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  #1  
Old 03-17-2020, 8:36 PM
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Default I bought a J.C. Higgins model 20 - 12 gauge pump shotgun today

Well when I was out and about after my every 2 months doctor appointment at the South end of the County, I went by my favorite Sporting Goods store "Grundmans", located in Rio Dell, California. There were only 2 customers in the store, and we shot the bull for a while as both of us were purchasing a firearm.

I had seen this shotgun in the rack back in January, and was surprised that it was still there today. It is a J.C. Higgins (Monkey Wards brand made by High Standard) model 20 pump action 12 gauge shotgun, with a factory installed compensator.

So I paid $200 dollars for it along with the increased DROS fees, and now the 10 days in jail waiting period is ticking away.

Since I don't have a smart phone, I found a pic of one online, but the one I am buying is not in as rough condition. I think it will be an interesting addition to my firearms collection.

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  #2  
Old 03-17-2020, 8:40 PM
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Fine job!! well done!! My factory comp. is heavy but looks cool and I’ll never miss the money while shooting it!!
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2020, 7:52 AM
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Nice find!!
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Old 03-18-2020, 9:05 AM
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Looks like a Cutts Compensator on the end of that barrel. They were the first or one of the first interchangeable choke systems. The compansator should screw off exposing the choke tube

When you fire the fist shot out of that gun, check the compansator to see if the plastic wad, or part of the wad is lodged in it......seen that happen more then once. Back in the day, shells were loaded with paper and felt wads
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Old 03-18-2020, 9:24 AM
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J. C. Higgins was Sears, not Montgomery Wards. I have a Higgins semi-auto (High Standard) 12g. It has the compensator and dial-a-choke. My favorite shotgun.
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2020, 10:04 AM
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Cool find.
Bought a Sears M200 (Winchester 1200) almost new for 200 a few months ago.
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madpyro View Post
J. C. Higgins was Sears, not Montgomery Wards. I have a Higgins semi-auto (High Standard) 12g. It has the compensator and dial-a-choke. My favorite shotgun.
Thanks for the correction.

Turning 60 this year, I was going by my childhood memories of seeing the store "brands" of firearms at Sears and Monkey Wards back in the 1960s and early 1970s.

It may be after the 27th of March if things go sideways, before I get to bring it home. I will fire one round of birdshot and then check to see if the wad clears the compensator.
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Old 03-18-2020, 1:36 PM
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I have a 16 gauge that has an adjustable choke. Adjusts with a twist of the wrist. The popular one back then was a Poly Choke. I guess they fell out of favor because they don't look that great, but they're much more convenient, and probably cheaper, than tubes.

I have a Hiawatha pump that my parents got me for Christmas, at a department store. It was K-Mart-like, but a different name. I think it was made by Savage.
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Old 03-18-2020, 2:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
I have a 16 gauge that has an adjustable choke. Adjusts with a twist of the wrist. The popular one back then was a Poly Choke. I guess they fell out of favor because they don't look that great, but they're much more convenient, and probably cheaper, than tubes.

I have a Hiawatha pump that my parents got me for Christmas, at a department store. It was K-Mart-like, but a different name. I think it was made by Savage.
Right you are. Made by Savage. And were branded by Gamble Pioneer Hardware stores.

https://gun-data.com/gamble_Skogmo_%20hiawatha.htm
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2020, 3:11 PM
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I bought a Sear’s branded savage as an add on to another rifle I purchased. 12 gauge with polychoke. Shoots modern ammo just fine. Smoothest pump action I’ve felt. It doesn’t have much value. I’ve seen them go on gunbroker for $250, it’s nearly pristine. Don’t know if I would sell at that price, maybe on the right day.
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  #11  
Old 03-18-2020, 4:14 PM
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Damn I have been looking for one of those forever...….
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Old 03-18-2020, 4:37 PM
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Going through stuff I found a full Cutts Compensator choke off a 20ga I no longer own......kind of miss the shotgun.
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2020, 5:53 PM
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Miss the Model 20 I had. Barrel was cut to 18.5" and a bead sight installed. Think I paid 150 for it. One of a couple I wish I had back.

