Charles Daly Hi Power One Of The Best!
April 3, 2008
Charles Daly Hi Power
As many of you know from forum post or the information I posted here the Charles Daly Hi Power has been discontinued. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t get one by any means. Many guns have been made with this fine Hi Power version available from wholesalers as well as a great number that were purchased by CDNN. The going price is excellent at between $290 at CDNN or through wholesalers for $330 which is what I paid for my second one a couple of weeks ago. My gun dealer, Cott Firearms , had no trouble getting one for me in three days from request to delivery. After exchanging emails with Michael Kassnar, CEO at Charles Daly, I was assured the warranty on these guns will remain in effect as if it was a current production gun. It’s unlikely but they have many parts should you require service or parts replacement.
This version of the Hi Power differs from the Browning in several ways. One important way is the factory trigger pull is better with the Daly than the Browning. Also, the Daly has a thumb safety that is very similar to the one that Cylinder & Slide sells. The safety is easy to manipulate and has a positive click both on safety and off. The commander type hammer doesn’t bite as the standard hammer does. The supplied rubber grips are patterned after the Craig Spegel grips which feel better than any grip you can buy for the Hi Power. The sights are also an improvement over the Browning sights having the XS sight system. These sights have a shallow v notch with a vertical line while the front sight has a large white dot. Essentially what you have is a dot that is placed over the vertical line making it look like a lollipop:-) It’s a very fast sight set giving you a very quick sight picture for up close work. The magazines are very good being made in Italy. Yours may say MecGar or another name but they will say made in Italy. This is the magazine company that supplies mags for Sig as well as many other top of the line pistols. For my extra mags I use the 15 round MecGar’s. The mag release is also slightly longer than a stock Browning type allowing for positive magazine ejection. A good deal of thought was put into the extra features of this pistol. It isn’t necessary to add new sights, thumb safety etc since the factory ones are very usable as is.
There are still some things I always do with my Hi Powers. I first and foremost remove the magazine disconnect from the trigger group. This greatly helps the trigger pull. The magazine also falls free when ejected instead of having to pull it out. It also allows you to fire the pistol with a round chambered and the magazine out. This is something I very much prefer. For those of you who may not be familiar with the method of stripping the Hi Power all the way down or just partially I highly recommend Stephen Camps guide to the Hi Power. You can purchase these directly from Stephen at http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/. The website has a great deal of Hi Power information along with this guide as well as similar guides for the 1911. A picture of the laminated pages of the guide is pictured below. It is also held together with a ring binder allowing you lay the guide open for easy reference. This link is the order page and shows all the products he has for sale. http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Products5.html
Stephen Camps Hi Power Guide
The guides are very well written and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. The pictures that accompany the instructions are also very good. This guide makes it very easy even for a novice to completely strip the Hi Power down to the last part and reassemble. Stephen is also very easy to contact via email if you have any questions. His website also has a forum section where you can get together with other Hi Power enthusiast.
There are a few other modifications I like to do on my Hi Powers. Besides removing the magazine disconnect I also like to change out the trigger for one made by Cylinder & Slide. The C&S trigger has no accommodation for the mag disconnect which is good from a legal standpoint. This prevents some lawyer from accusing you of removing a safety device even though the mag disconnect isn’t a true safety system anyway. The trigger surface is wider making it easier to gain a good purchase on the trigger and the trigger does feel lighter because of the increased surface area. The surface is also a bit more rounded than the stock trigger. I also purchased a spring kit #CS025D from C&S. This spring set is the Tactical Trigger Pull Reduction Spring Kit. This takes the trigger pull down another 1.5 pounds. Included is the extra power trigger return spring, extra power mainspring and extra power firing pin spring. I also change the recoil spring to an 18.5 from Wolff. The 18.5 works very well for +P rounds and functions fine with standard loads. This kit not only reduces the trigger pull but resets the trigger for faster follow up shots. The springs also last a very long time with no need for any spring replacement for at least 5000 rounds depending on how many +P’s you use. The spring kit is show above with the Stephen Camp Hi Power guide. Stephen is one of the foremost authorities on the Hi Power regardless of who makes them. The Daly Hi Power parts also interchange with any brand or type of part without exception. Once the mods are done you will notice a very pronounced improvement in the trigger pull. The trigger pull on this recently purchased Hi Power now has a trigger pull of 4.3 pounds. This is certainly about perfect for a carry pistol. The mods take about 3 hours to do since you have to completely disassemble the pistol. The mods are fairly cheap. The spring kit is $17.50 with the C&S trigger at $37 from Brownells. The recoil spring is $4.95 from Wolff.
