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Old 05-17-2017, 05:34 PM
ontargetagain ontargetagain is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North Central Ohio
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Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
Hi Karl! I'm going to reply to specifics so forgive the blocked quoting!
I will confess that I really enjoy revolvers but I also love shooting WC's. I have owned several very nice 9mm's but I just don't fall in love with the cartridge.
I have a love affair with 9mm but it comes with caveats! It tool me many years (MANY!) to fall in love with 9mm and it seems to me that getting a -really- impressive 9mm pistol that does what many .38 revolvers, .45's and obviously Model 52's... well, in my experience, you have to be very choosy in your 9mm pistol to be able to hang with the above. Also, I truly believe that lighting off the 35k PSI max 9mm round has a large effect on how well it can (easily) be shot for gilt-edged accuracy. These are merely my observances & opinions. But the bottom line is that I don't think most people can shoot most 9mm pistols as well as .45's, .38 revolvers and Model 52's.

I'll admit that I like something a bit unique and the Model 52 sure seems to fit that bill However I am not educated on the variables of the model or 'dash' series benefits.
You have come to the right place! The 52 came in three groups.

52 no-dash was first, supposed 3,500 pistols made from 1961 until the 52-1 arrived. The no-dash is actually a DA/SA but most of them are adjusted such that the double action is not in use. These pistols, if found in high grade with original box & goodies can command very collectible prices. They use the old style long extractor which can be more difficult to find parts for the event of breakage. The no-dash frame is not cut for the factory optional counterweight.

The 52-1 followed and is only slightly different. Now a single action only pistol and now cut for the counterweight. This weight... well, those who use and like them are genuine fans and they believe the pistol balances better and they shoot better with it. I, myself, get a lot of enjoyment of ALL aspects of the pistol and it's "curb appeal" is part of that. I find the counterweight to be hideous in looks, and as I am not a match competitor and I shoot my 52's for enjoyment... I will not use one. The counterweight, if originally marked "Smith & Wesson" on the left side and in fine condition is typically a $150+ item. Find one that is in it's original accessory cardboard box? That price tag climbs. The 52-1 ran until 1970.

The 52-2 was the final evolution of the model and ran from 1970 to the end of production in 1993. The earliest 52-2's are A-prefix followed by six numerals. The later 52-2 pistols are three alpha prefix and the very last pistols are TZZ-prefix. (I think it was TZZ... the third letter may be different.)

The 52-2 uses the more modern thin, pivoting extractor. It seems to be "common knowledge" or perhaps a better choice of words might be "it is commonly accepted" that the 52-2 has a more robust extractor design and is the best choice for shooting a Model 52 these days. While I would certainly agree with that... I would not take it so far as to suggest that a 52-1 with the long, wide extractor is a bad gun or a problem that is soon to break or fail. This whole Model 52 extractor discussion is a conversation unto itself, but let's just say that while I own (and absolutely love) three 52-2 pistols currently... I am absolutely on the prowl for my first 52-1 and I am sure that I will love it also when I find one.

I will not be competing with it, I will be shooting indoors up to 75 feet. I will be handloading for it. Anyone with some input as to what gun to look for 52 or 52-1 or 52-2 or if there are concerns to look for please advise. Do these have a really great trigger already or do they require gunsmith tweaking or are they user adjustable?
The trigger is an absolute sweetheart but some folks that are in to very high grade guns already aren't necessarily huge fans. Unlike a 1911 which has an absolute straight-back pull, the 52 has a pivoting trigger. It has been my experience across 7 different 52's that the trigger certainly seems to vary in "feel" depending on the pistol. All of them are fine and wonderful, but I also would say that each pistol has it's own persona with trigger. As for competition -- you said that you do not intend to compete (I don't either) but the one thing I have seen from others who do compete is that for the most part... the only "problem" with a 52 in competition is that some folks find they need to work on the trigger to ADD weight because many seem to come to them lighter than is allowed in competitions for reason of safety.

You should take this to read that yes... when you find your 52, you will probably really like that trigger! It is two-way adjustable... for pre-travel, which I am not much concerned with, but also for over-travel, which... in my experience, means a LOT and helps a LOT in trigger feel.

North Central Ohio, eh? Where abouts? Tiffin? Marion? North of there?
That is quite an education you shared! It is obvious to me now that those that own the Model 52 are pretty much in love with their guns and not likely to part with them. So the quest is underway to find something to learn with or fall in love with LOL
I can remember seeing a occasional 52 at gun shows and it always caught my eye but I never knew enough about them go the next step. Lots of good info from this thread is giving me some confidence to evaluate them now.

I am located between Cleveland and Sandusky not far from the Lake.
Karl
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