High Standard Firearms


The high Standard firearms company of the 1950s and 60s would primarily consist of the semi-automatic 22 pistols and were used for target shooting. They would make some 22 pistols for general type shooting and hunting. The primary focus of this article are those used for target shooting.

The 1950s and the period after World War II would see a substantial increase in clubs and shooting events that would be focused on target shooting especially with the 22 long rifle in the 22 target rifles.The 22 bolt action rifle and the 22 semi-automatic pistols like the High Standard, would be quite popular in the 1950s and early 60s.

High Standard Firearms LogoThe High Standard firearms that were produced at that time would not be considered of the quality of the Colt firearms of that era. Many were sold and they did quite well in competition and did have a dedicated following. Colt may have been the best made firearms of that era. But the Hi-Standard was a very accurate pistol and won a lot of national and international competition.

The Ruger firearms company would start producing their own 22 version of the semi-automatic pistol in the 1950s. The Ruger 22 handgun of that time was primarily for hunters and general shooting enthusiast.

Ruger would produce a quality 22 target pistol, but it would never dominate that market like Colt Firearms and Hi-Standard firearms target pistols. The High Standard pistol would be well liked by the target shooter. About the same time that Ruger Firearms was introducing their new 22 pistol in 1949. The High Standard Firearms company would advertise the new “G” model series.

The new little “G” series models would come out with the “NEW” interchangeable barrel feature in 1949. They would make target models with a hammerless (Model G-E) and visible hammer (Model H-DM). They came with either a 4 1/2 or 6 3/4 inch barrel. The Hi-Standard Model G-B was a small hammerless pistol with a 4 1/2 or 6 3/4 barrel. It would have plastic grips instead of walnut like on the G-E or H-DM models. This would be very similar to the new Ruger 22 pistol just being released in 1949. The new Ruger would have a 4 3/4 inch barrel. The Ruger Standard Model would sell for $37.50 in 1953. The Hi-Standard model G-B would be called the Sport-King in 1953 and would sell for $44.00.  The little Colt Challenger would sell for around  $52.00. All three are desirable collector firearms today.

The High Standard Firearms were a very well designed pistol in my opinion as the barrel and bolt assembly were quite easy to disassemble and therefore much easier to clean and maintain. The issues with the Hi Standard 22 pistol would probably be the magazine not functioning properly and at times the firing pin or mainspring would malfunction.

Many of the problems associated with High Standard Firearms and other firearms companies would be maintenance issues.

While I was doing a lot of gunsmithing in the 70s, 80s and 90s the Hi-Standard was another one of those firearms that would be reblued a lot in our gun shop. Many of those 22 handguns were used quit a lot. Even though many of the guns that came in for rebluing were heavily used, they still would function quite nicely.

Because of maintenance issues there would develop over time, issues with feeding and mis-fires with the High Standard Firearms. A lot of times the whole issue would be cleaning the firearm to make it function properly again.


The 22 long rifle ammo, would overtime cause grime and gunk to build up in the firing areas and work its way into the firing mechanism. Men would add oil to the gun and the 22 powder residue from the 22 ammo would eventually become quite thick and would eventually lead to gun malfunctions.

High Standard: A Collector’s Guide to the Hamden & Hartford Target Pistols

This I believe leads to the majority of gun failures even for today as well as in the 1950s and 60s. Maintenance and care of the High-Standard firearms are no different than any other gun and they do need to be cleaned every so often. Actually they should be cleaned after every shooting session. This is one area that all shooters should make a habit of doing. Of course those that don’t keep the gunsmiths in business.

These are great guns to own and even those in fair condition can be great guns to shoot and target practice with. They do make excellent firearms to collect if you can find the older models in great condition and they have not been reblued. You can have an excellent handgun with excellent collectability. Now that does not mean you should not find and shoot the altered or reblued Hi-Standards. They can still shoot very well and save your more collectable handguns from being over used.

Hi-Standard prices in 1954 

Sport King                    44.00

Field-King                     59.00

Olympic                        72.00

Supermatic                   72.00

Hi-Standard prices in 1961

Sport-King                                      49.95

Flite-King                                        49.95

Dura-Matic                                      39.50

Supermatic  Tournament                67.50

Supermatic  Citation                       87.50

Supermatic  Trophy                        112.00

Hi-Standard prices in 1968

Sport-King                                           59.95

Dura-Matic                                           49.95

Supermatic  Tournament                    79.95

Supermatic   Citation                          99.95 

Supermatic   Citation w/Bull 5 1/2      94.95 

Supermatic  Trophy                            110.00

The list above if looked at carefully would show a couple of good Hi-Standard pistols to invest in. All the variations of different years are good collectable firearms. Any of the early “G” models would be great collector pieces. The Flite-King model of 1961 was a 22 short caliber only. A great addition to any firearms collection.

The Supermatic Citation w/Bull 5 1/2 inch barrel from Hi-Standard is another great collector piece as there were not a lot made. Great Gun if you can find one.

Interesting to note that the Ruger Standard Model would still be listed for $37.50 in 1961. No change from 1953. In 1967 they were only selling for $41.50. Great gun at great price and would definitely hurt the sales of Hi-Standard firearms in the years ahead. The Ruger Target Pistols would also cut into the sales of Hi-Standard Target pistols of that time.
By the mid 1960’s there would now be much more competition by other firearms companies in the 22 pistol and target shooting world. In the 1950’s you had Colt Firearms and Hi-Standard with Ruger just getting their feet in the door. By the 1960’s you now had Smith and Wesson with their great model 41. Browning was selling the Challenger and Medalist models in 22 pistols in the 1960’s. Hi-Standard would also lose to the demise of target shooting by the end of the 60’s. Big Tournaments of the past would not continue as in the hay day of the 40’s and 50’s. That along with some stiff competition would spell the end of one great firearms company (IMHO). 



I would give these type guns an excellent rating.

Would be good to hear from you for input or suggestions



Check out my latest articles on Firearmsthinker. A good look at the early 60’s in Classic Firearms. 1964 would be the main focus.

Just added the Elite Firearms of the Late 60s. 



Hi-Standard Firearms advertisement
Hi-Standard 1948


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