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  #1  
Old 03-04-2020, 05:37 PM
fourbore
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Please tell me a bit about PreA 52 and stocks



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I looked at 4 Model 52 pre-A guns this week. They seem to all be a little different and two were modified and beat a bit. Two others looked good. Side by side the stock stood out. In the photo the gun with the military finger groove is a 10k serial. I like this finger groove stock. The other gun has a wide body stock and is a 20k serial. This is a nicer gun overall.

The 20k gun, has a proper ladder sight neatly in the rear dovetail. The 10k gun has a Lyman mounted on the side and inlet into the wood.

I like to know if both stocks are correct. Was that an option or a design change.

Also, I see a lot of these 52's with the side mounted rear sight that requires some wood removal. Was that a special order or a user modification?

Appreciate any other tips anyone can offer. I know about the crack. I saw one of those. These 2 are ok.
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2020, 05:05 AM
fourbore
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I could really use some help here, perhaps there is a book dedicated to the 52?
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:11 AM
Area51guy
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Early Model 52 rifles

The rifle with the finger grooves is, of course, the first version. The wide grip gun came sometime after about 1930 or thereabouts. Here are pictures of the correct rear sight for either one. The one with the Lyman peep has been modified. The second picture is my early 52 with a Lyman 15x scope and conversion to the speed lock. Serial 117xx circa 1927 or 1928. These are great rifles, but personally, I prefer the early one with the finger grooves. Happy hunting!
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2020, 08:06 AM
dokey
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Herbert Houses book, Winchester 52 Perfection in Design. There's one on Ebay listing 3335 3125 3063

Last edited by dokey; 03-05-2020 at 08:30 AM. Reason: added info
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Old 03-05-2020, 10:20 AM
doubs43
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The finger groove stock was the original model 52 stock, slightly modified in 1924.

Captain Albert F. Laudensack introduced the model 52 Winchester at the Caldwell matches in NJ in August, 1919. Laudensack was Winchester's chief representative and reported that the new rifle was a "huge hit".

Laudensack thought that the original finger groove stock could be improved and set out to design one. It was approved by Winchester in September, 1929, and finally went into production in mid-April, 1930. Unlike earlier stocks that were varnished, the Laudensack stocks were given an oiled or wax finish which was less expensive. Winchester also stipulated that until the supply of finger groove stocks were used up, the new Laudensack stock was an option at a cost of $5. At that time, the speed lock was also an extra cost option.

Your second rifle has the Laudensack improved stock.

Last edited by doubs43; 03-05-2020 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 03-05-2020, 10:27 AM
fourbore
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Cool. I may go back and kick the tires some more on the Laudensack stocked gun. That also has the correct sight and scope bases as shown by doubs.

I will get shopping on the book. I found two, kinda pricey. I will definitely give it some thought. Usually, the right book is worth getting.

Thanks, RFC is the greatest!

Last edited by fourbore; 03-05-2020 at 10:31 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2020, 10:33 AM
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Those style stocks were called Target models,whereas confusingly enough the later much beefier stocks are called Marksman.
Houzes book is pretty darn good for Pre A,A,B,&C Winchester 52's but info on 52D's and 52E's is very limited.
Houzes book is normally a bit pricey but by watching and waiting I managed to get a nice hardcover edition with the dust jacket intact for @ $65 or $75 a couple of years ago.Seewin and Big Larry here on RFC are pretty knowledgeable on Winchester 52's.
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Old 03-05-2020, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourbore View Post
Cool. I may go back and kick the tires some more on the Laudensack stocked gun. That also has the correct sight and scope bases as shown by doubs.

I will get shopping on the book. I found two, kinda pricey. I will definitely give it some thought. Usually, the right book is worth getting.

