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    1. · Registered
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      spinout:

      Where they are made is a big cost driver (because of the collectors). The premium location for guns made after the Supermatic is Hamden, Connecticut. Next is East Hartford, Conneticut, where Hi Std eventually died. The last guns from there were spotty in quality with the worst being the ones with the screw takedown instead of the button.

      The letter guns are mostly pre-1950. Some had exposed hammers. Later guns have a hidden hammers and really are the guns that made the high Standard reputation for competition accuracy. Along the way we had lever takedown guns, then button takedown guns and in the final day in Connecticut we had the screw takedown guns. Among all these we had various levels of finish and sights and barrel weights and compensators. The top of the line of the factory built guns were the Victory and the Trophy.

      In later years a new company with the High Standard name (they owned the name) started up in Houston Texas. Their guns were problematical until recently when they finally got it all together with their raw stainless steel framed guns. Early examples could be feeding nightmares as they had frame tolerance problems only recently overcome. The current raw stainless sTeel framed guns are an excellent choice for competition today. I have one and highly recommend it. It started life as an early Texas gun with serious feeding problems. Recently TX Hi Std fixed the gun for me with a new frame (at their expense) after I had owned the gun for almost ten years of suffering. Its good now!

      In later years Mitchell produced an unauthorized clone in all stainless as did Stoeger. Both were taken to court and lost to Texas Hi Std who owned the name. They were made to stop production. Their products were no match for any Connecticut made Hi Std.

      The HIgh Standard Company and its products are covered in the book by the late Tom Dance. While supposedly all the info presented is not toally correct, you get the idea. Just don't make any bets on the details.

      http://www.amazon.com/High-Standard...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330959013&sr=1-1

      LDBennett
       
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      Here's the basic break down:

      Place of manufacture...Hamden Connecticut made is the first choice and most expensive. East Hartford Conn. second choice, where the ML series guns were made and where Hi Std dies so the last series with a screw take down may be not so good of a choice. For a brand new gun Houston Texas, but not the blued frame models as may of them had ammo feeding problems. For the TX models go with only the raw stainless steel framed current model.

      Grip style....Slant grip earlier models and mIlitary grip that copies the grip angle of the Colt 1911.

      Model number series..... The Supermatic was the first in the series of post WWII guns, They progressed through 102 to 107, then and un-numbered series, the SH series and the ML series. Don't buy any with a last character as a letter as that was supposed to indicate the very last guns made of sub standard parts.

      Model names.... The model with the rib is a Victor and supposedly their top model in the later years. The next one down is the Trophy and it has the sight on a bridge over the slide and no rib. The Citation is a lesser finished version and I believe did not have the adjustable trigger (??). I believe they also had the rear sight mounted on the slide and that detracts from the accuracy. The basic difference over the years was finish. Earlier examples had a more polished finish than the later guns in any model.

      Takedown methods.... Early versions had a lever under the barrel used for removal of the barrel from the frame. Later versions had a button for take down. And the very last models used a screw under the barrel for take down similar to the current Buckmarks.

      Condition....The value of these guns is in their condition. The more pristine the higher the price. Hamden guns go for the top dollar if pristine and Trophys and Victor are also more expensive. ML guns are usually priced lower as collectors perceive them as having lesser quality but that has not been my experience.

      Guns to stay away from... The very last series with the screw take down as Hi Std was dying and pushing out product to try to stay alive. Any of the clone guns (except the very latest raw stainless steel framed Houston TX guns) including the Stoegers and the Mitchells. They loose value fast and some were problematical and the companies have discontinued them after a legal fight with Houston TX Hi Std Co. that Stoeger and the Mitchell lost. Most of the clones were not up to Conn Hi Std quality. The latest stainless steel framed TX guns are as accurate as almost any of the originals.

      Things to watch out for.... a crack in the frame on the top of the frame, right side from the mag well to the machined out area where the slide hold back latch lives. These guns are fragile and do not like High or Hyper Velocity ammo. They will crack the frame from fatigue failure eventually if Hi or Hyper ammo is used AND the recoil spring is not changed out regularly. The recoil spring works inside a cavity in the slide and wears rapidly reducing its effectiveness. It then fails to properly absorb the recoil and the frame gets beat up, eventually cracking. Only shoot Standard Velocity in these guns and replace the recoil spring regularly. It is tough to know the past history of this with a used gun and the damage to the gun is unseen and cumulative. The gun you are looking at might be only a few shots away from cracking the frame if it was abused with the use of Hi or Hyper Vel ammo.

      Parts and repairs.... almost any part you can name is available from the current TX Hi Std Company for almost any post WWII gun. The parts can be ordered direct from TX Hi Std or from Brownells. TX Hi Std offers a repair service for their version and originals but will NOT repair Stoegers or Mitchells.

