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Does Anyone own a Cooper Model 52?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Coal Dragger, Sep 23, 2010.

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  1. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    As the thread title asks does anyone on here own a Cooper Model 52?

    If so, how do you feel about the rifles build quality, performance, reliability, and accuracy?

    I am seriously considering buying one and hunting it this fall in South Dakota (where I live) and in northern Minnesota for deer. Luckily I live only 50 miles away from a dealer in Rapid City that stock a whole bunch of Coopers so getting my paws on one hasn't been a problem. However for those that own one, any input beyond my pawing at the gun shop would be appreciated.

    I would also respectfully ask that no one clog up this thread with comments about the politics of the founder of the company and the 2008 elections. First of all I don't care, and secondly a man is entitled to his opinion but that doesn't mean I will punish an entire organization or business (with employees) because of that. Furthermore as I understand it the company is under new ownership.

    Caliber would be .30-06 (boring but there's a reason it's been around for 104 years)

    or

    .280 AI.

    Looking into a Jackson Hunter or Excalibur.
     
  2. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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  3. RSVP2RIP

    RSVP2RIP Member

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    Well just to keep the thread alive...I have a Cooper 57 in 22lr. Fit and finish above what I expected. Accuracy is WAY better than what I can do, even using the same ammo as the test target. I really want a 52 in 30-06 and I am just saving a little cash up for it. I feel they are worth every penny. I believe the action is of the Remington style with a Sako style extractor. I haven't seen one up close yet, but what ever it is wouldn't matter to me much.
     
  4. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    I've handled several of them at First Stop Guns in Rapid City, SD. The action is a tubular billet machined, three locking lug affair with a Sako style extractor, and recoil lug sandwiched between barrel and action. Seemed tighter and more precisely machined than any of the Remington 700's in stock (of course Remington quality doesn't seem to be what it used to). The factory test targets were all disgustingly tight even if they were only fired at 50 yards.

    I wish they offered a rifle in .300 Winchester Magnum, but realistically a .30-06 or that .280 AI will do anything I need it to do even in the open country we have out here.
     
  5. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    I can't speak first-hand but I know two hunter/shooters who own Coopers and I respect, very much, their opinion and knowledge. They both are extremely happy and would make the purchase over again in the same position.

    One fella does have the 52/30-06 and claims he can cover a 3 shot group with a dime (100 yds). He does handload.

    If there's one last thing I can do to drag that money straight out of your wallet, it's to remind you of a fantastic resale value if somehow you were unhappy or remorseful.
     
  6. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    Hand loading is a given for me so that is why I am also considering the .280 AI. At this point the Ackley round is probably more appealing to me. A 7mm bullet has plenty of sectional density and will take down pretty much anything I will likely ever hunt in North America and it offers a flatter trajectory than the .30-06. In fact the AI is pushing 7mm Remington Magnum velocity, so that is something to think about.

    The advantages of the .30-06 are wide component and ammo availability, and the fact that I already reload for a .308 so I already have some bullets around that the rifle might like.
     
  7. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    Decision is made, now own a Model 52 Jackson Hunter in .280 AI.
     
  8. SteveW-II

    SteveW-II Member

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    So, how is it ?
     
  9. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    We'll find out when ammo and dies show up. Workmanship looks great, the barrel cleaned up easily, and the rifle appears well designed. Nice even looking contact on the locking lugs.

    My only gripe is the blade ejector gets into a cleaning rod when you are swabbing the barrel and will scratch up a coated rod. The ejector pivots and is spring loaded, so a cleaning rod guide inserted into the receiver will cure this, but it was a bit annoying.
     
  10. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    Oh one other interesting tidbit, the owners manual supplied is for the Cooper Arms models: 52 (standard action), 54 (short action), and 56........ what is a model 56 I wonder, and when will we be seeing it on the market?
     
  11. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    How much do these rifles run?
     
  12. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    Around $1600 for the entry level rifles, give or take a few hundred depending on options like barrel or bolt fluting or upgraded wood on wood stocked models.

    Add even more money for presentation grade wood, engraving, color case hardened receivers, high polish bluing etc.
     
  13. RSVP2RIP

    RSVP2RIP Member

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    Maybe its a magazine version of the M21?
     
  14. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    Maybe, my other though was it could be a magazine fed rifle with a magnum bolt face. Time will hopefully tell.
     
  15. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    Well finally got the new rifle out to sight in and shoot an initial group today. Still impressed with the overall handling and workmanship of the rifle. The magazine loads easily and feeds ammunition slicker than snot into the chamber. Bolt actuation is smooth and positive, with a slightly high effort bolt lift on a released sear for recocking the rifle.

    Sighting in went fairly smoothly considering I was not shooting off of a proper benchrest, and now the rifle is zeroed. Ammuniton used was Nosler Trophy Grade 140gr Accubond at a nominal 3150 feet per second, didn't have a chronograph today so I can't confirm. I had time to shoot one group after sight in, and cleaning the barrel. After the fouling shot (I was in a hurry so probably didn't get all the solvent out of the barrel...) I put three rounds into .6" even with the fouling shot the group was just a hair over 1". Can't complain, about that and fact is I'm not a good enough shot to shoot to the rifle's potential anyway.
     
