In 1932, the company, headed by Carl Gustav Swebilius, purchased the Hartford Arms and Equipment Company and began making .22 caliber pistols.
During World War II, the company supplied .22 caliber pistols for basic pistol training and familiarization to the armed forces. At the request of Office of Strategic Services Deputy Director for Research and Development Stanley P. Lovell, the company also developed a silent, flashless pistol for use by OSS agents behind enemy lines. An example of the pistol can be seen at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York.
Introduced in 1962, the High Standard D-100 and the later D-101 & DM-101 are hammerless, double-action derringers with half-trigger-guards and break actions. These double-barrel derringers were chambered for .22 Long Rifle and .22 Magnum and were available in blued, nickel, silver, and gold plated finishes. They were discontinued in 1984.
In 1968, the company was acquired by the Leisure Group. A turbulent period followed, due to the passage of Gun Control Act of 1968. The company then relocated to East Hartford in 1976. In 1978, Clem Confessore, company president, led a management buyout of High Standard from Leisure Group.
In December 1984, its assets were auctioned. Gordon Elliott, who had been the National Parts Distributor, purchased: the .22 Target pistols, the Crusader line and the High Standard name and trademarks.
In 1990, American Derringer would obtain the rights to the High Standard Derringer design.
In the spring of 1993, High Standard of Houston, Texas acquired the company assets and trademarks, as well as the .22 target pistols. These original assets were transferred from Connecticut to Houston, Texas in July 1993. The first shipments of Houston manufactured pistols began in March 1994