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High Standard 22

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ReelFaith, Jan 21, 2013.

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  1. ReelFaith

    ReelFaith Member

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    Thinking of getting a 22 pistol to target shoot and maintain
    a high level of training without spending a lot of money on ammo.
    I've read the High Standard 22 pistol is great quality. I'm curious which model and years if production are the best. And of course which specific ones to stay away from. Thanks in advance for your help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  2. BruceB

    BruceB Member

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    H-S pistols cover a WIDE range of vintages and models.

    My opinion is this:

    I would look for:

    -a Connecticut-built, USED military-grip (same shape, angle and "feel" as a 1911) Citation. This model has the rear sight mounted on a bridge surrounding the back of the slide, so the sight doesn't move with the slide as it cycles. The more-expensive Victor model has the sights on a rib over the slide, but for most purposes the Citation is excellent.
    (I believe it's the "Sharpshooter" model which mounts the sight directly on the slide....it would do for plinking and field use....but so will the Citation, and it's a better set-up.)

    -Do NOT be lured into buying a current-production pistol from Mitchell or even the present-day High Standard company. .22s last forever, and a used Citation will serve admirably.

    Be aware that these guns were intended for COMPETITION shooting, and they are relatively heavy. The Citation weighs 44.5 ounces, which is the bracket into which most successful Bullseye target pistols fall.

    Barrel changes are a matter of seconds (using a simple push-button) IF you can find the extra barrels. The two available barrels for the Citation are a 5.5" bull barrel, and a 7.5" fluted barrel, and they are identical in weight....the difference lies in the weight distribution. I recommend the 5.5" barrel to start, based on years of competition experience with both lengths.

    Look on the auction sites and see what's available. These pistols are highly regarded, and they likely won't come cheaply....but they are a lifetime gun once you have one.

    Great choice!

    P.S.: I just went to

    www.gunsamerica.com

    and searched for "high standard"

    I was shocked.... Citations and Victors are priced much the same, at EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS or more! Well, I DID say they were "highly regarded". At least, the GA listings will give you a good look at the different models. Again do NOT buy a High Standard that was NOT built in Connecticut! The others are poor imitations of a "real" High Standard.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  3. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    ReelFaith

    I had a friend of mine who use to own and shoot several older High Standard .22's in local target matches. One of the problems he had was finding reliable factory magazines that worked in each of his particular guns. What he discovered was that even with original magazines that were built at around the same time as his guns was made, not all of them would fit or function properly. When he found one that did work right he numbered it to that particular gun so he knew he could count on using it in competiton.

    Another thing to think about is the possibility that current production magazines from Mitchell Arms and the new High Standard may not be compatible with the older models either. So you might have to go through a fair number of spare magazines before you find some that work. If you're thinking about getting a dedicated .22 target pistol then you might want to also consider a S&W Model 41, a Benelli MP-95, or an older Hammerli Model 208S.
     
  4. walnut1704

    walnut1704 Member

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    I have Connecticut built gun and a Houston built gun. The Mitchells were an unauthorized knock off and had some issues with the hardness of their frames. I wouldn't pay up for one. The early Houston guns had some off-spec frames but that has been corrected. My Houston gun is fine.

    They are great quality, but they are also finicky about ammo and magazines. CCI Std. velocity seems to work best, and is the recommended ammo. High Velocity ammo is specifically not recommended. Be prepared to fiddle with magazine adjustments.

    But they can be made to work just fine, have great triggers, and are very accurate. But if you're not willing to seek out the right ammo and work with the magazines, you'd probably be better off with something else.

    Be wary of used ones, they may have had a long diet High Velocity ammo.
     
  5. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

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    I bought a Mitchell, it was a steal... or so I thought until the hammer and slide started peening. I have heard that if you shoot them enough, they will eventually go full auto - I guess thats cool.

    I was at the SHOT show this past week and had a conversation with the new High Standard guys and I can tell you that after handling the new guns, they are awesome and light years better than the Mitchells. They are great folks too.
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I have a personal unrequited love affair with the High Standard Victor, but a couple of things to bear in mind.

    1. They are designed to function with standard velocity ammo and high speed ammo will cause increased wear
    2. They don't have feel ramps. The magazine lips are designed to guide the cartridges into the chamber. One of the Black Arts of making a HS run reliably is the ability keep the lips properly tuned...they don't always stay tuned.

    I would stay away from the early TX HS pistols in general and view their magazines with a wary eye at best
     
  7. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    This is PARAMOUNT. If you own an HS, you must also commit to learning the voodoo of tuning the feed lips. It has been a frustrating and expensive education for me, and I'm failing to this point.
     
