View Full Version : J.C. Higgins Model 20-12ga.

September 8, 2009, 02:21 PM
I'm looking for information on a JC Higgins model 20- 12ga. 583-56.
Got this gun from my father. Just started using it to shoot doves. Still
works great, just want more infor. on it.

September 8, 2009, 03:36 PM
What you have is the Sears version of the Hi Standard Flite King 120




Lee Lapin
September 8, 2009, 08:08 PM
Probably the slickest pumpgun going, when it's clean and properly lubricated. I love 'em. They're real sleepers sometimes, and turn up pretty cheap in the used racks.

High Standard was founded by Carl G. Swebilius in 1926. "High Standard has an illustrious history dating back to the years of the Great Depression and shows how one man, a Swedish immigrant named Carl Swebilius, could begin sweeping floors at Marlin Firearms and end the extremely wealthy owner of his own company by the end of World War II." ( http://highstandard.org/ ) The company started out making deep-hole drilling equipment for other firearms manufacturers, as well as making its own line of target pistols. Before the end of WW2, firearms were but a small part of the company's business.

After the war, Swebilius realized he needed to broaden his offering of popular type sporting firearms if the company was to remain in business. He'd had exposure to slide action shotguns working at Marlin, and all he needed was a good design. One of the more profitable designs for American gunmakers had always been the slide action shotgun, and it was a natural choice. Fortunately firearms designer Fred L. Humeston (whose name is on the patent for the M1 carbine) came over to High Standard from Winchester with just such a design in hand. By 1950, prototypes of the new shotgun were being tested.

It turned out to be a streamlined five shot, solid receiver (non-takedown), tipping bolt, side ejecting, tubular magazine, single action bar, slide action shotgun. The rear of the bolt locked into a recess in the top of the steel receiver, just like Winchester's Model 12. Its simplified design was robust yet economical to produce.

At that time Sears, Roebuck & Co. owned a big chunk of High Standard stock. Sears wanted to market the profitable new shotgun design. So Sears got the first production of the new shotgun, dubbed the J. C. Higgins Model 20, in both 12 and 16 gauge. When the Sears production was completed, High Standard brought out their Flite King version of the design. Mechanically identical, there were some external differences in the two 'brands'. As production continued, both enjoyed brisk sales. (Paraphrased from The World's Fighting Shotguns by Thomas F. Swearengen)



357 Python
September 8, 2009, 08:54 PM
Numrich Arms has it listed as the High Standard Model 200. I have the J.C. Higgins that I bought from my grandpa, great gun.

September 9, 2009, 01:26 PM
Thanks for the info. It was somewhat helpful. Does anybody know what
the on-off lever on the left side of the gun is for?

Lee Lapin
September 9, 2009, 08:34 PM
Some of them had magazine cutoffs- sounds like yours is one of those. The switch should keep a round from feeding out of the magazine when it's engaged.


September 12, 2009, 11:05 AM