Forgotten Weapons Takes on the High Standard 10B

“…The most tacti-cool shotgun I could find prior to 1980!” proudly cliams Ian from our beloved Forgotten Weapons. The 10B is a bullpup semi-automatic shotgun built by the High Standard company designed by a private individual police Sergeant Alfred Couch.

Innovative features include a swiveling stock for (slightly more) ergonomic weapons manipulation and a mount which is arguably the forerunner of the picatinny flashlight. Not so innovative features include flip-up iron sights, a carry handle that gets in the way, and unreliable operation (at least with the example Ian was filming).



Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Joe

    Revamp the exterior and it would kill the KSG.
    14 rounds are cool in such a tiny package, but between the slide and the ammo selector I feel it’s not optimal for defensive use.
    4 to 6 rounds in a bullpup semi with minimal manipulation is way more user friendly, especially in a half-asleep HD scenario.

    • The KSG just needs a redesign for simultaneous dual feed and to reverse the pump direction ala the Neostead. It’s really not a bad shotgun for what it is.

      The Model 10 suffered due to a lack of a magazine extension – bizarre thing to leave out on a police shotgun, even in the 70’s.

      • Frank

        I currently own two of the Model 10Bs. There are several things that I have experienced with the shotguns. First, the shotgun was not designed as a patrol shotgun where you can fire light loads and specialty ammunition to minimize fatality such as riot control. The shotgun was design for stake squads and police raids into a close-in environment such as an apartment building.
        The cool factor is probably what killed the gun since every uniformed officer had to have one. And was used outside the original scope of its intended use.
        Another factor that killed the Model 10B was the recoil. Since you could only use high brass 2 3/4 inch shells. You were pretty much limited to what ammunition you could use. The heavy recoil also damaged the KelTec flashlights with it two D cell battery moving back and forth into the flashlight. Guns shipped with the flashlight usually had the flashlight damaged or lost. Finding a gun with an undamaged flashlight is rare. Use of the flashlight on the Model 10B also made the gun unbalanced as it hung from the left side of the gun. The early Model 10A had the flashlight over the center of the bore. The flashlights were also damaged from the batteries being left in the flashlight and the batteries would leak and damage the flashlight.
        Choate did make a extended magazine tube for the Model 10B. Having examined and shot one the extended magazine made the Model 10B nose heavy and changed the center of balance.
        The Model 10B requires a thorough cleaning to be kept reliable. The disassembly of the Model 10B is a pain to put it mildly and could be problematic. First is the removal of the front sight. The first was added to Model 10B since the flashlight on the Model 10A was the primary sighting system was useless in the daylight hours. The front base on the Model 10B is made from Aluminum and set in place with a steel set screw. Over time the steel set screw will strip out the threads on the aluminum base. Second, was the proper setting of the front sight after each removal. It was just guess work to get it back into proper position to be useful.
        If High Standard had invested in better research and development of the Model 10B it could have been a great shotgun.
        I have upgraded one of my Model 10B with a Picatinny rail mounting a modern reflective sight, a folded down AR rear sight, side mounted MiniMag flashlight and laser. It mades an excellent tactical shotgun.

  • codfilet

    I’ll keep my High Standard K120 Riot gun. How do I know it’s for riots? it says so, right on the barrel.

    • Matt L.

      12 GA. 2 3/4″ OR 3″ ALSO, DEFINITELY FOR RIOTS

  • Matt L.

    [At a police gear expo in the 1970s]

    High Standard Rep: Check this out. The new Model 10 patrol shotgun: short, light, and semi-auto!

    Police Chief: That’s quite a concept. Does it work?

    Rep: No.

    Chief: Does that tiny stock hurt to shoot with?

    Rep: Feels like getting kicked by an angry donkey with hemorrhoids.

    Chief: So why would I buy this?

    Rep: *spins stock*

    Chief: I want thirty.

    • Ronaldo Olive

      My close encounter back in the early 1990s with M10Bs used by Rio’s Military Police …

      • iksnilol

        You had fewer wrinkles in the 90s than you do now 😛

        How did the 10b work?

      • Matt L.

        Nice! How’d you like it?

  • claymore

    SIGH ………. our State police armory has more than 20 of these sitting collecting dust and most have NEVER BEEN FIRED. Just like the Thompsons they can’t be sold or traded.

    • Why can’t they be sold or traded? I didn’t think these were NFA?

      • claymore

        Just policy no firearm can be sold or traded.

    • iksnilol

      Can’t you, y’know, use them? At least for funsies at the range.

      • claymore

        A few have been used just for that. The average troopers can’t get at them unless they have a hook at emergency service where they are kept.

  • Bill

    Team one of those with the Bushmaster Pistol and a S&W M39 or a BHP and you were hot feces.

    His problem is that’s a MagLight: back then it would have been a Kellight or a Bianchi flashlight.

  • Fruitbat44

    Interesting little video on an interesting little concept. I wonder if the gun in the video was the proverbial lemon, or if it’s typical of the standard of reliability of M10. If so . . .

    However it worked well enough for Richard Roundtree in the 1972 movie ‘Shaft’s Big Score.’ I don’t recall much of the movie, but I do recall the M10 looking pretty darn cool.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Since they all had their triggers constructed the same way, it is very likely they all would eventually develop the same problem. A little welding would fix the loose pin problem in a nice, permanent fashion.

  • Ted Unlis

    I remember the first time I saw a 10B at Wald Police Supply in Dallas TX, of course it was just another gun I wished I could own but couldn’t possibly afford on the $895 a month salary I existed on in the early 80’s. For Officers who worked the night shift, the 10B seemed like the perfect solution for weapon to wield on a hot call at 3 in the morning.

    I remember that the attractive feature of combining a good flashlight and shotgun all in one package was considered ground breaking innovation and cutting technology in a time when the personally owned on duty arsenal for a majority of officers was one gun, a revolver, usually a Model 19 S&W along with the occasional Model 29 and less common Model 57, most Departments furnished a Rem 870 or Win 1200 pump shotgun that was assigned to and stayed in the same patrol car all its working life and was usually well worn and beat to hell, and if you had a personally owned patrol rifle chances are you had a Marlin lever action 30-30, or maybe a Marlin lever action carbine in 357 or 44 mag with an occasional in 444 Marlin.

    I also remember that the all in one flashlight/shotgun innovation was exactly why many Departments forbid their officers from carrying the ahead of its time High Standard bullpup shotgun on patrol after reports surfaced alleging that some officers who availed themselves of the 10B found it handy for flashlight use on routine traffic stops and service calls.

    Never saw it personally, but do I believe that at least a few officers of that bygone era couldn’t resist the urge to bear their shiny new way cool flashlight/shotgun combo when ever possible? Absolutely, but you should understand that early to mid 20’s was the average age of an Officer in many Dept’s during the early 80’s, Houston PD hired 19 year olds and DPS hired 20 year olds, most of whom were of course 10ft tall and bulletproof the first few years on the job.

    I recall vividly our old school small town East Texas Police Chief updating SOP and banning the 10B because there was no way in hell he was going to have to explain to the City Council why a citizen was asked for their drivers license on a traffic stop while staring down the business end of a flashlight/shotgun. I don’t know if it was an IACP initiative or what, but I know that a lot of Chiefs of Police in Texas, big town and small, banned the 10B for carry on patrol not long after the seemingly space age weapon hit the market..