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Monday, December 3, 2018

High Standard Bibliography

NOTE:  The other day, a fellow High Standard collector and I were discussing books that have information useful in our search for H S pistols.  Toward that end, I prepared the following list for him.  I thought it might be useful to other people.
Jerry Watson

High Standard Automatic Pistols 1932-1950 by Charles Petty...The Gun Room Press
This is the quintessential beginning primer on all the early models.  Some minor numerical errors as to quantities, but a very good source for information that is not available elsewhere.  Most of the later books and magazine articles quote Charles Perry's quantities, dates and factory information.

The Hi-Standard Pistol Guide by Burr Leyson...Duckett's Publishing
This was written by a gunsmith covering the early models, 1932 through 1953.  This writing contains good background information on the different models with the best illustrations, gunsmithing procedures, repair discussions, and tuning information available on High Standard semi-automatic pistols.  Before you try to fix it, you must read this book first.

Hi-Standard Autoloading Pistols 1951-1984 by Jim Spacek
Hi-Standard Pistols & Revolvers 1951-1984 by Jim Spacek
There were actually three different books written by Spacek.  All were short on written descriptions, but contained copies of lists, diagrams, pictures and previously printed information.  Much of it is from catalogs, and the paperwork that came in the original pistol boxes. There are lists of the different models along with quantities, catalog numbers, and other useful information.

High Standard, A Collector's Guide to the Hamden & Hartford Target Pistols by Tom Dance …Andrew Mowbray Publishers
This is the quintessential primer and the best guide to the later model High Standards.  It has some minor errors, but is the only source for the Supermatic series, Models 101 through 104 and the Military grip guns.  It contains much discussion about the individual models and some factory background.

U.S. Handguns of World War II by Charles W. Pate...Andrew Mowbray Publishers
This is a great book with an excellent section on High Standards made for the military: Model B, Model USA H-D and the USA H-D MS.  There are great pictures and detailed discussions.  This book allows the reader to make comparisons between High Standard pistols and those manufactured by the other U.S. firearms manufacturers.

U.S. Military Match Pistols and Marksmanship Automatic Pistols by Bill Jenkins...Andrew Mowbray Publishers
Bill is a Florida gunsmith who has put together an excellent reference that includes all the High Standards ever used by the U.S. Military in their marksmanship programs.  This includes the post war model High Standards, as well as the WW II guns.  This book allows the reader to make comparisons between High Standard pistols and those manufactured by the other U.S. firearms manufacturers.

OSS Weapons II second edition by Dr. John W Brunner, Ph.D...Philips Publishers
This reference has lots of information and pictures of the High Standard Model USA H-D MS (military silenced) which is more than any other source that I have found.  Besides being the best source of information on the USA H-D MS, all the other gadgets and armaments designs used by thee OSS are very interesting and worth the read.

Friday, November 16, 2018

HSCA Annual Meeting and Show, Birmingham, AL

The HSCA held its annual meeting in conjunction with the Alabama Gun Collectors Association gun show in Birmingham, Alabama, October 13 and 14, 2018.  This was the first time the HSCA participated in a show in Alabama.  HSCA member Jack Page hosted the show and dinner for the HSCA.  The display tables were provided free of charge to our association members.  This was a fairly modest show by our members.  Ken Rabeneck displayed High Standard memorabilia and papers, and other interesting items.  Jon Miller (aka Mr. Crusader) displayed his phenomenal collection of Crusader engineering samples, pre-production samples, sales samples, and production revolvers. 

The highlight for the members was having Dick Baker attend the show with us.  He was an engineer at High Standard for many years.  We enjoyed hearing about the workings of High Standard in those days, and he had a lot of stories to tell.  We learned interesting things concerning the design and production of the Crusader revolvers.  One thing I did not know before was that the Crusader project turned out to be not profitable for the company, and thus the life of the project was not long. 

We had the annual meeting during the gun show on Saturday, and after the show we went to a local BBQ restaurant for a nice meal and discussion time with the members.  Dick Baker spent a good deal of time answering questions and talking about his time at High Standard. 

Advertising items.
Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Ken Rabeneck's display of memorabilia and
related items.

High Standard patches. etc.
High Standard catalogs and papers.
Members in attendance:
Seated, Wayne Davis, Dick Baker
Standing:  Ken Rabeneck, Jack Page, Jon Miller,
Dave Lehman, Tom Horner, and Tom Bolander


Jon Miller's Crusader display


Salesman sample
Dick Baker with the Crusader revolvers




Thursday, October 18, 2018

Roger Ash is selling his High Standard Collection!

