Generally the words “Gun News” and the country of Canada don’t go together in a positive light, but recently the Ottawa Citizen Newspaper based out of Canada’s Capital City ran a story that will make current and former members of that nation’s military service smile. The Browning Hi Power 9mm pistol has served Canada and the nations of the United Kingdom well for more seven decades but all good things must come to and end and it was announced that the days of the BHP are nearing an end with this announcement “Canada Replaces WWII Era Pistols”. I doubt anyone will argue that the 13,981 Browning pistols currently left on the Canadian Defense Departments inventory rolls have certainly earned a much needed retirement.
The Canadian Hi Powers were built by the John Inglis Company in Toronto, Ontario, Canada due to the fact that in 1940 the former Fabrique Nationale factories in Belgium had been overrun by the German’s. The victorious Germans liked the Browning Hi Power and decided that they too would like to use them and from 1940 until Belgium was liberated the Browning Hi Power had the distinction of being the only side arm issued to both the Axis and the Allies in World War II. The Inglis Company Hi Powers served with distinction in all theaters of action in World War II and hold a very special place in the heart of Browning collectors around the world.
Specifications for New Pistol:
To date no requirements for the new replacement pistol have been released, but looking at the trends in other Commonwealth Nations we can expect that Canada will most likely adopt a pistol similar to what the British Ministry of Defense chose recently. In 2013 the British Ministry of Defense announced their intention to formally adopt the Glock 17 Generation Four Pistol as their primary sidearm. The fact that the British chose the Glock 17 is significant but does not in anyway guarantee that Canada will also pick the Glock 17. In the last year we have seen many changes and unexpected twists and turns in the firearms industry on an international level, which has lead many of us in the professional writing world to not take anything for granted.
The other wrinkle in all of these proceedings is the fact that currently as best we can confirm Canadian Special Operations Forces , Canadian Military Police and elements of the Canadian Royal Navy Boarding Parties have been using small numbers of Sig Sauer P225 pistols since mid 1991. This proposes an interesting question as how to how the Canadians have been using their current small batch of Sig Sauers. I intend to find the Sig Sauer military liaison at SHOT Shot this week and ask him some questions. Let’s hope he will go on the record about something at all.
I do expect that Canada will chose a pistol that has many of the following features, this isn’t in anyway scientific, the list comes from taking a hard look at requirements put forth by other nations militaries around the world and the current trend in firearms technology.
- Fire the 9x19mm Nato caliber
- Polymer construction
- 4-5″ barrel length
- Feature some level of safety device. Either external Safety or Striker Fired
- Feature a 15 round magazine at the least
Sources from the Canadian Ministry of Defense say the replacement of the existing pistols should start in 2026, yes that’s right nearly a decade from now making some of the current pistols nearly 85 years old. Canadian officials reportedly held meetings last year with several prominent firearms companies to brief them of their intent to replace the Browning Hi Powers with between 15,000-25,000 new pistols. The early information that we are getting is that Canada will make part of the requirements that the vendor provide a standard compliment of spare parts, springs and possibly suppressors with each pistol as a package deal.
We would love to hear some thoughts from our readers on what you think about this. Do you think Canada will stay with Sig Sauers or will they join their Commonwealth brothers in England and get Generation Four Glock 17’s?. We can almost all guarantee one thing, Canada will not be going to a 1911 style pistol at all. The favorites in this race in most peoples minds are Sig Sauer, Glock, & Heckler & Koch. I don’t think Smith & Wesson or any other company will stand a legitimate chance at landing the Canadian deal.
Hope to see you at SHOT Show 2017.
Feature Image: Guns.Com