1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

J.C. Higgins guns

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by burksbf, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. burksbf

    burksbf New Member

    i have got 2 shotguns that i would like to know where i can get some history on them from. if anyone has any info i would greatly appreciate it. thx
  2. sm

    sm member

    Welcome to THR!

    JC Higgins Shotguns, great guns!

    If a moderator does not come by shortly, Take the elevator down to here and re-post.

    Harley Nolden's Institute For Firearms Research


    Mr. Nolden is a great guy.


  3. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless New Member

    J.C. Higgins was one of the brand names used by Sears, Roebuck & Co. It was derived in 1908 from the name of a Sears, Roebuck employee, John Higgins. That brand name was displaced in 1961 by the Ted Williams brand at Sears.

    There's some information about the J.C. Higgins firearms on the Internet if you search for that name.
  4. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler New Member

    Those JC's were made by just about everybody. Savage, Marlin and High Standard for a big part. Depends on what you've got.
  5. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Moved to Harley's forum....
  6. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    If they're pumps, most likely High Standards.

    Really nice guns! I learned on one and I have another (appears unfired, made in 1966) that I haven't taken out to test yet.

    The action is so slick on the ones I've used, if you hold them upright and depress the slide release, they will rack themselves.
  7. Kamicosmos

    Kamicosmos New Member

    I have my Grandfather's 12 ga, purchased in the early '50's. I think it's a model 20. Based on the winchester I believe. It has this HUGE comp on the end of it. Nice because the gun really doesn't kick that bad compared to other 12 ga. It's a good gun for trap and skeet. I need to work on it's extractor though, it doesn't always let go of the shell. Pull's a bit short for me too, I need to get a different pad installed. And yes, 60 years or so of use, it's action is dang slick!
  8. burksbf

    burksbf New Member

    these Higgins that i have are bolt action 16 and 20 gage Sears with 5 digits between model numbers. i would like to get as much info about them as i can. every where that i have been doesnt list the sears models. any more ifo would be greatly appreciated.
  9. Steven Mace

    Steven Mace New Member

    burksbf, try posting the Sears model numbers here and I'll bet someone can cross-reference the actual manufacturer for you.

    Steve Mace
  10. burksbf

    burksbf New Member

    ok, here they are

    J.C. Higgins
    Model 583.24
    proof tested 16 guage
    2-3/4 chamber
    bolt action
    Sears and Roebuck

    J.C. Higgins
    Model 583.19
    proof tested 20 guage full
    2-3/4 chamber
    bolt action
    Sears and Roebuck
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Active Member

    You need to give the whole number, not "xx", as there were several models with the number 583. Most were High Standard or H&R and both made bolt action shotguns.

  12. burksbf

    burksbf New Member

    sorry about that, but knew to this type of research, i just didnt want someone to steel the serials and sa that i or someone else had stolen them, i do have a bos tho.

    16 ga.- 583.24
    20 ga.- 583.19

    BADUNAME7 New Member

    Hello Burksbf,

    Those are not serial numbers but rather they are Sears identification numbers which denote the vendor where Sears got the guns and the particular variation of the gun. Your shotguns do not have serial numbers since serial nubers were not required on shotguns under federal law at that time.

    583. if the designation that High Standard was the source of the guns and the .19 and .24 designate the specific versions of these Model 10s.

    For a listing of the various model 10's see:http://www.histandard.info/models/private/Sears/SearsBolt.html

    For copies of the original manuals see: http://www.histandard.info/manuals/sears/bashotguns/index.html
  14. Jim K

    Jim K Active Member

    Thanks to John Stimson for the info. Had I not known better, I would have sworn from the pictures that those were made by H&R.

    Sears and High Standard had a very close working relationship, and HS made many guns for Sears that they never cataloged under their own name, which makes research difficult. Further, existing cross-over lists are confusing, incomplete, and often just plain wrong.

    In fact, HS became so dependent on Sears that Sears' decision to stop selling guns was a major cause of the ultimate failure of HS, along with high labor costs.

    Those guns were utility hunting guns and, while of good quality, don't bring a high price. On the used gun racks, they rarely bring over $100. Today, bolt action shotguns are not popular and I don't think any are now being made except possibly the Savage slug gun.


