The Canadian government is reportedly moving forward with a plan to replace its military's everlasting Browning Hi-Power pistols. 

Local media in Ottawa, the country's capital, are advising that a contract for as many as 20,000 "modular pistols" will be issued later this year for the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, and military police. The guns will replace Canadian-produced Inglis Brownings made during World War II. 

As previously reported by Guns.com, the country has been trying to replace the aging classics since at least 2007 with the government and military officials running hot and cold on the process numerous times since then. 

What is an Inglis Browning? 

 

Canadian-made No. 2 Mk1* Inglis Hi-Powers, produced between 1944 and 1945, are distinctive period BHP clones with the "thumbprint" slide, high rear sight, and internal extractor, features that FN discontinued by the early 1950s. (Photo: Canadian Forces Combat Camera) 

While the Hi-Power was placed in production in Belgium before WWII, with initial "oval port" trails guns being ordered by that country as early as 1933. The German occupation of the FN factory in 1940 clipped further international deliveries  except to the Germans until after liberation in 1944. With that, the wartime ordnance wing of the huge John Inglis Company in Toronto soon put the 13-shot parabellum pistol into production to fill a Chinese Nationalist Army contract for 180,000 guns. 

By 1943, backed by Allied war loans, the Inglis-made Hi-Powers started going not only to the Chinese  who were busy fighting the Japanese  but also to the Canadian and British militaries, who ordered another 50,000 pistols. The production was aided by FN's exiled staff, with the BHP's co-designer, Dieudonné Saive, helping with the technical package, making these unofficial clones. 

The use of the Hi-Power by both sides of the war, a feat only duplicated by a small number of Norwegian-made M1911s, was a curious twist of fate. 

After WWII, the Canadians kept their Inglis Hi-Powers, still having some 14,000 increasingly cranky pistols on hand in 2019. While Inglis left the firearm market in the 1950s and is now part of Whirlpool Canada, FN halted Hi-Power production in 2018. Besides India, where the guns are still being made by the state arsenal at Ishapore, the only other Commonwealth military to still issue the BHP is the Australian Defence Force.

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