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Spam's questions on the L9A1 in UK Armed Forces

#1
Hey guys I own and and legally carry a Browning hi-power Mk III. One of the main reasons I purchased this particular pistol was it's long and distinguished history with the various national armed forces of the commonwealth. Upon reading the articles pertaining to the L9a1 on ARRSEPedia I learned that many Squadies have a rather low opinion of the pistol. Why is this? What are your own opinions on the L9a1? How reliable has it been? How does it stack up against more modern designs like the Sig Sauer? And what's your take on the perpetual Spam Tackleberry debate on 9mm vs .45?

PS I have just found a Brit site, Kit Monster, selling a Holster, leather, covert, Northern Ireland. I'm looking for a new holster for concealed carry and I would love to hear from those of you who used the holster on plain clothes assignments and find out what you think of how well it functioned.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#2
As service pistols go it was alright for its time. I suppose the slagging off it gets is because everyone wants a Sig now. Never forget for a weapon of last resort it certainly put paid to a few bad guys.
As for issue leather, the ones I may have used were dog toffee. Best stuffed down the small of your back. I did get an ex service/private purchase IWB for my PPK in 380 but that wasnt fantastic either.
 
#4
When stripping is concerned, the sig dosent require any specialist tools, apart from a hammer and a few drifts. With the browning you need dozens!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#6
When stripping is concerned, the sig dosent require any specialist tools, apart from a hammer and a few drifts. With the browning you need dozens!
I take it you mean armourer stripping, the Browning 9milly needs two hands and nothing more for daily cleaning stripping!
 
#7
I always found the Browning to be a solid and reliable weapon. No real complaints.

Before the ban my old man had a Browning 9mm and a Colt Commander in .45. I was a teenager at the time so loved the .45 but to be honest I'd go with the Browning just for having less recoil so I could get pretty decent groups with fairly rapid fire.

I lived in Vegas for a while and my boss owned a M1911 clone called an Infinity. Beautiful bit of kit, very Gucci indeed.
 
#8
we are not a nation of pistol owners so unlike stateside the .45 vs 9mm was never really going to catch on.
until recently pistols were hardly ever carried.
The browning got blamed for quite a few accidents usually caused by the person holding it doing something really really stupid
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Most of the older issue Brownings were made by John Inglis in Canada in World War 2, and IMHO are no where near the build quality of the FN, after over thirty years of service most were in a shite state, and on the only occasion I really needed it, it miss fed and almost got me killed, if I needed a 9mm now I'd go CZ75 or SIG, or better still a f@ck off dirty great Magnum revolver, something that makes a hole the size of a pub ashtray
 
#12
As service pistols go it was alright for its time. I suppose the slagging off it gets is because everyone wants a Sig now. Never forget for a weapon of last resort it certainly put paid to a few bad guys.
As for issue leather, the ones I may have used were dog toffee. Best stuffed down the small of your back. I did get an ex service/private purchase IWB for my PPK in 380 but that wasnt fantastic either.
A mate of mine had a tricky incident with his HP35 whilst working on some plain clothes NITAT gig in Northern Ireland in the 90's. He was observing a 'suspect' and followed the bloke into a busy supermarket when he realized his Browning previously 'stuffed down the small of his back' was slowly slipping down his leg....
 
#13
I considered the Browning as an OK pistol but preferred the Sig 226 by a long way. Try them both and see which you like best.

That holster looks different to the one that I had on issue. Mine was a tan/light brown colour and I don't recall a strap. Saying that, I was only issued a holster after the Sig was introduced. Personally I liked the holster rather than just stuffing it into my belt. But hey, it is just a personal preference. Experiment to find out what works best for you.

For me the pistol, in a holster, on my right hip worked best. That way, my pistol was pointing towards the target as soon as it left the holster. That only applies on foot of course, in a vehicle I either sat on the pistol or put it in the door well.

My 2d.
 
#17
I used the L9A1 for competition shooting for nearly 20 years ... typically burned around 5,000 rounds a year, nothing ever broke and they never malfunctioned. It's a fine solid piece of kit, but obviously a bit outdated when compared to the modern stuff.

However, two of mine were [new] private purchase and others were hand-selected from the stock in the Armoury. The biggest problem with the issue ones was that most units only had a small stock-holding, so what was available was intensively used [worn out] and generally uncared for.

No idea where the "dozens of tools" comes from either; something to hold back the hammer [shaped copper plate as per EMERs], something to compress the hammer strut spring to release the pin/collar at the bottom, and an SLR firing pin to drift out the sear pivot pin. I think that's about it - even the entire trigger mechanism can be done with that.
 
#18
Completely agree with Blue Sophist.

The Browning is a fantastic and capable pistol, chuck a decent grip on it and away you go, provided you've not bought one thats been banged around unit armouries since the 50s.

Forget the Colts, they are cack. Dogface will give you some American dribble championing them no doubt but do yourself a favour and stick to your Browning.
 
#19
Recoil of the Commander is easily managed.
I went to the range a view times while in Vegas (full auto being a bit of a novelty)
I did use a USP in .45 acp and my bosses Infinity a few times so got better with practice.

He also had a Glock 17 which is a lovely gun. Robust, accurate and simple. You can see why so many police forces use them.
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
God, the old SLR firing pin,still got two in my tool box,best drift ever made, I had actually forgotten what they were and where I'd nicked them from, until you just reminded me
 

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