"Store Brand" Guns


January 8, 2007, 03:29 PM
"Would not a rose by any other name...."

I'm gunsitting for a friend of mine, and one of his guns is a "crappy Sears model 30-06". I've done some reasearch and found out that what he has (Sears Mod 55) is actually a Winchester Mod 70 that needed a good cleaning.
I cleaned it up and took it out to the range today, and it turns out to be a pretty good shooter.
My question is: how much "value" is a name given? If this gun in the same condition was labeled "Winchester", about how much more would it be worth? Especially with the Winchester name. Is there any collector value for this gun without the name?
It is a Post-64 (push feed) in case anyone is wondering.

FWIW - this friend was best man at my wedding, so I already told him what model gun he has before I shot it and decided it would be nice to own. :banghead: :banghead:

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January 8, 2007, 03:42 PM
In interesting question and one that's difficult to answer. While for the most part you are probably correct in assuming a firearm would be more valuable with it's "real" name and markings, I would venture to say that in some cases the opposite must be true. Due to.. say a limited production run of a retailer specific variant, a gun may have more collector's value for it's rarity.

January 8, 2007, 05:27 PM
This was a fairly common practice for some time Coast to Coast and Montgomery Wards also come to mind. As to the collectability and or value ask a Milsurp collector what a Smith Corona 03A3 is worth, or ATT or US Switch and Signal .45ACP is worth. Some of those off name guns are actually the real deal.

Big Mike
January 9, 2007, 12:07 AM
My "Coast to Coast" Marlin .22 is a good plinker, made in 1976.

January 9, 2007, 02:45 AM
Yeah, my "J.C. HIGGINS" 308 was made in finland, who makes guns in finland?:rolleyes:

January 9, 2007, 03:05 AM
I worry about renames products because often they are not the same as the original. Many times quality is sacrificed to keep the price down.

Even though this rifle was manufactured by Winchester for Sears I doubt it's an exact copy of the Winchester. The wood may be inferior or different cheaper wood is used for the stock. The blueing is probably not as well done as the Winchester. You see this in guns made for Walmart. The blueing is dull and thin, the stock is made of Pine or something else cheap and the finish is poor. The same gun made for other retailers will have a shinny blue finish, the wood is hardwood and the finish is much better.

When it comes down to is, usually, but not always, you get what you pat for.

January 9, 2007, 08:56 AM
I don't know,,,,,
Years and years ago my dad bought me a Model 94 Winchester from J.C. Penny.
It was marked "Winchester" and even factory new it still had a purple receiver.
I think he paid $119.00 for the rifle and I only kept it for a year or so before trading it off for I can't even remember what.

January 9, 2007, 09:18 AM
From what I've observed, most of these "hardware" guns (W-A-Y back they used to sell them in hardware stores, besides some of the big retailers.) can be EXACTLY the same gun, with just a different name OR they may be ALMOST the same, but with somewhat plainer wood and detailing(fit and finish). USUALLY they are mechanically just the same, and just as good and reliable.

My Dad had a "Revelation" shotgun (Sears) that was really a Mossberg 500, and it functioned and shot great. But, compared to the Mossberg 500 I bought, of the same vintage, the wood was very plain, but otherwise it was the same gun. Personally I'd never hesitate to buy one of them, for a good shooter. Generally they sell for quite a bit less than the "brand name" equivalent.

January 9, 2007, 09:36 AM
I have a 12ga "coach" gun marked Montgomery Ward. It was made by Stevens. I stripped the brown stain off the birch stock, tung oiled it and named it blondie.

January 9, 2007, 10:17 AM
I really like the Sam's brand cookies from Wal-Mart and most Hill Country products from HEB (Texas grocery chain).

Too bad I can't get a Sam's AK for $170 or Sam's Shooting Range branded ammo. There would be a pile of posts bemoaning their cheap quality, but it would put firearms at an attractive price point. Of course, they would be made in China like most stuff at WalMart.

Ranger J
January 9, 2007, 10:33 AM
My Western Field 12G shotgun, which I bought during the 1960s from Montgomery Ward, turned out to be a Mossberg 500. It has had umpteen thousand of rounds put through it and has never failed. It is now the proud owner of two extra barrels, both marked Mossberg and if I could only have one gun this would probably be it. The Sears model, I think it was 25-semi auto wasnít bad either. It is real accurate and will shoot shorts, longs and long rifle interchangeably. I wouldn't get rid of either although the dollar value of them is probably very little, except to me.:)

The Scandinavian
January 9, 2007, 10:39 AM
Yeah, my "J.C. HIGGINS" 308 was made in finland, who makes guns in finland?

J.C. HIGGINS model 52 was made by SAKO. :D

January 9, 2007, 10:53 AM
I bought a Sears Model 100 Ted Williams lever action 30-30 used for $100 around 1988 or so.

It's the exact same gun as the Winchester 94. I can't tell any difference whatsoever between mine and my buddies name brand Winchester of the same era, except the barrel bands are slightly different. At 50 yds it'll shoot quarter sized groups all day long with open sights.

I doubt I could get $400 for it like I see used '94s going for these days, but that's fine I'll never sell it. It's darn sure worth more than the $100 I paid for it.

