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Thread: Sears Model 53 information

  1. #1
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Default Sears Model 53 information

    My cousin in Anchorage called this morning and asked about a rifle he received from his Father in law. It's a Sears Model 53 chambered in 30-06 new never fired.

    The Father in law had a 6X Weaver mounted when purchased and doesn't remember when he bought it, best guess is pre 1975. Serial number 273320XX.

    Any information about the rifle would be greatly appreciated. He's not looking a gift horse in the mouth just want's to know what he has. Any news good or bad about the rifle would also be appreciated.

    Thanks for any information.

  2. #2
    hap
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    The 53 is a relabled Winchester model 70... It was a well-made, slightly cheaper version with all of the strengths and weaknesses of the brand name. It is worth a touch less because of the branding, but a very fine rifle for service. It will not be worth much to a collector, despite the fact it has not been fired, as few collect off-brand firearms the way they do name brand stuff.
    art

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    Thanks, I did a little digging and came up with the Win model 70 info but I have not owned one to date.

    How do they stack up compared to others?

    Are they push or control feed?

    I will see it up close in a couple of months, just wondering for now. He has no plans on selling it and I plan on loading for it once I get a few measurements.

    Thanks,

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    Thanks, I did a little digging and came up with the Win model 70 info but I have not owned one to date.

    How do they stack up compared to others?

    Are they push or control feed?

    I will see it up close in a couple of months, just wondering for now. He has no plans on selling it and I plan on loading for it once I get a few measurements.

    Thanks,
    The 53 spanned the change-over in '64 from CRF to push feed, so there are both out there. I would guess from my looking for them for years the CRF are outnumbered heavily by push feeds.

    When I was 10 my father helped me through stocking my first rifle and it was a 53 in 30-06. That was over 40 years ago and sometimes I wish I had the rifle back. I sold it to a college professor of mine back in the '70s.
    art

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    Quote Originally Posted by hap View Post
    The 53 spanned the change-over in '64 from CRF to push feed, so there are both out there. I would guess from my looking for them for years the CRF are outnumbered heavily by push feeds.

    When I was 10 my father helped me through stocking my first rifle and it was a 53 in 30-06. That was over 40 years ago and sometimes I wish I had the rifle back. I sold it to a college professor of mine back in the '70s.
    art
    Thanks for the heads up. My cousin has not owned any rifles prior to this one. Based on his description it's a push feed but with out seeing it first hand I wasn't sure.

    Pictures are on the way via cell phone so that should help. I was hoping that the serial number I tossed out there would trigger a manufacture date and with that a better idea of it's action.

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    I do not think the serial numbers help on the non-Winchester 70s... The company probably does not have the original records as ownership and closure changes have likely transferred the FFL and the ATF likes to collect that paperwork...

    Because the models are different they did not use the same number run to serialize them. It is a 53, not a 70, even though it is obviously identical to a 70 in every meaningful way.
    art

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    Default J.c.higgins mod. 50

    I have my fathers old J.C.HIGGINS MOD. 50 in 270 the action is stamped FN BELGIUM. Several weeks ago I saw one just like it on GUNBROKER, the seller said SAKO made it for SEARS? Which I doubt very much. I believe he purchased his in the early 1950's?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pahoghunter View Post
    I have my fathers old J.C.HIGGINS MOD. 50 in 270 the action is stamped FN BELGIUM. Several weeks ago I saw one just like it on GUNBROKER, the seller said SAKO made it for SEARS? Which I doubt very much. I believe he purchased his in the early 1950's?
    You probably already know about as much as I do... It is a commercail 98 mauser action built by FN, the company that owns Winchester now, among others. They were only made for a short time in the early '50s before they changed the specs and model number (became the 51). IIRC these can be dated to production year and it is stamped on the barrel with the rest of the info.

    I think the 270 and 30-06 were the only choices and the barrels seem pretty thin, especially for those days. I think High Standard was making the barrels and IIRC they are chromed and generally shoot very well.

    There are no flies on those commercial FN actions and the whole thing is an extremely functional rifle that gives up nothing except resale value because of the branding... I have bought some really cheap ones over the years...
    art

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    Default Information

    Quote Originally Posted by hap View Post
    You probably already know about as much as I do... It is a commercail 98 mauser action built by FN, the company that owns Winchester now, among others. They were only made for a short time in the early '50s before they changed the specs and model number (became the 51). IIRC these can be dated to production year and it is stamped on the barrel with the rest of the info.

    I think the 270 and 30-06 were the only choices and the barrels seem pretty thin, especially for those days. I think High Standard was making the barrels and IIRC they are chromed and generally shoot very well.

    There are no flies on those commercial FN actions and the whole thing is an extremely functional rifle that gives up nothing except resale value because of the branding... I have bought some really cheap ones over the years...
    art
    I'm slowly picking up more information, on this gun. The one on GB was at $475.00 when I last saw it, I never did follow up on it. They made to different models my DADS is plain and they made a fancy model with a checkered stock, a friend purchased one of the fancy models for $375.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pahoghunter View Post
    I'm slowly picking up more information, on this gun. The one on GB was at $475.00 when I last saw it, I never did follow up on it. They made to different models my DADS is plain and they made a fancy model with a checkered stock, a friend purchased one of the fancy models for $375.
    I am under the impression the 50 was only made as the plain, non-checkered model and later models were checkered... I have seen checkered 51s but never 50s... But I have not seen anything like all of them!

