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Old 06-29-2009, 06:27 PM
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Winchester Dates Of Manufacture



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I THINK THIS LINK WILL WORK FOR WINCHESTER DATES OF MANUFACTURE:

WINCHESTER DATES OF MANUFACTURE

OR CLICK: http://oldguns.net/sn_php/winmods.htm



I am very new to RFC, but I have been a rimfire enthusiast for 35 years, owning everything one can imagine, plus designing and fabricating a few myself. Today my question involves production numbers for Winchester Model 52 Sporting rifles.

In my never-ending pursuit of the very finest .22 rifle of all time, I recently purchased a pre-suffix “Type-A” Sporting rifle in about 98% condition, and this purchase piqued my curiosity about its rarity. My less-than-scientific observations seem to indicate “B” Sporters are, by far, the most commonly encountered, and I have seen personally more “Cs” than “A”s and “Pre A”s. Yet, many of the publications assigning values to firearms characterize the “Cs” as the rarest. In an attempt to estimate which model is, in fact, rarest, I have used Houze’s book, a few magazine articles, auction results, and my own rifles for reference. I have come up with some production numbers that I feel must be at least close, but I would like to present this information to the Winchester gurus to see what they think.

It appears the very first Sporting rifles (after the introduction of the 52 speedlock) were produced in August or September of 1933 (See Page 97 in Houze’s book), beginning at around Serial # 31359 to 31419, depending upon the actual month production began. The first “Type A” (pre-suffix) rifles, with the modified receiver and improved safety stem, were produced in February of 1935 (See Page 108), beginning with around Serial # 36564 to 36699, depending upon when in February production actually began. Hence, from the date of the first Sporting rifle until the first pre-suffix “Type A” rifle, Winchester produced approximately 5145 to 5340 Model 52 rifles of all configurations. I guess we’ll never know what percentage of these were Sporting rifles, but Houze describes the sales as “brisk”

Total Estimated Pre-A Model 52s After Sporting Rifle Production: 5145 to 5340

Houze states on Page 108 that Winchester began stamping an “A” in the serial numbers of the new Type “A” receivers, and retroactively stamped all receivers still in inventory, at around Serial number 40,000. Actually, the pre-suffix Type “A” Sporter I own is #40586, just 6 rifles earlier than Sporting rifle Serial # 40592A pictured on Page 111 in Houze’s book, making it one of the very last pre-suffix Type “A” rifles and marking the end of pre-suffix Type “A”s. Given the pre-suffix Type “A” starting serial numbers of 36564 to 36699 in February of 1935, and the first Type “A” rifles actually marked “A” beginning right at 40592A, I think we can safely assume Winchester produced around 3889 to 4028 pre-suffix Type “A” rifles. Again, we don’t know how many of these were Sporting rifles.

Total Estimated pre-suffix Type “A” Model 52s: 3889 to 4028

Starting with Serial # 40592A and counting forward to the first Type “B” rifles gives us the next number. Houze indicates the first “B”s were made on May 28,1937. This would mean #44600 would be one of the first 52 “B”s, but APPENDIX 7 in the Houze book lists a 52 “B” in Winchester’s Firearms Reference Collection with a serial number of 44402B, which would put it in November or December of 1936 production. In any event, this rifle is the earliest number “B” I have seen, so, using it as a cut off, we can assume Winchester produced 3810 Type “A” Model 52 rifles of all configurations, with the percentage of Sporting rifles unknown.

Total Estimated Type “A” Model 52s: 3810

While it appears 52 “C” production began in early spring of 1951 at around Serial #75,000, Type “B” Sporting rifles continued to be produced up until at least #84553BX (See photo on P 135). This really complicates our numbers, but, if we assume at least 30,598 (75,000 minus 44402B) 52 “B”s of all configurations were produced, and perhaps one in ten rifles between 75000 and 84553 were Sporting rifles (this may be high given 52 “C” Sporting percentages), we would have a number of approximately 31,500 total 52 “B”s.

Total Estimated Type “B” Model 52s: 31, 500

The best information on numbers of Sporting rifles produced exists for the “C.” Houze estimated 30,000 “C”s were produced (see P152), of which we need not estimate the “C” Sporting production numbers, as Houze outlines this number in his book on Page 147. According to Houze, referencing the “Sales of Model 52 Rifles from 1953 to 1980” in APPENDIX 4, 1314 Model 52 Sporting rifles were sold between 1954 and 1960, when the Model 52 Sporting was discontinued.

Total Estimated Type “C” Model 52s During Sporting Rifle Production: 30,000

Total Type “C” Model 52 Sporting Rifle Production: 1314

So, the key to unraveling the non-Type “C” Sporting rifle numbers is in the ratio of non-52 Sporting rifles produced versus the Sporting rifles produced for each type. The Sporting “C”s represent less than one in 22 “C” rifles produced, or 4.38 percent, but it was during this era the Sporting model was discontinued, so sales must have been lackluster. A one-in-ten ratio would mean 515 to 530 Pre “A”s, 389 to 403 pre-suffix Type “A”s, 381 Type “A”s, and 3,150 Type “B”s compared to 1,314 “C”s. This would make the “C”s the second most common, not the rarest, even if we lump together the pre-suffix Type “A”s with the other “A”s. One in four rifles would mean 1285 to 1335 for the pre “A”s, 1925 to 1960 of all type “A” rifles, and 7875 type “B”s, compared to 1314 Type “C” rifles. This still does not equate to the “C”s being the rarest, but it is close.

