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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Stevens Model 52 (Read 9763 times)
arlon
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Stevens Model 52
Apr 12th, 2017 at 4:23pm
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This is an interesting old rile for me. Probably my favorite. It has a lot of family history. Acquired by my G Grandfather in Cibolo Texas in the very early 1900's. Schutzen matches were popular in the area, Cibolo is only a few miles from New Braunfels. I have record of him shooting a State Rifle Match in New Braunfels reported in the Houston Post on May 14, 1904.

There is a partial bullet box with a piece of paper wadded up in it as a spacer. The paper is dated April 3, 1904. Maybe this was the box he was pulling bullets from the match. Fun to ponder.

I also have his old shooting box that had a few boxes of 330 gr paper patched bullets, simple reloading tool, primers an some old sporting ammo (have a regular model 44 in 38-55 also).

Here are a few pics. Not sure what the limit is here on photos. Hope I don't go over it. Ahh. Limit is 5! (-:} More on a reply then.
  
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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #1 - Apr 12th, 2017 at 4:26pm
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See if I can add a few more images...
  
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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #2 - Apr 12th, 2017 at 4:28pm
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And the match scores. G Grandfather is highlighted.

  
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bnice
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #3 - Apr 12th, 2017 at 4:40pm
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wonderful rifle and to have the family connection is really special.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #4 - Apr 12th, 2017 at 4:54pm
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Yes a wonderful rifle and very neat accessories too! The re-decapping tool with the case in it looks very much like a Ballard tool.
The condition and case colors on your rifle's receiver look like it was well cared for! Looks like someone wanted to make it easier to use for benchrest and cut the prongs off the Swiss buttplate. That's fairly common to find that done, or even another flat buttplate installed.
  

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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #5 - Apr 12th, 2017 at 4:59pm
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Beautiful rifle!  Also, on the presumption that likely several someones here can answer these, first, is the de- and re-capper a Ballard or just a Ballard look-alike?  Second, is the front sight a Stevens or someone else's?

Bill Lawrence
  
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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #6 - Apr 12th, 2017 at 5:01pm
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Bill Lawrence wrote on Apr 12th, 2017 at 4:59pm:
Beautiful rifle!  Also, on the presumption that likely several someones here can answer these, first, is the de- and re-capper a Ballard or just a Ballard look-alike?  Second, is the front sight a Stevens or someone else's?

Bill Lawrence


It looks like one of the bullet boxes is marked Ballard, hard to tell. I have not noticed any marking on the capper/decapper tool.
Also a tall brass funnel was in the box.

The front sight on the rifle now looks like a replacement. I have the original but I guess G Grandfather liked the super fine post/dot more than the reticles for the one with the bubble level.

Here are the front sights that he had. One is on a .22 model 44, one loose (one I thought was original to the Model 52).
« Last Edit: Apr 12th, 2017 at 5:23pm by arlon »  
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marlinguy
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #7 - Apr 12th, 2017 at 5:27pm
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Ballard re-decappers weren't marked with Marlin markings. Simply the 2 digit caliber by the hole the cartridge case slips through. Since these tools were likely made for Marlin by BGI, it's possible they sold them to others also.
The Ballard box of patched bullets should have a "JM Marlin" name on the box. I have a like new box, and pretty sure they were made for Marlin by UMC.
  

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gunlaker
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #8 - Apr 12th, 2017 at 5:51pm
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Very nice!
  
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calledflyer
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #9 - Apr 12th, 2017 at 6:03pm
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Arlon, my rifle lost its prongs like yours. I feel for you there. But, beyond that your rifle has seen better love for its life than my ol' shooter. Great stuff to have from a grandpa. Thanks for letting us share it with you. Treasure it.
  

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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #10 - Apr 12th, 2017 at 6:27pm
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calledflyer wrote on Apr 12th, 2017 at 6:03pm:
Arlon, my rifle lost its prongs like yours. I feel for you there. But, beyond that your rifle has seen better love for its life than my ol' shooter. Great stuff to have from a grandpa. Thanks for letting us share it with you. Treasure it.


