S&W 52-2 magazine


December 28, 2008, 08:54 PM
Ok...this is really obscure and I don't expect anyone to know or even to have heard of this but it's Christmas...

I have a S&W 52-2 in 38 SPL WC. Some years ago a gunsmith in PA was able to convert the 5 round mags to 6 rounds and by all accounts they worked perfectly. He has now passed...I have heard that other gunsmiths could also do this but have not been able to locate any...go figure.

I would be willing to offer up one of my ridiculously expensive original magazines to give this a try.

Thanks for any help

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December 28, 2008, 09:11 PM
If you could alter it to hold eight or ten I might see a point to it.

But to hold just one more???

December 28, 2008, 09:22 PM
AbitNutz- I'd love to have a 52 with 6 round mags! I shoot in an indoor combat league, and I would need six rounds, not five, per magazine. I've shot a 52 a little, and it's amazing. Unfortunately, the pistol isn't made any more, and I don't feel like robbing a bank to pay for a cherry used one!


Jim K
December 28, 2008, 09:53 PM
The magazine of the Model 52 is 5 round because the 52 is a pure target pistol and 5 rounds is the string of fire under NRA rules. There is no reason to ever use or need any larger capacity magazine. (Besides, getting the rimmed cartridges to feed properly is made even more difficult if the capacity is increased.)

It is not a defense gun, a combat gun, or a plinker; if 5 rounds is not enough, I suggest trading the gun on something with a high cap magazine.


The Lone Haranguer
December 28, 2008, 10:08 PM
The prices are getting high on Model 52s and magazines are surely scarce, so I would not modify one in this fashion.

December 28, 2008, 11:32 PM
The point of the question was obscured a bit. The after market reproduction magazines don't work well. The gunsmith that altered them to 6 cartridges made them work perfectly...the extra round is somewhat immaterial but is nice to have because I count rounds when I shoot. I'm programmed to count to 6, not 5. I hate being surprised when slide locks back or in the case of the crappy non- SW&W mags...fails to lock back. I believe he altered the follower and spring to hold the extra round and then tuned it to feed perfectly...which the expensive after market magazines definitely don't do.

As for getting a pistol that holds more rounds...this is not the only gun I have.

Jim Watson
December 29, 2008, 12:14 AM
NRA shoots five shot strings, PPC shoots six. I know one regular PPC shooter who campaigns a M52 with magazines cut for six and he knows a bunch more. It is a fairly common modification. I think all that is required is to extend the slot the follower's guide lugs run in down enough to load another round. Discussion and pictures at:

January 9, 2009, 08:56 PM
I have a 52-2 that I used for PPC matches and it required me to modify my mags to hold one additional round. I had a friend who was a machinest cut the slot a little longer. I had him do it to 4 of my mags and kept 2 original. Worked like a charm. Even better, he didn't charge me. Shot it for a couple of matches, but liked my Bill Davis wheel gun better, so it pretty much sits in my safe.

January 9, 2009, 09:47 PM
Can't you just start with one in the pipe and a full mag for a six round string?

Jim Watson
January 10, 2009, 12:24 AM
Not in PPC. There are matches and stages with 12, 18, and 24 rounds. You have to be able to REload with six, not just start at 5+1.

January 10, 2009, 06:28 AM
That makes sense.

January 10, 2009, 09:16 AM
Good lord Jim Watson! Thanks so much for that link. I had no idea it was so simple to do. I have one magazine that is in dire need of a rebuild anyway.

January 10, 2009, 11:47 AM
I have a 52-1.could adjust it to double action dont want to its what JIM says
and I would be carefull in reloading as you could get a suprise.
at $50 a pop for mags,wuff.I have a 1911 colt modifide to shoot 38 special.and over 2.8 of bullseye may/will blow out the back of case and crack the left grip.How do I know,it stings the left hand at the least.
:rolleyes: :uhoh: :eek:

January 10, 2009, 04:05 PM
This pistol has never seen anything but 2.7 grains of Bullseye and likely never will. The only component I change is the bullet. It's always 148 grains but it may or may not be hollow base. I'm thinking of trying Berry's copper plated HBWC...Any ever tried that in an M52-2?

The barrel I have has never been too finicky about bullets. It's a magnaported Bar-Sto 6" stainless that was custom fitted years ago by Bar-Sto.

The magazine I'm going to sacrifice is a reproduction and needs to be rebuilt as it was smooshed a bit...

I've had more than a few problems with the slide not staying open after the last shot. It may or may not be related to the magazine as it seems to do it on some mags and not others. I have adjustable target grips on it and it may be that they interfere a bit on the slide release. Not sure of what else to look at.

I'm very seriously thinking about a Docter red dot sight and BME mount. The cost of those stood me up straight. $400.00 for the sight and $56.00 for the base....yee. However, those red dot sights are VERY nice to use...

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