Winchester model 52 question


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makarova
April 29, 2007, 03:34 PM
I just inherited a Winchester model 52 rifle. I know absolutely nada about this rifle. One of the gun sites on the web listed the rifle serial no. as having been made in 1930. However the rifle is in stainless steel, both receiver and barrel which is also stamped Winchester. There are no letters after the model 52 stamping if that helps. I am assuming this rifle is valuable, and I don't expect anyone to know with out pics(sorry I don't have a digital camera). Still any ideas?

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SwampWolf
April 29, 2007, 03:40 PM
How do you know that the receiver is made out of stainless steel? I'm not aware of any 52s, certainly not that old, that were constructed of this material.

Rembrandt
April 29, 2007, 04:45 PM
Winchester did make a limited number of 52's with stainless barrels and aluminum barrels with liners. There were barrels made from Ford engine crankshafts. Not aware of any stainless receivers but I wouldn't rule it out. The definitive book on 52's is by Herbert Houze, "Winchester 52, Perfection in Design"

For many, 52's are the "holy grail" of .22 rimfire rifles....the ones all others are compared to. These are bringing pretty good money depending on condition, options, and rarity. Target models will range from $500-$1500, Sporters bring $2500-$4500.

Post some photos if possible.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/win.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/Stainless52-3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/Stainless52-5.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Firearms/Stainless52-2.jpg

makarova
April 29, 2007, 05:40 PM
As posted in the pix by rembrandt, It says stainless Steel. btw what constitutes a "sporter"? The receiver also appears to be stainless. Assuming that website is correct, Winchester was making rifles in stainless way back then(30s). I learn something new every day. Thats assuming they were correct about the date. There is no front site mounted on the barrel, no barrel band, two screws missing from the trigger guard. Redfield scope mount. both wood and steel looks good. And I know I really need to get a digital camera.

Khornet
April 29, 2007, 05:44 PM
whatever you do do. Shoot it and get the book mentioned above, and enjoy what many think is the best .22 rifle ever made. Don't clean the bore. Don't take it apart, because the way they bedded those rifles is mysterious as all get out. Just shoot it at some 50 yard targets with various ammo. You have been blessed.

makarova
April 29, 2007, 06:00 PM
And it is shooting nice groups, I'm just having trouble getting the scope on target. I'll probably have to redo the scope setting. As in loosen the rings and reset the scope. Whaddaya mean, dont clean it?
There are some other old rifles in the collection, just havent had time to look em over.

SwampWolf
April 29, 2007, 07:33 PM
I'm still betting that the receiver is not made from stainless steel. If it is, I'd recommend that you hire a security guard to watch it because you have "one of a kind".

skeeter1
April 29, 2007, 07:40 PM
If you foolishly decide to sell the Winchester, you'll have no shortage of buyers.

My dad had a 52B Sporter with a Lyman 2.5X Alaskan scope and a Griffin & Howe mount. He bought it in 1948 for the princely sum of $240 at the time. By mutual agreement, we gave it to my cousin, still in mint condition. For shipping purposes, we insured it for $5K.

I have some fine .22 rifles, but AFAIC, the Winchester 52 is the gold standard.

Rembrandt
April 29, 2007, 08:11 PM
.....btw what constitutes a "sporter"? The receiver also appears to be stainless. Assuming that website is correct, Winchester was making rifles in stainless way back then(30s). I learn something new every day. Thats assuming they were correct about the date. There is no front site mounted on the barrel, no barrel band, two screws missing from the trigger guard. Redfield scope mount. both wood and steel looks good. And I know I really need to get a digital camera.

