Springfield Armory has delivered on rumors of a return of one of the world's most iconic firearms, John Browning's P-35 series pistol. 

The newest version of the Hi-Power-style double-stack 9mm handgun, the Springfield Armory SA-35, seems like it stepped right out of the golden age of circa 1960s T- and C-series Brownings, but it only seems that way. While still showing off the vintage "wood and steel" look of mid-century commercial series guns, Springfield's chapter in the firearm's history has subtle upgraded enhancements that give a nod to more contemporary defensive pistols.

 

Springfield Armory SA-35
The new Springfield Armory SA-35 is similar to JFK-era T-series BHPs, with an external extractor and a round rather than spur hammer. However, they have some important differences as well. (Photo: Springfield Armory)

 

Upgrades include improved ergonomics and enhanced controls, modern sights, an improved feed ramp design, and an increased 15-round capacity. Gone is the magazine disconnect feature that was standard on virtually all Hi-Powers, reportedly giving the SA-35 a smoother trigger pull to its factory tuned trigger. Also gone are the diminutive fixed sights, replaced with a modern white dot front and Tactical Rack rear.

 

Springfield Armory SA-35
Looking closely at the SA-35, a lot of improvements are apparent that were left off the original 1935 design. (Photos: Springfield Armory) 

 

To help curb the gun's often-encountered hammer bite, the classic round hammer has improved geometry. An extended thumb safety has been installed. Further, the magazine well has been beveled to help with reloads. Finally, the SA-35 has a cold hammer-forged barrel with an improved feed ramp designed to run hollow points. 

 

Springfield Armory SA-35
The Springfield Armory SA-35 comes from the factory with finely cut walnut grips, a feature that was dropped from most Hi-Powers after 1963 in lieu of high-impact synthetic panels. (Photo: Springfield Armory)
Springfield Armory SA-35
The SA-35 uses a forged frame and slide with a matte-blued finish on its carbon steel parts. (Photo: Springfield Armory)
Springfield Armory SA-35
Length is standard for the breed, at 7.8-inches due to the 4.7-inch barrel. Height is 4.8-inches while weight is 31.5-ounces. (Photo: Springfield Armory)

 

The new American-made Springfield Armory SA-35 ships with a single branded 15-shot steel magazine and retails for $699. While this is a couple hundo higher than some of the clones that hail from Turkey, it is about half of what vintage Belgian-made or Portuguese-assembled BHPs tend to run these days. Keep in mind the last MSRP on the FN-produced 511 prefix BHPs, with fixed sights and plastic grips, was $1,120-- and that was in 2017 dollars.

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