Grundmans is a great spot, look forward to my next visit!
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Old 03-18-2020, 5:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humboldt Leatherneck View Post
Thanks for the correction.

Turning 60 this year, I was going by my childhood memories of seeing the store "brands" of firearms at Sears and Monkey Wards back in the 1960s and early 1970s.

It may be after the 27th of March if things go sideways, before I get to bring it home. I will fire one round of birdshot and then check to see if the wad clears the compensator.
You will love it! I have fired 1000s of rounds of modern shells with no problems. Enjoy!
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  #15  
Old 03-18-2020, 6:04 PM
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I love my Model 20, the action is so incredibly smooth. I read they advertised the fact that gravity alone will drop the slide. I did find some issues with modern plastic husks don't seem to like the old school lifter, but I get by. I believe the Rock Island Armory/Armscor M5 is pretty much the exact same shotgun so I was looking into getting one of their lifters and installing it.
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2020, 6:12 PM
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I bought one on here. I took all apart and used semichrom on everything. It is soo butter smooth
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2020, 7:00 PM
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congrats, you'll enjoy it!

got two of those higgins 12ga back home, grandpa's and dad's

still remember my first time shooting my dad's out in the front yard with him and my uncle when I was about 12 years old to see if I was ready for my own.. never forget it, most recoil I'd ever felt LoL.. I stood up to it and earned my 870, huge upgrade from my mossberg 183 .410 bolt

not sure exact models but they have the mag tube bypass lever on the left side and vented chokes..

same or similar to these https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...EAzh2kRDQqlH-o

great operating shotguns put a lot of food in the freezer and meals on the table..

btw, the higgins story is interesting.. off the top of my head, he went from the stock room to the board room at sears and they branded their sporting goods line after him.. somewhere around the 70s they went with ted williams..

also interesting are the various other store brand names used on guns..

here's a handy cross reference http://www.nramuseum.org/gun-info-re...blue-book.aspx
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  #18  
Old 03-18-2020, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer Bee View Post
congrats, you'll enjoy it!

got two of those higgins 12ga back home, grandpa's and dad's

still remember my first time shooting my dad's out in the front yard with him and my uncle when I was about 12 years old to see if I was ready for my own.. never forget it, most recoil I'd ever felt LoL.. I stood up to it and earned my 870, huge upgrade from my mossberg 183 .410 bolt

not sure exact models but they have the mag tube bypass lever on the left side and vented chokes..

same or similar to these https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...EAzh2kRDQqlH-o

great operating shotguns put a lot of food in the freezer and meals on the table..

btw, the higgins story is interesting.. off the top of my head, he went from the stock room to the board room at sears and they branded their sporting goods line after him.. somewhere around the 70s they went with ted williams..

also interesting are the various other store brand names used on guns..

here's a handy cross reference http://www.nramuseum.org/gun-info-re...blue-book.aspx
The tubular magazine feed cutoff lever on the lower left side of the receiver is what caught my attention, and made me buy it.

I remembered the Sears/ Ted Williams line of sporting goods from way back when going to Sears was a big deal for my family - maybe the late 1960s.

Thanks for the store brand link.
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Old 03-19-2020, 2:11 AM
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my uncle loved that mag tube cutoff lever (thanks for the correction)

deer season loaded with 00buck and no deer by noon, he'd kick the buckshot out of the chamber and toss a #6 in there for cottontail or squirrel on the way back to the house but still ready for a big buck if he stirred one up..

bunnies are everywhere, especially in the rock ledges where they den.. and big hickory stand in the north west corner of our farm, gray and fox squirrel's favorite in missouri, rarely came back empty handed
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Old 03-19-2020, 6:04 PM
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In the 1st pic that I found and posted, the compensator was not the style of the one on my jail inmate.

