J.C. Higgins Bolt Action Shotgun Recall- PICTURE

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by c3shooter, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    We have discussed this before- Sears had a recall of their bolt action 12 g shotguns- and the defect was described as:

    "The retailer said it is recalling the J.C. Higgins bolt action 12-gauge shotguns due to a potential problem with the bolt latch assembly. A spokeswoman for Sears said if the assembly failed, the bolt latch could dislodge and strike the operator in the face."

    When being cycled, the bolt was retained in the gun by a set screw on the left side of the action. A number of folks have described the problem as a missing set screw, and that the bolt had been pulled from the gun when cycling it.

    HOWEVER- other information indicates that the failure was much more serious- the bolt is latched in battery by a shoulder of the receiver that butts against the base of the bolt handle. Due to the design, when material is milled away for the 12 g (only!) there is not enough left to reliably withstand the force exerted on firing. The metal is sheared off, bolt blown back, shearing off the set screw, and whacking shooter in the face.

    Here is what one looks like when it fails- You can see where the metal has sheared away.

    sears shotgun recall.jpg


    Before it fails.
    shotgun sears 2.jpg


    Some folks will feel it is still OK to shoot these. I don't.
     
  2. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Should have spent more time in the proof house!
     

  3. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    I got whacked by a bolt from a JC Higgins shotgun when I was a kid. I borrowed the shotgun from a neighbor. I was not harmed in any way. I was lucky my grandfather was with me when it happened. The neighbor claimed I shot the gun with the barrel full of mud. My grandfather quickly told him I had checked the barrel for obstructions. I did indeed check the barrel for obstructions. The neighbor and my grandfather agreed the gun was broken before I shot it. The fact that I wasn't harmed by this event does not mean these guns are safe to shoot.
     
  4. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    C-3

    Of course it is smarter to err on the side of caution than to take chances, however I differ with you on this one. Here is a link to a discussion on another forum. The "Gunsmith's" comments are what I have been told by others as well: http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=183969

    The bolt retaining screw is certainly not going to safe-stop a catastrophic failure of the receiver, and was never meant to. Although I know that any receiver can fail, I just don't believe that the receiver failure was the cause of the recall.

    My personal experience with three of these guns is positive. Of course, it the bolt had gone through my face, I wouldn't be posting this. I will buy any of these guns that I find, in very good condition, or better, for market value, which seems to be $50-$75.00.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  5. Virginian

    Virginian Active Member

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    The Mossbergs didn't fail, but I still think I have never seen a bolt action shotgun that wasn't a pig in the handling department. I purely don't understand the fascination with them some people have, but to each their own. And yes, I did own one. My first shotgun. My last bolt action.
     
  6. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    I have a Marlin goose gun. I have won a bunch of stuff at charity shooting matches with it. My neighbor won half a cow all butchered and wrapped with it. Bolt action shotguns have a few niches. The savage bolt action slug guns shoot pretty good. It's debatable if the savage bolt action shoots better than a pump. But if the savage bolt action gets people in the woods it does it's job.

    Hunters in NC need to kill a lot more than 300,000 deer to control the deer herd. Right now people are controlling the deer herd by hitting 1.3 million NC deer with their cars.

    Back to the topic, companies don't issue recalls because the gun has a minor issue. They issue recalls because the guns have had catastrophic failures in controlled tests.
     
  7. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

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    I inherited a savage 410 bolt, it handles like a dream, and has been used to take everything from squirrel to deer including birds (all legally of course).
     
  8. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Chainfire- thank you for the link. I know this has been kicked around a lot.

    I do have problems believing Sears would have dumped well over a million $$$ in this recall if the problem was a loose screw.

    In reading the comments in the link, afraid I have to discount some as low quality of information- like the one talking about those shotguns as having "double locking lugs". They had NO locking lugs. Base of the bolt handle locked against a shoulder of the receiver. If that shoulder fails, bolt opens.

    For the folks that simply say "I never saw one fail like that", yeah, I believe them. Does not mean it happened that often, but it DID happen.

    I can get a decent 12 g pump for under $200. To me, just not worth the risk- and that bolt action shotgun would make a heck of a floor lamp for the man cave.
     
