The Canadian military will soon be ending its 80-year love affair with domestically made Browning Hi-Powers in lieu of a more modular 9mm pistol from SIG Sauer. 

Canada was the center of Allied BHP production during World War II with an estimated 150,000 crafted in Toronto by the John Inglis Company. While the British took 50,000 of these, Nationalist China accepted 40,000 and further deliveries were made to other allied countries, the Canadians kept around 20,000 for themselves and have been using them ever since. Well, that is set to change next year as the last of these veteran Maple Leaf-marked Browning-Inglis models will be turned in, replaced by new SIG Sauer P320s.

The contract, announced last week by Anita Anand, Canada's Minister of National Defense, is valued at $3.2 million (USD) and will be for an initial batch of 7,000 P320 handguns with an option for up to 9,500. The pistols, type classified as the C22 in Canadian service, will equip the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, and Military Police. 
 

Canadian-made No. 2 Mk1* Inglis Hi-Powers
Single-action 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) 
Canadian-made No. 2 Mk1* Inglis Hi-Powers
The Canadian Browning-Inglis production was aided during WWII by FN's exiled staff, with the BHP's co-designer, Dieudonné Saive, helping with the technical package, making these unofficial clones. Ultimately, an agreement was reached to pay FN a royalty of 25 cents after the war for each gun produced. (Photo: Guns.coM)


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. 

Canadian officials noted the upgrades from the old Brownings will include an expanded magazine capacity (20 rounds vs 13 rounds), a lighter weight, improved ergonomics, ambidextrous controls, a modular frame, and a loaded chamber indicator. 

It is not immediately known which model P320 the Canadian military is adopting but it is likely to be similar to the American M17 model. Since 2017, the U.S. military has ordered somewhere north of 350,000 P320 variants to equip every military branch except for the U.S. Coast Guard. 

"The Government of Canada is committed to providing the Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment they need when they need it," said Anand. "Replacing the Browning 9mm with the C22 full-frame modular pistol (Sig Sauer P320) will help ensure the continued operational readiness and effectiveness of all our members. We look forward to the delivery of these new pistols and holster systems in the coming year."

The news comes immediately on the heels that another Commonwealth country, Australia, was also retiring its Hi-Powers for SIG P320 variants. 
 

 Australian Army's handgun
The SIG Sauer P320 XCarry Pro has been selected as the Australian Army's platform for the Sidearm Weapon System, which will replace the venerable Browning Mk3 pistol. It will be complemented with SIG's Romeo Elite reflex sights, and a SIG Foxtrot 2 white-light illuminator. (Photo: Australian Defense Force)

 

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