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Old July 4, 2013, 06:08 AM   #1
Marksgal
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Victor or Supermatic?

I'm a newbie and looking for my first 22 target gun. I have found a store that has a High Standard Victor that has been used extensively and an S101 Supermatic that is that is in very good condition. I have been told they both function well and they are both Hamden models. My plan is to use this firearm exclusively for at least the next year or two and I want this to last a lifetime. I don't care so much about pretty. I just want it to go bang when I pull the trigger. Alternatively, I could continue to put feelers out so I can actually fire any gun before purchasing it. I would hugely appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

Michele
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Old July 4, 2013, 06:37 AM   #2
saleen322
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While they are both fine guns, of the two I would go for the Victor. IMHO the 102 to 107 Hamden made guns have the better sights for my liking. The 106 and 107 are called Military grip because the grip angle is similar to a 1911 while the earlier models are called slant grips because the angle is closer to a European target pistol or a Ruger MKII, etc. Here are pics of a slant grip 103 and a military Victor for reference. Hope this helps.

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Old July 4, 2013, 07:59 AM   #3
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For a first go-around I would avoid these guns, even though they are accurate they have lots of problems with feeding, usually magazine issues. A model 41 Smith & Wesson is a much better gun overall for accuracy & reliability.
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Old July 4, 2013, 08:24 AM   #4
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Check to make sure there are easily available replacement parts for them.
Things like grips, springs, magazines, etc.
Especially with used ones.
One of the reasons that Rugers are so popular is the huge support for them.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:09 AM   #5
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Also, remember that you can NOT shoot high velocity .22LR in these guns. Most bulk ammo is HV these days, so you will be spending a lot more for SV ammo for plinking or practice.

I'd get a Ruger MK II (not a MK III btw). There are many around, so just look for a used Target Model with adjustable sights, and bull barrel. You can tune it or modify it to your hearts content. Tons of aftermarket goodies are available for them and you can shoot as much cheap HV ammo through them as you want.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:34 AM   #6
saleen322
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.22 Target Pistols

Quote:
A model 41 Smith & Wesson is a much better gun overall for accuracy & reliability.
I was wondering what data you based that on. I have a number of .22 target pistols and the High Standard is as accurate as even the high end ones. The magazines sometimes need an initial adjustment but that is one and done. They are completely reliable with good ammo. As far as accuracy, here are two groups from two different High Standards at 50 yards. IMHO that is pretty good. The other good thing about the Military grip models is the current production models use the same replacement parts in case you need something repaired. The advice to use standard velocity ammo is good advice and that is all I use in all of my .22s.



The Rugers are fine pistols and you need to spend a lot more on some other pistol to get better performance. A trigger job and maybe good grips and you have a quality target gun. They too shoot better with standard velocity ammo. Hope this helps.


Last edited by saleen322; July 5, 2013 at 06:40 AM.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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Nice shooting there Saleen!

To be clear the CT made High Standards are excellent target pistols.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:51 AM   #8
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I have High Standards myself, but for heavy use would you not want a current production gun with a warranty?
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Old July 4, 2013, 12:53 PM   #9
Olympus
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Re: Victor or Supermatic?

I'm a huge High Standard collector. The 106 and 107 models are considerably better than the earlier 101s.

But as much as I love my Victors, I would not recommend them to a new shooter. They are picky about ammo and mags occasionally need working over to feed properly. If you don't mind tinkering, then go for it. But if you're new to target 22s, you might try something else.

The S&W 41 is definitely is NOT superior in terms of reliability and accuracy. I've owned a few of those as well.

Really for your first target 22, I'd probably say try for a Ruger Mark 2 target. Lots of Volquartsen products to trick it out and you can get a really good shooter for less money. You can easily find extra mags. And those guns will eat any ammo you can feed them. Then after you get some expedience, then you can start getting into the High Standards.
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Old July 4, 2013, 10:13 PM   #10
Marksgal
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Thank you so much for taking the time to post. I greatly appreciate all of your opinions and advice. While I'm not sure what I will get, thanks to your help it probably won't be the S101 Supermatic. Also, it may be best to purchase off a fellow shooter rather than a store. I am so happy google took me to such a great forum with so many people willing to help a newbie. Thanks so much.
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Old July 5, 2013, 09:06 AM   #11
Olympus
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Re: Victor or Supermatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marksgal View Post
Thank you so much for taking the time to post. I greatly appreciate all of your opinions and advice. While I'm not sure what I will get, thanks to your help it probably won't be the S101 Supermatic. Also, it may be best to purchase off a fellow shooter rather than a store. I am so happy google took me to such a great forum with so many people willing to help a newbie. Thanks so much.
Also something to consider when looking at High Standards:

Guns that were made at the East Hartford location are less valuable and were the start of falling quality of High Standard. The gun will say this on the right side. You want guns that were made at the Hamden location.

Mitchell High Standards are nothing but junk. Don't waste your money.

The new Houston High Standard is not the same as the original company. Their guns are hit and miss. I wouldn't own one, but some people have had good luck.
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Old July 5, 2013, 10:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Really for your first target 22, I'd probably say try for a Ruger Mark 2 target. Lots of Volquartsen products to trick it out and you can get a really good shooter for less money. You can easily find extra mags. And those guns will eat any ammo you can feed them. Then after you get some expedience, then you can start getting into the High Standards.
This is something I have to absolutely agree with. The MkII is a very solid and trouble-free gun, it is inexpensive, reasonably accurate - and has a huge aftermarket supply of parts.

For myself, the old Swiss Hämmerli 208 with 212 grips is the finest semi in my stable.

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Old July 6, 2013, 03:52 AM   #13
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.

