Sears 12 GA. Bolt Action Model 583.20

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by Lowsonoma21, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Lowsonoma21

    Lowsonoma21 New Member

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    Just got her the other day from a buddy. Dont care much for the value, i just wanna shoot it, maybe take it out for some waterfowl. Any tips on this gun? I got some pics on my photobucket to show you the condition. Shes ruff. When i first got it the bolt was rusted shut. Everything seems to be great now, working nice, got her oiled up, Bore looks great, the muzzle was a bit corroded but it shouldnt matter much for shots?? Let me know what yall think

    thanks


    http://s212.photobucket.com/albums/cc67/lowsonoma21/

    http://s212.photobucket.com/albums/cc67/lowsonoma21/
  2. jondar

    jondar New Member

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    Nothing more gratifying than taking a good gun, in neglected condition, and making it good again. I believe yours was made by Harrington & Richardson sometime after WW2 for Sears Roebuck & Co. Some of these were with a 3" chamber. You may want to see if yours is. I've only owned one bolt shotgun, several years ago, I enjoyed shooting it, it did everything I wanted it to do.
  3. jondar

    jondar New Member

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    Followup - I forgot to mention there was a recall on one model of Sears bolt shotguns, seem to remember it was lack of strength in the action, but been a while and can't remember. You may want to Google "Sears bolt action shotgun recall." Hope yours isn't one.
  4. Lowsonoma21

    Lowsonoma21 New Member

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    Yeah I heard there was something regarding the action aswell, but when I followed up on it, Via google, All I could find was that the bolt is very safe when shooting because the chances of it backfiring at you are slim due to its design. When I got it at first, the bolt was rusted shut, couldnt even move it, so I loaded it with oil n ripped er open lol.

    I also saw that it was made in 1952, Sears Roebuck and Co. Also stamped on the barrel. It's a 2 3/4'' Not a 3. Which actually is quite nice because I have about 40 random shots, all 2 n 3/4''.

    I'm more conserned about its condition in regarding to shooting. She hasnt been fired off in at least 10 years, like I said she was rusted shut. My buddy didn't know if it was even loaded or not so. Today I am taking a wire brush to the barrel to get all the chunks off. In my pictures it actually hides alot of the bad, so its kinda hard to tell.

    I cleaned the inside of the bore with a wire brush head with my cleaning kit, cuz at the muzzle it was a bit caked. For shooting shots this shouldn't matter all that much, for the little amount there is now. I took a picture looking down the muzzle to see the bore, and its looking great, So I might take it out today for a shot or 2.

    Like you said, I love finding a gun that is in ruff shape, and finishin her.

    As far as the lack of stregnth in the bolt, I cant see how or where. Unless if its the tray/feeder from the internal magazine. When you open the action the bolt clicks back and slides that tray up to the chamber, to be loaded, or grabs a round from the mag n sends er up. When the action is closed, the gun feels solid. When I shake it with a firm grip there is nothing loose, I can only hear the spring inside the magazine tube!! I've also googled and found nothing that I can see.

    Thanks for the reply brother
  5. jondar

    jondar New Member

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    Looking into it a little more, the problem the gun allegedly had was that the gun was in battery whether or not the bolt was completely closed or not. These shotguns had no locking lugs on the bolt, the only lock was when you closed the bolt and put the bolt handle down into the cut for it in the receiver. Apparently it was possible if the bolt handle wasn't completely down to the bottom of that cut the gun could still fire and blow the bolt back at you. Whether or not this ever actually happened wasn't stated. I would just shoot the gun and enjoy it.
  6. Lowsonoma21

    Lowsonoma21 New Member

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    Yeah I could see that. Like you said tho the odds of that happening. The bolt either needs to be open or closed, when open you can just flip it down and it will catch, not goin anywhere. For the backfire, When its cocked the bolt is locked in and the frame is stopping it from moving back, and the bolt release screw haha. Shouldn't be anything to worry about really. I was wondering if its in good enough condition to go shoot, I wanted to go today but ended up taking the wire wheel to it instead. Rather get it all finished up first. I got some new pics up on Photo. I took pics looking down the barrel so you can see the bore. At the end of the muzzle its not noticable unless you use your finger, then you can feel corrosion, maybe an 1/8 of an inch? I have some steel shots that I would prefer to save for waterfowl, but I also have a bunch of slugs. Is it safe to shoot the slugs? Shots should be fine i think.

    http://s212.photobucket.com/albums/cc67/lowsonoma21/
  7. jondar

    jondar New Member

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    If you verified that the gun was made in 1952 then it was probably made by Hi-Standard. Sears bought the manufacturing rights from Harrington & Richardson, I believe, around 1948 and then had Hi-Standard make them. Normally slug guns are improved cylinder or cylinder bore. Yours may be a full choke. Someone who uses slugs can probably tell you if slugs would be safe. My W/A guess would be that slugs, being soft lead would probably be alright. A shade-tree gunsmith I knew as a kid used a dime to determine the choke on 12 gauges. If the dime wouldn't go down the muzzle it was full choke. Nothing like being technical.
  8. Lowsonoma21

    Lowsonoma21 New Member

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    I haven't verified it, I'm just going off of Wiki answers said, when someone asked the value of this gun:

    A dime will only go half way into the muzzle. Theres a bit of pitting as well.

    What do you mean when you say, slugs are improved cylinder bore, does this mean a sabbott barrel? My buddy shoots slugs through his smooth bore all the time, he says it hurts a bit more though haha. Im a little worried because my buddy found it in a crawl space in a basement, and was rusted shut. I think i have cleaned it up enough to shoot. Also, the barrel is just wire brushed and I oiled it, Would it be okay to leave it that way, or do I have to seal the metal from oxidizing?

    Thanks for the info
  9. jondar

    jondar New Member

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    Cylinder bore means a straight bore with no constriction, like a length of water pipe. Improved cylinder has slight constriction, modified choke has more than I.C., full choke is more constriction than the others, hence the dime won't fall thru like it will with modified. I would think a few of the steel shot shells would take care of the crud at the end of the barrell.
  10. 209jones

    209jones New Member

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    curiosity, does Sears even sell guns in the USA anymore? They stopped in Canada a lot of years ago, I'm thinking late 70's, don't really remember how long ago now.
  11. Lowsonoma21

    Lowsonoma21 New Member

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    Haha thanks Jondar. I have yet to go out but very soon.

    @ 209 Jones Heres a direct quote from Wikipedia:

  12. Bayernwolf

    Bayernwolf New Member

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    Just a heads up re: the safety recall on this gun.
    On some guns it was possible to put the safety on and then pull the trigger, gun would not fire of course BUT would go off without touching the trigger when the safety was subsequently switched to off!
    You can test this on your gun (with it empty of course!!!). Put safety on and pull trigger HARD, then release trigger and switch safety off. Did it fire? If you weren't sure then pull the trigger to see if its still cocked or not, if not then it fired. I have a vague recollection that if it did not fire on safety release at first a good hard bump of the buttpad on the ground could get it to fire.
    Just a caution. Happy shooting.
  13. Lowsonoma21

    Lowsonoma21 New Member

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    Good to know. I tried it and it almost seems impossible for that to happen so that makes me feel better!! I tried reefing on the trigger while the safety was off n I would break it before it released. Banging it on the ground, same thing. Also when i take the safety off after all of this it remains cocked. It's easy to see if it is loaded or not simply by looking at the end of the bolt, there's a red line and when its fired it disappears, so thats good. Thanks for the info

    Cheers
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