Out of the Closet – JC Higgins Model 31

The little darling was brought to me to try and figure out why it not do anything but dump the magazine when it was cocked and the bolt was released forward. It had not been looked at in over 10 years. When the rifle exhibited the full auto failure the owner put it up and wouldn’t attempt to fire it again – wise man!! Imagine if you can my surprise when it came out of the case and it was a match to my personal stash model 31 – complete with functional “hidden” sling that still works!!


Double Vision much?? When most people do the road trip thing – on vacation or what have you – they go and see the sights – I stop and crawl through pawn shops – Yeah I know – get a fucking life as my blushing bride tells me again and again and . . .

Had only seen 4 or 5 of these complete over the years and damned if one didn’t show up on my door step !!

Let’s take a look . . .

Simple as can be – the long screw on the rear of the fore end also holds the fire control group in place . . .

And the fire control group . . .

The spring that you see right above the safety was the culprit – it had slipped out of the groove on the bottom side of the horizontal piece – which is actually the interrupter – the spring pushes up – and the piece then pushes the sear into engagement – thus “interrupting” the firing cycle.

The reason it had slipped out of place was the groove it ( the spring ) rides in was full of crud – 22 rim fire is a notoriously dirty round – and time and lack of deep cleaning caught up to it.

Found the owners manual – Gotta love the interweb !!

These were manufactured by High Standard for Sears – and at the time they hit the shelves ( early 1950’s ) were quite “state of the art” and very sleek and modern looking – a much wanted item . . .

On this particular one ( as well as mine ) the extractor is worn to the point that it will not pull an un-fired round out of the chamber – fired rounds have the action / reaction thing going on and it has no issue with them – test fired and using inexpensive bulk ammo ( not going to knock on the ammo – it’s 10 years old ! ) I had 5 failures to fire out of 45 rounds – ouch!

Cleaned / lubed it up and put some cleaner / wax / polish product on the wood and sent it on it’s merry way . Whether or not the owner wants to invest 50 bucks in an extractor plus 50 bucks labor in it – when he is all ready 61 bucks into it ( 50 cleaning – 7 range time – 4 for ammo ) and it’s a 100 dollar gun , we shall see . . .

What’s in YOUR Closet??

Have Fun! – Run the Gun! – and remember – Fish Heads are Cheap!!

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