Winchester Model 52B 28″ .22 LR Unertl Bolt Action Rifle, MFD 1937 C&R
SOLD FOR: $2476
Serial Number: 46761B
Year of Manufacture: 1937, sometime between 15 and 23 September
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Action Type: Single Shot, Bolt Action, Rimfire Target Rifle
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “WINCHESTER / PROOF STEEL”, “-MODEL 52-“, “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK”, “-22 LONG R.-“. The left-rear of the barrel and left-front of the receiver each have an ovalled “WP” proof. The left of the receiver is marked with the serial number, “46761”. The right of the barrel is marked “MADE IN U.S.A. WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO / NEW HAVEN CONN”. The right side of the chamber ring is marked “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK”.
Barrel Length: 28″
Sights/Optics: The top of the barrel is installed with three male dovetail bases—attached to the forward most base is a globe target sight; attached to the center and rearward bases is a J. Unertl target scope. The left rear of the receiver is drilled, tapped, and filled with a Redfield International Match aperture sight. The scope body is free of major wear but there are scattered spots of light surface oxidation and a bit of thinning on some controls.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The stock is a one-piece smooth walnut with beavertail forend, pistol grip, straight comb, and a checkered sheet steel buttplate. The forend has an inlet 13 1/2″ factory accessory rail with a handstop/sling mount installed. There are some scattered light nicks, compressions, dings, scuffs, and a couple of faint hairline scratches—all of this wear is most apparent on the comb. There are no chips or cracks. The accessory rail has light wear from installing and removing accessories. The LOP measures 13 1/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the plate. The plate has light thinning and minor nicks along the edge. Overall, the stock is in Very Good-to-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright, the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion, but minor stubborn fouling can be seen down the length of the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 96% of its metal finish. There are a couple little nicks on the barrel and a few spots of minor surface oxidation, mostly in the forward portions of the barrel. There is standard operational wear and light handling wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Fine-to-Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger has been outfitted with a shoe and breaks crisply with no over-travel. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: The scope and rear sight as described above. A magazine as well.
Our Assessment: The Winchester Model 52 is a bolt-action .22-caliber target rifle introduced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1920. For many years, it was the premier small-bore match rifle in the United States, if not the world. Known as the “King of the .22’s,” the Model 52 has been called by Winchester historian Herbert Houze “a perfection in design”. The Model 52 was finally discontinued in the 1980s because it was too costly to manufacture, and its popularity had waned in the face of expensive European rifles. The Model 52 underwent several changes throughout its life, and although different model names were not advertised, and the barrel markings remained the same, letter suffixes were added to the serial number to designate significant design changes. This is a model 52B which appears to have seen considerate and enthusiastic use. The rifle is in Fine-to-Excellent condition with 97% of its metal finish, some light wear in the stock, a decent bore, strong mechanics and a fine trigger. This rifle will make a nice benchrest rifle for the lucky winner or addition to a Winchester collection. Good luck and happy bidding!