Forgotten Weapons
Forgotten Weapons 12 Jun 2019
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Smith & Beecham Prototype Polymer High Power

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The South African company Smith and Beecham was not a large operation, and their most notable product was a .380 caliber compact pistol, of which not more than 2000 were ever made (it was not a success). Experimentally, the company also developed a polymer frame for the Browning High Power, however, and that is what we are looking at today. The weight savings from this are less than one might initially expect, because the High Power was designed with a metal frame in mind. Many of the pin positions and moving surfaces will not work when made of polymer, and so the Smith & Beecham design used a substantial metal insert within its polymer shell.

Only a few were made, because the design simply did not deliver much advantage. The closest it came to production was when the Republic Arms Company submitted a version of it mated with an RAP401 pistol for South African police trials, but it was rejected.

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