Well, am I completely out of line in my numbers? Does anyone have any other information that would shed light on Sporting rifle percentages?
I look forward to your input.
Thanks, Teddy Bear Rat

Last edited by TEDDY BEAR RAT; 04-27-2017 at 04:59 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2009, 10:27 PM
JohnOhio
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52 sporters

nice work- I came up with the same thing in my research- The 52A sporter is the rarest followed by the 52 pre-a-then the 52c and lastly the 52b. Its just a pain to figure everything out with winchesters shoddy records!
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:22 PM
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I agree with you two. A lot of people feel that the "C" is the last word in repeaters and I like them also, and they feel that the micro- motion trigger is what makes this rifle so wonderful and I once again agree that the micro -motion trigger is a work of art, but now we have to step back and take a look at what we are really talking about. There are two ways to look at this issue, first the shooter, second the collector and then there is the squirrel hunter and then the target shooter. It just depends on which camp you're coming from. If you are a squirrel hunter then it's hard to beat a 52 "C" sporter. Comes drilled and tapped for a scope, excellent trigger, good to go. If your a target shooter then the target model gets the nod. You may even go with the "D" or "E" single shots. But if you are a collector, a true collector that likes rare models and especially fine workmanship, then the pre "A" and "A" are the rifles for you. I have layed "C" sporters and pre "A" sporters side by side, both in 98% condition and IN MY OPINION there is a BIG gap in quality. Why is it that pre war model 70's bring a premium over post war models? The post war models are already drilled and tapped for scopes, ready to go hunting, but the pre war 70's are just plain sweet. Finer checkering, finer " in my opinion " bluing, wood to metal fit is right there. You have to keep this in mind,, during the '30's a lot of people were out of work and for someone to go out and buy a new rifle was a luxury and the arms manufacturers knew this. Competition between gun manufacturers was stiff. Therefore only the best was going out the door. This is just one mans way of looking at the way he sees it, you may not agree with me, and that's fine. Throw everyone's views in the hat and stir them around and that's when you have some lively discussions and people get interested and start digging for the facts and that is how web sites like this one are formed. People sharing ideas and information. Oh, and by the way, I have seen at least one 52 pre "A" sporter below 36,000. You two are also correct in the sporter series,, the "B" is the most common, followed by the "C" then the pre "A", then the "A". Sorry for the long rant. RRM
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2010, 10:11 PM
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Winchester Dates Of Manufacture

I THINK THIS LINK WILL WORK:

WINCHESTER DATES OF MANUFACTURE

OR CLICK: http://oldguns.net/sn_php/winmods.htm
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2010, 10:25 PM
Bert H.
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Be advised that the vast majority of the DOM information is incorrect.

Bert
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:32 PM
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Thanks Bert for the heads up... are they way off, not even close?
Do you have a link or a better source to identity dates?
I will gladly link to a more informed site. thanks again joe
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:31 PM
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What?

I'm afraid I am going to have to agree with Joe on this.

Bert H..........Please tell me where you figure the D.O.M.s in Joes' link are incorrect. Am I the only one here who recognizes that Houze is off on his 'estimated' dates of manufacture?

If anyone here has a copy of the December 1982 American Rifleman magazine....you can easily access the D.O.M. chart, directly from Winchesters records, provided by Bruno Pardee of U.S Repeating Arms Co. It's on the third page of the article entitled "The Legendary Winchester 52" by Pete Dickey..... (article starts on pp 18).

In the chart, the serial number of the last 52 rifle produced at the end of each year, is noted. Example:#52129 was the serial # of the last model 52 rifle produced in year 1942.

Given; the last few of dozen (from say, #51981 to #52129) would have actually been sold as 1943 year models.....but were actually produced in 1942.

So, is there something I am missing? Why would these numbers be way off, or for that matter, at all off or incorrect?

I will be more than glad to post the entire chart, year-by-year, if it will interest anyone.
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Last edited by GREEN607; 06-02-2010 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:11 PM
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Dom

Green,

Lets look at the chart as you suggest. It is not a DOM as you suggest but a chart indicating numbers "assigned" by year not manufactured. There may or may not be a significant difference. Some of the early years may be correct but the later years are lacking.
For instance 52 International E123463 was built and purchased new in 1972. Read your chart, it says 1966 the same incorrect date as the link. Now, the Gun Control Act of 1968 which mandated the letter "E" to identify the M52 didn't come to pass until 1968 and the International introduced in 1969.
It seems the Winchester dates of manufacture are lacking in various areas no matter which ones you use.
IMO Incorrect information is worse than no information. This is one reason the data indicating New purchase dates and serial numbers Steve is currently working on is important.

bjm

Last edited by BrianJ; 06-02-2010 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianJ View Post
Green,

Some of the early years may be correct but the later years are lacking.
For instance 52 International E123463 was built and purchased new in 1972. Read your chart, it says 1966 the same incorrect date as the link. Now, the Gun Control Act of 1968 which mandated the letter "E" to identify the M52 didn't come to pass until 1968 and the International introduced in 1969.
It seems the Winchester dates of manufacture are lacking in various areas no matter which ones you use.
IMO Incorrect information is worse than no information. This is one reason the data indicating New purchase dates and serial numbers Steve is currently working on is important.

bjm
Brian.....

