Sunday, May 25, 2014

Winchester Model 52C

Introduced in 1920, the Model 52 was considered by many to be the first reliable .22 RF bolt-action repeater built for accuracy. Beginning in 1918, the Winchester company put Thomas Crossley Johnson and Frank Burton to the task of designing the new match rifle. Intended to replace the 1885 single-shot and appeal to the army and returning doughboys for use in target matches (and hopefully, military training), the gun went into production in April of 1920. The gun was produced on machinery originally used to build 1917 rifles for the army.

The 52 action is a rear locking, non-rotating bolt in a cylindrical receiver which is machined from a forged billet. It has dual opposing spring claw extractors which also provide controlled cartridge feeding. There is a fixed, blade type, ejector.

In 1935 the single-shot adapter was introduced. This is a dummy magazine with a shaped top, to facilitate manual loading. My rifle came with one of these as well as 2 standard magazines and a body for another single-shot adapter. In 1951 Harry Sefried's two-lever Micro-Motion trigger was introduced. Adjustable for pull-weight between 2.5 and 6 lbs, and travel between .030 and an almost imperceptible .003 inches, the Micro-Motion was an instant success, and considered the new state of the art in match rifle trigger locks. The Marksman stock, a heavy Laudensack-designed match stock with high comb and full beavertail forearm was introduced in 1936. It outsold the Standard Target Stock, which it eventually replaced. Instead of the standard stock's external barrel band, the Marksman used a light band fixed inside the squared-off fore-end; this would be replaced by a pillar mount after the war (Marksman 1A). There were two slightly different versions: the Marksman 1 for telescopic or high scope-level sights, and the Marksman 2 (1938) for standard-height sights.

I was very fortunate to purchase my rifle from a consignment at the shop. Manufactured in 1955 it came with the scope blocks and Olympic sights. I ordered a Weaver T-36 scope with 1/8-minute dot reticule and a Ken Viani mount.

View of the mount from the left...
The Viani mount utilizes the same threaded holes as the Redfield aperture sight for mounting. I was fortunate in that I got a single-shot adapter and two magazines with the rifle. The Ken Viani mount is a neat piece of work. Very well made it fits as it should and finished as it should be. I am very pleased.

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