  9. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You are saying this is only a problem with the 12 gauge? I have a 16 that came down from my grandfather, I very seldom take it out anymore.
     
  10. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    The recall was only for the 12 g, which is why I give more credence to the design flaw, and not the set screw. In the 12 g, more material is milled away than in the 16, 20 or .410.
     
  11. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks. That thing is too ugly to turn into a lamp! :D
     
  12. seibert1903

    seibert1903 New Member

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    I have the 583.20 and have never had a problem with it. But maybe I'm just lucky?
     
  13. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Seibert- not every POTENTIALLY defect gun blows up. Just enuff to make things interesting.

    Anyone here remember the Flaming Ford Pinto? Not all of them had gas tanks rupture and flame up in a wreck. just some of them. Think it was Dirty harry that said "Ya gotta ask yourself....Do you feel lucky? Well....do ya?"

    The recalled guns (c&p from the recall notice) were:

    "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.
     
  14. twoolddogs

    twoolddogs New Member

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    c3shooter: The recall included 12 gauge, 16 gauge and 20 gauge guns made by High Standard. This includes all Sears Identification numbers from 583.13 through 583.22 as you mentioned above.

    See www.histandard.info. Click on Model Listings, then click on Sears models made by High Standard, then click on Bolt Action Shotguns and scroll down to see those recalled and further down to see Sears contact information for return.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  15. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Actually Virginian, one model of the Mossberg bolt shotguns did fail. The 695 models were recalled in the late 90s for an issue with them discharging upon bolt closure.

    http://www.mossberg.com/usa-recall-detail

    The issue has been fixed since, but I will not be rushing out to buy a 695 anytime soon. To me, this is just as bad, if not worse than having a bolt come out the back of the receiver and hitting me in the cheek. I got hit in the face by the bolt cap on my dad's Savage 110 about 10 years ago, and I got one hell of a bruise from it. the bolt sat for over 10 years out of the rifle, cocked, and when I fired round #3 out it came. thank god for safety glasses, and shatter resistant lenses. OTOH, I fully trust my 185s even when they are both old enough to collect pensions.

    C3, there is a J. C. Higgins 12 ga bolt in my uncles collection. I have printed out this thread to give it to my uncle as proof of the problem, and what caused it, along with a copy of the original recall from Sears. Thank you for starting this thread.

    Chainfire, thanks to the link to the SGW thread on this. That's where I got the printout of the original recall notice. maybe I can convince my uncle it is time to retire the JCH, pull the firing pin, and make it into a wall hanger to remember his dad by.

    You guys both may have just saved him some pain.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  16. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Kfox, is it safe to assume this 395kb is safe? The website mentions nothing of the model number.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Virginian

    Virginian Active Member

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    Well, that was over 35 years after I sold mine, so I wasn't keeping up with them then. The C-Lect choke and about 3" of barrel parted company with my gun. Mossberg fixed it, but I never fired another shot out of it when it came back.
     
  18. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sorry it took so long to get to that post Primer. Kind of forgot about this thread until C3 linked it in.

    As long as the bolt handle is locked in, it should be good to go, as the force of the fired shell would be pushing straight back against the thickest parts of the metal in that end of the receiver. I don't think it can be discharged with the bolt part way up, but you never know. Dad also had one for years that he sold to one of the Marines living in our trailer park that went through all kinds of unpleasant abuse, and it's still going.

    Virginian. Can't blame you on that one, as i would have done the same. I just know about the recall, as a couple of them came into dad's old shop to get returned for repair, and then back to their owners. I've had the option of buying a couple of them, but each time i asked if they had been in for the recall work, the owners hemmed and hawed. Best to pass in that case. I just figured this is the thread to post that information in, so someone else will know to ask if they are looking at one.

    After all, safety is the most important part.
     
  19. bobski

    bobski Well-Known Member Sponsor

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    this is good info. it should be made a sticky.
     
  20. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I second that. IMHO, the 12 ga ones are good for decor, and that's pretty much it. Making this a sticy would be a PSA that some need to see before they get a bolt in the face, not after.