Roger Ash's High Standard Pistols

BBT-2 – Model 102 Trophy – Serial # 818121 with 10” barrel, large barrel weight
and muzzle brake.
Also 8” barrel with (large& small) barrel weights and muzzle brake.
98% plus condition! in a Excellent Blond Presentation Box (minor crack on
the lid of box)

BBT-3 – Model 102 Trophy – Serial # 897497 with 10” barrel with large barrel
weight and muzzle brake.
Also 8” barrel with (large & small) barrel weights and muzzle brake.
98% plus condition! in a Excellent Blond Presentation Box (minor
scuffing/small crack on lid)

BBT-5- Model 102 Trophy – Serial # 897520 with 10” barrel (large & small) barrel
weights and muzzle brake.
99% plus condition! in a Excellent Blond Presentation Box (very small
marks on box)

BBT-7 – Model 104 Trophy – Serial # 1333588 with 7 1/4” Fluted Barrel, (large & small) barrel weights and muzzle brake 98% +++ Condition (Gorgeous Pistol!) in a absolutely beautiful Presentation Box
CBT-2 – Model 104 Trophy – Serial # 1340214 has 7 1/2” Fluted barrel, (large
and small) barrel weights, accessory box, extra magazine and magazine
box in a High Standard box.
98% plus condition!

CBT-4 - Model 104 Trophy Serial # 1311095, with 6 3/4” bbl, (large and small) barrel weights, papers and muzzle brake in High Standard box.
99% Plus Condition! SALE PENDING!

CBT-5 Model 103 Trophy Serial #1263434, with 5 1/2” Bull barrel and High Standard Box.
99% Condition! “Hard to find in this condition”

CBC-3R - Model 102 Citation, Serial # 1026043 with 10” barrel with (large and small) barrel weights, 8” barrel with (large and small) barrel weights, wood grips and muzzle brake. Has original High Standard box, muzzle brake cleaning tool.
98% plus condition! Very nice Citation! SALE PENDING!

CITATION- 1 - Model 104 Citation, Serial # 1921692 with 7 1/4” barrel and wood grips.
98% condition

For more information call or email John Rohde at 931-220-5832 jrrcflyer@charter.net.
John can email full listing of Rogers collection with asking price and photo's as requested.

Friday, August 17, 2018

2018 Northwest Regional HSCA Meet, August 11th and 12th

The 2018 Northwest Regional Meeting was a very successful endeavor attended by ten of our members and one friend. A number of other HSCA members stopped by to say hello. The assembled members were in total agreement to expand our show for next year, so Jerry requested more tables in the application for that show. The Oregon Arms Collectors Gun Show is an excellent venue for the HSCA as sale table offerings and exhibits are limited to only “Collectible and Antique fire arms”.  Several people picked up applications for membership from our Membership Table.
Display Awards went to the following: Bill Riebe, Best of Show, for his Early Guns; Garry Hooper, Most Educational Display Award; and Bert Markel, Judges Choice Award for his display of Olympics. As can be seen in the images, the other High Standard displays were excellent, and this had the judges scratching their heads to make their decisions with only three awards to give.

Click on the Photos for Larger Images
Pat Batten left and Bill Riebe from Bosie, ID, displayed early auto's.
Bert Markel left from Des Moines, WA, and Greg Markel form Bellingham, WA, displayed their Olympics.

Garry Hooper from Montague, CA, displayed auto pistols.

Jerry Watson from  Salem, OR, displayed Standard Grip Models 102, 103, & 104.

Marcia Mighell and Larry Vallard from South Beach, OR,  manned the New Members table.

Mike Gallion and his race guns from Clinton, WA.

Pair of 1972 Olympic Commemoratives displayed by Bert Markel.

Smokey Grant from Sweet Home, OR, displayed revolvers & derringers.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

MVACA Show in Kansas City, MO, July 28th and 29, 20018

The annual Missouri Valley Arms Collectors Show was attended by several High Standard Collectors' Association members.  The displays by our members were outstanding.  We talked to many people about High Standard firearms and we had a good time.  The thing that I always feel when viewing the displays is gratitude for the dedication and perseverance of each collector.  These displays show guns that one would never be able to see in person without the collectors' efforts.  I applaud each one for their dedication to this association.  Doran Houk, Jon Miller, and Dan Rathgeber were each awarded Judge’s Choice plaques for their displays.  Congratulations to them.

