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Winchester 52 Sporter questions
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April 15, 2023 - 10:34 pm
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I have always had a desire for a 52 Sporting rifle and have now been watching and hoping to pick a nice one up  The only thing that has prevented me from buying one is that it is hard for me to get by the receiver sights with the wood cut-out. So, I have questions I hope that can be answered

I like the looks of the B models better so Did the C models start with the Monte Carlo stock?  Did late B models have a Monte Carlo?

Were any of the B models drilled and tapped on the receiver for scope blocks?

Were the sporters usually a special order rifle?  Looking in a 1948 distributors catalog, I saw that on special order, “M/52 Sporting rifles are not furnished with telescopic sight bases.  Rifles equipped with Winchester telescopic sight bases will be furnished if customer specifies, on special order at no extra charge.” Then there is an order #G5272R that states.  “No sight cut in stock. Front sight slot filled with blank piece.  Front sight cover attached  Receiver drilled and tapped on the left side.  No telescope bases attached.” How hard would it be to find a B model with either a special order without sights or the listed order #? Thanks

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April 16, 2023 - 12:07 am
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“Stith Mounts” made a scope mount that worked on the Model 75 Sporter.  I would guess you could use that on a 52 as well.  Finding it might be an adventure.  RDB

Stith-Mount.jpgImage Enlarger OOPs!  I forgot the 52 Sporter had no barrel dovetail.  Embarassed

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April 16, 2023 - 12:32 am
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Old-Win said How hard would it be to find a B model with either a special order without sights or the listed order #?
  

Houze’s 52 book gives a production of 742 of the C models in that 5272 configuration, but I find no corresponding number for the B.  I, too, dislike Monte Carlos, but they were the rage in the ’50s.  Your best bet, I think, would be to look for a B that’s already been drilled either on the rcvr for a Redfield type mount or the brl for target mounts.  A scope in target mounts would be high enough to clear the rcvr sight & bolt handle, I think.  A Stith mount requires a rear sight slot to attach the front part of the mount.  Are you good with a file?

All this aggravation to mount a scope because the factory was too retrograde to recognize the popularity of scopes, when ( and this is the unbelievable part!) Winchester had previously been a major manufacturer of scopes!  Explain that thinking, if you can!

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April 16, 2023 - 2:45 am
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Keep in mind that even the 52C Sporter w/o sights had a front sight ramp. It had a blank in the dovetail on the ramp and no rear sight. And, yes the C model models were the 1st of the Sporters that used a Monte Carlo Stock, which was standard. I agree, that if you want a shooter and like the looks of the B model over the C, find one already drilled and tapped, but it will still have the front ramp. As a bonus, it will save you a lot of money as well.

Steve

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April 16, 2023 - 3:10 pm
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So these two would be quite rare. The first one being a B model with a drilled and tapped receiver for scope blocks and a C model monte carlo stock. 

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/974778041

The second one is a B that is what I’m looking for that has the drilled and tapped receiver with no front sight.  Do you think this is factory original or has been modified? Also, notice the checkered bolt handle.

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/winchester-rifles-model-52/winchester-model-52-b-sporter-sporting-bolt-action-rifle-in-caliber-22-lr.cfm?gun_id=102278280

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April 16, 2023 - 3:44 pm
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Old-Win said
The second one is a B that is what I’m looking for that has the drilled and tapped receiver with no front sight.  Do you think this is factory original or has been modified? Also, notice the checkered bolt handle.

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/winchester-rifles-model-52/winchester-model-52-b-sporter-sporting-bolt-action-rifle-in-caliber-22-lr.cfm?gun_id=102278280

  

Given that it lacks a front sight ramp & isn’t cut for rcvr sight, possibly, though of course un-provable.  However, gun has had several mods, bolt handle shaved to clear scope, & looks to me reblued–look how “Winchester” marking appears to have been buffed.  So maybe the front sight ramp was removed too, though it would be an incredibly stupid thing to do.  But then we see incredibly stupid things done all the time.  I’m skeptical that even a shooter intending to use only a scope would go to the trouble of ordering a brl with the ramp removed, assuming the factory would build it that way.  Discount for non-original mods?  Leroy–are you kidding? 

