Originally Posted by natman
...I agree about the quality of the 52, but the OP specifically said he wanted a rifle for small game hunting.
I love my 52, but it's really heavy and I'm not going to lug it around in the woods. The original 52 sporters and the Springfield 1922s are also fine guns, but they are collector's items now and I'm not going to drag one through the woods hunting either. The repo 52 sporters would be an excellent choice, but they were made in Japan.
It's true that the majority of 52's had heavy target barrels, guess I was thinking more along the lines of the Sporters. Agreed they are becoming highly collectible....but there's nothing quite like popping some squirrels with the ol' peep sights. Old thoroughbreds like these shouldn't be couped up in metal box.