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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just obtained a JC Higgins Md 1017 12guage w/ 30" barrels and with Model 311A stamped on opposite side of reciever. From sifting through the archives I figured these were made by Stevens and sold by Sears Roebuck. Curious about value but also vintage and JC Higgins history as on the net it is attached to everything from bikes to whatever through Sears. Is value lower than an equivalent Stevens?
Thanks
 

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I've never seen any explanation of who Mr. Higgins was (is?) and how he got his name on Sears sporting goods. I've never looked, but maybe there's a Sears website that gives history or provides an email address for information like that. Sears controlled a couple of firearms manufactures around 1905-1915, but most were purchased on contracts to Stevens/Savage, Marlin, High Standard, etc. If your gun is marked 311A, then it is a Stevens 311. Don't remember where I lifted this quote, but it implies that your gun must have been made after 1948.
"When this model was introduced in 1931 the receivers were originally tamped "5000", this stamping was changed in 1941 to model "5100". The 5100 was the predecessor to the 311 and was produced from app. 1931 to 1948 (With no production for most of WW II) when they began stamping Model 311 on the frame. Early 311s will have both 5100 and 311 stamped on the frame."
Value will be about 2/3 to 3/4 of a Stevens in similar condition.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info - for what its worth, this is what I found (which you may already know some of)
"J.C. Higgins was an accountant for Sears & Roebuck, somebody thought his name had an outdoorsy quality to it so they used it as a name for a line of guns sold by Sears & Roebuck rifles and shotguns manufactured between 1946-1962.

The J.C. Higgins trademark has appeared literally on hundreds of various models (shotguns and rifles) sold through the Sears & Roebuck retail network. Most of these models were manufactured through subcontracts with both domestic and international firearms manufacturers. Typically, they were "spec." guns made to sell at a specific price to undersell the competition. Most of these models were derivatives of existing factory models (i.e., Browning, High Standard, Marlin, Mossberg, Savage, Stevens, Winchester, etc.) with less expensive wood and perhaps missing the features found on those models from which they were derived.
To date, there has been minimal interest in collecting J.C. Higgins guns, regardless of rarity. Rather than list J.C. Higgins models, a general guideline is that values generally are under the models of their "1st generation relatives" (listed above). The Ranger trademark was also used by Sears & Roebuck - it is not any more desirable than those guns marked J.C. Higgins. As a result, prices are ascertained by the shooting value of the gun, rather than its collector value."
Obviously they stuck the name on a crapload of other products too.
 
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