High Standard introduced their Sentinel revolver line in 1955, probably at the request of Sears Roebuck, which was a major customer and owned quite a bit of High Standard stock. Sears wanted a low-cost kit gun or “tackle box” revolver to sell under their J.C. Higgins brand. It was sold by Sears as the J.C. Higgins Model 88. The J.C. Higgins guns were given distinctive grips, cylinder flutes, and cylinder release pins. Private label versions of the Sentinel were also made for Western Auto (the Revelation Model 99) and Armamex (Colonel Rex Applegate’s company in Mexico). The Sentinel was a 9-shot .22 revolver. It was advertised to have an anodized aluminum frame, high-tensile carbon steel barrel and cylinder, single-stroke multiple ejection, a swing-out counterbored cylinder, a movable square-notched rear sight, a non- slip scored trigger, a diamond-checkered grip (though they didn’t mention it was plastic), and target accuracy.
The innovative design was completed by Harry Sefried, High Standard’s young design engineer, in a mere six months. Sefried wasn’t afraid to incorporate good ideas wherever he found them. The squared-off grip on the first model was modified from the Colt New Model .36 Pocket Pistol of 1862, and one shooter was said to remark that it was “the first decent grip on a revolver since the Civil War.” It remains to this day one of the most comfortable revolver grips I have ever encountered. The simplified cylinder lock design was taken from Hugo Borchardt’s experimental revolver of 1876, which he designed while working for Winchester and which was observed by Sefried during his own five years at Winchester. The gun, like the Broomhandle Mauser, is screwless but for the grip screw.
R-108. In 1967 the Snub-nose Sentinel was given a two-piece grip and the R-108 series designation. The frame carries a trigger logo. A few of this series have no frame logo.