 The dinner on Saturday evening at Nick and Jake's was attended by members and spouses.  We discussed a number of topics, but spent most of the time talking about High Standards and collecting. 

Note on the photos:  Click on a photo to see a larger image.

Dave Lehman's display was of cased percussion revolvers.  He had the most complete set of revolvers I have seen in one display.  These guns are the .36 caliber cap and ball reproductions of Confederate models made by various companies during the Civil War.  Most of the parts for the guns were made by Uberti in Italy, but the frames and finish work were done by High Standard. 

Bicentennial Commemorative

Percussion Revolvers
Schneider & Glassick

 Griswold & Gunnison,
Leech & Rigdon

Ken Rabeneck's display showcased the 10-X pistols assembled by Bob Shea.  Another nice group of pistols.

Full view
Texas 10-X pistols by Bob Shea
Bob Shea Commemorative 10-X
Conn. 10-X pistols by Bob Shea

Jon Miller's display highlighted the High Standard Crusader revolver development process.  His display was a tremendous selection of firearms that showed the creation of the revolvers, the production effort, and the end products.  These are beautiful creations and well worth collectors consideration for additions to their collections.

Jon showing his display

Many special firearms

Salesmen's sample
The only engraved 6.5 inch Crusader

Jon and his salesmen's
sample revolver

Nice pairs of .44 Mag and .45 Colt revolvers
Note the serial numbers

Dan Rathgeber's display was a complete review of .22 short pistols made by High Standard from the 1930s to the 1970s.  This display showed a wide range of the styles of pistols from plinking and pest control models to Olympic competition models.   
.22 Short pistols

The Model C
The Flite King

Doran Houk's display was a nice overview of the types of target pistols produced by High Standard over the decades.  High Standard target pistols ruled the Bullseye firing lines for decades.

Early guns

Post WWII guns

Table items
I hope to see more members at the HSCA annual meeting in conjunction with more displays at the gun show in Birmingham, Alabama, in October.

Monday, July 9, 2018

HS Collectors Portland Oregon NW Regional Meeting - DATE CHANGED

The High Standard Collectors Association Portland Oregon NW Regional Meeting dates were changed a while back, and not everyone got the news. To avoid conflict with another big show, the Oregon Arms Collectors Gun Show and the HS Collectors Portland Oregon NW Regional Meeting were moved from August 25th and 26th, 2018, to August 11th and 12th, 2018. When I tried to book a room at the Airport Holiday Inn Express on the old dates there was a problem, but with the correct dates, it all worked out just fine.

August 25th and 26th, 2018

August 11th and 12th, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Latest News On High Standard Company

Email from Jim Gray (Thursday, June 28): 

Please let the group know that HS has moved to Montana and intends meet all orders. 

The new address is

High Standard
 P O Box 547 
Fairfield, MT 59436 


Friday, January 26, 2018

Bob Shea Commemorative 10-X Victor

High Standard is producing a limited run of 10-X Victor style pistols commemorating the life of Bob Shea, one of the master gunsmiths with High Standard in Connecticut and with High Standard Mfg. Co. of Houston, TX.  Bob was a highly regarded gunsmith and produced around 184 10-X pistols while working in HS, Conn.  When High Standard in Houston, TX, began producing pistols in the early 1990s, Bob assembled a number of 10-X pistols for them over the years.  The 10-X pistols he worked on commanded a premium price over the normal 10-X pistols made in Houston.  He passed away January 4, 2015, at the age of 89, and High Standard decided to produce a limited number of 10-X pistols to commemorate his work.  These pistols were initially only offered to High Standard Collectors' Association members, however High Standard is now offering these to non-members as well.  There will be no more than 89 pistols made in this series.

I received my pistol today.  It has the optional Nickel Boron Nitride coating instead of the standard phosphate coating.  The controls are gold colored.  Otherwise, it is finished in the 10-X mode of matte black metal with black ambidextrous grips.  The barrel is etched on the right side with Bob Shea's signature and the limited edition numbering.  The magazine also has Bob's signature etched on it.  There is no barrel weight with this gun.

The pistol is shipped in a white cardboard box with a test target, instruction booklet, warranty card, Bob Shea 10-X patch, sticker, letter of authenticity, and a can cozy. 