Update Sat 3/5/2008
The C&S trigger came in today for the Daly. It only took about 20 minutes to install. As I said above I have used these triggers before and found them to be an excellent addition. This is even more true for the Daly for some reason. I can’t put my finger on exactly why but this time the C&S trigger made a fantastic change in trigger pull and feel. There is almost zero overtravel and it’s very crisp. It honestly feels more like a match trigger on a 1911 than a Hi Power trigger. The trigger pull is now just a hair above 4 pounds. I can only credit this to the heavier construction and angle of the wider trigger. I’ve never had a trigger replacement make this much improvement to a triggers feel and pull. If you purchase a Daly Hi Power this is a must have addition! The price at Brownells, if you are a member, is $37 plus shipping for a total of $42 and change delivered USPS. This is a good savings over the suggested retail which is usually just above $50. You really have to add this trigger to your Hi Power!! I’m not usually so adamant about an add on part but this time I certainly am! It’s a must have:-)
Shooting the Hi Power is a joy. Outside of the 1911 no other gun comes close to the comfort of the Hi Power grip as well as the natural pointing attributes of this design. As far as carry ammo I use Winchester Ranger “T” 127 grn. +P+. This is the best carry ammo in 9mm you can buy. It’s very hard to find right now so my second choice is the Federal Tactical HST 124 grn. +P round. These are Law Enforcement only rounds but can be purchased legally. Only the factory restricts the sale of these rounds to the public. The best place to buy this ammo is Tactical Defense Solutions at http://www.tds-us.com/catalog.php/tds/pg10243. If you are a soldier or a police officer you are also eligible for a good discount after sending in a copy of your military or police ID. They are also great folks to deal with. They also carry LEO only Speer Gold Dots and assorted other brands.
After a range session with all the mods complete I was shooting one hole groups at 10 yards standing unsupported (1 1/4 inch). At 15 yards they were still groups of one ragged hole of about 2 inches firing fairly fast. It does take some practice to get used to the XS sights but after that your groups shrink back to what you would normally expect using more precise sights. This pistol is a real shooter. After 50 rounds of assorted ammo I had a one hole group again of about 2 inches from ten yards. There were no stoppages or malfunctions of any type after 200 rounds. I can’t say enough about the feel and natural pointing of this Browning design. The man was a genius after all:-)
This HP has a matte black finish with nicely polished slide flats. A very handsome finish to be sure. You can see the thumb safety in this picture and the similarity to the C&S type. I get kidded a lot since most of my pistols have skateboard tape on the front of the grip but hey it works and provides a good solid non slip grip even with wet or sweaty hands in summer. You can normally get the tape from any skateboard shop for free since they have scraps lying around. Sometimes you can also find some at Walmart if you have no skateboard shops in your area. By the way the rounds pictured are Hornady TAP 124 grn’s. I picked up a box of these a few months ago. Since I have six loaded mags I left one loaded with these. Some may consider the 9MM an underpowered round but you have to remember that the 9MM round has undergone many very significant improvements in recent years. If you do your part this round and this gun will do it’s job very well.
To conclude the P-35 Hi Power is a time tested design that is still very popular after all these years. It’s a favorite of mine. I tend to rank the 1911 first but sometimes it’s almost a tie for first with the Hi Power. At worst I would rank it second finest pistol of all time. If you are in the market for a Hi Power or just a reliable as well as beautiful pistol you would be served well by this Daly version. Get a new one while they are still available!
Happy and Safe Shooting!