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Old 01-01-2015, 08:11 PM
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Default The WWII Hi-Standard Model U.S.A. H-D pistol

One of the lesser-known American military firearms of the WWII period was the Hi-Standard U.S.A. H-D .22 caliber pistol. It is often confused with the post-war H-D Military, which was similar, or the Military target pistols made much later.

About 32,000 were purchased by the War Department during the period of September of 1943 through May of 1945. The serial numbers ran from about 103863 to 14981. They are distinguished from the later H-D Military guns mentioned by the markings and that they had a fixed rather than adjustable rear sight. All had 4.5" barrels, while some of the H-D Militaries had 6" barrels.

The guns were purchased for economical pistol practice, but a considerable number were equipped with a sound suppressor and designated the U.S.A Model H-D MS. General “Wild Bill” Donovan, head of the OSS (forerunner of the CIA) demonstrated one to President Franklin Roosevelt in the oval office by firing 10 rounds into a sandbag in a wastebasket, unnoticed by the President while Roosevelt was signing some papers. When this was brought to Roosevelt’s attention, he remarked to Donovan that he was the one Republican he’d ever trust with a gun in the oval office! One was carried by U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers during the Cold War, and was retrieved by the Russians after he was shot down. It now rests in a Russian museum.

The guns were blued until about serial number 12800, and then Parkerized. All were equipped with checkered hard rubber grips. They were shipped in black boxes, complete with an instruction tag and instructions printed on a large sheet. The reverse of the sheet had an illustrated parts list.

The gun illustrated carries serial number 1224xx, and was sent to the War Department in October of 1944. It lacks, as do some others, the Ordnance Department stamping on the right side of the frame. The top of the barrel is marked “PROPERTY OF U.S.” and this same marking is on the right of the frame. The serial number is stamped on the front gripstrap. The last 3 digits of the serial number are stamped on the underside of the slide, as was the standard practice.





I thought you'd find the pictures and information interesting.

John
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Last edited by PALADIN85020; 01-01-2015 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:14 PM
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John--can you imagine shooting like that in the Oval office today? They wouldn't let the Chairman of the Joint Chief's do that.

GREAT article as usual.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:38 PM
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Great informative article, John. Never knew about that. Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:44 PM
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HD Military

This one has no Govt. Or Military makings. Later gun with adj. sights. Don't
know history of pistol, Marine had it. Some how it beat me home. That was back in '71.


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Old 01-01-2015, 08:56 PM
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John,

Another great post. I think the story about Donovan and the Oval Office is apocryphal, but a neat story, nonetheless. The Ordnance Dept also bought quite a few Model B pistols before the HD was available. Below is a picture of all three.

Drm50, I believe your gun would have been private purchase, hence the lack of military markings.

Regards,
Kevin Williams
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:07 PM
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Another nice write-up John.

When I was on Riley in the 70's, there was an indoor range down the hill from our maintenance shop on main post. I used to go there a couple of times a week and check out a High Standard & 100 rounds of.22 for lunch.

Too long ago for me to remember any of the specifics of the model though.
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:32 PM
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Is the one which looks silenced truly silenced?
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:43 PM
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Default Grips needed

Can anyone here help me find a set of grips for my H~D USA Military Hi Standard? I prefer finding an original pair vs. repops.

Thanks
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 37thguy View Post
Can anyone here help me find a set of grips for my H~D USA Military Hi Standard? I prefer finding an original pair vs. repops.

Thanks
Well...I'm confused about your language. Is it a USA Model H-D (WWII era Ordnance marked) or is it an HD Military (post war commercial)? The former will have black plastic or hard rubber grips, the latter will have wooden grips.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:13 PM
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As fine a .22 as was ever made. I have a 1946 vintage (birth year) that will be passed on to one of my children. It took me a while to find it.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:42 PM
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What happened to John Stimpson's "Survivor Files"??
Are they just temporarily down of did he pull them from public access?
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:25 PM
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I've never owned one................yet.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadin View Post
What happened to John Stimpson's "Survivor Files"??
Are they just temporarily down of did he pull them from public access?
John J. Stimson, II
Forum Notice
Mon Dec 26, 2016 18:33
2602:306:3001:e310:94b8:929d:539b:1f49

For those of you who have not seen my September 2016 message about the change in support of this forum I offer the following.

This forum was started November 23,2004 and in the nearly 12 years since has accumulated over 33,400 posts. A year or so ago the company I lease the forum service from deleted the first 7,001 posts and that took out all the posts from November 23, 2004 through September 8 2008 or almost 8 years. That was very disappointing as that represented a lot of my time and some money to rent the forum service.
I think I have enjoyed about all I can enjoy maintaining this forum and I plan to not renew the forum service when I comes due again in December 17th. That will result in advertising appearing on the forum and eventually all but the last 2000 or so posts to be deleted.

The usage of the forum has diminished over the past couple of years to about half of what it once was once it became established. I am getting less useable data that advances my research and getting that data was the reason for the forum in the first place. I will not be providing research for guns after December 17th unless your are a friend that I already know or the gun properly described appears to be one that might benefit my research. I suspect that will be very few guns that i do research.

Hopefully this will allow more research in the factory records as I begin to do the final draft of John Currie's book that I have been working on for a lot of years.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:35 PM
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Thanks Kevin, I apparently missed the announcement......

I had several Hartfords and a couple of HS listed there and just came into a Fiala I was going to enter when I found the file was gone.....

Too bad. It was a great resource.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:03 PM
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Dean,
He might still enjoy hearing about your Fiala. I think he is just tired of the expense and hassle of the forum.
Regards,
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