Gratuitous Gun Pic: High Standard Supermatic Citation (.22 LR)

Here’s a lovely old pistol:

I don’t know anyone who’s had much bad to say about High Standard Citation .22 LR pistols, other than the fact that replacement parts and magazines are ruinously expensive to come by — this, of course, because HS stopped making the line over forty years ago.  It remains the only U.S.-made pistol ever to have won an Olympic gold medal (Rome 1960), and still features in NRA competitions today.

In the 1960s you could have bought one of these beauties for about $40, and today they fetch close to a grand, depending on condition.

Mostly, HS pistols are known for their reliability — provided  that you clean them often (more so than modern pistols), that is, because their tolerances are so tight.  (I was once told by a gunsmith that 100% of the “malfunctioning” High Standards brought to him for “fixing” needed only a thorough cleaning before going back to their original flawless operation.  And we all know that .22 ammo, particularly the El Cheapo practice brands, can be filthy to shoot, right?)

Speaking for myself, the “rake” of the High Standard Citation model is a little too Luger, not enough 1911 for comfort — but that’s just me.  Others love the feel of it, and reckon its point is so natural as to almost compel good marksmanship.  And back before my eyes started to fail, I recall shooting a Reader’s Citation off a rest, and getting sub-1″ groups at 25 yards.

And, of course, he refused to sell it to me (the bastard).


  1. Kim; for parts, magazines and service, you can go to Alan Aronstein. He can be found at Rimfire Central on the High Standard section.
    As far as reliability, after cleaning, the most important part of the HS pistols is their magazine and the adjustment of the mags feed lips. There are two or three companies making mags for HS pistols. The good ones can be gotten from Alan, the others, I do not recommend.
    My Hi Standard Military Citation has a grip size and angle the same as my beloved 1911. Made that way because bullseye shooters using 1911s wanted it that way. Accurate, with an excellent trigger the HS pistols are still in demand. Also available new from Alan.

  2. I know you will consider this as blasphemous and philistine, but since you turned me on to the guy shooting CZ Shadow 2 pistols, and now I own one and am looking for a second I feel turn about is fair play…

    Why a second one you ask? To send off for some milling and putting on of a trijicon SRO. In all of my recent shooting I picked up a Sig X-5 Legion and strapped a trijicon RMR to the top of it. Low and behold I discovered that I did not need my shooting glasses any longer. My progressive prescription that was great for seeing the target at 10 yards but sucked for seeing the front sights was now once again great to shoot with since the red dot of the red dot sight is in focus when you are looking at the target. You might see if a shooting buddy has one mounting on a Euro Pellet gun and give it a try. I found it to be a real eye opener since now I can see the target as well as my red dot aiming point.

    Once I figured out my handgun shooting problem was I could not see the front sights any longer. I got a single vision prescription with a focal distance of 26 inches and my front sights were back in focus but alas I was shooting a blurry target. The red dot changed all that for me…

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