      Pricing..... the base is about $500 for a good gun of a lower model and can go well above $1200 for a collector desirable model. The ML series East Hartford models are good guns and are probably the best value for a shooter. Trophies and Victors are the ones to have as they have all the bells and whistles and are better finished than the lesser models including the Citation. I would recommend the Trophy or the Victor in a military grip from either Hamden or East Hartford in superb condition with only a little honest to no wear as a shooter. Do inspect the gun for a cracked frame (a cracked frame gun is only good as a parts gun).

      Magazine....These guns have no feed ramp and the cartridge goes from the magazine directly into the chamber. As such, the magazine lip adjustments are critical. The only mags that work reliably are originals and the current TX mags made in the last couple of years. Other mags, like Triple K mags and earlier TX mags, do not have hardened lips and loose their tune and cause feeding problems.

      Ammo....the least expensive most accurate readily available ammo you can buy for a Hi Std is CCI Standard Velocity ammo. Others may work but new TX mags come pre-tuned for that ammo. CCI Standard Velocity ammo is a very common ammo for club level Bullseye match shooting and excellent for target shooting.

      Hope this helps but there is a bunch more info on these guns (not all perfectly correct as I am told by real collectors) in the Tom Dance book on High Standards.

      http://www.amazon.com/High-Standard...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338125239&sr=1-1

      LDBennett
       
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      jon p:

      Maybe a collector needs the pristine Duramatic and has a good ML Hi Std he might trade for it (with cash from you, of course). But this time do your research. The Tom Dance book is as good as any to get info on the different series Hi Std pistols.

      http://www.amazon.com/High-Standard...UTF8&qid=1370867507&sr=1-1&keywords=Tom+Dance

      But don't buy until you can be assured the frame of these guns is not cracked. If abused with High or Hyper Velocity ammo and a worn recoil spring they will eventually fatigue crack the frame on the top of the frame between the magazine well and the machined out recess on the right side of the gun for the slide lock back feature. Also extra magazine for the gun are worthless and trouble if not original Hi Std or new Houston Texas Hi Std magazines (NO Triple K magazines from gun shows). Do a search here to find the post that explains how to tell the difference.

      Good luck.

      LDBennett
       
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      thanks!

      jon p:

      Maybe a collector needs the pristine Duramatic and has a good ML Hi Std he might trade for it (with cash from you, of course). But this time do your research. The Tom Dance book is as good as any to get info on the different series Hi Std pistols.

      http://www.amazon.com/High-Standard...UTF8&qid=1370867507&sr=1-1&keywords=Tom+Dance

      But don't buy until you can be assured the frame of these guns is not cracked. If abused with High or Hyper Velocity ammo and a worn recoil spring they will eventually fatigue crack the frame on the top of the frame between the magazine well and the machined out recess on the right side of the gun for the slide lock back feature. Also extra magazine for the gun are worthless and trouble if not original Hi Std or new Houston Texas Hi Std magazines (NO Triple K magazines from gun shows). Do a search here to find the post that explains how to tell the difference.

      Good luck.

      LDBennett
      i really appreciate the very sound advice!! you have pointed me in the right direction. JON P
       
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      5spotter:

      A book that has lots of pictures and a history of the High Standard Co. of Connecticut is the one by Tom Dance:

      http://www.amazon.com/High-Standard...UTF8&qid=1382183618&sr=1-1&keywords=tom+dance

      The real expert here is John Stimson. He has copies of shipping records, engineering drawings, and decades of Hi Std collecting experience. He says that Tom's book has some errors in it but if the book is used as a guide to finding and understanding the model sequences then it is fine, in my opinion. It has info on serial numbers and production years but John's web page is much more accurate. Tom's story of Hi Std also has some errors in it but, hey, nothing is perfect. We're not betting our life on his data or story so it is a good book for a pretty complete over view. It starts with the first Supermatic from the 1950's. The earlier hammer guns and letter series guns are not covered. Also, it stops at the demise of the Connecticut version of the company.

      There is today a new Hi Std Company in Houston Texas that owns the name and that makes, among other things, a clone of the original guns (107 model) based on some of the original engineering which they also own. They started out with problems but their latest version with the raw stainless steel frame is an excellent target gun. I have one of the latest versions and it is a match for the Connecticut guns. The earlier TX guns can have feeding problem due to a mag well position in the frame caused by a quality issue during manufacture of the frame. Not all guns suffered the problem but enough did that they are bit of a gamble to buy. But not the latest raw stainless frame version. It is great.

      There are also unauthorized and now extinct after litigation clones sold by Stoeger, Mitchell, and third company also in Texas. In general, they do not match real Hi Std guns, either made in Connecticut or Texas.