    BADUNAME7 New Member

    Hello Jim,

    The early (mid to late 1940s) Sears Catalogs show photos of the Model 10 with a recoil pad that is not the pad that High Standard used. It appears to be the pad that H&R used on their shotguns There is still some confusion about these early model 10's. The High Standard master parts list does go all the way back to to 583.1

    Perhaps Sears owned or controlled the design of a H&R shotgun and assigned it to High Stadnard to produce. Sears co-owned several patents with High Standard on the guns High Standard produced fro Sears.

    Sears relationship with High Standard was not unlike the relationshoips with other Sears suppliers. Sears owned major interests in many of their suppliers. Whirlpool apppliances is a well known example. Sears owned 30% of High Standard's common stock and had two members of the eight man board of directors. Plus the president of High Standard came from Whirlpool - perhaps at Sears suggestion. Sears real control was the fact that they bought 65% of High Standards output.

    Sears began deleting High Standard guns in the early 1960's and by 1967 only one High Standard model was in the catalogs. The other High Standard models had been replaced by Winchester models. Sears stopped cataloging guns after 1968 but continued to sell guns in the stores for another 10 to 12 years in the stores unlike the other major catalog sellers like Penny and Montgomery Ward who continued both catalog sales and store sales. High Standard filled the Sears sales void with Western Auto, J. C. Penny and some guns to Sears. Plus they made shotguns with special model names and roll marks for about a dozen smaller diatributors after 1968-69. Thus it was not that Sears stopped selling guns that hurt High Standard but the switch to Winchester since Sears continues to sell guns for over a dozen years after they dropped High Standard.

    The purchase of High Standard by the Leisure Group about 1967 was a major turning point. The Leisure group made more money at the expense of maintenance of the machinery and buildings much of which was getting pretty old and needing more and more maintenence. The plant was pre WWII as was much of the machinery.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2006
  16. burksbf

    burksbf New Member


    i would like to thank all of yall for helping me w/ this research. i noticed on one of these web sites that some of the ident. no. where recalled, one of which i own, the 583.19. i would like to know what the reason or reasons where. and again thank you very much.

    BADUNAME7 New Member

    Hello burksbf,

    My website shows the recalled models. There is an address to an online Sears recall listing on that page.

    There is also a conflict between the fact that Sears says it is recalling 12 Ga guns and the catalog numbers they give which include other gauges. I marked all the product numbers they listed even though they are not all 12 Ga. If you have further questions I suggest you contact Sears.

    The problem was bad metalurgy in the bolt causing the lugs to break off which can cause the bolt to blow back out of the reciever.
  18. moewadle

    moewadle New Member

    Another source for info on this

    Another source for information on these department store brands, such as J C Higgins, Ted Williams, and others is to go to the web site for Numrich Gun Parts, as well as some other web sites, and they have cross reference information right at the site to help you order parts for your department store brands. For example, Sears marketed a single shot lever action .22 number 340, etc. etc. If you go to Numrich and find that gun listed they will tell you that it is essentially the same gun as the Ithaca Model 49. Very, very useful information. Unfortunately, I have found the references on past models of guns, that is price references such as the STANDARD CATALOG OF FIREARMS, does not give much information on these models and that disappoints me. Those are logical references for those department store chain marketed firearms.
  19. fredfellini

    fredfellini New Member

    I've got a JC Higgins Model 11 bolt action 20 ga., that i got in 1962-63. It was my starter shotgun! Still have it, but now it just sits in the safe in a nice condition.

    My best friend had a JC Higgins bicycle too!

    BADUNAME7 New Member

    The model 10 was cataloged from 1946 through the Spring & Summer 1958 catalog. The model 11 was cataloged from the Fall & Winter 1958 Catalog through the 1962 Fall & Winter catalog. The model 14 whic followed the model 11 was cataloged in 1963 and 1964.

    The schematics at Gun Parts (Numrich) catalog or on-line include several models under the came heading and claim they are similar. There are far more variations of these guns than many people realize and although they do look alike and do have many common parts, there are some different parts. Some differences were do to appearance issues, some to hellp manufacturing or cost cutting and some to solve problems that showed up after the guns were in the field for some time. If you are curious about which parts are the same and which are different, you can review the Sears and High Standard manuals on my website at:

Share This Page