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Old 02-26-2010, 01:02 PM
Big Larry
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Win 52 "Rare" Guns & Special BBL types



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This question often arises about the diameter of a true BULL GUN. 99% of the rifles advertised as BULLS are not. They are heavy bbls. Here is a clear closeup of a true BULL GUN from my collection. Maybe it should be a sticky??? Whatever that is. Big Larry

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Old 02-26-2010, 01:18 PM
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Bull Gun Specs

Hello Big Larry,

I agree. This should be a sticky. Most 52 Winchesters advertized as "Bull Barrel" rifles are not. The confusion arises because the heavy and even the standard weight target barrels on Model 52's look like very heavy barrels to most shooters. Many who own model 52's have never seen a true bull gun. Bull guns are relatively rare and were only offered from 1939 until 1961. The vast majority of true bull guns that I have personally seen have the B suffix to the serial number and have the improved speedlock B style trigger. Here are the actual specifications for the various barrel offerings on the Winchester model 52:

Standard Target: 28", 1" at the receiver tapering to .75"

Heavy Target (optional from 1927): 28", 1" at the receiver tapering to .875"

Bull Barrel (optional 1939-1960): 28", 1.125" at the receiver tapering to .875".

Sporting (1934-1959): 24", .830" at the receiver tapering to .555"

In addition to this, every true Bullgun I have seen has had the bead blasted finish and the Marksman Stock, and most have also had the nickel plated hand stop swivel accompanied by a second nickel plated swivel mounted in a nickel plated short rail in the stock. See Below:

Marksman Stock (Optional from 1936, standard 1948-61): This heavy Laudensack-designed match stock with high comb and full beavertail forearm outsold the Standard Target Stock, which it eventually replaced. Instead of the standard stock's external barrel band, the Marksman used a light band fixed inside the squared-off fore-end; this would be replaced by a pillar mount after the war (Marksman 1A). There were two slightly different versions: the Marksman 1 for telescopic or high scope-level sights, and the Marksman 2 (1938) for standard-height sights. Soft-bedded by 1948. Discontinued 1961.

Big Larry and others, a post showing an image of the three target barrel wieghts side by side would be very helpful to illustrate the actual differences. Does anyone actually have three B or C model 52 target rifles with each of the three barrel weights?
Kix

Last edited by kixonrt66; 02-26-2010 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:03 PM
Seewin
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QUOTE:
"In addition to this, every true Bullgun I have seen has had the bead blasted finish and the Marksman Stock, and most have also had the nickel plated hand stop swivel accompanied by a second nickel plated swivel mounted in a nickel plated short rail in the stock"


The C bullguns do not have the sandblast finish, at least all that I have and have seen.

One other barrel size which was not mentioned is the heavy weight for the D&E models. It is 1-1/16" dia at receiver, 7/8 at muzzle and 28" long.

I could post side by sides of each, but not sure what purpose it would serve. It all comes down to measuring the diameters. I will post a bull gun next to heavy weight close up of the receiver/barrel junction to illustrate the differences. These are some I had on file, so they are of a B model. Just keep in mind that the std wt and heavy weight have the same dimensions at that point.

I will be happy to post same pics of the C models as well, however the only difference is the finsih, i.e., sandblast vs polished blue.
Steve



Last edited by Seewin; 02-26-2010 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:05 PM
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52 Bullguns

"The C bullguns do not have the sandblast finish, at least all that I have and have seen."

I'm sure that this is true Steve, I've just never seen a C bullgun in person. In fact, there are a lot of 52 variants that I have never seen in person, so my comments only reflect my personal experience.

I think it is useful information for those interested in model 52's to clarify just exactly what the Bull gun barrel dimensions really are. There seems to be a lot of confusion about this, most notably on Gun Broker and other auction sites.

Kix
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:18 PM
JohnOhio
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52 bullgun

The 52B bullgun will actually have two different finishes and two different receivers. As far as the receivers - there is a flat top and a round variation. On page 125(52 book) you will see my round top variation. The really late 52B bull guns will have a blued finish. These seem to be rare; as I have only seen a couple. Most will have the sand blast finish. The 52c bullguns will also have two different finishes. One of my 52c bullguns that is pictured in the 52 book(page 153) has the rust blued barrel and others I own-will have the standard blueing. The actions on the 52c's will also be the standard blueing and not the sand blast finish. Winchester must have quit rust blueing in the 52c's because I have never seen a 52D with rust blued barrels. You will also find 52c sporters with both of the finishes and also the heavyweights and standardweights with both barrel finishes. Why winchester did this remains a mystery. I prefer the look of the rust blue ; as it gives the gun a more cleaner-crisp look. Unfortunately it was more expensive for Winchester to use and the seem to use it more sporadic after the pre-war guns.
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:42 PM
68driftr
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Hope these help!



