The Rarest Hi-Powers

The Hi-Power, John Moses Browning’s last design, was completed after his death at FN by Dieudonné Saive of FAL rifle fame and is the rarest of all Devels. A total of four are known to exist. Kelsey’s, as might be expected, was by far the most impressive.

While the silhouette is immediately recognizable, it has a unique sleekness. The hammer is contoured to match the rear of the slide. Kelsey always favored the idea of being able to cycle the slide of a pistol with the safety on — some of his M1911s were modified to make this possible — so the safety on his gun was modified and the then-unnecessary safety notch was welded up and polished flat, as was the takedown notch. Only the slight discoloration of the steel from the welding process gives away it didn’t grow that way.

The traditional bulge at the end of the slidestop has been removed, and the slidestop contoured to a narrower profile more closely resembling the M1911. The end protruding through the frame was trimmed as well. While it eliminates some functionality (the end of the slidestop is intended to depress the firing pin during disassembly), it’s a very clean look. The sights are replaced with a bold, square front with a serrated ramp and a curvaceous, but low, fixed rear from Millet. The gripping surfaces are left smooth, and the bottom of the frame is welded up and shaped into a flowing magazine funnel and flare that helps keep the gun in your hand.