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S&w Model 52 Barrel Bushing


R112mercer

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I know the M52 isn't exactly the most popular gun on this forum, but parts are parts, right?

I have an older 52-2 and when I took it apart the other day I noticed the barrel bushing had hardly any lock-up on the barrel. Even the slight bulge at the end of the barrel where the bushing is supposed to lock-up seemed to allow the bushing to slide over it without any drag. Is this normal? I can't imagine it would be.

I haven't had a chance to bench the gun and test accuracy just yet, but I remember the gun being pretty accurate. Most of my shooting with it has been on the NRA B16 25 yard Slow Fire target, and shooting one-handed it has no problem keeping all the rounds in the black, if I do my part.

If the bushing has to be replaced, how hard is this? I would imagine it would be easier on the 52 as the bushing screws into the slide, so you only have to fit the barrel to bushing tolerance. What tools would you need to fit the bushing?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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I know the M52 isn't exactly the most popular gun on this forum, but parts are parts, right?

I have an older 52-2 and when I took it apart the other day I noticed the barrel bushing had hardly any lock-up on the barrel. Even the slight bulge at the end of the barrel where the bushing is supposed to lock-up seemed to allow the bushing to slide over it without any drag. Is this normal? I can't imagine it would be.

I haven't had a chance to bench the gun and test accuracy just yet, but I remember the gun being pretty accurate. Most of my shooting with it has been on the NRA B16 25 yard Slow Fire target, and shooting one-handed it has no problem keeping all the rounds in the black, if I do my part.

If the bushing has to be replaced, how hard is this? I would imagine it would be easier on the 52 as the bushing screws into the slide, so you only have to fit the barrel to bushing tolerance. What tools would you need to fit the bushing?

Thanks in advance for any help.

I have a 52 that's been shot very little. The bushing exhibits only the slightest drag over the "bulge" in the barrel. The key is zero play when the slide is in battery.

Were I looking to replace the bushing... I'd sent it back to S&W. The 52 isn't made anymore, their claim to fame was careful hand-fitting from the factory, and my own (admittedly very old) manual/exploded diagram/parts list shows the bushing as "not for sale."

You don't say what you're using for loads, but, my old standby from the days of NRA competition was 3gr of Red Dot under a 148gr HBWC, which would reliably chew one ragged hole in the X-ring at 25 yds all day, every day, out of a Ransom rest... If you're managing 90+ points offhand on slow-fire...personally, I wouldn't dink with it...

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I use Zero's 148 gr. HBWC over 3.2 gr. of W231. I tried 2.5 of Clays and 2.7 of Bullseye and the gun seemed to prefer the W231. This is fortunate because this is my PPC load. I use the somewhat heavier charge of 3.2 gr. vs. 3.0 to get more reliable seating of the skirts of the wadcutter into the bore and for better performance at 50 yds.

The fit of the bushing on your gun seems close to mine. It just doesn't seem like it could lock up that well with that loose a fit. I guess I'm just used to target 1911's where you practically have to pound the bushing off the fit is so tight.

Thanks for your help.

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Got to put the 52 in a Ransom Rest today. Gun shoots great, the owner, well, that's another story... Looked like about a 1.5" group at 25 yds. Now, how to fix that jiggling bag of protoplasm that attaches to the grip... :wacko:

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I think it's more the latter than the former. 52's are tough to come by. I was looking for 2 years for a nice one. All of a sudden two showed up at my local shop one day with a third to follow later! Even at Bullseye matches I don't see many. And it seems there aren't many crossover Bullseye shooters on this forum (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Beautiful that the M52 is, it's a tad limited in it's scope. Only holds five rounds (six if you cut the mag), only shoots .38 full wadcutter, and the trigger requires a lot of training to master. But for what it does (Bullseye, PPC, and some guys use them for falling plate matches) it sure is a sweet shooting gun.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The model 52 is most accurate pistol I have fired. I still have 2 of them but don't shoot them anymore. I am not very accurate any more but the gun is.

The fit on the bushing is not tight but zero clearance.

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The model 52 is most accurate pistol I have fired. I still have 2 of them but don't shoot them anymore. I am not very accurate any more but the gun is.

The fit on the bushing is not tight but zero clearance.

They really hold their value, as well, hang on to those two that you have. And you're right, they are super accurate. Thanks for the reply and welcome to the forum!

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