Tag Archives: hi standard 22

My good old 22 pistol: The High Standard Sport King

Over the years, guns have passed through my hands. Some have remained, others, kept passing. One that fell into my lap a good while ago is a super heavy, all-steel rimfire pistol. Its name is the Sport King. Moreover, in my experience, its name is deserved.
Background

Founded in 1926 and run by Swedish firearms designer Carl Gustav Swebilius, High Standard purchased the Hartford Arms and Equipment Company and began making .22 caliber pistols in the 1930s. Starting with their Model A and Model B designs they offered their new semi-autos to the public at a price that made them an up and comer in the cash strapped Depression era.

(High Standard's HD model from the 1940s. The Sport King was, in essence, a striker-fired version of this pistol)

(High Standard’s HD model from the 1940s. The Sport King was, in essence, a striker-fired version of this pistol)

In 1940, they moved forward with what was to become their most popular model for the next twenty years, the H-D. This gun, made for the military as a target and training piece (and believe it or not, used by the OSS and later CIA as an assassination weapon, when coupled with an efficient suppressor), was the staple of the HS line for years.

Well by the 1950s, the HD had been put to pasture. Its replacement was the so-called Lever Name series of 22LR semi-automatic pistols, the Field King, Supermatic, Olympic, and (wait for it) Sport King.

hi standard sport king
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk

SR-71 Pilot’s Survival Kit

Flying over Soviet-controlled airspace in the coldest part of the Cold War, U.S. recon aircraft (spy plane) pilots carried some interesting gear if needed.

U-2 Pilot Survival Kit including Machete, hunting knife w scabbard, sharpening stone, pliers, file, monocular, insect repellent, compass, whistle, etc (plus other goodies)

U-2 Pilot Survival Kit including Machete, hunting knife w scabbard, sharpening stone, pliers, file, monocular, insect repellent, compass, whistle, etc (plus other goodies)

The kit above, it should be noted, is not complete.

In 1960, sheep-dipped US Air Force Lt. Gary Powers was somewhere that never existed in a plane that wasn’t on the official record.

Francis Gary Powers and a U2. Now that's one tight suit.

Francis Gary Powers and a U2. Now that’s one tight suit.

His plane, the U-2 recon aircraft was shot down over the Ural mountain city of Sverdlovsk in the Soviet Union.  Placed on public trial in Moscow, Powers admitted that his craft was in fact a CIA operated top-secret spy plane. In the trial, the Soviets produced a silenced Hi-Standard model USA-HD caliber .22LR, serial number 120046. The serial number is not listed in High Standard’s books and it has commonly been surmised that it was sold on spec to the CIA for operatives in the 1950s. Others were reportedly made without any markings whatsoever to be ‘sterile’ and thus deniable.

Francis Gary Power's gun, still in a Moscow museum since 1960.

Francis Gary Power’s gun, still in a Moscow museum since 1960.

Then came the SR-71, which, as far as is known, was never shot down on a mission.

One long-standing joke/urban legend was that the SR-71’s survival kit contained: “One forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days’ concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings.”

Life Hacker did a decent write-up on what one of these kits contained.

SR-71 pilots survival kit

SR-71 pilots survival kit in a museum, as told by Lifehacker

 

Well now TSC Machine Shop is billing their new HKG3K-B Title II (Class III) NFA-registered Heckler and Koch light machine gun build, tongue-in-cheek, as part of the SR-71 kit.

HK G3K-B

If you were lucky enough to land in one piece, one of these would be a heck of an interesting survival guns if lost ‘somewhere over Siberia’.

Now that's what I'm talking about

Now that’s what I’m talking about

The High Standard HD 22 Pistol: Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap

While walking around gun shows chances are you may come across a pistol that looks like the missing evolutionary link between the Colt Woodsman of the 1920s and the Ruger MkII of today. With an exposed hammer, steel construction, and single-action design, the High Standard HD is more a throwback than an antique but it is still highly sought after today.  Its peculiar history may be a reason why.

Founded in 1926 and run by Swedish firearms designer Carl Gustav Swebilius, High Standard purchased the Hartford Arms and Equipment Company and began making .22caliber pistols in the 1930s. Starting with their Model A and Model B designs they offered their new semi-autos to the public at a low price that made them immediately stand out in the cash strapped Depression era. In 1940 with some early successes in their pocket, they moved forward with what was to become their most popular model for the next twenty years, the H-D.

Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com 

high standard 4.5 inch barrel military