J. C. Higgins 101.1/Savage 94

New tips on disassembly and maintenance of this classic shotgun.

by Charlie Briggs

Recently, a long-time customer brought me his father’s old single shot shotgun. He and his dad had just spent a brief reunion the weekend before, shooting the sixty-year-plus .410. During the shooting session the “top snap” – unlocking lever – had quit and they could no longer open the shotgun. During the lengthy process of repairing the gun, I “invented” two significant tips that will absolutely be a blessing should any of you need to disassemble one of these firearms, which I will share in the paragraphs that follow.

The customer assured me there were no live rounds inside, which was a bit of relief, assuming he was correct. Unable to open the gun to check, the stock had to be removed to get to the mechanism(s) inside. However the stock bolt was frozen! Perhaps rusted in place? Regardless, no amount of screwdriver effort had any effect, despite several days of adding Kroil and firmly tapping on the bolt head. So, as a last resort I rigged up a lengthy screwdriver bit assembly to my air-operated impact wrench. This is the same kind of wrench often used for removing lug nuts from auto/truck wheels. Mine is a “lightweight” model, delivering about 200 foot-pounds of torque and not adjustable for less!

This would be a one shot attempt, I thought…

Read more in the June 2022 issue.

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