The Hi-Standard firearms company of the 1950s
and 60s would primarily consist of the semi-automatic 22 pistols
and were primarily used for target shooting. They would make some
22 pistols for general target shooting and hunting but the primary
focus would be 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 Hi-Standard, would be quite popular in the 1950s and early 60s.
The Hi-Standard firearms that were produced at that time would be considered the lesser of the target pistols than say the Colt firearms of that era. 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 a hunter and general shooting enthusiast firearm.
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.
The Hi 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 clip not functioning properly and at times the firing pin or mainspring would malfunction.
I would say that many of the problems associated with these and other firearms were maintenance more than the guns 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 firearm. 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.
This I believe leads to the majority of gun failures even for today as well as the 1950s and 60s. Maintenance and care of the Hi-Standard firearms are no different than any other gun and they do need to be cleaned every so often.
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.
I would give these type guns in excellent rating.
Models in 1954
• Sport King: Retail for $44.00
• Field King: Retail for $59.00
• Supermatic: Retail for $72.00
• Olympic: Retail for $72.00
The 2 barrel combo guns would cost $11.00 more. Very desirable today, but watch for fakes.
Models in 1961
• Sport King: Retail for $49.95
• Supermatic Tournament: Retail for $67.50
• Supermatic Citation: Retail for $87.50
Note: Not a big difference in price over the years.
Note: I do not consider any of the Hi-Standard rifles or shotguns of the 1950s or 60s to be classic firearms of the Golden Age of Classic firearms (IMHO).