View Full Version : Can a 12 and 20 ga gun carry same model no?

August 24, 2009, 04:43 PM
I have a old Sears/JC higgins 20 ga. bolt shotgun which carries a 583.19 model number. There has been a recall (years ago) on the same gun in 12 ga, but with the same model no.

I'm confused as to why the recall is a 12 gauge and yet my 20 ga carries the same model number.....


August 24, 2009, 04:57 PM
Remington "Wingmasters" are made in 410, 28, 16, 20 & 12. Winchester model 12's are also made in different gauges. So to answer your question yes the same model can be different gauges.

August 24, 2009, 05:07 PM
Well, that seems so obvious when you answer it that way! Sorry, I should have realized that. I guess my "brain lock" came because of the vast number of model numbers involved in the recall. Seemed more like a serial number.

Here's part of the info I found:
MODEL NUMBERS: 583.13, 583.14, 583.15, 583.16, 583.17, 583.18, 583.19, 583.20, 583.21 AND 583.22

RECALL: The model of shotgun may be subject to a BOLT FAILURE. When this occurs the bolt will dislodge from the action, striking the shooter causing serious injury. These shotguns were manufactured for and sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co. during the 1950's.

What I found was that when "dry" sighting the gun and working the bolt the bolt retaining screw could break and the user could pull the bolt clean out and back into the face. The "recall" was not due to any failure during actual firing. But that info is all second hand from boards, etc.

August 24, 2009, 05:42 PM
The Browning Citori XS Skeet model, with adjustable comb - happens to be a gun I'm very familiar with ..... attached is a link..


The model is the same / but the item numbers in their catalog are different for each of the 4 variations they have in the catalog / 12ga, with 30" barrels vs 28" barrels / and the two different 20ga versions ..... there are differences in internal parts in the 12 and 20ga versions ( the receivers are not identical as an example ), etc ... and I suspect that base catalog number difference will lead you to the differences in the other parts you would need if you were to rebuild one of these 4 guns - even though they are the same model.

August 28, 2009, 07:00 AM
I have a JC Higgins bolt action 16 gauge model number 583.18. I read somewhere that the original bolt failure on the 12 gauge occurred because some fellow had modified the screw and was struck in the face by the bolt. Basically, it was his own fault!

Anyway, I've had the 16 gauge for more than 50 years and it still works fine. In fact, I took it out yesterday and put a few rounds through it and worked like it did on the day I got it. It was a lot of fun.

August 28, 2009, 10:06 AM
I found a 800 phone number on another site. The call took me DIRECTLY to a Sears recorded msg on the shotgun (a specific phone number for a recall that is YEARS old!) the msg stated at least three time that the bolt recall was for the 12 gauge only. Yes, I had found the info about the bolt screw and the idiot who poked his own eye.

Also read another thread that said there was a metallurgy problem and yet another one that stated the .12 ga "bolt holder" (metal surrounding the bolt including the holding "tab") was machined thinner than other gauges and could fail.

So what do you believe? Anyway, I CAN tell you that according to the recall phone msg the bolt recall is for 12 ga ONLY.

August 29, 2009, 07:31 AM
Personally, I think it's kind of a cool old gun.

August 29, 2009, 09:34 AM
Yes, but in sighting down that bolt I can't get the image of it's (the bolt) coming out and flying back into my eye out of my head.

Even though the recall was for the 12 ga only it's gotten mental now!

Maybe I could shoot the gun while wearing one of those hard hockey masks!

August 29, 2009, 11:25 AM
I wouldn't worry about it too much. As a teenager, I must of put a thousand rounds through that thing and it still works great.

Shoot from the hip, John Wayne style...anyway, like I said, getting it out the other day was fun, little did I know that anyone would bring up the old JC Higgins bolt actions shotguns.

I do think if you turn in the bolt they'll give you back more than the gun is worth.

August 29, 2009, 11:35 AM
I do think if you turn in the bolt they'll give you back more than the gun is worth.
Mmmm... I don't thinks so- at least not any more. I got the shipping info for a guy I work with, he ships the bolt off, and they sends him a $50.00 Sears in-store only gift certificate card thing.

August 29, 2009, 12:16 PM
Correct.. the current phone msg on the recall says $50 gift card. I'd keep the gun just to hang on the wall before I ruined it for $50. Memories of my dad and I going hunting (early 60's) with it are more important!

August 29, 2009, 06:24 PM
I found this and thought this was interesting...

The recall was baseless... sears was sued by an idiot that tried to use the model in question with a stripped and lose bolt stop screw. When he opened the bolt and pulled the bolt back, he pulled it so hard that bolt stop screw came out, the bolt came out and he hit himself in the eye . No, the gun did not blowup, it was not even a result of shooting it, it was the result of improper and carless use of firearms. Sears recalled them to protect them selves as the jc higgins model was exclusive sears product made for them by high standard manufacturing. Based on an H&R Riesing Patten which Sears bought and owned . The model in question is known as jc higgins model 10 it was manufactured from 1946 to 1956 I have owned several of them for many years one has been in family for many years it was bought new by my father in 1952 it and the other has fired thousands of rounds, they are totaly safe and one of the best bolt action shotguns ever made, period .These are the facts, so dont be afraid to shoot it or to buy one ,unless you are an idiot... aparently these guns can be hard on idiots

I have seen and read all kinds of stories about the bolts on these guns. Well I actully know what the problem is I am a real gun smith that worked on this issue, so here's the truth and I hope it puts an end to this silly mess. There is actually nothing wrong with these guns. The problem is Sears. The shotguns in question 583 12 to 583 22 are all gauges 20 16 12 all the guns were made by High standard between 1949 and 1954 Sears owned this perticular model and at that time a big piece of High standard as well. Sears had bought the rights to make these guns from H&R some time around 1948 all of the earlier versions of these guns 583 1 to 583 12 were made for high standard by H&R . Sears no longer sold guns did not have the ability to repair these guns so they decide on the recall. The problem has to do with with bolt stop screw has nothing to do whatsoever with the bolt lock up. These guns are completly safe to fire. However if the bolt stop screw is loose or not in the gun, there is nothing to stop the bolt when you cycle the bolt for next round, just make sure you have the bolt stop screw in place and its tight and you will be fine. With these old guns.. Note all guns 583 1 to 583 25 have the same problem as well as all H&R 120 &122 as well as 348/349 gamester and 351 huntsman bolt action shotgun all the guns are related .They are a very good gun, better than most of their compition. At that time but these guns are now well over 50 years old. So if you still want to ruin your old freind for 2 dollar screw, shame on you and by the way, 12 gauge has the lower chamber pressure than 20 and 16 20 has the highest .

August 29, 2009, 07:09 PM
Yes.. I read that and several different versions of it on more than one site but try to contact the poster and get confirmation and/or how they know FIRST HAND. The answer so far is that they are no different than anyone else. No first hand knowledge. A story that keeps getting "passed on."

Now, it may in fact be true. But I've never had and first hand verification. What I DO KNOW for a FACT is that the phone msg says it involves 12 gauge only, even though model number is same.

August 29, 2009, 07:29 PM
Have you seen this?


August 29, 2009, 07:37 PM
No... Thanks! Appreciate it. I'm going to use my 20 gauge for Prairie Dog kills.