    The later models changed suppliers a couple times and I think Sako made the 52. That would be where your source found some confusion.

    They are worth the $375!
    art

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    Default Model 51

    Quote Originally Posted by hap View Post
    I am under the impression the 50 was only made as the plain, non-checkered model and later models were checkered... I have seen checkered 51s but never 50s... But I have not seen anything like all of them!

    The later models changed suppliers a couple times and I think Sako made the 52. That would be where your source found some confusion.

    They are worth the $375!
    art
    Possibly the model 51's were the ones with checkered stocks? DADS must be an early one when you remove the trigger guard/floor plate assembly, the trigger ( just the part your finger pulls) comes out with the assembly. A gunsmith at a local gun show told me that was normal. I imagine that could be a problem with stock shrinkage? I just looked back at GUNBROKER item #149139131 it sold for $695 WOW
    Last edited by pahoghunter; 01-01-2010 at 14:44. Reason: add

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    The trigger in the guard is standard and should not casue any issues from wood shrinkage. The rear action screw really crosses very little wood between the depth of the tang and the top of the trigger guard, both deepened for that very reason. The front action screw crosses even less.

    The barrel stamping will tell you what model it is, exactly.

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    Just an update to this tread.

    I was in Anchorage last weekend and brought the rifle back to AZ to start load development for it. It turns out to be a push feed mid 1970's model.

    I took it apart and did a complete inspection and cleaning. I measured the trigger pull and it's set at 6 pounds 8 ounces, yuck!

    I adjusted the trigger to 3 pounds. These Winchester clones are set up fairly nice. This is the first Winchester type trigger I have adjusted, very straight forward.

    Loading starts tonight. Working with Nosler Accubond 180's and Nosler Partition 200's, results to follow mid week.
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    I believe in the 1950's the 308 length guns (308, 243, 22-250) that Sears sold were the Sako L57 action. Sako made no long action gun until 1962, they also relied on the FN Mauser actions. I'm not sure what model number the Sako actions were for Sears but I think I've seen a model 52. The Winchester actions started about 1962 for Sears, if I remember correctly.

    A funky thing about some of the FN Sears guns was a trigger sear arrangement that mounted the trigger in the trigger guard and the sear on the action. The was trouble when the stock swelled or dried or the bedding screws got loose. Sear engagement was controlled by stock snugness!? Wierd set up.
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    Default Trigger

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I believe in the 1950's the 308 length guns (308, 243, 22-250) that Sears sold were the Sako L57 action. Sako made no long action gun until 1962, they also relied on the FN Mauser actions. I'm not sure what model number the Sako actions were for Sears but I think I've seen a model 52. The Winchester actions started about 1962 for Sears, if I remember correctly.

    A funky thing about some of the FN Sears guns was a trigger sear arrangement that mounted the trigger in the trigger guard and the sear on the action. The was trouble when the stock swelled or dried or the bedding screws got loose. Sear engagement was controlled by stock snugness!? Wierd set up.
    Wierd, and I don't know why they made them that way
    I have seen several with the trigger parts broken as well; 98 Mauser triggers will replace easily though,

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    I have a 1640 actioned Husqvarna light-weight import model in which the double-set trigger mechanism is mounted to the trigger guard assembly and it then slaps the sear assembly mounted on the upper receiver assembly. (SEE PHOTOS) As a result the trigger sometimes does not work during rapid temperature changes. Or if I torque the action screws a little goofy that day. I love the rifle because it feels very similar to the Feather-Weight Winchesters, which I crave... But this thing will drive you nuts tryng to shoot it on a cold day.
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    I made it out to the range this morning. I'm working up loads for my cousin to use with this rifle. I selected 180gr Accubonds over RL-17 and 200gr Partitions over RL-19.

    RL-17
    Nosler 180gr Accubond
    Win brass 2.484"
    CCI 200
    COL 3.295"
    .025" off the lands

    51.9gr 2542fps
    52.6gr 2596fps
    53.3gr 2653fps
    54.0gr 2691fps
    54.7gr 2732fps



    RL-19
    Nosler 200gr Partition
    Win brass 2.484"
    CCI 200
    COL 3.288"
    .025" off the lands

    53.6gr 2332fps
    54.3gr 2373fps
    55.0gr 2420fps
    55.7gr 2455fps
    56.4gr 2488fps

    The RL-17 loads shot great with expected velocities and great accuracy considering the fact that I was using a weaver fixed 4 power scope. I'm more accustomed to higher power optics when shooting groups. The tightest group was number (5) measuring at .326" center to center.

    The RL-19 loads were much slower than expected, accuracy was OK considering the lead tipped Partitions. The best group was number (3) measuring .677, I may have pulled it a touch but all the partition groups were wider than the Accubonds.

    When I got back home I measured the barrel forward of the brass. It measures 19.25" from neck to crown, a little short for a 30-06. That may be why the RL-19 was an under achiever. I will select a faster powder and do some more testing with the 200gr Partitions.

    All in all this is a nice shooting free rifle for my cousin, with any luck it should be a moose killer this fall.
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    Default Float Pilot

    Most of the double set triggers I have seen on continental sporters both pre and post war , have been set up that way. I believe it has something to do with the geometry of getting the set trigger to work or maybe there just isnt room on the bottom of the receiver for all that stuff. Either way when I was in gunsmith school that is how we were taught they were done, and all the kits I have seen for sale for installing a double set on a Mauser were attached to the guard.

    Nice rifle by the way.

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