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Old 03-14-2020, 08:27 PM
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H-D Military - What to Look For?



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I am moving and all my books are packed away. Also, I have never seen nor touched an H-D Military. I was offered one by a friendís uncle. I am going to look at it next week. I would like to know what I should be on the look out for?

Here is what I know:
Sights are not original. I have a left side photo of it and the front sight is much taller than stock and the rear sight looks quite modern and sticks out like an adjustable wart.

It has a dull finish. It is hard to tell from the photo but it doesnít look blued. It also gave me the impression of being refinished tho that is just an impression I have from the photo I have.

It is supposedly marked US or US Something on the right side. I wonít know for sure until I see it.

It comes with a box with a red label. Donít know for sure if the box is original to the gun but it does say H-D Mlitary.

Any tips for what to look for when I look it over next week would be much appreciated. They are asking $500 but I wonít pay that due to the sights.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2020, 08:45 PM
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If it will help, here are a couple pictures of my 1946 HD-Military.


Last edited by OldChief; 03-14-2020 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Add Pictures
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2020, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChief View Post
If it will help, here are a couple pictures of my 1946 HD-Military.

Thanks for the photos! The photo I have shows much different sights, a dull finish and the stamped lettering on the slide looks like it may have been refinished or have a different type of finish. Iíll be able to determine that better after I see it.
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Old 03-14-2020, 09:01 PM
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My HD looked more modern with higher sights on it. It had a dull flat finish. Barrel was about 5.5 inches. It also had the hammer. Barrel had no cuts in it but was a full bull barrel.
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Old 03-14-2020, 09:09 PM
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Okay, I listened to the owner more than I looked at the photo he sent. It is actually stamped USA Model H-D on the left side. And the label on the box says the same thing. It is a short barrel, it appears to be about 4.5Ē.
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Old 03-14-2020, 09:12 PM
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I was able to upload the photo
Attached Images
File Type: jpg B3EE40AC-DAB0-4F7A-BCB0-DBF261E1CCA4.jpg (524.9 KB, 24 views)
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  #7  
Old 03-14-2020, 09:19 PM
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Mine shot real good. That one doesn't appear used much at all.
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2020, 11:27 PM
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Navy Model

I don't want to get your hopes up TOO Much. It sounds like it COULD be a VERY rare Navy Model !!!!- Alan Aronstein
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Old 03-14-2020, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan Aronstein View Post
I don't want to get your hopes up TOO Much. It sounds like it COULD be a VERY rare Navy Model !!!!- Alan Aronstein
I assume the serial number will tell? Any other markings/features (or lack thereof) I can look for? Is the dull (Parkerized?) finish correct? How about the sights?
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Old 03-15-2020, 05:11 AM
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The rear sight is the Wilhelm design for High Standard.
The barrel is the standard diameter and length with a new front sight that is slightly reminiscent in appearance of the Micro sight used when they installed a Micro rear sight. The Navy special had a .900" diameter bull barrel with the High Standard front sight. The .900" barrel is a little large to have a smooth transition at the frame and this barrel appears to be the standard barrel which would be about .790" at the frame end ( note the original barrel on the old guns were all tapered slightly so the measurement I give is at the frame." The modern bull barrel is the first introduced in the 1960s is the first that was not tapered as I recall.

In general the gun appears to be the wartime training pistol that has been modified much later and the rear sight did not appear until 1958. The later U.S.A. MODEL H-D pistols were parkerized. This pistol appears to be parkerized and does not appear to be refinished.

Yes the serial number can sometimes tell the tale. All serial numbers cannot be found in the records for various reasons including missing pages.

