Help identify this Mauser-based rifle


March 25, 2009, 11:10 AM
Three years ago I inherited a Mauser-based rifle chambered in 30-06. The rifle was purchased from Sears several decades ago. I originally believed it to be a J.C. Higgins Model 50 or Model 51, but it does not have markings and some features consistent with that. The only markings on the rifle are a 4 digit ID - 5351 - on the receiver and CAL 30-06 on the barrel. It is a no frills rifle with a plain walnut stock. The barrel has a flip up rear sight and a hooded front sight. There is some small marking on the barrel that I cannot make out. Any comments? Thanks for your help.
Another thing I just noticed, there is a circled Z on the floorplate - may not mean anything - but just in case. I also removed the action and barrel from the stock a few months ago for cleaning and was hoping to find some markings hidden by the stock. No such luck.

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March 25, 2009, 12:26 PM
Circle Z? Like maybe for CZ? They may have supplied rifles for sale through the Sears stores.

March 25, 2009, 12:44 PM
If your rifle was foreign-made, in most cases there should be proof marks on it somewhere that would ID the country of origin.

It's possible that your rifle was put together in the States using WW2 surplus parts. Sears sold a lot of guns at one time and after the war the cheapest guns available were military surplus. A lot of stores sold them.

March 25, 2009, 02:53 PM
These were FN manufactured and relabled for Rears and Sorebutts(JC Higgins) and also for High Standard.

March 25, 2009, 04:48 PM
Doubs43, that sounds like a fairly logical explanation about using WWII parts. However, there are very little markings on the rifle. The one marking on the barrel I can hardly make out, but it looks like it may be a cursive S with a half circle around it. Anyone know of a company using this proof mark? As I've said, I don't think it's a true J.C. Higgins model 50 or 51 rifle because there are no labels as these rifles have. The action is definetly Mauser or Mauser copied, but not like the early Mausers I've seen. Maybe I'll try to get some pictures up soon to clarify things.

March 25, 2009, 05:16 PM
I bought one of those rifles from Sears back in the sixties. They were built/sold/whatever by Interarms. If you Google things like "Interarms 30-06 Mauser" you'll probably eventually find what you're looking for.


March 25, 2009, 06:18 PM
I have a similar rifle that my father purchased at Montgomery Ward's in the early 60's. Mine has a surplus action with recognizable markings; it's a Brno Vz24 action with the crest of Guatemala on the receiver ring. The trigger and safety are original military, and the bolt handle has a K98 style turndown. Wouldn't clear a scope, nor is it drilled for one. The barrel is sporter contour, two groove, with sporter type open sights, marked Model S98 and 30-06 caliber. Uncheckered walnut stock with a monte carlo, red recoil pad, and sling swivels.

It seems to do about as well as can be expected with basic iron sights and a half blind shooter. I keep having a wild notion of taking it to the smith and getting a scout scope mount, a receiver sight, and a good trigger put on. It's already Bubba'd, so there's no collector value to lose.

Alas, other things keep coming up, and so far wonderful things have consistently failed to happen to it.

Float Pilot
March 25, 2009, 06:59 PM
J.C. Higgins Model 50 bolt action Made by Belgium's Fabrique Nationale on a commercial Mauser 98 action.
The Model 50 was first marketed in 1951.
It was superseded by the Model 51 (made by Husqvarna), (NOTE: the model 50 and 51 had chrome lined barrel which were made by High Standard for this contract)

the Model 52 (made by Sako)
and the Model 54 (made by Browning).
All bore the J.C. Higgins stamp.

JC Higgins was a long-time Sears employee. His name was outdoorsy enough for a line of hunting, fishing and sporting gear. In the 1960s, baseball legend Ted Williams became the Sears sporting-goods name.

These are all excellent commercial grade rifles and not military surplus.
Although Sears did sell surplus sporters for a much lower price.

March 25, 2009, 10:12 PM
Does it look like this?

March 26, 2009, 10:25 PM
Jubjub, my rifle is tapped for a scope (in fact it has a Bushnell on it) and the rifle looks alot like a HVA 640 minus the checkered stock and the style of the bolt handle. Like I say, I originally thought that it was a J.C. Higgens Model 51, but the fact that it doesn't have any markings as such is what threw me off.

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