View Full Version : Winchester 52 - early model

02-05-2009, 08:59 AM
Winchester 52 experts ....

I am in need of some advice before I list this gun for sale. I have a 1933 Win 52 - ser#26XXX - that is in excellent condition. It has the factory ladder rear sight and a globe front. The action has not been drilled and tapped. It is equipped with a period Lyman 438 scope. It has an unmarked single shot feed clip. My questions: Is the front globe sight original? Do I need to find an additional 10 round clip to include? Is it better to leave the scope attached as part of sale or sell separately? When did Winchester improve the trigger?

I acquired this model as part of a 7 gun collection that includes a 'B", 2 "C"s, "D", and 2"E"s. One of the "E" is an International Match.

Any advice would be appreciated .... Thanks

Jim Grinde - jgrinde@att.net

02-05-2009, 03:32 PM
My friend:

I apologize for posting on your thread........I only do this as I see it's your first post.......

I am not a 52 Wincherster Expert...

Will the value of your A 52 increase with the proper 5 round clip...probably....the ten round, I doubt it....

About the sights.....they most certainly may be original equipment....

The scope, depends on who the buyer is...

When did Winchester improve the trigger?.....with the C, D and E models...

My friend, here's the part of an A that can make it valuable or pretty worthless: Is the left side locking lug seat in the action cracked?

The left side locking lug has the safety shaft passing through it....which makes the top of the seat extremely thin.....the heat treatment, which is a case hardening, left this thin section of the seat brittle, and prone to crack..

Sometimes the crack is obvious and sometimes not......if it looks ok, put some penetrating oil on the seat, let is set, then wipe it completely dry...if the seat is cracked, you will notice a wet spot where the crack is...

If your A is cracked, it doesn't have a lot of value....

If it isn't cracked, the value is between you and the buyer....

Again my friend, I ain't a 52 Winchester expert.......

Your friend, Bill Calfee

02-05-2009, 03:45 PM
Winchester 52 experts ....
I acquired this model as part of a 7 gun collection that includes a 'B", 2 "C"s, "D", and 2"E"s. One of the "E" is an International Match.

Any advice would be appreciated .... Thanks

Jim Grinde - jgrinde@att.net

Pay attention to Bill's good advise. And, I suggest you list these rifles on the "classified Ads" section of this site. Be very careful before you sell them. To a good many people these rifles are worth a great deal, just for the model's history and sentimentality.

Just don't sell them out of hand and in the same class as ordinary 22 rifles. Don't be in a hurry. To the right buyer, they may be worth a great deal.

Good luck...virg

02-05-2009, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the insights about the early 52s and what to look for. I will do the oil check for cracks this evening. After closer examination of the front sight globe, I can see the Lyman name. What level of metal finish and bluing did this vintage of 52 have? I don't know if this is a correct observation but my "D" and "E" std. don't have as smooth of deep a bluing finish. The International is mat finish.

Jim Grinde

02-06-2009, 10:54 AM
I did the clean and oil check around the action safety area as Bill suggested and to my relief, found no cracks. I have used a product called "Crack Check" in the past and will purchase a kit on my next MSC order to make a final verification.

Thanks for the advice.

Jim Grinde

Big Al
02-06-2009, 12:59 PM
The latter sight is the most valuable part of the rifle, I have had offers of twice the value of my rifle just for the latter sight. Your front sight is correct with a Lyman stamp.

Mr. Calfee is one hundred percent correct in his response to you. I'm glad you followed his sage advice. As to the scope blocks on your barrel, the real deal is to check and make sure they are factory installed. My rifle is not far off serial number wise and it has no screw holes any where for a scope mounts. That does not mean that Winchester did not install scope blocks for mounting.

Your Best bet for finding values is to hunt the net at the online auction sites for similar rifles and what the final sell price is. Good luck with your sales.

Harold M
02-12-2009, 12:32 PM
I once had a speedlock pre-A 27XXX. The crack by the safety could be seen almost from across the room. No dye penetrant check was required. The crack problem Dr. Calfee notes is real.

02-12-2009, 03:16 PM
Friend Targetshooter2:

I again apologize for posting on your thread....I usually don't do this..

