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Interesting old .22




#1
Sears sold a Model 31 .22 rifle many years ago. I've got one that has "Ted Williams" signature on the barrel. Williams was a major league baseball player from 1939 to 1960. I've had the rifle over 45 years, and haven't fired it in many a day. It has a Simmons scope and is in pretty good condition. Anybody have any idea as to when it might have been made? L1030990.jpg
 

titanNV

NRA Endowment Member
Administrator
Forum Supporter
#2
Pretty sure Ted Williams was the last person to bat .400 as well.

Nice pick up!
 

pick_six

Adjusting to the west!
Forum Supporter
#4
Sears had the various Ted Williams guns made via contract with larger gun companies. You can probably google it pretty easy with the name and model and get the true manu and years they were made. Maybe even a specific year with the serial number.

And maybe nyeco will have a book with a direct answer.
 

NYECOGunsmith

Obsessed Member
Staff member
Moderator
#7
OK, here's what little I know or recall about these guns.

There were three major variants of them made, marketed by Sears as the Ted Williams model, the J.C.Higgins model (another Sears store brand name) and the Ranger (yet another Sears model line).

As far as I know, all were made by High Standard, and are pretty much just a slight variation on the High Standard Sport King tube fed semi auto .22 rifle.
Within the above three major variants there were some sub models, barrel length, mag capacity, factory sights and stock wood grade and finish, that sort of thing.
The stocks and finish comprise the major differences, along with sight options.

The minor internal internal differences, by year of production, ran to single or dual extractors in the bolts as I recall, and in the single extractor model bolt, narrow and wide extractor grooves.

A serial number, or on some rifles a two character date code , usually found under the barrel near the receiver, will help narrow down its date of manufacture.

One interesting variation of this gun had a nylon sling that came out of the buttstock near the heel, and could be retracted flush against the heel of the stock when not in use, it was spring loaded like a tape measure in other words. That's the model in Gullwings post above.

Parts are still pretty much available for all the variations, and they are pretty easy to work on.
The model 31 was later slightly redesigned and issued as the Model 34 I think it was.
Numrich, Bob's Gunshop, Brownells, Jack First, all had parts for these in recent years, in fair quantities, as there were a lot of all three variants made.

I can tell you how to get it apart if need be, like I said, they were pretty simple, the only area I remember being a pain is in the trigger group, if you take it all the way apart (no need to do that unless you have to replace parts there!) getting the carrier spring and carrier back together in the proper orientation takes 3 hands and some patience.

Otherwise the gun comes apart for simple cleaning really easily.

Since the tube mags on some models held up to 17 Long Rifles and 25 Shorts, I guess CA must consider them assault weapons!

There is no real collector interest in these guns, they are just great shooters and plinkers, the value of them runs about 10-15% LESS than the original manufacturer's version of the gun, in this case, the High Standard Sport King.

In good repair, and kept reasonably clean they will feed a mix of the .22 shorts, longs and long rifles, of standard, subsonic and high velocity, in the same loading, as fast as you can pull the trigger and not jam.

Accuracy on most that I have owned, shot or repaired and test fired ran from average to excellent, same as pretty much any other mass produced but reasonable quality .22 long rifle, like the Nylon 66, Marlin Glenfields, etc.

Most common problems I used to see were broken or worn extractors, from lack of cleaning, and dented external and internal magazine tubes due to rough or careless handling.

Sorry I can't be of more help, haven't had one in my hands for a few years now, that's about all I remember about them.
 

Grumpyoldretiredcop

uber Member
Forum Supporter
#8
I believe that it was made by Hi Standard between 1952 and 1956 but here is the forum to post on for info. The owner of the forum has many of the shipping records from Hi Standard. Unfortunately, there are only customer numbers and no way to match them to stores, etc. His rules for posting information requests are few, but if you want to post, do read and follow the simple rules that are posted at the linked page; otherwise your post will likely go unanswered. He does this as a way of forwarding his research into Hi Standard history, which is something I can certainly appreciate.