The pistol is nice looking and appears to be well made.  The trigger pull is typical of High Standard target models, with a trigger pull weight of about 2.5 pounds.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The January 2018 issue of the HSCA Newsletter was mailed on Jan. 2 to the HSCA members that the membership director has received their 2018 dues. 
Many thanks to Dick Baker, John Stimson, jon Miller, Tom Bolander, Jim Gray, Dave Lehman, Kim Schillinger, Tom Horner, Marcia Mighell, Bert Markel, Gary Balaz, and Joe Pentino whose contributions made this Newsletter possible.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Military Grip Angle Magazines—Care and Feeding of High Standard Pistols

Our enjoyment of High Standard military grip angle target pistols is sometimes lessened by poorly feeding magazines.  It is frustrating to experience a jammed cartridge during a rapid fire string in competition.  It never helps a shooter's score.  So shooters spend a good deal of time, effort, and money on magazine selection and maintenance.
The purpose of this article is to help people determine which magazines to obtain, which to avoid, and how to get them to feed properly.
Note: these ideas may also be applied to slant grip angle magazines used in big button style pistols.

First, my opinion is the original Connecticut High Standard military grip angle magazines work the best in these pistols.  However, since these magazines have not been made for over 30 years, it is getting more difficult and expensive to locate good original ones.  If a person keeps an eye out for them, they can be found at local gun shows, eBay, GunBroker, or other places.  I remember not long ago getting a good red base original magazine for $10 at a gun show. It is not very likely to have that happen again!  Most of the time a person will have to spend quite a bit more than that.  However, by looking around carefully, a good magazine can still be purchased for $35 to $60.  Usually Connecticut magazines do not require more than cleaning and checking for any problems with bent lips or rust.  I rarely find that I need to adjust the feed lips on Connecticut magazines.  The easiest way to tell a CT magazine is to look for the 5- and 10- round count markings on the side of the body, and a metal base.  The early magazines had red plastic bases attached to the metal bases and the later magazines had all metal bases. 

That leaves us with the “other “ magazines made for High Standard pistols.  A person can find magazines from Mitchell, Stoeger, High Standard of Houston, TX, and InterarmsTX (not related to High Standard), as well as Triple K made versions.

Most magazines found in the aftermarket are Triple K made.  There have been at least four versions of magazines made over the past 40 years.  The problem I see with the Triple K magazines is there is a lack of consistent quality control of making the dimensions the same from one mag to the next.  This is why there is no easily defined and certain measurement of feed lip gap and so forth that would make these magazines work with all guns.  So tuning is usually required with them. In addition, the feed lip areas are not hardened, so they may or may not hold adjustments over time.  I have attached photos of some of the generations of Triple K magazines over the years.

Note:  Click on photos for larger views.

Triple K Type 1 to Type 4, L to R

Triple K Type 1 to Type 4, L to R

Triple K followers Type 1 to 4, L to R
Type 1 is easily identified by the very dark green plastic follower.  These were made up to about 1990.  These magazines should be tossed in the trash, since I think they are useless.  The metal shells are thin and easily bent.  They will not hold adjustments very long.  The springs are too weak, and the feed lip geometry is very far off from the CT magazines.  These have spot welds only on the forward portion of the body.

Type 2 is similar to the third type, but only has spot welds on the forward portion of the body.  Otherwise, they are pretty much the same as type 3.  I think these were only made for a short time around 1990 until Triple K determined that spot welds should be added to the rear section of the magazine body.

Type 3 was probably made from about 1990 to sometime in 2005.  These magazines have spot welds on the front and rear portions of the bodies.  The springs are usually a little weaker than CT magazines.  The feed lip geometry has the front of the rear lips too close to the breech face of the barrel.  These might be modified by filing back the feed lips to make them more like CT magazines.  Otherwise, it is difficult to get these to work.

 Type 4 was introduced in 2005 and is a great improvement over the earlier versions.  The feed lip geometry is better.  The front of the rear feed lips are close to the required 0.800 inch distance from the lips to the breech face.  The springs are closer to the tension of the CT magazines.  These can be made to work with lip adjustments.

