The Marlin Gun

By Frank Iannamico

The World War II Submachine Gun of the High Standard Corporation

Carl G. Swebilius of the High Standard Manufacturing Corporation designed the High Standard submachine gun in 1940. A patent was filed October 10, 1940, and patent US2342824 was granted in February 1944. The patent was assigned to High Standard Manufacturing Corporation.

The .45 Caliber High Standard Submachine Gun

The United States Ordnance Department became interested in High Standard’s submachine gun and requested a weapon in .45 caliber be submitted for the Ordnance submachine gun trials. Seven of the weapons were made by High Standard in .45 caliber and delivered to the Ordnance Department. Referred to as the High Standard submachine gun in the trials, the weapon excelled in all areas of performance during testing.

The .45 caliber prototype test weapons were marked as “Made by High Standard Corp New Haven Conn. Patent Pend,” whereas later 9mm production models were marked, “United Defense Supply.” The serial numbers, all single digit, were marked on the underside of the receiver, and the frames were not marked with a number. The right side of the barrel was stamped “.45 CAL.” The 20-round magazine from the Thompson submachine gun was used to feed the .45 caliber model.

The Ordnance Department’s High Standard Submachine Gun Test

The current issue submachine gun of the time, the U.S. Model 1928A1 Thompson, was used as a benchmark during the Ordnance Department’s submachine gun testing.

The first model of the High Standard submachine gun was inspected and informally tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground on August 28 and 29, 1940. The High Standard was a .45 caliber weapon weighing 8.75 pounds and with an overall length of 33.1 inches.

In the functioning tests, the High Standard handled more easily than the Thompson M1928A1 and was of simpler construction. The cyclic rate of fire of 900 rounds per minute was high, and no magazine for the gun exceeded a 20-round capacity.

The High Standard consistently placed from four to nine shots of each burst on the six-by-six-foot target and was reported to have handled comparatively well. The Thompson averages from three to seven hits on target...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N10 (December 2018)
and was posted online on October 26, 2018


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