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Old 11-11-2020, 12:08 PM
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Default Jeppo's chasing a 52!

Sorry, I couldn't contain myself! I love any discussion on the legendary S&W Model 52 pistol and I can talk about them all day long.

I'm currently keeping watch over three of them and I love 'em!

For ammo, I'm running new (very) old stock Star swaged 148gr HBWC and 2.7gr Bullseye.

Let me pull up something I wrote a few years ago:
Quote:
This trip down memory lane is necessary to detail my biggest personal regret in almost 30 years as a hardcore, dedicated and passionate handgunner:

I bought my first S&W Model 52 in November, 2015 as a 43-year old man.

Okay, maybe I didn't "need" a Model 52 when I was 15yrs old. Or even when I was 22. Agreed. But waiting until 2015 to finally convince myself that maybe I need to try this iconic pistol and see if it might be something I like...?!

Yeah. Sincerely, my biggest gun related regret wasn't selling something I now miss like many will claim, my regret is how many years went by before I ever even put my hands on a 52 just to catch a glimpse of the brilliance.

We have many 52 discussions in the semiauto forum -- run a search, bump an old one or start a new one, I don't need to detail what makes a 52 special in this particular post but if nothing else, take a lesson from my lost years between 1988 and 2015: if you don't know about a Model 52, please ask to handle the next one that you see in person. See if you also pick up on the magic that surrounds these pistols. They simply are NOT like other pistols.
That is from a discussion I opened 3-1/2 years ago. I highlighted the most important part.
S&W Mod 52: my biggest regret in handgunning

I couldn't help myself but to start this thread. Jeppo it is not bad luck because you did not open the discussion, I did. ;D

Today is a great day to talk about the Smith & Wesson Model 52 pistol!
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Old 11-11-2020, 12:43 PM
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My money is on Jeppo catching it. Run Jeppo!

And I'm wishing him good luck too! Regards 18DAI
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Old 11-11-2020, 01:33 PM
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Sevens , you sold me one a few years ago . I'm sure it pained you , but it went to a good home . For some reason , I was scared to shoot it . I wasn't sure about how to clean it or disassemble it .

I ended up buying 2000 +/- rounds here off a member . It is all Black Hills , quality ammo . To say I was surprised when I shot it is an understatement . I have and shoot 745's , 945's and an 845 so am not a newby to PC guns . But for a non PC gun the 52 is an awesome pistol . Some say it was the start of that golden era .

To those of you that have never shot one , you are doing yourself an injustice . Not everyone has one , but if you know someone that has one , just ask . I would like to think most of us are proud to own one , and if asked would be glad to have another share in the experience of shooting one of these fine pistols .

Now to address the downside to owning one . If you're like most of us , 2 mags is for sure not enough . But when you look at what they are going for , maybe 2 is enough . Luckily when Sevens sold me mine , I posted in the wanted section . Another member graciously sold me some mags , one is still in the old style package . I wonder what that would bring ?

Jeppo , my hope is you will chase , and find one of these fine S&W's . Knowing you , just by your posts , it will have to be a pristine example . Just make sure you find some mags before they want a first born for them .
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Old 11-11-2020, 01:42 PM
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Who me?

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Old 11-11-2020, 01:57 PM
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That’s it?! That’s all you got?!?!

Tell us your 52 background! Have you owned ‘em before? Did you shoot a buddy’s and the light bulb went on?

Or have you never wrapped your hands around one and felt that sublime trigger?
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:06 PM
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Iím rather sure Iíve never even seen one, much less held or fired one. Once I fell in love with 39ís, it was natural to covet some variant of 52.

I just never got serious about trying to find one until the other day when that example popped up here. Iím only mailing the check this afternoon so itíll take a while until I can finally discover what all the hoopla is about.

One obstacle to enjoying the gun will probably be ammo. Iím on my way to check what I have. My records show I should own at least one box of WCs. Can you educate me on what kinds of ammo I should be hunting? It may be the worst moment to be searching for special ammo.

Thanks all!!!!
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:24 PM
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You are in for a treat - great gun!


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Old 11-11-2020, 02:28 PM
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Like I said , mine is Black Hills . I've never had any problems with it . I don't know if they still make it . Another option is Georgia Arms . They are probably out of it , but keep your eye on their site . You'll have to give us a range report and tell your admiring public what you think .
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:35 PM
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Actually, this ammo is likely to be one of the least affected by the, well, let's call it "2020." That's because there aren't a lot of people who need full wadcutter ammo. *EDIT* Everything in our hobby is wrecked right now. This frustrates me.

Precision Delta has NEW manufactured wadcutter ammo in stock, they sell it 250 at a time, so... 5 boxes. It comes out to $23.23 per box... which admittedly is not cheap. They also sell factory re-man for what comes out to a much easier $12.43 per box, but that shows as out of stock. Would not hurt to inquire about availability.

