In the spirit of the recent "You can choose only two..." games that we played last week, I had to select a pistol to fly north with yesterday. So after several minutes spent staring into the abysses of the gun safes and agonizing over which one to take and which ones to leave like a chick looking into a shoe closet (This is how it is for you ladies, right?) I finally found the perfect week-end traveling pistol--the Browning Hi-Power.
Modele 35, a pistol designed and built in France, that held fewer rounds and was much less cool. The Hi-Power went on to be adopted by over 50 countries with production in the millions, and thanks to the original French demand, they all came out with that magazine-disconnect safety that muddies up the trigger pull. Originally built in Belgium, it was also used by the Nazis after they overran the FN plant and cranked out plenty of Hi-Powers for their own troops as the Pistole 640(b). Meanwhile, seeing this coming, FN brass sent the pistol's plans to Canada, where the John Inglis company continued to make them for the Commonwealth war effort, thus ensuring that Hi-Powers would battle Hi-Powers throughout the war. Of course they would do so again during the Falklands conflict some four decades later, as Argentina and Britain were both still using them as they sparred over those islands out in the middle of nowhere.
Mine is an old Commonwealth military gun, as evidenced by the black baked-on paint, lanyard ring and black plastic grips (replaced by me with Pachmayrs). It's also got a Cylinder and Slide ambidextrous safety that I added so that I, a leftie, can carry it "Condition One". It has a pretty good trigger as it is, although one day I will pull that magazine disconnector out.