52-2 poor accuracy

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52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Magload on 5/15/2017, 3:40 pm

Well I suspect now I know why this 52-2 was on Gunbroker and I got a good deal on it.  After all the hassle of replacing springs and sear and hammer with new parts and getting it to function fine the groups off a rest and nothing to write home about.  I benched rest ir indoors at 20yds as if it won't group there it sure won't at 50yds.  Went to the outdoor this morning to try it at 50yds as I mounted a 4X scope on it for testing but there was 9 shooters there which just makes testing to hard.  So this afternoon I went to the indoor range.  My good guns will benchrest to a one hole group at 20yds.  This gun shot a 3" group with the plated DEWC and 2" with the Zero HBWC.  Both loads with 2.8gr BE.  Just to be fair to the gun I am going to look for factory loads to test it.  My GP100 shot under a 1" so my loads might need a little crimp changing but it wasn't that bad.  

Maybe barrel?  The bushing seams to be tight.  A good gun smith maybe?  Don
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by jglenn21 on 5/15/2017, 3:47 pm

forget the DEWC.. I could never get them to shoot at all in my wife 52-1.. the Zero HBWC should work pretty well, once you figure out what you gun likes for crimp..


by tight do you mean the bushing is tight to the barrel or tightly  screwed in
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by jglenn21 on 5/15/2017, 3:49 pm

BTW my 52 likes a pretty good bit of roll crimp with the bullet dead even with the end of the case.(more or less)
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Magload on 5/15/2017, 3:56 pm

jglenn21 wrote:forget the DEWC.. I could never get them to shoot at all in my wife 52-1.. the Zero HBWC should work pretty well, once you figure out what you gun likes for crimp..


by tight do you mean the bushing is tight to the barrel or tightly  screwed in
Both.  I don't feel any movement.  I was just testing the plated DEWCs as I have a 1000 and figured they would do for 50 foot practice.  Don
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Magload on 5/15/2017, 4:02 pm

jglenn21 wrote:BTW my 52 likes a pretty good bit of roll crimp with the bullet dead even with the end of the case.(more or less)
I will try that these are only crimped enough to remove the bell.  I always have a hard time measuring that crimp area.  Not that good at seeing exactly where the calibers are touching.  Don
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by jglenn21 on 5/15/2017, 4:08 pm

I always just screwed the front bushing in by hand and never used the wrench.

try some Remington factory target WC in it... think they call it target master these days


Last edited by jglenn21 on 5/15/2017, 8:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by BE Mike on 5/15/2017, 4:39 pm

If you want to see how the gun will really shoot, get some Federal, Winchester or Remington match ammo. Don't waste your time with stuff like Fiocchi. Zero manufactured ammo should shoot really well, too.
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Magload on 5/15/2017, 6:32 pm

BE Mike wrote:If you want to see how the gun will really shoot, get some Federal, Winchester or Remington match ammo. Don't waste your time with stuff like Fiocchi. Zero manufactured ammo should shoot really well, too.
I really like Federal  Match as I use it as my standard to compare my reloads to.  The Zero ammo might be a good idea as it is their bullers I am shooting and I could make some measurements.  I really like this old gun and want to see it shoot well.  Really don't plan on using it for CF matches just shoot it for the fun of it.  Don
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Jon Eulette on 5/15/2017, 7:23 pm

Everytime I shoot a match and see someone shooting a 52 I go look at their target at 50 yds. 99% of shots are tipped and groups aren't too great. Lousy pistol in stock form for 50 yds in my opinion. Rarely will one shoot really well. I can't recall one ever breaking 880 in CF match. One good SF target in 20 matches doesn't count. It has to be repeatable. I tried one when I first got into BE shooting. Couldn't get a group at 50. Went 1911 .38 spl instead. It has never let me down.
Jon
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by dronning on 5/15/2017, 7:51 pm

