High Standard Dura-Matic M101

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.


6 thoughts on “High Standard Dura-Matic M101

  1. I’d say you definitely got the better end of the deal. Last week I saw one of those Dura-Matics at the Cabelas in Scarborough with a price tag just short of 600$. I think it is a result of the Colt Woodsman being so dear that the demand for the High Standard has gone up as well. A few years back Norinco made a decent copy of the Woodsman they called it the M-93 Sportsman, but with the current US ban on Chinese made firearms they got dumped in Canada for something like 180 $ a piece. Sure would love to get my paws on one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think at this point the Ruger Mark series would be the best bang for your buck, though I’ve never shot one. I routinely see them out here for between $300 and $400. I may try one of those next. I love .22 pistols!


      1. New the plane-Jane Mark-3 with the short tapered barrel are about 375$, There is one used at Cabelas right now for about 275 but most are around the 300 price range. I am keeping my eyes open for a Mk-2 at a decent price. A couple of weeks ago they had an American Arms P-98 which looks like a 5% smaller Walther P-38 in 22LR for 180$ and I was real temped to grab it but knew nothing about it. So I went home to get Mr Google to tell be about it and by the time I went back next day it was gone.

        Liked by 1 person

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