Winchester 52D International Match small bore target rifle
Hello! I am new to this forum but would like to add something of interest to it. I enjoyed the older posts on when the 52 D was started and if or not it was a true International or clone as this has helped me to try to garner information about these icons in the target industry. I like my 52's (also like and collect Anschutz 1413 match 54's), but back to the 52. I have a 52B and a 52C and have just lately added a 52D International Match?, here is were the questions start. Serial # 106180 D and of course this comes back as 1961. It is out fitted in a pale laminated, what looks to be original thumb hole marksman style stock. It has been in storage for the last 44 years. I purchased it from the eldest son of one of the largest gun shops in Kamloops that ran from the late 50's to mid 80's. It originally belonged to this gentleman's dad who was the shop owner. He originally purchased it from the Winchester dealer rep. in 1963 or 64. Now I have know this gentleman personally since 1977 when I purchased my first 1413, shooting jacket and all the gear to go 3 position shooting. This gentleman also supplied the coaching and necessary tips that I needed. This man is honest and was a true collector. I have sold off some remarkable gear of his over the years a firearm shows. What I am trying to establish here is this fellows honesty. If that rifle was bought new from a Winchester dealer rep.with all the right measurements, barrel length, barrel diameter ,although it does weigh in more than it should be spec'd at. What the heck is it? Could it be some form of prototype for Robert did have that type of pull. The shop walls were covered with fancy wood Winchesters that he chose to display instead of selling. signed Rod
I thought the international was a 52E series. The 2 that i have seen had an E in the serial number . Both had a deep recessed crown a free rifle thumb hole stock , also all accesories like a palm rest hooked butt plate adjustable for length of pull full rail international sights etc. is this what the rifle looks like?
I agree with GerryM The acction will also be stamped wiht ab E.
We're going back 50 years ago, I but believe there was a 52-D International Match. I upgraded my pre-A 52 around that time (it has a Titherington barrel), and couldn't find a 52 C International Match (4-position stock). I wound up with a slightly used D and a BalVar 6-24 scope for $300.00 I would have had to wait a couple years to use the scope -- at that time, juniors could shoot iron sights only. Had there been a 52E in 1962, I imagine I would have drooled over it...
Wikipedia seems to agree,
In point of fact, my old pre-A 52 would outshoot the D, until I recently put a Shilen barrel on it.
Actually, I'm glad for the Wikipedia information, because a number of the "International Match" rifles were made by Al Freeland, & we weren't always aware of the difference. So while there was a 52D International Match, apparently it wasn't offered by Winchester until 1969. Before that, you just got a Freeland stock & put it on yourself.
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1961 or so was also about the time the Anschutz was first making its appearance in the ranks of the junior shooters (it was expensive). I remember being horrified at how well they shot. Sharon Staggers & her brother Ron had Anschutz...but nobody had a crush on Ron...and besides, the Santori girls were equally worthy of crushes...& shot 52 C's...
I guess we don't get that these days, either.
Last edited by Charles E; 07-06-2012 at 09:43 PM.
Charles, I also have a pre A 52 and it is still a shooter. From what I could find using the serial number mine was made around 1935, five years before I was born.
Jerry, mine's 34,9XX.
Here is a couple links with a bit on George Titherington's rifles. Sadly, all mine had was rebarreling. But along with "G. Titherington Stockton Cal, the barrel is stamped with the action's serial number, so I know it's his fitting. And the receiver behind the left locking lug is not cracked (It's a Winchester, not a Titherington action).
(See the "Firing Lines" by Frank J. Taylor article)
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Glad you like yours. If, like mine, yours is no longer a valuable original, you could put a new barrel on it & have Don Stith (or someone like him) make up a BR sporter stock for you. It can be set up to make weight with a Shilen sporter profile barrel, BTW.
Like many HP shooters that I know, I bought a couple of the D models when they were offered by the CMP several years ago. Am still kicking myself for not getting 'on the ball' and getting one of the C models as well, but I should be - and am - happy to have what I've got. My first - and only - previous exposure to M52s was during a short stint at college in 1969, where I joined the campus rifle club for the princely sum of $10, and was therefore able to shoot a 52D whenever I had the time and/or desire at the indoor range in the basement of the ROTC building. IIRC, there was no additional charge for ammo or targets, and you could shoot as much as you wanted.
