In April 1988, former TV technician Thomas Deeb of Mansfield, Ohio incorporated Beemiller Distributing Company. Between 1988 and 1992 when Hi-Point Firearms was trademarked, there were three different firearms made by three different companies that Beemiller sold. These were Maverick/Stallard, Iberia, and Haskell. Today these companies are all still around in one form or another but market their pistols and carbines as Hi-Point through Beemiller.
Top left is a Stallard JS-9 9mm, middle left is an Iberia .40, and the bottom is a JH-45. The pistols on the right are more modern Hi-point pistols (Photo by n9xvt, valued Hi-Point forums member,)
At first look, they seem to be easily recognizable as a Hi-Point. On closer inspection, these 'pre-HP' models will not have any of the familiar Hi-Point markings. They all used alloy steel frames instead of polymer, checkered grips, rough textured slides, and often a heel release magazine latch. They have a heavier, less finished feel overall than the more modern decedents but they also feel rather 'solid'.
Here is some background if you run into these evolutionary designs.
The Maverick JS-9
These guns started showing up in 1986 and in 1987; one Edward Boyd Stallard of Ohio incorporated Maverick Firearms to sell them from his base of operations in Mansfield. With a weight of just 48-ounces (heavier than a 44-magnum) his blowback operated 9x19mm semi-auto pistol was a heavy but reliable and light recoiling gun.
The gun has more than a few differences from the C9 that replaced it after 1994. Instead of a push button mag release on the frame, it uses a European-style heel release. Because of this, the Hi-Point C9 magazines will not work in the old Stallard JS-9, and vice versa. The old Stallard mags have an oddball floorplate that is welded on and is had to clean because of it. However, Hi-Point still services these legacy guns and will even sell you replacement magazines for $15 a pop. There are even a few flashy chrome models of these guns floating around. If you get bored and want to do your own gunsmithing, Numrich sells most of the parts as well.
When Hi-Point took over the line in 1992, (Deeb was reportedly Stallard's brother in law) they called this model the JF-9 and marketed it for a few years. By 1997, Stallard Firearms was dissolved altogether and in 2006, Mr Stallard himself passed away. Today these guns are well respected and many are still ticking like a clock after thousands of rounds and two decades of use.
Most of these early guns used steel/alloy frames rather than the polymer ones used by Hi-Point today. This led to a more solid gun, but also to a heavier firearm that cost more to build.
Beemiller in Mansfield currently does most of the heavy lifting for Hi-Point, being responsible for new construction and warranty work on all of the carbines as well as the 9mm and 380ACP handguns.
The Haskell .45
Billed as the JS-45, Haskell of Lima Ohio made this steel framed .45ACP gun from 1987 to 1994 approximately. Haskell was incorporated in 1987. It took standard Colt 1911 mags in a pinch and like the Stallard 9mm, was a heel-release design. This gun was more or less made under the Hi-Point banner as the JH-45 with a few tweaks. The past and current producer is still Haskell who makes them for Hi-Point under that company's banner as the JHP-45, and the 'H' is thought to be for 'Haskell'.
For more info on them contact:
585 E. Blue Lick Rd.
Lima, OH 45801
In 1987 in Galion, Ohio, James Cole founded Cole-Lective Mfg., Inc. and their product was the By 1990 this company had changed names to Iberia and soon became affiliated with the Hi-Point name. Today, still in Galion, Ohio they are Hi-Point's designated hitter for .40 caliber pistols such as the JCP-40. It is believed that the 'C' in the designation stands for Cole, still the President of Iberia.
For more info on them contact:
3929 ST. RT 309
Galion, OH 44833-9408
As with the older Stallards, Mavericks, and Haskells, Hi-Point still warranties these guns from most accounts. On gunbroker, these old school shooters run about the same and in some cases just a little higher than the more modern Hi-Point/Beemiller guns.
Who knows, they may be good collector's items one day, besides being good shooters.
*Thanks to Hi-Point Forums member farmkid, the 2011 Nominee: ZAMAC Award for Service, for his heavy research into just who was Ed Stallard .