Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

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Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 2/19/2018, 7:47 pm

A very nice person on this forum sold me two boxes of ammo for my M-52, to use while I set up my RCBS Pro2000 press to make my own.  I did get that done, but haven't had a chance to do much with it for a while, as I've been concentrating on my 1911 and some medical issues, not to mention being out of the country for many months.


I set up a Dillon press that my brother bought, so he could make ammo for his own M-52.  He used to buy ammo, but wherever he got it from, it's no longer available.

For him, we started with a light load, but he got upset when it wasn't strong enough to work properly.  My goal was to increase the load gradually,  until we were done, but because of other things he had to do, we never got around to that.  (I don't care how long it takes, from what I've read, you don't rush things like that!!!)  Also, I don't feel comfortable around his Dillon, as I know so little about it, and when I see the primer tube, I shudder.  I know I shouldn't, but that's me.  Anyway, unless I get back there to work with him and spend however long it takes to teach him/us how to load safely with his Dillon, I don't discuss this very much.  (He needs a buddy who knows it, and can spend the time with him to get him running smoothly - I am several hours away.)


That brings me to the point of this post - are there any current sources for pre-built ammo suitable for the M-52?  At one point, someone suggested "Zero" but according to their web page, they only sell to dealers.  

Any advice?  

(My goal was to teach him how to make one single bullet at a time - if it took 10 minutes, or 60 minutes, I didn't care.  As I see things, until you can load ammo "manually", one by one, it's risky to be doing what the Dillon was made for.)
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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by james r chapman on 2/19/2018, 7:50 pm

Look up Roze distributors, the civilian part of Zero...

Zero bullets and ammo

http://www.rozedist.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=RZD&Product_Code=R607-A&Category_Code=ZBA-38SP

also Atlanta Arms, Precision Delta.
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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by Wobbley on 2/19/2018, 7:57 pm

Federal and Winchester still make their 148 wadcutter ammo but very seldom it seems.  Remington just announced they were quitting that product.  

Seller &Bellot, Fiocchi and Magtech have made it in the past but its availability is spotty.  Fiocchi doesn’t function my 52-2.  There are a few custom houses that will.  

I just wish Speer or Hornady would load their bullets in their line.
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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by brassmaster on 2/19/2018, 8:22 pm

Here's a source for tons of factory 148grain wadcutter by Federal & Winchester. You can buy 1 box of 50, 500 rounds or 1,000 rounds. I've bought this ammo from them, seamless transaction. I have owned three Model 52s and each one loved Federal or Winchester Match. Great results at both the long and short line. Guess you know Gil Hebard said the Model 52 was the hardest handgun to reload for. Good luck.

https://ammoseek.com/ammo/38-special/Federal-handgun-148grains-target
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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by Multiracer on 2/20/2018, 5:51 am

Brownells also stocks 148GHBWC 38 spcl ammo.

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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by BE Mike on 2/20/2018, 6:53 am

Dillon has good videos regarding their presses. Which press are you talking about? Roze is the website where Zero sells their ammo and components to the public. Hard to beat Zero price vs. quality, especially if one exchanges brass. Of the foreign .38 SPL 148 gr. HBWC ammo, I'd choose Magtech over the others.
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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 2/20/2018, 8:09 am

brassmaster wrote:Here's a source for tons of factory 148grain wadcutter by Federal & Winchester. You can buy 1 box of 50, 500 rounds or 1,000 rounds. I've bought this ammo from them, seamless transaction. I have owned three Model 52s and each one loved Federal or Winchester Match. Great results at both the long and short line. Guess you know Gil Hebard said the Model 52 was the hardest handgun to reload for. Good luck.

https://ammoseek.com/ammo/38-special/Federal-handgun-148grains-target

As a comment, I think that's a good deal.  For $20/50 shipped to your door, I'm almost tempted to order some.  My load for the 52-2 was 2.7 gr Red Dot under the standard 148 gr HBWC.


Edit: after looking at Rose distribution, their price of $277/1000 is better even without shipping included.

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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by brassmaster on 2/20/2018, 8:43 am

During ownership of my second 52, I began reloading for it. Tried 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 of Bullseye, Remington 148gr,hbwc and those loads produced "key-holing" or tumbling; however I did note that this problem made what should have been a solid 9 into a 10 and 10 into an x with its elongated entry wound, but that wasn't practical. Tried 700x and several other powders, with no appreciable accuracy improvement. I was working then and traveled a great deal, so I scrapped the reloading task and reverted to factory ammunition.  My next two 52s, I've used factory, but now that I have the time, I've taken up the challenge to develop an accurate load for my 52s. I recently purchased 2k Remington bullets, performed extensive research and scrubbed Bullseye Forum for posts regarding loading for the 52. This is more of a hobby or goal rather than any hardcore plans to use the 52 in CF stage.
I recall the 52s hay days and a high percentage of competitors at local matches and Camp Perry used 52s in the CF stage. Now, it's extremely rare to see a 52 on a firing line and most younger shooters don't know what they are. Occasionally, for the sake of nostalgia, I'll use the 52 in a match and have recently used it at Perry. I chuckle when younger shooters are mesmerized by the first exposure to a 52, prompting such queries as: "what is that pistol?" "What brand and caliber is it?"  "is this a new model S&W just start producing?" Maybe the advent of switching from the Colt Officer's Model to accurized 1911s elicited similar comments.
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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 2/20/2018, 5:04 pm

Brassmaster, the people I've described a Model 52 to can't believe it's real.  So few people know about it today, and every year that will get worse.  It sounds un-real, but for a lucky few, it's quite real.

I've sent my brother all the leads  posted in this thread, but he hasn't found any yet that are good for him.  He would love to find some Magtech - he is down to his last five boxes of it.


The last time I loaded for my own Model 52, using bullets from Terry and his recommended load, I only loaded 20 rounds to see how they worked. Seemed to work fine, and I'm all set to load more, once I get some other things done first.  (I don't like taking more than one gun to the range at a time, and I'm still working on my 1911.)
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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by hp246 on 2/20/2018, 6:04 pm

Yep.  Zero does sell to civilians.  I have been using there reloaded ammunition for club matches.  Shoots very well.

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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by troystaten on 2/21/2018, 10:29 am

Check out Precision Delta, they sell both the bullets and loaded ammunition.

https://www.precisiondelta.com/products/ammunition/38-spl/

Good luck

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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 2/21/2018, 10:40 am

Thanks, will pass this on.
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Re: Ready-made ammo for S&W Model 52

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