I restored the better of the two CMP D models, in addition to having Karl Kenyon modify the trigger, and it now wears a Weaver T24 on a Ken Vianni mount. The 2nd one was in such poor shape that I decided to make a sporter out of it, and so had Mike Ross fit & chamber a Broughton SS match bbl that was contoured to match the bbls. on the Browning 52B sporters. I bought a nice English walnut blank from Cecil Fredi in Las Vegas, then had Doan Trevor make a sporter stock out of it. He did a beautiful job, and with another of Karl's triggers, this is a tack-driving rifle. Like most admirers of the M52, I've long lusted after an original sporter, but this one will just have to do.
My 52 D
My 52D was inherited from my great uncle. It has a 14 power Unertal scope and is in a straight walnut stock with a metal buttplate. The safety has never work correctly. Has a 2oz trigger and single shot magazine follower. The first time I saw the rifle was when my great uncle was shototing it at 100yards off his screened in porch (early 1960's). His targets were 1 cent FDR stamps. I was amazed at 5 shots groups (head shots) on postage stamps. My great uncle could not stand president Rosevelt.
Last edited by Rustystud; 07-11-2012 at 09:30 PM.
A laminated stock from the Winchester factory? Highly unlikely for that time period. Most claimed "prototypes" or "special orders" turn out not to be factory original guns. Proving them to be factory guns is difficult or impossible.
I remember seeing photos...........
in the late 60s, (Winchester advertisements) of a laminate stock 52 International, as a matter of fact, that was the last and only 52 available at that time.
Sorry I never ordered one at the shop I worked in, but I just wasn't "in" to that at the point in time.
All, As for the laminated stocks, Roy Dunlap made a lot of the stocks for Int'l Teams. Used small laminates from Sam Bond. Have two, 1 on 52 and other on 308 Int'l gun. The wood is 3/16 X 2, at 16 lenghts. If I knew how to do pictures ,I,d show them. Roy Did great work
The last 52's winchester made were of the E seiries. many stange combinations were being sold
I think they ran out of the D receivers, and were makeing rifles ordered as D's on E model recevers.
They were sought after by most shooters until the annies started beating them.
Top shooters in the 60,s often had a HART barrel installed. Some didn't waste time with the factory tubes.
If a high master dropped an X he wanted to know why.
I believe in those days, the term was "life master." At least, among Junior shooters. The rest of us, including master shooters, qualified each year. I believe what matches counted could vary by state. You could drop from master to expert, or even on rare occasion, to sharpshooter. If you did it on purpose, it was called "sandbagging."
Originally Posted by GerryM
In California in the very early '60s, a large number of experts and masters wound up with a disastrous result at a major qualifying match, so shot the state championships as marksman. And the top finishers in the California State Championship match, except for a few life masters, were "marksmen." I don't remember the year, but it was one shot at San Gabriel rather than Fort Ord.
Yeah, I was one of those. I kept real quite, because even though I shot well, I came in 6th overall in the dreaded "marksman" class. The only thing lower was Marksman II. I imagine some "marksmen" were sandbagging -- a few people always did -- but most of us just suffered that poor qualifying match.
You're spot on with the rest according to my memory, though. There is no question the Anschutz were more accurate, and gaining ground, even with Junior shooters (they were expensive). The later factory 52 barrels, after the C anyway, were not consistently good -- not even as good as earlier 52 barrels. Fit and finish with the actions had dropped a bit, too.
I've always hated the IBS's choice of "Long Range Marksman" as the equivalent to the "Precision Rifleman" for point-blank shooters -- "marksman" being the lowest class in the NRA. I guess in the benchrest world though, 1,000 yard shooters will always be the poor cousins...
Last edited by Charles E; 07-12-2012 at 03:40 AM.
In the matches here in central New York it was quite different.
You started shooting against the masters in master class to start. after a few matchs you hade a classification by score.
It took a while but soon you were re classified once your classified higher you couldn't go back. That sand bagging happened but mostly people just below the master class. They were trying for points to get those silver spoons.
lets see $100 to go to a regional and shoot lousy? For points , to get a silver spoon?
not even a spoon but a few points to cash in. The math was not there after a while.
I guess thats what stifeled small bore. The games and the cost