SOLD FOR: $1030
Make: High Standard Mfg. Corp.
Model: GB, U.S. Air Force Survival Kit Pistol
Serial Number: 316489
Year of Manufacture: 1949
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto fed by Removable Magazine
Markings: The left flat of the barrel is marked “HIGH STANDARD MFG. CORP. / NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A.”. The left of the slide is marked “HI-STANDARD / -MODEL-GB-“. The left of the frame is marked “CAL. 22 LONG RIFLE” at the hinge-pin for the takedown lever. The frontstrap is marked “316489”, found again on the right of the frame. The bottom of the barrel is hand-scribed with “4689”. The right of the frame has “U.S.A.F. / 375 TH” hand-scribed (see Our Assessment).
Barrel Length: 6 3/4″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered brown synthetic panels with “HS” in circle molded into each panel. The grips have no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 96% of its metal finish. The finish is lightly thinning at most edges. There is some minor erosion along the top edges of the slide and there are a few other spots of minor surface oxidation. The frontstrap has a line of finish wear across the serial marking. There are a few other scattered minor marks. The action shows minor operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a single 10-round magazine and a canvas cover. The canvas cover has a serial number hand-written on the back and another on the inside of the flap, neither matching the pistol’s serial number. The cover has scattered light wear and light-moderate discoloration. The magazine has minor operational wear, intact feed lips and a strong spring.
Our Assessment: This is a High Standard GB model .22 LR pistol. Purchasing the Hartford Arms & Equipment company when it failed during the Great Depression, High Standard entered the rimfire target pistol market in 1932. The company would go on to manufacture some of the highest quality rimfire target pistols into the 1980s, and their guns are still prized by target shooters today. While the pistols were immensely popular on the commercial market, they also saw limited use in a niche military role.
Approximately 1,100 GB model pistols were purchased by the United States Air Force to be supplied in survival kits. Oddly, the factory did not supply these pistols with any special markings, and known examples have hand-scribed or acid-etched USAF markings which appear to vary from gun to gun in size and style, though all of the examples were were able to compare had the markings in the ame location on the right of the frame below the barrel. This example is also marked with “375th”, but we were not able to determine the exact unit designation this is associated with.
As one of the few pistols purchased by the Air Force, this GB is sure to interest both High Standard and military pistol collectors. The value is only enhanced as it comes from the collection of author Kevin Williams, best known for his exceptional work on the topic of General Officers Pistols & Clandestine Organization Pistols of WWII. This is a scarce opportunity which will add to even advanced collections. Please see our photos and good luck!