It was that time of year again, so I treated myself.
But this one is a bit more interesting. It's a No. 2 Mk1 * made by the John Inglis Company of Toronto, Canada.
Serial number suggests October of 1944 manufacture, so there's a chance that maybe it saw a bit of the war. After that...who knows where it went or what it did. This ex-Canadian service pistol is mine now though, courtesy of another ex-Canadian, Aaron.
Back story to these guns is that when Belgium, home to Fabrique Nationale, fell to the Nazis in 1940, many FN employees fled to Britain, and they brought with them the designs for this then-new sidearm. This did not, however, stop the Germans from using the FN plant to make this pistol for their own troops, and they did, issuing some 300,000 of them as the Pistole 640. But the Allied Command turned the job of making these over to the John Inglis Company, a maker of boilers and heavy machinery, along with a contract for Bren guns. Production was held up for a little bit because FN was demanding royalties despite a World War in progress, but eventually it all got ironed out and Inglis knocked out a bunch of these. The first production run was the No. 1 and it had tangent sights and a slotted grip for a shoulder stock. Those were meant for China but many were diverted to Allied troops. If you find one like that today, look for a serial number that begins with the letters CH--that's a Chinese contract gun.
Mine is a simplified No. 2, meaning a design change. The slot for the stock was omitted and the rear tangent sight was replaced with a simple fixed rear. This was the main service pistol produced.
Over 100 countries used the Hi-Power at one time or another due to it's great design and reliability. The Canadians still use the Hi-Power today--Inglis guns, naturally, even though the last one was made in 1945--and there are photos of Canadian troopers in Afghanistan carrying these right now.
I'm thinking that this one will be a nice companion for my Long Branch Enfield #4 MK1...and maybe my FAL, too. Only things missing on this one are the lanyard ring and the Canadian military instruction manual. But I found a copy of the latter and as a service, I'm reprinting it here.
How to use the Hi-Power, eh?
1. Center sights on enemy. Aim center mass.
2. Depress trigger.
3. Profusely and sincerely apologize to enemy.
4. Go shoot another one.