Friday, May 18, 2007

Sears & Roebuck J. C. Higgins Model 88 Revolver

Hey, you can read gun reviews on the latest tactical plasti-blaster 9000 just about anywhere, but here you get the exclusive stuff that you won't find anywhere else! When was the last time you saw a gun review on anything from J. C. Higgins, eh?

The J. C. Higgins model 88 revolver, in .22 long rifle, was manufactured by High Standard, and sold through the Sears & Roebuck catalog. (Boy, have firearms laws changed!) I think I can safely say it was not a pinnacle of hand gun achievement. Not really bad, but not too great, either!

The basic spec's sound pretty good, sort of a poor man's K-22. The barrel is long enough for some reasonable sight radius and accuracy. Holding 9 rounds makes plinking a lot of fun. That is, if you shoot it single action. Double action is another story. After lightening the hammer strut spring and polishing a number of the moving parts, I was able to get the double action trigger pull down to approximately 15 pounds! Stock, you could sprain your trigger finger!

Another problem on this particular one was that the hammer mounted firing pin would not travel far enough forward to get a solid hit on the rim of the cartridge, even with the full strength hammer spring. It was kinda adjustable by bending the hammer strut, and after a number of tries I got it so it would fire every time, but you have to pull the hammer back very slightly to swing out the cylinder. I would definitely not carry this pistol loaded with a round under the hammer. It does have a transfer bar of sorts, but I don't think I'd trust it.


J. C. Higgins Model 88 Revolver

Swinging out the cylinder is awkward, as the cylinder is released by pulling forward the rod on which the cylinder rotates. About all I can say is that it works.

This is the other side, but I guess you already figured that out.
It's sorta traditional that pictures have captions, though......

The finish, (chrome, nickel?), at least it's not galvanized. It makes it look kinda like an anemic pimp's target revolver. It does grow on you, and the black cylinder is an interesting touch. Is that original, don't know. High Standard did sell a very similar model under their own name, so the cylinder may have been swapped out sometime in the past.


Look Maude! It's a "Nine Shooter" !

How does it shoot? Not nearly as well as I had expected considering the barrel length and condition. I suspect that it shoots in a different spot from every chamber. From a bench rest some shots would go exactly where I aimed, and others would be off by over an inch at only 25 feet. Shooting it single action the trigger, after only a little work, is not bad at all. I managed to complete this month's e-Postal Handgun match "Golf" with it, and even though my score was nowhere close to what I shot with a High Standard semi-auto .22, it wasn't too embarrassing, either!

If you want to plink at large targets at close range with a .22 revolver, this one is actually kinda fun to shoot. I'm sure these are often sold for under $100 in reasonable condition, and it is fun to watch the facial expressions when someone asks you what you're shooting and you tell them it's a J. C. Higgins!

Labels:

48 Comments:

At Friday, May 18, 2007 9:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is really pretty! I have a coarser looking H&R 920 22 that also seems to aim randomly. It would be pretty fun to have a shoot with old, inaccurate pistols.
Mark

 
At Saturday, May 19, 2007 12:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, as long as the targets were big & close .....

But I'd have to give it a try!

Merle

 
At Wednesday, October 24, 2007 11:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,

I have this same gun (the JCH mod 88) and I am missing the rear sight. Numrich and Brownells have been useless helping me. I would love to have a rear sight for it, but as you mentioned, the gun might be worth $100. Any ideas on a rear sight that might work or be easily modified to fit?

Thanks.
John

lutherfetch@yahoo.com

 
At Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:58:00 AM, Blogger Mr. Completely said...

John: THe sight is a pretty basic design, and if a new one is not available, you might check with a few gunsmiths and see if they might have something that either fits, or would fit with little modifications needed. Worst case, you could make one from a small block of aluminum or steel. I think you can find something close and make it fit, though.....

....... Mr. C.

 
At Wednesday, January 30, 2008 9:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 identical s&w revolvers. 1 has a pinned sear ,the other's hammer does not. being a novus and knowing now that it will not be fired much ,less than 300rds a year,if i purchase one , which spec should i go with?(if i decide to buy) who rather have a pinned sear or not? pinned sears are old fashion technology ,wright? just can't decide what would be a better spec.depending on your opinion ,i might or might not purchase either set up. your article convinced me you are the man to get an opinion from, if possible.this is a new s&w 627(performance center built)this question exits from your primary topic but i beg your pardon for an opinion. thanks

 
At Friday, February 01, 2008 8:53:00 AM, Blogger Mr. Completely said...

ANON: I don't have an answer for you on the 627, but check the Mr. Completely main page regularly and we'll see if some of the readers have the answer. I'll post your question there.