Tuna, I think the Sears name would definitely put the value down just because the general public won't think of it the same as a Winchester Model 70. But it's the same gun, and I would tell your friend not sell it if it shoots as good as you say. Then go to the next gunshow and look for one yourself cheap.

January 9, 2007, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the reply's all. I was just wondering if there was a good rule of thumb for an "off name" gun. I'll continue to enjoy it while I've got it, though. After all, that is the only charge I set when gunsitting - I get to play with the toys! So far, all my friends that have taken me up on this are pleased with knowing thier guns are safe, and that they usually go home in better shape than they were dropped off...doesn't anyone clean guns anymore?

January 9, 2007, 02:25 PM
I was looking at this the other night and looked up some prices in a year-old Blue Book. Remember, this was before Winchester prices went nuts.

Pre-64 standard Model 70 was $900.

Post-64 Model 70 was $400 IIRC.

From what I've seen over the years the same post-64 gun with Sears on it would be a $350 or maybe a $300 gun. As always, YMMV.


B.D. Turner
January 9, 2007, 03:33 PM
It seems like just yesterday when you could go to JC Penny, Sears, Belks, Montgomery Wards, WoolCo and Western Auto and buy rifles and ammo.
I lived in a small town and we only had a Western Auto which sold everything from washers and dryers to bicycles and Revelation rifles and shotguns.
My first new shotgun was a single shot Revelation 12 ga which I still have and use to this day.
As for the store brand guns being made cheaper I don't buy it. There was far more stores that carried guns in those days than "gun stores" so that doesn't make sense. Sears carried a Ted Williams line a Sears line and a brand name line.

January 9, 2007, 04:15 PM
My dads old rem .35 lever action says sears on it, but it has marlin on the butt plate - anyways, great gun

January 10, 2007, 09:18 AM
Hey rhubarb, or anybody else that might be interested in Texas trivia.
Do you know what the H.E.B. initials stand for at that grocery chain?

Answer, Henry Earl Butz.

January 10, 2007, 08:29 PM
I have a Sears Model 53A which was made around 1975 or so, and is basically a Winchester 670--push feed, plain birch (?) stock and blind magazine. There isn't a nickel's worth of difference between it and the 670/770 rifles and it is one of the most accurate rifles I own.

Found another in .243 and shortened it up for my daughter.

If people want to look down on them that's fine with me as it keeps the price down.

February 4, 2007, 06:00 PM
My New Haven 600AT 12 gauge sold by the old Western Auto stores. What it is, is a Mossberg 500.

February 4, 2007, 06:58 PM
My Dad had a "Revelation" shotgun (Sears) that was really a Mossberg 500,

That would be Western Auto, not Sears. I had one, a Revelation M310. It was simply a Mossberg M500 with single action bar, the old design. It was smooth as silk from years of use. I finally sold it and bought a new camo M500 just because I wanted one. Now, it's old and worn and smooth. :D

As a kid, I had a JC Higgins .410 pump gun. That was Sear's Mossberg. They branded some stuff "Ted Williams", too.

February 4, 2007, 07:05 PM
I found this interesting bit just googling....


J.C. Higgins: 1908-1964

Many people ask if there was a real "J.C. Higgins" who worked for Sears. There certainly was. John Higgins began working for Sears in 1898 as the manager of the headquarters' office bookkeepers and retired as company comptroller in 1930.
"John Higgins" the employee became "J.C. Higgins" the brand name during a discussion in 1908 among Sears' executives of possible names for a new line of sporting goods. At this point, the story gets a bit murky, but Higgins' name was suggested and John Higgins consented to Sears use his name. Since he did not have a middle initial, Sears added the "C."

In 1908, the Western Sporting Goods Company in Chicago began putting J.C. Higgins on baseballs and baseball gloves sold in Sears catalogs. By 1910, the J.C. Higgins trademark was extended to cover footballs and basketballs. Later, the popularity of the Higgins brandócombined with the wider participation of American youth in sportsóled Sears to place tennis equipment, soccer balls, volleyballs, boxing equipment and baseball uniforms in the J.C. Higgins line.

By the 1940s, J.C. Higgins represented all Sears fishing, boating and camping equipment. After the Second World War, Sears consolidated all sporting goods under the J.C. Higgins brand name and added it to a line of luggage.

The J.C. Higgins brand disappeared shortly after Sears introduced the Ted Williams brand of sporting and recreation goods in 1961.

February 4, 2007, 09:24 PM
Saw this thread and it seems an opportune moment to ask a question. I picked up a J C Higgins 22 today at a small gun show, part of 'evening up' a trade. It's marked "J C HIGGINS MODEL 10318, 22 CAL" Second line "SEARS ROEBUCK & COMPANY S L LR" Barrel is uniform plumb, Stock is poorly revarnished, Trigger guard is just a bent piece of metal. the bolt cocking piece is a knurled disk. It's single shot. Two questions - I found no serial number or any sign one was ever there - Were the old ones serialized? The 'action' just consists of a one piece trigger and sear pivoted below the receiver. The rifle must be cocked separately after a round is chambered. Is this normal? BTW at 50 yards the first 3 shots out of it were about an inch left and could be covered with a quarter! Also - given the configuration anyone have an idea when it would have been made??

I've been skulking for a year and this is a first post. Respects, George

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