Precision Delta is also a fantastic source for the swaged hollow-base wadcutter bullets that work best if/when you are ready to handload. If you are not a handloader, I would suggest that a Smith & Wesson Model 52 is such an amazing handgun that it might be that last push you need to become a handloader. (yes, times are tough, but facts are still facts)

Atlanta Arms offers it, but their price says to keep looking. And out of stock to boot. Brownell's it in stock, made by Black Hills, but Black Hills isn't showing it on their website so this may be NOS and out of production. It is also priced badly for what it is, and I wouldn't recommend spending this much on it.

If you get the pistol in hand and you cannot find a single round of .38 Wadcutter ammo to feed it... send me a PM and I'll help you figure it out.
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeppo View Post
Iím rather sure Iíve never even seen one, much less held or fired one. Once I fell in love with 39ís, it was natural to covet some variant of 52
Man, it would be a treat to be standing there with you when you pick it up, when you draw that slide back, when you allow the slide to glide back forward and feel the pistol lock-up.

When you dry fire it for the first time

When you shoot it for the first time!!!
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:52 PM
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I've never shot one. Maybe some day.
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:51 PM
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I would offer to help you also but I can't/won't get near Massachusetts. That place doesn't like people like me.
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Old 11-11-2020, 06:53 PM
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Well since nobody posted a photo yet, here is mine. I agree, they are an interesting pistol. They really force one to follow through with each shot, firing mine reminds me of shooting a compensated 1911 with powder puff loads.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:32 AM
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When I first started shooting Bullseye in the 80’s, I coveted but could not afford a 52. I found an unfired 52-1 in a local pawn shop a few years ago and after shooting it I realized what I had been missing.
A word or warning to new owners, they have a way of acquiring friends. I was concerned about breaking the extractor on the 52-1 so I bought a spare, gun. Then not wanting to squander my 38 Special ammo, I bought a 952 for cheaper practice (good excuse, huh?). Then a 945 found its way into my pistol box.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:32 AM
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Nice snag Jeppo!
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Old 11-12-2020, 02:50 PM
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My safe queen was soon joined by a nice shooter, as you all say, it isn't just another pistol I decided I wanted one of each model so have a 52 & 52-1 that I have shot, but usually stay in the safe while I shoot the 52-2. I also have a Colt 38 wadcutter gun, but it can't come any way near the 52-2. It throws the brass 15-20 feet away shooting the lightest load that will function and this is with a normal 45 spring, the 52-2 places them right at my feet. The Colt magazines are so hard to load that I had to make a tool depress the hold down button. I have a lot of pistols, but the 52-2 would be one the last I would sell.
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Old 11-13-2020, 08:55 AM
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I need some help. I know about S&W 52 but need to identify exact model so I pay my ailing friend a fair price. If anybody has the book with serial numbers could you help me out? The SN is 521XX. Do the 52-1 52-2 generations actually actually show the dash on the gun? I think his is actually a 52.
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Old 11-13-2020, 09:21 AM
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Default ďWhy didnít you tell me?Ē

Quote:
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I just never got serious about trying to find one until the other day when that example popped up here.
Isnít it strange how things work?

After this thread went up, I received an email from another SWCA member living not far from me. The gist was, ďJeppo, I didnít know you were looking for a 52Ē.

Last edited by Jeppo; 11-22-2020 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootsgood View Post
I need some help. I know about S&W 52 but need to identify exact model so I pay my ailing friend a fair price. If anybody has the book with serial numbers could you help me out? The SN is 521XX. Do the 52-1 52-2 generations actually actually show the dash on the gun? I think his is actually a 52.
That is indeed a Model 52. Most records indicate that 3,500 of the original no-dash were made. And yes, the dash-2 and dash-2 versions say so clearly, on the frame immediately below the model.

Fair price depends heavily on condition and what comes with it. If it has missing or beat up stocks, heavy finish wear or outright damage and missing the box and only one mag, you are very much looking at $750 or near. Top end? Some might price it at $2,000 though it isnít often that they trade that high.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
Actually, this ammo is likely to be one of the least affected by the, well, let's call it "2020." That's because there aren't a lot of people who need full wadcutter ammo. *EDIT* Everything in our hobby is wrecked right now. This frustrates me.

Precision Delta has NEW manufactured wadcutter ammo in stock, they sell it 250 at a time, so... 5 boxes. It comes out to $23.23 per box... which admittedly is not cheap. They also sell factory re-man for what comes out to a much easier $12.43 per box, but that shows as out of stock. Would not hurt to inquire about availability.