I found another pic showing that the top edge of the compensator is even with the end of the ventilated rib on the barrel. Like in this pic I found, and mine is not quite so nice.



Maybe I have found a different dedicated huntin' shotgun to replace the 35+ year old pair of Remington 870s that I have used for decades. I will have to figure out a "plug" for the magazine, in order to limit the number of shells for waterfowl and other hunting.
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Old 03-19-2020, 6:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humboldt Leatherneck View Post
In the 1st pic that I found and posted, the compensator was not the style of the one on my jail inmate.

I found another pic showing that the top edge of the compensator is even with the end of the ventilated rib on the barrel. Like in this pic I found, and mine is not quite so nice.



Maybe I have found a different dedicated huntin' shotgun to replace the 35+ year old pair of Remington 870s that I have used for decades. I will have to figure out a "plug" for the magazine, in order to limit the number of shells for waterfowl and other hunting.
That one is more in line with the one I have. The adjusti choke is the same ventilated style as opposed to the vertical line style and I have the metal plate in the stock to stamp your initials. The reddish hue is also the same versus the darker wood. I believe the ventilated style is the "newer" version
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Old 03-19-2020, 7:33 PM
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Yep, JC Higgins was a Sears brand. My dad had a o/u 16 gauge. Don't know what happened to it. Sure wish I had it.

When I was a kid I bought my uncles Westernfield (sold by Montgomery Wards) 12ga pump for $20. It was manufactured by Noble. I still have it and it shoots well. 10lb+ trigger. It still has the original "Poly Choke". I think the company is still in business. Thing is: I never quite figured out how to dial in all of the choke settings.
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Old 03-19-2020, 9:13 PM
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For a plug, just get a dowel that's close to the diameter of a shotgun shell. Figure out how many shells fit in the tube, then measure to see how long a spacer you need to allow only 2 shells in the tube. Cut the dowel to length.
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Old 03-20-2020, 1:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeeze View Post
Yep, JC Higgins was a Sears brand. My dad had a o/u 16 gauge. Don't know what happened to it. Sure wish I had it.

When I was a kid I bought my uncles Westernfield (sold by Montgomery Wards) 12ga pump for $20. It was manufactured by Noble. I still have it and it shoots well. 10lb+ trigger. It still has the original "Poly Choke". I think the company is still in business. Thing is: I never quite figured out how to dial in all of the choke settings.
I have just the opposite, two higgins 12ga grandpa's and dad's and a few years ago bought a wards western field model 60 16ga which is a savage model 620a.. saved it from police turn in for destruction

not mine but looks like this..



for some reason store brand guns have less market value than the manufacturer brand guns.. I find the store brands more nostalgic since I remember seeing them on the the shelves at sears, wards, coast to coast, western auto, etc.. and for all intents and purposes are the same guns except for the rollmarks..
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Old 03-20-2020, 3:56 AM
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I have a jc Higgins model 88 recolver
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Old 03-20-2020, 5:13 AM
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Cool find, thanks for sharing.

I have really been getting into the older "department store" guns like this recently. I can't place my finger on it but there is just something cool about them. Maybe it just represents a different time in America that I am too young to have experienced.

Anyways, give us a range report when you bust it out of the clink.
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Old 03-20-2020, 10:23 AM
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Damn I have been looking for one of those forever....
Not that I've never sent you a PM on riot guns for sale...but I'll go the spoon fed method now...

K-1200-Riot-Gun

Or...

[PD Remington 870 Magnum 12ga w Extended Tube

When I look for neat older riot guns, this is where I start.
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Old 03-20-2020, 10:43 AM
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Regarding the riot gun configuration, you can do something similar with a vintage semiauto if you can find a factory short barrel suited to the gas ports system so that the action will remain functional without overgassing and then beating the bolt against the receiver...

