Smith & Wesson Model 52-1

Josh66

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I inherited this from my grandfather. It's in pretty decent shape for how much he used it, and how old it is. It's a straight-up Bullseye (competition) gun chambered for .38 Special Wadcutters - everything about it is specifically made for punching neat little holes in paper from 50 feet away. I remember shooting it years ago, and it's a tack driver.

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(Crappy cell phone picture...)
 

esselle

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not a gun enthusiast, but how nice he left that to you. i bet you will cherish this!
 
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Josh66

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Not that I will ever sell it, but it's apparently fairly valuable. I think the best thing I could do with it is win some competitions, lol. He shot competitively for something like 60 years (using this gun for maybe 30 of those years).

I'm a bit out of practice, but I used to be pretty good. I think I'll have to join the gun club at work, enter into some competitions, and try to get back up to speed.
 

esselle

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Not that I will ever sell it, but it's apparently fairly valuable. I think the best thing I could do with it is win some competitions, lol. He shot competitively for something like 60 years.

I'm a bit out of practice, but I used to be pretty good. I think I'll have to join the gun club at work, enter into some competitions, and try to get back up to speed.

in honor of his memory...truly an excellent idea!

<< is scared of guns :/
 

Tiller

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That gun looks really cool. Congrats!
 

DarkShadow

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very close to a 1911 frame so not surprised of its accuracy. My 1911 RI ( Rock Island Armory) 45 Cal. Only a couple years old though. A Nice inheritance indeed. Wipe it down from time to time with a oil cloth to keep the bluing from pitting or rusting.
 

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Josh66

Josh66

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Some things are very similar to a 1911, and some are more like a Browning Hi-Power (it does look like it was made on a 1911 frame though - notice the plate covering the hole where the safety would be on a 1911). Internally, it looks more like a 1911 to me though - other than the safeties (no grip safety, and all the slide mounted safety does is block the firing pin - it doesn't do anything to stop the hammer from falling. It also will not fire without a magazine.)

The magazine (which is roughly the same size as a 1911 mag) only holds 5 rounds, due to it being a rimmed cartridge, and probably because the follower is freaking huge (it's at least an inch tall), lol. I've read that you can modify the magazine so that it will hold 6 or 7 rounds, but I won't be doing that. For a target gun, you would probably normally only be shooting 5 rounds at a time anyway - so modifying it to squeeze one or two rounds in seems kind of pointless to me. You can, surprisingly, still get new mags for it (I guess because even today it's still a sought after target gun), so I'll probably pick up a few spares, just in case.

According to this web page, the 52-1 was made only from 1963 to 1970. The National Firearms Museum: Smith & Wesson Model 52 1 Semi Automatic Pistol

Thanks for the link. I knew the -1 stopped production in 1970, but couldn't really find anything on dating them by the serial number, other than that the first 52 (no dash) was S/N: 50000, and the -2's had three letters and four numbers.
If they're saying that S/N: 59493 was the last -1 (not sure if that is what they are saying, or if that's just the serial number of the gun in that picture...) then this one would have been pretty close to the end.
 
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Josh66

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Here's a better picture of it:
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I didn't notice that you can see the case I used to prop it up... Oh well, lol. I cloned out the serial number (it is right above where it says 'Model 52 1') because I'm always paranoid that someone could try to claim that it was stolen (any gun pictures, not just this). I don't have receipts for some of my guns - not sure how much "proof" someone would need to claim that they had a gun stolen... Like, for example, they call the police and say that their [gun brand] [model] with serial number XXXXXXX was stolen from their car (or whatever) - I don't know if that would be enough to get it listed as a stolen gun, or if they would need proof that they even owned it at all to begin with.
 
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DarkShadow

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Excellent condition and worth some money.I see one listed for sale may 20th 2013 clean and the asking price $1275.00
 
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Josh66

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Fully loaded (5 rounds) mag next to a 15 round Glock 22 (.40 S&W) mag for size comparison.

They say that you can increase the magazine capacity by extending that slot cut into the side, but that seems pointless to me.

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I was surprised when I read that the mag only holds 5 rounds, because it looks like it should hold 7 or 8 - but it does indeed only hold 5. And, as you can see, only wadcutters fully enclosed in the case will even fit in the magazine.

My grandpa was loading these with a 148 grain wadcutter and 2.7 grains of Bullseye. I have plenty of .38 special brass and Bullseye powder, but I'm out of small pistol primers, and I don't have any wadcutter bullets in that size (and everywhere I've looked is currently out of stock on both small pistol primers and 148gr. wadcutters). He used to cast his own bullets - every time I went over to my grandparents, I remember there being hundreds and hundreds of lead ingots in the basement. As kids, they were like bars of silver, lol!
 

esselle

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Is it wrong to think a gun looks...um...pretty? :}
The better photo really shows it off!
 
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Josh66

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Not wrong at all - haha. Eventually I'll get some better pictures of it - but just like camera gear - I'd rather be shooting it than "shooting" it, lol.
 

DarkShadow

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Is it wrong to think a gun looks...um...pretty? :}
The better photo really shows it off!
It is not wrong at all and people don't have to like them to recognize fine craftsmanship and pride that goes into. Some brands and models are actually hand made,Hand fitted and look like a piece of art,so nice its a shame to shoot them.;)
 
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esselle

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Lol either way ... You'll have a "blast." :mrgreen:
ok, that's enough...
 

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