J.C. Higgins Model 31


May 28, 2009, 05:20 PM
I just got my hands on a J.C. Higgin model 31 .22 ca semi-automatic rifle. This gun is a glory to hold and looks like it might shoot straight occasionally as well. There is however one problem I've been having, the gun came with no manual or blue prints and the action/receiver is completely taken apart. The bolt has some nub sticking out of it that keeps it from sliding all the way in and it looks like maybe it should be hammered back into place or something. I was wondering if there is someone that still manufacture a receiver/bolt assembly that would fit my weapon. If anyone ha suggestions please post them up so I can take a look. I was planning on taking it to the local gun store and having them take a gander and perhaps get the bad boy firing again. Also, if anybody has a reliable method of dating the gun that would be helpful as well. I'd like to know how old it is. There is a number at the end of the Sears and Roebuck stamping that reads 538.75 I was thinking maybe the last two digits are the year.

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May 28, 2009, 06:01 PM
Perhaps this will help.


May 28, 2009, 06:10 PM
Post a pic of the nub sticking out if you can, if it's along the top right side it might be the extractor pin, and yes, it should be flush with the top of the bolt.

The numbers don't mean anything as far as I've been able to determine. IIRC they were made in the 60s, not the mid-70s.

I have a 31 also... great little rifle.

BTW if you have a double-claw extractor, while you're snapping pics, take a pic of the rear portion of the extractor and note if there's a spring there pushing out the back of the extractor. I've been trying to get mine running again.


Also FYI there's a JC Higgins 31 "club" thread here:


May 28, 2009, 06:13 PM
Also FYI here's a bolt for sale on Gunbroker...


Please note that there are 2 types of bolts, one with the narrow extractor groove (as seen in the auction above) and one with a wider groove. If your existing one is narrow the one in the auction should work, if you have all the parts...

if yours is the wide one you may be able to use the narrow one in your rifle but you'll have to buy new extractor parts. I'm not sure if the narrow extractor will fit into the barrel cutout of the wide version or not... but I imagine it will.

disclaimers, IMO, etc. etc. etc.

May 28, 2009, 06:40 PM
I have one of these rifles as well. Its as accurate as any semi-auto .22 I've ever shot. The bolt should just drop into the receiver with the slide pulled back. No hammering required. Mine was given to me with the original Sears scope on it. I removed it and put a cheap Tasco with see-through Weaver rings. I also mounted a Williams receiver sight and a taller Lyman front sight with a white dot. These rifles were made in the late '50s and early '60s.

May 29, 2009, 12:43 PM
I saw on the fourm a bult for a model 31 auto 22 I would like ot but it please get in touch with me TSottile@optonline.net Thanks

May 29, 2009, 01:35 PM


May 29, 2009, 04:40 PM
Sear's Parts list for the three different variations of the J. C. Higgins Model 31 rifle:


These rifles werre made for Sears by High Standard. I don't believe High Standard ever sold a version of this rifle under their own name (which is to bad, since that could of been another source of parts). They were all made for and sold thru Sears.

Your rifle is stamped 538.75. It's got nothing to do with the year it was made. Sears internal code for guns made by High Standard was "538", and their internal model number was "75" for your version of the 31.

All Sears firearms were made by third parties and they were all marked with a similar code number. The digits before the decimal point designating the mfgr and the digits after the point being a specific model-variation number.

I'd guess your rifle was made in the '58 to '62 time frame. I don't know that much about them, but their might be some kind of High Standard date code somewhere on the barrel or reciever.

Are there any other markings anywhere? Maybe a two diget letter code like a small "EB" lightly stamped somewhere (typically, on the underside of the barrel nearest the reciever). If so, you may be able to cross reference it to this table:


Parts are available from Numrich:


May 29, 2009, 04:57 PM
That's a weird list of part numbers, because it appears that the extractor is the same part number on all 3 versions. And they obviously aren't the same part. I know of 3 types... the narrow one, the flat stamped wide one, and the wide twin claw one.


May 29, 2009, 05:05 PM
Your rifle was most likely made in the 1950s by High Standard for Sears. Sears payed High Standard to design and build this rifle exclusively for Sears.

I have its predecessor the model 30 and really like this rifle but you may have problems putting a scope on it. The scope mount isn't the standard 3/8 .22 rimfire mount but a narrower version. However, you can find rings for it at Walmart. They are the Leupold .22 rings split vertically down the middle.

If you go here http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/ and do a search in the High Standard forum you will find a wealth of information on your rifle. There is a member there named SGVictor who has a link to the old manuals for these rifles including the parts manuals with the model 31 design change part numbers. The number 538.75 is the model number of your rifle and you should look it up in the original parts manuals to see exactly what design changes were made for that model. Also see what other rifles that parts carry over to, I.E. model 30, 34, 36.

After you have done that you can go here http://www.e-gunparts.com/model.asp?idDept=127 and see if they have the parts you need. I checked out their parts supply before I bought my model 30 and saw that they have a pretty good amount of parts for these rifles. I also checked out SGVictors parts manuals and found out there was a design change for my model 30 and it uses the model 31 firing pin. That turned out to be very usefull information because Numrich didn't list a model 30 firing pin like mine but the parts manuals told me mine is the same as a model 31 and Numrich did have it. Also, the Gun Digest Book of Rimfire Disassembly/Assembly will tell you how to put it back together.

May 29, 2009, 06:05 PM

That Sears parts list is dated June 1958. Perhaps, those other types of extractors you discribe were modifications/design changes that occured after that date. You will note that each of the three variations (.75, .82, & .3100) each have a unique part number for the bolt.

May 29, 2009, 06:22 PM
Interesting... since the different bolts fit the different extractor types (I assume)... and if the bolts were different you'd assume the extractor part numbers would be.


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