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Old 06-27-2014, 06:57 PM
LDBennett LDBennett is offline
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Default Problem shooting my Model 52?

When I shoot mine I see shots on the target with a lot of vertical stringing. It is in about a 1 to 4 ratio. When buried in a sand bag and held down I see round groups. Obviously I have a hand grip problem with this gun and not any of the other two dozen or so hand guns I shoot regularly.


The loads are the 38 Special loads recommended for this very gun: 148 gr HBWC (Hornady) with 3.1 gr of W231 (HP38) for about 720FPS.


I have thoroughly inspected the gun and it is in perfect shape. I bought it used. It is the first model that had the extractor problem but mine appears to not yet have that malady. The sights are tight on the gun, The barrel lockup is tight. The barrel bushing is tight on the barrel. It has after market polished wood grips. The gun is beautiful, has been well kept and maintained, and only lightly used. I think there is nothing wrong with it (??).


I am thinking that the velocity is so low that the gun is moving vertically in recoil long before the bullet exits the barrel. A better grip of the gun may help??


Anyone experienced this with this gun? This was supposed to be one of the most accurate bullseye guns around in its day back in the 1960ís.


LDBennett
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:11 PM
scooter123 scooter123 is offline
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I suspect that you are on the right track, the grips installed on your pistol just don't fit you well enough. One problem will be finding new grips, the model 52 was always a low volume handgun and I would expect finding new grips won't be a matter of looking on the Net. Most likely you'll need to have some custom grips made and fitted to your pistol and hand. I would suggest contacting a US represetative for Nill grips, they can build grips based on an outline of your hand and probably have the frame pattern for the model 52. Another option is to look on ebay and gunbroker for the original factory grips.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:26 PM
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Try putting the barrel on the bag & letting the rear free float under the other hand for support. Up & down is usually an eyeball problem in my guns. Just something that works for me.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
I am thinking that the velocity is so low that the gun is moving vertically in recoil long before the bullet exits the barrel. A better grip of the gun may help??
I guarantee that you are moving the gun before the shot to produce that much stringing in the vertical. Grips that fit and better technique are the way to solve the problem, as is a mental awareness that concentrates on follow-through, keeping the grip constant until recoil moves the gun. No human has fast enough reflexes to respond in the time between ignition and bullet exit, but we all have a tendency to react BEFORE ignition when we think it is about to go.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:34 PM
LDBennett LDBennett is offline
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I am curious if others have seen this problem.

I know how to shoot handguns as I have many that I shoot regularly. I shoot 22's and 44Mag's and everything in between, both semi-autos and revolvers.

I do not flinch and I have a pretty firm grip on the gun. I can not feel the gun slip in my hand but that does not mean it is not happening.

As for changing the grips that really is no problem as the basic gun is a Model 39.The current after market grips on the gun actually have that ID on the backside so I know Model 39 grips will fit. I do think I'll try to get some Pachmayr rubber grips. Several of my other guns have them and I have no such problem with those guns.

I am still looking for someone else who may have had this same problem shooting this Model 52 gun (??).

Thanks to all who have commented so far.

LDBennett
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:35 PM
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I've owned several M52's and have always found a slightly higher load to be more accurate and reliable. My load is a 148 grain DEWC with 3.1 grains of Bullseye. Not much hotter, but works for me. The 52 is the "no excuses" gun. It's not the guns fault.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:28 AM
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THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR LOAD OF 3.1 GR 231. A VERY WELL ESTABLISHED LOAD FOR DECADES. THAT BEING SAID, YOUR BULLET CHOICE IS ANOTHER THING. TRY ZERO BRAND 148 GR SWAGED HBWC, OR THE REMINGTON 148GR S WAGED HBWC. REMEMBER TO SEAT FLUSH OR SLIGHTLY BELOW FLUSH WITH MED HEAVY ROLL CRIMP. JP
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:52 AM
LDBennett LDBennett is offline
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PPCSHOOTER:

There is something wrong with Hornady's 148 gr HBWC ??

It is pretty hard to screw up a swaged bullet and that is what the Hornady bullet is.

