High Standard Manufacturing Company, Inc. is a Texas corporation with manufacturing facilities in Houston, Texas. The company was founded in Connecticut in 1926 as a supplier of deep hole drills and specialty machines 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. From 1932 onward significant sales of .22 caliber pistols were made to the U.S. Government which trained hundreds of thousands of servicemen in World War II using the High Standard pistols. During the war, the company also produced thousands of .50 caliber machine guns and machine gun parts in addition to various pistols for the military. By the 1950's, the High Standard .22 pistol was the gun of choice on the NRA pistol competition circuit. As the company expanded its product offerings away from the .22 pistols, adding such products as derringers, .22 revolvers, .22 rifles and sporting and police shotguns. The company also began to manufacture private label handguns for the major mass merchandising chains. Its J.C. Higgins line for Sears, Roebuck, Company was a very successful product line. In 1952, Sgt. Joe Benner, U.S. Army, won the Gold Medal in the Olympic Rapid Fire competition using a High Standard pistol. Then again in 1960, Colonel William McMillan, U.S. Marines, won the Gold Medal in the Olympic Rapid Fire competition using a High Standard pistol. These are the only Gold Medals won using an American-made firearm in this event. At this point, the company made some significant changes to its product line-up-yielding the .22 pistol still made today. These new pistols featured a new grip design with the grip at the same angle as the Colt .45 pistol also used in competition. In this way, a shooter could shoot the .22 leg of the course and then the .45 competition without having to think about the way the gun was held for maximum accuracy. These pistols also had the same unique push-button barrel takedown design and micro-adjustable sights that is still available on the pistols today. In 1968, the company was purchased by the Leisure Group which was a growing conglomerate. By 1975, there had been several management changes and the company relocated to East Hartford in 1976 into a modern leased facility. In 1978, Clem Confessore, company president, and a group of investors bought High Standard from Leisure Group. In December 1984, Gordon Elliott, who had been the National Parts Distributor for High Standard since the mid-1970's, purchased the company and all; gauges, tooling, intellectual property, trademarks, and patents.
High Standard .22 Auto Pistol
High Standard Model H-D Military
High Standard Olympic
Sports, Inc. of Chicago made pistol grips for many popular as well as hard to find revolvers and semi automatic pistols. Item # 158 B-S in their catalog was a grip for the High Standard line of 22 Auto Pistols. These grips fit not just the High Standard .22 but certain models also fit the Supermatic Trophy, Supermatic Citation, Olympic Citation, and Supermatic Tournament. Designs included faux ivory, walnut, and stag horn grips. Shown below are the stag horn High Standard 22 Auto Grips for the new model made in 1958 (Item 158 B-S).
Franzite Grips #158 B-S for High Standard Pistols made after 1958