Make: This is a custom rifle base on a Winchester Model 52B action. The work was done by Len Brownell, Gene Simillion, John Pell, Steve Billeb, Guiseppi Forte and Dave Talley.
Model: This custom sporting rifle started out as a Winchester Model 52B Sporter.
Serial Number: 68080B
Year of Manufacture: The rifle was first manufactured in 1949. The customization occurred in 1987.
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Action Type: Bolt Action Rifle with External 5 Round Magazine Located Under Hinged Floorplate
Markings: The left side of the receiver’s chamber ring is marked “68080B” and the right side with “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK”. The receiver, bolt handle and knob, trigger guard, magazine floorplate, scope rings and bases and the rear and front of the barrel are beautifully scroll engraved. Please see our pictures!! The magazine well/trigger guard tang under the floorplate is marked “MTL. SM. / L. BROWNELL / G. SIMILLION / D. TALLEY”, “STK. MK. / S. BILLEB” and with a boxed “FEGA”. The rear edge of the magazine floorplate is marked with name of the engraver “G. FORTE”.
Barrel Length: The half-round half-octagon Douglas barrel is 22 ¾” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a gold bead inlet into a blade which is dovetailed into a fore-aft dovetail in a ramped base on the barrel. The ramp is finely textured to provide a matte finish and reduce glare. The rear sight is a Lyman receiver sight which is stored in the butt under the trapdoor in the buttplate. The sight is adjustable for windage and elevation, and is threaded for a screw-in aperture, which is missing. The base for the sight is mounted on the left side of the receiver, with an engraved blank mounted where the sight would normally be located. There is a Leupold scope mounted on the receiver with two-piece mounts and quick detachable rings. The mounts and rings are scroll engraved. The objective of the scope is marked “M8-3X” in three places and the eyepiece is marked “MADE IN U.S.A” and with patent numbers. The reticle is a full duplex and the lenses are clear and free of distortion. There is a tiny mark in the top of the eyepiece. The scope is in about Excellent condition.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is a beautiful English walnut with streaks of black running through the wood. Our words would never do justice in describing this stock, so please see our pictures. The stock is checkered with a pistol grip with engraved blued steel grip cap, a cheekpiece, ebony forend tip and a finely checkered blued steel shotgun style buttplate with a hinged trapdoor. There are holes in the stock under the trapdoor for storage of the rear sight and three rounds of ammunition. There is a gold plated medallion inlet into the belly of the stock engraved with the initials of the original owner “CJM” (C. Michael Jennings). There is a sling swivel base screwed to a raised boss in the belly of the stock and another fixed to the underside of the barrel. There are a few light handling marks in the stock, the worst of which is a light drag line in the left side of the forend below the rear scope mount. The checkering is sharp and without mars. The LOP measures 13 ½” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows no handling marks except for light wear in the checkering around the mounting screw at the heel. The buttplate and the stock rate in Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: The finish is blued with engraving as described above.
Finish Originality: The finish is as applied at the time the customization was done.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 99+% of its metal finish. The only marks we could find were some light scratches in the body of the bolt and light wear in the checkering at the front of the safety. The edges of the barrel are as sharp as the day they were cut. The screw heads are engraved and their slots are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Near Mint condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly, and it has a finely checkered upper tang mounted safety. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with the attached scope and rings, its aperture sight, three blued steel 5 round magazines, paperwork and a gray cloth protective sock. The magazine in the rifle is marked on the floorplate with floorplate with “MADE IN U.S.A. / WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK”. The magazine shows thinning on its edges and is in about Fine condition. One of the other magazines is similarly marked and the third marked only with a “W”. Both show minimal wear and are in Excellent condition. The paperwork consists of a hand written note from the original owner of the rifle, C. Michael Jennings, an email from Steve Billeb who did the stock on the rifle and various other notes describing the work done on this rifle and the artists who did it. Also include are color photographs of the stock blank taken before the stock was cut from the blank. The gun sock is marked “GUIDE GEAR” and is in about Fine condition with two small holes in the area of the buttstock.
Our Assessment: This is a beautiful custom sporting rifle built on a Winchester Model 52B action. It has a Douglas barrel contoured to ½ octagon and ½ round by John Pell, Len Brownell fit the barrel to the action, Gene Simillion modified the tang safety and added a hinged magazine floorplate to the magazine well/trigger guard and Dave Talley added the sights, bases and rings, the bolt handle and the sling swivel base on the barrel. The ornate engraving was done by Guiseppi Forte and the beautiful stock was done by Steve Billeb. This rifle is too beautiful, with too many customizations to describe well enough in words, so please see our pictures. The rifle has a Leupold M8 3X scope mounted to the receiver with engraved rings and custom bases. In addition, the original Lyman receiver sight is stored in the stock under the trapdoor in the custom buttplate, with an engraved blank filling the slot in the sight base on the left side of the receiver. This rifle is in Near Mint condition with about 99+% of its metal finish remaining. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. This rifle is way too beautiful to every take out and shoot. It belongs in a collection of custom rifles to be preserved so that others can enjoy the fine craftsmanship that went into its creation.
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This C&R eligible rifle can be transferred/sold in California.