It is commonly held that the Browning P35, or Hi Power, was the last of John Moses Browning’s designs. Actually, the pistol he was making (it was still in prototype form when he died) was quite different. He envisioned a full-size, increased-capacity 9 mm that held 17 rounds in a magazine, and had a removable breechblock in the rear of the slide.
After he died, it was up to Dieudonne Saive, a top-rate designer himself, who had been working with Browning at FN in Liege, to finish the new pistol. He then fine-tuned it for the French Army trials. The French wanted something just a bit smaller, lighter and more compact. They also didn’t feel the need for it to hold so much ammo.
Saive’s efforts there produced what we now know as the Hi Power, which FN began selling in 1935. (The French decided to go down another path and went with a French design that could be made in France.)
by Patrick Sweeney