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Old 10-14-2016, 05:27 PM
jeff66 jeff66 is offline
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Default S&W 52-2

I recently bought a 52-2 that is in the box numbered to the gun. It has all the tools and the manual. It has a mag. In the gun and 2 extras in the box as well as two more, for a total of 5. If anyone could help me with a date, the# is A236953. This pistol is in excellent condition. I appreciate the help.
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:52 PM
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The book says 1974 to 1975 is A235001-A265000
So yours most likely is 1974. Only a letter from the SWHF will nail it down.
Regards,
George
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:05 PM
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Hello Jeff, Im a 52 fan, as are a few other guys. Im compiling a ship date sheet. I have had several and now down to a few. Ship dates are all over the place, worse than most. There is no order they were shipped in. They got an order and reached in the vault. Mr. Jinks is the only real source for ship dates. Enjoy and best.
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:50 PM
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Default S&W 52-2 new acquisition

Hello
A short presentation…
Back on early 1975 when serving in the Portuguese Army, I started shooting pistol and was lucky to obtain good results in the regional Army pistol competitions – then shooting a service Walther P38 9mm pistol.
It was a service pistol not specially prepared for competition at all and the ammunition was the service military ammo! However this gave me the opportunity to represent my “region” in the national Army matches. Still shooting the P38, I was again lucky and became one of the 5 effective members of the Army’s team!
Then things changed and the Army distributed me two real match pistols : a S&W 52-2 and a SIG P210 9mm.
Both pistols were for me the dream! Used to the P38, I could not believe what the difference was! I represented the Army against the other military and police branches ad turned out with a very honourable 6th place on the finals! For a newcomer to the sport not too bad!
My service time ended on December 75 and I had to return the pistols to the Army.
I then purchased a .22 pistol (Margolin) and a good Feinwerkbau airgun to practice and with intervals due to professional impediments never stopped shooting precision until now. In my “arsenal” I have, among other European pistols, two S&W revolvers – the classic K .22 and K .38…
42 years after the above facts, I have just been lucky to finally purchase a S&W 52-2 in almost as new condition. They are difficult to find in Europe and usually expensive, but this was a 40 years dream!!!
Members who had similar experience may understand what I feel…
The point now is whether there are good reloading solutions for this pistol/round.
I reload the .38 WC to use with the S&W revolver without any issues and very good accuracy.
But a pistol is different and the known loading issues are a fact to take in consideration.
Loaded commercial ammunition is difficult to find. So back to the reloading bench!
Any suggestion?
Thanks a lot!
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Old 03-11-2017, 01:05 PM
smithrjd smithrjd is offline
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gmborkovic,
For your list I own TBC773X. Mid Eighty's I believe.

afmelo,
I have had my best accuracy using Bullseye powder, 2.7 to 2.9 grains, depending on the bullet. 148 grain hollow based wadcutters. The Double Ended wadcutters function fine but are not as accurate. I also trim the cases down by about 5 thousands of an inch, seat the bullets flush with just a slight roll crimp. Remington bullets have been the best so far but are now not available. Using Winchester and Hornaday now.
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Old 03-11-2017, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afmelo View Post
Any suggestion?
Thanks a lot!
The pistol is rated for 'mid range' wadcutters, but for the life of me, I don't ever remember seeing that referenced anywhere other than in relationship to Model 52's. Loading below 800 fps should be satisfactory, but these guns have a reputation for being finicky until you find the right combination. Lots of folks report using Bullseye and 231. IIRC, the sweet spot for mine was 3.3 grains of 231 with Hornady HBWC's.
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Old 03-11-2017, 04:14 PM
gmborkovic gmborkovic is online now
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Hello Smith, thanks for the date. Best, Mike
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:08 PM
Leon Narozny Leon Narozny is offline
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2.8 gns BE, Hornady 148 gn wc, roll crimp. Works my 52-2 and is super
accurate.
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:47 PM
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afmelo,
The reason to trim the cases slightly is to insure they are all the same length. Taking them down a bit ensures they function through the magazine. Not sure what powders are available to you, but these pistols run best between 750fps and 800fps. Pretty much anything that will get in that area should be worth trying. The 2.7 to 2.9 grain Bullseye load is the classic wadcutter load for competition.
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:37 PM
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Many thanks for the very useful data and advices.

