J.C. Higgins Model 583.20

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Davejohn90, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Davejohn90

    Davejohn90 New Member

    Jul 17, 2012
    I have a Higgins model 583.20 I got it from a friend. It was in her basment for about 30 years. The rust was well enought to say that much lol. I've got it in great condition now but, I need a bolt. I"ve check around 25 website for bolts for this model. I haven't found anything. I know the bolt on these was recalled and people were being payed with a 50$ sears gift card for the bolt because, of and issue witht he bolt flying out the back of the gun. Honestley I don't see this happening. I was wondering if anybody would have one of these bolts for sale or know of where i could find one. Also are the other model 583's .1,.2,.6,.7 capable of haveing part exchanded witht his model? Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. SGVictor

    SGVictor Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    The bolt was never the problem. It was just a part that would render the gun nonfunctional and could be inexpensively returned as proof that the gun was no longer functional ad therefore nolonger a potential liability to Sears.

    There were numerous receiver failures where the part of the receiver that served as the support for the primary bolt locking surface fractured and the secondary bolt locking surface was not sufficient to retain the bolt.

    Note that the 583.1 through 583.12 were first generation bolt actions and the later ones were second generation.

    I have copies of several failure reports in my High Standard ephemera collection.

    This link is to some comments I wrote about the Model 10.


    John Stimson, Jr.

  3. 1LoneWolf75

    1LoneWolf75 Active Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    Farson WY
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  4. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    With the Sears number 583.20, there really isn't any question of who made it, High Standard.
  5. Davejohn90

    Davejohn90 New Member

    Jul 17, 2012

    I am talking about a 12gauge bolt action 5 shot rifle. It was made by High Standard. I have looked at MANY MANY websites for this item. In particular I'm hoping to find someone who has a bolt.
  6. SGVictor

    SGVictor Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    It is a second generation High Standard manufactured 12 gauge shotgun that is on teh Sears recall list.

    If you have read the material and looked at the pictures of the failed model 10 receiver in that post, I marvel that you still want a bolt. I have other photos of model 10 failures and failure reports by the High Standard engineering group which show that the one I posted was not an isolated incident. These guns were recalled because of serious safety issues.
  7. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    At the time of the recall and for quite a while Sears was offering 150 dollars for the bolt. Even now they are offering more that the value of the shotgun in the form of a gift certificate. Also to take into consideration, if anyone were to sell or give you a bolt, knowing that it was recalled, they then place them self into a position of liability. You can find these bolt less shotguns all the time at the local gun shows and yard sales. They usually bring 25 to 35 dollars in new condition, why anyone would buy one, is beyond my understanding, I have seen numerous posing over the years from people bragging that they brought a shotgun for only 30 dollars and where can they find a bolt for it.:D Davejohn, not dumping on you, it is just that your chances of finding a bolt is pretty remote, and even if you did, would you really want to use it?? I wouldn't.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  8. Davejohn90

    Davejohn90 New Member

    Jul 17, 2012
    I like the look of the gun and I collect old firearms. Most likely I will never shoot the gun. I just wish to have the complete package. I would like to refinish it completely but, with out the bolt whats the point? Like i said before
    I got it for free. And I like it. No reason other than that.
    and Rjay this thread was to find of how to find this bolt. Nt to disscus my intentions with it. Not dumping on you or anything.:D
  9. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    What ever,:D heck, I thought I was being super nice :D
  10. SGVictor

    SGVictor Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Note that the receiver/barrel combination may or more likely may not assemble with the correct head space.

    The recall for this group of shotguns goes back around 20 years as I recall and I suspect that most loose bolts have been turned in making finding one difficult.

    These were Sears cheapest shotguns in the 40's 50's and 60's and a huge number were produced and sold but only a few models were recalled from a time when there were some heat treating issues.
  11. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Relative to post #8:

    It is true that "Silence makes few mistakes" However "few" is not the same as "no".

    In today's litigious society, here in the USA, what you do not say can cause you problems under some circumstances. Even a frivolous litigation can cost one many thousands of dollars in legal costs. Thus, several members wisely covered their donkeys by advising that subject gun is part of a series of guns that is known to have safety problems.

    Also, I will add that restoring such a gun to firing condition can cause big liability problems for the person doing the work. This is especially true if you knowingly do so.

    The CA jury verdict was $50,900,000.00 (almost 51 million dollars) in Maxfield vs Bryco lawsuit in 2003. The gun shop that simply sold a pistol that the jury concluded was of "defective design" was assessed $5,000,000.00 of these damages.
  12. oneoldsap

    oneoldsap New Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Davejohn90 , These fellows were just trying to prevent you from hurting yourself or bystanders and you shouldn't have taken umbarage ! You really sound like a sophisticated collector ! NOT
  13. Safetymel

    Safetymel New Member

    Oct 5, 2012
    I own a JC Higgins 583.20 that is complete and still shootable and is in relatively good condition, however I have not fired this gun since the early 80's. This gun was given to me for Christmas in about 1970 when I was 9 years old as my first shotgun and I used it A LOT all through the 70's primarily hunting Dove, Quail, Ducks and Snipe in central Florida. It shot well and I never had a problem with it.

    I have seen the photos of the gun that "supposedly" failed that initiated this recall and can not see how it failed in the manner that it did unless it was being severely misused, perhaps the user was shooting extremely hot reloads or something else.

    I personally do not intend to fire this gun, it is more of a simple keepsake however it can be fired if necessary.
  14. rmartin77777

    rmartin77777 New Member

    Dec 14, 2012
    I know this thread is old but do see recent activity so I would like to add to this thread.

    Having just acquired a JC Higgins Model 583.20 from an Uncle has sent me to the internet for research on it. I found this site and other information regarding the gun’s issue with its bolt and receiver. As a mechanical engineer employed to troubleshoot design failures in high stress machinery I have looked at the design of this gun and think I see exactly why it has failed in the bolt to receiver area. Upon removing the bolt one can see two channels cut horizontally in the receiver to accommodate the shell extractors on the bolt. This weakens the receiver by making the walls of it very thin. .12 inches is the resultant thickness in the walls of the receiver at the channels. A 12 GA shell supplies quite a bit of pressure in an area weaken by poor design. Even with a low brass shell there is enough pressure to break the right hand side of the receiver that retains the bolt completely off as seen in the photos supplied by SGVictor. The bolt retaining screw is only one small piece of metal with a thickness of .15 inches. While this certainly keeps the bolt in the receiver with the shooter pulling on it I doubt it would retain the bolt when the power of the shell broke a larger piece of metal. This design fault is certainly why this gun is unsafe to shoot. Especially with the age these guns are now.
  15. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2012
    Moore, Idaho
    I just bought a 583.17 and am waiting for it to arrive. It is functional and I got it for $78 including shipping....
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