Tech Tip - High Standard HDM

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by CountryGunsmith, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. AntiqueDr
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2675
    (5/31/02 8:53:41 pm)
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    Some Discussion on the High Standard HD-M
    Wonderful pistol. Had occasion to do some work on a customer's HD-M the other day and it got me to thinking about some of the pitfalls inherent in this type High Standard. The HD-M, as well as all other High Standards with the Type-II takedown, have a few issues that some preventive maintenance can address.

    First, this particular pistol came into the shop for replacement of a missing slide stop and because the slide would not run fully into battery. The gun had been horribly reblued, apparently by a semi-retarded chimpanzee let loose with a buffer. After fieldstipping the pistol, it was obvious that the stop lug had been badly beaten and was showing considerable wear. Examination of the frame showed the two lugs that the stop lug rests against were swaged slightly backwards. This damage to the frame was not readily noticeable due to the reblue.

    I was able to replace the slide stop and spring, and I manufactured a new retracting rod spring which I left slightly long. The slide would now ride fully into battery, and the pistol was again functional.

    All this brings the following warnings to mind regarding these pistols:

    These pistols were developed many years ago, before the advent of hyper-velocity .22 ammunition. They are NOT designed for, and will NOT take the abuse of CCI Stingers, Mini-Mags, etc. Stick with standard velocity .22LR or the milder high-velocity .22LR cartridges. Also, these guns do not have any type of firing pin stop like most modern .22LR firearms, and dry-firing these older guns WILL result in peening the chamber mouth out of round. The original High Standard instructions warned that this would render the gun unrepairable, but that is not quite true. It will result in failures to feed and/or extract until the chamber mouth is restored. A fired .22 cartridge makes a great snap cap. Finally, do not let ill-trained baboons polish your guns.

    If you plan on doing considerably shooting with any older High Standard, especially the older hammer models, take the time to have a gunsmith familiar with the brand look it over and test/replace the retracting rod spring. It just might save your frame.

    We Buy Guns! 1 - 100, Antique or Modern!
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    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3568
    (5/31/02 10:22:55 pm)
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    Re: Some Discussion on the High Standard HD-M
    I do love those High Standards. Been wanting a nice target pistol for a long time. They set the standard for years and are still quite popular among target shooters.
    "I'M NOT GOING TO HAVE SOME REPORTERS PAWING THROUGH OUR PAPERS. WE ARE THE PRESIDENT." - Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents
  2. Geoffrey B. Barker

    Geoffrey B. Barker New Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    HDM Rear Sight Adj.


    Speaking of the HDM, can someone tell me how to adjust the rear sight elevation? Mine hits about 3 1/2" high at 50 ft. which is annoying for my fun use with the gun.

    I note the inner sight leaf rotates aft to lower the sight notch. On the left side of sight housing is a small steel pin protruding from a center leaf-pin. The small pin seems to engage a notched perimeter on the housing. I cannot, using reasonable force seem to be able to move the sight leaf or this small pin.

    Is it made to pry the pin out slightly and then rotate? Or is omre force need to the leaf and pin to move??

    Since this is an odd ball question and an oldish page, please e mail me at if able.

    Thank you


  3. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Carson City Nevada

    To start off with take a good look at the sight so it will make more sense what I am telling you. You will notice that the blade is attached to a pin the goes right to left. Look carefully at the end of the pin that does not have the little lever pin and you will see if you look carefully that this right to left pin is held by a slotted wedge built into the sight body itself. With the slide open and locked to the rear or off the gun, you will notice a screw at the end and underneath the slide that goes straight up into the slide. Loosen that screw one turn, it merely retains the next screw to loosen that is on the outside end of the slide. Loosen that one two turns and now the sight is yours to adjust. I would suggest moving the sight blade by the blade only as that little tiny pin in the serations is only supposed to hold the blade in place until you squeeze it tight with the screw again. You will notice with these screws loosened you can then move the sight for windage as well. I have found that sometimes I have to completely remove the sight and soak it in Hoppies so as to work the blade back and forth with hopefully only my fingers and not a padded pair of pliers. Going back with the rear sight may take a little patience with a plastic hammer getting the dove tail started. If so do not drive it from the little pin side so as not to damage it.

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  4. Geoffrey B. Barker

    Geoffrey B. Barker New Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    Thaks Ron for the instruction. You explained the magic via the underside screws. I spent some time the other night after shooting trying to move it with conventable logic that failed. Good thing I stopped and came to the Forum for help prior to breaking or buggering the sight system.

