SAS Weapons - Browning High Power
Browning High Power
In service in the Regiment for over 40 years, the Browning HP is a reliable and accurate 9mm handgun. Its UK military designation is L9A1.
The Browning has a magazine capacity of 13 rounds. It is a single action pistol which means it must be cocked (hammer pulled back) before firing the first round. For this reason, the SAS would carry the Browning cocked, with the safety catch on, to allow for for a quicker draw and fire.
The Browning pistol was the standard sidearm of the SAS from World War 2 until recent years. Whilst still in limited use, the HP has largely been replaced by the Sig Sauer P226.
The pistol is also in wide use within the British military:
- The SBS have also now switched to the Sig Sauer P226 from the Browning.
- The Browning was also the primary handgun of 14 Intelligence Company, the British Army's elite surveillance unit operating in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Apart from their carry pistol, 14 Int operators would often secrete a second Browning HP, fitted with an extended 20 shot magazine, within their 'Q' cars. These 'car guns' could be quickly reached and fired in emergencies such as emcountering an IRA roadblock or ambush.
- Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines (FPGRM) carry Browning HPs as sidearms when on ship boarding operations. (see photo here and here).