I finally shot a S&W 52-2. WOW! :)

Riomouse911

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My buddy who works at the local range said he bought a very clean S&W 52-2 w/box and papers from an acquaintance of his a few weeks ago. Last week he asked me to load some .38 target wadcutters for him, as he hasn’t been able to source any. I put together roughy 100 148 gr DEWC over 2.8 gr Bullseye, using the last of a box of lead-lube bullets that I have had on my shelf for ages.

I went to the range today, and we both got to shoot the 52-2. It was indoors, so lighting wasn’t the greatest and the max distance we had was just over 15 yards.

The sight picture on the gun was just about perfect, really clean and easy to see even indoors. The trigger action was light, with a crisp let off and almost zero overtravel. Recoil was practically zilch, it felt like a .22. Cases ejected nicely, with zero issues. The bluing and grips were literally unmarked, I seriously doubt the original owner fired it much over its lifetime. Even the second magazine was still wrapped in the oily paper it left the factory in.

My buddy fired a few magazines through his gun first, then I got a chance to shoot three magazines through it.

I fired my first shots at a 9mm hole in the middle of a blank target that I had been shooting my Kimber Stainless Target II and CZ Shadow 2 9mm’s at.

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That magazine load went into just over an inch at 10 yds, which for me is very good.

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I brought the target in and stuck a couple of 1” target dots on it and sent it back out to 10. My second magazine went into a slightly smaller group shooting at the easier to see orange sticker dot. :)

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At 16-ish yards, I was able to keep 2 in the 9, 2 in the 10 and 2 in the X on a blue 25 yd slow fire target. Again, for me that is about as well as I can do with open sights. :D

My buddy shooting his 52-2 at 16 yds.
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I love shooting the CZ Shadow 2, but that S&W Model 52-2 was just awesome! I know a lot of you have these guns, and now I see why they have such a cult following amongst those in the know! :thumbup:

Stay safe.
 
I bought a 52-2 about a month ago, looks like very few rounds were fired through this pistol.

Haven't shot it yet, still researching reloading for it, but man that slide is smooth and that trigger has few peers.

I see Triple K is now making mags.
 
I bought a 52-2 about a month ago, looks like very few rounds were fired through this pistol.

Haven't shot it yet, still researching reloading for it, but man that slide is smooth and that trigger has few peers.

I see Triple K is now making mags.
Triple K makes mags! good to know
 
Ya, these guns are really smooth. I have only seen a couple of them in the flesh. When he said I could shoot it if he could get some ammo, I went home and had those rounds loaded up lickety-split. :D

I think next time he offers, I will bring my 6” Model 14-3 for a wadcutter shoot off. That’s another gun that makes me look better than I am with those easy-shooting loads.

The first nice one I see will cause some financial pain, but the Model 52 just became a “I gotta have one” pistol now. 😇

Stay safe.
 
Ya, these guns are really smooth. I have only seen a couple of them in the flesh. When he said I could shoot it if he could get some ammo, I went home and had those rounds loaded up lickety-split. :D

I think next time he offers, I will bring my 6” Model 14-3 for a wadcutter shoot off. That’s another gun that makes me look better than I am with those easy-shooting loads.

The first nice one I see will cause some financial pain, but the Model 52 just became a “I gotta have one” pistol now. 😇

Stay safe.
Man… it’s the most unique gun ever! perfect for hand loaders. I paid $1050-Ithink for my gun, no box but came with a take down tool and 3 or 5 factory mags.

After I get my 9mm 147 RMR dial down, I’m going back to 52-2 loads, try some different powders and bullet combos
 
Man… it’s the most unique gun ever! perfect for hand loaders. I paid $1050-Ithink for my gun, no box but came with a take down tool and 3 or 5 factory mags.

After I get my 9mm 147 RMR dial down, I’m going back to 52-2 loads, try some different powders and bullet combos
From what I’ve read they are pretty limited pressure-curve wise to the target wadcutter loads. Many different WC bullets are out there to experiment with, along with a few Bullseye-similar powders. Should be a fun task finding the best combo(s). :thumbup:

The only neg, is chasing down ejected .38 Spl cases on the cement floor of the range. Those bounce around like footballs after a punt. 😩

Stay safe.
 
