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Can the S&W model 52 shoot 9mm?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Ignacio49, Oct 11, 2010.

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  1. Ignacio49

    Ignacio49 Member

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    I heard of M52's converted to fire 9mm. Apparently getting a 9mm barrel (M39's barrel?) and M39 mags is all it takes for the conversion.

    I have also heard that shooting 9mm out of a M52 "destroys" this pistol. The higher 9mm pressure is too much for it. Is this true?

    I am asking because I have the opportunity to buy an M52 with the "conversion" to 9mm.
    Thanks for your help
    Ignacio
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    The M25 was chambered for the .38 Spl which is a rimmed cartridge. Besides the barrel and mags, I would thing the least you would need is a new slide or maybe a new extractor and maybe some breech face machining.

    The M39 barrel wouldn't work for a "conversion" of the M52...they are too short. You'd need a custom barrel...you might be able to make do with a M952 barrel
     
  3. Ignacio49

    Ignacio49 Member

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    This 52 has already been converted to 9mm.
    I believe/I hope that the "conversion" is reversible (I have to check), and therefore I would be able to switch between 38WC and 9mm.

    Provided the gun works fine with both calibers, my main concern is if the 9mm, being a higher pressure ammo, will be safe and will not affect/ruin the gun.
     
  4. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Find the gunsmith

    Try and find out who did the conversion and check their track record.
    I think the idea of doing the conversion has merit.
    The M52 is a great target platform but its limited to .38spl wadcutters.
    The 9mm conversion should feed easier, cheaper magazines and possibly cheaper to shoot if using factory rounds.
     
  5. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Did they change the slide when they converted?

    The .38 spl round was much harder to make feed than the 9mm, I'd be interested in what modifications they did to the extractor.

    Has the owner been shooting factory 9mm in it or light reloads?

    I would think you'd have to balance the springs for the load you want to shoot
     
  6. Ignacio49

    Ignacio49 Member

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    I have to find out.

    The owner/seller lives in another city, and it may take some time before we can meet.
     
  7. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    Just a side note, I remember seeing Clark 1911 .38 WC guns chamber empties. That was a tight shooting gun.
     
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    IMHO, converting the Model 52 to 9mm would cost about as much as buying a new 952 that is made for full load 9mm.

    Jim
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I think the OP said it had already been converted...the original post isn't very clear.

    He's wondering if it is practical to have a pistol that can fire both rounds with a few parts swaps
     
  10. Ignacio49

    Ignacio49 Member

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    Well, I have not expressed myself clearly.

    This 52 has already been converted, as 9mmepiphany pointed out.

    All I want to know is if shooting the higher pressure 9mm will be safe and will not destroy the gun.
     
  11. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    I doubt that you wouild be able to use the same slide for 9mm and 38 Special - large difference in the area where the extractor fits. I would not be surprised if it would work if the gun were chambered for the 38 AMU cartridge which is a rimless version of the 38 Special.
     
  12. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Why even consider converting the Model 52 to 9mm? Originally S&W designed and built this pistol around the Model 39 frame. The Model 39 was a SA/DA pistol originally chambered for the 9mm cartridge designed for the military trials for the adaption of a 9mm service pistol (didn't happen then because of a surplus of 1911's). Why would one want to take a 1000.00 target pistol that is now considered a collector's piece and turn it into 300.00 POS. Doesn't make any sense to me, since there are many Model 39's out there that could very easily be converted to a target pistol.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  13. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    The question of "why" is sort of irrelevant at this point in time being that the pistol has already been modified. As to whether shooting the "higher pressure 9mm will be safe and not destroy the gun", as others have noted, the Model 52 was derived from the Model 39, a pistol originally chambered in 9mm and the current Model 952 (also chambered in 9mm) is kind of a modified Model 52.
    Given the information as we know it, it is my guess that the converted Model 52 being discussed would be safe when firing the 9mm ammunition it was modified to shoot with-the caveat being assuming the gunsmith who performed the conversion did it properly.
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    ..and you have a 9mm rated recoil spring...like one out of a M952
     
  15. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    If you want a 52 in 9mm, just go out and find a 952.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    He already has one!
     
  17. bc1023

    bc1023 Member

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    I wouldn't ruin a classic Bullseye pistol.

    Just get a 952, which is a 9mm based off the 52. You can see the similarities.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    oops.

    Sorry, I now read that its already been converted.
     
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