Thursday, October 17, 2013


The High Standard HDM is a modified High Standard HD model semi-automatic target pistol equipped with an integral sound suppressor. Originally adopted by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II, the pistol is still found in United States inventories, including that of the CIA, United States Marines, and Special Forces. Because of legal concerns during wartime, full metal jacketed .22 LR rounds were developed for this pistol.

During training with the Special Operations Executive, Violette Szabo (Virginia McKenna) test-fires a High Standard HDM, a pistol used by many other covert agents at the time.

The High Standard HDM is a conventional blowback-operated semi-automatic pistol fitted with an integral suppressor which decreases its report by more than 20 dB. This pistol design was originally delivered on January 20, 1944, and original contract models were blued with a Parkerized finish on the suppressor. Follow on models were completely Parkerized. Post World War II models produced for the CIA were also blued. The 10-round box magazine was interchangeable with that of the Colt Woodsman. The weapon has a frame mounted safety lever on the left in a similar position to the M1911A1 and Browning Hi-Power. The front sight is a fixed blade with a square notch fixed rear sight.

This weapon uses a heel-mounted magazine release. The weapon is effective at short ranges when the low energy of the round fired is taken into account. The design is simple and typical of the period in which it was designed. The HDM pistol was also manufactured in Argentina.

We used them during urban surveillance operations to shoot out street lights.