Pistol: FN High Power (MSRP: $1,384)
Man, the Hi Power has really had a wild ride, hasn’t it? It pretty much languished for, well, decades; lost in the shadow of John Moses Browning’s M1911 and suffering a dearth of quality defensive ammunition. As the 9 mm situation improved, the polymer-frame, striker-fired pistols exemplified by the Glock G17 and G19, Smith & Wesson M&P, SIG P320 and others dominated the concealed-carry scene. The poor Hi Power was neglected, overlooked and all-but forgotten, to the point that Browning discontinued it.
And then… It’s like Browning dropping the Hi Power turned on a faucet. Brownells offered a Hi Power clone. Then Springfield Armory. Then EAA. All of a sudden, it was hot again. So hot, in fact, that FN America decided to resurrect it, only modernized for the 21st century. Gone is the magazine disconnect that required a magazine be inserted in the pistol for the gun to function. The hammer is refined to eliminate bite. Controls are ambidextrous. Takedown is simpler. And, perhaps most importantly, capacity is increased to 17+1 rounds.
The differences don’t stop there, though. The sights have been updated to ledge-style to allow one-hand racking of the slide in emergency situations. Obviously, new color options are available, evident in the flat-dark earth model we have here today. And, the new High Power is a half-pound heavier than the model it replaces, a hefty 40 ounces over the original’s 32. That extra heft, though, translates into a pistol that is supremely easy to shoot—it combines the weight of a full-size Government 1911 with an excellent single-action trigger, but with 18 rounds onboard.
The new FN High Power has a 4.7-inch barrel, 8-inch overall length, 5.6-inch height and 40-ounce weight. While this is a littler larger and heavier than traditional concealed-carry choices, there’s no denying the advantage of its size and heft when shooting. It’s flat, makes for rapid follow-up shots and can be used for extended range sessions without undue fatigue. If you’re planning on taking classes with high round counts, it’s a great choice. Of course, even if you’re not, it’s still a great choice.
Holster: ANR Design Appendix with Claw Holster (MSRP: $68.99)
Since the new FN High Power breaks with tradition, we’ve gone with a Kydex appendix holster for this kit. ANR Design offers a variety of high-quality kydex rigs for the concealed carrier, and the Appendix with Claw holster is designed, obviously to be carried in the appendix position. The Claw helps tuck the holster into the body, while the minimalist single-sheet design offers adjustable retention with a single screw.
Best of all, the Appendix with Claw holster is part of ANR’s “Quick Ship” line that offers faster lead times for shipping—five to seven days compared to three to five weeks. Even with the Quick Ship option, color combinations and belt-clip options abound, from standard colors to carbon-fiber, custom patterns and more. Color- and belt clip changes incur minor upcharges to the reasonably priced holster, so don’t be afraid to get exactly what you want.
Knife: Buck 110 Auto knife (MSRP: $207.99)
We’ve chosen Buck Knives’ 110 Auto knife to round out our new FN High Power kit because it mixes a bit of the old with a bit of the new much like the High Power. Buck’s 110 is pretty much the mental image of a pocketknife—if you were to ask someone to think of a pocketknife, chances are they’ll have something like the 110 (or perhaps the smaller 112) in mind: Brass bolsters, wooden handle, lock-blade mechanism and clip-point blade. The Auto part is exactly that: this 110 opens with the push of a button rather than needing a thumbnail to catch an indent on the back of the blade.
With the push-button, the 110 can be opened with one hand, ideal for emergency situations (or simply when one hand is already full). Included with the 110 is a leather belt pouch, and Buck does offer other models of 110 with pocket clips and thumbstuds if that’s more to your liking. For this kit, the 110 Auto blends the traditional with the new, making it a perfect fit with the new High Power.