S&W Model 52s

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Post by OldShooter43 on 12/30/2018, 2:31 pm

First topic message reminder :

How many shooters are still competing with an S&W model 52?  I've been looking at a couple listed online but don't know if their time has come and gone.  I'm also interested in anything I should look out for when considering a purchase.  I've found several that only have one magazine and that seems to be a problem that could be hard to fix.

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Post by SmokinNJokin on 1/6/2019, 11:57 am

Same here, finger tight.

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Post by SmokinNJokin on 1/6/2019, 7:29 pm

Turns out, Hogue makes some really nice full checker grips for the 52 that cost quite a bit less than the Herrett's.

https://www.hogueinc.com/s-w-39-goncalo-checkered

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Post by LSM 124 on 1/8/2019, 7:00 pm

+1 on the Hogue grips. I have a pair on my 52-2 in Cocobolo (checkered) and really like them! Years ago I bought another pair of Hogues for the 52 that didn't have the checkering, and while they are very pretty (and glossy), they were kind of hard to hold on to, especially if when my hand started to sweat!

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Post by OldShooter43 on 1/16/2019, 8:25 am

I just received the 52-1 yesterday.  The "fitters" mark on the bottom of the frame in front of the mag well is "M".  Could that be a variation on Eddie Mitchell's builds?  I'm now in the process of tracking down spare parts that may need to be replaced.  Any suggestions?  I know that I can get recoil springs, but I'm wondering about firing pin and hammer springs. It would also be nice to have a spare extractor if any are available for the 52/52-1.

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Post by Olde Pilot on 1/16/2019, 9:13 am

Eddie's fitter's mark is "2" and he only remembered Tony Gregonis as "3". Others used initials or other numbers but who?/which? is unknown.

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Post by OldShooter43 on 1/16/2019, 9:17 am

OK.  Thanks for the info.

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Post by LenV on 1/16/2019, 9:17 am

Extractors come up every once in awhile on E-bay. I scored one last year for my 52 no dash. Just add it to your watch list to be notified if one comes up. Mine is a "3"

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Post by OldShooter43 on 1/16/2019, 9:25 am

Thanks for the tip, Len.

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Post by Bmitch996 on 1/16/2019, 11:31 am

Numrich has some 52 parts available

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Post by OldShooter43 on 1/16/2019, 11:37 am

Yep.  I ordered a bushing wrench there (before I knew a 3/4 " 12 pt socket would work) and lo and behold, their wrench doesn't fit correctly.  I had to take a file to it to get it workable.

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Post by OldShooter43 on 1/17/2019, 6:53 am

I just found a "new/old stock" extractor for sale.  It's listed as the "old style long extractor for the model 52".  I'm thinking that this should fit my 52-1 since the extractor change occurred with the 52-2.  Can someone confirm this?  Any help would be appreciated.

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Post by mustachio on 4/5/2019, 6:15 pm

I am 69 and still shoot competition with my 52-2, I have 5 mags for it, it came with one and I paid $50 each for 4 more from an old guy at the range who does not shoot 52 anymore, they sell for over $100 on Ebay.. I use the full checkered grips from Thailand and they are very comfortable to shoot and high quality for $28.00 shipped. I have Herrett's target grips, but when I use them, I pull my shots left (maybe too much downward thumb pressure). I would add a pic, but may have to wait 7 days.

S&W Model 52s - Page 3 CBfLfGB

S&W Model 52s - Page 3 PXUtmZu


Last edited by mustachio on 4/14/2019, 10:50 am; edited 6 times in total (Reason for editing : added info)
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Post by Speedy396 on 4/6/2019, 12:41 pm

I was lucky and actually found a couple NOS mags at the local shop for a song. So it doesn’t hurt to check and ask. I’ll have to try the 12pt socket as mine did not come with the spanner either.