US powders are not available here... so I use VECTAN Ba10, which I understand to be very close to Bullseye although eventually slightly faster.
Vectan powders reloading charges here:

Discover which powder corresponds to which rifle or revolver

So I will start developing the load for the 52-2 with this powder.

The serial number of my pistol is: A485711, I believe from the early 80's?

Again many thanks for the warm welcome and help!
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:05 PM
gmborkovic gmborkovic is online now
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Hello Jeff, A236953 shipped April 1975. I just checked my data list from the Factory. Nice snag. Best
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:23 PM
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Getting 5 factory Model 52 mags in the deal is a big score in and of itself.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:27 AM
Marine24 Marine24 is offline
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Saw a Model 52-1 at LGS with an asking price of $1399. I didn't look at it up close and not sure whether it comes with the original box, accessories...etc but price seemed high.

Appears most shooter grades without box/accessories are running around the $900 mark.

I'll take a better look today.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afmelo View Post
Hello
A short presentation…
Back on early 1975 when serving in the Portuguese Army, I started shooting pistol and was lucky to obtain good results in the regional Army pistol competitions – then shooting a service Walther P38 9mm pistol.
It was a service pistol not specially prepared for competition at all and the ammunition was the service military ammo! However this gave me the opportunity to represent my “region” in the national Army matches. Still shooting the P38, I was again lucky and became one of the 5 effective members of the Army’s team!
Then things changed and the Army distributed me two real match pistols : a S&W 52-2 and a SIG P210 9mm.
Both pistols were for me the dream! Used to the P38, I could not believe what the difference was! I represented the Army against the other military and police branches ad turned out with a very honourable 6th place on the finals! For a newcomer to the sport not too bad!
My service time ended on December 75 and I had to return the pistols to the Army.
I then purchased a .22 pistol (Margolin) and a good Feinwerkbau airgun to practice and with intervals due to professional impediments never stopped shooting precision until now. In my “arsenal” I have, among other European pistols, two S&W revolvers – the classic K .22 and K .38…
42 years after the above facts, I have just been lucky to finally purchase a S&W 52-2 in almost as new condition. They are difficult to find in Europe and usually expensive, but this was a 40 years dream!!!
Members who had similar experience may understand what I feel…
The point now is whether there are good reloading solutions for this pistol/round.
I reload the .38 WC to use with the S&W revolver without any issues and very good accuracy.
But a pistol is different and the known loading issues are a fact to take in consideration.
Loaded commercial ammunition is difficult to find. So back to the reloading bench!
Any suggestion?
Thanks a lot!
The S&W 52 shoots best with a 148 grain hollow base swaged bullet. I don't know what gun powders are available there, but you should select a fast powder that will give you around 760 fps. Over here the popular powders are Alliant Bullseye and Winchester 231 or HP 38. I use 2.7 grains of Bullseye. Make sure that the bullet is seated flush with the case mouth or even slightly below. I like a taper crimp.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:54 PM
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Let's not forget that the 52-1 had a long extractor with a possibility of breakage. This was blamed on hotter loads(?). These extractors are NO LONGER AVAILABLE. I believe that the standard recommended load 2.8 BE/148HBWC was and is the safety factor in preventing extractor breakage. I use the same load in my Model 19 ( or 357 Magnum brass & 3.2BE).

The 52-2 with the Short extractor had no breakage problem but the standard load never changed. NOTHING BEATS AN S&W 52!
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:23 PM
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I wouldn't get too worked up about the 52/52-1 long extractor supposedly being prone to breakage... while it is true that you can't get a replacement extractor from S&W anymore, Numrich occasionally has them. Also, it is almost common to see 52/52-1 gun packages for sale where the original owner ordered a replacement extractor "just in case!" and never needed to use it.