      LDBennett
       
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      harvey:

      There have been several different model series for the Victors and other Hi Std target guns over the years. The ML serial numbered guns were first produced in Hamden then later East Hartford. Any Hamden made Hi Std seems to get better re-sale value to collectors. The East Hartford ML guns are the best value for that reason for a shooter. The quality and accuracy is the same. The ML series was the next to the last series from Connecticut Hi Std before they closed their doors in the early 1980's.

      If you are interested in the variations through time of all of the Hi Std target guns then the Tom Dance book is good for that but some of the dating and serial number information is not totally correct. For that go to the John Stimson site:

      http://www.highstandard.info

      https://www.amazon.com/High-Standar...1-fkmr0&keywords=High+Standard+guns+tom+dance

      The magazine offered to you is wrong. There are two magazine series for the later guns. Those for the slant grip models and those for the military grip models and are not interchangeable. But all are the same width and are different only in the base plate. For the most part, the mag bodies are the same. Over the decades of the existence of Hi Std target gun there were several different magazine lip configurations.

      If you want a new magazine then don't buy gun show new mags as they are almost always are Triple K with non-hardened mag lips. Today I suggest the new mags from Interarmstx. They represent a couple decades of progress in magazine design by Alan Aronstein who previously ran Hi Std of Houston Texas. Those here who have tried them say they are the best yet short of original Connecticut Hi Std mags. Maybe even better???

      Why are there so many problems with magazines and feeding ammo to Hi Std Target guns? The design relies heavily on the magazine lips getting the bullet nose lined up perfectly with the chamber on entry. Most guns use a long feeding ramp to give the magazine lips more tolerance in adjustment. But Hi Std's have only a tiny feed ramp in the frame that does little to guide the bullet to the chamber. So the lips must be perfectly adjusted, much more so than almost any other common and popular 22LR pistol. Once hardened mag lips are adjusted, they rarely if ever need re-adjustment and these guns return stellar accuracy and handling. These are great guns when running properly.

      LDBennett
       
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      edmyakka:

      Probably one of the best books to get an overview of the High Standard family of guns is the Dance book:

      https://www.amazon.com/High-Standar...&qid=1478434153&sr=1-1&keywords=high+standard

      The guns were made from before WWII until the mid 1980's and later in a Houston Texas version until recently. There were illegal clones (in the sense of unauthorized copies later removed from the market place by a court case) from Mitchells and Stoeger, made after the 1980's closure of the Connecticut Hi Std Company.

      Early guns had fixed barrels while later guns had various forms of removable barrels:lever, small button, large button, screw takedowns. Early guns had a rather slanted grip close in angle to a modern Ruger MK I & II while later guns had a grip angle that matched a Colt 1911. Some models have rear sights that ride on the slide, some have a rear sight on a small bridge over the slide at the rear of the frame and others have a rail the extends from the muzzle to the rear of the frame where the sights reside. Some have adjustable sear springs which effect the trigger pull force. Most have wood grips. More expensive earlier models are highly polished and deeply blued while others are more matt in finish but blued. All are blued guns except some versions of the Houston Texas guns. There are at least three sites in Connecticut where they were made, the last ones being Hamden and East Hartford and also the Houston Texas versions. The model names were Trophy, Victor, Citation, Olympic, Sport King, Field King, Supermatic, and a couple other names and the letter designations used on earlier model prior to the 1950's.The Dramatic is not a target gun, is a plinker model, and shares nothing with all the target versions as it is a totally different gun made for the masses and on the cheap. Sears sold one version of the Dramatic under their brand name.

      My point is there where a lot of variations and while the Dance book has some errors in it, it is basically a good starting point to understand the variations and models. My edition is dog eared and I am a shooter not a collector. By the way the value of any Hi Std pistol is driven by collectors who pursue hamden guns first, East Hartford guns second. They shun the very last screw take down guns, Dramatics, the Houston Texas guns, and any of the clones. The best value for a shooter is the East Hartford SH guns as they still maintained the Hi Std accuracy, just not the super finish of most of the Hamden guns.

      The pricing varies from model to model but ranges from about $500 to upwards of $1500+. East Hartford SH Trophys and Victors are priced around $800 for nice ones. The Sport King and Field King can be found for under $500.But pricing varies a bit based on your location. East Coast pricing seems to be lower than West Coast pricing as Hi Std's seem to be rarer on the West Coast. But the internet tends to minimize the difference in more recent times.

      But their can be problems too. They must only use Standard Velocity ammo like CCI Std Vel. The recoil spring MUST !!! be changed out every 10 to 15 thousand rounds. A new-to-you Hi Std needs the recoil spring changed. Stick with the OEM springs of the same force as original. DO NOT shoot High or Hyper Velocity ammo in these guns.

