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Old May 29, 2002, 09:50 PM   #1
brembo
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I just bought a Winchester Model 52C

Yep, broke down and got it. Drove me nuts knowing that was sittin in a gun-rack for sale, with no proper home. Went out to my range today, to sight it in, and see what the groups were gonna be. Fired number one, and thought I missed the whole flippin paper, but just stuck one right in the middle of the bulls. Whhheeeee!!! I now have a new hobby, and it involves massive amounts of .22 's and makin one hole groups at 50 feet. I cannot believe how this rifle shoots. I was so excited that my form was terrible, but the weight/trigger of this rifle soaked up alot of jitters, and I was makin some VERY nice groups.

I thought it was an "okay" deal it 500, got it home and hit it with some Flitz compound, q-tip and some solvent, and at 500 I raped the dealer. The blue is fine condition, the stock is used, and has dings, but I can get those out. One scratch on the barrel, I think I can hide with some cosmetic wizadry. One problem tho, seems the last fella to have this rifle was fond of rubbin the crown with a cleaning rod, its got a bit of wear on one side of the crown, but it still seems to shoot better than I can right now.

I guess its time to invest in some 50 yard smallbore targets and a few bricks of target ammo. I'm sooo excited.

Anybody have some good links for the Win 52C? I've found some books, and a few so-so sites, nothing yet thats outstanding.

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Old May 30, 2002, 12:26 AM   #2
Thufer
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GREAT DEAL..........ONLY $500!

I used a 52C for the four years I was on the my schools rifle team. Compared to an Ashultz and a Marlin my coach wanted me to use, the 52C was a much better prone target rifle. Its more simple and weighs more, which means its more stable in a target sling.

If you don't have one you should get a good target sling for it. When you get it set up right it will improve your accuracy quite a bit and enable you to shoot more accurately longer.

Also, since .22 target ammo is somewhat cheap, try buying a few different brands of target ammo and find out which one your rifle likes, before buying several bricks.
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Old May 30, 2002, 08:16 AM   #3
Khornet
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Mod 52C

Congrats! IMHO the greatest .22 rifle ever made. For a good background, get 'The Winchester Model 52: Perfection In Design'
available from Brownells.
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Old May 30, 2002, 02:32 PM   #4
Swamp Yankee
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Good Stuff

IMO the Winchester Model 52 is the ultimate .22 bolt action rifle.
Before you go out and spend a lot on .22 Target ammo try some of the old standbys like the CCI MiniMag, Remington Golden Bullet, etc. Good chance one will shoot as well as the target stuff, and think of all the fun you'll have experimenting. My 52 loves the CCI MiniMags. The little hole in the target really doesn't care how much the round cost.
Keep us posted.
Take Care

Last edited by Swamp Yankee; May 31, 2002 at 06:27 AM.
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Old May 30, 2002, 03:41 PM   #5
Southla1
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DROOL! DROOL! DROOL!

You are a lucky man! If you are able, can you post a picture of your rifle?
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Old May 30, 2002, 04:22 PM   #6
iwovet
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Got yourself a nice shooting iron there and for a decent price. I had a 52C for years, and even dragged it out to Camp Perry matches a couple of times and it never let me down, although I let it down a few times. Good luck to you and enjoy a fine rifle.
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Old May 30, 2002, 05:02 PM   #7
brembo
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SouthLA1-

I took pictures, but left my camera at my farm, I'll post a few when I get back up there, much too busy at work right now to do so(I blew my allocated free time shootin the rifle ). I think my goal now it to replace all the marred up screws(this thing is USED), fix up the stock a tad(maybe buy a target type stock too), just get it in mint condition and shoot it till the rifleing is gone. I was on the cusp of purchasing a Rem 40-X .22/250 too, but the guy wanted 1495 $$'s for it, glad I waited around. With the money I'm gonna save on the 52 compared to the 40-X(and the scope I was gonna get for it, US Optics St-10), I can race out this thing, make it period correct and do it all for less than 1k I think.