There are 52/52-1's for sale all the time and all that I see have a fully functional extractor in them.

Frankly, I believe it's absolutely overblown.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:23 PM
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52-1 was in great shape with no visible damage or wear on the pistol. Down side is that it only came with one magazine. bushing wrench but no box or other accessories.

$1250 was the sellers low but still too much for me. It would have to come down another $200 before I got interested.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:36 PM
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My .02 cents;
The breakage of the long M52 and M52-1 extractors as said above is over blown.
Been shooting an M52-1 for Bullseye for a few years and also have a "new old stock" extractor for a backup.
Have not needed it; yet after thousands of rounds.
My take is that you never remove it from the slide.
There is no reason to, even for cleaning.
If you are anal, then spray it down with some light oil and blow it out with high pressure shop air; but do not remove it.
Remember taking a spoon or fork and bending it in the same place back and forth, after 4 or 5 bends, it breaks.
Same as the long extractor.
What it requires to remove it and reinstall it goes through the same motions.
As an aside;
Toss the bushing wrench, finger tight only and back off to the last locking notch.(new bushings are harder to find then a long extractors).
YMMV
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:39 PM
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I believe the bushing and bushing wrench is much like a motorcycle oil filter and wrench. When you buy a used motorcycle, you may damn well need a wrench to get that blasted oil filter off, it can be a nightmare.

When you put a new filter on (or re-assemble your Model 52) then you screw the filter (or bushing) on hand-tight and as long as you own the pistol, you should never need that wrench again on that pistol.

The wrench? It's handy for when some previous owner put it gorilla-tight.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
I believe the bushing and bushing wrench is much like a motorcycle oil filter and wrench. When you buy a used motorcycle, you may damn well need a wrench to get that blasted oil filter off, it can be a nightmare.

When you put a new filter on (or re-assemble your Model 52) then you screw the filter (or bushing) on hand-tight and as long as you own the pistol, you should never need that wrench again on that pistol.

The wrench? It's handy for when some previous owner put it gorilla-tight.
I hate when someone decides to King Kong torque things down. I run into that at work, sheet metal panel screws will be torqued down like head bolts.

Luckily, neither of my bikes use screw-on oil filters.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:26 PM
TOM BECKWITH TOM BECKWITH is offline
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Re: Tightening Bbl bushings. The bushings are very hard and somewhat thin. Overtightening is a good way of cracking them and finding a replacement is getting difficult. Finger tight is best.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:18 PM
Leon Narozny Leon Narozny is offline
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I am a little confused as to the discussion on over tightening the 52
barrel bushing. I don't take my barrel off that often, but when I do,
I finger tighten it and then it usually goes about a notch or two tighter, using the bushing wrench.
It is then in full contact with its' mating surface. How do you make it move down more
when the two surfaces are in full contact?

Last edited by Leon Narozny; 03-20-2017 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:06 PM
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To Leon;

Going to try and answer your question as best i can, bear with.

The barrel bushing and slide have VERY FINE threads.
First, they need lubrication as with any thread to thread contact.
Second, over torquing any threaded object can stretch/deform the thread.
When mated for awhile, you shoot it, heat and cold come into play, corrosion may come into play and now you decide to remove it.
If stretched/deformed upon removal will cause the threads to gall and now you are creating extra metal inside the threads to form from the thread not turning smoothly but removing metal at every revolution.
If parts were a plenty, then so what; but they are not.
Worst case is you will need a new bushing and slide if not repairable.
You have the bushing to retaining plate to front of slide contact to compress, kind of like a sandwich.
In a perfect world all three items will be perfectly flat as it is torqued down, but it is not.
I prefer to torque down with finger pressure only.
I do not want to take a chance on any headaches, why take the chance.
Doubt the pistol will shoot any better going more than finger tight.
Bottom line is that it is your pistol and you can do what you will.
I like to err on the side of caution.

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