Last edited by SGVictor; 03-15-2020 at 05:20 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-15-2020, 09:19 AM
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HD Picture

I have a 6 3/4" Pistol in that configuration. That is not a Navy Model. I will try to remember everything that Bob Shea told me about the Navy Models. The Navy after WW II had 10,000 HD-USA pistols in the original boxes and NOT Used Condition. The people at Crane decided to modify them to an upgraded Target Pistol and then distribute them to NROTCs at Colleges across the country. Bob received (5) pistols to make into prototypes. He modified the pistols as John has described and also added the trigger stop. He retained (1) in the shop and, he sent (4) back to Crane for approval. Bob kept the (1) that he had in 1984 and, he later sold it to his friend-Pete K. Pete's daughter sold that pistol in Jan 2020 at the HGCA Show. Crane approved the Pistol and sent the first 1,000 Pistols to Hamden for modification. High Standard modified ALL 1,000 pistols and then returned them to Crane. John might be able to verify the year and if the number is correct. Secretary McNemera canceled the program in a budget cut. It is my understanding from Bob and a Navy Chief at Camp Perry that the modified pistols and the remaining 10,000 pistols were ALL sheared in half in their original boxes and sent to the scrap yard !!! I saw and bought a Navy Model at a Houston GS about 10/12 years ago. The last that I know about that pistol is that I let Jim Gray have it. I beleive that they are the rarest HS out there. I assume that it is still in his collection. I am sure that I have left something out.- Alan Aronstein
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2020, 10:37 AM
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I really get ill when I see all the firearms the military/gov'mt have destroyed for no good reason. Really SICK!!

VH
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  #13  
Old 03-15-2020, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Aronstein View Post
I have a 6 3/4" Pistol in that configuration. That is not a Navy Model. I will try to remember everything that Bob Shea told me about the Navy Models. The Navy after WW II had 10,000 HD-USA pistols in the original boxes and NOT Used Condition. The people at Crane decided to modify them to an upgraded Target Pistol and then distribute them to NROTCs at Colleges across the country. Bob received (5) pistols to make into prototypes. He modified the pistols as John has described and also added the trigger stop. He retained (1) in the shop and, he sent (4) back to Crane for approval. Bob kept the (1) that he had in 1984 and, he later sold it to his friend-Pete K. Pete's daughter sold that pistol in Jan 2020 at the HGCA Show. Bob's "Navy Special was based on a Model H-D Military ahd he used the walnut thumbrest grips not the black cellulose acetate plastic grips of the U.S.A. MODEL H-D. This is documented is Petty's works. Crane approved the Pistol and sent the first 1,000 Pistols to Hamden for modification. High Standard modified ALL 1,000 pistols and then returned them to Crane. John might be able to verify the year and if the number is correct. Secretary McNemera canceled the program in a budget cut. It is my understanding from Bob and a Navy Chief at Camp Perry that the modified pistols and the remaining 10,000 pistols were ALL sheared in half in their original boxes and sent to the scrap yard !!! The weren't all sheared as an engineer from Crane NAD ( now Crane Surface Warfare Center) stopped by the High Standard Collectors association booth at the NRA annual meeting in April last year, He had found a number of the various pistols and was trying the get a small "museum" to show some of Cranes history. Mike Mead former HSCA member and employee at Crane said that they still had these guns but that was probably 20 years ago. I have seen several in private hands. I saw and bought a Navy Model at a Houston GS about 10/12 years ago. The last that I know about that pistol is that I let Jim Gray have it. I believe that they are the rarest HS out there. There was a number of production guns that had total production of 1 - Unique- and a number more that had single digit total production. I assume that it is still in his collection. I am sure that I have left something out.- Alan Aronstein
.
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  #14  
Old 03-15-2020, 03:20 PM
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I'm not too knowledgeable when it comes to High Standards, I collect S&W revolvers, but the pistol in the picture was probably produced sometime in the 50s or early 60s prior to High Standard coming out with the military model with the 1911 angled grip. Without a serial number, it's hard to date it. Still it appears to be in good condition and the older High Standards are getting harder to find. I recently picked up a Supermatic Citation Mod 107 Military that I had been wanting for a very long time. Like I said, they're getting harder to find. Good luck with the one your looking at.
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Old 03-15-2020, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChief View Post
I'm not too knowledgeable when it comes to High Standards, I collect S&W revolvers, but the pistol in the picture was probably produced sometime in the 50s or early 60s prior to High Standard coming out with the military model with the 1911 angled grip. Without a serial number, it's hard to date it. Still it appears to be in good condition and the older High Standards are getting harder to find. I recently picked up a Supermatic Citation Mod 107 Military that I had been wanting for a very long time. Like I said, they're getting harder to find. Good luck with the one your looking at.
The pistol itself is most likely from between 1943 through mid 1945. The customization is from after 1957.
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