How can you tell...?

DaRoostaDaRoosta Member Posts: 270 ✭✭✭
edited October 2001 in Ask the Experts
I visited a local sporting goods store this afternoon. The owner and I have become friends since he opened about 6 months ago. He knew I just sold a nice Winchester 52B and asked if I wanted another one. He showed me a different 52B that he took on trade from one of his good customers. The barrel had been cut down to 16 or 18" and had what seemed to be a different stock from what I would think is original. The stock almost looked like a Model 70 with the checkering, but was much thicker all the way through.He said the gentleman inherited it from his father, who told him the work was done by the factory. The craftsmanship was excellent on the entire piece, but I am skeptical it was done at the factory. He said if it could be proven the work was done at the factory, it would increase the value to $2000-$3000. That didn't make much sense, either, since he estimated the value at under $500 with the scope included.So, I have two questions:How can you tell if the work was done at the factory or by a gunsmith?Would it really increase the value that much or would it actually decrease the value?Thanks.Jeremy


  • AntiqueDrAntiqueDr Member Posts: 691 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    What does that Crocodile Hunter guy say... "Dane-jah, dane-jah, dane-jah!" If it is a 52B (as evidenced by the "B" following the serial number) then it was made in the mid-40's to mid-50's. Here's some facts. 52 Sporter barrels are 24" long, fairly slim. The front sights are forged to the barrel. If the factory would have taken on the job of converting a 52B to a Sporter, they would have installed a Sporter barrel and a Sporter stock. By the way, Sporter stocks have low-profile cheekpieces. The thickness of the stock is a big flag that this is a military-style stock which has been recontoured and checkered. Winchester did sell Model 52 "kits", a barreled action and a semi-inletted stock blank, but they were in military configuration and certainly did not have short barrels.Although I learned early on to never say "never" or "always" when dealing with Colt or Winchester, I would put about 99% certainty on an after-market gunsmith conversion. Especially with the barrel shortening. Value? Whatever you'd pay for a shooter - no collector value there.
    We buy, sell and trade quality guns and scopes!Ask us about Shepherd Scopes!Visit our website at www.ApaxEnterprises.com [This message has been edited by AntiqueDr (edited 10-31-2001).]
  • RembrandtRembrandt Member Posts: 5,012
    edited November -1
    According to Herbert G. Houze's book "The Winchester Model 52...perfection in Design", there were special stocks available. Page 124..."Should a stock of special dimensions be wanted, for the most dependable and complete satisfaction an inletted stock blank, fitted to receiver, guard, barrel, and band, but with sufficent wood to allow shaping by the owner or his gunsmith, is available. It will be furnished in place of the finished stock at no advance in price, or may ordered as an extra at the cost of a regular finished stock." These were also available with factory checkering. No reference is made to any barrel shorter than 24".....this should send up a red flag! Does the rifle have a barrel band? If you have a serial number or the diameter of the barrel at the muzzle, might be able to tell you more.
  • DaRoostaDaRoosta Member Posts: 270 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the replies. I didn't write down the serial number, but my friend said it was dated to 1945. The barrel seemed to be the heavy target barrel, as it seemed identical thickness to my other 52B with 24" barrel. It definitely looks like a sporter stock, though, but it fits the heavy barrel perfectly. The barrel is cut, but it has been finished, recessed at the end of the barrel (same as original model) and blued to perfection. It sounds like maybe they cut the barrel from the action side and refitted it, but I can't remember if it was banded.I'm not going to be around to check the serial number soon, but I will post again when I can. Would Winchester have something on file about this particular serial number if they in fact did work on it at the factory?
  • PhilPhil Member Posts: 47 ✭✭
    edited November -1
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