Reviewed By: Jeremy Z on 10/26/2008
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
This is an outstanding gun, and an outstanding value. It is a damned shame it is discontinued. It is Made in the USA and costs 1/2 or less what a Browning Hi Power does.
To top it all off, it has a better trigger. The only thing it doesn't have is a glossy finish.
It has XS sights, not the night versions but the "dot over vertical line" type. These sights are not condusive to precise shot placement at 25 yards, but instead for fast acquisition and center-of-mass placement. If you don't like those sights, they are easy enough to replace.
Take-down is very simple. This gun is the father of modern field-stripped guns. No tools are needed, and it can be done in seconds.
I like how it doesn't have a full-length guide rod. I like that it is captive inside the slide instead of one more thing poking out.
The barrel lock-up is an elegant design. It has the commander style hammer, so it doesn't bite like the old-fashioned Hi-Powers. The thumb safety is not ambidextrous, which makes this gun for righties only.
The Hi-Power is also the father of ergonomic design in modern pistols. This gun is very comfortable in all hands, and the single action trigger means consistent trigger pull from shot to shot. (like the 1911) The included magazine is reliable, but feels very cheap. I bought a couple of spare Mec-Gar magazines, which are in a whole different league. Great finish, easier to load and 100% reliable. They were on sale at midway for $20 ea. back in September 2008.
This is a high capacity 9mm that isn't overly bulky. Even my wife's small hands fit around this 13-round, double stack magazine well. Not only that, but the slide is narrow too, so this is an ideal gun to Mexican carry. The one thing I would change about this is to replace the trigger with one that has a wider face that disables the magazine disconnect. The stock trigger is narrow, and is designed to work well when you pull it with your knuckle crease. This is actually kind of good, because the stock trigger pull is kind of heavy at around 7 lbs.
The one irritating thing is the magazine disconnect safety. While I think it is a great idea it is not well executed with the stock magazine. (it only included one) The stock magazine has a matte finish and doesn't drop down at all when the mag release button is pressed. So if my wife is getting wrestled down and hits the mag release thinking it will disable the gun, it may not even work. With the Mec-Gar magazines they drop down a little, but not always enough to engage the mag disconnect safety. That means the only time this safety could come in handy would be when some idiot thinks the gun is unloaded because the mag is out. I'm thinking about installing an aftermarket wide-faced trigger that defeats this mag disconnect safety. That should help the trigger pull. But I did notice that my point of impact is much different when I pull the trigger with the pad of my finger instead of the power crease. I'd have to buy a drift punch just to re-adjust the sights.
If you can find one of these NOS for around $350, it is a screaming deal. The gun is top quality. Even used, for that price, it is a great deal. I equate this gun's quality to Ruger P series pistols. Maybe not quite as rugged, but with better fit & finish. It has that nice tight slide fit that 1911s have, and also that SA design that always has the same point of impact. Based on my experience with this gun, I'm going to save up and get a Daly 1911. I don't mind that it doesn't have the tacti-cool extended safety or slide release.
Anyway, this is an outstanding pistol. I bought it because it was the one my wife chose. I wouldn't have tried it otherwise. But I'm turning into a SA convert thanks to this gun. I can't recommend it highly enough. It is MUCH nicer than a beat-up old second-hand FN Hi-Power.
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