1911 vs Browning HI Power: 8 Differences To Learn About Before Buying

1911 vs Browning HI Power

Are confused between choosing 1911 vs Browning Hi Power? Don’t worry you are in the right spot. I will help you in choosing a suitable handgun with the help of a detailed analysis of both weapons.

To make a well-informed decision, I invite you to read this complete comparison review and learn about the pros, cons, specs, and feature differences between both pistols. Let’s dive into the details!

1911 vs Browning HI Power – Quick Overview

1911 and Browning HI Power are both excellent handguns. Let’s take a quick look at them!

Browning HI Power

John Moses Browning died before the finalised design could see the daylight but he is the real brains behind the legendary Hi-Power and 1911.

The Hi-power is famous as the first gun to chamber 9mm in a double stack formation earning it the title of “Wonder Nines”. It has served its purpose in various military scenarios and it is still used by police in many countries.

Browning HI Power


On the other hand, 1911 holds its ground offering shooters unmatched performance and customization options. You get various frame sizes, calibers, and attachment options for this gun. With a rich history, it is still a well-known pistol in the community.


Now that we have covered the background, let’s explore the specs of both pistols.

Hi Power vs 1911 Specifications Comparison

The table below shows the comparison between the various aspects of the pistols. Learn more about the differences now!





50 MOA

50 MOA





10-50 yards

10-50 yards

Recoil Velocity:




9+1 rounds

(Depending on Variant)

7+1 rounds







Fit & Finish:






Overall Length:









Barrel Length:




32oz unloaded

40oz unloaded

The Positives and Negatives of the Browning 1911

Here are some of the pros and cons of the pistol for better comparison:

  • It has multiple frame sizes, calibers, and customization options available.
  • It has a proven track record for its performance and aftermarket upgrades.
  • You get a high-quality and tight grip that helps in avoiding hammer bites.
  • It is a suitable weapon for concealed carry.
  • It does not have a high-capacity magazine and this can be a letdown for some shooters.

The Positives and Negatives of the Browning HI Power

Let’s check the advantages and disadvantages of the pistol:

  • It is an accurate handgun allowing users to achieve precision while shooting down the sights.
  • The magazine disconnect feature is an added safety measure for this Hi power gun.
  • The high-capacity magazine offers peace of mind that you have a sufficient amount of ammo.
  • The narrow slide helps you to easily carry it in an IWB holster for concealed carry.
  • This easy-to-carry pistol is lighter among both handguns when the overall length is compared.
  • The trigger press is heavier and can feel very uncomfortable for beginners.

1911 and Browning HI Power: 8-Parameter Detailed Comparison

Now that you have learned about the perks and downsides of both pistols, let’s check out how they stand against each other in 7 different parameters.

1. Build and Hammer Design

In both the Hi-Power and the 1911 the design is the same. The hammer’s role involves hitting the cartridge and igniting the primer through a single impact on the firing pin.

Also, different weights and styled hammers are available to customize your pistol. The most notable distinction I observed is the beavertail on 1911 for added safety.

Build and Hammer Design

Winner: 1911 emerges victor due to the addition of beavertail which helps in avoiding trigger bites!

2. Holding and Grip Safety

The 1911 and Hi-Power may look pretty much similar but they have very different grips and these even attach differently.

  • The grip of 1911 is held by two screws on the panel and offers additional thumb safety due to beavertail.
  • In contrast, the Browning Hi-power only has a single screw to hold it in place and lacks additional grip safety.
Holding and Grip Safety

Winner: The 1911 shines in the second category too. It also has a larger grip size for the user to rest their hands.

3. The Slides

At first glance, the slides on the Browning Hi-power and 1911 will look similar but this is not true. Here is what makes them different:

  • There is a front lip that slides over the top of the guide rod going back into the frame of 1911.
  • You will notice a dip at the front of the slide near the muzzle. Also, the Browning Hi-power front has a much larger lip.
The Slides

Winner: I will call it a draw as none of the guns offers any superior advantage over the other in terms of slide!

4. Looking Down the Sights!

Having exceptional sight features on your pistol is a game changer on the field, during hunting, or in a self-defense situation. Let’s have a look at how these two guns perform in this aspect:

  • The Hi-power features a standard sight that serves the purpose. Many shooting enthusiasts do not love it because they find it non-user-friendly when it comes to sights.
  • Looking at 1911, you will notice removable sights that you can swap with fiber optic or night sights containing tritium. If you depend a lot on sight, I would say that you are going to love 1911.
Looking Down the Sights!

Winner: 1911 is the winner with its replaceable sights and adaptation to modern-day attachments that are compatible with the sights of the gun.

5. Frame

The frames of the Hi-Power and 1911 seem like similar designs. They may look different in size and with varying contours but the basic structure seems identical.

