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Old 06-29-2019, 06:07 AM

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Relationship between Browning and High Standard Design?

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I was looking at older Browning Medalist and Challenger models today on Gunbroker and was struck by the external similarities in design between those pistols and the High Standards I recently purchased. This is a question borne of rank inexperience, but are the design similarities any more than two companies trying to perfect similar concepts at the same time? After all, cars all have four wheels, but it doesn't mean that a Porche and a Dodge have anything else in common.

I was looking at, I don't know, the open breech, the extractor location, the occasional gold colored trigger and so on. Is this any more than parallel lines of engineering and marketing departments trying to crack similar problems?

Just "newbie" curiosity . . .
n00by is now flangster on RFC -- still a newbie though

Last edited by flangster; 06-29-2019 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 06-29-2019, 07:12 AM
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Hi Std used what was known to work from a John Browning design. By the time the Hi Std's entered the market place (as a single shot!) Browning patents had expired.

There are reasons for the placement of controls. The safety must be under the thumb. The slide release is better if operated by the finger on the right side of the gun. The open breech minimizes jams. The extractor directs the empties out of the gun and should be to the side, not back into the face of the shooter.

Most guns today follow the designs made famous by John Browning. He died in the 1920's but held hundreds of gun patents. He originally did rifles models for Winchester (1886, 1892, 1894, 1895 shotguns, single shots, 22's). Later he did designs for Colt and FN in Belgium (pocket pistols, 1911, Woodsman, Hi Power).

John Browning was the gun genius that gave us most of the basic designs of today. Winchester and Colt (and many others) still sell his gun designs today. Remember he was only educated to the elementary school level. He designed the guns in his head and made models without the aid of paper and pencil designing. He sold the designs to Winchester, Remington, Colt, and FN. Today's Browning Company is the legacy of him. Look him up on YouTube for his life story.

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Old 06-29-2019, 09:37 AM

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The High Standard, and the Browning blow-back .22s, are essentially refinements of the original Colt Woodsman (although it wasn't called Woodsman at first). While the Brownings certainly borrow from the Woodsman layout, the original High Standard was even more derivative. Comments on this forum often note that the magazines for the early Woodsman fit the first High Standard, Model B.

That first High Standard was a continuation of the Hartford Arms .22 auto pistol, designed by Lucius Diehm, who worked at Colt for awhile, I think. It's debateable whether his design was a genuine effort to improve on the Colt layout (especially in takedown), or whether his design was a way to get a similar gun on the market that avoided Colt/Browning patents.

It has struck me that High Standard, kept updating its pistol designs at a fairly rapid pace, compared to what most guns companies do. Was this either to distance themselves from the Hartford Arms era, or to make a gun more distinctive from the Woodsman? I mean, after only a few years, they switched to an external hammer (H series), then after the war quickly developed the removable barrel (which apparently came about via the development of the failed .380 gun).
And then there was the quick progression of frame development, and barrel attachments, eventually leading to the military grip guns of the 1960s.
By comparison, Colt's Woodsman progressed at a snail's pace, with only three main design types over its history.
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