..... Mr. C.

 
At Friday, August 29, 2008 7:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two of the Model 88's. One that is all blue (black) and one that is nickel plated, like the one in your pictures. The nickel plated version did originally come with a black cylinder.

Interesting little guns. Just this week I took the nickel one over to show a friend and he really wanted me to sell it to him.

Mine came from my father who bought it new from Sears many many years ago.

 
At Tuesday, October 14, 2008 4:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got a model 88 that was my great grandfathers and it has been passed down the generations. I don't have any clue how old it is but it only has a little wear. It is blue (black) so far I love it.

 
At Wednesday, October 15, 2008 3:42:00 PM, Anonymous Old Man said...

I have a JC Higgins mDl88 for sale. I'm divesting myself of most of my guns since I no longer use them (I'm getting old and no relative wants any of them.
If anyone's interested contact me at pcwarner@frontiernet.net
Thanks for the info on this gun, Mr. Completely

 
At Wednesday, November 26, 2008 1:01:00 PM, Anonymous Glockman said...

A local Gun shop has the all blued version of this JC Higgins in good/decent condition, timing and cylinder lock-up seems tight but he wants $200.00 stating there are a lot of collectors of Sear's branded guns out there which drives the price a bit. Is 200.00 too much?

 
At Saturday, December 13, 2008 2:42:00 PM, Blogger Denis said...

I bought a blued M88 today for $189 + tax. It was the first firearm I ever shot, at about age 7. I'm 59 now. I wanted it for the nostalgic value. It's fun to shoot, But i haven't taken it to the range for accuracy testing yet. It's a grand fun plinker. I may have paid too much for it, but oh well.

 
At Sunday, December 14, 2008 6:41:00 PM, Anonymous GlockMan said...

I did a range trip to check the function and accuracy of my newly acquired Model 88 and found that the revolver produces decent grouping but shoots every brand of ammunition (Eight different types) very high but centered with the sights leveled from a solid rest. I'M talking six inches high at 15yds.

 
At Monday, December 15, 2008 8:53:00 PM, Blogger James Aragon said...

I just inherited one of these from my grandfather. Along with a Remington 550-I .22 bolt-action, it will be a nice reminder of someone who felt the right to bear arms was inalienable.

 
At Tuesday, December 30, 2008 5:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I now have my Dad's Model 88 9 shot revolver and was a little skeptical. Today I put over 300 rounds through it and was really surprised. I was hitting a 3 inch steel target with about 5 of the 9 shots from 70 feet away. Never heard of a JC Higgins until by buddy told me about it. Now I'm glad I have it. Lots of fun plinking. Longs shoot far better than the shorts.

 
At Friday, January 09, 2009 5:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one of these 88's still in the box, with the guarantee. I wonder if that raises the value.

 
At Saturday, January 10, 2009 6:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just inherited one of these from my aunt's estate. This Model 88 has a short barrel (about an inch and a half) and is black with blued cylinder and barrel. It's in the original box with the guarantee, instructions, and other papers. From the looks of it, I'd bet that it's never been fired. The instructions say to clean the barrel and cylinders of grease before firing, and the grease hasn't been removed. It looks as if my uncle bought it, brought it home and put it in a drawer, and it's been there ever since. I want to sell it. What are the regulations as far as sending a firearm through the mail?

 
At Sunday, January 25, 2009 10:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a JC Higgins the serial # 10051 it has blued barrel and cylinder, the frame is nickel. The whole gun is fully engraved, and still in the original box. If anyone can find out a value please post. thanks Mike

 
At Monday, January 26, 2009 8:27:00 PM, Blogger Marty said...

I inherited a blue 88 from my grandfather along with his Colt Detective Special. I was told the 88 was my Great Uncle's whom I never knew. It came in the original box with all the papers and a box of 50 cartridges. I haven't gotten a chance to squeeze anything out of it yet, but I'm pretty excited about it. I was under the impression that I would get .38 DS, but the J.C. was a surprise as no one in the family knew about it.

I've actually never heard of it before and was surprised to learn that Sears sold guns. Guess that's the way things used to be.

 
At Saturday, March 07, 2009 7:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all! My mom just showed me my Grandfathers JC Higgins Ranger. We just have the revolver itself and a leather holster. It is blued and in excellent condition. I also have a couple of different numbers on it. I presume one is the serial number, and the other the model number?

I am posting here because my most curious of questions is when this weapon was made. My mom is more curious than I am, so I thought I would ask. If I have all my numbers, can I actually submit those to someone and find out when exactly it was made?