Here's a picture of an original 52B Sporter (1948). Light weight barrel in a trim stock with raised cheek piece. All came with checkering, ebony tip, supergrade type sling swivels, and Lyman 48F peep sights. "Sporter" will be stamped on the trigger guard.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Img_3375.jpg

If it is pre-A model or "Speedlock" the safety will be on the left side of the receiver. The stainless model previously pictured was also built in the 1930's. Target models came in a variety of barrel weights, all the way up to bull barrels, about 1" diameter. Most of these rifles came with/or used open target sights (Lyman, Redfield, etc)...but many sported scopes that mounted on blocks attached to the barrel, like Lyman's, Fecker, Redfield's, and Unertel's.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Lyman5.jpg

I'd be interested if you decide to part with it.

makarova
April 29, 2007, 09:51 PM
Stainless 3/4" bull bbl., no ft. sights, appears to be 6 piece stock w/ ebony tip w/no checkering on stock, metal flat buttplate, adjustable rear scope mount (Redfield), receiver is stainless or possibly chromium (not plated), matching proof marks (diamond w/ initials) stainless diamond on lt. side opposite mag button, 5 shot Win mag.

Bullet Bob
April 29, 2007, 10:16 PM
How do you know it's not plated?

makarova
April 29, 2007, 11:12 PM
I know what chrome, silver, nickel, etc., plating looks like, ages like, and discolors/ separates like. It could be high chromium content steel or an alloy. it's very old and has no rust, same for the bbl. Most likely stainless. bbl. & receiver appear as same finish. Stock has high comb piece but no cheek bulge.

Rembrandt
April 29, 2007, 11:32 PM
.....appears to be 6 piece stock w/ ebony tip w/no checkering on stock, metal flat buttplate, adjustable rear scope mount (Redfield)

I'm stumped....what is a 6 piece stock?

Adjustable rear scope mount? (on the receiver or barrel?)

Does the rear of the receiver have the top milled off flat?

My guess is it's been restocked to resemble a sporter.

makarova
April 30, 2007, 01:09 AM
But I have no way of telling whether or not it is. The 3/4 stainless bull barrel may be telling. The top has not been milled flat for a scope and there are no provisions for a front sight. I just dont know.

Rembrandt
April 30, 2007, 01:39 AM
The receiver should have a large dovetail milled for the ladder type sights. This would have been done on all 52's built at that time. It wasn't till later when Sporters came out that the receivers were round. I have seen some that were customized and modified then restocked to resemble Sporters. Without pictures we're only guessing. Here's what your receiver should look like...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Sights2.jpg

Khornet
April 30, 2007, 01:30 PM
you'll wish you hadn't.

When I say don't clean it, I mean the bore. .22 barrels have relatively mild steel. Many a fine .22 has been ruined by zealous barrel cleaning, which wears it down far more than several lifetimes of shooting would do.

I too am puzzled by the "six-piece stock". What you have is definitely not a sporter stock; it's a standard Winchester target stock of the period. I looks intact and correct. The nose of the stock, ahead of the barrel band, is longer in rifles of this era than in the later 52Bs.

I'd say you have a pre-A Speed Lock rifle; mine is similar though not stainless and has serial # 182XX, made in October 1929.

The wall of the receiver at the ejection port is level with the wood on both sides, whereas later thay raised the left side for greater strength. The scope blocks on the barrel are typical.

Of note, I think they made a few aluminum-barrel rifles. Does yours attract a magnet? If it's aluminum you have a true rarity, and you especially don't want to clean it.

I have a 1948 52B which has been in a fire, I think. There's lots of pitting and blotchiness of the bluing. The stock is a correct 52B but must be a replacement if it was in a fire. It was crudely shortened and hs a crack near the bolt handle. There is a ring in the bore about 14" back from the muzzle. A Redfield receiver sight was crudely inletted into the stock. The dealer let me take it home, clean it (just once!) and test-fire. One inch at 50 yds. Bought it for $150. Glass bedded it and scoped it. It shoots honest-to-God quarter inch groups at 50 yd with Win. Power Points, often 0.2" or better.

