Springfield Armory SA-35 Review: Hi-Power Clone

Image from Springfield Armory

Springfield Armory SA-35 Review

Bottom Line

This 15-round pistol is one of the best Browning Hi-Power clones. It pairs upgrades focused on this generation’s shooters with a competitive price. 

After the discontinuation of the Browning Hi-Power in 2018, Springfield Armory was one of the manufacturers that produced clones of the legendary pistol. In this article, we’ll take a closer look into the Springfield Armory SA-35 and give an unbiased gun review of this modernized clone.

Bottom Line

This 15-round pistol is one of the best Browning Hi-Power clones. It pairs upgrades focused on this generation’s shooters with a competitive price. 


  • Affordable
  • Beveled magazine for faster insertion
  • Comes with a limited warranty
  • No magazine disconnect


  • Safety isn’t ambidextrous
  • Magazine release isn’t ambidextrous

What Customers Say​

“The gun was everything I hoped it would be. The fit and finish are excellent, and the first time shooting the weapon was flawless. I used cheap Russian ammo, factory loads and my reloads with no jams at all. I was pleased with my grouping, I wished I could have had a vise to see how small of a group this gun can do. I never owned a High-Power and I can see why it was so popular. SA did an excellent job, call me old fashioned but you cannot beat the feel of iron and wood.”


“The raw accuracy of this pistol is very good. Balance, handling, and ergonomics are excellent for my hands as I expected from a High Power clone. Machining quality is very good, something I am coming to expect more with CNC equipment commonplace. The matte finish is not fancy, but very practical and well done. I, too, found a lot of (very light) rust on and around the recoil spring and guide rod. Cleaned it off with Kroil and no problems so far. The trigger is not as good as I was hoping for. A lot of creep before a solid and clean break, almost like a two-stage trigger. This is not a target gun for me, so I can live with the trigger for now. Overall I would say the pistol is well done especially at this price point. It is like shooting a slightly smaller 1911 with less recoil and 15 rounds. What’s not to like?”

1911 Guy

Better Capacity: FN High Power

Like the SA-35, the FN High Power features an extended beavertail. It’s now more drawn out so you can get a higher grip without risking interfering with the slide. The ring hammer is also adjusted to a higher position so you don’t have to worry about getting hot with it.

The new FN High Power comes with two sets of G10 polymer grips from the factory. These grips are easily swappable with five other grip colors that you can purchase separately. From first-hand experience with these, the look is excellent with several options to customize between and the feel is great too. There’s no worrying about the gun moving around unintentionally.


  • Comes in durable PVD coating
  • Reversible magazine release
  • Knurled and textured thumb safety
  • 17+1 magazine capacity
  • Simple takedown method
  • Fully ambidextrous slide lock


  • The grip is too big for small hands
  • It’s pretty expensive

What Customers Say

“Extremely happy and excited with the makeover. It’s like going from a 1911 to a 2011. Or any of the new enhancements that have gone along with the traditional 1911 this is progress.”

David F.

“This is actually a really accurate gun. I would like a little contrast in the front sight but these blackout sights are really nice.”

James Reeves 

Better for the Money: Girsan MC P35

Image from EAACorp

The MC P35 is Girsan’s take on the Browning Hi-Power. It has better accuracy than the SA-35. It features a staggered column magazine with a 15+1 capacity. It also comes with a steel frame and slide.

The Girsan MC P35 is designed to employ quicker second-shot resets than other P35 clones so you can acquire targets faster. Another noteworthy feature is its traditional slim trigger that’s easily accessible even while the shooter is wearing gloves.


  • Slim trigger
  • Ambidextrous safety
  • Large capacity
  • Adjustable rear sight
  • Checkered grips


  • It’s a little expensive

What Customers Say

“Upon receiving my Girsan MC P35, the weapon is well made and finished nicely (black finish) and packaged in a gun case which is also well constructed and good enough to protect the weapon in a gun safe. So far, since I haven’t had the chance to shoot it yet, the weapon is sturdy, and no manufacturing curbs were made by Girsan.”

Alberto Marin

“Just Got this wonderful pistol today and it is a gr8 shooter I run 90 rounds out of it and it performed flawlessly. It took me a few shots to see how it was sighted but it grouped very well After I got used to it. The trigger is crisp with very little creep before the break and the reset is awesome. And I tell you this I have a Glock 17 very good gun but this to me is better just saying. Got a very low production number too, number 36.”

Richard Chambers


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Color: Black
  • Caliber: 4.7” Cold-Hammer Forged, 1:10
  • Slide: Forged Carbon Steel, Blued
  • Frame: Forged Carbon Steel, Blued
  • Sights: White Dot Front, Serrated Tactical Rack Rear
  • Recoil System: SA-35™ Recoil Spring and Guide Rod
  • Grips: Checkered Walnut
  • Magazine: 15-round
  • Weight: 31.5oz
  • Length: 7.8”
  • Height: 4.8”
  • MSRP: $799

First Impressions: Springfield Armory SA-35

Image from Springfield Armory

The SA-35 features a sleek minimalist design and a matte finish. It fits medium-sized hands perfectly. It has a gorgeous matte blue finish and has the exact same lines as the Browning Hi-Power. Springfield Armory added a rounded hammer and a slightly longer beaver tail than the Hi-Power which will help reduce hammer bite (particularly for shooters with large hands).

Springfield Armory SA-35 Features

Manual Thumb Safety

The commander-style hammer was re-contoured as it now has serrations on top. So you can easily pull it back with your thumb and engage the safety as well. However, the safety on this pistol isn’t ambidextrous.

Checkered Walnut Grips

The SA-35 comes with an excellent checkered wood grip that’s well-textured and fairly slim. The grip is well-balanced and is interchangeable with most Hi-Power grips available on the market.

Pivoting Trigger

The SA-35 has a very crisp and smooth trigger action, plus a really nice reset. Trigger pull weight is about five pounds, which is more or less three pounds less than the Hi-Power. It’s also a good thing that the SA-35 has no magazine disconnect, unlike the Hi-Power. The magazine disconnect safety from Browning’s version locks out the trigger when the magazine is removed, and this causes spring issues, aside from making the trigger inconsistent and gritty.


While the SA-35 is a good build, it doesn’t have the same fitment and precision as the FN High Power, but the value is there with a considerably lower price. 

Springfield Armory SA-35 ScoreCard

FeaturesThe upgraded features are great improvements compared to the Hi-Power.4
ReliabilityWe loved how smoothly we can shoot with this pistol. The elimination of the magazine disconnect definitely played a major role in the improved performance.4
Build & FinishThe sleek minimalist design and the matte finish combined with the checkered walnut grips are perfect.5
AccuracyDespite its upgrades, the SA-35 failed to match the Hi-Power’s accuracy.3
ValueComfortable ergonomics and a nice build for the price.4
OverallSpringfield Armory did an awesome job upgrading the features, but the SA-35’s accuracy needs improvement.4
No votes yet.
Please wait...