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Did I get screwed over? New member
June 10, 2019
4:20 am
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Well, I bought a Win 52 the other day on GB.  I knew the rifle had been re-stocked and possibly reblued.  What I didn't know was the barrel has been changed and the S/N doesn't match the receiver; it is period correct, just doesn't match.  Receiver was made in 1928 and the barrel in 1933.  Also, the bolt has a S/N that matches the receiver but it is scribed in with what looks like to have been an electric pencil, was this the correct method for that time period?  The only saving grace is the rifle overall looks very nice and whoever did the reblue did a really good job.  The stock looks nice with no cracks and everything else works fine, lockup it tight and it seems to shoot good with the Lyman peep sight rear and blade front.  I have a -20 offset scope base coming to see how accurate it really is.  Anyway, all you 52 experts, please tell me what this thing is really worth.  Here are a few photos for your viewing "pleasure or horror" depending....

 

Also, you won't hurt my feelings because I didn't buy it for collecting, just shooting and I knew it wasn't worth much before I bought it.

 

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June 10, 2019
12:48 pm
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Screwed said 
Also, the bolt has a S/N that matches the receiver but it is scribed in with what looks like to have been an electric pencil, was this the correct method for that time period?  
 

Yes. Surprising that this rifle, built shortly before introduction of the "speed lock," was not converted at the same time it was rebarreled.  (Must have seen a LOT of shooting if it needed a new brl. after only 5 yrs!)

If you want to know whether you were "screwed," you need to disclose what you paid.  As a general rule, there are NO bargains on GB, but once in a while a reasonable fair deal can be obtained.

June 10, 2019
2:07 pm
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Thanks for the reply.   I paid $390 shipped.  The receiver S/N is 14421 and the barrel is 32591.  I was curious about the barrel and its chamber and when I seated a CCI SV round, the rifling fully engraves the bullet.  I would assume this is normal too?  Here are larger photos to help make a better evaluation.  It also come with both scope blocks on the barrel.  The magazine appears to be original.

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June 10, 2019
4:09 pm
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Screwed said
I was curious about the barrel and its chamber and when I seated a CCI SV round, the rifling fully engraves the bullet.  I would assume this is normal too?

Right (as any match chamber should).  Seems like a fair price to me for a 52 with no remaining collector value.

  

June 10, 2019
6:44 pm
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clarence said

Screwed said
I was curious about the barrel and its chamber and when I seated a CCI SV round, the rifling fully engraves the bullet.  I would assume this is normal too?

Right (as any match chamber should).  Seems like a fair price to me for a 52 with no remaining collector value.

    

Agreed, IF the rifle shoots well. Only you can determine the level of acceptable accuracy. I wouldn't expect ragged one hole groups at 50 yards, a realistic expectation may be more along the lines of .5".  It may take some experimenting with different ammo to find what the rifle likes. Stick to good target and match ammo for your best results. Forget High velocity ammo, it will make you sit down and scratch your head...….. Just my experience.

Erin

June 10, 2019
9:32 pm
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Once again, thanks for the replies.  Forgive my ignorance towards the M52.  The only Winchester I have ever owned is my pristine Model 12.   I saw this M52 on GB, thought of it as an opportunity to get a M52, put in a high bid and it held up.

I was completely okay with the purchase until I removed  the barreled action and seen it had been rebarreled at some point.  That, of course, got the wheels spinning and prompted me to seek professional advice. Smile

The EGW base should be here in two days.  I am looking forward to checking the accuracy, I do have match ammo to try such as Lapua Pistol King, Center-X, Eley Match, Match Pistol, Edge and Club.  In the end it may remain an iron sight gun.  If anyone has additional comments, advice or suggestions please feel free to offer those.