Note I said that when the gun is well confined on bags the groups are round. It is only when shooting in my hand that I get vertical stringing. And yes, the bullet is slightly below flush with a roll crimp to allow easy entry into the chamber. I only included the loading data to point out what the load was so that I did not get a course on reloading for this unusually semi-auto gun.

I still think it has to do with my hold and the extremely slow bullet velocity. I shoot all other handguns I own without a flinch and in acceptable grouping if the guns are up to it. This is the only gun that gives me this problem. So in this regard I have ordered Pachmyr rubber grips (like I have on lots of my other guns) and will give them a try. Maybe I'm wrong and it really is the Hornady bullets so if the grips fail I'll try changing bullets too and investigate my reloading of this cartridge.

Thanks for the input.

LDBennett
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:54 AM
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I "feel your pain.". I finally gave up on mine. The grip frame sticks back so much near the bottom that the main pressure on my hand was near the bottom of the grip. Not great for accuracy. I finally taught myself to shoot it well by hanging of the right side of the grip but it was never comfortable. I always put flat main spring housings on 1911's for the same reason. I bet that's your problem too.

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Old 06-28-2014, 11:42 AM
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I have a model 52, but embarrassingly have never shot it . My understanding from those who have is that it is very sensitive to "follow through" when shooting it, as mentioned above. The fact that it prints without vertical stringing off a rest is more evidence of this.

I suspect you are on the right track getting stocks that provide a consistent hold; a cheap alternative may be to put adhesive skateboard tape on the front and backstraps, as long as the adhesive doesn't damage the finish. Consistent and repeatable grip pressure with a secure hold will likely fix your problem. Good luck!
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:05 PM
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I've shoot one for years , mostly in the Centerfire match during a 2700 match ( ie Bullseye or NRA Outdoor Conventional Pistol ) . We also shoot one handed & 1/3 of the match @ 50yds . Problem is the gun just does not fit most shooters hand ( s ) . Custom grips can help if shooter has large hands . Fundamentals ( grip , trigger control , sight alignment & most important with a 52 follow through ) are vital to shoot one to its potential . I use to say they're as forgiving as 3 ex wives . Any lapse on the shooters part is magnified 10 fold @ the target . All that said they're a blast to shoot & a tribute to the art of gun making . Designed to shoot factory mid - range 148 HBWC's . With careful loading technique handloads can equal factory load accuracy . If you'd care to search my past posts you'll find a good bit of interesting info including loads , technique , test targets shot offhand @ 50yds etc . Sorry but aboard ship @ work now & don't have my notes with me . As I'm an older gent my memory aint what it used to be . I can also tell you from bitter experience that the 38 special will hurt your scores more than it'll help them . When one's having a good day they can be a joy , but when fatigue / lack of concentration set in they can quickly become just the opposite . Do what you can to make the gun truly fit your hand , dry fire a lot , learn the trigger until release becomes second nature . Smooth release without disturbing sight alignment is your goal .
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Old 06-28-2014, 02:51 PM
LDBennett LDBennett is offline
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boatbum101:

I don't compete. I only target shoot for fun. I have many target guns and this is just one of many. I'll not have the time or inclination to "learn" this pistol. I bought it because it represents a time in Bullseye shooting and it is actually a really beautiful gun. While aware of guns when this gun was released circa 1965, I had never seen one or its father, the Model 39. If the 39 was finished like this gun then WOW. We are really missing a lot with today's guns. I am really impressed with the basic Model 39 design and the few modification S&W did to get it to the Model 52 .Those modifications are actually minimal.

This is a first model and has the extractor potential problem fixed in the second model. Since mine is just a Model 39 underneath, it too will probably have the broken extractor problem eventually. I'll worry about it when it happens. It already appears that there are no spare parts. I may have to make one (??). Is there anything I can do to minimize the chance of the extractor breakage?

I'm going to put the Pachmayr grips on it and see how it and I do with that. All I have currently are the beautiful after market grips but the Packmayr grips are on the way.

Thanks for the comments.

LDBennett
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDBennett View Post
PPCSHOOTER:

There is something wrong with Hornady's 148 gr HBWC ??

It is pretty hard to screw up a swaged bullet and that is what the Hornady bullet is.

