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.
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.
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.
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.