Precision Delta is also a fantastic source for the swaged hollow-base wadcutter bullets that work best if/when you are ready to handload. If you are not a handloader, I would suggest that a Smith & Wesson Model 52 is such an amazing handgun that it might be that last push you need to become a handloader. (yes, times are tough, but facts are still facts)

Atlanta Arms offers it, but their price says to keep looking. And out of stock to boot. Brownell's it in stock, made by Black Hills, but Black Hills isn't showing it on their website so this may be NOS and out of production. It is also priced badly for what it is, and I wouldn't recommend spending this much on it.

If you get the pistol in hand and you cannot find a single round of .38 Wadcutter ammo to feed it... send me a PM and I'll help you figure it out.
Jim Russell at Star also made the Molds for PD 148 grain hollow base wadcutters.

Tom
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:09 AM
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Update...

The pistol is apparently resting comfortably at the local FedEx hub. It shows delivery scheduled for tomorrow (my FFL is actually open Mondays).

A friend traded me an almost full box of WCs for a box of 9mm 147gr FMJs. Not sure who got the better end of that deal. But, at least Iíve got something to shoot now.
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Old 11-22-2020, 12:08 PM
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Jeppo, congrats. Is the ammo factory or re-loads?
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Old 11-22-2020, 01:46 PM
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It's always gratifying to shoot a 52. Even more so to own one. These are My two, both -2's. One standard and one with a slide and four barrels, 9MM and 38 super.
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Old 11-22-2020, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
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Jeppo, congrats. Is the ammo factory or re-loads?
Thank you.

A year or two ago, a friend gave me a box of Federal Gold Metal with the intention I would shoot them in my 66-1. Fortunately, I never got around to it.

The recent trade was for Magtech.
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:34 PM
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I had a M52 at one time. Shot it in PPC for a while. While I was shooting it, I discovered that if the lead isn't seated all the way flush to the case, it will sometimes hang up in the magazine (too long) and not feed. I also figured out how to make the magazines to hold 6 rounds for PPC (6 round strings, or multiples, of fire). Sadly, due to hard times, it went away along with some others.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:45 PM
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It's always gratifying to shoot a 52. Even more so to own one. These are My two, both -2's. One standard and one with a slide and four barrels, 9MM and 38 super.
These are interesting pictures. On the picture of barrels, they do not appear to be the same length. How does this multiple caliber setup work? And what magazines feed and function with 9mm and .38 Super, just a regular 52 magazine?

What is the origin of the caliber change goodies? A one-off gunsmith project or something that was offered commercially? Or something done inside S&W?
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:50 PM
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Also worth noting, the 52 you pictured first has both the leading A prefix and an A suffix. It has been my understanding that an A suffix was used to denote a replacement frame of the same serial number. I have seen this a couple of times on a 52, but it is absolutely a rare occurrence. I don't know if they used the A suffix on any other semiauto pistols.

Do you know any history of this pistol as it relates to the A suffix?

Also, I will note that it most likely is not wearing it's original wood stocks, the right side stock has the ambi cut for a decock lever. The very latest 52-2 pistols (the three alpha series) are sometimes seen with the ambi cut stock, but I have never seen such an early A prefix pistol wearing one.

By the time they started using these later stocks on 52 pistols, the 2nd Gen 9mm single stacks were offering an ambidextrous decocker that 1st Gen pistols never had, and that is why the right side stock evolved.
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Old 11-22-2020, 07:31 PM
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An "A" suffix can also be used to indicate an inadvertently duplicated serial number.

John
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Old 11-23-2020, 02:23 PM
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Actually like John said. Duplicate serial number. gun is from 71 - 72. The barrels are Barsto and are different lengths in 9MM and the bottom long one is the 38 super. Rounds feed from the standard magazine believe it or not. Only used on the second gun pictured.
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:02 PM
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Will be shooting Bullseye with it tonight.
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:42 PM
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Picked up the new toy this afternoon. 1 pound 14 oz average SA pull. No single pull at or above 2 pounds.
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:53 PM
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That is lighter than it should be and I’d almost expect unwanted failures and the hammer trying to follow the slide and falling to half cock.

You can increase pull weight by carefully bending the sear spring.
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:55 PM
Walter Rego Walter Rego is offline
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Jeppo's chasing a 52! Jeppo's chasing a 52! Jeppo's chasing a 52! Jeppo's chasing a 52! Jeppo's chasing a 52!  
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My Model 52-2 trigger pull measures 2 lbs 4 oz. for an average of five pulls with my Lyman digital gauge. I have never touched the adjustments. It is light enough that I engage the safety when chambering a round or doing anything other than pointing it at the target in preparation of firing it. I have many revolvers with single action trigger pulls down around 2 lbs and they don't bother me, but autoloaders with light triggers make me a bit nervous.
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