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Since 03-15- 2002
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Discussion Starter #1
Found 2 different sources that claim the 12 ga JC Higgins/Sears/H&R is or has been up for recall due to bolt issues.

Anyone know anything about this???? :insane:

Those may be hard to find a bolt for. Sears has issued a recall for them, offering $160 for the return.


The JC Higgins bolt action shotguns were made for sears by H & R I believe. The 12 gauges are not safe to shoot. the locking luggs on the bolt is not strong enough for a 12 gauge. The 16 and 20s are fine because there is more metal there.

If you call Sears and ask them about the recall on them they will give you a number to call. You call the number and give them your address and they send you a box to mail them the bolt and they send you a check for $160.00 if I remember right .

I had one of this for years. I loved the gun for squirrel hunting but when I found out about the recall I sent the bolt back for the money. A guy I know would go to flea markets and such and buy them and send them back for the money. You could but them for $50 or $60 . I would like to find a nice 16 or 20 gauge to hunt with.
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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27,366 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Answer my own question.

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/m...story/03-06-1999/0000884021&EDATE=Mar+5,+1999

CONTACT:

Sears Public Relations And Communications
(847) 286-8371

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Sears Issues Voluntary Recall on J.C. Higgins Shotgun


HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Sears, Roebuck and Co.
(NYSE: S) today announced a voluntary recall of J.C. Higgins Bolt Action
12-Gauge shotguns, a product manufactured for and sold by the company during
the 1950s.
The shotguns are being voluntary recalled due to a potential problem with
the bolt latch assembly, which could cause the assembly to fail allowing it to
dislodge and strike the operator in the face. Sears is offering a $160
finders' fee for the return of the bolt, making the shotgun inoperable.
The shotguns were sold in Sears stores and through its catalog as the
"J.C. Higgins Bolt Action 12-Gauge Model 10 Shotgun" during the 1950s. It was
carried under a number of product numbers: 583.13, 583.14, 583.15, 583.16,
583.17, 583.18, 583.19, 583.20, 583.21 and 583.22. The product model number
is engraved on the barrel of the shotgun.
Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the shotgun. Call
800-817-9165 for identification verification and instructions on return
procedures.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. discontinued the sale of all firearms and
ammunition in the early 1980s. Through its network of more than 830 full-line
stores and 2,500 off-the-mall stores, Sears is a leading retailer of apparel,
home and automotive products and services, serving more than 50 million
households.

SOURCE Sears, Roebuck and Co.





Web site: http://www.sears.com


CONTACT: Peggy Palter of Sears, 847-286-8309
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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Discussion Starter #3
guess I'd better drag out the smoke pole for the rest of the season.
 

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Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler
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Dang it! Mine's a 20 gauge. No money for me . . . :rolleyes:
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The money would be cool I soppose.

Problem is, it's day 2 of the first part of the deer season. I'm missing the A:M hunt becuase I'm jacking around.

A danged shame too. That gun could really throw a slug. I had very good confidence out to 50 yards.

BD,
Glad your's are safe. It is an intersting gun.
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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Discussion Starter #6
Follow up

I called the 800 number.
This is legit.
The phone prompts you to the JC Higgins recall. Leave your info. Get a box with a return good authorization and in about 3 weeks, transaction complete.

Still, I really like this old gun. I may get a 16 or 20 like it to replace it.
 

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Actually, Jerry, mine has a problem with the safety - makes the trigger ultra-sensitive. Not safe for the field, though it's okay for occasional range shooting. I like the design, so I keep it. It was my first bolt-action shotgun - now I have three (a 16 gauge Kessler and a Stevens .410). But not a twelve-gauge among them! :rolleyes:
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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Discussion Starter #8
Sears Made Good

Wife called today and let me know the check for the Higgin's recall came in today.

Sears did what they said they would do.
 