From what I’ve read they are pretty limited pressure-curve wise to the target wadcutter loads. Many different WC bullets are out there to experiment with, along with a few Bullseye-similar powders. Should be a fun task finding the best combo(s). :thumbup:

The only neg, is chasing down ejected .38 Spl cases on the cement floor of the range. Those bounce around like footballs after a punt. 😩

Stay safe.
my honey hole sells used .38 cases for very for very very cheap!

Are you going to get one if it pops up?
 
I played with one many years ago and was deeply impressed. So much so that the owner offered it to me for an almost reasonable price. I nearly drove him to my ATM, but decided to sleep on it, and woke up with the realization that the gun was every bit as good as several of my revolvers, except that it chucked my brass all over the landscape. So far as I know the guy still owns it... ;)
 
I played with one many years ago and was deeply impressed. So much so that the owner offered it to me for an almost reasonable price. I nearly drove him to my ATM, but decided to sleep on it, and woke up with the realization that the gun was every bit as good as several of my revolvers, except that it chucked my brass all over the landscape. So far as I know the guy still owns it... ;)
what’s unreasonable?
 
I have fired one. Only objection I can think of it's a little too specialized, takes only one type of ammunition, flush seated 38 WCs, Strictly a paper puncher. Though in a pinch it would do for home defense.
 
I have fired one. Only objection I can think of it's a little too specialized, takes only one type of ammunition, flush seated 38 WCs, Strictly a paper puncher. Though in a pinch it would do for home defense.
I don’t know, those WC are very weak. I think a modern airgun might be more powerful
 
what’s unreasonable?
I believe he wanted $800 for it, circa 1990 or so. I'd been thinking $600, and we probably would both have been happy enough at $700. In all seriousness, though, I ultimately figured the thing was about as good as my "race" revolvers, except that I'd be losing my brass. I haven't really changed my thinking since then...
 
I saw one a couple of months ago at a LGS I stopped in on the other side of the state.
IIRC the price was 1100.00
I was planning to stop there yesterday since I was passing by but they weren't open yet for another hour. I was kinda thinking about making an offer if it was still there. Maybe in a couple of weeks.
Next trip over there I'll try to time it better.
They also had several vintage S&W revolvers I wanted to check on again.
 
I’d love to have an S&W Model 52. I’ve only seen one in my area in the last 20 years or so and I did not have the funds to buy it.

I have a Colt 1911 with a 38 Special wadcutter barrel. I have not figured out how to get the gun to feed the last round in the magazine but it is a hoot to shoot.

Enjoy your Model 52.
 
I believe he wanted $800 for it, circa 1990 or so. I'd been thinking $600, and we probably would both have been happy enough at $700. In all seriousness, though, I ultimately figured the thing was about as good as my "race" revolvers, except that I'd be losing my brass. I haven't really changed my thinking since then...
that’s a ton of money in 1990
 
Awesome, thank you for sharing. I haven't ever had the opportunity to mess with one. I always thought they were very handsome though. Your report doesn't help me quell my desire to get one.
 
Without getting into caliber wars the effectiveness of the 38 WC at close range is considerable, the light recoil allows for better accuracy, the steel frame of the S&W M52 allows for faster follow up shots.
I would try another magazine if the last 38 WC is not feeling in that Colt M1911.
 
Without getting into caliber wars the effectiveness of the 38 WC at close range is considerable, the light recoil allows for better accuracy, the steel frame of the S&W M52 allows for faster follow up shots.
I would try another magazine if the last 38 WC is not feeling in that Colt M1911.
The S&W M52 and 38 Wadcutter 1911's are target pistols. They are not meant to be self defense pistols.

My 1911 with a Kart 38 Special barrel is a work in progress that I have not had time to really work at it. I have some magazines designed for 38 Special wadcutter rounds and a some magazines that I modified for the 38 wadcutter rounds.

Maybe someday, I'll get it figured out.

But what I can shoot through the gun is fun.
 
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