I couldn't find a replacement stock anywhere, and so I had Wenig Custom make one for me, rough-inletted and rough-shaped, and left-handed , with a lefty palm swell and cheekpiece on the right. Spent this week polishing the metal and inletting it before I glass-bed. Maybe I'll post some photos in a separate thread.

But anyway, you have a truly superb rifle there, and if you like to shoot at all you should shoot it a bit before you think of selling it. There won't be any more.

Khornet
April 30, 2007, 03:06 PM
see here:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=274052

makarova
May 1, 2007, 12:43 AM
I guess I need somebody to assess the value. My mother is ill and the sale is necessary. Maybe GOP guy, whom I have met would be the guy to do that. The
receiver btw has been milled flat and then a round umm "plug" was installed to fill that and then a cheap looking redfield scope mount was installed. I'll keep you guys updated as it goes. Thanks all.

keith the collector
June 15, 2009, 11:39 AM
The only thing I have found out about the 52 stainless is there is very few of them. I do have a stainless 52b. The barrel is the only thing stainless the reciever is standard. I was told by Wally Brimfield which I hope I didnt kill his name spelling who does the Plam Springs gun show that Winchester had done some expermenting with stainless for accuracy. The barrel marked stainless was blued buy flash coating them with iron and then blued which made the bluing almost black. The value is undetermind as there is no auction records that I could ever find let alone find any more available. Wally does have one also, he told me. The other problem is that there is no real good sorce of info from Winchester because of them losing a lot of there records and reserch info. All of this info I just listed is frome sorces I have the most confidence in. I would not says this is a DEFINATE ACCOUNTING of the stainless 52s, but is all I have been able to come up with over the last 6 years. If anyone know anything else about them I would really like to read about that to see if what I learned is correct. Keith

Jim Watson
June 15, 2009, 03:08 PM
Surely you know somebody with a digital camera. It is going to take good sharp pictures for you to get worthwhile information on such an unusual rifle.

dsc
November 27, 2009, 02:17 PM
I have a model 52 that is said to be made in 1932 but my question is it says nickel steel on the side it was my grandfathers his father baught it for him new when he was on the match shooting team in school. it is very nice gun and shoots like a dream the triger is better than a modern rifle i had a verry expensive trigger job on. my grand father gave it to me when I was 14 or 15 before he passed I wish i was old enough then to know what he gave me and ask alot more questions! the gun is not for sale i will pass it down to my children. the funny thing is everything my grandfather owned has his ssn number ingraved in it and this gun is no exception. any info on this gun will help me know more about it the # is 233xx it has scope blocks on the barrel and ladder sights never a scope mounted on it great shape no rust light scratches.

dsc
November 27, 2009, 02:28 PM
I have a model 52 that is said to be made in 1932 but my question is it says nickel steel on the side it was my grandfathers his father baught it for him new when he was on the match shooting team in school. it is very nice gun and shoots like a dream the triger is better than a modern rifle i had a verry expensive trigger job on. my grand father gave it to me when I was 14 or 15 before he passed I wish i was old enough then to know what he gave me and ask alot more questions! the gun is not for sale i will pass it down to my children. the funny thing is everything my grandfather owned has his ssn number ingraved in it and this gun is no exception. any info on this gun will help me know more about it the # is 233xx it has scope blocks on the barrel and ladder sights never a scope mounted on it great shape no rust light scratches.

eastbank
November 27, 2009, 07:13 PM
i have a early 52-A made in the mid 30,s with a 12x lyman super target spot and boy does it shoot. eastbank.

Bubba98144
March 10, 2010, 05:19 PM
My grandfather passed in 08 on his way to 101 years old. One of the first rifles I shot was his Model 52. I now own it and have looked up the low serial. It is a Model 52 made in 1928 heavy barrel ( that is one year after they started in 1927 ) with a factory scope mounted on it. Would like to know the value of it...but not to sell just would like to know. I am in the middle of recording/documenting/storing my collection and hope to have some pretty pictures to show.

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