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Houston High Standard?

1220 Views 20 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  tangeant
Hello High Standard fans,

I have recently gotten interested in High Standard target pistols after many years of ignoring them. I know that the Mitchell Arms version of the guns has a poor reputation, but I'm wondering about the Houston models. Any opinions? Are they as good as the original?

Best,
Bill
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Apparently, there was (is?) quite a bit hit and miss in the Tx HS pistols. That being said, mine hasn't really given me any serious problems, except with the old firing pin desing which tended to cause firing pin breakage. That problem was solved with the new model firing pins though. Mine is accurate and reliable, but the finish is not comparable to a Hamden one. Others have reported nothing but misery with theirs, so...
 

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I had a used Victor that at first was not very reliable but after reading Jaybar's web site and learned how to adjust the mag lips it was very reliable.
I just traded it because I needed the money to buy an Anschutz rifle. I would
not be afraid to buy another Houston gun.
 

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All--

I have often wished that some highly reputable outfit with great design and engineering folks would BUY High Standard and return these firearms to their former glory PLUS provide an unmatched level of integrity and customer service.

And, wouldn't it be great if this hypothetical outfit could gear-up to support the obsolete models?

Volquartsen comes to mind.

--seal killer
 

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About six years ago I bought a new Texas Hi Std Trophy. It immediatley had feeding problems but kept tempting me with excellent accuracy. To make a long story short (it took a year of fooling around to finally solve the problem) my gun was not made to any blue prints Hi Std ever made. The frame was too tall, not allowing the magazine to seat high enough to reliably feed ammo. The mistake was in the order of 0.1 inches, well beyound the ability of the magazine lips to be adjusted. My fix was to modify the magazines so that they seated higher (to the correct point). Standard barrels from earlier Hi Stds would not fit it either, as Volquartsen found out when they inspected my gun.

Seems simple, just send it back, but the current management of TX Hi Std lied and lied and lied some more during the time they were making the gun. Nothing short of an influential dealer threats got me the gun in the first place and I certainly was not going to send it back to them so they could sit on it for months and months and pass it back as fix when it wasn't (others had this problem). I understand they are better made today (???) but the management is the real problem. There have been more than a several stories here about these people. The problems with these guns also includes the Shea tuned ones too, apparently.

A word to the wise: Find a very clean Hamden gun, pay the price, and you'll be a lot happier.

LDBennett
 

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Keep in mind that the older High Std also were finicky about mags. They also
can experience cracked frames if the gun had a steady diet of High Vol ammo.
The important part about them is that you shoot std Vol ammo only and that
you have the recoil spring changed. You don't know how many rds were shot
with a older High Std so you don't know what condition the spring is in. IMO
even though the Older models are a work of art IMO you would be better off
with a nice Smith 41.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ftstinyc said:
Keep in mind that the older High Std also were finicky about mags. They also
can experience cracked frames if the gun had a steady diet of High Vol ammo.
The important part about them is that you shoot std Vol ammo only and that
you have the recoil spring changed. You don't know how many rds were shot
with a older High Std so you don't know what condition the spring is in. IMO
even though the Older models are a work of art IMO you would be better off
with a nice Smith 41.
I've had several 41's and used to shoot 'em in bullseye matches before I went Euro (Benelli, Walther). 41's are not bad pistols, but utterly lacking in aesthetics, in my eyes. Lots of guys used various HS's but I ignored them until I bought a beautiful, mint in box 106 Tournament recently, and now I want a good Victor, just for fun.

I've heard the stories about cracked frames and actually knew a competitor who had it happen.

Bill
 

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LDBennett, if you are correct about the difference being .100", that's a BIG variance in design when you're talking about machine tolerances. If that's true, then Houston has actually redesigned the pistols, and I haven't heard that anywhere else. It's really hard to "accurately screw up" a part like that. If it's screwed up, it screws up really big and won't even fit let alone function.

So what I would like to see is someone who is "in the know" report here about any changes in DESIGN when Houston took over.
At the same time for those of you who have any of the HighStandards, 99% of feeding problems comes from the magazines (feed lips), and that can be adjusted.

