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Old 02-04-2020, 09:55 AM
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This past weekend I took my S&W Model 52s (both of them) to the range. This was the first time I had shot either one, after owning one for over 30 years! It just sat in the safe being a "fixture" in the back.

I finally got some .38 wad cutter ammo and made a range trip. The targets were set at 10 yds. and I used my range bag as the rest. The targets aren't too bad but I'm sure the guns shoot a whole lot better than I can.
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:06 PM
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I just cooked up a couple of hundred wadcutters for my Model 52-2 using my home cast 148g DEWC's.
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Old 02-04-2020, 04:59 PM
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I got a great deal on a pretty large lot of long ago produced Star brand swaged hollow base wadcutters. Along with a few hundred of the Precision Delta HBWC, the Star has been pretty much all I have used and I have used MANY!

Recently I decided to expand a little bit. Got some old stock swaged Hornady wadcutters from a poster here on the forum and I also paid market price for the highly regarded Remington HBWC. So I’ve got boxes of both loaded up and ready for whenever I can get out next.

I honestly don’t see me buying more of the Remington. They are expensive.
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:26 PM
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I am down to my last box of Star. I am saving them and using bnwcs for practice.
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:33 PM
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I wonder how or why Star closed their doors? Perhaps it was quite simply that as PPC and Bullseye gave way to more popular competition, their product wasn’t in demand... but I’ve never heard a bad word about these slugs. They were much loved back in the day.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:14 PM
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Nice. I need to get a 52 some day. Any notable difference between a -1 and a -2 ?

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Old 02-05-2020, 11:10 AM
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There were many thousand Star HBWC's went through my 52-2 as well as several K Frame 38's. Probably the most accurate projectile loaded in that caliber. Sure wish they were still around.
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLASSIC12 View Post
Nice. I need to get a 52 some day. Any notable difference between a -1 and a -2 ?
Around 1970 or so, the 52-1 ended and the 52-2 began. The only difference is a big difference, they updated the design of the extractor to follow along the lines of the 39-2 extractor over the Model 39. Instead of the very long, very tall extractor, they redesigned it to be shorter and thinner.

This elicits discussion!

The weakness of the original 39 no-dash extractor is duly noted. The weakness of the original 52 and 52-1 extractor is not, at least anywhere that I have seen.

I was not around in 1970 and not paying attention to the Model 52 through the 70's and early 80's, but my observation has indicated that many many owners, shooters and lovers of the Model 52/52-1 soon contacted S&W shortly after the redesign of the extractor for the 52-2 and bought an extra old style extractor (or two) in the event of a failure.

It is my guess that many saw S&W redesign the extractor due to the potential of weakness in the original design. And these days, it is not a rare occurence to see used 52-1 for sale that include one or two extra old-style extractors. Seemingly extra parts that were ordered and never needed, never used.

My theory is that S&W redesigned the 39 extractor for the 39-2 due to weakness in the design and then simply did the same thing for the 52/52-1 to streamline the design and production. I have not been able to find evidence that there was ever any actual problem with the original 52/52-1 extractor design.

NOTE: the old style 39 and 52/52-1 extractor is similar but NOT the same. As are the 39-2 and 52-2 extractor. Similar, not interchangeable.

Summary? The market leans toward the 52-2 pistols as being the "better" option. I say this simply because the older 52/52-1 defy the typical market and they seem to NOT pull down higher sale prices than the 52-2.

Any time and every time I have ever shared my theory on the 52/52-1 old style extractor, I've not yet heard from anyone that has broken one of the old extractors. I have, however, heard from folks that have extra extractors that they never did need.

As always, I absolutely welcome any opinions or experiences that are in contrast to this theory.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:26 PM
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I've owned a 52(late 70s) which I foolishly sold.A few years ago I bought a 52-2.I'm still using it.Never had an extractor or any other problem with both.
These are specialized guns which had a lot of R&D in them before being put on the market.Well designed and well built for but a single type of use;outshooting the competition with competition WC rounds.
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