Finding cool rifles in pawn shops is addictive, I need more money, anyone care to help out?
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Old May 30, 2002, 09:04 PM   #8
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Brembo my boy, ya done good! You have with your diligence and powers of observation discovered one of the most important and least appreciated secrets of the universe. There is no finer 22 cal. target rifle than the Winchester Model 52. My romance with a M52B started with a USED rifle in 1946 and it continues on to this day. Over tis period I believe I have learned a few things which might interest you. (1) You cannot destroy the barrel by shooting it or damage the action by dry firing it. I belive that after firing God only know how many 10,000 round cases though my '52 I am will to trust the experts that say the bore is good for millions of rounds. (2) You need not be overconcerned with cleaning the bore of the barrel as regular trips to the firing range seems to do it for you. Of course if you are storing it for months at a time, prudence would dictate that you clean at that time. (3) My barrel has a flat crown on the muzzle. No bluing can be seen at all. The bluing, as I see it, has cosmetic value only. (4) Try the cheapest 22 ammo first. Keeping the muzzle velocity down to sub-sonic speed works very well in my rifle and should in yours. After all when the '52 went into production and was well accepted by target shooters, there was no high velocity ammo used on indoor ranges. (5) A good telescopic sight makes a great rifle even better. I am using a 24X Unertl scope with a Lee Dot and external adjustments mounted in a sliding dovetail mount. (6) The Iron sights to compete the set are Vaver Mirometer with one-eight minute clicks. I remove the sights after every trip to the range and when I reinstall them the next time the are right on the ten ring. (7) You got good advice from the other people: get a sling with an adjustable cuff, a fore-end stop. a padded shooting glove and a shooting coat. After that it is Kattie bar the door.
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Old May 30, 2002, 10:31 PM   #9
brembo
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Quote:
After that it is Kattie bar the door.

Lost me there, no idea what that means(looks to be an older type saying, and I'm only 29 y/o).

The flat crown on mine is losing its blue too, not a worry, I'm contemplating havin the crown recessed, someone was very happy with a cleaning rod at one point in this rifles life. I dunno for sure tho, just a rumination. I have almost nixed the idea of optics on the rifle. Peeps offer something that glass cannot....complete lack of parallax. Parallax burns me to no end, I take my time, breathe right, squeeze said trigger, and keep a cheek weld(no small task for a lefty), and parallax ruins some great groups. Besides, the Olympic sights on it now are fantastic, save some dough eh?

Aimpoint is right out. The dot is huge IMO, and actually harms the tack driver abilities of a 10/22 Ruger I have it on(gonna put it on my Mark II pistol I think). The peeps right now(might change my mind later) are the best to go with, at least for my purposes.
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Old May 31, 2002, 07:42 AM   #10
Don Martin
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I have my dad's 52C and I have owned a B and a C also. They are a outstanding rifle.

Look up a small bore club near you and join them for prone and postion competition. All you need to start is a sling and sights.

The M-52D was the finest 52. Just a technical point.
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Old May 31, 2002, 04:10 PM   #11
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Brembo, may I speak to you as a Father to his son. The recessing of a flat crowned barrel is a concession to clumsy shooters who cannot break themselves of the habit of bouncing the muzzle of the barrel on the ground/cement/whatever. In addition the act of machining a rifled barrel may, in itself, adversely affect the accuracy of the barrel. In the words of the sage," If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Oh my young eagle,with respect to your comments on Optical sights, how I admire your youth. Once I was young and could with piercing clarity discern the rear sight, front sight and target. But time is a thief who robs us of our depth perception and consequently which forces us out of the ten ring. The telescope is our road to salvation! The target and the crosshairs appear to the eye to be in the same plane and our bullets again strike the ten ring. All is well if we only remember that every telescope contains parallax. All scopes with adjustable objective lenses provide the means to reduce or eliminate parallax for the range to target. Finally, my skin crawls at the mere thought of mounting an aimpoint sight on a precision rifle. That is the shooting travesty of an unatural act which will be swiftly punished by abnormally low scores. My son, you are on the road to unprecedented accuraracy, but beware of listening to excessive amounts of technoCrap on your way to the ten ring. Farewell my son and shoot well.
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Old May 31, 2002, 05:29 PM   #12
Cornbread2
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For smallbore position shooting scopes are not permitted.

For those of us with less than perfect vision the aperture FRONT sight is the way to go.

It is by far the very best front sight made for shooting known size bulls at known distances.

In NRA type smallbore position shooting you fire at 50 and 100 yards. The 100 yard bull is bigger than the 50 yard bull but since it is father away it appears to be the same size in your front sight.

The proper size of your front aperture makes all the difference. Beginners assume that you need a small aperture that just bearly surrounds your bull. This is not true.

For a proper sight picture you need a front aperture that appears to be about two times as big as your bull.

If it is too small your eye can not tell when it is centered.

The front aperture is so easy to use because your eye only has to focus on one thing, your bull.

