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Old 08-24-2017, 01:18 PM
soarski

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Win 52 Pre A or Unmarked A?



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I just registered, my first thread...

I inherited a Winchester Model 52 Sporting (a.k.a Sporter) serial number 345##.

Info from a couple of websites gives 1936 as year of manufacture.

One so-called expert told me, "The preA sporter came out in July 34 - your gun was built in September. If it were built in 36 as your info suggests then it would have been an A. The last preA built was 36699 in February 35."

I've also read that "A" changes were made in 1935, but unmarked with an "A" until 1936. So, unmarked "A" is another possibility.

So based on conflicting info, I'm trying to determine whether mine is Pre-A or unmarked A? (There's no "A" at the end of the serial #, so it's definitely not a marked A.) What say yee? Does anyone have a copy of Houze that could look that up? And why is that source to be trusted more than Winchester's own production list (although they don't claim 100% accuracy)? This is all very confusing, but dedicated enthusiasts must have figured it out by now.

Also, my Sporter has a left-side stock notch for a rear sight (but not the sight), which I hope to be original, but would like to confirm. I've read early models were notched to fit the Lyman 48 sight, then for later versions of the sight they didn't need to do that. So any info, based on my serial number 345$$, whether notch is likely original?

Thanks for any replies!!
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Old 08-25-2017, 05:25 AM
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Wit a serial number of 345XX I would lean towards pre "A". Also, your expert sounds pretty close. RRM
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:54 AM
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The most obvious difference between the A and pre-A model is the thickness of the left lug abutment (just behind the safety). The pre-A models are about .100" thick and the A model is almost twice as thick, .185" approx. The early models had a tendency to crack (many posts on the "crack of doom"), and Winchester made this thicker on the A models.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:40 PM
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My Pre-A sporter has a barrel date of 1935. According to the Houze book, with a serial number of 36373, that would date mine between Nov 28, 1934 and Feb 5, 1935. With your serial number, according to the Houze book, yours was produced in 1934 after August 30th. My rifle is a Pre-A so I can only assume yours is too since it was produced before mine. As to the notch for the Lyman 48, that is correct. I also have a 52B factory sporter that was built in 1937 that has the cut out for the rear sight and the notch for the A type safety which wasn't used for the 52B. Winchester was notorious for using up existing supplies of materials before changing over to new models if they could. Bob


Last edited by mgb8345; 08-25-2017 at 12:49 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:53 PM
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You can't be certain from the serial number alone, as there was considerable overlapping during the transitional periods, due to earlier receivers being stamped with later numbers than more recently produced receivers. The same situation exists with the transitional un-stamped As and stamped As, Bs and Cs, and the transitional C sporters retaining the integral front sight ramp and/or the steel butt plate.

Having said that, I think your serial number would indicate a pre-A rifle, but you should check some of the Stickies of highest and lowest serial numbers of observed examples of 52 sporting rifles.

TBR
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:53 PM
soarski

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Pre-A it is!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBS View Post
The most obvious difference between the A and pre-A model is the thickness of the left lug abutment (just behind the safety). The pre-A models are about .100" thick and the A model is almost twice as thick, .185" approx. The early models had a tendency to crack (many posts on the "crack of doom"), and Winchester made this thicker on the A models.
Thanks, this was very helpful. The left lug abutment on mine is .100", and thankfully not cracked!!
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:02 PM
soarski

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgb8345 View Post
My Pre-A sporter has a barrel date of 1935. According to the Houze book, with a serial number of 36373, that would date mine between Nov 28, 1934 and Feb 5, 1935. With your serial number, according to the Houze book, yours was produced in 1934 after August 30th. My rifle is a Pre-A so I can only assume yours is too since it was produced before mine. As to the notch for the Lyman 48, that is correct. I also have a 52B factory sporter that was built in 1937 that has the cut out for the rear sight and the notch for the A type safety which wasn't used for the 52B. Winchester was notorious for using up existing supplies of materials before changing over to new models if they could. Bob

Thanks for all the helpful info!
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