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Old 02-13-2014, 10:29 AM
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Pistol Profile High Standard Supermatic Victor

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Pistol Profile – High Standard Supermatic Victor

High Standard has an enviable reputation in American .22 caliber target shooting sports. The company formed in 1926 and began producing target grade .22 caliber semi-automatic pistols in 1932 with the introduction of the Model B, according to Tom Dance, author, sportsman, and firearms historian. A series of “Letter”, “Hammer Letter”, and “Lever Letter” guns followed with a series of improvements, refinements, and features along the way. By the late 1940s the G Series had appeared and in 1949 the GO was introduced as an Olympic and International grade match pistol. About 1200 were made. It was discontinued in 1950.

1950/51 also saw what would become the High Standard Supermatics. The 1951 models were called the Supermatic, Olympic, Field King, and Sport King. By 1954 the Supermatic would become a distinct line of pistols and the Dura-Matic line would be introduced.

The Victor, or more rightly the Supermatic Victor, first appeared in the High Standard .22LR target pistol lineup with the 104 Series in 1962 according to John Stimson. It was the now famous and very collectible slant grip 104. The Victor has continued as part of the Supermatic line and has been in production right up to today. It is based on the military frame. The slab-sided barrel and other components give it a unique appearance. It has built a deservedly good reputation for accuracy and performance . . . High Standard’s top performer.

The text and data from here to the end of the document is liberally and gratefully presented, quoted, pilfered, paraphrased, and excerpted from the vast resources of the pages of the High Standard website of John Stimson. See http://www.highstandard.info/ Thank you so much John.

Here is a brief description of each High Standard series that offered a Victor as part of its lineup.

1964-1978 - Series 1041,330,000 to 2,330,000
The last of the slant grip gun designs produced.
The early production marked model 104.
Later production is unmarked.
G prefix serial numbers after mid-1975.

104 Victor Models (9218, 9219, 9226, 9229)
A .22 LR caliber semiautomatic pistol with a 10 shot magazine.
4.50" and 5.50" slab sided barrels with either ventilated or solid ribs.
The adjustable sights are integral with the rib. Blue finish; barrel tapped for weight, checkered walnut thumb rest grips.
Grooved front and back straps on frame.
A few slant grip Victors appear in the ML serial number series.

The Slant Grip Victor (Extracted from the original article) 4/27/2010 John J. Stimson, Jr.
“Considered by many to be a real prize in collecting High Standards, the slant grip Victor in the 104 design series is a scarce gun. Like the military grip angle 107 series Victors it had six major configurations but with only four catalog numbers. The vent ribs whether the steel or the aluminum used the same catalog number for the same barrel lengths. The slant grip Victor first appeared in the 1973 catalog and price lists. It was also listed in the 1974 catalog but not pictured in the 1974 catalog and was listed in the 1974 price lists. The February 1973 price lists indicated that these were “special order only” guns and lists only the 9218 and 9219 catalog numbers. The November 1973 price lists no longer mentions that the slant grip Victors were special order only and includes the 9226 and 9229 catalog numbers for the solid rib versions. The May 1974 price list also lists all tour catalog numbers for the slant grip Victor. The slant grip Victor was listed at about a five percent premium over the military grip models.

There were 8 production lots of the slant grip Victor. While the slant grip Victor was being produced, the
factory records include the” TO ASSEMBLY” and “PACKED” (assembly completed). The following are the “to assembly” dates for the slant grip Victor lots.
LOT 1. 1973 98 guns Beginning S/N 2,401,860
LOT 2. 1973 99 guns Beginning S/N 2,402,243
LOT 3. 1973 35 guns Beginning S/N 2,402,433
LOT 4. 1973 45 guns Beginning S/N 2,413,891
LOT 5. 1973 95 guns Beginning S/N 2,417,070
LOT 6. 1973 10 guns Beginning S/N 2,421,346
LOT 7. 1974 97 guns Beginning S/N 2,460,142
LOT 8. 1974 110 guns Beginning S/N 2,460,505”

1965-1968 - Series 106
1,436,000 to 2,030,000
Referred to as military models.
No Victors produced as Series 106 are listed here.
1968-1981 - Series 107
2,030,000 to 2,330,000
ML1,000 to ML87,000
Early production utilized the red bottomed magazines.
Later guns had a blued steel bottom.
Production at Hamden, CT 1968 to 1976.
At East Hartford 1976 to 1982.
Earliest 107 series pistols were marked "MODEL 107 / MILITARY" with serial number on the right side.
About 1972, the "MODEL 107" and "MILITARY" markings on the frame were deleted.
"MILITARY" reappeared near the end of the end of the traditional serial number series.
"ML" prefix on the serial number appeared in mid-1975.
"MILITARY" marking is absent from the guns with the ML prefixed serial numbers.
Guns with serial numbers above ML 25,000 are manufactured in East Hartford.
Guns before ML 29,xxx were made by the Leisure Group.
Guns made after ML 29,xxx were made by High Standard Inc.

