Monday, February 4, 2013

UK Armed Forces: Glock 17 to Replace the Browning Hi-Power

With a new 9 million GBP contract signed over 25.000 Glock 17 Gen4 pistols will be provided to the British armed forces currently serving in the Middle East.

The single action Browning Hi-Power is a work horse of a gun but after 40 years of service clearly dated compared to what is available today in terms of modern handguns.

The choice was clearly to go for the most proven, most reliable handgun available today and forget about dated concepts such as the need for an external manually operated safety. 

Police, military or civilian, this is yet again proof that all things considered, capacity, accuracy, unbeatable reliability and ease of shooting and repair, the Glock simply cannot be beaten.



Anonymous said...

So will the guns be sold for scap?

Neil said...

Maybe, but it still doesn't point worth a darn for me. I'll be keeping my Hi-Power, thanks be to FN and FM.

Anonymous said...


With all due respect sir, I'll stick to my semi-automatic pistols designed by John Browning.

While subjective to be sure, and I have respect for Glock, I like SA's and my handguns frames to be made completely out of metal. (read as no undue plastic parts)

Rarely do you print something which upsets me, but tonight you did and I felt the need to comment.

Don Williams said...

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch:

"...the Colt .45 M1911 is making a big comeback, now that the U.S. Marines have placed a $22.5 million order for the Connecticut-made pistols...
Colt Defense, based in Hartford, Conn., will supply as many as 12,000 of the 200,000 U.S. Marines with semi-automatic, tan-colored M45 Close Quarter Battle Pistols, and they will include spare parts and logistical support. The gun has long been the weapon of choice for special operations agents, thanks to its reliability and the stopping power of its massive bullets...
Some reports suggest Marines are not happy with their main Beretta M9s for their lack of accuracy and stopping power. With M1911's now supplying Special Ops, growing interest may lead to a better solution."


Don Williams said...

Plus there is the US Army's Modular Handgun System program:

"The Army has a new pistol in its sights. After 25 years of action, the M9 is on its way out as officials are confident they can give soldiers a better pistol at a better price. The goal is to replace all 239,000 M9s and the concealable M11s....

Lethality is among the M9’s several “limitations,” said Daryl Easlick, project officer for close effects. The requirement for a new pistol calls for “an increase in permanent wound channel,” which suggests something more powerful than a 9mm may be on the horizon."

NOTE: As the article notes, the new MHS --which will also be used by the Air Force -- may well be a Glock in 40 S&W. (Or a Smith and Wesson M&P clone of the same, heh heh )

NOTE: The military is generally limited to full metal jacket bullets , although the lawyers are trying to find some way to work around that. Hence, the preference for 45 ACP over 9 mm.

KeithC said...

No, it just means Glock had the lowest bid. :D

Seriously, though, I look forward to hearing reviews from the field. I have long carried a G19 as a CCW and when I didn't it was because I was carrying a G26 or G30. I know how confident *I* feel with the design but I am less likely to put it to the extremes of both use and neglect that they'll see in service. Could offer insight into weaknesses I have yet to encounter.

Now... if only the States will import those cheap, useless, antiquated, surplus Brownings....

FerFAL said...

2Anonymous said...

So will the guns be sold for scap?"
Oh, it will be nice to get some of those Brit Hi-Powers for the colleciton. The old school ring on the grip just does it for me.

"Anonymous said...


With all due respect sir, I'll stick to my semi-automatic pistols designed by John Browning.

While subjective to be sure, and I have respect for Glock, I like SA's and my handguns frames to be made completely out of metal. (read as no undue plastic parts)

Rarely do you print something which upsets me, but tonight you did and I felt the need to comment."
That's ok, but why are you upset? JMB basically designed everything worth shooting, and I love both the 1911 and Hi-Power. Still, there's a reason why Glocks are the most popular handguns these days.


Andreas Winkler said...

About 60% of all US- Law-Enforcement-Officers carry Glock in these days.

I understand that army-pistols have, due to the lack of HP-Ammo, a need for more powerful caliber then the 9mm. Also the limited mag-capacity of 1911 seems to be not that much of an issue when you have a fighting-rifle close by. Even then i´d rather pick a Glock 21 with nearly the douple Mag-Cap and design of a modern sidearm.

