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Old July 6, 2019, 08:03 PM   #1
TheScout
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JC Higgins Shotgun recall

Hey all! So I inherited a JC Higgins shotgun (No. 583.16) a couple months ago, and as with everything, I do a lot of research on it. Turns out there was a recall on it back in 1999 or something. The number it said to call no longer exists (not surprised it’s an old gun), so I don’t know what to do. I’ve shot the gun before and works fine. And the part they said was defective looks fine. I don’t know if my late grandfather (the one I inherited it from) had acted on the recall. Basically, I don’t know what to do anymore. I have to figure out what to do with this shotgun before I make the decision to get a new one (Weatherby O/U or Remington 870). What do you guys think I should do? The obvious answer is just not use the shotgun, but is worked fine for me and I have difficulty retiring things.
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Old July 7, 2019, 12:58 AM   #2
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There used to be lots of folks with lots of different ideas about that recall. I always thought it should ring a bell with those in the know about low numbered 1903 Rifles. The possibility of both receivers failing are there. The nay-sayers about the rifles seem to be of the idea of "Well, somebody's been shooting the things and it hasn't blown up yet." The other team says "It's not a matter of if, but when."

If you can find photos of a failed (Sears, JC Higgins, etc) receiver, you'll see the section of receiver towards the rear at about 3 o'clock blown off in a fairly neat straight line. Also two locking lugs sheared off, but that dainty little screw seems to be the only thing saving the shooter from more serious injury. I'm of the belief that peening of the bolt handle contact area and increasing head space creates a jackhammer effect on that section of the receiver. Are there some shotguns that could shoot a gazzilion rounds without fail? Maybe. Are there some with unknown round counts that could fail at the very next shot? Maybe likelier. Nobody's producing weaker shogun shells these days, except for maybe those little short mini shells. Personally, I might continue to shoot one if I could find a nifty up-armored bucket in which I could keep my head in. But then, the hazards of shooting with one's head in a bucket would probably raise a whole nuther round of safety issues.
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Old July 7, 2019, 04:11 AM   #3
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IIRC, the 'recall' consisted of Sears keeping the complete bolt that you had mailed to them in return for 160.00 so it reads as if yours was not one of the guns so affected.

There were quite a few 'boltless' guns floating around at the time for sale with the suggestion that you could find a bolt anywhere. LOL

I also have one that I inherited, but feel no need to shoot it and the reason is not concerns over injury.
I have plenty of others for shooting.
The memories are worth more than possible damage to it.

Just something to consider.


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Old July 8, 2019, 07:10 PM   #4
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JC Higgins was a Sears Roebuck house brand from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s. I doubt seriously that anyone at Sears even remembers that they used to sell firearms, so no need asking them. If you don't know if the firearm has been serviced per the recall, set it aside and just look at it occasionally. Put a tag on it to warn anyone not to shoot it. Or just go shoot it. It's your gun.
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Old July 8, 2019, 07:30 PM   #5
fourbore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheScout View Post
Hey all! So I inherited a JC Higgins shotgun (No. 583.16) a couple months ago, and as with everything, I do a lot of research on it. Turns out there was a recall on it back in 1999 or something. The number it said to call no longer exists (not surprised it’s an old gun), so I don’t know what to do. I’ve shot the gun before and works fine. And the part they said was defective looks fine. I don’t know if my late grandfather (the one I inherited it from) had acted on the recall. Basically, I don’t know what to do anymore. I have to figure out what to do with this shotgun before I make the decision to get a new one (Weatherby O/U or Remington 870). What do you guys think I should do? The obvious answer is just not use the shotgun, but is worked fine for me and I have difficulty retiring things.
JC it is a cheap cheap, low quality shotgun. I never research anything, so; I would be blissfully unaware. But; knowing there was a recall and reading the posts here and what a clunker firearm we are talking about: I would set it aside for sentimental value and get a good shotgun. Unless you hunt to kill time or for exercise, a good gun (good would be a big debate) will make an enormous difference in results.

I hate the current Remington 870, FWIW. I had an 870 a couple years back. Kept it under one week. OMG, what a piece of junk. Weatherby OU sounds like a good start. I am not familiar with that gun. It has to be better than JC Higgins or the current 870. Browning, CZ and so many other great choices out there. Even a H&R single shot has a lot going for it, for cheap anyway.

Shotshells technology, if that is the word, has come a long way. I started out with a 12ga. For me, which is upland hunting only, the 20ga is more than adequate: pheasant, rabbit, grouse occasional wood cock. I am not into greasy waterfoul, if; I was that would be another gun. No screw in tubes or barrel swapping. Right gun for the job.

Last edited by fourbore; July 8, 2019 at 07:48 PM.
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Old July 9, 2019, 08:07 AM   #6
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hang it on the wall.
pay a little more and get a well built gun. dodge the 870.
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Old July 9, 2019, 09:03 AM   #7
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Treasures

I would really hope that everyone believes that that the JC Higgins guns are all cheap guns.
That will leave more for me.
The finest rifle I own has JC Higgins on the Barrel. An FN Mauser made by High Standard, you will be hard pressed to find a better rifle at any price.

There are some excellent JC Higgins shotguns too, they do not have bolt actions

I am certain the JC Higgins name goes back to at least the 50's my rifle was made in 52.
JC Higgins was a longtime employee of Sears. Sears later changed their house brand to Ted Williams in the 70s?
There are also some very nice Ted Williams guns.

The department store brand holds the price down, or it used to.
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Old July 9, 2019, 12:07 PM   #8
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I have a 1960's JC Higgins Model 20 manufactured by High Standard , it is NOT a cheap cheap gun. My dad used it many years hunting , it may have a thin finish now but is very solid and functions flawlessly.
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Old July 9, 2019, 12:22 PM   #9
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I am talking about a JC Higgins bolt action shotguns. And, I am talking to the OP. I 'asume' he understood. Other may have to apply a level of common sense.
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Old July 9, 2019, 03:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
THE JC HIGGINS (SEARS) MODEL 10
The Sears and Roebuck listed the Model 10 bolt-action shotgun in their catalog from 1946 until 1958
Quote:
RECALLED
In the 1990s some models of the Model 10 shotguns were recalled
So the recall was more than thirty years after they were out of production?
Did it take that long to determine there was a problem? Or that long for someone to file a lawsuit?
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Old July 10, 2019, 07:32 AM   #11
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As I recall someone did file a lawsuit.
On a model that used a screw as a bolt stop.
The idiot owner took the gun apart for cleaning and left off
the bolt stop screw.
He fired the gun and cycled the bolt into his eye -- the resulting
lawsuit caused the recall.
As you know juries have to work with the fact's presented and not
the real world!!!
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Old July 10, 2019, 12:58 PM   #12
T. O'Heir
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"...JC it is a cheap cheap, low quality shotgun..." Nonsense. J.C. Higgins was just a brand name. All of 'em were made by one of the big name manufacturers for Sears. The 583.16 was a High Standard Model 10(not the bull pup of the same model number) according to Gunparts Brand Cross Reference page.
The recall was in 1998. As mentioned, it involved Sears paying $160 for the bolt and making the thing a big oddly shaped paperweight.
I'm thinking it'd probably cost more than the thing is worth to do anything with. Especially as Sears & Roebuck closed their last stores in March.
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Old July 10, 2019, 01:55 PM   #13
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I'd hang it on the wall as a neat decoration piece. Sears is gone. J.C. Higgins are gone. Nice relic of a bygone time
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Old July 10, 2019, 03:02 PM   #14
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Weren't the Sears bolt action shotguns made by the darling
of cheap guns O F Mossberg?

To some the best pump gun made!!
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