SOLD FOR: $1,230.00
Model: 52E International Prone Target Rifle
Serial Number: E124051
Year of Manufacture: 1969 (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 “WP” proof in oval, also found on the left side of the receiver. The left side of the receiver is also marked with the serial number, the right is marked “SAFE” and “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK”. The front sight block is marked “.375”.
Barrel Length: 28”, with a 0.30″ recess in the crown and 0.869” muzzle diameter.
Sights / Optics: This rifle does not come with sights. The front of the barrel has a 0.934” long, 0.462” wide dovetailed scope base. The barrel has a second base installed that is 1.02” long, 0.484” wide dovetailed base. A third 1.27″ long, 0.484″ wide dovetailed base is found on the barrel by the receiver; these bases are set to the barrel’s drilled and tapped locations with two screws per base. The receiver has four drilled, tapped and screw-filled holes, the two drilled and tapped holes on the left side of the receiver are holding a four-hole sight base.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The prone-configuration walnut stock has a beavertail forend with a slotted 13 3/8” long accessory rail; the stock has a semi-pistol grip and fluted comb; there is a forward sling swivel in front of the accessory rail. The stock has scattered scuffs, a few deeper scrapes and gouges. There are a few spots of discoloration but no cracks or chip losses, please see our pictures. 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 has screwdriver holes at the screw locations, the pad and spacers are in Very Good Plus condition. The stock rates in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Polished Blue
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 98% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows some thinning on the bolt handle from normal handling use, which has caused a small amount of patina to form. The barrel and receiver have a few very light scuffs, the barrel has a few notable scratch marks and very small dings, please see our pictures. The screw head slots range from sharp to lightly tooled. The markings are crisp. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly, though the manual safety has been removed. The adjustable trigger currently breaks at 12 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; no sights are provided.
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 1969, 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 with a counterbored muzzle. The bolt handle is correct to the rifle as is the prone configuration stock, with its accessory rail and sweeping butt features. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion, the adjustable trigger breaks crisp at 12 OUNCES and the metal retains about 98% of its finish. The manual safety has been removed, some prefer this, we suggest caution when loading live ammunition. The stock has only minor cosmetic marks and is crack / chip free. 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. All that is needed is your favorite pair of sights and this rifle is ready to rock. Please see our pictures and good luck.