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April 16, 2023 - 6:27 pm
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I don’t like the looks of either one of the rifles. The Merz (2nd one) rifle should not have any cut outs for a receiver sight. This is a relatively late B Sporter and by this time they were using the later style sight with a relief machined in back side to eliminate the cut. If you consider the other mods that Clarence has mentioned, I have my doubts about originality. There is no way to determine for certain if the d/t’d receiver was done at the factory or not. Without provenance, I always consider these after the fact mods.

    The Gun Parts rifle (1st one) has lots of problems. The barrel appears to have a brazed front sight ramp. This process was not done by Winchester until relatively late in the C Sporter production. It should have a forged front sight ramp. Secondly, you can see marks in the barrel next to the receiver where it has been put in a barrel vise and appears the barrel has slipped in the process marking the finish. Lastly, the stock is a late 52C Sporter stock with the plastic buttplate. Also note it has been relieved for a full block 48 rear sight, again, not correct. 

Steve

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April 16, 2023 - 7:28 pm
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seewin said
I don’t like the looks of either one of the rifles. The first one should not have any cut outs for a receiver sight. This is a relatively late B Sporter and by this time they were using the later style sight with a relief machined in back side to eliminate the cut. If you consider the other mods that Clarence has mentioned, I have my doubts about originality. There is no way to determine for certain if the d/t’d receiver was done at the factory or not. Without provenance, I always consider these after the fact mods.

 

Would you say this one has been reblued?  Some markings look crisp, but the “Winchester” markings on both brl & rcvr are badly washed-out.  Surely it didn’t leave the factory this way?  A reblue would also explain absence of front sight ramp.

Even with all these defects, if he’s looking for a B that’s scope-ready, this would be it, esp. if Leroy would adjust the price accordingly.  I’ve heard that he’ll sometimes reduce a price if a customer convinces him he knows what he’s talking about; sees through the BS, in other words.  Fools, of course, are his preferred customers.

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April 16, 2023 - 7:46 pm
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First, let me apologize for my last post. I got the order of the 2 rifles mixed up. I edited the post, so hopefully it now makes more sense. 

Clarence, yes, I do believe the Merz rifle has had the barrel reblued. If you look very closely, not only do you see the “WINCHESTER”  roll stamp on barrel is partially buffed away, but the polishing marks are running the wrong direction (front to back lengthwise). I would just bet that whomever did the polishing was trying to blend in the topside area where ramp was removed with the balance of the top of barrel and not disturb the rollstamp as much as possible. That would explain why just the top edge of roll stamp is light. I would also examine the top of the barrel closely for filled holes. They could have been trying to blend in a filled scope base hole or two in the light stamped area.

Steve

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April 16, 2023 - 8:55 pm
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Thanks guys, I was suspect of both as well but your confirmation has helped.  Steve, you mentioned that, the late B models had no wood cut-out.  So by then, were they using Lyman 48 sights with the backside relief cut that cleared the stock?  This would be what I am looking for.  Might you have a serial number range that these rifles would fall in. 

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April 16, 2023 - 11:58 pm
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Old-Win said
Thanks guys, I was suspect of both as well but your confirmation has helped.  Steve, you mentioned that, the late B models had no wood cut-out.  So by then, were they using Lyman 48 sights with the backside relief cut that cleared the stock?  This would be what I am looking for.  Might you have a serial number range that these rifles would fall in. 

  

57F used on early Bs; maybe that changed toward end of production.  Curious thing is that even after production of Cs began, Bs were still being assembled, so maybe that’s when the stock change was made.  But if you’re looking for one already drilled for scope mounting, combining that with the late B stock compounds the problem.  That’s why I said trying to negotiate a better deal with Leroy might be worth while–he KNOWS he’s lying about that gun being a special order with factory scope mount.