So my recommendation for working on Triple K magazines is to destroy and discard all Type 1 magazines, not bother with Type 2 and Type 3, and concentrate efforts on adjusting the Type 4 magazines.  The key things for determining a Type 4 versus the others is to look at the Dura-Matic magazine release pocket on the side of the magazine, and the shape of the top front of the rear shell.  The older types have a rectangular pocket formed by the punched hole on the outer shell, whereas the type 4 pocket has barreled sides in the punched hole.  The most useful difference in the type 4 is the shape of the top front of the rear shell.  This corner is rounded on the type 4, but is pointy on the earlier versions.  The CT magazines have the rounded corner also.  Of course, the other main difference is the location of the front of the rear feed lips on the Type 4.  This design is much closer to the CT magazines.

Connecticut HS magazines

Connecticut HS magazines

Connecticut HS magazines, followers

There are other differences in some of the shapes of the shells between Triple K and CT magazines.  The front of the CT magazines looks different than the Triple K magazines.  I doubt that it means much for function.  However, the height of the kicker lips (front lips) on all of the Triple K magazines is lower that the kicker lips on the CT magazines.  The purpose of the kicker lips is to push the cartridge rim up fully into the pocket in the slide when feeding the cartridge the last bit into the barrel.  The Triple K kicker lips do not contact the rim as much or at all as the CT magazines. 

As far as Mitchell and Stoeger magazines are concerned, I think these are best left to people who own those brands of High Standard clones.  These magazines are stainless steel and were probably made by Triple K.  These are not a good choice for feeding Connecticut High Standard pistols.

High Standard of Houston has used several versions of magazines over the years.  The magazines used in the first years of production were well made with reasonably good feed lip dimensions.  However, they are not easily found on the used market, and are not a good choice since the feed lips are hardened to the point that they are brittle and can snap off like glass if adjustments are attempted.  When that vendor no longer supplied magazines to High Standard, Triple K furnished the magazines for use in Houston's pistols.  The second generation of magazines used by Houston High Standard is what I term Triple K Type 3.  These were used until sometime around 2005.  At that time, Triple K came out with their Type 4 version which had significantly improved feed lip geometry.  They provided magazine shells to High Standard where the feed lip area was heat treated and original CT style followers installed.  These are good magazines for the shooter to work with.

HS Houston magazines
1 early magazine, 2 &3 Type 3, 4&5 Type 4

HS Houston magazines
1 early magazine, 2 &3 Type 3, 4&5 Type 4

Assorted Magazines
Left side, top to bottom:                Right Side, top to bottom:
Houston HS first version                                    InterarmsTX
Houston HS second version                          Triple K Type 4
Houston HS current version                          Triple K Type 3
Connecticut HS                                         Triple K Type 1    

InterarmsTX is selling their version of High Standard magazines.  These use Triple K Type 4 supplied shells which are then heat treated in the feed lip area, and red plastic followers installed.  The magazines are matte blue finished.  There does not appear to be any other changes in dimensions.

Some of the dimensions that a person should start with when adjusting magazines are to ensure the distance from the front of the rear lips to the breech face is about 0.800in., the measurement between the front lips is about 0.230”, and the measurement between the rear feed lips is about 0.185 In.  These are just starting places and a pistol may require adjustment by trial and error.  One of the problems I have seen with the Triple K magazines (including Houston High Standard and InterarmsTX) is that the height of the feed lips above the frame rails is more variable than on the Connecticut magazines.  If the rear feed lips are too low, it causes the angle of the cartridge to be higher when trying to feed it into the chamber, and this can lead to the cartridge not feeding well. 

The adjustments of the rear feed lips is done by widening or narrowing the gap between the lips.  This will cause the cartridge to feed higher or lower into the chamber.  If the cartridge is feeding low, then the gap should be widened.  If the cartridge is feeding high then narrow the gap.  The front edge of the rear lips is the key point, since the rim of the cartridge is held by that point until the slide moves the cartridge far enough forward to release the rim entirely.  The timing and angle need to be correct for feeding to happen properly and consistently.   The front feed lips need to only be adjusted to center the round and have perhaps a slight drag on the bullet as it is feeding.  The late Jim Barta had some pretty good tips for tuning and also for ensuring the aftermarket magazines were fitted to the magazines well.  Some shimming might be required to keep the magazines from rocking back and forth as cartridges feed. The CT magazines normally do not need work in that area.  His tips are available here:  www.histandard.info/Jim_Barta/ .

Finally, my recommendation is to obtain Connecticut magazines if possible.  The next choice would be the current Houston High Standard or InterarmsTX magazines, since the feed lips are heat treated.  After that, the current Triple K Type 4 magazines can be tuned to work.  I would not select the older versions of Triple K, High Standard of Houston, Mitchell, or Stoeger magazines.