I can't find anything out on this rifle a JC Higgins/Sears & Roebuck 101.23. Help? There is a 7 on the top base of the barrel and an unidentified mark on the side of the barrel at the base. Here's some pics
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April 23, 2011, 06:50 AM
I suspect that's a Savage model 85, take a look here:
The magazine housing, barrel support and rear sight look the same. Sears rebranded many Savage and Stevens guns, not all make the reference catalogs.
April 23, 2011, 10:41 PM
I concur with Dr.Rob.
My research came up with the same info, it's a Savage 85E or 85KE depending on the year it was built.
I have no information on the markings that you mentioned, but a guess would be a proof mark on the left side and the 7 may be a coded date.
It looks to be in decent shape.
April 24, 2011, 07:49 PM
I, too, have to agree with Dr.Rob...with a fairly high degree of certainty. This is the more unusual (still not very rare) version of a pair of rifles, one tube magazine fed (the Savage/Stevens/et cetera model 87), the other detachable box magazine fed. They were produced for a fair period of time (several decades), in many different configurations/variations, and for anyone that wanted to slap their name on one (Sears, for instance). They exhibit good workmanship and very good accuracy, despite being a affordable little rifle at the time (and still today). One of the great features is that the action allowed you to lock the bolt to facilitate the use of shorts, longs, and subsonic ammunition that wouldn't normally cycle. FWIW, I'd buy a couple of extra magazines from the retailer that Rob linked to, because at some point they'll be no more (in fact I believe these were modified to fit the rifle rather than being original replacement parts).
Something of a peculiarity (and readily distinguishable feature) is the slots that were milled into the receiver. This isn't visible in your set of photos...how many does yours have on the left? You'll note that mine (a Stevens 87D), pictured below, has 8 (I believe that all have 2 on the right hand side) and probably looks a great deal like your copy save for the tubular magazine and perhaps the bbl length/stock color/breach plug type/no. of "gills".