LOL, yea sometimes I wish the prongs were there but then when I stuff it in the safe, I'm glad they're gone.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #11 - Apr 13th, 2017 at 5:09pm
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Years ago I purchased an 1881 Marlin lever action repeater with the small Farrow Swiss buttplate, and someone had cut the prongs off. Since it was serial numbered to the gun I didn't want to put a repro on it, so I fixed it instead.
I bought a repro buttplate and cut the prongs off it. Then I drilled and tapped the buttplate and the prongs I cut off with a 10-32 tap. I threaded a 10-32 stud into the buttplate, and then threaded the prongs onto the studs and tightened them until they aligned correctly. Then I used my oxy-acetylene torch and gas welded the prongs to the buttplate. Once it was done I shaped and polished the weld and had the buttplate refinished. It looked proper, and retained the serial number.
  

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willsweptline
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #12 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 11:07pm
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Wow. Not only to have the gun stay in your family for that long, but to have all of that with it. Amazing.
  
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #13 - Apr 18th, 2017 at 8:56am
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Arlon. Thank God you appreciate your Grand Fathers Gun and his Life!  PLEASE do not go to Las Vegas and visit Pawn Stars, so you can "Party" ...I will be pissed!
  

May the Bullet Gods be with you.......
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #14 - Apr 18th, 2017 at 3:43pm
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That is downright beautiful !!! The history that rifle has is awesome. Treasure it. Dale.
  

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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #15 - Apr 19th, 2017 at 10:58pm
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Skalkaho wrote on Apr 18th, 2017 at 8:56am:
Arlon. Thank God you appreciate your Grand Fathers Gun and his Life!  PLEASE do not go to Las Vegas and visit Pawn Stars, so you can "Party" ...I will be pissed! 



Not likely! I have shot it a bit and it's just fun to shoot. Now I find out it is even more special as it has an optional wide receiver. It's a bit fatter than the standard 44 action. Fortunately I have a 44 in 38-55 to compare it with.
  
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #16 - Apr 20th, 2017 at 11:21am
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That is really, really cool!
  
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #17 - Apr 20th, 2017 at 3:05pm
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What an unusually nice rifle with a nice family connection!

Regards,
Powderman
  
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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #18 - May 10th, 2017 at 4:21pm
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Just added a few detail pics.
I assume the "1" stamped on the barrel flat is the barrel size/contour?


  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #19 - May 11th, 2017 at 7:54am
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Assuming that the "1" is not a misstamp and is correctly interpreted, just how common are .38-55s  in a No. 1 barrel?

Bill Lawrence
  
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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #20 - May 11th, 2017 at 9:23pm
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Bill Lawrence wrote on May 11th, 2017 at 7:54am:
Assuming that the "1" is not a misstamp and is correctly interpreted, just how common are .38-55s  in a No. 1 barrel?

Bill Lawrence


One thing I noticed was that the "1" stamp has dinged left base of number. The one in the SN was struck with the exact same broken stamp as the one on the barrel.
  
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uscra112
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #21 - May 11th, 2017 at 10:19pm
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Wonderful closeups.   What sort of camera are you using ?  I need one like it.
  
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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #22 - May 11th, 2017 at 10:55pm
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uscra112 wrote on May 11th, 2017 at 10:19pm:
Wonderful closeups.   What sort of camera are you using ?  I need one like it.


Close up/macro photography is one of my favorite hobbies. I shoot a LOT of bugs (with a Nikon, not a single shot).. I mostly use a Nikon D800E camera with a Tokina 100m F2.8 macro lens. Flash is used with a home made on flash soft box.

Check out the bug gallery at pbase.com/arlon (-:}
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #23 - May 12th, 2017 at 9:13am
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I don't know Stevens barrel weight system. But your barrel looks too heavy to be what I'd typically know as a #1 weight for other makers.
  

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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #24 - May 12th, 2017 at 11:18am
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Did they ever sell them in sets of multiple calibers? Like British gun sets with the barrels marked 1 and 2.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #25 - May 12th, 2017 at 12:34pm
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oneatatime wrote on May 12th, 2017 at 11:18am:
Did they ever sell them in sets of multiple calibers? Like British gun sets with the barrels marked 1 and 2.


Yes, they did indeed sell multiple barrel sets. Unfortunately, I never looked at my friend's two multiple barrel sets to see if they were numbered #1 and #2. But both barrels were serial numbered to the receiver.
  

