S&W Model 52-2: Need opinions of this gun(Good or bad?)?


July 19, 2005, 08:54 PM
I have located an Smith & Wesson Model 52-2, in "Mint" condition! Unfotunately, this gun doesn't have the box, tools or even an extra magazine with it! However, it is a beautiful gun without any signs of wear n' tear at all, with nice original wood stocks on it! Is this a "worthwhile" S&W autoloader to own? I know that it only fires the .38 Special "Match" wadcutter ammunition-but, I'd like to get everyone's opinions about this Model 52-2(Anything?)? ;) Thanks!

If you enjoyed reading about "S&W Model 52-2: Need opinions of this gun(Good or bad?)?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 19, 2005, 10:31 PM
The 52-2 is among the very best autoloading target pistols ever made. This includes the vaunted SIG P210 or any of the semi custom 1911s like Les Baer, Wilson, etc.. Look at the prices for that or a Smith and Wesson 952 (current production) for a comparison. If you can get it for less than $1,000 you are doing yourself a favor. YMMV

happy old sailor
July 20, 2005, 02:56 PM
i shot a 52 in international competition for two years. it was a pleasure to shoot and a greater pleasure to look at. accurate too, when there was no wind. it only shoots full wadcutters and does not take regular .38 spec rounds. on a windy day the 1911 in .45acp was far superior. unless you just want this gun to have in your "collection", i would get a tuned 1911 in .45acp as it can be used in centerfire (bullseye) matches as any caliber .32 and above qualifies, and of course the 1911 is the thing to use in .45 matches. if you are not shooting tournaments, the 1911 in .45 acp is quite versatile for many other uses. and, can be converted to .460 Rowland if you need the additional power.

if you get the 52, either to collect or shoot, you will not be disappointed. it is a true thoroughbred, and IMO, SnWs best effort in the auto field. FWC ammo is prolly hard to locate and maybe expensive due to lack of demand. or, if you reload - - - - -. have you seen a 59? regular auto and bro to the 52. Very nice too and well worth having. IMO again, i think the 59 is superior to the Browning HP. hisses from the audience, but, i did say IMO and will stand by it.

July 20, 2005, 04:37 PM
happy old sailor:

1)I don't plan on shooting in any tournaments-as I just wanted to have a nice quality(Unique)autoloader to either, enjoy punching holes in paper(Without nary any recoil!)or, if not, then, to just collect it? :confused: :uhoh:

2)What concerns me is what the price will be for(Or the difficulty in finding the factory flush-fit, wadcutter Ammo?)? :what:

3)Although I didn't know what to expect, regarding how good(Or, bad?)that these Model 52-2's might be(Nor, how collectible?)but, I couldn't help but notice how nice, the quality level of this particular 52-2 was(And, with it's early(1979-80, vintage!)"Polished" bluing? I had never seen an S&W Model 52 before! :eek:

Walt Sherrill
July 20, 2005, 04:58 PM
I sold one last year to a forum member, in nearly new condition, for considerably less than $1000. But it was still more than I paid, and I just wasn't shooting it... (My bad, I know.)

They're wonderful guns.

For me, ammo was a problem. If you don't handload you may have problems finding good ammo. They love medium power .38 special wadcutter -- and the bullet must be absolutely flush with the end of the case -- of they'll get hung in the magazine. About half the ammo I bought wasn't quite to spec.

I've had the 52-2 and a great P-210-6, and they were both equally accurate,with the 52-2 having the better trigger (and the P-210-6 trigger was NOT BAD!)

The 952 is a close match, and I think I'd look for one of those used, were I trying to by something, now. More rounds (9 not 5) and much easier to find ammo. The 952 triggers I've tried, while very good, weren't as nice as the 52-2.

Dale Taylor
July 20, 2005, 05:52 PM
I have a 52-2 which I have fired for 25+ years intermittently. Wonderful gun. Never a failure with S&W wadcutters. Love it. You couldn't buy it for $5k. For less than $1000 leap. You'll never lose money. See S&W forum for more. daleltaylor@att.net

July 20, 2005, 06:09 PM
Quite possibly the most accurate semi-auto handgun you will ever shoot. A friend's cousin has one (I have tried many times to buy it, it is not for sale) and with Federal Gold Medal 148 grain HBWC it will shoot under 2 inches at 50 yards. I believe the 50 yard NRA Bullseye target has an X ring 1.694 inches in diameter, and these guns were built to that standard.

Buy it.

Just my .02,

Standing Wolf
July 20, 2005, 06:46 PM
The reason I don't own a model 52 is that I've known lots of people who have owned those pistols.