For civilians and LEO which lack the luxury of a fighting-rifle most of the time i see the Glock as the superior weapon over outdated and limited Browning-Systems.

I also recomend James Yeagers xoutube video: "1911s suck"

Anonymous said...

I like Glock, but I would rather have a pair of DHS scissors than a Glock 21 in .45. Those guns have a higher than average failure rate. A quick google search will show several agencies having problems with that particular model blowing up. It has happened with all manner of ammunition manufacturer. I was a little skeptical myself until our agency received their first shipment and two blew up within a few weeks of each other.

Glocks are awesome, but fantastic marketing helps them sell as well. I think too much stock is put into the term outdated. The only real advantage of any Glock over a 1911 or similar pistol, is mag capacity(which is an important issue). All other aspects are miniscule in operation or effectiveness or are cosmetic.

The majority rule isn't always true concerning quality. Most people voted for Obama and that "Lady" in Argentina.

Don Williams said...

1) As noted here Aug 1, 2011, Raymond Davis--the CIA guy who shot two guys off a
motorcycle in Pakistan -- used a Glock 9mm. Out of curiosity,m I checked a number
of memoirs by CIA officers and found that the CIA used the Glock 9mm from the
1990s up through at least 2003. Prior to that, two memoirs mention the Browning
Hi Power 9mm being used.

2) Citations:

a) "Jawbreaker" by Gary Berntsen -- the account of the CIA's overthrow of the Taliban in
the months following the Sept 11, 2001 attack. Like Raymond Davis, Gary was in the
CIA's paramilitary Special Activities Division (SAD) and was the leader of that CIA
On p.228 and 243, Berntsen notes that CIA paramilitary officers in Afghanistan carried
9mm Glocks. On p. 228 he notes "Under normal circumstances, Agency officers carried
only [Censored] approved arms." but that he had also equipped his men with local AK47s.
It's not clear who the [Censored] organization is that prescribed carry of Glock 9mms --may be
the CIA's Office of Technical Services.

On p. 250 Berntsen notes that Mike Spann --the CIA officer killed early on in the revolt of Al Qaeda
prisoners at Qala-i Jangi prison -- was carrying a Glock 9mm at the time.

b) "Class 11" by T J Waters. Indicates (p.34) that CIA's Special Operations Training Course
(SOTC) at the Farm circa 2003 qualified the CIA officer to carry a concealed Glock on US government
business. On p. 288 he notes that the Glock pistol and M4 assault rifle are the standard
issue for Agency officers in the Middle East (again, at least as late as 2003).

c) "The Company We Keep" by former CIA officers Robert and Dayna Baer. On p. 40-42,
Dayna --who was trained as an armed bodyguard in the CIA's Protective Service --notes
that she was trained with a Glock 9mm (and 12 gauge pump shotgun.) On p. 119, she
notes in passing that her partner Jacob had a Glock 9mm in Yugoslavia during an operation
in 1995.

The Baers note the need CIA officers have for armed protection in the dangerous areas
in which they operate (note the death by torture of William Buckley in Beirut in the 1980s.)
However, they also note that CIA officers normally go out of their way to avoid gunfights
since it disrupts the primary mission (staying out of the notice of foreign security services and
quietly collection intelligence/surveilling enemies.) Gunfights stir up the foreign security
services. ( My guess is that it also ruins the chances of an officer serving abroad
if he is arrested --since his face, fingerprints and possibly DNA are now recorded and known to
customs officers worldwide.) The low profile obviously doesn't apply as much to the
paramilitary operations by CIA's SAD.

Don Williams said...

3) Re 9mm vs 45 ACP, my guess is that CIA prefers the 9mm because (a) it is widely available
around the world --as are Glocks (b) they want to use indigenous amno that can't be
linked to the USA via chemical analysis of gunpowder and which can be procured locally
vice having to be smuggled in (c) nothing points so directly to the American Embassy
in many places as 45 ACP rounds (d) CIA officers by definition are criminals in foreign
countries and under the Laws of War --and their possession of pistols are illegal.

