I was wondering if there is any consensus (generally speaking) on which flavor of the Hi-Standard automatic pistols is more desirable, the older slant grip models (up through the 104 series) or the later military configred grip versions (106 series onward). I suppose that question is a twofold one in that it may be asked from either the collector's or shooter's standpoint. I also recognize that the question ignores the earliest pistols (pre-101 series) that some may prefer over any of the more modern ones.
Some people have a hard time with the slant grip but remember that virtually all Olympic style pistols are slant grip. There must be a reason.
The biggest cost differential is between the collector loved Hamden Connecticut guns and the East Hartford Connecticut guns. The clones like the Stoeger, the Mitchell, and the Houston Texas High Standard guns are considered lesser guns. While some of them are OK, others suffer all sorts of maladies from inability to feed ammo to poor fit and finish. Only the Texas Hi Std guns, in my opinion, can shoot with an original for accuracy but they can suffer from failure to feed ammo due mostly to a poor cloning design process and a poor manufacturing process (not all just some).
Hi Std's are wonderful Match guns and as such they must be treated kindly or they may fail. They can crack frames if shot with a worn out recoil spring and/or with High or Hyper Velocity ammo. Their magazines, when working correct, are flawless but may require tuning if failures to feed, extract or eject rear their ugly head. Aftermarket mags are not reliable, tough, or in some cases tunable to work in the guns. Only originial mags and the lastest run of mags from the Texas Hi Std company can be made to reliably work.
These are excellent guns and for Match target shooting the choices of the Trophy or the Victor are excellent. Their trigger is one of the best in the sub $1200 class of guns with some adjustability. Earlier top of the line Trophies are beautifully made and finished but the collectors want those guns and the prices reflect that. The later East Hartford guns shoot as well and in most cases are as well finished but the collector set lower more affordable prices on those guns. The East Hartford guns, in most cases, make excellent shooters... I especially like the Victors in the Military Grip. I always wanted the "RAY GUN" Trophy with the compensator, the weights and the deeply blued finish (just like my friend had back in the early 1960's) but never had the money those guns demand.
In my opinion the only Match level gun that can hold a candle to the Hi Std in that sub $1200 price range is the S&W Model 41. Other guns like the Browning top of the line Target Buckmark or the Ruger MK II Target guns, or original Colt Match Targets or Browning Challengers, all get close but don't quite get the brass ring.
A 70 year old club member who (in his prime) was one of the top Bullseye competitors in the USA, just put his $2000 Hammerli in storage and dug out his 40+ High Standard with about a 4" barrel and a UltraDot sight.
I was glad to see a topic addressing the Hi-Standard pistols. I know very little about them, but I've always heard only good reports about their performance. A couple of weeks ago, I bought an M-100 because it fit my hand very well due to the oversized grips,and I knew I wanted it. I have yet to take it to the range, but I was told that it is a tack-driver.
The pistol has some worn bluing at the end of the barrel, and some worn bluing in a few other places. The bore is excellent, and it came with an original Hi-Standard magazine.
Being I don't know that much about these pistols, (I plan on learning real quick), my question to you fellas is this: I gave $310. for this piece out the door. Did I do okay, or did I let my desires override my wallet??
Thanks in advance for your honest feedback.
Old Gun Guy
Most all the High Standard pistol are derived from the original version designed before WWII. The Supermatic pistols were the next series and then followed by the numbered series including one of the last, the 107. There is one exception: the Duramatic. It was designed outside High Standard but sold as the absolute entry level model by Hi Std. It shares no parts to speak of nor does it share any design elements with any of the other Hi Std pistols. It is the family B--tard as it has no family link to any other of the Hi Std pistols. For a while Hi STd sold it to Sears with Sears' name on it. While not a bad gun it is not in the same league with the other Hi Std pistols.
What you got is a Duramatic....Sorry. If it shoots to your expectations you won. But a real Hi Std Target pistol will shoot even better. As for value, a real Hi STd in excellent shape starts at perhaps $800 and goes up from there, dependent on where it was made (Hamden or East Hartford) and the exact model designation. I have seen them close to perfect but not quite for over $1200. Of course that was a highly desirable model for collectors. I am not an expert on Hi Std values but perhaps others will answer that part of the question that you asked, if you paid too much.