Note I said that when the gun is well confined on bags the groups are round. It is only when shooting in my hand that I get vertical stringing. And yes, the bullet is slightly below flush with a roll crimp to allow easy entry into the chamber. I only included the loading data to point out what the load was so that I did not get a course on reloading for this unusually semi-auto gun.

I still think it has to do with my hold and the extremely slow bullet velocity. I shoot all other handguns I own without a flinch and in acceptable grouping if the guns are up to it. This is the only gun that gives me this problem. So in this regard I have ordered Pachmyr rubber grips (like I have on lots of my other guns) and will give them a try. Maybe I'm wrong and it really is the Hornady bullets so if the grips fail I'll try changing bullets too and investigate my reloading of this cartridge.

Thanks for the input.

LDBennett
I HAVE FOUND THE HORNADY TO BE SLIGHTLY SMALLER IN DIAMETER ( USING A DIGITAL MICROMETER CAPABLE OF .0000 & MEASURING 100 BULLETS AND TAKING THE AVERAGE) THAN THE ZERO'S AND THE REMINGTON WERE THE FATTEST . I HAD ALWAYS SWORE THE STAR SPECIAL MATCH WERE THE BEST. BUT WHEN THEY CLOSED AND MY SUPPLY BEGAN TO DWINDLE I BEGAN EXTENSIVE TESTING. THE REMINGTON WERE THE BEST. A PAIN TO LOAD WITH THEIR FLAKIE AND CLUMPY LUBE. BUT THE RANSOM REST DOESN'T LIE.
THIS TESTING WAS DONE WITH SEVERAL CUSTOM PPC REVOLVERS AND 2 MODEL 52'S AND A CLARK 1911 IN 38SPL ALL AT 50YDS.

IN ORDER OF ACCURACY

#1 REMINGTON
#2 ZERO
A DISTANT 3RD HORNADY
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:47 PM
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I bought my 52-2 for a lot of the same reasons......I know .38s fell out of favor years ago for the centerfire portion but it represents the golden age of bullseye shooting to me and is one of the best autos S&W ever produced. I love the feel and balance of the gun and it's a work of art to me.

Although at 720 FPS the bullet may be moving "slower" than some other rounds and therefore taking longer to exit the barrel, at that speed it's only in the 5" barrel for 0.0005787 seconds......so not very long and not much time for the gun to move under recoil.

I can't tell if yours is a 52 no dash or 52-1 as both had the longer style extractor. If it's the 52-1, it should have the frame cut to accept the weight (pictured below) and that might help address your issue. I've heard other shooters say the weight helped their shooting. Be aware that installing the weight may scratch the frame.




Last edited by civil1977; 06-28-2014 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:46 AM
LDBennett LDBennett is offline
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civil1977:

Thank you for your comment. Mine does not have the machined rails for the weight so it most likely is the Model 52 without a dash number. I did not know they offered the weighted version in later years.

If this Model 52 was the level of fit and finish for the Model 39 some 50 years ago then we are missing great guns today. The blue is deep and shiny. The parts fit together perfectly. Today gun manufactures have lost the bubble. Today guns are about as well fit and finished as a crescent wrench and about as utilitarian. My window into this era is this Model 52, a Belgium Browning Challenger, a Colt Match Target, and some lesser High Standards. Anyone who has not seen any of theses guns has no idea of what serious craftsmen some 50 years ago were able to do. Amazing! The high cost of labor killed this level of craftsmanship in gun manufacture.

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Old 06-29-2014, 08:38 AM
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What hold are you using? 6 o'clock or center? Are you using the classic one hand target hold or two hands?

I suspect you may be dropping your front sight. I have that problem sometimes in formal target. Try ball and dummy also to see where your sights are at the break.

I would also try a slightly faster load. Ammo can make a difference when loaded this light. IIRC, .358 diameter is thought to work best in the M52.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:49 AM
LDBennett LDBennett is offline
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ironhead7544:

I'm using a two handed grip, just like I do on all my other guns. I prefer center hold as I don't always shoot at paper targets with the same sized black bull. This is not normally a problem for me. The gun wants to group as the horizontal measurement after 20 rounds is relatively small for me but the vertical component of the group is about four time larger.... Vertical stringing!

