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Old 06-02-2019, 08:32 AM
6x6 elk

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Will recrowning a barrel decrease value of 52D?



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Was thinking about having the barrel of my 52D recrowned to improve accuracy. I’ve tried several different brands of ammunition everything shoots OK, I think it could be better, was thinking about having it re-crown but was afraid it could decrease the value of the rifle. What do you guys think? Thanks for your help
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2019, 08:59 AM
dokey
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There's no guarantee re-crowning will improve accuracy on a gun that shoots well. I've learned it's more likely the ammo and re-crowning will hurt the value
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:19 AM
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Toomany22s
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Is the crown damaged? If not , donít bother, if it is , of course do it, cause a damaged crown donít add no value.

Buy a borescope. Inspect the bore. Or skip that and gently clean with jb bore paste.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:20 AM
M52E1
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Several items to consider:

- Rifle bedding - Consistent torque applied to bedding screws
- Fore end bedding - If you stock is equipped with this device, then my recommendation would be to back off the screws until they are not touching the barrel
- Firing pin spring - Original or replaced? The original could be more than 50 years old and might need to be replaced
- Barrel - Have you tried cleaning it with IOSSO or JB Bore Cleaner to remove the carbon ring / leading in the barrel?
- Crown - I would take it to a reputable gunsmith to have it evaluated and if it requires a new crown, I do not recommend the do it yourself re-crowing kits that are available
- Ammunition - As previously noted you may want to try several brands to see how it will shoot - Eley vs. Lapua, etc.

The other item to consider is "did you purchase the rifle as an investment?" or for something to enjoy? I would argue that it has limited "collector" value unless it was New In Box, and even less value if it started life as a CMP 52D. There were more than 10K 52D rifles produced by Winchester and the market for these rifles from a competition standpoint is rather small when one considers that aftermarket triggers are no longer being produced for them.

My vote would be to do what you want and enjoy owning it as it was made to be shot.

Bill

Last edited by M52E1; 06-02-2019 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:01 PM
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What Bill ( M52E1 ) said sounds good to me.

Gilbert
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:48 PM
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Bill has it pretty well nailed down I think. As stated, it depends a lot on what you think the purpose of the rifle is. If more so as a collector/investment item, then I would not mess with it. But if you place a premium on accuracy and you are pretty sure the crown is a problem, then it may be worth recrowning.

I owned a very nice Remington model 37. After doing a good bit of initial testing for accuracy and not finding it to the degree I hoped for I finally slugged the barrel. What I found explained the problem.....the last 3/8" of the bore was loose.....a bad thing for accuracy. After wrestling and worrying over hurting value vs improving accuracy and knowing I would never be happy with it as it was, I finally visited with a machinist/gunsmith that a friend recommended. What I had him do was to remove the final 3/8" of the barrel and then replicate the original factory recessed crown. he did a perfect job, and one would have to measure the length of the barrel to know the difference. And it did improve the accuracy. On the other hand, I have a nice factory Winchester 52 D and E that I wanted to bed the stocks on. Instead of molesting the original stocks, I purchased used CMP stocks and bedded and refinished those for the guns.

No one can give you the perfect answer, because it really depends on what you value in your gun. You may have the gun recrowned only to find it makes no differences.....so I would definitely eliminate every other possibility before making an irreversible change to the gun. Ammo would be my starting spot.

Good luck,

James
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:14 AM
Rick H.
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Most everything that has been said is great information and quite valid. The only exception would be on the actual job of crowning the barrel. If a gunsmith tells you the barrel needs to be re-crowned and wants to take the barrel off the receiver be leery of doing that. There is one viable solution if you want to try it and that is with a Manson barrel crowning kit. If the damage is close to the end of the barrel the Manson crowning tool can do a very good job of re-crowning the barrel if it is done properly. I have re-crowned several barrels of various calibers using a Manson tool and they all turned out quite good. In some instances the job helped improve accuracy and in others not, but using the Manson tool has never hurt accuracy either at least with the ones I have done.

The down side to the Manson tool is that you can't cut off 3/8" of barrel with it if that is required. It was never meant to perform that sought of work. A lathe is the only viable option at that point. So if all the other options have failed to help improve accuracy the decision to re-crown becomes quite easy based on two things. Is the rifle a "collector" or is it a "shooter". If it's a shooter than an examination of the barrel interior with a good bore scope will/should tell you what type of re-crowning job is needed. Many times I have seen damage at the end of the muzzle from improper cleaning methods. This is usually easy enough to see and the potential is high for success using the Manson tool. If any barrel damage is further in the bore than a lathe and a cutoff tool becomes necessary. If you have determined that the rifle is a "collector", than leave it alone and accept the way it shoots as part of the collector status. Complete originality is everything to a collector in most cases and they will accept somewhat lower performance for the overall originality of the firearm. Collectors tend to be quite finicky in that regard.


Remember too that once you engage in anything like bedding the action or altering components of the rifle collector status goes out the window. Originality trumps all else.


Rick H.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:12 AM
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Fwiw, from a buyers perspective.
About a year ago I inspected a 52C or D that turned up 'reasonable'. I dont know 52's so I took a bunch of notes (mostly off this site) and had a good check of the rifle on the bench, action out of the stock.
This rifle had a shorter than spec heavy, not bull barrel (of course, re-crowned), a rather heavily remodeled stock, etc.; in short, it had been honestly reworked As A Shooter for a long time. The price reflected the non-originality/inability to return it to as original. But, imo, even that price was at the top end for what it was, so I passed. Ive got plenty of shooters and if I get a 52 it is going to need to be pretty well 'right'. I suspect a lot of us are in this same frame of mind.
If it been right but for a re-crown at the asking price I probably would have gone there but it would nag me as to who did it and is it done correctly. The shooting would tell though 'sale contingent upon approval' is not often offered.
Turns out a good friend did buy it after I passed on it and it is a fine shooter. It probably is worth what he paid though I doubt it will appreciate in our remaining years (been wrong before ), but I think the majority of those looking for a 52 want one 'right'.
Conclusion: Lots of things to try before removing metal.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:04 AM
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Depends on what you are referring to as a "recrown ". If by recrown you mean cutting the barrel back then yes it will have a negative affect on value. If you mean just cutting a new crown to true it up with the bore then no. To get the crown trued to center line of the bore, a lathe is best.

The crown is just the tiny bevel cut at the end of the rifling. All my target rifles get the crown squared up with the center of the bore, including a 52D.
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  #10  
Old 06-05-2019, 05:11 PM
M52E1
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In reference to the original post:
- What ammunition were you using?
- What distance were you shooting at?

Bill
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