My 52-2 is used for reduced distance matches (indoors) only.  Very fun and accurate to shoot at 25yds and 50ft.  Almost sounds like one of those toy pistols that shoot a cork and doesn't have much more recoil either.
- Dave
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Magload on 5/15/2017, 7:56 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Everytime I shoot a match and see someone shooting a 52 I go look at their target at 50 yds. 99% of shots are tipped and groups aren't too great. Lousy pistol in stock form for 50 yds in my opinion. Rarely will one shoot really well. I can't recall one ever breaking 880 in CF match. One good SF target in 20 matches doesn't count. It has to be repeatable. I tried one when I first got into BE shooting. Couldn't get a group at 50. Went 1911 .38 spl instead. It has never let me down.
Jon
Jon I am going to keep a eye out for a 38 SPL in 1911.  1911s are my favorite pistols but I suspect one is going to be tough to fine.  Don
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Chris Miceli on 5/15/2017, 8:15 pm

Probably why Mr. Keefer has spent time and $ to get the 52 to shoot.
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by jglenn21 on 5/15/2017, 8:51 pm

frankly I always felt S&W simply took a model 39 barrel and re-chambered it to a Special... bad twist and a tight bore.
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by orpheoet on 5/15/2017, 9:55 pm

I love my 52-2, shot my best slow fire ever with it at 50 ft. But sadly it does not do well at 50 yards. Even with Federal Match.
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by BE Mike on 5/16/2017, 8:08 am

Jon Eulette wrote:Everytime I shoot a match and see someone shooting a 52 I go look at their target at 50 yds. 99% of shots are tipped and groups aren't too great. Lousy pistol in stock form for 50 yds in my opinion. Rarely will one shoot really well. I can't recall one ever breaking 880 in CF match. One good SF target in 20 matches doesn't count. It has to be repeatable. I tried one when I first got into BE shooting. Couldn't get a group at 50. Went 1911 .38 spl instead. It has never let me down.
Jon
Yet on page 104 of "The Pistol Shooters Treasury" Gil Hebard did extensive machine rest tests at 50 yards with a S&W 52. He tested four different guns and shot 300 rounds (100 Fed., 100 Rem., and 100 Western) out of each gun. The average of the 3 different ammos were all under 3". I believe Remington did the best. He says that his reloads didn't do as well. He surprisingly did test a Lyman 148 gr. WC from a mould (no hollow base) and used a taper crimp only. His reloads averaged a little over 3". A gun and ammo that'll hold 3" groups, on the average at 50 yards will get you an 880 or better, if you can shoot the pistol. All that being said, in my experience, the S&W model 52 is very unforgiving of even a slight error in technique. Those shots you call out of the ten ring will often be another scoring ring out from your call. I credit my discontinued use of my model 52 in centerfire (I used factory match ammo) as a partial reason for climbing from outdoor expert to outdoor master. I took the advice of more skilled bullseye shooters than myself.
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by orpheoet on 5/16/2017, 8:49 am

I haven't given up on the 52-2 outdoors. I hear rumors now and then about aftermarket barrels from Clark. I shoot mine with metallic sights only so its very possible I am a large part of the problem. That being said indoors my slow fires are in the 90's with it. Outdoors not even close.... It seems to make good shots better and bad shots worse.....
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Magload on 5/16/2017, 10:53 am

I been told by others and the range that it is a very hard gun to shoot.  Can't see why but when I can't shoot it benchrest I must agree.  There is a lady at out BE range that shoots one very well so I know it can be done.  Don
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Jon Eulette on 5/16/2017, 10:57 am

Not to be a smart ass, but from the time I broke 2600 I cannot remember ever being beaten in a CF match by someone shooting a 52. I have been spanked by Euro .32's and 1911 .38's  but never a 52. So I'm not trying to bash the gun, I've just never seen one be a winner when shooting 50 yds. 
Jon
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Magload on 5/16/2017, 11:13 am

Jon it has to be the 52 and not the 38 SPl since the 1911 38 shoots well.  Yet my next question for you is, could any of these 52-2 shooters beat you anyway with a good gun?  Maybe it is guys like me that can't shoot anyway that buy these things.  It is a good thing I love 1911s and 45 ACP is my favorite cartridge and can be used for CF also.  No worry my friend I don't have enough years left to beat you. lol!   Don
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Jon Eulette on 5/16/2017, 11:20 am

