Oddball Hi-Power Clones, Copies, and Knock Offs

The Hi-Power has been adopted and produced by over 50 countries. Some are licensed, others are not. Throughout all these production runs and developments, they’ve produced a wide variety of variants. Small things are different, like lanyard loops, sight styles, and safeties. However, there are a few oddball Hi-Powers out there, and we’ve cataloged three of the weirdest variants. 


Our first oddball Hi-Power is also our most normal. The FEG series of Hi-Powers came from Hungary. These pistols are often uglier and rougher than FNs but perfectly functional and capable. The FEG series have been imported for many years and has worked with a variety of importers over the years. 

The oddball of these guns is the FEG FP9. The FEG FP9 isn’t too much different than most Hi-Powers. In fact, the biggest difference is the fact they equipped a big vent rib across the top of the top of the slide. That vent rib holds the sights, but there doesn’t seem much of a reason for the vent rib to exist. 

Why they did this seems to be lost to history. I’ve heard forum rumors but can’t confirm. The FP9 isn’t the first handgun with a vent rib, and Colt did it with the Python too. However, it most certainly looks bizarre. 

Arcus 98DA 

Bulgaria makes great AKs and weird Hi-Power clones. The Arcua 98DA clones the Hi-Power design, but it’s not really a Hi-Power either. One of the most memorable Hi-Power features is the single-action-only design. However, the Arcus 98DA used a more modern DA/SA design that would certainly be divisive among Hi-Power fans. 

Additionally, the grip is long, and the magazine holds 15 rounds instead of 13. Grips and mags are not interchangeable between the Arcus and Hi-Power. In fact, most parts are not interchangeable with standard Hi-Powers. The magazines do drop free, there is no magazine safety, and the hammer doesn’t bite your hand. 

The Arcus 98DA isn’t a bad gun, but it’s not high-speed either. The trigger pull is extremely heavy in the double-action design. The gun itself is heavy, and it’s got that Eastern European charm that screams reliable but far from fancy. These are neat guns, but they seem to have dried up on the import market. It’s sad because this oddball Hi-Power was a neat adaption of the platform. Fit it with a decocker, refine it, and I’m in.

The Argentinian SPAs 

Argentina is a fan of Browning’s designs and began producing their own domestic, licensed copies in the late 1960s or so. These Hi-Powers are reportedly very nice and quite robust. They might not have the same finish as an FN model, but they work. The Argentinians like the design and made a few variants. One of the most interesting never made it beyond the prototype stage. 

Courtesy The Firearm Blog.

The Argentinians produced a model known as the SPA, or Sub Pistola Ametralladora, aka Sub Machine Pistol. Yep, Hi-Power machine pistols. Why? Well, I’m convinced most people just design them for vague military reasons, but in reality, it’s because they want something ridiculous and fun. The SPA series was actually chambered in 7.62x23mm Manlicher because 9mm produced too much recoil. 

The designers also produced 16, 25, and 40-round magazines for the handgun. They also fit this oddball Hi-Power with a 6.25-inch barrel likely to increase control. It’s a neat design, but only prototypes were made, and we have very few photos of these guns. 

Keep Hi-Powers Weird 

I love oddballs, and I love Hi-Powers. Oddball Hi-Powers certainly get my motor running. I’m starting my own oddball collection, and sadly I doubt I’ll get the one SPA ever imported or developed, but I can certainly try. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.