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Old March 5, 2010, 09:27 AM   #1
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JC Higgins 16ga - What should I do with this thing?

I recently inherited a few items, amongst them a J.C. Higgins bolt action 16ga shotgun (583.18) that, for reasons completely unknown to me, my father (or someone) apparently sawed the barrel off shorter.

At 19.25 inches the barrel is still legal but I suspect any remaining value to this gun was removed along with the end of the barrel.

The screw that keeps the bolt from coming out when recocking is stripped (and was held in with some kind of tape) and the gun has loads of scratches and dings.

Also there seems to be some kind of a recall that happened on the 12ga version of this model (though I'm unclear if it included the 16ga).

So I'm open to ideas as to what I should do with this thing because it does have a sort-of-cool, post-apocalyptic look sitting on my workbench but I really have no use for a bolt-action shotgun and I'm not even sure it's safe.
"The dogs may bark but the caravan moves on"
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Old March 5, 2010, 10:09 AM   #2
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As recall the story someone assembled the shotgun without the bolt retaing screw. When he cycled the bolt it came out of the reciever and put his eye out. The rest is history, sued for damages (money$$$$) and the guns were recalled. The recall was to return the bolt from the gun for a voutcher ($$$). The bolts were destroyed.

As any rate fix the screw holding the bolt in the reciever, hang on wall, put rifle sites on, put poly choke on, Spray flat black install flashlight and sling use for HD:barf:. Hang on wall.
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Old March 5, 2010, 12:42 PM   #3
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I'd fix the bolt retaining screw (should be a cheap fix), clean it up, degrease the metal and spray paint it black. Should be safe enough with the screw re-installed. Then maybe refinish the wood. Hang it over the shop door as an emergency shotgun or use it as a rough duty truck gun. Make it a project. Can't hurt it...value is low... so see what you can make of it.
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Old March 5, 2010, 01:20 PM   #4
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Sounds like it would make a great wall-hanger for you to use to tell your kids stories about.
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Old March 5, 2010, 02:50 PM   #5
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I'm not sure what it is about those J. C. Higgins bolt guns, but I kinda like them. My first shot gun was a 20 ga. sears bolt action. I sold it for $75 (a $20 profit) later I bought a 12 ga. for $65 and ended up sending in the bolt for the recall and they sent me a check for $122.xx. I bought a 410 that I later gave to a friend for his son. I think the 16 ga. is about the only one I have not had yet. I need to find me another bolt action shotgun, they are fun to shoot and I kinda miss them. If shipping and ffl fees weren't more than the gun was worth I'd buy it from you. I say go ahead and keep it, you might discover that you like it.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but Hollowpoints expand on impact. (Stolen from Coolhand567)
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Old March 5, 2010, 03:10 PM   #6
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I have a WesternField version ( almost the same gun ) in a bolt action 16ga ... it was my first shotgun when I was about 10yrs old.

I'd probably replace the screw / clean it up - and keep it around... Like others said, it isn't worth anything ...never was worth much even in great condition ...but I like shooting mine once in a while. Keep it around as a conversation piece / or sell it to somebody for parts - if they have another one ...for $ 20 ...
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Old March 5, 2010, 06:38 PM   #7
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Shoot it.

A good rough duty gun, suitable for lots of things within 30 yards.

I'd clean it up, and try some slugs.
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Old April 7, 2012, 01:05 PM   #8
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Got mine for 49.95!!!!!!!!! Just yesterday! (4/6)

I just bought one for 49.95! You can fix that screw go for it and enjoy it!
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Old April 8, 2012, 07:30 AM   #9
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The recall was for 12 gauges only. The rear lug of the receiver was breaking allowing the bolt to fly back.
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Old April 8, 2012, 07:55 AM   #10
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I had one and sold it for a pittence yrs ago.
I was told by a Danvers , Mass shooting
club officer (back in the 60's) that they
don't allow bolt action shotguns on the
I'm sure, these days, the new ones are fine.
This man also showed us half a barrel from
a 38 special, sawed lengthwise that had 10 or
so bullets stuck in the barrel all squished together.
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