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52B Trigger/Accuracy

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I'm looking at a couple of Winchester 52B rifles.

The first was made in 1940 in VGC for $575. Has Redfield aperture front sight and Olympic rear peep sight.

The other was made in 1948 and has a wood stock with adj buttplate. Is listed in fine condition with lyman target sights for $695.

I know nothing about Winchester 52Bs, so please help with some questions. Do the prices seem fair? Do the sights listed and stock described on the second gun seem stock or aftermarket?

I'm wanting to shoot in some local benchrest matches. For this price, I could pick up a used 54 Anscutz, but would love to shoot one of these older guns if they would be competitive. I used to have a 54 that had about a 6 oz trigger. What can I expect from a 52B trigger? Should these guns be as accurate as an Anschutz?

Thanks for the help.
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· Registered
3,642 Posts
Win M52's


Some generalized comments on the Win M52's:

0 They are all fine rifles...! ! :cool:
0 They were normally sold 'less' sights.
0 Prices in the "Blue Book of Gun Values" are for the rifle ONLY.
0 The M52C [or later] is preferred, as it has the 'Micro-Motion' trigger, introduced in 1947. NRA Rules limited the trigger to 2 pounds, IIRC. It may go lower.....? ?
0 Model 'series' is denoted by a letter in the serial number.
0 Redfield sights [Olympic & International] were the most common seen on the firing line. These will add ~ $125. to ~ $175. to any listed "rifle" values.
0 Target scope blocks were provided on some models; receivers were not drilled & tapped for 'modern' scopes.
0 Three barrels were offered: Target, Heavy Target, and Bull Target.
0 Stocks varied from "Marksman" to some specialized types.
0 Dates of manufacture maybe found using the Link in this Forum.

Check this Forum for some typical M52 values...! ! ;)

Not having fired the Anschutz 54, I can not comment on their relative accuracy. However, the Win M52 was "King of the Hill" in smallbore shooting in the US through the 50's, 60's and 70's...! ! In my ~ four years of competitive shooting, I never saw anything BUT M52C's...! ! :eek:

Hope this helps....! ! :)

· Registered
55 Posts

Lets try to answer your questions, rather than getting general.
The second rifle may have an original stock, but the adjustable butt plate is not. Its an add on, which doesn't make it all bad.
Both the rifles were available from the factory with a variety of sights or without.
The lyman sights on the second are probably original model 525.
The Redfield Olympic sights were probably added later since they were not out yet at these dates. This again isn't all bad. Price for the sights varies by condition.
The 52B trigger leaves a lot to be desired to be at all competitive. Replacement of the trigger would be in order.
The 52B receivers and bolts were relatively "soft". This often resulted in loss of headspace over time, even to the extent of causing miss fires. Winchester began hardening the bolts and receivers with the model "C".

Its true that the 52 was "king of the hill" in the 50's and into the 60's, but that was where it began to be overtaken.
This is not to say the "B" was not a fine rifle, it just may not be the best choice for your intended purpose.
Your idea of an Anschutz is probably the better way to go.

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