I practice focusing on remembering the sight picture when the gun goes off. If it is not a perfect sight picture that I remember then I did something wrong. But I shoot many guns without this vertical stringing problem....ever. I think it has to be the interface between me and this gun, not my general shooting habits. I also don't believe it to be a ammo problem (but who knows??) as the gun will shoot round groups the last time I shot it off bags.

I need to revisit shooting off bags and offhand with the new Pachmayr rubber grips to see where we are at today. Maybe something has changed with the ammo or the gun? The last trip to the range last week was a disappointment that I have seen since getting this gun but brought to the forefront again.

Thanks for the comment.

LDBennett
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:19 AM
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LDBennet;

I have owned three M52's, all have shot very accurately.
Sold the two M52-2's and kept the 1968 M52-1 that I currently shoot in the center fire bullseye matches.
Kept the 52-1 cause I thought the extraction was better than the updated 52-2's.
Just sent an extractor that I do not need anymore to a shooter needing one in his 52-2.
I think the secret to not have any problems with the 52-1 extractor is to never remove and try to reinstall it(cause you will bend it which I believe will cause a failure) and keep it clean with a toothbrush in the claw area.
I have thousands of rounds through mine without incident(knock on wood).
Your load is fine, no need to push it that hard for good groups or anything for that matter.
I load Remington 148gr HBWC over 2.8gr Bullseye powder.
My best center fire score to date is an 872-26x
If you take the time and learn to shoot this awesome target pistol you will be rewarded.
It is a very unforgiving pistol that will show you any errors in hold, triggering and follow through that you have.
That said, enjoy your M52.

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Old 06-30-2014, 02:01 PM
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If in doubt, film yourself shooting...
there are many inexpensive vidcams availible these days...
Tripod one & aim it towards you, or have someone work it...
and you will Quickly know whether it is you or the pistol

Nice to see you over here, LDBennett, your knowledge on many weapons
will come in handy here!
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:54 PM
LDBennett LDBennett is offline
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Thank you, Big Shrek.

But since I do OK on all my other handguns why would my shooting style change once I had the S&W Model 52 in hand?

But I do intend to try once again after I get the new grips. I still think the gun must be moving during the exit of the bullet or the gun is slipping in my hand momentarily, if that is possible.

I think it interesting that several Model 52 users say it is hard to use and get excellent scores even though it is remarkably accurate in a rest or when buried in sand bags. Something is going on here that is different from other shooting problems, in my opinion. More testing required!

LDBennett
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:53 PM
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Let me expand on what I said earlier in this thread. If the grip shape forces the primary contact between the shooter's hand and the rear of the grip toward the bottom of the grip frame...as it did for me...then recoil has a lot more leverage to pivot up the barrel as the gun is fired. That means that the shooter's grip must be much more consistent than a more typical high grip in order to diminish vertical stringing. It was a problem for me until figured out a way to move my pressure point on the rear of the grip up to where it belonged.

Ed
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:29 PM
LDBennett LDBennett is offline
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5-Shot:

I'll give it a try but I have other guns that do not have the flat butt as does the 1911 in some forms. On my several 1911 I have used on the flat butt. I'll investigate to see if the Model 52 is worse than the other guns I have with curved butts. Your explanation makes sense and is certainly should be under consideration and testing.

Thanks.

LDBennett
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:50 AM
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I use a rather loose two handed grip. The 52 has a very light trigger. I also use a 6 o'clock sight picture. Compared to other handguns I have had to work with this one, it seems the lower velocity of the HBWC rounds make one "hold" the sight picture longer. It gets worse at longer range. Practice, Patrice etc. They are amazingly accurate once you "learn" them.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:56 AM
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smithrjd:

I initially tried that and the vertical stringing was worse for me than hanging on tight. I found it hard to duplicate the hold shot to shot with such a loose grip. I have yet to try a higher hold-tight point on the grip. I only shoot two handed. My shooting is not tactical but shooting for fun at paper targets. If I never learn to shoot this unique gun...Oh Well! It s a beautiful gun none the less and I'll never sell it having waited decades to buy one. For me it is about its history in bullseye shooting and the fact that it is only one a few 38 Special semi-auto guns shooting full wadcutters that feed perfectly if the ammo is made right.