I gave $310. for this piece out the door. Did I do okay, or did I let my desires override my wallet?? Thanks in advance for your honest feedback.
Old Gun Guy
OGG - Your Duramatic was made in 1953 or 54. Yes, they are at the bottom of the Hi-Standard pecking order, but they're also a lot better made than many other .22 autos. You paid right around "book value" for it, so enjoy it & don't have any buyer's regret over the price.
The Dura-Matic is a M-100 that shipped in January 1955 and was probably made in late 1954. The grip is from a Sears Model 80, the Sears version of the Dura-Matic. which had not yet been introduced. Probably a little high for most people but it is your call as to whether or not is too high or low.
With regard to the original question, in general collectors seem to like the high end models like the ones made in very limited numbers and those that exhibit excellent fit and finish. I know collectors that specialize in various fields. The Blue Book Prices are a decent indicataor of which guns the collectors like. The slant grip Victors are a highly desired gun by collectors as reflected by thier price.
On the other hand I suspect that shooters prefer teh military grip models since many of them compete in teh 2700 which requires .22 LR, centerfire and the 1911. The military grip allows them to shoot with all guns having the same basic grip feel. Personaly I find the slant grips more comforatble but I am not a competitive shooter.
I am real fan of the H-D military and though they are called military they are a slant grip and I shoot this one very well. This Sharp Shooter with the military style grip I re-barreled to 7.5 inch and I have killed many a jackrabbit with it. With the Serendipity scope and where I live I can legally spot light at night makes it a great combination. I don't think I prefer one grip style over the other because any High Standard feels good to me.
Bob Shea is still alive (just about) in North Haven, he serviced a couple of High Standards that I had over the years. The most common issue with these is the feed lips get whacked over time and cause issues. A lot of guys who shoot Bullseye in CT kept a home made tool in their cases. It had a curve on one end that matched the correct profile of the mags and a slit on the other side where you could move the lips around. I gave mine away when I sold my HS. Had it been a Hamden manufacture I would have kept it, those are considered to be the best made.
Thanks for all the inputs. I guess as a person grows older, they tend to gravitate towards less malicious calibers, as I am finding myself doing more and more lately. I still treasure my large caliber pistols and revolvers, but I still find a nostalgic connection with the .22 cartridge that I used to bring down "Franklin Ground Squirrels" in my Dad's and other farmers fields at 35 cents apiece. Their bounty paid for my 1st year of college at UND (North Dakota). As far as the scholastic achievements I attained from this investment; I'm lucky my Dad never was as good of a shot as I was!
Thanks again fellas for your feedback
Old Gun Guy
When I was shooting bullseye, (1974, 1975 or so) I owned a couple of Supermatic Trophy pistols that I picked up used. I think I paid about 200 for them, and when I no longer shot bullseye, sold them for about the same money. They both were accurate beyond description, had wonderful triggers and were flawless as far a reliability goes, never malfunctioning at all as I recall. I wish I had them today. I never owned a Victor, but some of my shooting companions at the time did, and while the Victor was top of the line, they had function problems with them. Most of the problems seemed to be related to the rib over the chamber area that seemed to at times bounce a case back into the action. The Trophy was open in this area and did not do that.
Ref your duramatic: You are probably aware that the Beretta Neos is an almost identical gun, at least on the inside and how it works, as was the shortlived entry level Colt from just a few years ago. When I first examined the Beretta and the Colt my first thought was "Duramatic". They are both striker fired and work the same way. The trigger will never be what the hammered high Standards are, but how could it? Holding a striker back compared to finely fitted hammer notches can not compare.
Enjoy your new High Standard.
Louie the lump
My Supermatic trophy (106) rules....Bob Shea just went though it for me and the thing is a tacdriver with everything but remington ammo, which fails to ignite 2 out of every 10 round and fails to feed.