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View Full Version : What's Special About the Winchester 52?


steelap
06-13-2011, 08:38 AM
There seems a huge amount of excitement over the release of the Winchester 52 family by the CMP.

Is it that these are just collectable rifles, or are they inherently more accurate than, say, the Remington 40X?

How do they compare, accuracy wise, to the Kimber 82G?

I'm trying to decide if I should try to get one of these rifles, or if its just a collectable I can do without.

I'd appreciate reading everyone's opinion.

"Life is Good!"

aka108
06-13-2011, 09:04 AM
Simply a very nice target rifle that is no longer manufactured. Very accurate in it's day but did not make the grade against Anschutz in that area. Old friend of mine has one and it is still a beauty. Shot it a few times about 60 years ago.

presidentg
06-13-2011, 09:16 AM
Warning!The following is personal opinion:eek:
What makes a Winchester 52 so special? Well, it's a Winchester and that's a special Name brand. The 52 has great history going back to the late twenties and has established a considerable record of top performance. Always well made, with regular up dates/up grades in design to keep the rifle competitive. I think that through out it production it was treated as a flagship product along with the custom shop rifles and side by side shotguns. If you really like .22 rifles you just have to have one in the collection.

The Kimbers are very fine rifles and with the right ammo are equal to the Win 52 in performance. The design and assembly are good but fall short of the Win 52. Some examples appear to have been assembled with greater care than others. What makes the Kimber important is the small production run and the fact that it represents the last real American effort to produce a top grade .22 target rifle.

The Remington 40X is the high water mark of .22 caliber rifles. This becomes very hard to put into words. To be reasonable in this I have to say that there is very little difference between the 40X and the 52 as far as performance. That said I find the 40X to be superior to the 52 in design, assembly and finish. I would have to state that the Winchester has that famous breaking-glass-rod trigger release while the 40X is a touch softer feeling. A mystic has grown around the 40X, rightfully so, that will keep the values high. Words won't do it, you have to hold, operate and shoot one. If it speaks to your heart, you're doomed. They tend to be expensive when you can find one at all. To sum it up, for me, if I could only have one .22 it would be my USMC 40X.

Please remember these are my personal feelings. Others will differ. :cool:

surplusshooter
06-13-2011, 02:12 PM
The Winchester model 52 is legendary in it's superb accuracy and high quality of workmanship. Many experts consider the Winchester model 52D heavy barrel model to be the finest of all in the long line of the Winchester 52 series. The Remington model 40XB (the heavy barrel model built on the short 700 style action) is right there with the 52D. Both of these models are the standard by which all other percision American made target rifle are judged. I could not justifiably say that one is superior to the other unless you are talking about the older models of each manufacture. The Kimber 82G is a super fine target rifle in it's own right but is not truly in the same league as the Winchester 52D or the Remington 40XB. Just my opinion, based on my own personal experience and what all the experts have written in all the books on this subject.

MikeH
06-13-2011, 05:54 PM
I own a USMC 40X ,a very fine rifle ,mine will shoot very nicely. I also own 2 Winchester 52C's one of them is my favorite 22 or for that matter my favorite rifle.I have had a Kimber 82G,and H&R M12 they are not in the same category as the 52 or 40X. My 52's shoot very well at 50 &100 yards.The stock on the 52C really feels good in your hands.Most of all they don't make anymore and they are a quality firearm... Mike

HarleySteve
06-13-2011, 07:00 PM
The 52D is Special for me because it was the rifle I shot in 3 Position when I was in High School. I only hope I am lucky enough to get one of the 52D's when they open my letter. I snail-mailed it in when the official announcement went out; plus I am in Arizona so I may have lost my chance. But there is still a chance.

~Steve

dsm01s
06-13-2011, 08:43 PM
What is special about a Winchester 52? Legendary name, legendary accuracy and made during a time when fit, finish and craftsmanship were as important as function. The ones the CMP are selling - Cs and Ds - are the best of the 52s. Get one if you can - they are fine rifles.

Dollar Bill
06-13-2011, 09:10 PM
Old world craftsmanship. It was their "Flagship" rifle for nearly 40 years. I have a Lyman STS 12X on my 52C and it's a joy to shoot at 50 and 100 yds.

joe wilson
06-13-2011, 11:49 PM
The 52's were (and are?) the benchmark for target 22 rifles. I have extensively shot with a 52D but do not own one. I do own a HB 40X and a Kimber 82G. The 52 did indeed have a crisp trigger compared to my 40X but the 40X stock fits me more naturally. That said, last weekend I took the Kimber out and sighted it in from my previous range trip where I was shooting in dead calm wind at 100 yds. I cranked it down to 50 yds yesterday. After sighting in, my shooting buddy told me to strap it in his sled and see what it would do. It cut cloverleafs. Standing over the action I could see the big thick barrel whip then vibrate. Using Wolf Match it really found its stride. My brand new Kimber will give most 50+ year old 52's and 40X's a run for their money but I would be proud to own a 52 or another 40X and Kimber. They are each fine target rifles of the quality that we will never see again. Get at least one of these big three while you can. You will never regret it.

Mr. O has said the CMP will be out of Kimbers in one year at the current sales rate. They will be the next 52/40X.

edlmann
06-14-2011, 08:25 AM
Nothing special about the Winchester 52 - move along . . .

