As reported in the Telegraph, British troops are beginning to phase out the venerable Browning 9mm handgun in favor of the Glock 17.  The new handguns are better in every way but I for one will miss the old Browning

picture of the Browning High PowerThe Browning High Power, picture by Wikimedia contributor Rama

The Glock is lighter.  Half of it is plastic, and some of the fire control parts are small, light twisted pieces of metal buried in the plastic lower half.  On first inspection this doesn't seem very robust, however, the Glock is very reliable, and the 17 is famous for having 200,000 rounds run through it without much of a failure.  Hard to argue with that.

The trigger is safer.  Much to be said about the Glock trigger.  The gun won't fire unless a physical finger is on the trigger, much simpler in use than the Browning,  which is a single action pistol.  In order to bring the Browning into action, either the slide must be drawn back chambering a round, or the pistol is carried with the hammer back and the safety on, which must be thumbed off to fire.  With the Glock loaded and a round in the chamber, you merely draw the gun and fire.

picture of Glock 17

Glock 17, picture by Wikimedia contributor Hrd10

The Glock is a striker fired weapon, and the Browning uses a hammer.  If I had to choose, I'd take a hammer.  Strikers are allright for a rifle.  (That should start something.)  The operation  of the two pistols are similar, as the Glock is based on the Browning's barrel camming operation.  The Glock's external coatings are pretty good, protecting it from the elements and the shooter, and the Browning's are the traditional blueing and parkerizing.  

Finally, although there is much more that can be said, you can hang everything and it's brother on the Glock, from tactical lasers to wild sights.  The same thing can be done with the Browning, but is clumsy.  The Glock holds more ammunition.  The Glock is more modern in every way.  The Glock is cool. (They say.)

The British Army has used the High Power since the 50's.  You can say that they have been well served.  But now the Browning is entering the history books as another weapon that had served the British well, and it is in good company. 

picture of Canadian Forces