Thank you in advance for any insight you may give me in figuring this fun little puzzle out!

 
At Friday, March 27, 2009 2:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attention , Mike, who has JC Higgins Serial # 10051 - please contact me.
email redsrabeneck@yahoo.com

 
At Friday, March 27, 2009 3:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike. I hit an extra keyin my email address. Here is the correct one:
redrabeneck@yahoo.com

 
At Friday, April 03, 2009 6:35:00 PM, Blogger krimmie said...

The model 88 was made by High Standard with Sears choosing the JC Higgins name from a cherished sporting goods department employee.

 
At Sunday, April 19, 2009 8:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am looking for a 6" blue, contact Neal at omalon13@yahoo.com

 
At Sunday, May 03, 2009 8:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I picked up a JC higgins model 88 a few weeks ago and I feel it is not a bad gun at all , I did notice sometimes the hammer on the weapon does not hit all nine bullets hard enough as once in awhile one bullet does not discharge , I have tightened the trigger spring screw at the base the grips so many that problem will go away now . Some of the prices on used guns are unbelievable , last week at the gun show , RG revolvers were going for $100 and H&R revolvers that once were selling used for $60-$70 now going for $150 !

 
At Monday, May 18, 2009 7:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife just found her departed Dads Model 88, 22 revolver. S/n 16861. Is there any way to tell how old this weapon is? It is a neat piece.
Thank you
John

 
At Thursday, July 09, 2009 9:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked for Sears in the 60's, 70's and 80's. The pistols were pulled from the catalog after Kennedy was shot. There was talk of even stopping selling guns altogether. Sears was very politically correct even back then. I have a model 88 that a customer brought in for repair in the 70's. We sent it to our shop in Dallas for repair, and they sent it back as "Unrepairable". He told me to keep it if I wanted it. I shoot rat shot in it and must roll the cylinder after each shot. I found a place that says they have the parts to fix it. I'm going to try to get it working just because it is what it is. As to the numbers....the Model No. is the three didget numberwith the period and more numbers. The first three numbers in a Sears model number indicated the "Source" or manufacturer. The other part of the number was the item number. So, 583.88000 would mean a stock number 88000 built by High Standard. I would like to buy a nice one like mine just because I worked for Sears so long. Let me know if anyone has one for sale. hglzcar@aol.com

 
At Saturday, July 11, 2009 6:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a Model 88 6 inch barrel in Dallas, TX, along with a leather holster for around $35 in 1962. It is still like new as I haven't fired it for about 38 years. It is in Alabama and I am in Guatemala. A nice revolver.

 
At Friday, August 07, 2009 10:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found some recent auction sales of the JCH 88.

Dec. 2008 sold for $160 with both original holsters.
http://flexauctionsoftware.com/showlot.ap?co=1&weventid=5636&weventitemid=2371983&wmaingroupid=0&wcatmastid=0&inventorytype=&minyear=1990&minmonth=1&minday=1&maxyear=2050&maxmonth=12&maxday=31&keyword=&lotsortorder=lotnumasc&pagenum=1&action=&lang=En


June 29 2009 sold for $185.51.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=131971902

 
At Wednesday, August 26, 2009 12:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a .pdf of the JC Higgins Model 88 Manual

http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/FIREARMS/jchiggins_88.pdf

I've got the the black with the 6" barrel.

 
At Monday, October 25, 2010 6:50:00 PM, Blogger captainmalibu said...

i am looking for a jc higgins model 88 like the one i had when i was growing up in the50's. if anybody out there has one or knows where i can get one please let me know. i just want a gun in good condition, not some type of over priced museum piece.

 
At Wednesday, December 29, 2010 9:11:00 AM, Blogger Curtis Armstrong said...

I found the JC Higgins Model 88 when my wife and I were cleaning out my father-in-law's place after he passed away. My wife said that I could "inherit" the gun to add to my small collection. I cleaned it up and I've taken it shooting a couple of times. It is fun to shoot but I wouldn't reach for it when the Zombie Apocalypse hits!

 
At Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:16:00 AM, Anonymous hardcase said...

A lot of Zombies have been put down with .22 "Saturday Night Specials".

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I too have inherited a Model 88. The gun was purchased new at the Sear's store on Main St. in Houston, TX. I fairly certain that this revolver has never been fired. Now for the problem. Because of a stupid decision which was out of my control, the weapon needs a new hammer. If anyone could provide a possible source it would be greatly appreciated.

