Was a JC Higgins lever action shotgun ever manufactured?
JC Higgens never manufactured any guns - Sears bought them from a variety of manufacturers. The best way you could determine if Sears sold such a gun is to find some of the old reprints of their catalogs between 1887 and 1920, which are the years that Winchester was making their 1887 and 1901 "Humpback" lever action shotguns.
With the serial number that you provided,your Winchester model 1901 lever action shotgun was 1 of only 307 made during the year 1915.The model 1901 lever action shotgun will bring between 550-2,200 dollars for a shotgun having between 10%-70% of its original finish remaining,and a half way decent bore.There were only 13,500 manufactured between the years 1901-1920.
I have no idea of what it is?Please describe the Winchester firearm with this serial number.Is it a rifle,shotgun?Is it a lever action,pump action,semi-auto,or bolt action?What caliber is it?what gauge is it(if a shotgun)?describe the barrel length.All this is required to get a answer to your question.
The 1886 date you reference is the patent date for the Model 1887 lever-action shotgun. The collector value can only be assessed by a visual inspection & evaluation. Old Winchesters are very much like old classic automobiles... the graded condition and factory originality are the key factors in determining what they are truly worth. Bert H.
Yes, the model 1887 was a lever action shotgun for 12 and 10 gauge. They made some takedown models also. A quick search on www.gunbroker.com should give several variations and pictures. There is a new Chinese import copy of the 1887 with 20" barrel in 12 ga. They seem to be a very strong gun and fairly well made.