Back in the day on the USAR All Reserve Pistol Team we had over 30 2650 shooters on the team. Some of those guys would bring a 52 to matches. They never put up big scores with the 52's. Their were a few 2600 shooters that shot them religiously and same thing. So I've seen some really good shooters try.....but never produce. It was always the 50 yd that killed them. Twist rate it too slow in 52 so it doesn't stabilize the bullet very well. Another thing: Gil Hebard might've got those groups from a machine rest, but shooting from hand is a whole different story.
Jon
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Chris Miceli on 5/16/2017, 11:21 am

Jon Eulette wrote:Not to be a smart ass, but from the time I broke 2600 I cannot remember ever being beaten in a CF match by someone shooting a 52. I have been spanked by Euro .32's and 1911 .38's  but never a 52. So I'm not trying to bash the gun, I've just never seen one be a winner when shooting 50 yds. 
Jon
There is a Keefer built 52 I bet that shooter can give you a run for you money Jon Smile
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Jon Eulette on 5/16/2017, 12:08 pm


There is a Keefer built 52 I bet that shooter can give you a run for you money Jon Smile
That's a Formula 1 model 52 race gun! That gun should be in the NRA museum someday!
Jon
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by C.Perkins on 5/16/2017, 6:44 pm

My .02 cents worth on shooting the M52.

Fact is that I made master shooting the .22 and .45 only.
Master was my goal and once I met that I decided to have more fun with shooting then working so dang hard to get there, it did take a few years of dedication.
Decided to shoot all three guns in bullseye cause I have always believed that was the spirit during the beginning of it.
A .22(civilian), a .38(police) and a .45(military).
So that is what I do now, 3 different guns for a 2700.
A few years back I was shooting around 25-30 outdoor 2700's a year.
Fast forward to today, I may shoot 2 or 3 a year.
Nothing to work for, you might as well enjoy and have fun.

Back to the M52.
To me, the pistol is plenty accurate but you need to pay attention.
My best score was 872 when I was shooting quite a bit but now average in the 840's.
The long line is in the 90's all day long unless you really mess up, and it is easy to do.
The short line is in the mid to upper 90's all day long unless you really mess up, and is easy to do.

The M52 is a very fun pistol to shoot and is my favorite.
Do not get discouraged if you cannot clean a target. 
I have and have not at the short line.
The long line has had some close calls.

Enjoy the M52 cause I do.



Clarence
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Magload on 5/16/2017, 7:29 pm

Clarence I really like the gun and with your help and others on this forum I do have it legal now.  It is fun to shoot but I am sure I will not shot it well till I get the groups tighten up off the benchrest.  I have a modified Hyskore pistol rest that with my Victory and the VQ barrel will shoot a one hole group at 20yds.  I didn't even measure the group I got with the 52 but would say it was 2".  2" off a rest is not going to work for me as my groups off hand are bad enough with a great gun with out adding inches extra to them.  It maybe my loads but we talked about them before and they appeared ok.  I was unable to find factory HBWCs online for testing.  Seams most stuff available is RN or a few SWCs.  Those are not going to work in this gun but I guess I could shoot them single shot not loading them in the mag.  I don't like this grip mounted rail as it sits the dot to high but I have a level on the scope tube and used it shooting the groups.  With the dot that high off the bore a little cant during sustained fire will effect group size.  Not a lot but some.  I am going to check with BME and see if he has made any of the Bomar slide mounts yet.  Don
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Re: 52-2 poor accuracy

Post by Allen Barnett on 5/16/2017, 7:53 pm

Seems to me that Bill Blankenship won a national chamlionship or two shooting an "out of the box" Smith 52 back in the day if my memory serves me correctly from the stories I have heard my dad tell many years ago.  As for a side note my dad always talked about how badly Joe Benner's K-38 would perform out of a Ransom rest but in Joe's hand well his performance speaks for itself also.  I have owned one and only one 52 but also had one when shooting on the Missouri National Guard team.  It is without a doubt the most unforgiving firearm I ever tried to shoot, that is why I don't own one any longer.

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