High Standard HSA-15 Rifle

High Standard HSA-15 Rifle

With all the new manufacturers producing AR15’s and AR variants, I thought it might be nice to take a look at one that comes from a classic American firearms manufacturer.  With that in mind, in this article we’re going to examine High Standard’s HSA-15, an affordable American-made tactical rifle.

Features

When you buy an HSA-15, what you’re getting is a classically-built, modern rifle.  Foregoing a lot of the superfluous accessories many manufacturers are heaping on, High Standard concentrates on the essentials, including an adjustable stock, iron sights, picatinny top rail, 16″ barrel, flash suppressor and 30 round magazine (pinned to five for Canada).  This has the dual advantage of allowing owners a very flexible platform to customize according to their own tastes, while keeping the rifle affordable by avoiding extra components the user may not want or need.

One of the best things about the AR platform is the versatility they offer in terms of aiming technologies. This particular model includes a standard, elevation adjustable front sight, as well as a detachable carry handle with windage adjustable rear sights including a large and small option.  I love the classic AR irons, so for me this was an important feature; but if you’d rather use something fancier, the top-mounted picatinny rail will accept virtually anything from microdots to full-sized holographic or telescopic optics.

Construction

The same utilitarian mantra is evident in the gun’s construction as well.  Measuring in at 35″ overall, this is a very manageable rifle, particularly with the adjustable stock.  The 16″ barrel is standard fare for AR’s, and the 1:9 twist ensures it will work well with the ever-popular 55gr bullet.  It’s worth noting as well, while there’s often some ambiguity surrounding whether a specific rifle can handle 5.56 NATO or just .223; the HSA-15 clearly indicates it can be used with both.

Fit and finish on this rifle are both excellent, with no evidence of any tool marks or marring on the surface.  The annodized receiver is sleek and well made, with smooth, responsive controls located exactly where you’d expect them to be. The charging handle, forward assist, safety, and mag release are all soft enough to operate easily, but firm enough there’s no doubt they’ve engaged.  Likewise, the 16″ chrome-lined barrel has a nice parkerized outer finish that resists grit and grime while protecting it from corrosion.  Parkerizing isn’t something you see on a lot of modern rifles, so I was pleased to see High Standard went the extra mile here.

The included 30-round magazine is a grey, mil-spec design with metal body and baseplate, and a plastic follower.  As a Canadian import, this one has been pinned to five rounds in order to comply with our laws.  As you’ll see in the video above, it loads into the magwell smoothly and easily with very little effort.

The only real criticism I can lob at this gun relates to the magazine.  I mentioned earlier that the finish on this gun is very nice (and it is), but the magazine is a bit of an exception.  The instructions indicate the mil-spec magazines are subjected to heavy testing to ensure they meet the requisite standards.  I’m all for that, but it’s a bit disappointing to see a brand new magazine with wear marks right out of the box, even if it’s not a deal-breaker.

Summary

Overall I have to say I’m quite impressed with the HSA-15.  It’s a rugged, well-built and American-made rifle with exactly what your average shooter needs; no more, and no less.  At a mid-range price point, this is also a gun most folks will be able to afford without having to compromise on quality, or features.

Specs

ManufacturerHigh Standard
ModelHSA-15
Caliber.223/5.56mm
Capacity30+1 (5+1 Canada)
ActionSemi-Automatic
Rifling1:9
Barrel Length16″
Overall Length35″
Weight7.3lbs
FinishMatte Black
ClassificationRestricted

 

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