Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by stillquietvoice, Sep 24, 2022.
A real issue with a M75 and a M52 is sights. Irons are expensive and no one uses them anyway for hunting. My M75 and M52 were set up for the long scopes of the period. This is an example.
I did find a EGW rail scope mount for my M75, but it is so high, and the buttstock is low (for irons) that it is really a kludge. And the mount is only held on by two screws. To acceptably use modern scopes, you would have to pay a gunsmith to make a custom mount. That costs $$$$.
A M75 with a low mounted scope would make a dynamite squirrel rifle.
The H&R M12 is a product improved M52, you can see how I scoped the thing
I do have M52's
The 52D is close to the end of production. I saw a M52E and except for the recessed muzzle, could not tell the difference. The M52, through out its production, was considered an excellent rifle. Winchester and Remington both put top designers on their rifles till the 1960's when both dropped their target 22lr target lines.
This ought to give an idea of the competition between Remington and Winchester in the NRA competition world, pre WW2.
One shooter I know, his factory new 52D had a crappy barrel that needed replacing, but complaints like this are rather unique. The action is an outstanding action, very well designed, and much smoother in operation that the M75. The trigger was better in the M52, but a total pain to function in removing the bolt. You have to push the trigger forward to get the sear to drop, which allows the bolt to remove. You cannot see the sear drop, and it does not always drop, which leads to sear denting issues. I had to take apart my M52 trigger to polish on the trigger parts because of this. The H&R M12 has a positive bolt release, otherwise, it is a copy of the M52.
There are a number of models of M52's, the very early models have primitive sights, but have magazines. The best of the magazine fed series is the M52C. After that, single shot only.
These rifles are obsolete for small bore prone, the stocks do not have adjustable cheek pieces or butt plates. The triggers are heavy, as per NRA rules. The Army commanded the NRA rules committee and they wanted civilians shooting rifles similar in configuration to military rifles. The M1903 was safe with a 3.5 lb trigger, and so, that was the trigger pull weight for small bore rifles. Thankfully the service rifle did not have a frizzen and a flash pan, as the Army troglodytes would have required a flintlock mechanism. The rules requiring a NRA smallbore target rifle to closely resemble a M1903 did not change until the Russians repeatably kicked US butt in Olympic competition. The Russians used the most modern technology they could, and they won. Then the NRA rules were revised so the rifle configuration could deviate from a pistol grip M1903. Kenyon used to modify the M52 trigger so the pull could be reduced from 3.5 lbs to ounces. A Kenyon trigger is highly collectable, that is, way over priced.
Anschutz buried Remington, Winchester, and BSA. This is a 1963 owner's manual
This is very high tech compared with what Winchester, Remington, and BSA were offering, and the Germans continued to modify and improve their product. This is a 1976 model, much more stock adjustments.
Catalogs would show what is offered now is even more advanced; truly space age rifles.
Look at the 1976 Anschutz, and then the 1983 H&R M12. I really wonder how H&R thought their rifle could compete in 1983 with what was out on the firing line. Truly an example of someone bringing a knife to a gun fight.
A M52 with good ammunition and a good barrel is an accurate rifle. If the rifle is mechanically tight I don't see a reason it cannot be as inherently accurate as any modern rifle. The ergonomics are back there with the flint and frizzen, but there is nothing wrong with the basic action. Every so often I see a shooter with a customized M52, and they do well, they are not really rifle limited. Some of the absolute best shooters are using copies of Rem 40 actions in small bore competition. The rest of the rifle is totally modern, stocks, sights, triggers, etc. I think they are not using M52's because the M52 action is more complicated and expensive to make.
Thank you for your insights I may have to consider getting one. More research is definitely in irder.
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Is it 4X more accurate than some of my lesser rimfire target rifles? No, probably not, but it's an awesome rifle and I don't regret spending the dough at all.
A smallbore competitor I know lives in the Phoenix area and thus has access to the Lapua test range in Meas AZ. He said he took his Anschutz for lot testing, and then asked for his M52A or B to be tested. He claimed with its best match ammunition, the M52 shot as well as his Anschutz. The Mesa testers take the action out of the stock and test on a fixture. Ergonomics are thus eliminated. Of course with his M52 in its stock, and a human behind the trigger, the better trigger and ergonomics of the Anschutz will provide more consistent shooting. I can say, I do not know the pull weights on my competition Anschutz, the trigger is too light to be weighed, when the trigger pull gauge touches the trigger, that is enough force to release the trigger mechanism. When the body and mind are in sync, I can touch off a round without rifle movement between heart beats, and when the cross hairs wobble in the middle. A heavy trigger is like being moored to an anchor, jerk it and the rifle moves erratically.
At some level of 22 lr accuracy, you hit the ammunition limit. All smallbore prone competitors test their ammunition, some obsessively. One shooter I talked to, and who lived in the Phoenix area, would learn through the grapevine of particularly good Lapua lots, and beg for a 50 round box. If the ammunition shot as well as claimed, a very large lot purchase was forthcoming!
The 75 target is much lighter and almost as accurate as either 52.
The 75 is an accurized mod 69 rifle.
The magazines are interchangeable.
Was also produced as an entry level target rifle, and when new was about 1/3 the price of the 52's. Mags are shared between 52's, 75's, 69/69A and perhaps others (there are others, but I'm blanking on them)
I love my 52B, but no way I'd pay 2 grand for one...unless it was pristine and had an exceptionally nice period correct optic on it. Around here, the price gap between 52's and 75's has closed significantly with nice 52's going for $1200 or less and nice 75's going for $700+.
If the 75's are in decent shape and can be had for less than $500, buy them both with as many mags as they'll let you have with in the deal. Originals are $50+ now...
I woulda lost money if someone bet me you didn't have one, just based on what I've seen of the quality of your collection.
Trying to remedy that
I never shot it. It was a neat rifle though.
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