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I've seen this failure first hand. The bolt lug is a square boss built up at the base of the bolt handle. Where this lug seats in the bolt cut out is the locking area. The back side of the recess for the bolt in the side of the action is the area that fails. One brought to me to shorten the bbl and add sights to, had a crack over an inch long straight back from the bolt recess. I figured one to three more shots and the bolt goes through the shooters eye!
BigDog, I wouldn't trust the 20ga. either. They both operate at the same pressure limit of 13,900 PSI. The first thing to stop the bolt in a catistropic fairure would be the back of the shooters skull..........maybe! BUT HE WON'T KNOW IT!!!!
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not 100% sure, but I think the 20 & 16's were "safe" due to the greater amount of metal. Apparently they had less metal in critical areas for the 12 ga.

I now have metal and wood to practice finishing projects on.
 

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JC Higgins Recall

I only heard about this problem today and I am pretty upset. I was with my father when he purchased the shotgun in the fifties. He gave the gun to me before he passed away, several years ago. It has been mainly used to shoot at birds in the corn field and take to turkey shoots in the fall. I assume the problem is in the bolt slide groove just behind the bolt handle block when closed. Upon inspection of that area, I can't find any cracks or signs of stress. I was thinking about taking the gun to a gunsmith and getting the problem area reinforced from the outside. Any opinions on this would be appreciated, since I will keep the gun intact, even if I never shoot it again. It is surprising how many people have never seen a bolt action shotgun, when I take it to turkey shoots.

Thanks, Gary
 

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Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler
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I'd just keep it as a family heirloom, put it on display. The cost of having a good 'smith make it "safe" would be nearly enough for a good used pump gun. And it just wouldn't be the same, modified from the way your father had it.
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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Discussion Starter #13
I had no emotional value to mine. If it was a family piece. I'd not have traded the bolt. I will get another bolt scatter gun someday. A safe one :right:
 

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High Priced Gobbler

The thought of that 12 gauge bolt going through my head and bouncing off the back of my skull, sends chills down my spine!
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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Discussion Starter #16
Got the "replacement" today.

I bought a slug barrel for my 870. I don't know how to act with real sights :)
 

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Bolt stop screw

I,ve been searching for information about the lawyers recall language on the J.C. Higgins 583.20. It seems that the injurys occured when the shooter cycled the bolt while sighted on the target and the bolt stop screw failed, letting the bolt come out of the gun under his own power, striking the shooter in the eye. One article I read said the later models with a stop pin instead of the screw were not recalled. There is a big difference between this and the bolt coming out when fired. I would just like to know the real facts behind this recall. If it turns out the problem is with the stop screw, then the gun is safe to fire. I'm not going to fire it untill I find out all of the facts, but I thought some of you might find this interesting.
 

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Well, the stop screw is just to prevent the bolt coming out when pulled back - it isn't intended as a "safety lug". If the bolt came back when fired, then the bolt handle/lug either wasn't securly in the slot, or it broke - allowing the bolt to blow back.
Say a Mauser bolt sheers it's locking lugs when fired. Do we believe that the boltstop will keep the bolt from slamming into our skull? Of course not - that's not it's purpose.
Could be a safety issue - if the gun can fire with the bolt not closed all the way. Few guns can take being fired out of battery.
 

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Gary,
I don't know anything about the bolt stop screw. I do know what I saw with my own eyes. They would not buy back the gun for just a screw. The screw would be upgraded and returned to the owner. A buy back is for a fatal flaw not just a screw. But It's your decision and we'll miss you! TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN!!! or hang it on the wall. I have my grandfathers old rabbit ear double hanging on the wall but you couldn't pay me enough to shoot it.
 

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Bolt stop screw

Thanks for the replies and I agree with both. I am not going to risk shooting the gun. I meant to mention the one inch crack in a earlier post, which would be very dangerous. Sometimes I don't make myself very clear. I just find the whole thing interesting and want to know the details. Upon inspection of the bolt stop screw, it is very flimsy and it's apparent to me that I could jerk the bolt out of the gun with the screw in place. I got this information from other sites. A local gunsmith is going to look at the gun on Monday and he is also checking on the details of the recall. He said that he needed to know about it in case one came into his shop, so I'm taking it to him at his request. I'm going today to buy a 12 gauge pump with a 28 inch barrel and three chokes. Turkey hunting season starts April 2nd.
 
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