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December 17, 2023 - 1:41 am
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As a former M52 collector, I came across this Springfield 1922 M1 .22 NRA. Kind of resembles a M52 Sporter, but I think, maybe a little better. That is my opinion. They are as accurate as a M52. Very hard to find rifle in original configuration. Most were converted to M2. I just thought this was an interesting rifle to post here. They have a huge following.   Big Larry

 

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December 17, 2023 - 2:14 am
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Larry,  what wrong have I ever done you that you would torment me with this photo?  YES, they are the best of the best .22 bolt-guns, because they have the smoothest bolt-action ever designed.  The 52 Speed Locks are nice up to the B, but the B has an action design that makes it feel like it cocks BOTH on closing & opening.  Never had a C but it’s inconceivable to me it could be as smooth as a M1922, & to me, shooting off-hand, nothing is more important than smoothness of bolt operation.  Chief advantage of the 52 was the heavier brl wts that could be obtained, & the better trigger of the C. 

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December 17, 2023 - 3:00 pm
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Obviously both of you are more than a little familiar with the M1922 Springfield.  Was this the rifle Winchester’s Model 52 designers hoped to supplant?

Clarence, the only 52 I own is  a C Sporting that I’d just got back out to the range Wednesday. The micro motion trigger doesn’t have the B’s backlash but it does feel like it cocks on opening and closing. Because there’s a ball detent the bolt handle must overcome on both strokes, I had supposed that was the reason. 

- Bill 

 

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"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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December 17, 2023 - 4:16 pm
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Since the Winchester Model 52 pre-dates the Springfield 1922 by two years, it was not designed to supplant it.  While Winchester may have hoped to sell the 52 to the government as a training rifle, that was not their primary focus.  

My experience may be anomalous, but the one Springfield 1922 I owned was nowhere near as accurate as any of the several dozen Model 52 rifles I have owned, and it subsequently went down the road.  Furthermore, as the 1922 was designed on the footprint of the 1903 Springfield, the receiver is much larger and bulkier than is necessary for the diminutive 22 Long Rifle cartridge.  As far as I am concerned, the Winchester 52 was, and is, perfectly scaled for its intended purpose as a target and sporting rifle, while the 1922 Springfield served a different role— as a trainer for the ’03 Springfield.

BRP

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December 17, 2023 - 5:02 pm
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Blue Ridge Parson said

My experience may be anomalous, but the one Springfield 1922 I owned was nowhere near as accurate as any of the several dozen Model 52 rifles I have owned, and it subsequently went down the road.  Furthermore, as the 1922 was designed on the footprint of the 1903 Springfield, the receiver is much larger and bulkier than is necessary for the diminutive 22 Long Rifle cartridge.  As far as I am concerned, the Winchester 52 was, and is, perfectly scaled for its intended purpose as a target and sporting rifle, while the 1922 Springfield served a different role— as a trainer for the ’03 Springfield.

In competition, accuracy trumps all other considerations, but for the kind of shooting I do (offhand at steel targets), I give priority to smoothness of operation, the feel of the gun in my hands.  Quite true, the ’03 rcvr is longer than necessary, but if you LOVE the ’03 as I do, that’s no objection!  Most 1922s, as Larry mentioned, were eventually converted to the short-throw M2 action, but I actually prefer the long-throw M1; if after opening the bolt the muzzle is raised to about 30 deg, the weight of the bolt opens & ejects by itself! 

Although the 1922 is referred to as trainer for the ’03, it’s not really a good one, lacking the ’03’s complicated rear sight, & having a diff stock design.  Maybe those ordnance officers behind its conception believed calling it a trainer was the only way to get appropriations for it, but I believe their real intention all along was to build a target rifle. 

Somewhere I read that some 52 shooters removed that ball-detent Zeb referred to, so I tried it myself, driving out the retaining pin, but that didn’t release it. Tried prying it out with a sharp dental tool, but that didn’t work either after MANY failed attempts, so the opening in the rcvr must have been constricted slightly AFTER the ball & spring were inserted. 

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December 17, 2023 - 5:14 pm
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Zebulon said
Clarence, the only 52 I own is  a C Sporting that I’d just got back out to the range Wednesday. The micro motion trigger doesn’t have the B’s backlash but it does feel like it cocks on opening and closing. Because there’s a ball detent the bolt handle must overcome on both strokes, I had supposed that was the reason.  

The B design requires even more effort to close the bolt, because in addition to that ball detent, there’s a coil spring that has to be compressed for the trigger to work; no other 52 has it.  Thought I, this annoyance will be easy to correct, I’ll just clip a turn off that troublesome spring.  So I did, & found it deactivated the trigger!  So had to replace the spring I had clipped!

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December 17, 2023 - 6:07 pm
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clarence said

Zebulon said

Clarence, the only 52 I own is  a C Sporting that I’d just got back out to the range Wednesday. The micro motion trigger doesn’t have the B’s backlash but it does feel like it cocks on opening and closing. Because there’s a ball detent the bolt handle must overcome on both strokes, I had supposed that was the reason.  

