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Old 06-23-2019, 09:03 AM
flangster

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Are all "The Victors" Created Equal?



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I am dipping my toe into the High Standard world for the first time, and have been looking at the Victor and Supermatic pistols. I am a shooter/plinker, not a collector so condition is less important to me than accuracy. There is quite a range of prices that I see on GB, which is mainly where I am looking. Hamden and East Hartford are the easiest distinctions that I see.

In terms of functionality and accuracy were all Victors created equal, once you are down from the 10-X nosebleed heights? Obviously, a lot will depend on how a particular pistol was treated by previous owner(s), but if you wanted a pistol that was good to shoot, that would compete well with a Model 41 or a tricked out Ruger Mk pistol, what would you look for or shy away from?

Of course, I am chasing the memory fo a Victor that came up for sale here on the TP a couple of years ago for what now seems like a reasonable price. I was tapped out at the time and let it go . . . sigh. But GB is there to remind me of my folly . . .

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Old 06-23-2019, 02:17 PM
matchgrade
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I don't consider myself a HS expert but I've been fiddlin' with a few over the years. I think you could consider all the Victors equal in terms of accuracy but conventional wisdom is that quality started to slide upon the move to East Hartford. If I were Victor shopping I would be looking for a Hamden specimen. The last series, East Hartford SH prefix seems to be where quality began to get particularly spotty. The SH series has a screw takedown feature instead of the pushbutton. The earliest of the Hamden guns have a steel vent rib, I think the later aluminum rib looks better and is obviously lighter but to each his own. I regularly shoot a Victor 5.5" in weekly bullseye league and it's no slouch, equal to my Smith 41 for sure. I think the HS trigger is actually a little better but that could vary from gun to gun. Good luck with your search.
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:43 PM
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The fairy tale in Tom Dance's book where he says that quality changed with the move to East Hartford is just that. The reality is that the decline was a gradual thing as far as appearance goes - specifically the level of polish. The mechanical parts were just the same. But briefly just after the move the records show an increased level of scrap which might be interpreted as new employees learning their jobs. Some old hands did commute to the new factory. I would probably avoid guns in the immediate few months after the move on the suspicion that these might be less than optimum but I cannot prove that. I just don't care fro the screw takedown or pushbutton takedown guns in the "SH" serial number range. Things appear to have really fallen apart in late 1983 when the stopped making several models including the Model 10-X. The pushbutton takedown "SH"serial number guns appear t all be made after September 1983.

Because of Dance's condemnation of the East Hartford guns there is less demand which provides you an opportunity for a better price for a shooter.
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:29 AM
LDBennett
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The ML series East Hartford guns are the equal of the earlier Hamden gun for accuracy and reliability. They are a bargain Hi Std gun for the shooter. Only collectors claim they are lesser guns than the Hamden guns. Shooters win this time with the ML series East Hartford guns.

I have both an East Hartford ML Victor and Houston Texas Trophy and there is no difference in fit or finish. I also have a 1950's Hamden Field King and all three guns reflect the same fit and finish. All shoot well. Of course the Victor and Trophy have slightly better adjustable triggers which are bit better than my S&W Model 41 trigger.

As a newby to Hi Std pistols I would like you to know that there are a few rules to follow to avoid the possibility of cracking the frame (several Hi Std series have a propensity for a frame crack if abused). Firstly, only shoot Standard Velocity ammo. A good choice for the least expensive, readily available, reliable, and accurate Std Vel ammo is CCI Standard Velocity.

Secondly, the recoil spring must be replaced when its force is reduced by 10% from new. A common alternative is to replace the recoil spring after 10 to 15 thousand rounds. Use only the OEM 5.5 pound spring or the Wolfe variable rate 6 pound spring.

Magazine lips are critical for these guns as they control the feeding of ammo. When not perfectly adjusted the soft bullet nose bumps the edge of the chamber, deforms, and then fails to fully seat in the chamber causing misfires or jams. Original mags works good as do the latest new ones from intertearms.com (Alan Aronstein) when correctly adjusted. The gun show bargain Triple K mags often do not hold the mag lips in the right "tune" for long. The former mag lips are hardened and previous Triple K mag lips were not.

Here's to good Hi Std shooting!

LDBennett
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:42 AM
flangster

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RFC comes through again! Thanks, guys. This is exactly the sort of info I was looking for. Very helpful, and most appreciated.

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Old 07-04-2019, 08:36 AM
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Help on Wolf Springs for Victor SH Model

More good input for us “HS” new/first time owners. I recently acquired an E HARTFORD Victor in good condition and it functioned very well when I used “5” rounds in a mag, but did have an occasional problem when I loaded “10” rounds in the mag using 3 different brands of std vel ammo. I did break it down and cleaned it prior to it’s first outing. As noted in a couple other threads, there are Wolf Service Kits & Recoil Springs available which I planned to acquire . . . Replacing the recoil spring as a starting point. However those kits state they are for the push button model and mine has the hex head screw for takedown. Brownell’s Part 969-447-060WB & 969-691-910WB were the ones I was looking at.

Does the SH Victor require a different spring kit & recoil spring?
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:56 AM
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Springs

The same spring kit works for both series.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:15 AM
TAB
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Unless Wolff has changed things in the last year or so, the sear spring in their High Standard spring kit is for the nonadjustable trigger pistols.

The Victor and the other models with an adjustable trigger pull weight use a different sear spring.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:30 AM
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Thanks for the input, I have ordered the Service Kit & Recoil Spring and I saw that comment about the sear spring in the Brownell’s reviews as well so point taken. . I plan to only replace the recoil spring to start with and should be able to get that done with the assistance of the great videos in the stickies.

Another plug for the wealth of knowledge on the RFC and willingness to share their experience with others. It’s nice to be able to venture into new areas quickly work through the initial challenges. . While I have a very long way to go . . . I have learned a lot about High Standards just reading threads on the RFC and the referenced links to work done by many experienced users. . .
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:12 PM
Mklluser
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New to High Standard

Everyone here was new to High Standard once... Before I knew better I had purchased High Standard Victors from East Hartford, some with SH prefixes but as my MO dictates, some were NIB and the rest were 97% and above. I like and pay extra for quality. HI Standard pistols ( Victors and SUpermatic Trophys) that I have owned are sensitive to magazines and ammunition. I would give more for any of the models previously mentioned if functionality could be verified Nothing sours my opinions like a jammomatic. Thus... a working functioning example is a joy to own and worth more to me. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware. Good hunting.
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