In the end, I'm skeptical about Houston changing the design of the HS, particularly by making the mag well longer. The only reason for that would be to increase mag capacity, and they're only advertising 9 round capacity now.
Then again, if they did change the design where even the original barrels won't fit, then I'd say "screw it" and forget about owning any Houston HS's.
My two (a Victor and a Trophy) are both Hartfords so I guess I should count myself lucky.

Mark
 

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Mark:

Others here tell me it was an error and later versions are now correct. I was just lucky enough to get one of the "good" ones.

To start off with, the Volquartsen barrel I got for it would not fit correctly so I set the gun to Volquartsen. They told me the spec for the frame did not match original Hi Std's and removed compatibility of their barrels with the TX guns. I further investigated it myself and compared it to my Hamden Field King and the magazine was too low in the frame to allow the slide to pick up the top round. I fixed the problem by pulling the bottom off each magazine and making a new bottom that allowed the magazine to rise in the frame so as to match the Hamden gun. The gun then started feeding. I don't remember the exact amount (lost sketch) but it was of that order of magnitude and no amount of bending of the lips would allow it to feed. The fact that the Volquartsen barrel would not fit without modification to the barrel stud shows a frame dimensional problem in my gun.

With a normal company it would have been no problem to return the gun, even after the year of fooling around that it took to uncover the real problem but the management of the TX firm is a real "work". As I stated earlier they lied through their teeth many times as to the manufacture status to me and others. It got so bad the office girl snapped at me because she apparently spent all day defending their lies and was tied of it. Apparently, she quit and they eventually quit answering the phone all together. The dealer had some influence somehow and got the gun for me (after asking me if I really wanted the gun). I would not trust these people with the gun after what it took to get it. Others who sent theirs in, according to what I have read here, waited months for it to return, often not fixed. Maybe things have changed but up to a year ago I was still hearing horror stories about TX Hi Std.

I feel obligated to warn others. Believe what you will, this is just my experience.

LDBennett
 

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I've owned 2 Mitchells and one Texas HS. The Mitchells have been almost flawless, not the least bit ammo picky, and scary accurate. The Texas HS was accurate, but that's all it had going for it. I never , and I mean never, made it thru a whole mag with out a FTF. It came with 3 mags, I had all of them worked over, bent and rebent. Finally just let it go at a big loss. Granted, that was just one example and I could have gotten a lemon, but it was enough to sour me on the Texas HS's.
 

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grandparem:

Is someone making a taller magazine for the TX Hi Std????? I made my own to fit my guns exact problem. See above for my modification.

By the way, I took mine to the range today. The feeding problem virtually disappeared with the surplus Czech Target ammo (Sellier & Bellot 22 LR REX) I bought a few month ago when used in my modified magazines. The gun did not like Wolf Match Extra and fed Blazer almost as well as as most of my other 22 semi-auto pistols, but not quite. The Czech stuff worked almost flawlessly. I had forgotten how accurate the TX Hi Std was. The accuracy was very little different between the Czech, the Wolf and the Blazer. The gun is an equilizer for ammo! Glad I kept it and modified the magazines! I think the return spring may be a little weak as it was spraying burnt powder and occassionally not closing the slide all the way. I'll investigate a new heavier recoil spring when I get some time.

LDBennett
 

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Don't bother, I got the only good one they made in Houston. Lucky, I guess.
I got a Houston High Standard Citation a few years ago (s/n 26002xx), and it has been fine. I got it used for $280, thinking it would be a nice shooter to save wear and tear on my "real" ones.

I had that same plan with the Mitchell Trophy I bought a couple of years prior to that, and that plan didn't work out so well.

This Houston Citation is much better. It functions (that alone puts it ahead of the Mitch), and shoots nice groups. It sure isn't as pretty as a real HS, but that doesn't really matter in this case.

Like everyone else, I would not advise getting one, however.
It seems like I got THE good one.
 

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grandparem said:
Has anyone got their hands on the new taller mags. and tried them? If so, lets hear from you.
I got two of the new "A" mags straight from Houston. One with just a little bit of adjusting works just as good as an original. The second one is still a total failure. I'mgoing to file on it to kick the rim straight up and adjust more on the front lips to guide the cartridge more straight in. One front lip is thinner metal and does not take to adjusting. The rear lips are thicker and difficult to adjust.

To catch up to date on the new TXHS-A mags on this thread, They work! Success on the difficult one. Look elsewhere for the full story.
 
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