Having hollow point amno does not add to their guilt and 9mm becomes more effective with hollow
point amno versus having to use full metal jacket. Having 16 round Glock magazines versus
7 round 1911 mags is an advantage if you face several opponents who are wearing body
armor and you need to dump several rounds to the pelvis and head per enemy.

4) In contrast, several reports indicate that Marine Special Operations need pistols because of
the need to search close quarters (buildings, tunnels etc) where assault rifles are unwieldly.
The enemy can't rush you in those areas and having a 45 ACP is useful if you might stumble over
someone with an AK47.

5) In "No Easy Day" (p.44-45), recent Seal Team Six member Mark Owen notes that he
normally used the H&K 416 assault rifle (5.56 Nato) and that the pistol he normally used was an
H&K 45C (12 rounds in 45 ACP). Both with suppressors.

However, he notes that when he needed really quiet suppressed fire,
nothing beat the H&K M7 submachine gun (9 mm) although it lacked the knockdown power
of the H&K 416. He notes that he also had the Sig Sauer 226 pistol (9mm). My guess is that
he used the 9mm Sig when he carried the 9mm M7.

6) Besides Seal Team Six, two other Tier One special counterterrorist units are the Army's
Delta Force and the Air Forces STS. No hard info on what they use but an internet
posting claiming to have a good source says both have moved from 1911 45 ACPs
to Glocks in 40 S&W --as a compromise between the larger wound channel of the 45 ACP
and the larger magazine capacity needed to take out assailants using body armor.

7) In this regard, One group of US law enforcement officers who are often out on their own
are the state troopers. In the January/February 2011 issue of American Handgunner (.p 22),
Massad Ayoob indicated that US state police have the following caliber preferences:
9mm(2 states), Glock 45 GAP (5 states), 357 Sig (11 states), 45 ACP (6 states),
40 S&W (25! states). Note: Total only adds to 49 --not 50 --because Hawaii doesn't
have state troopers.

Ayoob notes that the 16 round Glock in 40 S&W is also America's most popular police
handgun in general. However, some state troopers have chosen the 357 Sig (40S&W
necked down for 9 mm bullet) because it can turn cover into mere concealment (i.e,
penetrate barriers like car doors.) That may be why the 357 Sig is also preferred by
the Secret Service and Federal Air Marshalls.

8) The US Federal Protective Service issues contracts to hire roughly 15,000 armed guards
to protect federal facilities around the USA. In the contracts I've seen, they usually specify
that the guards will pass qualification tests and use 9mm (in Glock, Sig, Smith and Wessen
M&P, Springfield, etc.. In some cases, they also allow 357 Sig and 40 S&W.

None of the 12 or so contracts I examined allowed 45 ACP or the 1911 single action.
Federal law enforcement itself seems to prefer Sig Sauers over Glocks (possibly because
the Sig 226 passed the US Army endurance tests when the 1911 was replaced
by the Beretta M9 -- Glock refused to compete because of some contractual terms.)
Federal law also largely uses 9mm, 357 Sig or 40 S&W --not 45 ACP.

Don Williams said...

1) It is also interesting to look at some numbers. Given the same depth of penetration, the wound channels of 9mm, 10mm(40 S&W) and 45 ACP (11mm) are a function of the bullet's cross sectional area --i.e, fo the diameter SQUARED. This gives 81, 100, and 121 for the 9, 10 and 11 mm respectively. In other words, the 40 S&W hole is 25% (100/81) larger than the 9mm and the 45 ACP is 50% larger.

Hence, two 45 ACPs equal three
9mm and four 40 S&Ws equal five 9mms.

2) Similarly, the 7 round mag of a 1911 45 ACP equals 10.5 9mm rounds --which is much less than the Glock 17's 17 rounds.

The limited firepower of the 1911 is due to it's single stack magazine, not to the 45 ACP cartridge. The Glock 21 in 45 ACP holds 13 rounds.

Don Williams said...

On the other hand, how likely are you to be able to shot more than seven rounds against armed assailants? So why not make those rounds be as large as possible?

Steve said...

As a practical matter would a Glock 9mm not have much less recoil than a .45. So unless your dirty Harry a soldier is more likely to hit the target with a Glock?

Anonymous said...