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Old 02-26-2010, 08:00 PM
Big Larry
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Why the piece of paper on the serial number?? Everyone else put theirs out for the world to see. Do you really think the gun police care about your 60 year old rifle? Are you hiding something? I really would like to know what the big deal is?????
Big Larry
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:12 PM
68driftr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Larry View Post
Why the piece of paper on the serial number?? Everyone else put theirs out for the world to see. Do you really think the gun police care about your 60 year old rifle? Are you hiding something? I really would like to know what the big deal is?????
Big Larry
Sorry Larry, I just like to keep my old Winchesters private, I did not mean to Insult anybody. I was just trying to help out with an original Bull Barrel.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:34 PM
Seewin
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[QUOTE=Winchester must have quit rust blueing in the 52c's because I have never seen a 52D with rust blued barrels. You will also find 52c sporters with both of the finishes and also the heavyweights and standardweights with both barrel finishes. Why winchester did this remains a mystery. I prefer the look of the rust blue ; as it gives the gun a more cleaner-crisp look. Unfortunately it was more expensive for Winchester to use and the seem to use it more sporadic after the pre-war guns.[/QUOTE]

John, I have a Winchester PCA (product change announcement) which Winchester Engineering Dept used to communicate changes to their products, which details the changing from rust blueing(browning as Winchester calls it) on the 52 to the Dulite process. It is dated 12/60. It is interesting to note that the reason for the change was to get the 52 in line with the other Winchester guns which were finished with the dulite process. This allowed them to tear down the browning facilities. They estimated this change would save a whopping $25.47 per gun! They also estimated the change would save the company a total of $635 per year based on a yearly production of 2500 guns. That number was sure generous. It took nearly 20 years to produce 2500 52's after the change. Change was directed to symbols G5255R, G5250R, and G5208R. These are the std wt, heavy wt and extra heavy weight (Bull) models.
The only gun left that was browned was the 21, and it was to be done in the custom shop.
Steve
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:36 PM
JohnOhio
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52 bullgun

I'm glad 68 driftr showed a 52B bullgun with the blued finish and not the sandblasted finish. Its in the late 70000 range-towards the end of the B's. You have a scarce 52B there drifter- almost all of these that I have seen will have the sandblast finish. I know what Larry is saying about covering up the serial numbers-Alot of people on this forum are trying to educate themselves about 52's and the serial numbers are a big help in determining when certain changes occurred. With this said- A persons privacy should be respected. Thanks again for sharing this 52!
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:51 PM
JohnOhio
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52 rust blue

Seewin: That 12/1960 date makes alot of sense- because I have some real late 52c's(1960 and 61) that are not rust blued. Like you said the model 21's were the only guns-that I know of that still received the browning process(rust blued).
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:58 PM
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52 bullgun

Larry: Everytime I see a picture of your bullgun it drives me crazy! I have looked through every winchester book I have trying to find out what that mark is on your receiver. I hope they do put this gun on the sticky and show not only the barrel but also the receiver and the special mark. Maybe somebody can idenify it!
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:24 PM
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Maybe give it a day so everyone will find this thread, then move it up top. Some great info here and a subject that could use the clarification.

I don't have much -just the one 52C but here are a couple of pics of a heavt bbl 52C #98770 C.

The bevel on my receiver seems to be hand ground and is a bit uneven -whats up with that, factory? thanks joe



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Old 02-27-2010, 11:08 AM
Big Larry
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John, I contacted Winchesters museum and they directed me to someone that may have known the answer. I got an email back from him requesting pics, which I did send, and I never again heard from them. They are factory marks and the offset proofs prove that, but what do they mean??? BBl. is normally marked underneath."40".
Someone out there knows. That's why I put it out for circulation. I found that rifle at a Reno gun show and it was among a bunch of M52's that the seller had just purchased. He didn't have a clue it was a BULLGUN. He also had a standard bbl. "C", and an unmarked "A" amongst others. The real prize was that nickel steel M52 I got in the other room. Sporting a minty Lyman STS, I almost walked away from it at $1,325, but the round receiver caught my eye, and then I noticed the nickel steel marked bbl. and knew I had a collectors prize. I was tapped out so I had to borrow $$$ from two of my buddies. It is now my favorite M52. Big Larry
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:38 AM
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I bought a 52B recently and I suspected it may have been a "BULL" ,but it was not advertised as this. I bought it anyway as it was in nice 90%++ condition and thanks to Larry and Steve I realised it was a heavy weight, I was not dissapointed as it shoots 1 hole 25 metre groups and the trigger was worked over by some fellow there in the States who did custom work on Remigton 600 Benchguns, and is finer than either than my 2 52C's triggers. Larry you should post full pictures of your gun for everyone to see, I was very envious when Larry sent me the pictures( you will drool!). Most guys think the Heavies are a Bull as they ussually are not as educated as the serious collector/shooters on this forum, so I give Larry and Steve a big clapp on the back for keeping us on the straight and narrow lane of truths! your friend in Canada Dale
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