Smith & Wesson Model 52
|Smith & Wesson Model 52|
S&W M52-2 with bbl weight
|Place of origin||United States|
|Length||8.55” (192 mm)|
|Barrel length||5” (102 mm)|
|Action||Short recoil, SA|
|Rate of fire||Semi-automatic|
|Feed system||5-round single column, detachable box magazine|
The Smith & Wesson Model 52 was a semi-automatic pistol developed by Smith & Wesson for Bullseye shooting. It was one of the first semiautomatic pistols chambered in .38 Special with flush-seated, full wadcutter bullets. The shape of the rimmed cartridge limited the magazine capacity to five rounds. A variant, known as the Model 952, in 9 mm Parabellum, is still produced in limited quantities by Smith & Wesson's Performance Center. The Model 52 was discontinued in 1992 when the machinery to manufacture the pistol broke down and it was deemed too costly to replace.
The Smith & Wesson Model 52 was introduced in 1961 as a match weapon derived from the Smith & Wesson Model 39. The first version known simply as the Model 52 retained the basic trigger mechanism of the Model 39, with the Double-Action function selectable via a simple frame-mounted setscrew, allowing the pistol to be fired in either Single action or Double-Action mode depending on the setscrew's adjustment.
In 1963 the Model 52-1 was introduced with a separately developed single-action trigger system and was manufactured until 1970, when it was succeeded by the Model 52-2. Changes to the 52-2 included an improved extractor.
In 1992, the 30 year-old machinery used to make the Model 52 broke down and Smith & Wesson decided against replacing it, so the handgun was discontinued. The last model 52-2 bore serial number “TZW9149” and was completed on July 23, 1993 and delivered to the S&W gun vault.
The Smith & Wesson Model 952 was introduced in 2004 as a Performance Center pistol based on the Model 52 and chambered in 9mm. Enhancements included a 5” match-grade barrel, titanium-coated spherical barrel bushing, 9-round magazine, loaded chamber indicator and a slide-mounted decocking lever.
An enhanced version was produced in 2004 and a long slide variant with a 6" barrel debuted in 2006.
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