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J.C. Higgins Model 31

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rossdiggity, May 28, 2009.

  1. rossdiggity

    rossdiggity Member

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    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.
     
  2. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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  3. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    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.

    Thanks!

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

    http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=258415
     
  4. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Also FYI here's a bolt for sale on Gunbroker...

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=130013113

    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.
     
  5. kragluver

    kragluver Member

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    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.
     
  6. Sottile

    Sottile Member

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    Model 31 22 auto I need a bult

    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
     
  7. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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  8. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    Sear's Parts list for the three different variations of the J. C. Higgins Model 31 rifle:

    http://www.histandard.info/manuals/sears/rfrifles/0440D150R.pdf

    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:

    http://www.histandard.info/datapublic/serial/HIGH STANDARD DATE CODE.pdf

    Parts are available from Numrich:

    http://www.e-gunparts.com/products.asp?chrMasterModel=0780z31&MC=
     
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    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.

    Hmmm...
     
  10. candr44

    candr44 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  11. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    1KPerDay,

    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.
     
  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    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.

    Thanks
     
  13. Materman

    Materman Member

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    hello I recently became the co-owner of a beautiful j.c. Higgins model 31 automatic 22 with my wife! we were visiting relatives in Louisiana when her cousin informed her he had several guns that had belonged to her late father, one of them being this j.c. Higgins and he was going to give it to her as a present, what a surprise to find it was in mint condition! it shoots as good or better than any 22 I've ever seen. didn't realize there were so many j.c. Higgins model 31 enthusiasts until coming across this website, it is a pleasure to read all the info about them. Thank you for keeping it going and I hope to enjoy it as much as everyone else has!
     
  14. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    congrats! They are sweet rifles.
     
  15. Shootrj2003

    Shootrj2003 Member

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    I have just gained a second one of these great little guns at an auction for 75$ I already have a mod.30 and use it for matches ,I also have a bunch of parts for a 3 rd one I need a bolt and trigger mech someday.they are a great design that got sidelined while worse designs have been presented as new,revolutionary and blah blah blah etc.!( remember the Viper? Even the 597 is not as reliable and the A-22 has not quite been as great as predicted and a few others too,
    Designs are seemingly hard to make work,when they have a good one on the bleachers,oh well!
     
  16. Shootrj2003

    Shootrj2003 Member

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    Let me try ,first off I'll tel you what you should have
    1. Complete bolt / extractor,firing pin and spring all pins should be flush with outside of bolt
    2.trigger mechanism group/complete/trigger ,safety hammer ,hammer strut,hammer spring,disconnector,cartridge lifter all pins and springs in place/when installing hammer shoul be cocked/ do not release hammer with trigger without"riding"the hammer down with your thumb,if you do the hammer can over extend and release itself from the strut,fixable but PIA.
    3.operating Rod spring,about 4"-5" long3/16" wide .
    4.operating Rod apprxm.1 1/2" -2" long looks like a thin round headed nail
    5. Bolt handle,L shaped piece of gray aluminum with a round handle or hook handle,it will fit the 3/8"
    groove across the top of the bolt
    6.ejector / hopefully installed inside receiver alongside chamber
    These are the parts in the receiver group if they are there proceed
    Install the operating Rod in the operating Rod spring ,ball head stays out the end,looking in the recievr from the bottom at the back on the left hand side is a round ,shallow hole,the operating Rod "ball" insets there.
    The other end of the operating Rod group,the spring end is inserted in a hole in the rear of the bolt on its left hand side,slide the bolt in and down at an angle to the rear,feeding the spring into the bolt as you go,this will require some strength and dexterity to keep the spring straight as you go further in the Rod inside the spring will enter the hole in the bolt when it does you have almost got it in,do not release the bolt until you have it all the way down to the rear and back of the action,still do not release it!THEN lower the front of the bolt keeping pressure on it until it is against the top of the receiver and able to slide forward engaging the ejector into its slot in the right front of the bolt,if it slides forward into battery it is secure for the moment.
    The next task is to install the bolt handle,to do this you have to slide the bolt back to its open position,then you must lift the front of the bolt approx.1/8"-3/16"so there is a space between it and the top inside of the receiver,now,The bolt handle.the round portion or the hook ( the bolt handle)stays outside the receiver ,the square L shaped piece must be inserted in its slot in the receiver( the thin slot at the rear of the ejection port)there is now a section of the bolt handle between the bolt and reciever,this must be pushed towards the rear raising the bolt enough to accommodate its movement rearward ,(but ,remember do not raise the bolt further than neccesary,do not release the bolt,)/the bolt handle is moved rearward until it engages its perpendicular slot in the top of the bolt when it does the bolt will again be able to go tight to the reciever top and also slide forward into battery,if and when it does the battle is pretty much accomplished and the trigger group can be installed and the rifle stocks assembled and installed reciever group done.i hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  17. Poper

    Poper Member

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    Wow! Thread resurrection at its finest! Post #1 May 28, 2009!
    And he never came back...........:scrutiny:
     

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