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Post by mikemyers on 4/6/2019, 5:17 pm

Push the "plunger" in with one finger, tighten the bushing nut finger-tight, release the plunger and back up the bushing until the plunger fits int the slot.  Easy, no tools needed, and the expensive bushing (made from unobtainium) won't get damaged.   :-)

Slide lock comes out first, and later on, goes in last.
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Post by LenV on 4/6/2019, 6:50 pm

Is it the unobtainium that makes the pistol light up front? In a more serious vain. Mike is right about just doing it by hand. He can do it with small hands and I do it that way with big hands so it should work for everyone. My finger tight might be different then his finger tight however.

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Post by mikemyers on 4/6/2019, 7:10 pm

(Len, if you search for a YouTube video on how to take apart the M-52, the first one that comes up, shows a terrible way to do this, struggling to unscrew and screw in the bushing while under spring tension.  I saw that, and decided it was a good way to damage the fine threads, or worse, so kept looking.  I wish there was a way to get the guy who made it to correct it.  I think I messaged him once years ago.       .......as to my "finger tight", with the button pushed in, I spin the bushing until it stops, no pressure at all, release the button, and turn the bushing backwards until it clicks in place.  It felt safer to me doing it that way, then forcing it at all.)
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Post by bruce martindale on 4/6/2019, 8:34 pm

Why should it even be tight? The plunger keeps it in place.

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Post by mikemyers on 4/6/2019, 9:06 pm

Bruce, I think what I'm doing now is what I read in the instructions that came with the gun, but it's been so long I'm not sure.  You're right of course - with the plunger it can't loosen up any more, and I just didn't want to apply excess pressure to the threads.  

I suspect that everything on the gun is supposed to fit like a fine Swiss watch.  (My gun wasn't that way, but that's been corrected I hope.)

It has beautiful balance in the hand or hands.  It is just so smooth.  It's a good thing they made so many of them, as otherwise it would be unaffordable.  Now it's just "expensive".

I hope I can shoot it well enough without optics.
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Post by Bmitch996 on 4/7/2019, 10:10 am

It can be done.  Eddie Mitchell circa 1966 iron sights, I now shoot the very same M-52 he is holding in the photo.S&W Model 52s - Page 3 Fullsi18

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Post by mikemyers on 4/7/2019, 10:35 am

Bmitch996 wrote:It can be done.  Eddie Mitchell circa 1966 iron sights, I now shoot the very same M-52 he is holding in the photo.......
Wow, you're holding a fine piece of history!

Regarding the first thing you wrote, "it can be done".  I think you're right, but I also think you're referring to the second key word in my sentence (it), not the first (I).

I hope I can shoot it well enough without optics.



I'm pretty sure the "it" is true, referring to the gun.
I'm not so sure about the "I" though.  
Even if I gain the ability to do so one handed, there's still my concern about eyesight, which is why I've been moving to optics.

The other thing is, after endless dry-firing this gun in my home, I'm starting to believe that I actually CAN see the sights well enough.
For unknown reasons (to me) the gun is more likely to remain undisturbed when I only use one hand, not two.  
Maybe this means there's only half as many tendons and muscles that can mess up my shot?


For reasons I can't yet put into words, my Model 41 in my hand feels like I'm holding my Model 41.
My 1911's in my hand feels like I'm holding one of my 1911 guns.
On the other hand, the Model 52 in my hand feels like it has become part of me.

Give me a long enough time, and I'll be able to put that into better words, but some of you will understand what I'm trying to say.
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Post by ser2711 on 4/11/2019, 2:30 am

The evolution of the S&W 52 and my dream is a S&W 952 in .30 Luger.. Much more accurate that .38 WC.at any distances and less "forgiving" weakness than S&W 52..reasons: more fast recoil and light bullet 93 grains. I have a S&W 952-2 in 9x21 the problem is to find who can do the barrel.. not easy at least in Europe.

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Post by bruce martindale on 4/11/2019, 7:17 am

In the how to post pictures sticky, I posted the model 52 trigger boost method via rubber strips in front of the trigger bow . They can't be too thick or too stiff, and have to fit under the slot for the recoil spring guide pin.

It's the easiest way to make legal weight. The alternative requires significant disassembly .

Good luck,

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