[This post is part of our series, What I’m Carrying Now. If you’d like to submit a photo and description of the gun, holster and gear you’re carrying in the new world in which we live, send it to us at [email protected] with WICN in the subject field.]
These weird days, I’m carrying the same things I carry every other day. My primary firearm is a Browning Hi-Power Mk I, with some modern improvements. This is the same pistol I reviewed for TTAG back in August of 2018.
I shot the Hi-Power well during that review, especially single-handed, and was very much impressed with the old warhorse of a sidearm. It was well proven, both the model in general and this gun specifically. This Hi-Power had a lot of potential when I bought it, but needed a little work to make it a quality daily carry weapon.
Consequently, not long after that review posted, I sent the pistol to be worked over by the extremely capable hands of Alex Hamilton at Ten-Ring Precision in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Hamilton removed the factory magazine disconnect and completed a trigger job, setting the trigger weight to a crisp and clean 4 lbs.
I typically like it closer to 2.5-3 lbs, as on my 1911s, but going much under 4 lbs on the Hi-Power can’t be done safely on a carry gun, or so I am told.
The front strap of the H-Power is too thin to checker, so I asked Mr. Hamilton to stipple the front and rear instead. The result is as functional as it is beautiful.
He removed the hump in the feed ramp of the factory barrel so that it will reliably feed hollow point ammunition and installed an 18 1/2 lb. recoil spring.
He also ensured the fit of a threaded barrel that I use when I want to run a silencer on the gun.
The high polish on the Hi-Power that Ten-Ring put on has held up surprisingly well to daily use and regular shooting. Of course, there’s a little wear around the muzzle and the whole gun will eventually need to be refinished again. That will be some time from now.
Mr. Hamilton also installed a more thumb-friendly extended safety, as well as fit Heine Slant 8 Tritium night sights to the slide. These are the same sights I’ve installed on all of my daily carry guns, and I’ve not found anything that better allows me to align both sights in darkness and still allows for precise shooting in the light.
The fancy Cocobolo hand checkered grips from Craig Spegel are new additions, although I ordered them quite a while ago. Mr. Spegel was polite to speak with, (no internet orders, it’s all done by phone,) and the total price, including shipping, was only $85.
That was over a year ago and I had completely forgotten I ordered them when Mr. Spegel called and told me they were ready. They’re worth the wait. I ordered another set in Madagascar ebony as well.
This Hi-Power is almost as old as I am, and is even more capable now than when it first rolled off the line. I’m not terribly picky with what defensive rounds go through it, but I stick with 124 grain and 124 +P HP varieties. I carry Mec-Gar 15-round magazines, one in the gun and a spare.
By switching from a 1911 to a Hi-Power, I also switched from primarily IBW carry to OWB. I use a Mitch Rosen 5JR with a 5M single magazine carrier. I used to wear a suit every day, and now I generally wear jeans with a button down shirt and a suit jacket.
When I go in shorts or need a little more concealment, I run the Hi-Power in an El Paso Saddlery Summer Cruiser IWB rig.
The Benchmade butterfly knife was a surprise addition to the EDC lineup. I got it as a Christmas present in 2018, and had it in my pocket on a late season hunt. The broad belly of the bowie blade shape did well gutting and skinning, and when I was done I realized I could just spray the entire knife clean with a hose. It’s been in my pocket since and has gutted at least a dozen deer and a more than a few pigs. It has held up very well.
My vehicle is also as it was before the crisis. It seats five, so it arms 5. I abhor rudeness and I’d hate to have a passenger feel like they they got left out. Folks comment that I am ready for the apocalypse, but really I’m just ready to hunt whenever and whatever. The particular kit changes with the seasons.