      I have a Hamden Supermatic Field King, an East Hartford SH Victor, and a late stainless steel framed Houston Texas Trophy. All are excellent guns and accurate with excellent triggers. I love my Hi Std's and they are my go-to guns for accurate fun 22LR shooting.

      Enjoy!

      LDBennett
       
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      Discussion Starter · #4 ·
      Ouch - I can fully understand that.

      Maybe I will send him a message - if I start out with a high quality copy of each of those pages, I can use Photoshop to add a light gray "watermark" that would be extremely difficult to hide or modify. It would be easy to do - just do a high resolution scan of each page, add the watermark, and mail or email the resulting image back to John.

      I've got a stack of High Standard printouts of varying quality, and absolutely no idea of where they originally came from. Not only do they not give anyone credit for creating them, they are so blurry the images are not all that useful.

      I ordered this book from Amazon late last night:
      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0917218477/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      I figure it's a start in learning more about these guns.

      Thank you for the update. :)
       
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      For details like this you need to get the Tom Dance book on Hi Std target pistols:

      https://www.amazon.com/High-Standar...tom+Dance+High+Standard&qid=1632600103&sr=8-1

      My understanding is only the first in the post 1950's Hi Std guns is the Supermatic series (according to Tom Dance?). There were a total of 10 series in total, mostly numbered, starting with the Supermatic and ending up the SH series, spread from about 1951 to the mid 1980's.

      The Supermatic actual gun was the top of the line in 1951.There was also the Olympic, the Field King, followed by the Sport King. Thee were lever takedown and contrasted by the later button takedown and the much later (SH only) screw takedown.

      Models in later series included the Trophy, Citation, Tournaament, Flite King, Sharpshooter, and the later top of the line, The Victor.

      The key to understanding the Hi Std pistol models and series is the Tom Dance book. Before you buy another Hi Std get educated. The difference between models and series can be large (like slant grip vs. Military grip) or simply sight difference or finish differences or added features like adjustable trigger pull weight.

      Don't treat the Dance book as a bible but only as a guide. John Stimson, who reports here as SGVictor, has many more details and info that he offers up here occasionally. He also has some of the engineering drawings.

      The NEW High Standard Company of Houston Texas (earlier factory in Connecticut until mid 1980's) made a clone but recently went into bankruptcy. The man (employee) behind the manufacture of those guns is Alan Aronstein of Interarms Texas. Today he is an agent for the newest clone (10-X) and sells parts and service for many of the earlier Hi Std guns.

      It takes the Dance book to get a real handle on all the variations over the years. I have two 107 series guns, a Texas Trophy and a Connecticut Victor as well as a Supermatic series Field King. All are great guns. I am not a collector but a fun shooter with many target 22LR pistols, all used regularly. But I love my Hi Std pistols for their accuracy and the great triggers.

      LDBennett
       
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      6_Long:

      If you find a problem with revealing your serial numbers on line (here or directly with John Stimson) then a less accurate source would be the serial number charts in the Tom Dance book:

      https://www.amazon.com/High-Standar...d=1643123421&sprefix=tom+dance,aps,182&sr=8-1

      The ML and SH series were the last series of the target versions of these guns. The ML series was produced in both Hamden and East Hartford. But since you say your ML is an East Hartford product, that limits its time of production to ABOUT (!!) the late 1970's to early 1980's. High Standard moved to East Hartford in the late 1970's and went out of business in the mid 1980's. John Stimson does not like the info provided by Tom Dance as he finds some inaccuracies in it. But how important is it to know the exact day and to whom the gun shipped to? Getting to within 10 years seems close enough for me.

      All the Connecticut Hi Std target pistols are fine guns regardless of where they were made. But collectors are purist and give less credence to guns made in East Hartford. Hence, their value is less than Hamden guns. Collectors, unfortunately, force up the prices of many great shooting guns. In some cases, so high the average shooter can not afford them. Try buying a Colt SAA or a Winchester lever gun. Hi Std guns are still just affordable for most of us.

      I have an ML Victor and a Houston Texas Trophy along with a 1950's Supermatic Field King. All shoot with the same accuracy, all have triggers to kill for. All are great guns for shooting. I do NOT "collect" guns and care little about collectors perceived value as I'll never sell them! All my many guns get shot, valuable or not. I bought them because I wanted them and not to fill a hole in a collection or to profit from their purchase. But everybody gets to do their own thing, no matter what I think about it!

      LDBennett

      PS: I do collect vintage cameras, though. My collection is very limited and small compared to some. But vintage cameras are only usable to those who wish to use film. So it is not like I am cornering the market on a highly usable item. (Most do work based on some minimal testing I have done). My actual camera work is done with modern digital cameras and Photoshop.
       
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