SOLD FOR: $4575
Model: 52 Pre-A Sporting, Speedlock
Serial Number: 36538
Year of Manufacture: The rifle was made between November 28, 1934 and February 5, 1935
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Action Type: Bolt Action Rifle with Detachable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked -“WINCHESTER / PROOF STEEL”-, “MODEL 52”, -“WINCHESTER / -TRADE MARK-”- and “22 LONG R.-”. The left rear of the barrel and left side of the receiver’s chamber ring are marked with an ovalled “WP” proof mark. The left side of the chamber ring is also marked with the serial number, “36538” The right side 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.” The right rear of the receiver is marked “U.S.A. PATENTS” followed by a long series of patent numbers. The bottom metal is marked “SPORTING.”
Barrel Length: 24”
Sights/Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade dovetailed to a textured ramped base forged to the barrel. The base is grooved for a hood, which is not present. The left-rear of the receiver is drilled and tapped, and a Lyman receiver sight is installed, adjustable for windage and elevation. The left side of the sight has a well defined micrometer scale, marked “1/2/3/4/5,” with the additional marking of the Lyman logo.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The stock is a one-piece walnut with a pistol grip, a straight comb with cheek rest on the left side, and a flat shotgun style checkered steel buttplate. It features the hand-cut checkering on both sides of the forestock, as well as the three hand-checkered “diamonds” on the forestock’s bottom. Hand-cut checkering on both sides of the pistol grip is as elegant as it is functional. The pistol grip has a hard rubber Winchester cap (marked “WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO”), and the forend has an ebony nose cap. Sling plates are inlaid and screwed to the belly and the forend with Winchester Super-Grade sling swivels (standard width – 1”) installed. The stock has minimal scattered light nicks, drag lines, scuffs and scratches. Checkering is generally sharp throughout. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 3/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate’s checkering is sharp, but the metal has shifted to a light patina. Overall, the stock is in Very Good-to-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore, but minor stubborn fouling can be seen scattered about.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 88% of its metal finish. Bottom metal shows light-to-moderate surface oxidation, nicks, scuffs and scratches. Receiver and barrel finish is very consistent, with just a few minor nicks and scuffs scattered about and more distinct wear at the tip around the muzzle. Minor thinning can be seen on the edges of the receiver, and the action has light operational wear. Screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool-marked, all have strong slots. All markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in Very Good-Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and smoothly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: This rifle includes one (1) 5-round magazine.
Our Assessment: The tradition of target shooting has a long history in this world, whether it was for training purposes or just trying to dispel boredom. Among firearms used for this sport, a handful truly stand out from the rest and one of those is the Winchester Model 52 on offer here. Winchester has a long history of creating excellent sporting guns. Despite their pursuance of military contracts throughout their operation, Winchester addressed civilian shooting needs consistently and spectacularly. World War I inspired an extensive change and evolution in technology, but it also saw the continued use of bolt action rifles, a reliable design that Winchester continued for the Model 52. The Post-War Production Planning Committee decided to discontinue the Model 1885 Single Shot and started the replacement process for a bolt action rifle with the same cartridge on November 28, 1917. Exactly one day later, Winchester engineers Frank Burton and T.C. Johnson received orders to “begin work on the bolt action .22 as time permits.” The early rifle samples were immediately slotted for exhibition at the National Match in Caldwell, NJ in August 1919. Built on the same tooling used to produce the Model 1917, the yet-to-be-named bolt action .22 samples earned phenomenal accolades upon its performance at Caldwell. The iconic rifle received its official numeric designation of “52” on September 11, 1919; though, the design would undergo subsequent changes. This particular Model 52 is a “Pre-Type A Speed Lock” rifle, meaning it was built after Frank Burton introduced an updated lock mechanism in 1929 and before Winchester altered the design in 1935 for safety concerns. The “Speed Lock” designation refers to Frank Burton’s new design for the rifle’s lock mechanism that provided almost instantaneous cartridge ignition when users pulled the trigger. Later Type A rifles included a shorter safety stem and a redesigned safety seat in the left receiver wall that corrected a known malfunction where the safety failed to properly engage the head of the firing pin. Considered one of the greatest of all time American 22 rifles, Winchester continued to market and produce the Model 52 for decades. It is such a beloved favorite that Winchester continued to manufacture this rifle at a loss to the company during its final years. Evolving from a first-class general target rifle into a precision tool that represented the United States in world competitions, the Model 52 is a classic design that belongs in your collection. So, bid on this beauty and enjoy!