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  #1  
Old 12-13-2009, 04:54 PM
harris

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J C Higgins Model 88 Revolver



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This old revolver was manufactured by Sentenel and sold to Sears as a tackle box gun for under $50.00. I acquired mine in a gun store for $125.00.

What I like about this revolver:

(1) you can dry fire it without damaging the gun as
the chambers have slots that do not allow the firing pin (located on the
hammer) to strike the chamber wall.

(2) This a nine shot revolver.

(3) Original owners manual can be googled in pdf format off the net.

(4) It can be shot in DA or SA. The DA
trigger is about 8 lbs but I don't mind the excerise and can squeeze of the
rounds within a couple of seconds.

To my surprize it shot good for an inexpensive old gun. This is do to the fact
that the previous owner filed down some of the rear and front sight to get a
pretty good point of aim performance from this gun.

This revolver is aluminum framed. I would like to have it reblued. Anybody got a cheap do it your self that doesn't require a pro?
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2009, 08:36 PM
Fatstrat

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1st: I believe the gun is made by High Standard, which had a MFG model called the Sentinel.
2nd: I don't think you can blue aluminum. You could re-blue the barrel, cylinder, and other steel parts.
There are finish agents that will work on aluminum. Such as the type used on M-16's. I'm not real familar w/them (researched them for a project, but did not buy/use any). Not sure that they are called (brand names). But there are several. They are sold by Mid-Way and Brownells.
For the steel parts, you can cold blue them. Personally I find cold blue a substancially cheaper, but poor substitute for a hot blue finish. W/proper application (which in my case required practice) you can attain a finish that initially looks pretty good. But in my experience is not very durable. If you're really interested in a top notch restoration, pony up the bucks for a pro hot blue. If you do use cold blue, follow the instructions TO THE LETTER. And I have found that I get best results if the metal is heated up slightly. Much easier to do on smaller parts (IE: Hangun) than long guns. I put parts in the oven set on 200 degress for several minutes. You don't want the metal to get hot. Just noticably warm to the touch. Hope this helps.
P.S.: I'm a long time fan of the High Standard Sentinel. Which I believe you pistol is a store brand version of. MFG'ed by High Standard for Sears. Made from 1955 to 1974 in several diffrent model numbers (improvements), but basically retaining same basic design. Not the most high quality, but decent for an inexpensive revolver.
Sentinels are acquiring some collector interest in recent years. Especially if in VG+ condition.
I remember when they were a common find at pawnshops and gunshows in the $90. to $100. range. Don't see too many of them (in my experience) in last few years. Mainly found on the intenet auctions, where $125. is IMO a good buy on anything in servicable (poor finish but firing) condition. Store brand models traditionally don't command the same collector interest and value. Even tho technically they are the same (quality) gun. But IMO this trend is not quite as strong on the High Standard made Sears handguns. If you got a good shooter for $125. OTD, IMO you got a good deal. And unless the finish is extremely poor, I doubt I would refinish it.

Last edited by Fatstrat; 12-13-2009 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:07 PM
harris

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1. You are right High Standard made this gun and model a the
sentinel.

Becaues this revolver functions so well I am going to get some
quotes from my local gun shops on what I can do to restore it
to better then original. The most durable finish that makes sense.

The finish is about 85 percent on the frame it has some finish scratched
on the cyl loader and where filing was done on the front and rear sight.

It actually groups as goods as my S&W 22a, and 2213 at 30 feet.

Last edited by harris; 12-13-2009 at 09:25 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2009, 06:24 PM
breakeyp

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It is never a good practice to dry fire a rimfire gun. The rimfire cartridge fires when the firing pin pinches the rim against the face of the chamber. Dry firing without a cartridge rim in place allows the firing pin to dent the chamber face. In time the face is distorted to the point that there is no support for the rim and you get misfires.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:02 PM
harris

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I agree for most 22's. The J C Higgins models don't allow the firing pin to touch
the rim. They have slots in he rim which the firing goes into when the gun is unloaded. This allows dry firing. I assume that all early sentinel 22 revolvers
are built the same way so dry firing would them a well not be an issue.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2009, 01:06 PM
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The most durable finish is the original annodizing and you can see how far that one goes. The frame will need to be completely stripped and freed of any and all surface oxidation. From there it needs to remain sterile during the process as any speck or touch will telegraph itself into the final finish. Not a complicated process but you will pay for the manhours involved on a one-off refinish
There are spray-on finishes that are fairly durable once cured and a lot less expensive to have done.
However, a spray finish can gum the works...and you said the gun is accurate... It's not unusual to find some changes some in mechanical characteristics due to the prep work and reassembly involved.

Do yourself a favor and stay away from cheap cold blues and products such as Aluma-Black. Touchups and repaired screwheads are one thing. A total finish is a death knell. They don't last and prevent proper refinishing techniques later on. Besides, they stink badly once the metal heats up. That's why people who know won't buy a cold blued used gun. It's a shortcut akin to finding duct tape and chewing gum repairs on a used car.

Why not leave it alone? It's a working gun, not a beauty contest contender
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2009, 11:56 PM
fflincher
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Don't dry fire this revolver unless you can live with firing pin dents in the back of your cylinder.

Now you've been told (twice), go ahead and do what you want to do, knowing the possible consequences. It IS your gun.

I've seen many of these (and Iver Johnsons and Harrington and Richardsons and a couple of S&Ws) with firing pin divots in the back side of the cylinder where the rotation was not controlled by the cylinder stop, and where the edges of the chamber relieved for the head of the cartridge were peened down so that it was difficult to force a loaded round into the chamber.
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2009, 05:05 PM
pred
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Just give the gun a real good rub down with Flitz, Clean it and give it a coat of wax, Most folks use renissance wax,,, But others will work.
It will be real nice and shiney then and you will be happy!
Peter
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:07 PM
harris

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Thanks for all the replys. Like many of you been thinking I decided to just do
nothing. The gun, for it's age, is in pretty good condition so I was being a
little to picky.
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2009, 08:12 PM
Fatstrat

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Quote:
Originally Posted by harris View Post
Thanks for all the replys. Like many of you been thinking I decided to just do
nothing. The gun, for it's age, is in pretty good condition so I was being a
little to picky.
Quite understandable.
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