Thanks, RFC is the greatest!
I have a 'few' Winchester 52's,my 52A is a heavy barrel in the Target stock and has the Winchester 80A rear sight like the one in Area51's second photo.I like that sight as it's easy to set for various distance shooting and is similar to the Springfield 1903 sight.
Also,VERY IMPORTANT you should check to see if either rifle has the Speedlock conversion(Pre A),easy to tell as the non Speedlock will have a cocking knob at the rear of the bolt and look carefully with a magnifying glass and strong light at the left rear corner of the receiver by the safety when viewed from the top for the much dreaded "Crack of Doom"!!!
Large clear well lit photos of both the bolt and the area of the rear of the receiver would be helpful.
I hope this helps,it's all stuff I learned here from fellow RFC members within the past 4 or 5 years.
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Old 03-05-2020, 10:59 AM
Big Larry
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Make sure the rifle with the Lyman 48 is original. Many were added on and some very poorly. Now that said, some actually came from the factory with the Lyman 48J or a right side mounted M48T. It is very confusing and may take an expert to see if the rifle is 100% original. From around 1924 to around 1937 they changed the stock about 4 times. Then they changed it again.
The Houze book is your best bet. Houze recently died so there will be no more M52 books from him. The book can be pricey, but it is the best one out there.
Get serial numbers and all pertenant info and descriptions of the rifles and send me a private message. SEEWIN will also help you. Big Larry
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Old 03-05-2020, 11:03 AM
Big Larry
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Most important, heed LarDabears advice about the crack of doom. They lower the value of a M52 substantially and most collectors won't touch them. Big Larry
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Old 03-05-2020, 01:40 PM
fourbore
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I like the area51 gun. (not area 52?, Roswell then) I believe, I read here the 52 was designed as a US military trainer. That contract went to the SA 1922 rifle. For me the more historic Pre A would have the light finger groove stock. That is secondary to finding a 'correct' and clean example that does not set me back to far.

I believe there are two Pre A on gun broker right now, with the crack. One I can see in the photo and the other I examined in person. Small world. Neither one is mentioned in the description. But, hey, I could always be wrong. ...
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Old 03-05-2020, 04:22 PM
Big Larry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourbore View Post
I like the area51 gun. (not area 52?, Roswell then) I believe, I read here the 52 was designed as a US military trainer. That contract went to the SA 1922 rifle. For me the more historic Pre A would have the light finger groove stock. That is secondary to finding a 'correct' and clean example that does not set me back to far.

I believe there are two Pre A on gun broker right now, with the crack. One I can see in the photo and the other I examined in person. Small world. Neither one is mentioned in the description. But, hey, I could always be wrong. ...
I once bought a early M52 off the Internet and asked all the questions to include the COD. I received the rifle and after being told it had no crack, it did. Told the shipper if he refunded me $200 I would keep the rifle, which he agreed to.
In my collection I have a rather scarce 1932 heavy bbl. with the special order round top receiver and a right side mounted Lyman 48T. It has a barely noticeable COD. It was a gift from a friend. It is a very nice rifle. Great condition and 100% factory original. I will keep this rifle. COD in all. Big Larry
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2020, 04:26 PM
Big Larry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourbore View Post
I like the area51 gun. (not area 52?, Roswell then) I believe, I read here the 52 was designed as a US military trainer. That contract went to the SA 1922 rifle. For me the more historic Pre A would have the light finger groove stock. That is secondary to finding a 'correct' and clean example that does not set me back to far.

I believe there are two Pre A on gun broker right now, with the crack. One I can see in the photo and the other I examined in person. Small world. Neither one is mentioned in the description. But, hey, I could always be wrong. ...
With a production of some 2020 1922 Springfield rifles, unconverted 100% rifles are rare. One of the best looking 22 rifles I have ever seen. I used to own #1405. Big Larry
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Old 03-05-2020, 10:15 PM
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Going to find one of the above mentioned H. House books on Win 52's sooner then later. Are there any others that should be bought as well?

Till then, are the length of pull's on the rifles pictured more or less then 11"? If you have removed the stocks - does the barrel/action sit on the wood stock or 2 little rubberish pads?
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Old 03-06-2020, 12:37 AM
rapidfire10ring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dokey View Post
Herbert Houses book, Winchester 52 Perfection in Design. There's one on Ebay listing 3335 3125 3063
https://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Winches...wAAOSwsrBcqltC


It is almost funny, but years ago at a military base, there was a book salesman that had boxes of first edition gun books. I think he was asking around $15 for the Houze book.
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