 
At Wednesday, April 20, 2011 9:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im looking for a J.C.Higgins 88 with the 6" barrel. Let me know what you have. jesfxst@yahoo.com

 
At Monday, October 03, 2011 10:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My neighbor has a model 88 short barrel .22 cal. J.C. Higgins 9 shooter, nice condition. I'd like to buy it. Anyone know the value? Thanks

 
At Wednesday, October 26, 2011 9:58:00 AM, Anonymous WRB said...

I too inherited one of these (with leather holster, perfect condition) from my grandfather.

If anyone knows any buyers, email me. malibudelmar@yahoo.com.

 
At Friday, December 09, 2011 9:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found a near pristine 88 with 6" barrel and leather holster at small shop on Oregon coast. Paid $200 for it which was perhaps a tad high but it is such a sweet little revolver and historically the extra few dollars are worth the delight in giving it a new good home. Great posts on this piece, and I now have print out of the manual thanks to this site.

 
At Friday, December 16, 2011 7:23:00 AM, Anonymous UtahScott said...

I like your post! I inherited a old beat up M88 about three years ago from an uncle who said my grandfather had purchased two in the 1950's with consecutive serial numbers. He sold one to my uncle (other side of family)and his friend in the early 60's so I know where the second gun is. I just bought a second one that was broken but after about an hour and a little home gunsmithing, both are shooters!

 
At Thursday, January 19, 2012 7:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have numerous jc Higgins model 88 parts for sale of your interested in buying a part for it email me at harrisonburgv@aol.com and tell me the part u want

 
At Thursday, September 06, 2012 1:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need to find one of the 88's by JC Higgins, 9 shot long barrel 22 LR. I traded for another gun only to find out my adult son wanted it when I "go" because it was his grandfathers on his mom's side.df No holster needed as I already gave that to him, hoping that would be enough........NOT. I can't get ahold of the guy I got it from and think my son would appreciate one just like it. He's not a shooter but I hope it will be safe to shoot if he does decide to shoot it.
Thanks,
Pat, Henderson, Nv.
respond to techues@Embarqmamil.com

 
At Thursday, November 08, 2012 9:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one of the model 88's. Picked it up while in the Army. I have carried it while fishing and hiking and has worked like a charm every time. I don't know how many thousands of rounds it has shot, but works everytime all the time.
Great little plinker to have around.

Gary (WA)

 
At Saturday, December 01, 2012 8:29:00 PM, Blogger Howard Housler said...

I have a black jc higgins 88 from around 1955. sn 187xx. It is in the original box with a holster. It has the sears price tag of 29.95. The box is not in great condition and the snaps on the holster have pulled through the leather. I can send pics if you request them. It is for sale.

steincollector@hotmail.com

 
At Sunday, December 02, 2012 8:18:00 AM, Blogger captainmalibu said...

Can you tell me how much you are trying to sell your gun for, and also the length of the barrel?
Thanks

 
At Sunday, January 13, 2013 11:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a JCH mod 88 7 in. barrel it was recently stolen. I felt that the accuricy was well acceptable. I was always able to hit a 4 in. target at 100 ft. and chop a 3/4 in. stick down to nothing without a miss.
J G

 
At Sunday, January 20, 2013 9:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just recently bought a JC Higgins Model 88, 6" barrel revolver. It has 583 880 stamped on the left side of the barrel and 8090 stamped on the right side of the frame. It is looks like brand new but the box is in rough shape. Can anyone give me an idea of when it was manufactured?

 
At Tuesday, March 05, 2013 9:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im looking for a trigger guard for my JC Higgins model 88. It is Nickel plated. Does anyone know where I can buy one at?

Thanks,
Brandon
417-483-3196

 
At Tuesday, March 19, 2013 7:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking for a trigger guard for my JC Higgins model 88. It is Black bluing . Does anyone know where I can buy one at? Or a spec to machine one from? Email @ polyoneman@yahoo.com

 
At Wednesday, April 03, 2013 8:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just took a Mod. 88 apart to fix a broken trigger guard. The guard and action are machined in one piece. Not 100% sure, but it looks to be aluminum. If anyone does know what the action frame is made of, please reply.

 
At Thursday, August 22, 2013 9:32:00 AM, Blogger Thomas Baker said...

I need a trigger guard for a MD.# 88 revolver in 22 cal. 9 shot or a spec sheet that shows the dimensions of the trigger guard or at least some one who has one and would open it up and trace the trigger guard on paper and measure all the cut outs and holes around the right side were parts that operate the hammer and double action are ,measure with a set of calipers and wright down the dimensions. I have one that broke that area out and would like to get one machined out to fix the gun.



Thanks Thomas

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

All contents copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and beyond, unless otherwise noted