View Full Version : Smith & Wesson Model 52-1 or 52-2 feedback

10-15-2007, 9:12 PM
Anyone have this? what do you think of it?

10-15-2007, 10:13 PM

I've owned a half dozen or so over the years and shot them in Bullseye competition. Nicely made guns. Very unforgiving as far as follow through goes. S&W doesn't support them anymore as barrels and extractors are long gone. Bar Sto was making barrels but I can't say if they still do. Carefully inspect any 52 you are considering as, for some reason, you run into quite a few with ringed or bulged barrels.

Accuracy with 148 Match HBWC was usually very good for the time. Full wadcutter rounds are the only ones that the magazine wil accept. The truth is the the 52 and all the other .38 special autos of the time are now outclassed by 9mm target guns such as the 952, PPC9, and 1911's from Bob Marvel, Clark, Rock River, etc. Jim Clark Sr. pioneered the .38 spl. wadcutter in automatics, but that day is over for competition guns and technology marches on. The 9 offers far superior accuracy, are a great deal easier to make run, magazines are cheap and available, as is brass and components.

I really enjoyed shooting the 52's and the Clark .38's I owned but their time has passed. Before the flames start, call Clark Custom Guns and ask to have a .38 spl. conversion done and see what they tell you.



10-16-2007, 7:18 AM
I've got a 52-2, had it since the early 80's. It is finicky about ammo, but once you figure out what works it is reasonably reliable. Accuracy is excellent with the right load. Mine shoots under an inch off sandbags at 25 yards, but this gun is really about Zen meditative offhand target shooting. Yes, you need to follow through. Learn to shoot a 52 well and you will learn a lot about marksmanship. The trigger is among the best of any gun I've shot, no 1911 comes close. It is on par with most rimfire target pistols like High Standards, S&W M41, Hammerli, and Walther match pistols.

If it strikes your fancy buy it. It will teach you a lot, including humility and patience. Master it and you will be thoroughly rewarded. When you and the 52 are working together, there is nothing more pleasurable to shoot. The recoil is so mild, and the action so smooth it is really a pleasure.

10-17-2007, 12:16 AM
I fired one once a long time ago- an old timer at an indoor range had one and let me squeeze off a few shots.

You're supposed to use low powered ammo with it- the kick was VERY light, and I found the gun to shoot very accurately, as is the case whenever I fire someone else's weapons (haha- psychological? Dunno, but it's always the case!).

I've fired a 952- it's probably more accurate, and ammo is cheaper and easier to come by. For some reason though, the 52 felt a little better in the hand- maybe it's the old world wood and steel?