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Hi-Standard Military Model B-US

During World War II, the Hi-Standard Model B was used to train troops, eventually obtaining military markings, making it the Model B-US.


When the United States entered World War II, its standard sidearm was the M1911A1 .45 ACP Government Model—acknowledged to be one of the finest military pistols ever devised. Authorities felt that, while the .45 was certainly user-friendly, to those not familiar with large-bore handguns it might be a good idea to first train them with something a bit less intimidating. They decided to purchase some rimfire semi-automatics for just such a purpose. To an economy-minded Ordnance Dept., the savings in ammunition cost was an attractive incentive for adopting a training pistol that fired less expensive .22 Long Rifle ammunition. The top choice was the Hi-Standard Model B sporting pistol, which had been introduced in a few years earlier.

The High Standard Mfg. Co. was officially founded in 1926, and in 1932 it moved to a bigger plant in Hamden, Conn., where production began in earnest. Although sales were good, the government contracts following Pearl Harbor gave the relatively new company a real shot in the arm.

The Model B’s simple notch-and-blade sights and grip angle were similar to those of the Government Model, but the controls on the .22 were nothing like those on the big-bore service pistol—and it was hammerless. Its 10-shot magazine also loaded differently, and the gun did not fieldstrip like the .45. Still, Model Bs were deemed adequate to teach basic gun handling and marksmanship skills. Early versions retained their civilian appearance, but beginning around serial number 99261 the shape of the frame was modified slightly, resulting in the Model B-US.

Military Model Bs had 4 1/2-inch barrels, were Parkerized like the .45, and stamped with appropriate military ownership markings. Stocks were checkered hard rubber, decorated with the company’s “HS” monogram.

High Standard was the only supplier of .22 Long Rifle training pistols to the U.S. Army during World War II. The first was the Model B, but it was replaced in 1942 by the Model HD, which was thought to be ergonomically closer to the M1911 Government Model.

Between 1942 and 1943 some 14,000 Model Bs were made for the U. S. Army and Navy, and despite the addition of the Model HD to inventory, Model Bs continued to soldier on until the end of the war after which, for a short time, they continued to be manufactured for the civilian market.

Today they are popular with collectors and remain accurate and reliable pistols. The late-issue Model B-US pictured here is in NRA Excellent condition, showing little use. Value would be in the $750 to $800 range, adding another $125 to $150 for the original box.

Gun: Hi-Standard Model B-US
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Serial Number: 105174
Condition: NRA Excellent
Value: $750 to $800 (add $125-$150 for original box)

High Standard 22

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11 Responses to Hi-Standard Military Model B-US

Leo wrote:
March 31, 2014

My Dad had a High Standard Model B with the serial number 72693 and New Haven, Conn. its a .22 would like to know the year it was manufactered.

Scott wrote:
February 23, 2014

I have a hi standard 22 model b. Its all original. It great condition. Wood grips 33xxx serial number. Any idea what year it was made. It say new haven conn on side. It has two levers on left side. One is safety the other is to take off slide.

Calvin meuser wrote:
September 03, 2013

Got mine today for $300

chipoer wrote:
August 11, 2013

Hsve hd model b ser# 109xxxx great shape good gun

Joe wrote:
June 05, 2013

Looking for a supplier of pets for this gun....

Dale Massie wrote:
May 03, 2013

Ronald, if the information I have found on the internet is correct, then your Hi-Standard would have been made in 1942. The serial number on the one I have is 995xx, made the same year as yours. It belonged to my wife's grandfather. He was a Commander in the USN during WWII. He had this pistol with him on D-Day. I trust this helps.

Ronald Woodington wrote:
March 25, 2013

I have a High Standard Model B serial 95577. Can someone tell me the year it was made? When I acquired the pistol in the mid 1950's, I was told it was new and had never been fired. I have never fired it. It appears to me to be in excellent condition, however, I do notk now much about about guns.

Joe Orlando wrote:
December 07, 2012

I have my day's High Standard Military pistol model 107. 5 1/2 inch bull barrel. I've had it since the mid 70s. Serial number is 1989494 and it is stamped Hamden Conn. it is my favorite handgun. Could you tell me what year it was manufactured? Thank you

Frank Peckett wrote:
July 07, 2012

I have a Hi-Standard Sport King model SK-100 serial no.539489. the articles by Charles Petty in your May 2002 issue and also Garry James in July 2012 make no mention of the Sport King. Were many of these produced?

Buffalochip1 wrote:
June 24, 2012

Question to the author: I have a Model B-US, SN 100xxx, but the finish is a commercial-grade high polish blueing. It is not a re-finish -- the last of the markings are above the blueing, and all edges and markings are too sharp for it to have been refinished. Military marks are the same as shown in your article, but the top of the barrel also has a U.S. property roll mark. Condition is in the 95 to 98 percent range with minimal wear, and the piece came with the original red box and packing slip. Any thoughts as to the number that were similarly finished vs. military parkerizing? Also, I'd appreciate your thoughts on how this would affect the value. Many thanks for your comments.

Errett L Allen wrote:
June 22, 2012

I have an HDM, not govt, which I purchased new in 1952. It has had thousands of rounds thru it, 99% of Remington Hi-Speed HP's and has killed thousands of Jack Rabbits, snakes, and a few coyotes. It has been modified by the addition of Micro sights, and is still as accurate as the day it was purchased. I would not take $1000.00 for it. I is my favorite handgun.