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  1. #1
    morry
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    Default Sears 20 gauge bolt action/recall??

    I picked up probably an 85 or 90 percent 20 gauge bolt action shotgun today. It's a Sears -- JC Higgins Model 583.18. It was advertised as a Mossberg 185D -- which puts it around 1950.

    I went and bought this, figuring for the $90 they were asking it would be a total wreck, but at least I could practice rebluing on something cheap. I'm surprised to find a weapon with a decent walnut finished stock, slightly chipped underneath the receiver -- and of course it's missing the chokes and magazine. Crown in excellent shape, no one practicing carving on the stock, decent bluing and barrel -- although the bolt looks like it needs a good disassembly and cleaning.

    I pretty much made this buy on impulse -- basically because I remember my relatives having bolt action shotguns in the '60s and the nostalgia factor overrode common sense.

    Does anyone have any idea about this recall I keep reading about which seems to apply to 12 gauge? And, basically, what is the deal with this anyway? Good deal for $90 including tax or did I get snookered into a cute wall hanger for my 1950s style den that I can hang by the black and white Philco TV?

  2. #2
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    I believe Sears has ended this recall. The recall went on for decades on both 12 ga and 20 ga bolt action shotguns.

    These shotguns used only the bolt handle as a locking lug. This is rather unsafe since if the bolt is not fully closed when a shot is taken, and something goes wrong, the shooter can end up eating the bolt. It could ruin your entire afternoon!

    That being said, the incidence of failure with these shotguns is quite small. Course, that's small consolation if you are the rare person who gets a chance to eat the bolt.

    You have a good platform on which to practice your gunsmithing skills.
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  3. #3
    morry
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    Default Thanks

    well, I belong to the probably very small minority who does not fire their weapons ever and do not keep ammunition. The operational parts e.g. firing pins are removed and stored in a safe.

    It is strictly a historical/mechanical thing with me more or less along the lines of someone who fixes old cars -- something I have neither the money or space for. I find disassembly/cleaning/polishing to be a good way to relax. Probably makes me strange, but anyway -- and it also keeps the wife is somewhat "gun nervous" happy. I also find that the mechanical part also helps with memory and manual dexterity -- somewhat like a jigsaw puzzle.

    And, you're right, the design isn't that awesome. No plastic parts but still...

  4. #4
    Super Awesome Moderator 220combat will become famous soon enough 220combat's Avatar
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    That recall has ended quite a few years ago. It did apply to both 12 and 20's, but I believe that the majority of occurances of failure were in the 12's.
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  5. #5
    morry
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    Default what about blanks??

    So I suppose that if I wanted to use this as a bird/squirrel scaring/ noisemaking device and just shoot blanks there would be nothing really to worry about?

  6. #6
    Super Awesome Moderator 220combat will become famous soon enough 220combat's Avatar
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    Probably not.

    You should also head over to the new members area and introduce yourself. Welcome to the forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 220combat View Post
    That recall has ended quite a few years ago. It did apply to both 12 and 20's, but I believe that the majority of occurances of failure were in the 12's.
    Not all that many years ago. In 2005 we returned 25 bolts to Sears and Roebuck. They sent us $50.00 apiece for them. I believe they stopped paying for these bolts in 2007.
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  8. #8
    Super Awesome Moderator 220combat will become famous soon enough 220combat's Avatar
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    When I contacted Sears in 08, they told me it ended in 2000. I wish I knew better, I would have bought the gun from a friend that was being sold for $50, I could have gotten my money back through Sears.
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  9. #9
    morry
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    Default thanks

    Given that my interest in this is more working on the finish I have removed the firing pin -- which is now properly disposed of. If somebody in fifty years wants to find one and reinstall it, well, that's on them, but at least I'm not responsible for any mishap. And I have a very nice looking piece for my wall. At least I'm being responsible. Thanks for the advice. Now on to learning the joys of bluing -- and I presume that originally the entire bolt including handle was blued. have to look for a good picture and find out.

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