Most people understand that you do not look at your rear aperture. You just look through it and look at your front sight.

With front and rear apertures you look through both and focus on your bull.

Only the very best of the best shooters can shoot better with a post front sight than most can shoot with the aperture front.
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Old May 31, 2002, 05:33 PM   #13
brembo
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Senior_Rifleman

I was lookin at gettin the crown recessed cause somebody has worm away one side of the bore, its easy to see how they held the rifle when cleaning, because only one side of the bore is worn in that manner. I've read that the final bit of bore is quite possibly the most critical in acheiving tight groups, but I'm gonna wait on the recrown. I'm going to purchase lotsa different rounds and test em out. If I can get good accuracy, I'll leave it alone.

So far I've run CCI Blazers, and PMC Scoremasters thru it, both were quite capable of "one" hole groups at 50'. You could decern the three holes, but just barely, I.E. more common hole than seperate.

I shall also be makin a trip to the eye-doc soon. My vision is only 20-40, but the doc said that since my orbs are young and strong, I compensate fine. I'm gonna have some glasses made that correct my vision and use em just for shooting, I figure less strain will help with marathon shooting sessions.

One more thing, does anyone have sources for Redfield Olympic peep sight inserts? I called Outers, Redfiled, Winchester, and did a lot of googling for the things, but no luck. Pops said that the 52C came with a whole box of fun and goodies, and I'd like to get my hands on em. Redfield gave me a nuber for a fella named Phil Scoll, but the number is no longer any good. I found his range out in Colorado, but no more contact info...dang it.

Thanks a ton folks!
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Old June 1, 2002, 09:00 AM   #14
Khornet
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M52

Redfield sight parts: try Brownells, or Champion Shooting Supply.

M52 never needed cleaning from the muzzle! That's why we take out the bolt!!! However, bluing can be worn away from handling, or contact with the tip of a rifle case etc. My M52 has some of the muzzle bluing worn away from the bore to the edge of the crown, about 1/2 the barrel diameter. No harm done. Some of the old aperture sights (like the old Marble/Goss on my 1929 speed lock rifle) interfered with bolt removal, and you had to remove them to clean from the breech, but removal was easy. A lazy owner may not have bothered however.

BTW, there could be disagreement about which was the finest M52. The 52D was a single-shot rifle, as was the 52E and the few International rifles built. But the others were magazine rifles, making them more useful for various types of shooting. Initial 52s, improperly called 52A, had a standard military trigger and lock like the 1903. In 1929 the famous 'speed lock' was introduced, and made a fabulous improvement. In the 1930s or so, changes were made in the speed lock, unfortunately for the worse. These were the 52Bs, the first 52 with a letter suffix. The trigger so annoyed shooters that the Remington rifle began to overtake Winchester's lead. Then after the war the new 'Micro-Motion' trigger was introduced in the 52C, and everyone else was left in the dust. I'd have to say the 52C was the finest 52 ever, all-around. But my 1929 speed lock is a superb, tack-driving rifle, and to me the epitome of what a .22 bolt rifle should be. Get that book, you'll love it.
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Old June 1, 2002, 06:57 PM   #15
brembo
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Tried 5 different ammo types in it today. Eley Club, CCI Green Tag Target, Remington Subsonic, Remington Golden Bullet, and CCI Longs. The subsonic makes ONE hole at 50', no lie, just a oversized hole, amazing really. The Green tag is right behind it with ragged lookin single hole perdormance. The Eley was a dissapointment, the shots overlap, but you can see that three shots were fired. The CCI Long, and Goldens are not standard velocity(hi-power ya might say), and they were okay, fine for lotsa shooting, only 10 $$'s for 500. I shot about 300 rounds today, and no group was over 1/4". So interpolating that into 150 feet, looks like it'll shoot 3/4 of an inch at 50 yards with the crap ammo. Prolly touching shots with the subsonic. Man, this rifle sure is fun to shoot.
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Old June 1, 2002, 11:01 PM   #16
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Brembo, I am pleased that you tried the sub-sonic rounds. On sale I can buy them for $9.00 per 500 rounds so natural I buy a couple of bricks. With the money I save on 22 cal. ammo I buy pistol ammo at $17.50 per 50 round box. I think I just failed my sanity test!
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Old June 3, 2002, 05:31 PM   #17
Unkel Gilbey
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Awesome catch, I'm green!

And not just because of me being a Marine either!

