Winchester Model 52-C Sporting .22 LR Bolt Action Rimfire Rifle, 1957 C&R

SOLD FOR: $3,825

WOA#: WY240407MC001

Make: Winchester

Model: 52 C Sporting

Serial Number: 97605C

Year of Manufacture: 1957

Caliber: .22 Long Rifle

Action Type: Bolt Action Rifle fed by Detachable Magazine

Markings: The left of the barrel is marked “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK / MADE IN U.S.A.”, “-MODEL 52 – 22 L. RIFLE- / -WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL-“. The left-rear of the barrel and left-front of the receiver have oval “WP” proofs. The left of the chamber ring is marked “97605C”, the right is marked “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK”. The bottom of the bolt has “97605” hand-scribed.

Barrel Length: 24″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Redfield beaded blade dovetailed to a serrated ramped base fixed to the barrel. The base is grooved for a hood that is not present. The blade is not original to the gun. The left-rear of the receiver is drilled and tapped with a Lyman receiver sight installed, adjustable for windage and elevation. The stock is not inlet for the sight, the sight fits the stock profile. The top of the receiver is drilled, tapped and filled for mounting an optic (none present).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is a one-piece walnut with a pistol grip, a monte-carlo comb with cheekpiece, and a checkered black plastic buttplate. It features the checkering on both sides of the forestock, as well as the three checkered “diamonds” on the forestock’s bottom. The pistol grip has a steel cap and the forend has an ebony nose cap. Sling plates are inlaid and screwed to the belly and the forend. The stock has some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is a more notable ding in the bottom-right of the forend next to the mounting screw. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 5/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate has light wear with a couple of nicks on the edges and well defined checkering. Overall, the stock is in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright, with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 92% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is some minor erosion on the face of the muzzle. The barrel has some small nicks, scratches and light scuffing. The trigger guard has some nicks and scratching. The receiver has some light wear with areas going to a plum hue. The bolt knob has handling wear and the action shows operational wear. The srew heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Very Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There are pull and over travel adjustment screws ahead of the trigger guard. 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 a single 5-round magazine.

Our Assessment: From its inception, Winchester had something special in mind for their Model 52. This rifle was never intended to be a typical .22 long rifle plinker, but rather a world class firearm that just happened to be chambered in a rimfire caliber. Fit and finish was comparable to a fine European sporting rifle, and a simple walk through the woods in search of small game with the Model 52 in hand could evoke the same emotions one might experience when hunting Africa’s fabled “Big 5,” only without fear of being stampeded or mauled! A great shooter then and now, accuracy rivaled its competitors; rest assured, the Model 52 would more than hold up its end of the bargain in any target shooting competition. The Model 52 underwent several changes throughout its 60-year production run, with mechanical and design alterations designated by different suffixes. Field & Stream, among the most respected hunting and fishing magazines ever published, called the Winchester Model 52 “one of the 50 best guns ever made.”

During the wartime hiatus the Post-War Production Recommendation Committee proposed that when Model 52 manufacture resumed, the poorly received Style B trigger should be replaced with a completely new design. In the event, Winchester returned to the 52B when the war ended, but in the meantime an extensive scientific study of lock mechanisms was undertaken. The result was Harry Sefried’s two-lever Micro-Motion trigger, introduced in 1951. 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.

This model 52C Sporting has light wear for its age, appearing to have seen some time in the field. It retains a great bore and strong mechanics, so it should still be a great shooter. It’s also a good looking rifle that will fit right in with a collection of Winchester or rimfire sporting rifles. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Winchester Model 52-C Sporting .22 LR Bolt Action Rimfire Rifle, 1957 C&R
Winchester Model 52-C Sporting .22 LR Bolt Action Rimfire Rifle, 1957 C&R