Winchester Model 52-B

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Aug 11, 2009
The Gator Nation
So ive been working on a trade deal recently and as it comes down to it, I want to know a bit more about this gun before I bite. A guy in my area has a Winchester Model 52-B heavy barrel. It has a diopter/globe sight, as well as a Unertl scope. The gun is set up for 3 or 4 position shooting and has the shoulder hook, a palm rest and some other stuff as well. Also included is a case for the rifle and the scope.

In my limited research, I understand that this is a very fine rifle, but given its age and high quality (above what Im accustomed to in my collection), I dont know much about the particulars.

I very much enjoy shooting my super accurate CMP Daisy 853 with the globe sights, so Im sure Id enjoy this rifle.

WHich brings me to my reservation. The guy initially asked over $1600 for the rifle, which according to my blue book online, seemed fair for a 52-B plus the Unertl scope (assuming its not broken). I offered a Springfield Stainless Loaded Champion for trade and he was interested but wanted 600 on top of that. I countered with the Springer and my 1970s 870 police topfolder. That was countered with those 2 and 200.

Now ive recently started a new job now that Im out of college, and cash can be short at times, but it seems that this is a good opportunity to get a gun that would normally be out of reach for me.

What say you guys on the Model 52 and what would seem like a fair trade value to you?

Is this guy way high on his price and Im a sucker or is this a good deal and should I end up not wanting it, are there buyers out there for this kind of rifle?

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A lot depends on whether you REALLY want the 52. It looks to be in great shape and is a good buy at $1600 with the scope, sights and accessories. I would value the package at $2000+.
The down side is that the 52 is a very specialized rifle. Made for punching holes close together in paper, nothing else. Your guns, your decision.
well I was wanting a heavy .308, but I figured that maybe this will scratch that itch without breaking the ammo budget and making me reload yet another caliber
Buy it!!!

Over 20 years competitive small bore competitor. The 52 Winchester is the definitive American small bore rifle. A 52 in that shape with that scope and irons is a buy. It is, as previously state, a specialized rifle but a 52 is, in my humble opinion, the pinnacle of a small bore American rifle production. Only thing better is if it would be a 52 sporter, now we are talking the absolute best. But I am old, my opinions are old, however I believe they are correct. Being old means they are based on a lot of experience. Just the advice of an old poop.
Oh by the way

Oh by the way, if don't want it, send me the info, I will buy it in a heart beat. When opportunity knocks you need to answer the door.

You won't ever find another one like that, ever again.

If it appeals to you at all?
Strike while it's right there in front of you!

Thanks for the insight fellas

I think Im going to bite. I countered a bit once more (cant help myself, I love the haggle almost as much as the guns) but even if he refuses, Ill take it at the asking price.
I think that you know it is worth it considering the package. Enjoy it cherish it. Many would like to be in your shoes.
I don't even want...forget and I'd buy it.

I scratched the itch for a finer .22lr bolt gun with an Anschutz 54-action sporter for just a little less than that...and it didn't even come with sights. That sounds like a great buy

You will own a classic. I use that term with great reservation. There are few true classics, the 52 Winchester is near the top of the list. I shot a a 52 c for many years, then went to a rifle from Ulm, Germany, look it up, which is a better competition rifle, however the 52 is absolutely It in my opinion. This is what a rifle should be. Opinion based on being top 20 in the nation in national indoor. Nobody knows who I am, not brag, just fact.
Aah Yes, 52 Winchesters.

Herbert Houze put it best when he titled his book...."Winchester Model 52, Perfection in Design". Every high end .22 bolt action ever made is routinely compared to the Winchester's the benchmark by which others must meet to be considered a quality .22 bolt gun. Another old adage is..."There are .22's.....and then there's the 52's".

Some 52's are more desirable than others. The most sought after are the rare stainless steel barrel's, Bull barrels, Sporters (C Sporter model being the hardest to find), and one off factory built customs.

52's can be categorized as follows:
Early or Pre-A's
52 Speedlocks
52 Type A Speedlocks
52D's & E's

Currently have six in the collection, wonderful shooters for the perfectionist who likes one hole groups,
Well, the 52-B came home with me. It was a little rougher than I thought, but upon further inspection, it was all just surface grime and a little rust, nothing some CLP and elbow grease couldnt take care of.

It didnt' come with a magazine, but only the single shot adapter.

It seems the previous owner stored the rifle in its wooden case, and Im sure the case isn't great at keeping out moisture.

The gun has some dings and scratches, it was obviously someones positional small bore rifle.

It has a Redfield International Aperture and Globe sight, 2 apertures, and several different front sight inserts, a few metal ones and several clear plastic ones.

The J. Unertl scope had a bit of surface rust on it from sitting uncleaned for a long time but I managed to clean most all of it off. It has 2 eyepieces, different powers I guess. I don't really know much about this scope, and I was hoping one of you experts could clue me in on its use.

The stock has a barrel band right at the end of the fore end with a cone shaped screw, what I guess is a tuning screw.

It has a Al Freeman palm rest, a moveable sling mount, and a shoulder hook that can replace the serrated metal butt pad.

I haven't gotten to shoot it yet, but I am really excited to get it on paper to see what it can do. I only have Win M-22, Federal Bulk, and Rem GoldenGarbage on hand, but I suppose getting some Eley and Wolf Match is in order.

Heres a bunch of pictures now that ive cleaned it up

Sorry about the huge pictures, here is a link to the album. I took the pics with my phone, didnt think they would be that big
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My great shooting buddy has a Winne 52C. It is a great gun. He made Expert with it in 4-position with a 16x Unertl and all the accessories just like that gun. It is VERY accurate.

Be warned, they are HEAVY. If you are just getting into position shooting, a CM-2 might be a better choice or a Kimber 82G. Those rifles weight around 10lbs while the Winne is about 16.

But I think his price is fair. These rifles are getting more and more rare and commanding increasing values.
i'd say you did just fine. the 52s are great rifles.

be sure and post a range report!
I don't believe a 52 weighs 16 lbs minus optics. I shoot with a guy that has several. Even scoped they don't feel that heavy. Wikipedia shows the target models ranging from 9 to 13.
mines about 14 with the scope according to my precision bathroom scale

Well, heres the first target I shot with the 52, using Winchester M-22. It was nearly dark, and the peep was almost impossible to see thru, but some pretty good groups were had just leaning on the back of my truck at 25m


Tomorrow Im going to put it on the bench and see what it can really do.

Im sure its capable of far better. A dealer friend of mine is going to get some eley for me to try out soon too.
The bottom RT target looks pretty good, wait 'til you get some good ammo and can get it on a solid base, you'll be drilling' one, single hole!
Alrighty, so I finally got a chance to shoot the 52 in the daylight when I could actually see through the sights, shooting from prone with a front bag.

Using the aperture and globe, I was able to shoot some pretty respectable groups using Win M-22 bulk ammo. The groups could probably tighten up if I used round targets, since the globe sight is designed to use concentric circles to align precisely, but the redcoats is all I have at the moment.


Then I installed the 20x Unertl. :what:


5 shots at each target

I guess it shoots pretty well :D

This was all at 25 yards. Ill move to 50 and 100 in future reports.
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