Check every single HS pistol for a frame crack, near the upper magazine area siderails - a deal breaker if present.

Here's the area I mean:




.
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Old July 6, 2013, 12:48 PM   #14
saleen322
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The advice about the frame cracks, use only standard velocity ammo, and change the driving (recoil) spring are all very good advice. You do need to keep it in perspective, that advice is given because the High Standards will last generations. If a person is looking for a 10-15 year pistol, one could do anything they wanted to a good High Standard and it would likely hold up that long (or longer). I compete but not as much as I used to and testing has shown the High Standards, particularly the new Houston Texas models, to be very accurate. I put them against some good .22s. There are 3 High Standards on the bench in this photo. In my range rack i have a Hammerli 208, a Benelli 90 World Cup, a Pardini SP, a FAS 602, a Browning Medalist, and a Russian IZH-35M. None of those guns group better than the High Standard. Hope this helps.

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Old July 6, 2013, 08:40 PM   #15
745SW
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The pictured Victor(s). Was the receiver hard chromed or did it come that way?
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Old July 7, 2013, 05:11 AM   #16
saleen322
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Quote:
The pictured Victor(s). Was the receiver hard chromed or did it come that way?
They come that way. The frames on the current production High Standard target models, at least the last ones I bought, are now all stainless steel. The frames on the original ones were carbon steel and subject to cracking if not properly cared for so the frames were changed to a stronger stainless to resist that occurring. Here is a link to the High Standard website.

http://www.highstandard.com/index.ph...cts/weapons#22

Last edited by saleen322; July 7, 2013 at 05:53 AM.
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Old July 7, 2013, 08:08 AM   #17
Olympus
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Re: Victor or Supermatic?

But just so we aren't confusing the OP, the "new production" High Standards are not made by the original High Standard company. They are made by Houston High Standard which is a completely different company.
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Old July 7, 2013, 08:23 PM   #18
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I shot them both in competition for over ten years...liked the Victor better for it's shorter sight radius. In NRA 50' Bullseye competition, the Supermatic would get a wobble going that was hard to dampen out in Rapid Fire. Both guns are inferior to S&W's M41, the 5-1/2" barreled model, but only if the Smith is fitted with better stocks. If you're going to fit some sort of ray gun optic, super dot sight to the gun, sight radius matters little. I shot them with iron sights...still do for that matter. Good glasses will allow you to see the front sight, and padnuh, that's all that matters.

JMHO, Rod
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Old July 8, 2013, 11:10 AM   #19
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I haven't handled a High Standard pistol in years but I seem to recall that at least some of them didn't come with traditional "feed ramps" and relied on the magazine design to feed the round into the chamber. Is this true and, if so, is that why High Standard magazines seem to require more adjustments ("tinkering"), at least initially, to get the pistol to run reliably?

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Old July 8, 2013, 11:38 AM   #20
745SW
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“They come that way. The frames on the current production High Standard target models, at least the last ones I bought, are now all stainless steel. The frames on the original ones were carbon steel and subject to cracking if not properly cared for so the frames were changed to a stronger stainless to resist that occurring.”

The receiver being stainless would be a much-appreciated changed IMO in terms of finish wear. I have two Victors from the 80’s (East Hartford) and they look new because I seldom give them any use, prefer center fire like the 45auto.

While I appreciate stainless this is the first time I’ve ever heard it being stronger than carbon steel. Perhaps it’s a softer stainless so as to have better cracking resistance. Or is there some other explanation for it being tougher? I didn’t see any info about the change to stainless at the High Standard site.

Last edited by 745SW; July 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM. Reason: spelling goof, "that" should have been "than"
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Old July 8, 2013, 11:55 AM   #21
745SW
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“I haven't handled a High Standard pistol in years but I seem to recall that at least some of them didn't come with traditional "feed ramps" and relied on the magazine design to feed the round into the chamber. Is this true and, if so, is that why High Standard magazines seem to require more adjustments ("tinkering"), at least initially, to get the pistol to run reliably?”

Yes this is 100% correct as far as I know. My past Citation and currently owned Victor’s have no feed ramp at all. Perhaps the reason is to keep bullet distortion to a minimum.

22LR pistols being picky about brand and type of ammo are common although some are more reliable than others. My Beretta 71 6” is a joy to shoot, not picky, but after market support is virtually non-existent and OEM mags are next to impossible to get. Otherwise I would be well into Beretta’s in terms of the 70 and 71 series.
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Old July 9, 2013, 10:10 PM   #22
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I own several High Standards, first I would encourage you to go to www.rimfirecentral.com. There is actually a section there for nothing but HS, John Stimson is "The Man" where HS is involved. As to your question, I would pick up the Victor. Hamden made Victors are more collectible by "purists" of HS but make no mistake, the E. Hartford HS shoot just as well. The trigger of the High Standard is second to none, from the second you pull the trigger on one the heavens open up. Feeding issues are much over stated, HS pistols do not have a feed ramp into the barrel so the magazine is what feeds the bullet. All that is required is to properly "tune" the lips of the magazine so the bullet is correctly fed into the barrel, that's it. Complaints that often occur about feeding issues are from those that do not understand how to tune the lips of the magazine. I have never encountered a feeding issue with any of mine. It is true when shooting HS pistols you should only use Standard Velocity .22LR ammo....CCI Standard Velocity is the main one used. The reason for this is HS pistols are target pistols, SV ammo provides better accuracy and CCI is the cheapest of any SV ammo. As to Texas HS, they have a very good reputation but from what I understand the wait for one is somewhat long. The only part you should ever have to replace is the main spring or recoil spring, that is readily available from Wolf Springs and is cheap. Beware....once you buy your first HS many others will follow. I hope this helps. Good Luck.
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