Model 52 details

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Model 52 details

Post by orpheoet on Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:55 pm

A friend who collects S&W revolvers offered me a NIB Model 52 (-2 I think)that was part of an estate he bought. He paid $950 and that seems like a pretty good deal to me. Any info about this model would be appreciated especially how to load for it. I have some HBWC loaded 2.6 gr of WST 1.16 OAL. will that work?

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by AllAces on Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:13 pm

The classic load for the M52 is 148 gr wadcutter and 2.8 gr Bullseye. I get best results with Zero 148 gr hollow base wadcutters. Penn Bullets also sells a 148 gr cast solid base bullet. Use a Lee Factory Crimp die for the crimp. Test your finished ammo by dropping them in the chamber (plunk test).

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by orpheoet on Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:19 pm

Great info AllAces. What else can you tell me about that model. I've only seen 1 at a match and it was not functioning very well...

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by Wobbley on Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:51 pm

Discussion on loads for the 52 here...http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t4582-vhitavouri-n310-for-38-spcl-148-hbwc

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by james r chapman on Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:24 pm


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Re: Model 52 details

Post by orpheoet on Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:48 am

I've confirmed it is a 52-2, not sure of the year. Unfired. I'll post a pic when it arrives. The last list price for them was $908 in 1992?!!

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by Rob Kovach on Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:16 am

That's a great price.

They shoot great.

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by C.Perkins on Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:38 am


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Re: Model 52 details

Post by orpheoet on Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:06 pm

I saw the gun today. It is a 52-2 made in 1974(A prefix). It does appear to be NIB. All the papers are in the box and the gun is pristine. So, I want to give it a good cleaning before I shoot it. Does it break down essentially like a 1911? Is there anything I need to be aware of? I haven't fired it yet, but the trigger......Wow is all I can say......

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by JIMPGOV on Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:50 am

2.6 WST WILL WORK FINE. SEAT THE BULLET JUST BELOW FLUSH, LIGHT ROLL CRIMP. JP

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:23 am

orpheoet wrote:I saw the gun today. It is a 52-2 made in 1974(A prefix). It does appear to be NIB. All the papers are in the box and the gun is pristine. So, I want to give it a good cleaning before I shoot it. Does it break down essentially like a 1911? Is there anything I need to be aware of? I haven't fired it yet, but the trigger......Wow is all I can say......

Kinda sorta close
The front bushing screws in
It may sound unmanly but you may want to read the instructions

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by Jerry Keefer on Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:24 am

orpheoet wrote: Does it break down essentially like a 1911? Is there anything I need to be aware of?  Trigger......Wow is all I can say......

It field strips easier, but the frame/slide internals are a little more complex.
IF you disassemble the slide..such as remove the firing pin/safety, etc. beware of the small detent plunger housed in the slide.. It can disappear with unbelievable ease..And they are no longer available from parts vendors. ..Extractors, and other small parts are no longer made or in stock. Magazines have evaporated, and are selling on e-bay for $100 + ea.
Great CF gun...with much potential..

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by rich.tullo on Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:29 am

New Gun its a great score, worth $1100 or much more

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by rich.tullo on Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:31 am

WST is a great powder for 38 special just need to be hyper careful.

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by james r chapman on Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:37 am

rich.tullo wrote:WST is a great powder for 38 special just need to be hyper careful.

How so? More so than BE/231 ?

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by jglenn21 on Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:09 pm

for me the wst is way better than BE at the long line..  231 can be pretty good also.


short line....pick one but WST will group better..BE will give you tens though.

My test of one is the wife's 52-1

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by Jerry Keefer on Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:13 pm

james r chapman wrote:
rich.tullo wrote:WST is a great powder for 38 special just need to be hyper careful.

How so? More so than BE/231 ?

When testing the 52 this spring, I settled on BE for the short line.. 231 has in the past produced too much residue and unburnt powder at the low pressure I want at the short line..
I have several cases of red box Federal, and three cases of AMI that has been shooting well at 50, so I have not worked on the longline reloads for this gun yet..Anyway,one more outdoor match, and it gets a new 10 twist barrel..
She is shooting i n the 850/860 range presently. I expect that to improve..

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by orpheoet on Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:45 pm


Here it is. I just field stripped and cleaned it. Shooting it saturday

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by orpheoet on Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:02 am

Hmm. Smith & Wesson just advised me to only field strip it as they have no parts, and nobody that works on them.....

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by desben on Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:39 am

I was going to buy a 52 for international center fire a few months back, but a friend suggested that I don't, due to lack of parts. I bought a S&W mod 14 revolver instead. Different animal though, and I wouldn't shoot NRA bullseye with it (well, maybe).

I've shot 52s before and it is an outstanding pistol. It is special. I loved the grip. And the trigger!! I shot a very small groups with ease using it. I wish S&W would restart making it... And the 952.

Wonderful pistol you have there.

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by Rob Kovach on Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:20 pm

Even though Jerry Keefer isn't accepting any new clients at this time, I'm sure we can find you help if something goes wrong.  We have access to some really good parts making gunsmiths on this forum and others.

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by rich.tullo on Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:57 pm

How so? More so than BE/231 ?


Because the power is fast and creates a lot of pressure which why you will not see 9mm WST loads even though 4gn works ok with a 115gn bullet. 


2.6/2.7 WST is a great load for WCs, soft and clean, not more than 2.7 if the WC has a hollow base. 


38spl is a low pressure case and long. Thus if you double charge 5.2 gn of WST in a 38 spl case the end result is really bad. But the bullet will fit in the case no problem with all that powder so you need to be careful. 


6gn 231 could be a problem but its a slower powder so it offers a slight degree of safety.

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by orpheoet on Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:24 pm

Anybody know what's going on with this pitting? I just noticed it. Is this common, should I be concerned?

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by Wobbley on Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:54 pm

Not on mine... But the gun is 30 years old.

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Re: Model 52 details

Post by C.Perkins on Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:08 pm

orpheoet wrote:Anybody know what's going on with this pitting? I just noticed it. Is this common, should I be concerned?

So it was not there when you purchased it a couple weeks ago ?
They look too large to be pitting/rust in that short of time.
Casting maybe ?

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Re: Model 52 details

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