LDBennett
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:47 PM
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Wolff makes a recoil spring calibration kit with a 7 , 8 (factory ) , 9 lb springs . Sometimes if spring is too light for the load , the gun unlocks too soon & you'll see vertical stringing . Extractors are available you have to beat the bushes though . If gun is new to you I'd change all the springs including the mags too . I'd also run the heaviest recoil spring that allows gun to function & slide to lock open on an empty mag .
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:00 PM
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Try the second one of this list. It helps me a lot.
Nill Grips for S&W Model 52 Pistols
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:39 PM
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I also have a 52-2, have had it a few months now but only shot it four or five times. In my hands it was not consistent. I remembered someone saying that the pistol takes some getting use to and a change in the standard way you'd shoot a pistol. i can't remember why.

Darn if I can recall what was said but someone on this forum will know.

They do make pretty round holes don't they.

I took my original wood stocks (too sharp and perfect to shoot) and replaced with Pachmayr rubber stocks. I get a good tight grip with them.

I'll stay tuned and hope for an answer.

ps: a little update on earlier threads about this gun...the seller came back to the store with the original box which is nice.



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Old 07-02-2014, 11:22 PM
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Just speaking for myself, I usually shoot 9mm or 45 so it is just instinctive to react to some sort of impending recoil. It happens. So when I pull out the 52 I have to overcome that natural tendency as it has virtually no recoil. I found that if I loaded them a little warmer the feeling was more natural but I don't want to put that much wear and tear on the gun. With the lower power rounds it takes me a few mags to settle down and then I start getting better. To be honest, I don't shoot 22s all that well either. Guess I don't shoot them enough.
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:51 PM
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So...I got the rubberized Pachmeyr grips (for a Model 39 which is what the Model 52 is based on), installed them and went to the range today. They did not turn me into a professional shooter and my shooting is still suffering from bad old eyes and shaky old hands, but the groups were at least not stringing as before. They were round.

It must be not that the gun moves in recoil while the bullet is still in the barrel, but that the action of pulling the trigger had my hand slipping on the polished hardwood completely smooth hardwood grips. With the rubber grips the stringing problem disappeared. Interestingly over the years many of my pistols include those rubber Pachmeyr grips used because of feel and look. I have no other pistol with such smooth grips as came on this used Model 52. I have never had a flinching or anticipation problem with any of my guns so I knew that was not it. But it is now solved. Thank you to those of you that commented.

LDBennett
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:41 PM
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Another wrinkle in my Model 52 accuracy saga.

I cleaned it today and found the rear sight loose on the slide. There is a tiny allen screw that retains it and that screw was loose. While the movement was limited it certainly could not help accuracy any. So its back to the range to re-zero the gun and again check its accuracy. I do not think the stringing was caused by this loose sight but the size of the groups might have been.

I guess this is what happens when you buy anything used. It takes time to discover what's wrong with it. I have only had this gun to the range less than a half dozen times in the last 5 years of ownership.

Every time I clean it I marvel at the superb workmanship, fit and finish, and overall appearance of this gun. It blows my mind that back in the 1960's most all guns (at least from S&W and Colt) had this superb finish with deep blue. My friends had Rugers in this time frame and none looked as good as this S&W Model 52 which was based on the Model 39.

LDBennett
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:14 PM
mikemyers mikemyers is offline
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Default Any updates regarding shooting with the M-52 ?

I know this thread has been dormant for four years, but there is more information in this single thread than in all the places I've been searching.

I bought a Model 52, and other than a 20-round test last year to make sure my reloads worked in it, this is the first time I've started using it.

I went from getting nice groups from my 1911 at 25 yards to the worst groups I have gotten in decades from the M-52. The groups were huge, and oval shaped, taller than wide. I can post a photo of the "target", although I hate to even think of it as a target. It's a plain white piece of paper with holes scattered all over.....

From what I'm reading, I probably need to hold the gun more tightly, and avoid pressing the bottom of the rear of the grip - somehow need to "grip" it higher up. Yes, the grips are so smooth, they're beautiful, but I doubt I'm holding the gun that securely. I guess I need to order a set of the Pachmayr grips as were described above.