    Several years ago a magazine article on the HDM said the rear sight was "fragile" and prone to breakage. That info stayed with me until I recently bought my HDM and I now know its a very well made and intricate piece of a classic firearm from our good-ol days.

  5. Geoffrey B. Barker

    Geoffrey B. Barker New Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    To TFF readers,

    Here is what I learned on the HDM todate ( this model is new to me but I have a plain-jane Sport King 4" bbl new in 1970'ish

    Ron provided great help on the rear sight, however my HD-Mil had someone peen the heck out of the under side so no evidence of a screw head appears but its there as it protrudes up into the "locking screw". Then the aft locking screw thats located above the firing pin had two punch parks that only with a mag glass could I see its a beat up slotted head screw!!

    To begin with I removed the breech block as a unit (Ive read about use of the top protruding button to catch the recoil spring and guide first so beware of and know this necessary step).
    Then I carefuly drifted the sight (brass punch and masking tape) out to the Right side and off the unit.
    The exposed locking screw shaft was soaked in Kroil overnight, a proper screwdriver used to loosen and remove said screw with the set screw still in place.
    The grips were then removered, an awful amount of standing oil was found under the grips, the grips degreased and then coated with linseed oil. CAUTION - my grips have 4 screws, one of which is slighty longer than the others, I did not track where it goes. I think it goes in the upper left grip that covers part of the trigger side cover, BUT when tightened down it locks/blocks the magazine. IS THIS not original? Perhaps I should shorten it?

    The entire guns action was cleaned in solvent then RIG applied and gun oil to some parts. Beware of the mag release button leaf spring - notice how it fits in the release button's slot and do not lose... it will fall out.

    The rear sight had some of the orig white alignment markings flaked off their grooves so I remarked with "Appliance Touch-Up White" and its a nice off white and vintage look that's functional.

    The rear sight was drifted back in from the right. The rear locking screw is very specific and machined with fine fluting on sides of head that are caught by a working set screw. For now I have to rely on the torque of the locking screw to hold rear sight settings.

    I learned that the small screw on the right side of breech, at the top-front of the fwd cocking-serations has to be just so or it will lock the firing pin from moving (my gun).
    Also, there is a small screw that is at front of trigger guard, facing aft. Is this a trigger wt adj or travel screw?? (An owners manual would be helpful)


    I'd like to buy NOS rear sight lock and set screws (Numrich does not even show sameon their schematic) Any help?

    Another NOS mag would be nice. My HDM mag loads from the front where my S.K. mag you push carts down from top, also the HDM has a smaller mag load-button that is .221" dia. The '70's S.K. has a larger dia button and will not fit in the cut-recess of HDM. Anyone know of what series mags are proper and what will fit and who has?? (Gun shows coming up)

    Lastly, the barrel I'd like to reblue due to bad side greying that does not fit the rest of the blue receiver that has greying on the fore and aft grip-framing.
    This should not detract from the piece since there is no marking s to polish away nd the barrel removed from the frame and mailed out. Anyone avail?

    Hope this helps the reader. These are solid, well made, enjoyable, user friendly guns.

  6. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Carson City Nevada
    Jeff, if you decide to pull the barrel be advised that it is a interference slip fit and not threaded. There is a large left to right pin (largest on the gun) that retains the barrel. Drive the barrel out from the chamber end using a piece of hard wood dowel or solid aluminum rod. When I reblue an HD I always remove the barrel so that the salts don't bleed from the frame forever. But going back one has to be very careful not to bugger things up or you get to start all over again. Lining the barrel up and driving that pin back in is the trickiest. The barrel often wants to turn on you as you tap it in and if you slip off that pin with the punch you will scar your gun. I use a flat piece of thick plastic to drive on against the barrel and a cupped pin punch for the pin.

  7. permafrost

    permafrost Active Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    Oklahoma, USA
    Well I'll be damned!, I've owned my HD- Military for 35+ years and didn't know this on the rear site elevation adjustment. Lucky for me someone had it pretty much adjusted correctly before I got it. Thank you Sir! I love this old pistol as it was my first one. I wrote to Hi-Standard back in the '70's when the were still in business. They sent me a nice letter with date of manufacture and a copy of some of thir factory records dealing with this gun. Mine was made in 1946.
  8. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Carson City Nevada
    permafrost, you are welcome and I am glad that was of some help to you.

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