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Older High Standard Pistols and High Velocity Ammo

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by OleCodger, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. OleCodger

    OleCodger Well-Known Member

    I have a .22 High Standard Sharpshooter (Hamden vintage) manufactured around 1970. I've seen many warnings to not use high velocity ammo in these older pistols since it potentially will crack the frame over a long period of time. Does anyone know if there is a "cut-off date" on this limitation? Surely sooner or later, High Standard made a pistol back in those days that could safely fire high velocity ammo without frame damage????
  2. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Well-Known Member

    Interesting, I have an old late 60's vintage and never heard of the high velocity warning. I've put thousands of rounds of high velocity .22 ammo through my Supermatic Tournament Military with no apparent ill effects although the standard velocity .22lr target ammo does shoot better groups.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I have never heard that either.

    Sure you aren't thinking of pre-war Colt Woodsman?

  4. Hud

    Hud Well-Known Member

  5. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Well-Known Member

    HUD, thanks for posting the thread. I want to be able to pass my baby down to my grandchildren. I'll be using std velocity from now on. No reason to chance it.
  6. Hud

    Hud Well-Known Member


    I picked up a NIB '79 E. Hartford Sharpshooter M a few months ago for target shooting only. It is accurate as all get out & functions flawlessly with CCI target standard velocity.
    I have no reason to shoot anything hotter.

  7. OleCodger

    OleCodger Well-Known Member

    Thanks HUD for the link info. My HS is also very accurate and a genuine pleasure to shoot. In fact, it's my favorite pistol. Mine has matching serial numbers on both barrel and frame and also "Sport King" on both barrel and frame. I don't know if it's true but I've read that High Standard had some Sport King frames left over and used them on some of the early Sharpshooters. (All true Sport Kings that I've seen had tapered barrels instead of bulls). Have no idea how factual this info is. Mine does have the heavy bull barrel.

    The situation in this area is that "standard" velocity .22 ammo seems to be more and more difficult to locate. My purpose for the original question was to learn if there was a date that High Standard began making their frames a little more high velocity tolerant. If there is such a magical date, I'd like to know "which side of the fence" mine is on!!!
  8. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Well-Known Member

    I know all of the "Military" models had the straighter handle, very much like a 1911. I had heard that the military even bought quite a few to use in pistol training to save money on ammo. I have been told that the Military High Standards were designed to have the same weight and balance when loaded at a fully loaded 1911.

    Was it the Sportking that had the more angled grip?
  9. OleCodger

    OleCodger Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the Sport Kings had a more angled grip and the barrel was tapered somewhat . I had one years ago and it was the "cat's meow" at that time. I've never seen a High Standard (older ones) that didn't go
    BANG every time their trigger was pulled! Hearsay is that the Houston models aren't that high quality but don't know from experience.

    By the way Cougfan2, I stole your signature Ben Franklin quote several months ago and use it on all of my outgoing email.........hope you didn't have it copyrighted!!!!
  10. Hud

    Hud Well-Known Member

    OleCodger & Cougfan2,

    Unless someone else chimes in here, I would suggest you get acquanted with the guys over on the HS forum. There are many, more knowledgable than myself there that would be more than happy to answer the questions that I can't.

  11. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Well-Known Member

    By the way Cougfan2, I stole your signature Ben Franklin quote several months ago and use it on all of my outgoing email.........hope you didn't have it copyrighted!!!!

    Nope, Ol' Ben holds the copyright on that one. Unfortunately he is in no position to enforce it. :rolleyes: I wish we had some politicians today that were of the same stripe that Ben and his compatriots were.:(
  12. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    Sport Kings (like all the other HS models) came in the slant grip as well as the military grip.

    The slant grip frame was used through the 104 model and changed to the military grip frame to mimic the 1911 starting with the 106 models.

    Standard velocity ammo is recommended.
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    I think you will find that standard velocity ammo works fine and is likely more accurate than the various high velocity loads.

    But as far as safety and durability of the gun, any gun made after about 1950 should be OK with HV ammo.

    Please, though, don't subject the old "letter series" High Standards to HV ammunition. They weren't made for it and just won't hold up.

  14. Craig_VA

    Craig_VA Well-Known Member

    Two years ago my father in law gave wife and me a pair of HS M103 Citations. I called the High Standard company in Houston to ask about use of hot loads (Stingers, etc.). They told me definitely use only standard load .22LR.
    Federal bulk box of 550 at W-M works just fine in them.
    You can't find them at a Wally World around Searcy?

  15. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I've known a number of people who've bought them and sorely regretted it. I've never known anyone who was happy with a Texas "High Standard."
  16. OleCodger

    OleCodger Well-Known Member

    Gooood Grieeeef Parisite.......

    Parisite, did you HAFTA post that picture?! Now you have me drooling for other High Standards on Guns America and I'm out of fun money! Beautiful collection!

    Craig, I was under the impression that both Remington (not a choice) and Federal bulk packages sold by our local Wally World were HV...mebbe I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first time! I'll check it out the next trip out that way. Irregardless, my local gun store has CCI Standards and of course I can always order other brands. It's just that I have a lot of HV's in my ammo box that are just laying there screaming to be used.

    Thanks to everyone for your input. This is a great website.
  17. Tortuga12

    Tortuga12 Well-Known Member

    So, what should I do when standard velocity will not cycle my Supermatic well? I have tried CCI std vel, Remington Target, and Federal Champion, and with all three I get spotty cycling. By this, I mean that the slide will not pick up a new round and return fully to battery. Usually, there will be about 1/16" of space. I can close this with my hand, but this is, after all, an autoloader.

    Using Federal bulk pack, or Automatch, cycling is basically 100% reliable. (Don't seem to have many duds down here in FL for some reason.)

    Any advice?
  18. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    Thanks OC, if it were me I would go ahead and use my stock up of HV ammo, but I would first get a new recoil spring from Wolff Springs. I recommend that anyway of every HS bought.
    Then start buying standard velocity ammo. It really is more accurate.
  19. OleCodger

    OleCodger Well-Known Member

    T12, I have that problem every now and then. Not sure what causes it. I've blamed it on todays ammo having too much lube on it and also suspicioned that the gun needed a good cleaning with a wire brush and solvent. I have noticed that the High Standards (as I'm sure all auto's are) are very sensitive to a clip that is improperly "tuned". I have an ole original heavy steel HS clip that works like a champ. My second clip is a "will fit" and I have feed problem every now and then when I use it. Tends to place the round at too high an angle and the lead nose hangs on the upper part of the chamber. A little "quality control adjustment" with a pair of pliars on front of the rear pair of guides takes care of that problem. I've learned that in most cases, feeding problems are either a faulty clip or dirty gun.

    It's a shame that the old Connecticut High Standard factories didn't survive. They made some mighty nice, straight shootin', mighty "purty" pistols.
  20. Hud

    Hud Well-Known Member


    HS pistols are sensitive to:
    1: Ammo.
    2: Magazines, as HS pistols have no feed ramp & feeding is dependant on mag feed lip adjustment (as OC alluded to).
    3: Recoil springs.

    They should all function properly with standard velocity ammo.
    If not, the following link should provide info. on how to correct problems with 2 & 3.


    Regards, Hud
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008

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