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Old 04-07-2021, 05:07 PM
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Need Advice On High Standard Sport King 103



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I found a High Standard Sport King all original with the red & yellow box, 1 magazine in fair condition. Box and gun are marked 103.
It is the shorter barreled gun.
I know absolutely nothing about these but am somehow fascinated by it.
Is there anything in particular I should especially check?
Is there anything I should watch out for?
It comes with 1 magazine, I understand new replacements are available.
Price is $600 firm, is that a fair price on a 'good' condition gun as described?
Are the there other barrels available that are drop in fitment for this little pistol?
I'm not looking for a target pistol but interested as a fun unusual plinker.
Sorry, no pictures as the shop that has it doesn't allow photos to be taken on the premises.
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:23 PM
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As a starting point in your journey, you may want to pick up a copy of Tom Dance's book "High Standard: A Collector's Guide to the Hamden and Hartford Target Pistols." You'll get an appreciation for the history and development of this highly regarded family of semi auto pistols. Your library may even have a copy of it.

While you'll probably receive plenty of advice in response to your question, I'll only comment on one area: the gun is rated in "good" condition.

There are countless grading systems for firearms. Pricing guides like the "Standard Catalog of Firearms", auction houses, periodicals and even the NRA have well codified systems. "Good" may mean something different for each one, so it may prove meaningful to find out which rating system your LGS uses, if any.

Regardless, the "good" rating will be well down on the food chain from more desirable ratings such as new-in-box, excellent, fine, very good, and others in the rating scheme. This generally means that there would not be much collector interest in the gun, that the finish is 80% or less, repairs and modifications may be allowed, and that, finally, the gun pretty much works and is safe.

A recent edition of the "Standard Catalog of Firearms" the values a 103 Sport King in good condition at $275. Their top rating, excellent, comes in at $350, although I think that the price would realistically be higher based on the run-up of gun values recently. You can do a search on Gunbroker.com to get an idea of actual selling prices for this pistol on a nationwide stage.

Good luck, and pay attention to the responses of things to look out for, especially FRAME CRACKS.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:04 AM
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I think the price is way too high even with the recent increase in gun prices. There is not much interest in Sport Kings among collectors unless it is in pristine condition.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:52 AM
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I'd have to agree that the pricing is too high. But it is still priced well below one of the really collectable versions (Hamden, Trophy, Victor), I would not go for it but that's me and not you. Be aware that condition is paramount in the collector's mind and typically they want pristine or near pristine.

Here's some "Do's and Dont's for any Hi Std Target gun:

Inspect potential purchase for frame crack (runs from top of mag well to recess on frame right side for slide stop...not repairable except to replace entire frame, it seems).

Shoot only Standard Velocity ammo (1080 FPS).

Replace recoil spring initially and every 5 to 10 thousand rounds thereafter.

Keep chamber clean to minimize failures to fire

Avoid most after market magazines (Tripe K) and you can use new Interarms Texas new magazines.

These guns run good when right and require correctly adjusted magazine to avoid jams.

The "MAN" for Hi Std gun productss is Alan Aronstein at Interarms Texas. He is also a sales agent for the newest Hi Std clone.

If it is a shooter you want then the best value for the money is a ML serialized Trophy or Victor. They range in pricing from $800 and up assuming a near pristine condition (condition impacts the pricing seriously). The Sport King is the bottom of the Hi Std line, is not very collectable, and is missing some of the nicer shooting attributes of the Trophy and the Victor. Save your money for the real target Hi Std guns, the Trophy and the Victor. Don't buy anything until you read the Dance book!

LDBennett
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:46 AM
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$600 does seem steep for a Sport King. Then again, five years from now we may look back on such values and think them a bargain ("with original box, wow!"). Who knows.
It does seem in the collecting world there are some competing interests in what constitutes a desirable item. At the time the guns were made, the Sport King was the entry level, steel framed gun, and you'd pay a lot more for a top line Citation or Trophy.
Today, those Citations and Trophies are still desirable, but there are those who want the nostalgia of the quality plinking gun. Early Ruger Single Sixes go for much more than they did 20 years ago. And I guess finding that clean Sport King is a challenge today too, and there are more potential buyers out there than available guns.
Like in cars, there was a time when Volkswagen Beetles and Buses sat rusting behind sheds. Today they're being restored and snapped up for far more money than what were more expensive cars back in the day.
The Sport King (and the old Single Sixes) were carried in holsters out on the farm, back in the day when that was commonplace, and some of us want a piece of that back, even if we weren't around back then.
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:11 AM
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For the purpose you describe (casual plinking) I think a Sport King would be enough of the classic High Standard experience, but without the target/competition oriented features that make other models more expensive.

But, is this THE Sport King for you? I don't know. The price does seem a bit high. A quick glance at completed listings on gunbroker shows that 103 Sport Kings often sell between $250-450, depending on condition and included accessories (box, magazines, barrels, etc.).

I would stick with a large pushbutton takedown model, 103 or 104. If you would consider the "military grip angle" versions, that would include 106 and 107, though I'm not sure if there are Sport Kings available in all of those series.

I don't know these guns or these sellers:
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/895291744
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/895208862
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  #7  
Old Yesterday, 02:10 PM
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Thank you to all who replied.
I decided to pass on this pistol following your advice on the too high price the local pawn shop wanted for it.
However I haven't lost my interest in these neat pistols.
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