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I just saw a guy post on Facebook that he has a JC Higgins Model 60 which is the first commercially available gas operated semi auto shotgun produced.

I'm not out to dispute him, but I assumed that was the Remington 1100 which came out in 1963.

Apparently this Higgins model, made by High Standard, came out in the 50's. There's not much information out there via Google search on which was first.

Anybody know?
 

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Can't find the article but I remember reading in one of the Gun publications that the J.C. Higgins was the first Gas operated Semi auto coming out in the mid fifties
 

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My father has a Sportsman 58 the magazine cap is marked L and H for load power. Light load or Heavy load, I believe Dad said the sales guy had told him L = Low Brass--- H = High brass. HMMMM

Anyways That's what I know on the 58

DGH
 

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I asked this guy about it and he said he learned this from an article from Guns and Ammo which reads: "The first gas-operated, auto-loading shotgun was introduced to American hunters in 1956. Called the Model 60, it was made by High Standard for Sears...Most gas-operated guns today are basically refined versions of the Model 60."
 
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The high standard Model 60 gas gun shows a first manufacture date of 1960.

The Remington 58 started manufacturing in 1956 with the Model 58ADL "Sportsman - 58" so that looks like the oldest.
Even the Remington Model 878A "Automaster" was made from 1959-1962 making it slightly before the High Standard action as well.
 

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The article claims the JC Higgins model predates the High Standard model, even though both were made by High Standard. Both the Remington Model 58 and the Higgins Model 60 (according to the article) show an introduction year of 1956.

Nevertheless, it's interesting stuff.
 
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I prefer the 58 over the 1100 because it swings better/has a better balance. But, they are finicky and require a lot of maintenance.
 

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FYI, you may also convert the 58 Remington to a pump gun by using the internals of the 870 including the slide assy. and an 870 barrel of same guage.
 

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The high standard Model 60 gas gun shows a first manufacture date of 1960.

The Remington 58 started manufacturing in 1956 with the Model 58ADL "Sportsman - 58" so that looks like the oldest.
Even the Remington Model 878A "Automaster" was made from 1959-1962 making it slightly before the High Standard action as well.
I know the Model 60 was around in the late 50s I saw my first one around 1956. I was in the duck blind with my dad (didn't get to actually shoot a gun there until late 1957). It caused quite a conversation about it being a GAS operated gun. Most of the old guys (my Dad included were trained on the gas operated M1 Garand in WWII.) They thought is was neat to see a shotgun with that feature. One of the guys went home and ordered one from Sears. YES you could have it sent to your DOOR then!
 

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J.C. being the initials of Josephine Clementine Higgins? the owner? of Sears at that time. I remember being in the pheasant field on a family get together in Illinois and one of the hunters model 60 separating into several components when shot. No blow-up, parts just separated.
 

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From the Sears archive:

J.C. Higgins: 1908-1964






Many people ask if there was a real "J.C. Higgins" who worked for Sears. There certainly was. John Higgins began working for Sears in 1898 as the manager of the headquarters' office bookkeepers and retired as company comptroller in 1930.
"John Higgins" the employee became "J.C. Higgins" the brand name during a discussion in 1908 among Sears' executives of possible names for a new line of sporting goods. At this point, the story gets a bit murky, but Higgins' name was suggested and John Higgins consented to Sears use his name. Since he did not have a middle initial, Sears added the "C."

In 1908, the Western Sporting Goods Company in Chicago began putting J.C. Higgins on baseballs and baseball gloves sold in Sears catalogs. By 1910, the J.C. Higgins trademark was extended to cover footballs and basketballs. Later, the popularity of the Higgins brand—combined with the wider participation of American youth in sports—led Sears to place tennis equipment, soccer balls, volleyballs, boxing equipment and baseball uniforms in the J.C. Higgins line.

By the 1940s, J.C. Higgins represented all Sears fishing, boating and camping equipment. After the Second World War, Sears consolidated all sporting goods under the J.C. Higgins brand name and added it to a line of luggage.

The J.C. Higgins brand disappeared shortly after Sears introduced the Ted Williams brand of sporting and recreation goods in 1961.


I had a J.C. Higgins bicycle many, many years ago.
I thought he was a baseball player like Ted Williams. I thought wrong.
 
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