High Standard was founded in 1926, but didn’t start producing pistols in earnest until 1932, when High Standard bought out the Hartford Manufacturing plant. World War II came along, and the military ordered tons of High Standards as trainers because there were ergonomic similarities between the High Standard and the 1911—and because .22 rimfire cost a lot less to shoot. The guns remained very popular after the war, as many GIs, like Team Asgrow’s grandfather, were familiar with them from their time in the service. The “HDM” model—very similar, but with an integral suppressor—served with the OSS during the war and with the CIA afterwards. U2 pilots carried them, including Francis Gary Powers, and the Soviets made a great deal out of the fact that he was carrying a “spy pistol” when he was shot down.