The B design requires even more effort to close the bolt, because in addition to that ball detent, there’s a coil spring that has to be compressed for the trigger to work; no other 52 has it.  Thought I, this annoyance will be easy to correct, I’ll just clip a turn off that troublesome spring.  So I did, & found it deactivated the trigger!  So had to replace the spring I had clipped!

  

Nothing ventured, nothing gained….. However, when I go for “smooth” in a rimfire, I pick up my Model 61 or 63 and have at it.  The 52C is (was) for castrating bull squirrels in the tall hardwoods. I confess not likeing vintage scopes. It came with a dim J3 but in nice Redfield rings and a Jr. one-piece base. I swapped out the rings, installed a Leupold Compact 2-7 and squirrels passed the word shortly thereafter. 

- Bill 

 

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"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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December 17, 2023 - 7:21 pm
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Blue Ridge Parson said
Since the Winchester Model 52 pre-dates the Springfield 1922 by two years, it was not designed to supplant it.  While Winchester may have hoped to sell the 52 to the government as a training rifle, that was not their primary focus.  

My experience may be anomalous, but the one Springfield 1922 I owned was nowhere near as accurate as any of the several dozen Model 52 rifles I have owned, and it subsequently went down the road.  Furthermore, as the 1922 was designed on the footprint of the 1903 Springfield, the receiver is much larger and bulkier than is necessary for the diminutive 22 Long Rifle cartridge.  As far as I am concerned, the Winchester 52 was, and is, perfectly scaled for its intended purpose as a target and sporting rifle, while the 1922 Springfield served a different role— as a trainer for the ’03 Springfield.

BRP

  

I cannot agree the 1922 M1 NRA was made as a training rifle. I think the primary use of this particular model was for hunting. Hence the scope blocs and the sporter stock. It was sold to the public with this in mind.

As far as accuracy goes, I once had a nice, reworked, M2, that at 50 yards benched, I could put all my shots into a target paster. This with iron sights.

Then too, they made a few with heavy bbls. that I am quite sure equaled any M52 in the 20’s. Big Larry

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December 17, 2023 - 9:40 pm
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Zebulon said I confess not likeing vintage scopes. It came with a dim J3 but in nice Redfield rings and a Jr. one-piece base. I swapped out the rings, installed a Leupold Compact 2-7 and squirrels passed the word shortly thereafter. 
  

On your C model, which I consider a fully modern rifle, maybe a modern variable isn’t such an anomaly, but it would be on the older guns I shoot.  If you’ve never seen them, MVA makes a repro of the Winchester B-series scope with top of the line coated optics, FAR superior to the originals.

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December 18, 2023 - 5:20 am
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clarence said

Zebulon said I confess not likeing vintage scopes. It came with a dim J3 but in nice Redfield rings and a Jr. one-piece base. I swapped out the rings, installed a Leupold Compact 2-7 and squirrels passed the word shortly thereafter. 

  

On your C model, which I consider a fully modern rifle, maybe a modern variable isn’t such an anomaly, but it would be on the older guns I shoot.  If you’ve never seen them, MVA makes a repro of the Winchester B-series scope with top of the line coated optics, FAR superior to the originals.

  

Esthetically, we are in complete agreement.  The relatively few 52C Sporting rifles built and bought set their buyers back plenty hard. Not a kid’s gun except maybe for the fictional Richie Rich. By 1960, when mine was serialized, Weatherby was upon us.  There was some serious, modern glassware available if you had the money. I’m guessing my gun’s first buyer was heeled because, after laying out the $177 plus tax purchase price for a sightless G5272, he went with a one-piece Redfield Jr. base and Redfield’s rings.  Why he went with a Weaver J4,  I don’t know. At the time, he could have had a Bear Cub or a Leupold or a Bausch & Lomb. Maybe he just ran short like the rest of us…

I’ve never held one of the MVA repro scopes in my hand but I’m told they are first class mechanically and with the optics right up to date.  I do wonder if they improved the eye relief that drove me nuts on the old scopes. (That’s why mine were all built in Beaverton, mostly 1985-2005 , except for a couple of well-used 20230926_110146.jpgImage EnlargerWeatherby Imperials (Hertel & Reuss) in Buehler mounts for the sake of authenticity. And in truth, those two ain’t nuthin’ to write home about.)

Would it offend our eyes less if I substituted a Leupold Compact 4X for the variable? They’re both unobtrusive and difficult to tell apart at much distance. 

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- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; Life Member, National Rifle Association; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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December 18, 2023 - 3:00 pm
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Zebulon said

Why he went with a Weaver J4,  I don’t know. At the time, he could have had a Bear Cub or a Leupold or a Bausch & Lomb. Maybe he just ran short like the rest of us… 

Or maybe he hated high-gloss aluminum tubes as much as I do.  But a K4 or K6 would have been a better choice.

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December 18, 2023 - 4:05 pm
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The high gloss finish could ( and still can) be converted to matte black with a hank of 0000 wool and a careful hand.  Of course, Leupold will refinish their scopes in matte black for a very modest fee. My son lived in The Beav for several years and I discovered Leupold are good folks to know. I love their scopes for their long eye relief and brightness. 

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; Life Member, National Rifle Association; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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