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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #26 - May 12th, 2017 at 7:20pm
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Since both ones were stamped with the same stamp and in the same orientation I almost wonder if the guy started to stamp the SN on the flat and then realized he was stamping in the wrong place..
  
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calledflyer
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #27 - May 12th, 2017 at 8:14pm
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Or, noticed the missing serif for the first time and tested it out in a hidden spot to see if it was still usable, or if he needed to explain to the tool room boss that he needed yet another one.
  

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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #28 - Feb 13th, 2019 at 8:28pm
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Anyone else have one of these in 38-55 that's being used? I've been shooting it with a 250gr bullet and 20 gr of IMR 4198. Just wondering what the limit on this older weaker action might be?
  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #29 - Feb 14th, 2019 at 7:31am
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Since your rifle is a .38-55, I expected to see the lugged hammer.  But I'd never heard (or more likely at my age simply forgot) that the actions of 44s chambered in .32-40 and up were also thicker/"fatter".

Now I don't have a complete set of Stevens catalogs between 1894 and 1916, but as best I can tell, parts lists for the 44 always list only one frame and never list a lugged hammer.

In short, I've always wondered: if smokeless powder hadn't "caught on", would Stevens have ever introduced the 44-1/2 action, which, along with thereafter all but refusing to chamber 44-actioned rifles in centerfire calibers, in a way publically admitted that the 44 actions did have safety issues/limitations?

Bill Lawrence
  
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #30 - Feb 14th, 2019 at 11:35am
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I admire your Grandfather's taste and he must have taken allot of personal pride in owning that rifle. It shows by the way he cared for it and rightfully so it is simply a stunning example of what Stevens produced. Do you happen to have the paperwork from when he purchased the rifle.
  
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #31 - Feb 14th, 2019 at 12:42pm
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Didn't Ned Roberts write that he had problems with 44's in 38/55 ?
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #32 - Feb 15th, 2019 at 2:29pm
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Nice to see this particular gun topic brought back up again. I think this is a neat old gun and shooting kit, and hope you're careful shooting smokeless loads in it, so it's still around in another century in your family!
  

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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #33 - May 2nd, 2019 at 10:52pm
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No paperwork or anything like that unfortunately.

I've only shot this one with something like 19-20 gr of IMR4198 and 250gr cast bullets. It's lite and the load was worked just to the point that it stopped sooting the case. It was still pretty accurate for what I was doing. Nothing like it was probably capable of with the right loads and bullets. I don't shoot it much but I did a lot of looking to find the lowest pressure that would still get a bullet down the bore.
« Last Edit: May 2nd, 2019 at 11:02pm by arlon »  
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arlon
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #34 - Jul 7th, 2019 at 3:57pm
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I have another Stevens 38-55, this one is a normal model 44. It has the same "1" stamped on the barrel. It was also stamped with the same broken stamp as the model 52. It also has a lugged hammer but the receiver is about .025" narrower. I wonder if they just left a little extra material because of the engraving that was going to be done on the model 52.
  
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #35 - Jul 8th, 2019 at 11:47am
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What a great rifle, that is a family treasure .
  
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #36 - Jul 8th, 2019 at 1:58pm
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An amazing looking rifle with a great, preserved history.  A true family heirloom ...
  

I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #37 - Jul 8th, 2019 at 10:42pm
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Somehow I missed this thread until today.

What a wonderful rifle complete with accessories and family connection!

Thanks for posting.

Wish it were mine.

Regards,
Powderman
« Last Edit: Jul 8th, 2019 at 10:51pm by powderman »  
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Just Jim
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #38 - Jul 8th, 2019 at 11:30pm
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Magnificent rifle, and astonishing that all of the peripherals have survived along with it!

I'm so glad you have it and the family history it represents. Let us hope that many, many years from now YOUR progeny will still own and be equally proud of this fine testament to American workmanship!

Thanks for sharing! Jim...
  
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Re: Stevens Model 52
Reply #39 - Jul 9th, 2019 at 12:34pm
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Ordinarily, I, too, would consider replacing the buttplate prongs.  However, assuming it was your grandfather who removed them (or had them removed), I'd keep the plate as-is as a reflection of his style and as part of his memorial.

Bill Lawrence
  
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