I'm reloading Magnus .357" diameter #514 bullets over 2.8 grains of Bullseye powder.

Today was a shock. The gun is beautiful, and I know people say it is a challenge to shoot well, but if one masters it, the results are excellent. Looking for any additional advice on how to shoot it well.

Last edited by mikemyers; 04-03-2018 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:58 AM
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Update: I did get the Pachmayr grips for Model 39. Either side would fit find, but the rubber connecting them was not wide enough, so I couldn't get both sides "on". So, I cut out the rubber strap for the front, put each side grip in places and it worked fine.

For me, the grouping improved considerably. Things were working, but the gun felt too "skinny" in my hands. I ordered a set of Hogue grips for the gun - installed them, but today is the first time I'll get to try them out. I will say one thing - with the Hogue grips in place, shooting two handed, the gun felt just as nice in my hands as any of my other guns that I enjoy shooting. That they are stunningly beautiful (Cocobolo) is just icing on the cake.

Hogue has many choices, just go to their website and look around. To me, the most important thing is probably how well they fit my hand. Maybe if I shot one-handed, the stock grips would have been fine, but my hands aren't very steady using just one of them at a time.....
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:06 AM
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Update:

Model 39, 52, 439, 539 and 639 - Grips for Smith & Wesson - Handgun Grips - Hogue Products

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Old 07-02-2018, 09:29 AM
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A few of the above posts mentioned the original long extractor which is very difficult to find a replacement. I can report that now Jack First in Rapid City is making them, a little pricey at $70 inc. shipping, but if it puts the gun back in working order it's worth it.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:37 AM
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I've owned a model 52-1 since the mid 70's. I made it to NRA outdoor master shooting bullseye pistol matches. My experience is that it is hard to match factory match ammo accuracy at 50 yds. rolling my own. It groups fine at 25 yds. with my loads. Perfect basic marksmanship fundamentals are required for each shot, especially follow through. It is very unforgiving of any failure to apply marksmanship fundamentals, meaning if I call a shot wide, it'll usually be much, much wider than I thought. The positive side is that my example has never had a malfunction in thousands of rounds of mostly factory match ammo, but some reloads. Even though you're very experienced shooting handguns, it takes a very skilled marksman to wring the accuracy potential out of this pistol and even then, he'd better be having a good day. While my best centerfire match ever at 25 yds. outdoors was with my S& W model 52-1, I finally made master after giving it up for the 1911. It wasn't the only factor, but was a factor, IMHO.
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:05 PM
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Having read all the above earlier today, I went to the range for a couple of. hours. First target, top-right below, is a shoot-n-see that I tried out. Second target, below it, ditto. Both are 15 shots. Then I shot at my "real" target, an NRA B-8 target at left, so I could get a feel for how I'm doing. That's 20 rounds, and all but one are within the 9-ring. Not too pretty, but that's better than what I was doing months ago.

After the first two targets, I moved the windage adjustment one click to the right, and then one more later. These were all with the Hogue grips, with me gripping the gun more or less like I grip a Model 41.

I went on to shoot another more, this time gripping the gun a bit tighter. Yikes - that brought up the complaint posted earlier in this thread, how the shots were one above another. There may be a better answer, but for now, I'll go along with gripping the gun "normally", not excessively tight.
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:11 PM
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Final two targets, 10 rounds each, gripping the gun a little tighter. I have a feeling I'm not applying pressure to the trigger smoothly enough.

All of these are at 25 yards. The only target I shot at 15 is with the gun on a rest.
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:15 PM
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Finally, I got to wondering what the gun would do on a rest. Here's four shots, on a rest, at 15 yards.

The gun is doing fine - I need to find ways to improve....
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by LDBennett View Post
smithrjd:

I initially tried that and the vertical stringing was worse for me than hanging on tight. I found it hard to duplicate the hold shot to shot with such a loose grip. I have yet to try a higher hold-tight point on the grip. I only shoot two handed. My shooting is not tactical but shooting for fun at paper targets. If I never learn to shoot this unique gun...Oh Well! It s a beautiful gun none the less and I'll never sell it having waited decades to buy one. For me it is about its history in bullseye shooting and the fact that it is only one a few 38 Special semi-auto guns shooting full wadcutters that feed perfectly if the ammo is made right.

