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The High Standard Victor .22 LR Pistol
Weaponeer Forums : Weapon History

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  weaponeer

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Posted: July 06 2010 at 9:00pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer


High Standard Manufacturing Company Inc. is an American manufacturer of firearms, based in Houston, Texas. The company was originally founded in Hamden, Connecticut in 1926 as a supplier to the numerous firearms companies in the Connecticut Valley.

In 1932, the company, headed by Carl Gustav Swebilius, purchased the Hartford Arms and Equipment Company and began making .22 caliber pistols

In 1968, the company was acquired by the Leisure Group. A turbulent period followed, due to the passage of Gun Control Act of 1968. The company then relocated to East Hartford in 1976. In 1978, Clem Confessore, company president, lead a management buyout of High Standard from Leisure Group.

In December 1984, its assets were auctioned. Gordon Elliott, who had been the National Parts Distributor, purchased: the .22 Target pistols, the Crusader line and the High Standard name and trademarks.

In the spring of 1993, High Standard Manufacturing Company, Inc. of Houston, Texas acquired the company assets and trademarks, as well as the .22 Target Pistols. These original assets were transferred from Connecticut to Houston, Texas in July 1993. The first shipments of Houston manufactured pistols began in March, 1994.

Fact: A variant of the World War II-era High Standard target pistol was used as the basis for the High Standard HDM suppressed military model used by the Office of Strategic Services and later the US Military and Central Intelligence Agency.

The High Standard Victor

The High Standard Victor Pistol was one of the top two US target pistols with the other being the S&W Model 41 (the Colt Match Woodsman was just too hard to get). When they were introduced the Victor it typically sold for $270 which is $850 is you adjust for inflation.

In 1984 the Victor went out of production (kind of had too because the company’s assets were auctioned off), but this pistol was one of the best target pistols made at the time.  The Victor is a real work of art of fine quality and a great collector now, and still a highly accurate pistol considering the the originals have not been made in over 26 years.

The slide locks open if the magazine is empty, which is a very nice feature to have and the magazine catch is at the bottom front of the frame not the best location for speed.

The barrel has the sight attached on a rib that protrudes back over the slide. On the front of the frame is a spring-loaded button. Push the button (it is quite stiff, and you'll need to use the edge of a table or shooting bench) and you release the barrel from the frame. Now release the slide stop and the slide comes forward off the frame. You're done taking it apart for cleaning, unless you feel the need to scrub under the grips.

Unlike the magazine catch, which is where it is simply because it makes production easier (and no one needs to do a quick mag change in .22 LR competitions) the slide stop and safety are in useful locations.

The safety is where all 1911 shooters want to find one: on the left side, above the grips.

The slide stop is on the right, also above the grips. You can drop the slide on a fresh magazine by either pressing the catch down with your trigger finger or by pulling the slide back and letting go.

The trigger comes from the factory set at 2.25 pounds, and is adjustable for weight and travel.

The barrel rib holds the front and rear sight and is bolted on with screws threaded to the barrel. You can remove the iron sights and replace them with a scope base and put optics or a red-dot sight on top.

You can also bolt extra weight to the bottom of the barrel, if the regular 46 ounces of the Victor needs a little change of balance for your shooting style.

They started making the Victor again and the new High Standard Victor is one of the finest target pistols available in the world today! With a barrel-mounted sighting system, the Victor gives superb accuracy-shot after shot! It comes with a 2.25 lb. trigger pull and beautiful finish. The aluminum rib may be removed for mounting your favorite optics using the High Standard Universal Mount on the Victor's drilled and tapped barrel. The trigger is adjustable for both weight of pull and travel. The rear sight is fully click-adjustable for both windage and elevation, and you can even convert it to 22 short (not sure why you would want to, but you can).

Personally I love the High Standard .22 LR semi-autos. In fact in the Military I used to shoot pistol matches around the US, but my issue Match .22 pistol was the High Standard OLYMPIC CITATION (actually I also had a Ruger MK II with Bull Barrel, but the High Standard shot much better), I also shot .45 ACP 1911’s Combat matches, as well as .22 LR rifle matches in the army with OLYMPIC Rifles, but that’s another story.

Why would you want a Victor? In a world where you can buy any number of plinker-grade .22 LR pistols for half the cost of a Victor or less, why spend more than what it costs to get the basics? Because you get more, that's why.

You get more accuracy than you can shoot, more reliability than you can believe, and a link to the past as well as incredible durability--a pistol that even if you won the lottery tomorrow you could not afford enough ammo to wear out. It's a pistol, like so many others that have been seen on the line at Camp Perry, and one that will be around for many generations.

 

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  weaponeer

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Posted: July 06 2010 at 9:02pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

The High Standard Victor .22 LR Pistol

Special thank you to dcorb for the photos for this article.

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  jtsantes

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Posted: December 18 2011 at 9:02am | IP Logged Quote jtsantes

I have the same gone, purchased in very early 1981 or 82. with an East Hartford stamp. Unlike your gun, my gun has an allen screw to detach the barrel. I cannot find any reference to my gun but I assure you it is stock with less than 150 22LR though it. I reintroduced myself to target shooting and was, therefore, interested in finding out a bit more about the history of my gun. I have original box but no receipt so sales date is approximate. Can you help with the mystery?
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  weaponeer

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Posted: December 18 2011 at 2:02pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

I don't own the pistol. I did the writup for a member (owner of the pistol) so he had the history on it.

the screw sounds like an update (much better idea, less prone to stripping), likely a later factory mod, making your pistol likely newer than the one above.

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