Apex Gunsmithing
10Feb/15

The Curious Case of the Kareen

Some time ago I procured for a friend and customer of mine an inexpensive Browning Hi Power clone, which at the time I had never heard of. A few oddball guns make their way from Israel to the US, and they tend to be surplus in nature or of fleeting availability.  The ones with staying power like the venerable Desert Eagle get trade agreements drawn up and re-branded to root themselves more firmly in the American gun market, or more recently IWI's own efforts partnered with our friends in Harrisburg have brought more excellent Israeli-made firearms stateside.

"High quality" plastic grip panels.

"High quality" plastic grip panels.

The Israeli Kareen is the former of those options, a surplus pistol that is available now and again through places like PW Arms, Sarco, and the like.  Not a lot was known about them when they first hit our shores and they more or less slipped under the radar and were relegated to the pages of surplus catalogs and Shotgun News ads while fans of the Hi Power bought them up out of curiosity.  After all, the price was appealing and the previously plentiful Hungarian Hi Powers had all but dried up by then.

So what's the story behind these relatively unknown Hi Powers?