I knew that there was (for years, now) some discrepancy in the dates in the chart for late model 'D's and significant questions about the 'E' dates of manufacture. I also have been following the project that George and Steve are working on to correctly 'date' the D's and E's, where possible. It's a fascinating project, and I believe it will prove quite accurate.

And you are correct about the date of mfr of the International (#123463) coming up as 1966 on the chart....which is obviously incorrect. Dickeys' article even states that the 'D' model got a "companion" single shot 52, in the "specialized International Match Rifle, bearing an 'E' prefix" beginning in 1969, which is correct.

Still, I have seen enough of the 'old timers' model 52's (and owned a few), particularly the 'B's and 'C's ..... and even seen new purchase receipts as far back as 1937..... to prove to me that the dates on the D.O.M. chart as provided by Pardee (at least thru 1962) are accurate.

It seems that (on that chart), somewhere between 1962 and 1965.....the dates/serial #s got confused. And it may follow that the numbers/dates all the way thru 1979 then, may well be "off" by as much as 3 years or so.

Incidentally, I appreciate your knowledge and input here, Brian. When I read the Winchester Forum, yours are some of the posts I find "most informing", along with those of SEEWIN and several others, of course.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:21 AM
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Lots of good info on 52's

Here is a site that has a lot of good info on the 52'S - not dates but original lituture..... joe

http://www.rifleman.org.uk/Wincheste..._52_rifles.htm
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2010, 08:46 AM
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serial number/bolt number?

have model 52 serial number 28542 (1934)
with electro pen number 26369 (1933)
is this unusal ?
efh
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:14 PM
Bert H.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREEN607 View Post
I'm afraid I am going to have to agree with Joe on this.

Bert H..........Please tell me where you figure the D.O.M.s in Joes' link are incorrect. Am I the only one here who recognizes that Houze is off on his 'estimated' dates of manufacture?

If anyone here has a copy of the December 1982 American Rifleman magazine....you can easily access the D.O.M. chart, directly from Winchesters records, provided by Bruno Pardee of U.S Repeating Arms Co. It's on the third page of the article entitled "The Legendary Winchester 52" by Pete Dickey..... (article starts on pp 18).

In the chart, the serial number of the last 52 rifle produced at the end of each year, is noted. Example:#52129 was the serial # of the last model 52 rifle produced in year 1942.

Given; the last few of dozen (from say, #51981 to #52129) would have actually been sold as 1943 year models.....but were actually produced in 1942.

So, is there something I am missing? Why would these numbers be way off, or for that matter, at all off or incorrect?

I will be more than glad to post the entire chart, year-by-year, if it will interest anyone.
My information comes directly from the original Winchester factory records that are in possession of the Cody Firearms Museum. My previous comment about the inaccurate DOM information on the website mentioned was not specific to the Model 52. Instead, it refers to all of the Winchester models listed on that website. The DOMs given for the Models 1892 & 1894 are especially and grossly inaccurate.

In regards to the dates that Herb Houze published for the Model 52, they are 100% accurate in regards to when the receivers were manufactured and serialized. The serialization date in the records is the date that the Feds will use for the date of manufacture.

Bert H.
WACA #6571L, Historian
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:52 PM
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confusion over 52a

hello, i just joined rimfire central, and immediately went to the winchester 52 section. i am about to buy my first 52 and am gathering as much information as possible on what to buy.
as far as i can gather from what i have read so far is the 52a is a pretty good start.
i have read the dreaded stories of the crack of doom before the 52a and also criticism of the 52b
my confusion over how to buy a 52a is the question: when were they made.
a wikipedia site on the 52 says the a's were mde from 1935 to 1937, but the gun digest book of gun prices and a winchester book if have states that the a's were made from 1933 to 1935. is there a simple way to do this, that is, get a window on the first and last serial numbers of the a's and buy a gun whose number fits in that window.
sorry to be so windy an hope this is not a dumb question.
fivetwo
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  #14  
Old 11-17-2012, 04:10 PM
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fivetwo,
welcome to RFC
In this case, I would believe Wikipedia. Herbert Houze's book "The Winchester Model 52" gives an excellent story on the origins of the 52 and its early years. Houze puts production of "unmarked As" starting at about serial number 36700 in 1935, with the "A" marking beginning around SN 40000 in 1937. However, if you look at the Sticky labelled "52 Model Serial Number Ranges " you will see the lowest known marked A at 39735.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:54 PM
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52

I have serial # 12652, DOM is 1929, is this a correct date ????

Thanks for your help.


pickles
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