Cocoa, Florida-based EAA Corp is a well-known importer of fine firearms from overseas, and its latest offering aims to quench America's Hi-Power thirst with the Girsan-made MC P35.

The 9mm pistol was announced in September and began shipping last month in three different matte finishes. A take on the classic Browing/FN Hi-Power design, it is a short-recoil-operated single-action pistol with a frame and slide crafted from 4140 steel. 

EAA Girsan MC P35 pistol in FDE
Basic specs are like any standard BHP, having a 4.87-inch barrel with a 7.8-inch overall length. (All photos: Chris Eger/
EAA Girsan MC P35 pistol in FDE
Weight is 32 ounces flat with an unloaded magazine inserted. 

15+1 Capacity

Speaking of the magazine that comes with the EAA Girsan MC P-35, it is an Italian-made Mec-Gar flush-fitting model that holds 15 rounds of 9mm, but we also found the pistol accepts standard 13+1 Hi-Power mags.  

Mec-Gar 15 shot Hi power magazine
These mags have become the gold standard for BHPs and clones in the past few years and are about the best choice out there. Sadly, the P35 just ships with one of these.  

Compared to other BHPs and clones out there, the P35 seems to be modeled after the Mark II/III models made by FN during the last few decades of the model's run with that company. It has an external extractor, a serrated ring hammer, a slim trigger, windage drift adjustable rear sight, synthetic checkered grips with a thumb groove, an ambidextrous safety, and a magazine disconnect safety.

EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
For a more visual comparison, on the left is Springfield Armory's SA-35, which is sort of a T/C-series BHP, while on the right is a 1944 vintage FN-made Hi Power. Note the differences between the three guns when it comes to the hammer ring and safety lever design. 
EAA Girsan P35 compared to other pistols
And on the flip side, you can see the later Mk II/III influence on the P35 as it has an ambi safety lever as well as the same pattern polymer grips that FN switched to after the 1970s. Similarly, the P35 has the external rather than internal extractor as shown on the 1944 BHP to the right and lacks the slide "fingerprint" which was meant to help with takedown.  


A peek inside

When it comes to takedown, the P35 disassembles easily. 

EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
The P35's slide stop lever has to be removed for takedown. Just drop the mag, lock the slide open on an empty chamber with the safety in the disassembly notch, use the heel of the empty mag to push in the slide stop, and work it out of the frame. 
EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
When the slide is slid off the frame and field stripped, you have the classic Browning design that is familiar to anyone who has ever taken down a M1911, only without the extra step of having to remove a barrel bushing. Note how bright the barrel is. 
EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
The grip pattern is standard BHP, and we were able to swap out the factory grips with both a set of aftermarket wood panels and an old IDF set from the 1980s. I'm sure if you wanted to slap on some Hogue rubber grips or something similar, the P35 would accommodate. 
EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE in holsters
Likewise, we found that it fits in standard BHP-sized holsters such as these Safariland 7TS and Bianchi Weathered series models.
EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
As with other imported pistols from overseas, the P35 is serialized on the frame, slide, and barrel. 
EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
The P35 ships in a blue plastic clamshell case that is lockable and includes a single mag, barrel brush, lock, and manual. 

The single-action trigger on the P35 is, well, about on par for a military contract BHP of years past and is gritty, mushy, and breaks at an average of 7.5 pounds. The magazine safety doesn't help with that. This can probably be tweaked by someone who knows what they are doing and can always be upgraded with drop-in trigger pull sets that are commonly available. 

EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
We are not a true-blue fan of the trigger, finding it creepy and heavy for a single-action piece, but that shouldn't be a deal-breaker. 
EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
The ambi safety lever, like the rest of the surface controls, works as advertised and, in the case of the FDE model, gives a nice contrast. 
EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol variants
When it comes to finishes, the Girsan MC P35 is shipping in a two-tone, blue-black, and dark earth finish, all with composite grips and a 15+1 round capacity. (Photo: EAA)
EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
Our T&E gun has an exceptionally smooth surface finish externally. For those curious, Girsan was established in Giresun, Turkey, in 1994 and has been imported by EAA since about 2017. They also make several models of Beretta 92 clones. 
EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
Internally, the finish is spotty in places, primarily on the locking and rail areas.  

How does it shoot? We've got 100 rounds through it thus far and will check back in at the 500 round point for an update.

The Great Import Hope

Judging from the feedback we have seen on past articles on the P35, there is a palpable interest in an affordable new Hi-Power-style pistol on the market. After all, with the BHP itself out of production, the MSRP on the EAA Girsan version is $528, which is about a third the price of a vintage gun or about $170 less than the published MSRP of the newly introduced American-made SA-35 announced by Springfield Armory. 

You could say it would be the latest in a series of clones that goes back some 40 years, back to a time when I could vouch that folks wanted a nice Belgian/Portuguese BHP, but the sticker price built a fence around the gun. This led to the obvious supply and demand answer that someone would build it at a lower price point to give the public a "people's champ" option. 

The Hungarian-made FEG P9M/PJK-9HP was a great bargain at the time, able to be had for about $200 if you shopped around. Sadly, the prices rose on these throughout the late 1990s even though the finish got worse, switching from the original deep blue to a more BBQ grill black matte. Then, in the early 2000s importation ended as FEG stopped making guns altogether, moving into HVAC systems and other household goods. Both Dan Wesson (2003-2004) and Magnum Research (2005-2006) took a brief stab at making a Hi-Power clone, branded by KBI – the importer of the old FEG guns – as the Charles Daly Field HP, but that too soon disappeared. 

In 2018, an importer called LKCI started bringing in the Regent BR9 made by Tisas in Turkey. That was patterned after the Hi-Power, but they never really appeared in quantity. 

So long as it performs adequately, is available on the shelves, and remains at an obtainable price, the Girsan MC P35 could find itself popular. 

We'll get back to you with what we find out on the range. Watch this space.

EAA Girsan MC P35 9mm pistol in FDE
MSRP on the EAA Girsan MC P35 is under $600 and the 15+1 pistol comes in four finish variants 
revolver barrel loading graphic