  8. NavyEngineer

    NavyEngineer Member

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    Lots of good advice above. I started competition shooting in the 1980s with a high standard, and absolutely love my Hampden-built Citation - you cannot beat the accuracy and superb trigger in a production pistol. Beware frame cracks on high-round count pistols. You can find a lot of information on this on John Stimson's Hi Standard site:
    http://www.histandard.info/

    You can significantly reduce the chances of a cracked frame by only shooting standard velocity ammo through one, and by buying one with very good condition original finish. Every high standard I've seen with a cracked frame had either been refinished or had significant bluing loss indicating heavy use. Simpson LTD usually has a good selection in stock at reasonable prices:

    http://www.simpsonltd.com/index.php?cPath=156_175&osCsid=74ab21bd382e9591fd9b5d880f1f05c0
     
  9. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    I had an early Houston HS, and never learned the Voodoo of keeping the mag feeding lips aligned. It went back to Houston twice for repair/adjustment, and came back with the same problems. It would not feed even the best .22 match ammo properly. The HS guys is Houston seemed as frustrated as I was. Finally I traded the pistol to a friend who knew the gun's issues but still wanted it as a project.

    I shoot mostly Ruger MK II's now, and have a Benelli MP95E for competition. I never looked back, plus the Rugers can handle the high velocity stuff without trouble.
     
  10. tuj

    tuj Member

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    Honestly, if you can find a used Pardini SP or a used Benelli MP-90/S (or 95), I would take that over a High Standard. They tend to run around $1000-1500 used, which is just a bit over the HS.
     
  11. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    +1 on the "no high velocity ammo" caveat...UNLESS you buy a Duramatic 101. It's designed differently than the others, and it's more of a plinker than a target pistol. Having said that, my Duramatic from the late 1960's is a very cool looking gun that is quite accurate and reliable. With the Duramatic, you are also able to change barrels to different lengths, if you're lucky enough to come across different barrels. When shooting the Duramatic, just make sure to check the barrel attachment fitting, as the barrel can work itself a bit loose over time. I paid under $300 for a near mint example a year or two ago, so the price is more agreeable than the target models.

    Based on my limited experience, all of the warnings about aftermarket magazines seem to be correct - they don't work very reliably. Originals should have the Hi-Standard logo on them.
     
  12. snooperman

    snooperman Member

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    I have 3 High Standards made in Hamden, Conn where they were made for many years. My supermatics and Olympic models are extremely accurate and came with a 2lb trigger right from the factory. If accuracy is what you are after that would be a good place to start. I cannot speak about the Houston guns . Another accurate gun is the S&W 41, which I have competed with for several years as well. Good luck.
     
  13. ReelFaith

    ReelFaith Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I guess there's much more here than I initially thought.
    I decided just to keep it simple and got a S&W M&P 22 today. I have the other M&P's in the various calibers and have been happy with the quality and feel. I think it will work out the best and probable help me in accuracy with the other calibers. Thanks again for your help!!
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Bear in mind that the M&P22 isn't a .22lr version of the M&P9. There is a different feel to the trigger as there is a hammer hidden inside the slide
     
  15. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    1950's vintage Supermatic
    8120586818_0c538bfe9a.jpg
    My father bought this new, he gave it to me before he passed. It has turned me into a trigger snob. The triggers on HS pistols are really sweet. I've introduced all the women in my family as well as their friends to pistol shooting with this gun. It has a smallish grip and seems to fit many hands well. Depending on condition these might go $550-750+

    Field King
    8120588426_ac86d99836.jpg
    I bought this pistol because I thought the the price was right, ($325) and it's a very nice and accurate shooter.

    ................
    Magazines. Factory mags are hard to find and expensive, most recently I saw one priced at $50. After market mags are not expensive, but he feed lips which are critical for proper feed are made of a metal that does not retain it's proper shape after they are adjusted. The ones I bought where sent back, and I covet my expensive factory mags now. Adjusting them is simple and does not take much effort. The adjustment should last for years. The best info on the tool and the technique is on rimfirecentral.com (or pm me). I own four mags, two came with the Supermatic one with the Field King and one I bought on line, all factory. All fit and function in either pistol.

    Frame cracking can occur on the older guns because of weak recoil springs or using ANYTHING other than SV ammo (1050fps). The Supermatic above has a cracked frame, but I still shoot it. My advise is to change the springs first thing.

    Buy only guns made in CT. they are still to be found and they seem to be appreciating in value. They are of a quality that's not often found today in rimfire handguns, and they will last a long time.

    Bet you can't own just one.:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
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