For a long time I thought the shortest barrel length one could use on an older 1100 was 22", but then I found an 18.5" Remington factory replacement bead-sight, Parkerized barrel.

20160531_194838.jpg

Other modifications to the original gun are a Remington competition carrier, a Brownells combat (tactical for "oversized") bolt handle and a Wilson Combat one-shot mag extension. I call it a Texas tactical 1100.
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Old 03-20-2020, 11:02 AM
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Sell it to me playa!!!
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Old 03-20-2020, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by -hanko View Post
Not that I've never sent you a PM on riot guns for sale...but I'll go the spoon fed method now...

K-1200-Riot-Gun

Or...

[PD Remington 870 Magnum 12ga w Extended Tube

When I look for neat older riot guns, this is where I start.

I am looking to buy local and avoid FFL fees. But that older one in wood stocks looks perfect.

Where is your cat BTW?
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Old 03-20-2020, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strakill View Post
Cool find, thanks for sharing.

I have really been getting into the older "department store" guns like this recently. I can't place my finger on it but there is just something cool about them. Maybe it just represents a different time in America that I am too young to have experienced.
True. The only reason my dad bought the shotgun for me is I couldn't afford it. No such thing as a 4473 then. I could've bought it myself if I had the money.

I could afford the shells though.
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Old 03-20-2020, 3:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 200Apples View Post
Regarding the riot gun configuration, you can do something similar with a vintage semiauto if you can find a factory short barrel suited to the gas ports system so that the action will remain functional without overgassing and then beating the bolt against the receiver...

For a long time I thought the shortest barrel length one could use on an older 1100 was 22", but then I found an 18.5" Remington factory replacement bead-sight, Parkerized barrel.

Other modifications to the original gun are a Remington competition carrier, a Brownells combat (tactical for "oversized") bolt handle and a Wilson Combat one-shot mag extension. I call it a Texas tactical 1100.
LGS in TX had 2 Browning A5's with 20" barrels, owner claimed factory park job on government-ordered guns. Definitely looked like neither was ever fired. No boxes or paperwork, and no markings on the guns other than 4-digit numbers on receivers.

Would a'-could a'-should a' bought 1 or both...still kick myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigPimping View Post
I am looking to buy local and avoid FFL fees. But that older one in wood stocks looks perfect. High Standards are imo built better than Mossberg and Remington, imo.

Where is your cat BTW?
Nadia may be back online in a week or 2...right now she's hunting rodents in the field.

I've got a bit of black in my humor, so I couldn't resist an LGS named "Blood Bath and Beyond".

I'm definitely saving FFL fees as most of my collection is C&R. I bought up 2 ex-Utah HP 870's from a guy there...he shipped to LGS. Since I have a CWL, LGS wanted $25 for both. No need for NICS, so paperwork took 5 minutes with a bit of BS-ing at the same time. No sales tax either. C&R's ship to the house and my postal person always has a grin when she drops one off.

Have a safe weekend.
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Last edited by -hanko; 03-20-2020 at 3:55 PM..
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Old 03-20-2020, 6:32 PM
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Quote:
I've got a bit of black in my humor, so I couldn't resist an LGS named "Blood Bath and Beyond".
Hahaha! Wife and I get over to our local BB&B often for sundries and some K-cups for one of our coffeemakers.



Quote:
LGS in TX had 2 Browning A5's with 20" barrels, owner claimed factory park job on government-ordered guns. Definitely looked like neither was ever fired. No boxes or paperwork, and no markings on the guns other than 4-digit numbers on receivers.

Would a'-could a'-should a' bought 1 or both...still kick myself.
Holy moly! Those sound really neat. BTDT with a '50s flat-top .357 Blackhawk at my LGS; passed it up thinking it'd be there in two days when I was coming back. Wrong. There are others as well. Best not to dwell on it. I've plenty to keep me occupied for the next ten years at least.


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  #34  
Old 03-20-2020, 6:41 PM
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Sell it to me playa!!!




