Canada’s WWII-era Brownings still putting in work
By Chris Eger
Canadian Browning pistols at use with Task Force Mali in Africa this month (Photo: Canadian Forces)
Canada built its own, more Maple Leaf version of the Browning Hi-Power in Toronto during World War II, and their military is still using them. Recently spotted with Canadian Army troops on a UN peacekeeping mission in the African country of Mali, those same 1940s-era 9mm combat handguns are still holding the line.
How the Canadians came to make the BHP
Designed just before the outbreak of World War II by FN in Belgium, the factory that made the Hi-Power was repurposed in 1940 after the Germans occupied the country and production started back up to provide the handy 9mm pistols to Hitler’s legions. However, the Allies soon started making the 13-shot semi-auto in Canada, manufactured in Toronto, by John Inglis and Company with a little help from Dieudonné Saive, the Belgian firearms engineer who helped design the gun in the first place.
Final assembly of High Power pistols for issuance to Allied forces under a Canadian Mutual Aid Board contract at the Inglis factory, 1945. Note the Maple Leaf on the front of the grip. Also, note the buttstock attachment and 500-m sights of the Canadian Inglis Mark