You folks keep referring to 7 round mags whereas most 1911's sold these days use an 8 round mag and 10 round mags are available and reliable. I carry an 8 round mag in the gun and two 10 rounders on my belt.

I understand that Glocks are reliable and dummie proof but I personally cannot stand the squishy trigger. Everyone has their own tastes and opinions.

The Marines have used the 1911 for over a century now and have tons of experience with the gun, they know it's capabilities. As an in your face manstopper it is hard to beat. They learned this the hard way in places like Bellau Wood, Guadalcanal and Vietnam.

I carried one in my Army days and they always went bang when I pulled the trigger, fortunately never in combat.

Anonymous said...

I’ve owned a Glock 21 (45 acp) for about 18 years. It is a great gun, but I have never been comfortable with its safety mechanisms. I have seen too many people (many of them fully trained LEO’s) blast a hole in their thigh or foot. Thus, I usually carried it without a round in the chamber.

The last straw for me came a couple years ago when a local cop accidentally shot himself in his chest. He had set the gun down on a side table, and it slid off. He tried to catch it, and hit the trigger. He was dead a few seconds later.

Of course, a lot of folks were suspicious of that death, so it was investigated thoroughly. The end result stood as an accident as first described.

I have been searching for a replacement ever since. I have plenty of CC guns (9mm and 38/357), but I wanted another big “main battle gun” that was built like a tank. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Hi-power, but I ultimately settled on a Beretta 92FS.

I keep it loaded with a 20 round mag, full of 115grain JHP +P+. That ammo is rated at above 500 fp of energy, which is about 100 more than standard issue 45 ACP.

I’ve come to the conclusion that in many cases today, volume of fire is more important than it was 20 years ago. I figure with 2 20 round mags, I’m ready for most anything. But I also have a few 30 rounders just in case. The 20 rounders protrude about ½ inch below the grip, but this doesn’t bother me. I can even carry it concealed in the small of back, if I need too. I also just bought 10 15 round mil surplus mags for $7 a piece.

It’s nice knowing that parts and ammo are available around the world, and are relatively cheap versus the quality (due to huge volume manufacturing). 9mm is much cheaper than 45, and I’ve got thousands of rounds already. Accessories are everywhere too.

So far I’m very happy with it. I expect it will be my last upgrade until hand held ray guns become available.

Don Williams said...

I think the Beretta 92FS is a good pistol but I would be careful using +P+ amno in it. The Navy Seals experienced some slide separations with an earlier model.


"Around the same time, reports of M9 slide separations were becoming rampant in both the US Navy and Army. The Navy SEALs were arguably abusing their pistols by firing over-pressure ammunition in suppressed examples, while the Army's separations were blamed on the use of recycled slides from a French contract which contained tellurium. Events were becoming so bad that a Safety-of-Use message recommended that slides be replaced after 3000 rounds had been fired; however, this recommendation was lowered to 1,000 rounds after a M9 suffered a slide separation with less than 3,000 rounds fired.

Beretta took a two-pronged response. First, they sued the Department of the Navy because the SEAL Teams had leaked info of the slide separations to Ruger. Second, they designed a hammer pin with an over-sized head to fit into a groove machined in the slide. Thus, if the slide separated, it would not strike the user in the face. Commercially, these pistols are known as the 92FS ...

...However, in spite of the military controversy the Beretta 92F has an excellent reputation in US law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles PD (the largest vocal exception is the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit). No slide separations have been reported, and the only part known for excessive wear has been the locking block. This was recently redesigned with radiused corners to prevent breakage. The 92FS has a stellar reputation for accuracy and reliability, and as long as the user has large enough hands it is an excellent choice in a 9x19mm pistol."

Re the grip size, I knew a young Air Force woman with small hands who qualified with it. I think the Beretta is an excellent value. Some of the controversy scared off the gun fashionistas.

Anonymous said...

ummm the beretta m9 is way more accurate then a 45acp at 25 yards. That 45 ball drops so fast you can see it. You can't beat a double tap of the 9s high capacity

Pak Sar Zameen said...

nice info about glock pistols. Personally i prefer glock pistols over other handguns becuase it is much lighter and reliable than others. I have written a post in which i have explained the mechanism of glock 17 and its use by pakistan army GLOCK 17 Of Pakista Army..