I was a member of a small bore indoor 4 position team while I was in high school, and we had a number of Model 52 Winchester rifles in the club. My favorite was a 52B with apeture front and a Redfield (I think) rear sight with an adjustable peep. We used handstops and Olympic-style slings, big fat leather shooting mits, canvas jackets and mats.

We were given only a rudimentary class in the positions, and of the basics of marksmanship, and of course all the govt white box 22 target ammo that we could sling downrange. We never had spotting scopes to view our groups while they were down there, so maybe this is what taught me to concentrate more on the fundamentals of marksmanship rather than to obsess on my last shot.

We learned to shoot better through talking it over with our peers but mainly just through good old peer pressure. My biggest competitor was my brother, and although we both reached Expert, he got there first. That was expert in all positions; Prone, sitting, kneeling and standing.

It's funny now, but when I think about it, I believe I took up weight lifting for the very first time because I wished to improve my offhand shooting, as that rifle was HEAVY!

Good luck to you with your newest family member, may she give you years of enjoyment! Try to find standard velocity ammo, and do a search in the archives here, as we have a member here on this forum who has a wealth of information concerning cheap '22 target' ammo that can be had for regular prices - in fact it is regular ammo, all it will cost you (extra) is your own labor!

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Old June 11, 2006, 09:18 AM   #18
Prohawk
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prohawk

I just won my third 22 benchrest match with the old 52C.
Posted a score of 735 out of a possible 800.

Love the 52 C.

I also love the 37 Remington with peep sights. I shoots awesome as well!
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Old June 11, 2006, 03:17 PM   #19
Limeyfellow
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They are fantastic. I had to sell my neighbours at an estate sale when it was in excellent condition not being able to afford to buy it. I am sad about that one. I did take it out shooting though. Awesome.
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Old June 11, 2006, 03:30 PM   #20
skeeter1
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You, sir, are a lucky man

My dad had a Winchester 52 Sporter with a Lyman Alaskan 2.5X scope, and that was probably the most accurate rifle I've ever shot. I've got enough rifles, and dad wanted to send it to my cousin in New Hampshire who always admired it, so we did. He uses it regularly and loves it. For shipping purposes (FFL-to-FFL), we insured it for $2500. That you found one for $500, well, you got a great deal, and I hope you enjoy it every bit as much. That's probably the finest .22 bolt-action rifle ever made!
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Old June 11, 2006, 05:15 PM   #21
Rembrandt
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"There are .22's...and then there are the 52's" Herbert Houze accurately calls it "Perfection in design".

Word of caution....owning a 52 can be addictive. They are all excellent shooters. These rifles are continually going up in value. Fine specimens with virgin untapped receivers and original sights are bringing top dollar. Here's a couple from my collection....

52C....(1954)


52 Speedlock (1936) (w/Freeland hardware)...




52B Sporter (1948)....

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Old August 19, 2006, 11:56 AM   #22
DavidTS
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Winchester Model 52

I just recently came into possession of a Winchester M52, SN 17198. It has a scope which looks identical to the one in the picture posted by Rembrandt. As far as I can see, it has no US Gov't markings. I judge it to be in about 98% condition and estimate that it was manufactured in 1927.

Unfortunately, I don't have the rifle with me now, so don't have the name of the scope manufacturer. I do remember that it is a 13 power scope. The focus on the scope is a little fuzzy at 75 meters. Can anybody tell me how to adjust the focus on it?

I'm not sure if it has the speed lock bolt. How do you tell the difference?

I have shot it a few times and it is a joy to shoot. The trigger and handling are great.

Any info would be helpful.
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Old August 19, 2006, 01:22 PM   #23
steveno
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Scheel's has some Federal 22 lr automatch that is supposed to be made as match ammo for semi-auto's. it is rated at 1,200 fps so it is a little hotter than match ammo normally is. I tried some of this in my Ruger 77/22 and at 30 yards five shots went into .250. in my Ruger Government with a 2x leupold it went in .750 for 10 shots. this ammo comes in 325 round bulk boxes and it looks really good not like it was swept off the floor as most bulk ammo does. this ammo outshot winchester powerpoints by .250 in both guns which used to be the best I had found. I made a special trip back to Scheel's yesterday to get 4 more boxes of it.
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Old August 19, 2006, 02:40 PM   #24
Limeyfellow
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The Win 52s are rather nice indeed. Really accurate. Heres mine.



Definatly one for the bench though. Weighs an arm and a leg,
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Old August 19, 2006, 06:26 PM   #25
Bud Helms
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'Looks like an Unertl scope.
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