June 11, 2019
12:40 pm
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I would not jump to the conclusion barrel has been replaced. Winchester did not s/n the barrels. More than likely, your rifle was sent back to Winchester for some type of repair or modification. The 32591 is the control number Winchester put on the barrel to keep track of it while at the factory. I have several 52's with similar numbering in my collection. What is the 2 digit barrel date on bottom of barrel. I would bet it is 27 or 28 indicating the year the barrel was manufactured. Proof marks appear to line up perfect, another indication barrel is more than likely original. 

    Rifle has had the rear sight changed at some point. It appears to have a RH mounted Lyman 48T instead of the factory 82A sight that was installed in the large dovetail on rear bridge of receiver. This could have been a factory installation, and thus the reason for its return to Winchester. When the 48T sights were installed on new 52's at Winchester, receiver was left completely round with no dovetail for 82A sight. 

    It does appear the LH rear locking lug on receiver may be cracked. This is located just in front of the safety, and was a common problem with the early 52's prior to the "A" revision. It will not affect safety or accuracy, but I would advise against using safety as this exasperates the problem. 

    Stock is not original to rifle. It is aftermarket of some sort

    Bolts on these early rifles did not have the deep & distinct s/n on bolt body as did the later rifles. It is very light usually, and sometimes very hard to see. I would have to see good close up pics to determine if yours has original markings. 

    Rifle does appear to have reblued, but for what you paid, you certainly did not get hurt. The 48T is worth at least half of what you paid for entire rifle.

Steve

June 11, 2019
12:45 pm
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I don't think you got a bad deal. As far as the bolt serial number, i think all of them are inscribed as yours is. Enjoy your new rifle.

June 11, 2019
1:20 pm
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I will pull the barreled action out today and take some photos.  When I ran the number on the barrel through the S/N lookup it did come up, maybe coincidence.  I'm glad to hear it may not have been a replacement barrel.  I guess, in the end, it really doesn't matter as long as it shoots great.

June 12, 2019
1:01 am
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I got the photos ready.  I may have an intact rifle after all.  There is a 27 stamped on the bottom of the barrel but the reference lookup said 1928??  The bolt scribed markings do match the receiver S/N.  Here are the photos.

 

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June 12, 2019
1:32 am
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I am certain barrel is original. Your rifle was serial numbered between November 12, 1927 and January 17, 1928. So, the 27 barrel date is correct. The other series of numbers are as I suspected, control numbers used at Winchester when at some point rifle was returned to factory for some type of repair or modification. The s/n on bolt look's fine as as well. When rifle was reblued, it covered the s/n making it harder to see. I also noticed the "918" stamped on both bolt body and bottom of barrel. I have never seen Winchester use a 3 digit number like this on rework. Perhaps it was stamped by whomever reblued it?

Cannot tell if locking lug is cracked or not based on pictures, too much grease in area where potential crack would be located.

Steve

June 14, 2019
5:19 am
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seewin,

Thanks for the insight.  So you don't think Winchester did the reblue?

Also, finally got my EGW base in and mounted.  Shot some today but had a lot of wind and gusty at times.  I wanted to shoot anyway so I know these groups are probably not as good as they could have been.  Overall I am very happy with the purchase.

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June 14, 2019
12:49 pm
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I cannot determine much with the pictures. No way of knowing if Winchester did the blue or not. Some of the pictures appear to show a reblue, others, such as rear of receiver look to have original blue. I would have to see it in person in some natural light to make a determination. Bottom of barrel and bolt body do look reblued. Based on wear patterns, look's like it was done a long time ago, and is not an amateur job.

Steve

June 16, 2019
3:24 am
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It was calm this evening so I got the ole Winchester 52 out to play.  Not sure what to think about it.  This 92 year old gun really shoots.  I have read "not extensively" that Winchester had their own match chamber dimensions?  Are all 52's in general this accurate?  I also want to say it's not my intentions to brag, just that I'm astounded by the accuracy of this rifle.  For all I know this may be typical for a 52.  Now I'm wondering how accurate the D and E series are, being that they are single shot.

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June 16, 2019
9:22 pm
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Half-inch groups at 50yds wouldn’t surprise me, could do even better with ammo it likes.

 

Mike

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