What you have obviously found is that either the Wikipedia article with the dates of use of the JC Higgins name or your data in the dates if manufacture of the rifle are wrong. You have found a year overlap, which is really not probably all that unusual... Did 1961 end for JC Higgins on January 1st ? Did production of this rifles begin on January 1st? Probably not. Those dates are a rough stab. There's plenty of ambiguity in both production dates and dates of advertising trade name use.
Your in-hand evidence is correct. Research the date of your rifle and then go back and update the Wikipedia article. That's "research". Enjoy it! You're making a contribution to history, in some small way.
Last edited by Willie Sutton; December 11, 2012 at 10:06 AM.