High Standard is one of the iconic names in handgun circles, but, outside of bullseye competitors, one that's not so well known to many of today's pistol shooters. That's a shame, because the Texas-based outfit is still making its classic Victor and Supermatic rimfires, as well as a series of 1911s in .45 ACP and .38 Super. In addition, the HSA-15 line of AR-type rifles offers both carry-handle and flattop models in rifle-length and carbine variants. And today in the Annual Meetings Exhibit Hall I learned from High Standard's Stan Chapman that the company is actually in expansion mode on several fronts.
To go with previously acquired brands AMT (handguns) and Interarms (AK rifles), High Standard recently merged with Herrett Gunstocks, another red-letter name among gun enthusiasts. Herrett will continue to operate at its home base in Idaho under the direction of founder Rod Herrett, and will be building wood stocks for the company's products.
Another recent acquisition was a metal castings plant in Lufkin, TX, where pistol frames, AK gas blocks and other key parts are fabricated. Assembly takes place in at High Standard's main facility in Houston. "We're looking to expand our manufacturing capability," said Chapman, "and especially looking forward to building more guns. We build our guns here in the U.S., using new equipment to make components from the original drawings. On our High Standards, the parts we make today are identical to what we made in the past, in fact are interchangeable with guns made in the 1920s and '30s."
Admittedly I can be a sucker for familiar names and guns, but from what I can see U.S.-made High Standards and its affiliate brands compete well in their market segments and are certainly worth a look from shooters who may be unfamiliar with this old-line brand.