It’s a small complaint but maybe FN will bring out a tactical variant with that option!

Check Prices on FN High Power Pistols

Overall Thoughts

I am extremely pleased with the FN High Power and the performance the gun has displayed over the last couple of months. It has brought a modern twist on an absolute classic pistol which will help keep the Hi Power legacy alive. It may be more expensive than other options but I have to give this modern classic my seal of approval. What do you guys think of the FN High Power? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you have any questions about the FN High Power or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you in the next review.

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Matt E
Matt E

I'm an avid shooter and love educating whether it's at my job or in the shooting community. I'm an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.I'm active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.

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2 of 36 comments
  • Jim Pelham Jim Pelham on May 22, 2024

    bought the GIRSAN hi shoots very well, 15 rnd mag...copy of the hi power, man does it shoot good...JimP.

  • Alex Jay Alex Jay on May 31, 2024

    I got this last year. Got it because it was available, new, and different than the 2 HPs I already owned. It is an improvement over the older models. I didn’t care about how the newer version didn’t accept the older version’s part accessories and all that. Very well balanced, accurate and and a definite improvement.