Some people like polymer pistols. Some like revolvers. Me? I like stuff that I can shoot and that I’m accurate with.
My grandfather had a High Standard Model HB. I’ve fired it a few times. It reminded me a lot of the Ruger Mark series. It was exceptionally accurate and solidly made. Since then, I’ve kept my eye on High Standards. They’re an enormous amount of fun and while they command decent prices, there isn’t a huge following for them like, say, the Colt Woodsman.
When my dad died back in August, I inherited a Chiappa 1911 style .22 pistol. Mind you, I’m not a gun snob. I’ve owned Hi-Points (if you are a gun snob, that should say it all. If you’ve actually owned a Hi-Point, you get it). I say it out loud. I like pieces that are fun to shoot and that shoot well. The Chiappa didn’t fit that description.
I have two people that I rely on heavily when it comes to gun advice. One is the Sharpened Axe’s own B&A Stowaway, the other is my Uncle Bern. I talked with Bern about the Chiappa when I got it. He suggested dumping a few magazines through it, rapid fire, to see if it had any difficulties functioning. I did that and it jammed with every magazine. Beyond that, I couldn’t hit much with it and the sights (IIRC) were not adjustable.
Another uncle showed up as we were going through dad’s estate and mentioned that he really wanted the Chiappa. I told him about my experience with it and he wasn’t bothered by the news. He asked me if I wanted to sell it and if I wanted to sell dad’s refrigerator as well. I was in the throws of grief and wasn’t really processing everything he was saying until he said the magic words.
“I even told your old man I’d swap ‘im a High Standard for that Chiappa.”
I shot him a look. (Pun intended)
“Go get it. I’m interested,” I said.
In the end, we swapped the refrigerator and the Chiappa for the High Standard and $100. I wouldn’t have given $50 for the Chiappa, thought I might have to donate the refrigerator and, well, the $100 bill was a bonus. I was pleased as punch. I brought it out the next morning and hit the target well with it.
It’s an interesting piece. In initially looking at it, it’s hard to believe how simple it is.
The barrel is held on by this screw by the trigger guard. Just loosen it and the barrel pops right off. Apparently, they used to sell different length barrels separately. I’d love to find something crazy like an 8 inch barrel for it. I’ve been looking, to no avail.
The grip is held on by one screw and also acts as the magazine well. The grip is made of plastic. The above picture is what’s left when you remove the grip.
Breakdown for cleaning is really simple. I like that in a piece.
It can be a little finicky with ammo. It doesn’t like hollow points. and it also likes being clean. Other than that, this is my favorite shooter. I carry it when hiking and fire it more than anything else that I have. As you can see, it’s pretty accurate. This target was from about 10-12 yards.
If you’ve been thinking about a light caliber semiautomatic pistol, High Standards are worth considering. They are cheaper than the Colt Woodsman and very, very fun to shoot. I really wish they were still making these. I’d have a safe full of them.
Mike, Oscar, Hotel….out.