Another cart before the horse story: Winchester 52B

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  • mawkie

    C&R Whisperer
    Sep 28, 2007
    -It's the relentless search for neat accessories that put this latest cart before the horse story in to play. About 3-4 weeks ago a small auction house north of Pittsburgh put together an online auction that featured a large collection of Winchester 52s and Colt Woodsman pistols. Most were pre-Speedlock but there was a 52B and a 52C in the roughly dozen examples. Along with them were two lots with a TargetSpot scope case (yes!!) and a 50's vintage shooting case filled with goodies.
    -As tempting as the 52s were (most had nice Lyman and Unertl external adj scopes worth a pretty penny by themselves) I focused on the accesssories. Didn't get the Lyman scope case but did the shoot case and a pair of holsters for Colt Woodsman. I was shocked that the case sold for just $145 OTD plus shipping as it was filled with everything you needed for a range session. Turns out this case was for the Winnie 52C and the only shooting session logged into one of three NRA scoring log books was dated 1953.
    -The list included a Lyman Olympic sight set with front sight inserts, Winchester single loading magazine (with the original envelope), beautiful cuff type leather and lambs wool shooting sling, leather shooting glove, Merit iris, a crazy neat alloy cleaning rod guide built for the 52 specifically, 52C instruction manual and paper work. There's a honking massive steel tool that I'm not 100% sure what it's used for (hopefully someone here will recognize it, might be for the scope mounts?).
    -The massive case has a pair of mounts for securing the front sight and a Unertl or Lyman scope along with other neat storage cubbies. The pile has to be worth 3x what I paid for it, even with the shipping cost thrown in.


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    C&R Whisperer
    Sep 28, 2007
    -But wait, where's the rest of the story? Yup, over the weekend a left coast auction house had an sale with some firearms thrown in towards the back of the catalog. With a 6pm PST start time it meant that the guns wouldn't come up until after 10pm EST. A perfect scenario for getting a bargain since east coast competition would be either distracted on the long holiday weekend or asleep (usually that's me!). Three nice Colt Match Target pistols sold for what I thought sub-market prices which was encouraging as the lot I was focused on came later.
    -That lot was a pristine Winnie 52B sans sights (ah, here's where the cart comes into play!). Pre-auction bidding online had stalled at $500. When the lot went live I was the only bidder and got it for $550. That's $635 OTD! Figure on sub $700 delivered when you factor in shipping. And the Olympic sights that came with the case now have a home. Back in 2008 I got another pristine 52B in a Timonium auction, paying $550 for it (did come with Vaver sights). Never imagined I would pay that much for what's nearly the same rifle 14 years later.
    -If you want to see the Winnie click here, still waiting for the auction house to contact me to arrange shipping. BTW, there were about a half dozen Mosin Nagant M91/59s, M38s, M44s in this auction that I thought sold light. Worth checking out if you have the time to peruse the catalog.


    Active Member
    Sep 30, 2007
    Central MD
    Couple of great auction wins Mawkie, you stole both lots, just the sights and single shot adapter are worth 300 minimum. The 52B's are great rifles, some say the most accurate of the 52 series except the 52C's had a better trigger, the 52B's trigger is still good considering to compete at the time the trigger could not break below 3 lbs.


    Active Member
    Apr 6, 2012
    I sold my 52B with 3 mags, 2 rear iron peeps, hooded front sight with inserts, an Unertl 10X scope with mounts, and leather sling for $2K a few years ago. The rifle and scope were worth about $2K, the sights should have gotten another $500 but it was a bundle. The mags alone cost about $45 if you can find them.

    That said the reason I sold it was that it was not as accurate as either my 10/22 or CZ 452, both are tuned with high end aftermarket parts and barrels. The 52B ended up being a safe queen, the long barrel killed my velocities with match ammo to where I could see the bullets flying down range through the scope. It seemed to like cheap bulk ammo better.
    Jul 1, 2012
    Well you can't beat that with a stick :)
    That case is very cool.

    The tool is probably for that adjustable foregrip thingy on the 52C (?) which IIRC has large-slot screws threaded into that plate under the forestock. There's a similar tool used for FN grips (and conveniently also fits the Johnson 1941 JSAR buffer tube cap).


    C&R Whisperer
    Sep 28, 2007
    -Well the story takes a twist down the rabbit hole. Seems I was outbid on the Winnie by another online bidder as his bid came in right before mine. Dumb ass me, watching the video feed of the auction heard "internet bidder" and assumed it was me! Turns out I didn't get it after all. Damn! Somebody else got a fantastic bargain, just not me this time around. Oh well!!


    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Oct 30, 2018
    better luck next time , you sure find interesting stuff to bid/ buy !


    C&R Whisperer
    Sep 28, 2007
    I cannot complain. I've been blessed to have the wherewithal to support my obsession/hobby and have gotten very comfortable with the process of using auctions as the primary means to collect. So that means you have to come to terms with the fact that you can't win every time. Besides, I console myself with the fact that something else very nice and interesting will come along eventually.

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