I learned about the cracking problem with A's the hard way......

Back in the 80's I got hold of a nice looking A and decided to make a presentation grade little sporter from it......loved the wing safety.....little did I know..

Anyway, I installed a match grade barrel in a #1 Douglas taper, fit a neat ramp from sight, made up a set of neat express type three leaf sights for the rear.....made a hidden magazine using a lever opening latch.....did away with the push button in the side of the stock.....stock had a little of a belly to it kinda like a Magnum Mauser for a Gibbs cartridge.....

I had a gentleman in Texas do the highly figured walnut stock...used 30 line checkering and it had a feather crotch pattern in the butt that was killer awesome....hand rubbed oil finish, killer...

Had the metal rust blued, had that old classic "egg shell" appearance to it, killer!

I put the rifle up for sale.....first guy that looked at it said, "are you kidding", didn't you see the left side locking lug seat in the action is gone?

You know, shows how stupid I am.....I noticed the left side locking lug seat looked funny, but until I saw another A, that was intact, I didn't realize the problem.....man I was embarrassed..

I gave the rifle to a buddy of mine......I think he still has it........it's absolutley lovely, but has absolutley no value.....I of course lost everything I had invested.....

I did another A, or two, or three after that, after careful inspection, then swore them off for ever.......

As a collector, they have value, if not damaged....but for alterations the C, D and E 52's are the ones to play with....

A final thought.......If the B Model 52 had the good Micro Motion trigger, it would be superior to even the C, D and E models for making into an accuracy rifle...but it don't..

Thanks Targetshooter2 for allowing me to post..

Your friend, Bill Calfee

02-14-2009, 10:08 AM
There is much to learn from the members here .... what I am reading in the posts to this thread are raising more questions for me.

Is there a way to determine if the barrel mount scope blocks are factory or a way to determine if they were even optional on a pre-A 52?

Bill raised another point of interest on the 52B ... what aspects of design or manufacture make it a great candidate as basis for a target rifle ... not withstanding the trigger?

I have a Canjur trigger, stamper 52-2c, acquired at a gun show years ago. Can it be fitted to the 52B? or what is the model application?

After digesting some of the information available, I believe that I want to focus on my 52B as my shooter of choice. I like the feel of the gun and the lighter weight std. barrel configuration. It should work nicely as both a carry and rest shooter for my "fun" activities.


Jim Grinde

02-16-2009, 07:35 AM
This crack business has me concerned. Is there anything that can be done to prevent this from occurring in A models which have not yet cracked?


02-16-2009, 01:53 PM
My friend:

My apologies again for posting here.....

I am not an expert on the 52 Winchester.......

I doubt the owner of an A Model that isn't cracked has much to worry about if the rifle is sitting in the gun case.....

Winchester knew of the problem and was supposed to have taken measures to correct the problem in the "late" A's......although the A I spoke of earlier was a "late" A........

If I had an A and wanted to shoot it, I think I'd only load it when I got ready to shoot.....If I was out in the woods hunting, I'd have the clip loaded but the chamber empty....when I wanted to shoot, I'd carefully cycle the breech bolt and feed a round, then shoot....( I do this with any gun anyway, not just the A Winchester) remember, when you place the safety "on", the safety lever has to actually cam the firing pin back out of battery of the trigger sear, which means the full force of the firing pin spring is being held by the safety, with its shaft running through the left locking lug seat....

Also, if I owned an A, I'd make absolutley sure I never "bumped" the safety wing hard........

I have my doubts that just shooting an A would cause the locking lug seat to crack.....if it hasn't already..

Again, I ain't a 52 Winchester expert....

Your friend, Bill Calfee

02-16-2009, 03:31 PM
Mr. Calfee, if you are not a Winchester 52 expert, you'll do until one comes along! Thank you for taking the time to reply. I recently obtained an A model 52 which has been "sporterized" I guess would be the term. It has an aftermarket stock, barrel shortened to 22", refinished and drilled and tapped for scope mounting. I got it for what I thought was a decent price (less than the cost of a new CZ) and planned to use it like any other rimfire sporter. I guess I will have to be more careful with it than I expected, but still plan to shoot and enjoy it.

Thanks again for your efforts.

James Steele