107 Victor Models (9206, 9211, 9216, 9217)
A .22 LR caliber semiautomatic pistol with a 10 shot magazine. 4.50" and 5.50" slab sided barrels with either ventilated or solid ribs.
The adjustable sights are integral with the rib.
Blue finish; barrel tapped for weight, checkered walnut thumb rest grips. Stippled front and back straps on frame.
Early ventilated ribs were steel with a smooth top and different profile than the late steel vent rib. aluminum replaced the steel on later ventilated ribs with no change in catalog number.
Still later a "type 2" aluminum ventilated rib was introduced with a clearance groove for spent shell ejection behind the barrel.
Early models marked THE VICTOR on the left side of the barrel, later guns marked simply VICTOR on the left side of the frame.

1981-1984 - SH Series
SH10,000 to SH35,000
The final design produced by High Standard.
A change in takedown from pushbutton to a hex head cap screw.
ML prefix of the 107 series replaced with "SH".
Near the end of production a "V" suffix was added to some visually impaired guns.
All "V" marked guns were shipped during June 1984 or later independent of serial number.

SH Victor Model (9217)
Like the 107 Victor with a new takedown. All SH Victors have 5.5” barrels. There were a few pushbutton takedown SH Victors produced.

Here is a list of visible Victor variations over the lifespan of the Victor.

1993-Present - Houston Guns
In the Spring of 1993, the High Standard Manufacturing Company, Inc. of Houston Texas acquired the former High Standard Company assets and trademarks and the .22 target pistols.
In July 1993 these original assets were transferred to Houston Texas.
In March of 1994 the first Houston manufactured guns were shipped.
The following data was provided by High Standard Manufacturing Company.
These guns are like the 107 series guns in design except as noted.
Their serial numbers for the first Houston guns have an "AF" prefix and ran from 00001 through 001643. Then the numbers changed to a new format beginning with 2,600,000

Houston Victor Models (TX 9216, TX 9217, TX 9216P, TX 9217P, TX 9216SB, TX 9217SB)
A .22 LR caliber semiautomatic pistol with a 10 shot magazine. 4.50" and 5.50" slab sided barrels with ventilated rib.
The adjustable sights are integral with the rib.
High Standard universal mount available beginning 1996.
Blue or Parkerized finish, barrel tapped for weight, checkered walnut thumb rest grips, Trigger, slide stop, safety, and magazine release are gold finished on the blued guns.
Trigger, slide stop, safety, and magazine release are blued finish on the parkerized guns.
Stippled front and back straps on frame.”

Victor and The Victor
From a John Stimson post on Rimfire Central

“The first Victor S/N 2,237,707 was shipped 1/13/1971 and was marked "THE VICTOR". The late Tom Dance in his book said "late 1971".

Dance talked about the "Numbered Series" when in fact there is no such thing. Prior to this time Dance had treated the term "series" as a design series where the design series numbers changed with a change in design. This is what the factory intended even though they did make continuous changes to these guns without changing the series. What Dance called the "Numbered Series" is really a span of time during which the factory did not mark the design series on the guns . Dance's "Numbered Series" actually included 103, 104, and 107 series guns.

Likewise Dance's "ML series" is not a change in the design series. The "ML Series" guns are with the exception of a few mistakes 107 series pistols. The ML prefix serial numbers came about because the company decided to use letter prefixes for all their gun products beginning in the second half of 1975 having already set the precedent with the "M" steel frame western revolvers in 1971 and the "T" 1972 Olympic Commemorative Supermatic Trophy in 1972. Derringers got a D prefix, the rimfire rifles got an R prefix, the steel frame Sentinels got a S prefix, the pump shotguns got a P prefix, the semi auto shotguns got an A prefix, and the slant grip ( 103 and 104 series) pistols got a G prefix. Note that Dance makes no mention of a G prefix gun. The exception and there always seems to be an exception is the aluminum framed revolvers which continued in the old serial number system and without a prefix.

The transition from "THE VICTOR" on the barrel to "VICTOR" on the left side of the frame did not occur with the transition from the 107 series in mid 1981 to the 108 series (SH series). Note High Standard did not use letters to designate design series except for a prefix to indicate the gun's family. The transition form "THE VICTOR" to "VICTOR" is marked by a small number of guns that have both the barrels and the frame marked. This occurred about mid 1979. After these transition guns the markings were simply "VICTOR" on the frame.