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April 17, 2023 - 2:35 am
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Old-Win said
Thanks guys, I was suspect of both as well but your confirmation has helped.  Steve, you mentioned that, the late B models had no wood cut-out.  So by then, were they using Lyman 48 sights with the backside relief cut that cleared the stock?  This would be what I am looking for.  Might you have a serial number range that these rifles would fall in. 

  

I cannot pinpoint the exact date the change was made to the later style 48F that did not require the stock cut out. I can tell you that from what I have observed, anything after about 70XXX should not have the cut out. I have seen examples w/o the cut out prior to this, and but they seem to be a mixed bag. I think much of this is due the changes that have been made to the rifles subsequent to leaving the factory, as well as fakes made from miscellaneous parts that don’t necessarily match the vintage of the rifle being built. I also attribute this to the fact that many of the Sporters were sold w/o rear sights and later owners installing sights with full block bases that require a cut out to later rifles that did not use full block bases. Please don’t use this information as a concrete method of determining originality. There is so much more that go’s into evaluating these that is much more relevant than the base cut out. I look at the rifles for sale, and it is minefield of fakes, modifications etc. That is also a good reason to look for one with non original holes if you just want a shooter. Anyone that fakes a Sporter is not going to drill non original holes in the receiver. 

Steve

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April 17, 2023 - 3:59 pm
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seewin said
I look at the rifles for sale, and it is minefield of fakes, modifications etc.
  

That’s why it’s wise to buy from a well-known, long-established, dealer & Winchester expert, with many thousands of high-end sales under his belt–such a one would never lead an inexperienced collector astray.  Right?

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April 25, 2023 - 3:00 am
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HI All,

Looking at an 52B on gunbroker with some unique features SN dates to 1942.

Has a cutout for flip left lever safety but has the right slide safety.  Other conditions look pretty good / close but I’m not the experts you are.  Bert H, WACA shotgun expert recommended I reach out to you here on the forum for opinions.

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/981234766

Thanks for guidance, Best Regards

Ingo

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April 25, 2023 - 1:34 pm
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That is an interesting rifle. I had some discussions earlier with another collector about this rifle. The stock is an earlier pre-B model with the cut out for the LH side safety. I have seen several of these on B model Sporters and feel Winchester was using up existing inventory of the earlier stocks. This not only required the additional cut out for the later type B safely on the RH side, but also an additional hole for the rear tang screw which the prior models did not have. The other odd thing about this rifle is the finish on the receiver which is standard Du Lite blue. The s/n range of this rifle puts it in the time frame where Winchester was using the sandblast finish on the receivers, although an argument could be made that the receiver was manufactured prior to the war and never blued until after when Winchester changed the finish on them. The proofmark on the receiver is very light and based on the poor pictures, I cannot determine if it was polished away or just a light hit. I would like to see what front sight is on the rifle to determine if it is correct, as well as the barrel date. The 48F full block rear sight is late for this s/n range, but it would have been required due to the stock most likely already having the cut out for it. Nothing else jumps out that is incorrect, but again, the pictures are so poor, it is tough to make an accurate assessment. This is one of those rifles that I would need to see in person. 

Steve

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April 25, 2023 - 3:48 pm
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I’ve been watching that rifle too, as well as another.  This rifle is about 13,000 older than the one mentioned above and also has the earlier cut-out for the flip safety.  https://www.gunbroker.com/Item/982674175

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April 25, 2023 - 5:35 pm
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Certainly nothing surprising in the factory making use of an obsolescent part, if it could be adapted to a newer model!

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April 26, 2023 - 3:18 am
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thank you all, certainly the history of Winchester with the war and model updates makes it interesting.  With the fraudulent sellers makes it frustrating and to proceed with such caution when you can’t inspect in person or take apart to view hidden markings

Best Regards

Ingo

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April 26, 2023 - 4:18 am
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Ingo said  With the fraudulent sellers makes it frustrating and to proceed with such caution when you can’t inspect in person or take apart to view hidden markings. 

Yes, the fraudsters never keep working to put one over on the unsuspecting, but everything about this gun, the overall cond, patina, & wear, looks absolutely “right.”  I suspect the final price will confirm that many share this view.

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