-BRO- love you like a brother! but this one is a keeper. It's my favorite shotgun, although an equal nod goes to a combat-ready Wingmaster pump of similar vintage. They can still serve as clays or game guns 'cause I have their OG 28" barrels.

Hey, any walnut-and-blued-steel pump shotgun can be made sporty. Keep looking, you'll find something!

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.Member NRA and Mojave Lever Crew | Stuck somewhere between Cowboy and Tactical | Bolts, levers, single actions and 1911s | 1A - 2A = -1A
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  #35  
Old 03-20-2020, 7:39 PM
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Humboldt Leatherneck Humboldt Leatherneck is offline
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Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
For a plug, just get a dowel that's close to the diameter of a shotgun shell. Figure out how many shells fit in the tube, then measure to see how long a spacer you need to allow only 2 shells in the tube. Cut the dowel to length.
Well it all depends on the model of shotgun, and how it was designed. I have not had the JC Higgins in my hands to disassemble it yet.

For the Maverick model 88 12 gauge pump action field style (non extended magazine) shotgun, the "plug" was a small diameter wooden dowel with an o-ring on each end that was inserted in the hole where the barrel attachment screw well was. For my Remington 870s the factory plastic plug sits at the end of the magazine spring inside the tube.

I believe that a 3/4 inch diameter wooden dowel will not fit inside the tubular magazine spring, and how would I attach it at the end of the spring opposite of the follower, so it does not "free float" with no shells inside the tubular magazine spring? I am thinking a 1/2 inch wooden dowel attached to a washer or other round metal or plastic piece that is larger in diameter than the spring but smaller than the I.D. of the magazine tube...

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Last edited by Humboldt Leatherneck; 03-20-2020 at 7:41 PM..
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  #36  
Old 03-20-2020, 8:21 PM
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I have a jc Higgins model 88 recolver
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  #37  
Old 03-20-2020, 9:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Humboldt Leatherneck View Post
I believe that a 3/4 inch diameter wooden dowel will not fit inside the tubular magazine spring, and how would I attach it at the end of the spring opposite of the follower, so it does not "free float" with no shells inside the tubular magazine spring? I am thinking a 1/2 inch wooden dowel attached to a washer or other round metal or plastic piece that is larger in diameter than the spring but smaller than the I.D. of the magazine tube...
I'd keep it very simple, and there's no issue if the dowel free floats in the mag spring. So, determine the dowel length you'll need, cut the dowel, and round both ends.

Add that to the magazine with follower and spring, and make sure you can fit only 2 shells of the maximum chamber length...so if the gun can shoot 2-3/4" and 3" shells, test with the longer 3" shell. If you need to shorten the dowel, now's the time and don't forget to round the ends.
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Last edited by -hanko; 03-21-2020 at 1:56 PM..
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  #38  
Old 03-21-2020, 1:33 PM
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I keep running that ad in the want to buy section. One of these days I'm going to get a bite. 😆
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Old 03-21-2020, 3:11 PM
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When I pulled the dowel out my Hiawatha pump, it wasn't attached to anything. It was a diameter that was fairly close to the spring ID so it didn't rattle around. Maybe if you shook it really hard it might slide up and down but I never noticed before I took it out.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Killer Bee View Post
I have just the opposite, two higgins 12ga grandpa's and dad's and a few years ago bought a wards western field model 60 16ga which is a savage model 620a.. saved it from police turn in for destruction

not mine but looks like this..



for some reason store brand guns have less market value than the manufacturer brand guns.. I find the store brands more nostalgic since I remember seeing them on the the shelves at sears, wards, coast to coast, western auto, etc.. and for all intents and purposes are the same guns except for the rollmarks..

I have the same exact shotgun... mine has a jeweled bolt. It’s my favorite and shoots just as well if not better than my friends with their new shotguns. The pump release is fantastic.

Though, mine is currently stripped down to bare minimum awaiting a TiN plating
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