It is simply wrong to say that all 108 series guns except the 10-X models were junk. The majority of these guns were just fine. Accuracy was still excellent, and function was fine. The general appearance gradually diminished and in the end they marked with a "V" some earlier guns that had not met their appearance acceptance standards. The "V" guns date as far back as Hamden some 8 years prior but most were 1983 and early 1984 production. Note that the Supermatic Citation and the Sharpshooter was replaced in late 1982 with a new model the Citation II. By the end of September 1983 they had dropped the 10-X models, the Survival pack, the electrolysis nickel plated Sport Kings , and the Citation II pistols, That left only the Supermatic Trophy, the Sport King and the Victor pistol models.

As I said earlier there were numerous small changes that went on during all times of almost all if not all models. Some changes are visible and some are not.”

HIGH STANDARD Production Facilities
1926 - New Haven and Hamden, CT
WW II – Operations Consolidated in Hamden
1977 - East Hartford, CT
1984 – Company Closed
1993 – High Standard Houston, TX begins producing guns

Houston High Standard Victor Review
by Patrick Sweeney, Guns & Ammo Handguns Magazine, September 24th, 2010

When I began target shooting, your choices of a .22 pistol were not large. Oh, you could buy all kinds of plinkers, but a real tack-driver was hard to come by.

Your choices were simple: Buy an S&W Model 41 or a High Standard Victor–or wait for someone who owned a Colt Match Woodsman to die and try to buy it off of his widow.
Back in those days, the M41 listed at $250 and the Victor at $270. Adjusted for inflation, that comes to $780 and $850 respectively.

Why those? Because they were accurate and reliable, and while in Bullseye you can get an alibi string if you have a malfunction, who wants the hassle and stress of doing it all over again? And in the other matches I shot you didn’t get alibis, so you had to have reliability from the get-go.

In 1984 the Victor went out of production–leaving the S&W and ferociously expensive Euro-plinkers as your .22 LR target-shooting choices. But you can’t keep a good product down, and the High Standard Victor is back.

While I’ve shot a bunch of them, I’ve never owned a Victor or other High Standard, so I didn’t have an original on hand to compare to the test sample I received. But there was nothing about the new one to make it different from my recollections. The slide locks open if the magazine is empty. The magazine catch is at the bottom front of the frame.
The barrel has the sight attached on a rib that protrudes back over the slide. On the front of the frame is a spring-loaded button. Push the button (it is quite stiff, and you’ll need to use the edge of a table or shooting bench) and you release the barrel from the frame. Now release the slide stop and the slide comes forward off the frame. You’re done taking it apart for cleaning, unless you feel the need to scrub under the grips.
Unlike the magazine catch, which is where it is simply because it makes production easier (and no one needs to do a quick mag change in .22 LR competitions) the slide stop and safety are in useful locations.

The safety is where all 1911 shooters want to find one: on the left side, above the grips.
The slide stop is on the right, also above the grips. You can drop the slide on a fresh magazine by either pressing the catch down with your trigger finger or by pulling the slide back and letting go.

The trigger comes from the factory set at 2.25 pounds, and is adjustable for weight and travel, not that I wasted any time fussing over it.

The barrel rib holds the front and rear sight and is bolted on with screws threaded to the barrel. You can remove the iron sights and replace them with a scope base and put optics or a red-dot sight on top.

You can also bolt extra weight to the bottom of the barrel, if the regular 46 ounces of the Victor is just too airy for you.

An accurate, reliable .22 LR pistol is like milk and cookies: a comforting pleasure you need not feel guilty about. The Victor is like freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies, still warm, and a big glass of cold milk. You need not feel the least bit guilty about enjoying yourself.

And enjoy I did. I tried a box of each kind of .22 LR ammo I could find on my shelves. All were reliable, and none were less than very accurate. Some were scarily accurate.

I’m used to gritting my teeth and working my way through a group, shooting five shots into something like two or three inches at 25 yards. With the Victor, I was able to regularly shoot one-inch groups of 10 shots at that same distance–over sandbags, of course. If I could shoot one-inch groups offhand I’d have long since hauled myself off to Camp Perry for some competitive gratification.

The new pistols shoot very well indeed. As good as the old ones? Unless I can lay hands on 10 or 12 old ones, and do an exhaustive Ransom rest test (not happening anytime soon, I assure you) I can’t say for sure. But this one sure is no slouch in the accuracy department. Nor in reliability.