The Browning 1911 is available with various frame size models and it has evolved from those basic gun models. Here are some options you can easily find:

  • Commander frames with 4.25-inch and 4-inch barrels.
  • Officer frames with 3-inch to 3.625-inch barrels.
  • Shorter grips (4.5 to 5 inches in height) with reductions in capacity.

The frame of the Hi-Power on the other hand follows a more traditional look with a frame-mounted manual safety. This safe mechanism only engages when the hammer is cocked. So, it is recommended to carry the pistol in “cocked and locked” condition.


Winner: This is a draw between both guns. There is very little variation in the frames of them both giving none of them an advantage over the other.

6. Trigger Experience of Hi Power and 1911

The first major change you will notice in 1911 and the Brownling Hi-power is their trigger. Let’s dive in to find out these variations:

The 1911 Trigger

Here are some distinct characteristics you will notice about the trigger:

  • It is a black solid trigger that moves like a rail after pulling it.
  • The back is straight with visibly-defined walls.
  • The trigger’s adjustment can be easily done using the small screw positioned in its center.
1911 vs Browning HI Power. The 1911 Trigger

Hi-Power Trigger

Let’s have a look at the features of the trigger of this pistol.

  • A pivot-style take-up trigger is present in the High-Power and the stock version has more take-up.
  • You will feel a very heavy and gritty feeling break once you press the trigger along the wall.
  • You have to press the trigger a little harder as it goes further inside compared to other guns.
Hi-Power Trigger

Winner: 1911 stands tall in this category with a more innovative and comfortable trigger feel. Plus, the Hi-power needs a magazine in the gun to pull the trigger unless you disable the magazine safety (magazine disconnect safety feature) with adjustments.

7. Magazine Capacity

The magazine is one of the factors that firearm users take into account when buying a pistol. The first thing is capacity and the second is the sliding experience while changing after an empty clip.

The 1911 and Hi-power mags have a very similar base plate and they are available in abundance in the market. But, if we talk about capacity then the Hi-power wins this with flying colors as it can house more ammo. On average, it can easily hold 10 rounds (9+1 in total).

Magazine Capacity

Winner: The Hi-powers is the winner with a better capacity even though its various variants have a higher capacity!

8. Shooting Experience

While you shoot the two pistols, they are very similar in terms of recoil profile, trigger, and shooting experience.

  • If you shoot 1911, you will experience a more smoother and comfortable feel even after firing multiple rounds.
  • A Browning Hi-power is also quite impressive but the trigger pull is not what you would expect from the gun as its design is a little outdated.
Shooting Experience

Winner: 1911 takes the lead in the last round with a more manageable and smooth recoil plus an overall excellent trigger feel. The high-power recoil of the Hi-Power is a big no for inexperienced shooters!

The Final Recommendation

Comparing two guns, 1911 is the clear winner. Here’s why I would recommend it:

  • The beavertail that keeps your hand safe even during rapid firing situations.
  • A more refined texture of the frame.
  • The detachable sights can be replaced with other options for a more enhanced shooting experience.
  • You get to experience a better trigger pull feel.
  • It has an easily manageable recoil even when firing multiple rounds consecutively.
The Final Recommendation

The above factor plays a dominant role if you are selecting a gun that offers ease of use, safety, and utility in its overall performance. 1911 perfectly fits this profile and offers you a more modernized look with the ability to equip attachments for a better experience.


Is the Browning Hi-Power better than 1911?

Yes, the 1911 emerges as a better option than Browning Hi-Power. Its build, grip safety, and better shooting experience give it the winning plus points.

What’s the difference between the 1911 and the Hi-Power?

The difference between the two guns is that the 1911 has a longer backstrap as the safety extends more than the Hi-Power. This allows exceptional grip with high and tight posture. It also helps avoid hammer bite which is pretty common in the Hi-Power.

What is so special about the Browning Hi-Power?

The thing which makes Browing Hi-Power stand tall in the crowd is that it’s the first-ever made pistol that inspired other similar firearms to simplify their handling, disassembly, and auto-reloading.

Is a Colt 1911 better than a Glock?

The Glock is considered the best gun of its generation but it is not better than the Colt 1911. In the right hands, the Colt is a formidable weapon but for beginners who want a lightweight, easy-to-use, and modern pistol the Glock is recommended.


The final say is that choice between 1911 vs Browning Hi Power lies in the requirements and preference of the shooter. If you want a tough and tested weapon on the range that chambers an abundant round then go for the Hi-Power.

On the other hand, if customizations and versatility of use with additional comfort is your need then 1911 offers exceptional perks.

Which pistol did you like the most and why? Let me know in the comment section!


My first deer at the age of 45 I joined the deer hunting fraternity a little late, but the desire to hunt has always been there. I love hunting, so I often have to deal with hunting equipment.