  16. esheato

    esheato Member

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    I've got a Model 21 and 22 with all the fixings...you won't be sorry that you bought that gun.
     
  17. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    So far I am quite pleased. I had two other groups that I fired while fine tuning the scope adjustments. One two shot cluster that also went into .6", and another that went around .8" after I put one click of elevation on.

    With a heavy bench, a proper rest, and a higher magnification optic I can probably cut that down to an honest 1/2" or smaller, but I don't know if it is worth bothering with. I'll shoot it again maybe next week to confirm my zero and shoot another group, if it goes well under 1" for 3 shots again then I may just try to duplicate this factory load and be done with it.

    I am also curious about trying the 150gr Swift Scirocco given the good reviews I have seen on that bullet.
     
  18. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    Well not so good news on the Cooper. Upon cleaning the barrel the other day after zeroing the rifle, and inspecting the muzzle area for fouling and giving the barrel a check for how much copper fouling it accumulates; I noticed a defect in the barrel near the muzzle.

    It seems that when the barrel was bead blasted the rubber bore plug that protects the inside of the bore was either loose or worn out. A small portion of the rifling and bore are bead blasted and do not contact the bullet in any way when it passes through the barrel. This is very disappointing to me.

    I spoke with a customer service rep/gunsmith at Cooper this morning and was informed they will re-barrel the rifle, but that there is no way they can get it done and back to me in time for deer season in Minnesota or South Dakota. I guess they must have a large back log of work. I am less than impressed.

    The rifle still shoots pretty well by most any standard, but I have no doubt it would perform better with a pristine bore and crown which it currently doesn't have. So now I have less confidence in the rifle, and need to decide whether or not to hunt it anyway (the suggestion of Cooper Firearms) and send it in after season, or send it in now and plan on hunting with my heavy and bulky Steyr SSG 69 with the Nightforce on top of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  19. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    Well the thought of a bead blasted bore interior, acceptable accuracy or not gnawed away at me so I ran another few rounds through the rifle. It still shoots better than most hunting rifles I have seen, but not nearly as well as it should according to Cooper's accuracy guarantee. So I packaged it up and sent it back to Cooper for repair, which entailed a 100 mile round trip on my part.

    So thus far I am out the cost of the rifle, the scope rings, one box of ammunition, 100 miles worth of gasoline, several hours of my time (which isn't cheap), and some $31.90 in shipping fees. This thing better come back shooting like all of our houses are on fire, or I am going to remain pretty well ticked off.

    I will post more as the situation develops.
     
  20. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    The way I see it, no one should ever have to return a firearm that costs as much as yours did for the reason you cited-though I understand, stuff happens in the real world; even to the best of companies. I think, minimally, Cooper should reimburse you for all shipping costs. Do keep us informed as to how the rifle turns out. And the best of luck to you.
     
  21. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    Thanks for the good wishes. We'll see what Cooper does to rectify this situation, and how long it takes them. I can eat the shipping charges grudgingly if the turn around time is fast and the work performed is good. The rifle was delivered to them on Monday 10/11/10, so the clock is ticking.

    What really pisses me off is the 15 rounds of hard to find factory ammo I wasted, I still have another box of the stuff on hand (and another 3 boxes on order) but dammit..... at $40/box that stuff is expensive. I tried to find Nosler brass in .280 AI and it is out of stock everywhere so that will have to wait. When all is said and done and all my ammo shows up I'll have 85 loaded rounds, and 100 total pieces of brass. I already secured a set of Redding dies in .280 AI 40 degree shoulder.

    I guess I could do it the old fashioned way and fire form regular .280 Remington though.
     
  22. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    While we're waiting on the gun to come back, did you ever hear the story about the man who bought a used Cooper and discovered that it shot really terrible groups? He posted it on a forum years ago.

    Cooper rebarreled it for free.

    I only have a Custom Classic .22 LR. People who own Coopers shouldn't be complaining about a few bucks here and a few bucks there because nobody is going to believe we need the money all that badly. :D :D
     
  23. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    Did you buy a single shot or a repeater? I don't think I could spend $1,500 on a single shot with a blind magazine.
     
  24. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    The model 52 is a magazine fed rifle. Three round single stack detachable magazine to be specific.

    JohnBT,

    Just because I am willing to cough up the money for a satisfactory rifle that isn't made up of ugly castings, injection molded plastics, and other cost cutting measures; doesn't mean that I don't value my money. Ten years ago I wouldn't be complaining, because ammo was pretty reasonable, not anymore though.

    A person buys a premium product to avoid shoddy workmanship, and attain a certain level of guaranteed performance without the need to have the product further modified or tweaked to achieve it. At least that is what I thought, we'll see if the old axiom about getting what you pay for also applies to customer service.
     
  25. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I didn't say I'd be happy about having to send one back, just that I wouldn't expect much pity from the folks who don't own a Cooper.

    Otoh, good customer service still exists. It's amazing to call a company these days and the customer service rep turns out to be the owner/president. It happened when I called Cooper the first time years ago with a couple of silly curiosity questions and Dan Cooper answered. And then it happened when I called Guerini in Maryland about getting ejectors changed to extractors on a 28 ga.
     
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