New magazines fit the old model High Standard pistols, a good thing as those who have older pistols have not had a source for new magazines until now.

As an interesting extra, you can get a conversion kit for your Victor to switch it over to .22 Short. The barrel, slide and two magazines allow you to shoot those even-stubbier cartridges in international-style matches where Shorts are required.

Why would you want a Victor? In a world where you can buy any number of plinker-grade .22 LR pistols for half the cost of a Victor or less, why spend more than what it costs to get the basics? Because you get more, that’s why.

You get more accuracy than you can shoot, more reliability than you can believe, a link to the past and incredible durability–a pistol that even if you won the lottery tomorrow you could not afford enough ammo to wear out. It’s a pistol, like so many others that have been seen on the line at Camp Perry, you can leave to your heirs in your will.
If that’s not enough of a return on your hard-earned cash for you, then I don’t know what to suggest.

Corrections, errata notices, and comments gratefully requested.
Mike Parker

Last edited by mparker; 02-13-2014 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:06 PM
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Houston High Standard info

This is to clarify the relationship of High Standard of Houston, TX, to the original High Standard located in Connecticut.

Houston High Standard is not related to the Connecticut High Standard, except for the name "High Standard". The new company obtained the rights to the name after High Standard in Connecticut went out of business. Houston High Standard obtained some left over parts and maybe some tooling from the bankrupt company. They opened up for business about 10 years after High Standard went out of business. The new company produced about 4000 High Standard pistols in the first 4 years of production. However, since 2000, the company has manufactured less than 100 pistols per year through 2011, according to ATF records which can be located on the ATF website.

Their production of about 4,800 target pistols from inception in 1994 through 2011 is far less than the 390,000 target pistols produced by the original company (Supermatic through the 108 series, per Dance's book). Connecticut made Sport King and Duramatic/Plinker production adds another 463,000 pistols (per Dance's book). These numbers do not include shotguns, revolvers, derringers, and rifles produced in high numbers over the years by High Standard of Connecticut.

So the obvious conclusion is that the Houston based High Standard Manufacturing Co. Inc. is an incredibly small producer of .22 target pistols compared to the original High Standard company.

Per ATF data and the Blue Book of Gun Values, Houston based High Standard Mfg. Inc. and its subsidiary companies of Firearms International Inc.; Arsenal USA, LLC; and Armory USA, LLC; have produced around 26,000 total guns from 1994 through 2011. Aside from the 4,800 target .22 pistols, the guns produced have been approximately 4,500 imported AK47 type rifles (Arsenal and Armory), about 10,000 AR-15 type rifles (High Standard), and less than 500 .45 ACP High Standard marked pistols made in the Philipines. There have been some other types made (maybe AMT .22 (Ram Line) and Automag), but I don't have information on them.

As far as other High Standard clones go, Pastucek Industries produced 11,387 pistols under the Mitchell and Forth Worth brands, and Stoeger produced 1,173 pistols.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:29 PM
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Thank you HSWayne. Might it be possible to refine some of the info to be more specific to the Victor, or more particularly, these various companies that offered a pistol called a "Victor".
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:06 PM
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Victor Clones

Pastucek Industries made Mitchell Arms 5.5 inch Victor clones using the name Victor II from 1993-1994. After the lawsuit by Houston High Standard, the name was changed to Sovereign and all High Standard nomenclature was dropped. The list price for the Victor was $600.

In 1994, a group of pistols were made as special editions for the High Standard Collectors Association. Jim Spacek was the HSCA person who had these produced. They were available as wood cased individual guns, in cased three guns sets, and cased six gun sets. The guns were the Sport King, Sharpshooter, 7.5 inch Citation, 5.5 inch Trophy, Olympic, and 4.5 inch barreled Victor. The slides on the guns were marked as High Standard Collector Association Special Edition.

Pastucek Industries made 5.5 inch Victor clones under the Fort Worth brand from 1995 to 2000. I think these were also marked Sovereign. The list price was $473.

Stoeger Industries sold PRO Series 95 Victor clones with 5.5 inch barrels from 1995-1996, These had a list price of $595.

I do not have production numbers for any of these Victor clones.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:35 PM

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Not to go too far off topic, so how rare is a Houston 10X?
Anyone know how many were made?
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by John Stimson View Post
I tried to correct all the obvious errors in the original post but the original post was so long and my corrections so extensive, that before I was half done, I had caused the post to greatly exceed the number of characters allowed by this forum for a single post. Lets just say that there is a lot of opportunity for improvement.
John -
If you want to send me your corrections by email I'll break the original into pieces and repost.
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