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You've got the idea...tight grip= tight group!
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:08 PM
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I spent a few hours at the range today, mostly to see if shooting sub 6-o'clock hold would help me - answer, yes.

Found out some other things, much of it the same as what BE Mike has posted. When I hold the Model 52 loosely, the results are not good. When I grip it the way I grip my Model 41, groups got considerably better. When I gripped it much harder, far too many shots went "wild", undoubtedly my fault, but the tighter I grip, the greater the tendency for my hands/muscles to "twitch" at just the wrong moment. Gripping it like my Model 41, my hands remain much steadier.

As noted above, when/if I did/do anything wrong, the gun exaggerates my mistake! Instead of an "oops", I'm going what the **** happened???

Back to this morning - I turned the elevation adjustment 13 turns CCW, to raise the POA, such that I would hopefully be aiming directly under the bull of my M-8 target, so the black sights would be in front of white paper, not a black bull. Target #1 below shows the results, including three shots going who knows where when I started out gripping the gun fairly strongly. I didn't make any changes for target #2, but all the shots were high, so I re-adjusted the elevation screw. My "glitch" or whatever I should call it caused one shot to go far too high. For target #3, I lowered the POA, but went too far. I corrected that and got target #4, which is where I left the sights for now. I suspect I'll need to do some more adjusting next time.

Being bored, I went back to target #3 and fired off 15 more rounds, for a total of 25. I suspect that's a better example of my (lack of) ability at this point in time, but the shots at the bottom should now be back into the group, since the sights have been adjusted.


Things to consider for the future. A red dot sight would be nice, but for this gun I'm sticking with the steel sights. The Hogue grips work as nicely as the Pachmayr rubber grips, and look infinitely nicer - and they feel good in my hand. I guess my plan is to go to the range, make minor adjustments to the sighting, and try to get consistent. If that happens, then I'll be trying to figure out how to tighten up the group a little.

The thing that I will keep working on, is my dry fire routine.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 5-Shot View Post
Let me expand on what I said earlier in this thread. If the grip shape forces the primary contact between the shooter's hand and the rear of the grip toward the bottom of the grip frame...as it did for me...then recoil has a lot more leverage to pivot up the barrel as the gun is fired..............
After seeing the same issues you described, I am convinced that what you posted is what has been driving me nuts. I don't always get one shot over another over another - but it has happened. So last night, in dry firing, I exaggerated what I was doing, with lots of pressure where my palm rests against the backstrap, way down at the bottom. It doesn't take much effort to see how any variation in pressure there wold cause the "stringing" effect. By being very careful as to how to grip the gun, I can avoid the "stringing", but maybe I can teach my hand how to apply resistance to the recoil higher up on the backstop? That's what I'll be testing on my next visit to the range (either tomorrow, or in a week and a half...

Gripping the Model 52 too weakly probably just causes the gun to pivot on the spot my hand is touching the bottom of the backstop (because of the shape of the backstop).

Gripping the Model 52 too strongly seems to cause a problem with my holding the gun perfectly steady - and any lack of steadiness seems to be amplified when applied to where the bullets hit the target!
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemyers View Post
After seeing the same issues you described, I am convinced that what you posted is what has been driving me nuts. I don't always get one shot over another over another - but it has happened. So last night, in dry firing, I exaggerated what I was doing, with lots of pressure where my palm rests against the backstrap, way down at the bottom. It doesn't take much effort to see how any variation in pressure there wold cause the "stringing" effect. By being very careful as to how to grip the gun, I can avoid the "stringing", but maybe I can teach my hand how to apply resistance to the recoil higher up on the backstop? That's what I'll be testing on my next visit to the range (either tomorrow, or in a week and a half...

Gripping the Model 52 too weakly probably just causes the gun to pivot on the spot my hand is touching the bottom of the backstop (because of the shape of the backstop).

Gripping the Model 52 too strongly seems to cause a problem with my holding the gun perfectly steady - and any lack of steadiness seems to be amplified when applied to where the bullets hit the target!
IMHO, shooting an air pistol at 10 meters, using the official targets will soon show whether or not one is following through. Good training for the S&W model 52.
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