2024 will be the 120th anniversary of the first adoption of a 9mm parabellum (9x19mm) pistol. Since then, hundreds of different pistols have been proposed, all claiming to be excellent, one even claims to be perfect. Is it really possible to do any better?
There are a large number of modern pistols in production. They have a variety of different firing mechanisms; hammer or striker fired with single action, double action, or pre-loaded striker trigger mechanisms. Opinions vary on which is the “best”.
There are also different market segments, which overlap, but have specific priorities. These are the military, law enforcement and civilian markets. Military requirements are the most demanding, and very few pistols succeed on this market.
The pistol is the weapon that requires the best ergonomics. It is supported only by the shooter’s hand and has several levers or buttons that must be operated with one hand. There are left-handed and right-handed shooters, and hands of many shapes and sizes, often resulting in controls that are difficult to reach for one person but are inadvertently activated by another. The pistol may be operated with wet hands or when wearing gloves, so all grip surfaces and controls must be designed to ensure a reliable grip in all conditions.
The requirement for reliability in extreme conditions such as high and low temperatures, sand and mud is the primary factor that differentiates military grade pistols from the others. Military requirements are as demanding, or slightly more demanding, for all other factors, but the high threshold for reliability in adverse conditions eliminates the great majority of pistols from the military market.
Modern combat pistols must have iron sights that are easy to align quickly and accurately, including in low-light conditions. Reliable mini red dot (MRD) sights that make fast, accurate aim much easier are generating increased interest. To use these sights effectively and without affecting the gun’s reliability the slide of the pistol should be pre-configured to mount the MRD.
The FN HiPer®
Development of the FN HiPer® by FN Herstal took into account the best features of recent designs, but also added new solutions, some of which have been patented.
Ergonomics are a priority, ensuring a comfortable grip for all users thanks to the overall design and a choice of three grip covers that adapt the pistol to the size of your hand. Areas that may be gripped by the user have effective non-slip surfaces.
Controls are designed to be easy to use without moving the hand from the firing position, most repeated on either side, accessible for left-handed and right-handed users. They are also positioned and move in a way that avoids inadvertent activation. The position of the slide catch and the design of the magazine catch are unique to the FN HiPer®.
The FN HiPer® has multiple safety systems that function automatically, such as a firing pin safety and out-of-battery safety. It is impossible to disassemble the pistol unless the magazine has been removed.
The light, smooth trigger pull, the low bore axis that reduces muzzle rise, and combat sights all help the average user to shoot accurately and fast. The FN HiPer® is available with a slide configured for an MRD.
Most importantly the FN HiPer® has been designed to function reliably in adverse conditions, which is essential for a military pistol.
FN HiPer® with optional MRD and tactical plate
FN Herstal with the FN HiPer® once again has a modern military grade pistol that that can legitimately claim features and performance to outclass its rivals, an excellent choice for both military and Law Enforcement users.