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I Carry: Tisas Regent BR-9 in a Milt Sparks Holster

Welcome to another episode of "I Carry," Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together a potential everyday-carry kit. Today, we're using a Tisas Regent BR-9 from Brownells carried inside a Milt Sparks holster. We also have Altamont Hi Power grips, a Zero Tolerance knife and an expanded-capacity Mec-Gar magazine.

Tisas Regent BR-9 (MSRP: $558.99)

Fans of the Browning Hi-Power have really had a rollercoaster ride the past few years. First, Browning announced it was discontinuing the Hi-Power from its product line, leading to much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then, Brownells started carrying the Tisas Regent BR-9, a Turkish clone available at a quite reasonable price that pretty closely followed John Moses Browning’s final creation.

The Hi-Power has always been an interesting pistol. For several decades, it represented the only significant double-stack, increased-capacity offering in a major caliber—the Smith & Wesson model 59 wouldn’t hit the market for some 36 years after the introduction of the Hi-Power. Looking at it from a modern standpoint, it’s hard to imagine why the Hi-Power wasn’t more popular—until you factor in the state of 9 mm ammunition in the mid-20th century, of course. By the time the ammunition design improved enough for 9 mm to be considered, the handgun market had changed.

The Regent BR-9, though, doesn’t change much from the Hi-Power. It’s got a 4.6-inch barrel, weights slightly less than 30 ounces, is 7.75 inches long and has a magazine capacity of 13 rounds. True to the Hi-Power design, it offers a crisp, five-pound single-action trigger and a magazine disconnect. Sights are a standard three-white dot arrangement with the rear sight adjustable for windage. If you’re a fan of the Browning Hi-Power, this will be a very familiar pistol.

As for carry, well, there are plenty larger pistols that get carried every day. The BR-9 has a thumb safety as intended, so it can be carried “cocked and locked” like a 1911. When it comes to shooting the BR-9, though, the all-steel construction, longer barrel and single-action trigger all help make it a pleasant experience. Carrying a 30-ounce pistol isn’t impossible, but it does require the right gear.

Milt Sparks Axiom Holster (MSRP: $155)

When it comes to leather holsters, Milt Sparks is one of the giants. With the timeless appeal of the Hi-Power mystique in our carry firearm, we wanted to include a holster with similar appeal. Most holsters from Milt Sparks require a multi-week lead to for ordering—and this isn’t because the company is slow, but due to sheer volume of orders. With the high-quality leather, immaculate construction and legendary reliability, it’s no doubt folks are willing to wait. We have an Axiom holster for the Regent BR-9 as part of this kit, which is an outside-the-waistband version that uses twin pull-the-dot snaps on each side of the body. This does two things: first, it allows the holster to be removed without taking the belt off; and second, the spread on the loops helps spread the rig’s weight out over the belt. It’s a great-looking rig that carries exceptionally well.

Altamont Slim Panel Super Rosewood Grips (MSRP: $36)

One of the great things about the Hi-Power is the ability to swap out stocks easily. Whether you want thin aluminum, custom hardwood or generic polymer, there’s a solution out there that’s only two screws away. We’ve chosen Altamont’s handsome slim-panel rosewood grips with a laser-engraved inlet pattern. This inexpensive grip dresses up the Regent while increasing purchase on the grip area, adding both form and function.

Zero Tolerance 0350TS (MSRP: $164)

Okay, we’ll admit it; we opted for the Zero Tolerance 0350TS knife because it’s just plain cool-looking. It features a three and a quarter inch, S30V steel, drop-point blade, an overall length of 7.6 inches and a weight of 6.2 ounces. The 0350TS opens with ZT’s SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism powered by a thumbstud or flipper, and is held open with a beefy liner lock. Scales are G10 and well-contoured to the hand, and there’s another really nice option that should come on more knives: the pocket clip can be arranged for tip-up *or* tip-down carry for either hand.

Mec-Gar 15-round Flush-Fit Magazine (MSRP: $33.85)

Our last item for today’s carry gear is a MecGar 15-round flush-fit magazine. In what I can only imagine is a tip of the hat to the original Browning, Regent offers the BR-9 with two 13-round magazines. Well, when it comes to your everyday carry gear, why wouldn’t you want two more rounds, especially if the magazine’s external dimensions don’t change? Available in the blued steel form shown or nickel at a slight upcharge, these MecGar magazines are made to the same standards as the OEM 13-round variants. But, two more rounds is two more rounds, so…

 

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