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lN6pVKFW2Dc/TcFQkkkHQfI/AAAAAAAAARw/CUKPB4QVkzw/s1600/Mindtrick.jpg

dave tengdin
06-16-2011, 10:43 AM
At the price, they are allfine rifles, and will out shoot an Anschutz 64, which sells at roughly the same price on the GB and AA marketplace, though for most, the stocks are not as conducive to fine marksmanship as the Anschutz. remember, these were military rifles, rather than Olympic free rifles. However, they will not be able to compete with the more modern Anschutz rifles, such as the 1913, 2013, or 2213. For most people, stock fit and configuration, and weight and balance location make more difference in their scores than a slight difference in mechanical engineering. Or, put another way, if you like it, shoot it. Practice, practice practice. when you outgrow the gun, you'll know, but that may take awhile.

bluesteelnwood
06-17-2011, 09:50 AM
The Winchester 52D or Rem 40X were not military rifles rather commercial rifles bought by the military with no difference between military bought and commercial other than the marking. There were Olympic style stock Winchester 52Cs that were the basis for the 52D. These had no magazine cut in the receiver, i.e. the C made for the Olympics and the prototype for the D.

dave tengdin
06-17-2011, 10:40 AM
I stand corrected, and yield the point.

aka108
06-17-2011, 11:48 AM
It's too bad that today you almost have to have a custom rifle built in order to match the quality of fit, finish, material and accuracy of some of the off the shelf commercial and military rifles made in the late 1800's and up thru the first half of the 1900's.

ramit
06-17-2011, 01:25 PM
Back in the late 90's , where I was working, one of the older gents came to me , and said "i know you like guns, and I have a 22 from one of my siblings that died, they use to shot competition way back when... and if you want it you can have it for 75bux."
Went to his car, and saw this well taken care of, but showing light use mostly on the wood, but still very clean (it was used in competition) 10lb beautifully finished 22 target rifle. No rust on the bluing, bluing must be 99%.. just on the custom butt pcs, the aluminum oxidized some what... Cleaned up well.
At the time, any 22 is worth 75bux, so handed the cash and took ownership of it, and the bag of accessories that went with it (had the other butt pcs (hook) , plus the palm rest, ammo, mags, a box full of the inserts for the sights, both sights were on the rifle).


At the time, and for a long time I had no idea of the worth. Maybe thought a few hundred at best....

A few years later, went to a local gun shop and asked how much they would give me for it.. 75bux... I said no tnx, I'll keep it for that.. still with no idea how much it was worth, held on to it, and shot it once in awhile for fun.. at 50ft, single hole from multiple shots with the aguila target ammo... the most amazing trigger and sights ever..
The sights tuned just for that 50ft round bull target..

Finally a few years ago, after discovering gunbroker, I said, let me look it up.
uhm. Winchester 52 (C on the end of the s/n, assume it's a C, and s/n search says made in 1961, seems to be one of the last C's, since the D came out in 61)..
#@#$@#$ and the shop was only gonna give me 75 bux for it.. he had to know better.

Anyway, wont sell it, to fun to shoot... and a beautiful pcs of American workmanship.

bluesteelnwood
06-17-2011, 08:36 PM
When short of money, I brought a H&R M12 with Redfield International rear and Olympic front sight to gun store to see what I could get. The guy, or should I say crook offered me fifty dollars, saying that there was no market for 22 target rifles in that area. The sights were worth more than that. Funny, used Ruger 10/22s were selling for over a hundred dollars.

photrod2000
06-19-2011, 07:05 PM
Nothing really. I have one I won off of the CMP auction years ago, and other than the ROTC sticker, it is just another .22.

HughUno
06-19-2011, 08:17 PM
http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?40444-Model-52-Winchester-Calfee

about the 52 and variations.

Calfee is (was?) an incredible monthly contributor to PS magazine over many years (have not subscribed in about 7-8 years however).

col b
06-20-2011, 04:58 PM
I'm trying to decide if I should try to get one of these rifles, or if its just a collectable I can do without.

I'd appreciate reading everyone's opinion.

"Life is Good!"

Alexander, I would say that you can do without.....if you change your mind, I'm sure there will be more than a few on Gunbroker in a couple of weeks for twice the price!! :D

foxfyr1
06-22-2011, 08:55 AM
The Winchester model 52 is legendary in it's superb accuracy and high quality of workmanship. Many experts consider the Winchester model 52D heavy barrel model to be the finest of all in the long line of the Winchester 52 series. The Remington model 40XB (the heavy barrel model built on the short 700 style action) is right there with the 52D. Both of these models are the standard by which all other percision American made target rifle are judged. I could not justifiably say that one is superior to the other unless you are talking about the older models of each manufacture. The Kimber 82G is a super fine target rifle in it's own right but is not truly in the same league as the Winchester 52D or the Remington 40XB. Just my opinion, based on my own personal experience and what all the experts have written in all the books on this subject.

Totally agree. I own a civilian-purchased 40-XB with a standard barrel and also an 1972 vintage Anschutz 1413 (International Free Rifle base on the Model 54 action and heavy barrel). I have not been able to see any difference in basic accuracy from the bech between the 40-XB and the Anschutz when each is using its favorite ammo. The Remington, the Winchester and the Anschutz represent the peak of accuracy in (sort of) mass procuced match rifles. The Kimber is really more of a target rifle which is capable of shooting groups close to, but not equal to, the capabilities of the match rifles.

freeamerica
06-23-2011, 11:32 PM
Personally, I'd love to have one but for sentimental reasons as much as anything. I had the privilege of using a 52D for 3 position when I was on the ROTC rifle team. I have a 40X and it is a fine rifle indeed, but still miss the glass like break of the 52 trigger. That gun was sure great to me.