SOLD FOR: $1,302.77
Model: 52 D / E Transitional International Prone Target Rifle
Serial Number: E123879
Year of Manufacture: 1968 (http://proofhouse.com/win/index.html)
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Action Type: Bolt Action, Single Shot Rifle
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “-WINCHESTER ® MODEL 52 – 22 L. RIFLE – / MADE IN NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A. WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL”, with a double stamped “WP” proof in oval. The left side of the receiver is marked “E123879”, the right is marked “SAFE” and “WINCHESTER / PROOF MARK”. The barrel’s rear mounted scope base is marked “.275”. The rubber recoil pad is marked “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK / WHITE LINE ® PAD BY MERSHON CO. INC. U.S.A.”
Barrel Length: 28”, with flat crown and 0.711” muzzle diameter.
Sights / Optics: The front of the barrel has a stepped 2.189” long, 0.45” wide scope base (the step starts 0.953” from the rear of the base). The barrel has a second base installed that is 0.933” long, 0.448” wide base marked “.275” on top; both of these bases are set to the barrel’s drilled and tapped locations with two screws per base. The rear of the barrel, near the receiver, has two drilled, tapped and screw-filled holes. The receiver is drilled and tapped, the forward ring’s base is 1.28” long and 0.48” wide, the aft base is 1.26” long and 0.48” wide; both bases are set to the receiver’s drilled and tapped holes with two screws per base. The left side of the receiver has two drilled, tapped and un-filled holes.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The prone-configuration walnut stock has a beavertail forend with a slotted 13 ¼” long accessory rail; the stock has a semi-pistol grip and fluted comb. The stock has scattered scuffs, a few deeper scrapes and gouges; there is a chip loss on the butt of the grip. The accessory rail is missing its forward screw. The trigger is on a 0.72” long base; the trigger is screw-set in its current position but is adjustable along the base; the current LOP measures 13 5/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the Winchester marked Mershon Co. White Line solid rubber recoil pad; the pad is set with an off white and black spacer; the spacers have a slight gap in fit to the stock, the toe of the pad and spacers are slightly proud to the wood; the pad and spacers are in Very Good Plus condition. The stock rates in about Good Plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: Polished Blue
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is light gray and the rifling is highly pronounced. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 90% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows some thinning on the bolt handle from normal handling use, the barrel and receiver have a few thin scratches through the finish and general handling bruises. The front of the trigger guard has a ding, which went through the finish, the accessory rail on the stock has thinning on the edges. The bolt handle, body and aft portion of the receiver have wear from normal operation. The screw holes on the trigger guard plate have some tooling present, with some edge wear and light marks. The screw head slots range from sharp to having light to moderate tooling. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly, though the manual safety has been removed. The adjustable trigger currently breaks at 6 OUNCES! The bolt has a correct ‘flat’ outboard bolt handle shape. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: From The Winchester Model 52 Perfection in Design, by Herbert G. Houze, Page 162 & 163 “Winchester retained the model in its general product line due to the fact that its existence counterbalanced the public’s perception that Winchester arms were no longer quality products. In this regard, the model’s value as a public relations tool far outweighed any losses that were being incurred by its continued manufacture. It was in recognition of this role that the company began development of a new type of Model 52 in late 1968 or early 1969. Initially slated for introduction on January 1, 1971, this rifle was intended to incorporate various design features from the International Match Rifle program into a product that had a broad appeal. Unfortunately, these lofty aims were never to be realized. Instead, the new Model 52, given the prefix identification letter, “E”, proved, for all intents and purposes, to be merely a slightly reworked Type D rifle. Unveiled in 1975, the Type E was to be made in only one style-a rather ungainly looking rifle suitable only for use in the International Prone Target Matches”. Houze says ungainly, we say beautiful! The serial number on this rifle places manufacture in 1968, when the D was still in transition to E; the barrels on “E” rifles were 27” with a counterbored muzzle, this one has a 28” heavy profile barrel found on the target “D” model. The bolt handle is correct to the rifle as is the prone configuration stock, with its accessory rail and sweeping butt features. The rifle has a light gray bore with highly pronounced rifling and no erosion, the adjustable trigger breaks crisp at 6 OUNCES and the metal retains about 90% of its finish. The stock has some moderate to deep gouges and scrapes, the manual safety has been removed and there are some thin scratch marks on the metal. All being said, the production of the “E” prefix rifles only reached a few thousand before discontinuation. This is a nice target rifle which will spark the attention of anyone who has ever had the opportunity to try one out and is sure to inspire attention from the collectors as well, given its scarcity. Please see our pictures and good luck.