July 20, 2005, 08:05 PM
A grand old pistol that is one of the last firearms made by S&W that reflects their comittment to making the best product possible. The 52 was S&W's effort to build a Bullseye pistol with the express purpose of kicking every other contenders butt on the firing line...and they succeeded!
A small point: the 52 is actually based on the original model 39 DA semi-auto-not the similar but different 59. Of course, the 52 is a SA.
You won't go wrong in buying this gun. And my bet is that, like most of the rest of us proud 52 owners, if you do, you won't be getting rid of it any time soon!

July 20, 2005, 08:15 PM
Georgia Arms sells the flush wadcutter ammo if it's hard to find. Very good quality. I just want to stress that the Model 52-x is a target pistol - it will not satisfy the cowboy or Rambo in you if you tire of making good groups on paper or plinking pop cans at good distances. 5 rounds is low cap for an autoloader. Makes a 45 Auto look kind of capacious. :neener:

July 20, 2005, 10:18 PM
The Model 52 is fantastic. Just remember to follow through on your follow through.

July 20, 2005, 10:53 PM

1)Well, I have never shot an autoloader before-so, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "Following up"? Unless you mean that I must "pause" before each and every movement(From beginning to end!)of each movement during each shot(Ready(Pause)aim(Pause)lightly "Squeeze" the trigger(Pause)hold(And, pause)until the bullet hits it's mark? Or, something like this, is my guess? :barf:

2)I don't like the idea of only having a five shot magazine! And, I see that I had been wrong in my "Assumption" that .38 flush-fit(Wadcutter ammo)would have been fairly inexpensive and not too difficult to find! :cuss:

3)When I bought this 52-2, I bought it because it was so nice in condition-and, because(If I were to shoot it(Rather than just collect it?)then, I only wanted to use it to shoot holes in paper targets(Without fighting the heavier recoil of normal autoloaders(Like 9MM and .45ACP))! However, I did also find an S&W Model 5906, in like new condition(And, bought this too!)in case I wanted to eventually sample the shooting of the 9MM rounds! And, because I had noticed that this gun had been modified with the Briley barrel and spherical barrel bushing(And, subsequently was never fired!)so, I couldn't pass this gun up! I didn't think that I'd run across very many early 5906's that had the Briley modifications, anytime soon(At a better price, than a new, 5906TSW!)? :evil:

4)I had originally was going to buy a NIB, Colt(Series 80, MK IV)Stainless, Combat Commander(Circa, 1984)but, in view of not being certain how I might react to the "Recoil" of the .45, and, because I had then found the like new, S&W 52-2, I chose to go with the 52-2! This is another reason that I wanted to be sure, that I had made the right choice, in picking the 52-2, instead? Another thought that had crossed my mind about this issue, was the fact that(Seemingly?)I might have had a very hard time, to find another 52-2? On the other hand, since Colt's NEW(NRM)autoloaders have been getting good reviews lately(And, being of current production!)I felt that I could buy one of these at a later time, if I desired(Albeit at a higher price!)? Anyway, I hope that my choice will turn out to be correct? :banghead: :D

July 20, 2005, 11:21 PM
Follow Through is holding the gun on target as and after the shot is released. The purpose is to make sure the bullet is gone from the gun before you start moving around. An eaxample is wth new shooters; they will start moving to the spotting scope AS they are pulling the trigger. Bullseye shooters always told me to follow through on the follow through with the Model 52, meaning, after you follow through, follow through again. The reason being that the muzzle velocity is so low (500fps), that the bullet spends a relatively long time in the barrel. Because of the very long barrel time, you need to have an extra long follow through.

I am sorry that the ammo and 5 round capacity are bothering you. That gun was designed for a very specific game. The game only allows 5 shots in the gun at a time, and is extremely accuracy sensitive. One of the reasons the factory ammo is so expensive is that the mfg's presume that the shooters buying it will be looking for the accuracy potential that the pistols and revolvers chambered for 38wc have.

I can safely say that you could spend the rest of your life learning to shoot that pistol to its accuracy potential.

Are you an average sized American? Do you have anything wrong with your wrists. If you are, and you don't, you will have no problem with .45ACP recoil in a full sized gun. However, before you complain about the cost of the 38WC ammo, have you looked at the price of .45 ammo?

You will find factory 9mm ammo much less expensive than either of the above cartridges, and the heaviness of the 5906 (another favorite of mine) makes the recoil nearly negligible. < did I spell that right?

Standing Wolf
July 20, 2005, 11:25 PM
Bullseye shooters always told me to follow through on the follow through with the Model 52...

Yep, and be sure not to release the trigger quickly, especially when shooting slow, timed, or rapid fire targets.

model 649
July 21, 2005, 06:22 PM
So, Slick6, didja get the gun yet? :D

July 21, 2005, 06:48 PM
model 649:

1)Yes, I did buy the S&W Model 52-2-but, I still have to wait out the 10 day waiting period, before I can pick-up this gun! :cuss:

If you enjoyed reading about "S&W Model 52-2: Need opinions of this gun(Good or bad?)?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!