A lot of good information. The 52-2 is the newer improved model. Ammo for any of the models are scarce and expensive, unless you roll your own. I'm not a expert on these but used to own one years ago. They were a lot of fun to shoot but even then expensive to feed. Liked the 41 too.
I snubbed them till I shot one, and it made me embarrased to own a Gold Cup....The 52-2 Master is the firearms equiv of a lead laser. You do have to load specific 148gr ammo, and having a set of recoil calibration springs is a must. Once you dial it in with a load, 38spc wadcutter is a no brainer to load and very forgiving. (I don't get the expensive to feed post, 2.8 of Bullseye under a 148gr cast solid base WC, wheel weight +5 zinc...Leave about 15 thou protruding and a mild crimp. Brass lasts forever it seems. I will admit I never actually used store bought ammo). I spent a year playing with one and have mucho respect for them.
BTW...We were in Bandera, Kerrville, Lukenbach last week, and if the schedule wasn't so hectic I would have treated to Mamacita's. Next time for sure. Todd
I haven't owned a 52 since the late 70s. In reloading for them, they are very cheap to shoot but you do have to watch your cartridge dimensions, carefully, or you'll have feeding issues. Mine was boringly accurate.
I have had one for 20 years. Really nice guns. Get a 52-2 they are the most reasonably priced. Older ones usually command higher prices but aren't any better IMHO. A fair price for one is between $750 to $1100 with two magazines. You could go crazy and try to find a 52-A (39-1) in 38 AMU for $3000 to $6000 if you are flush with cash. I think only about 100 of these were made for the Army Marksmen's unit.
I have been using this load for the whole time with the gun:
Hornady 148 grain HBWC seated flush with case mouth. Never had any luck with cast WCs or with DE or BB WCs.
Winchester or RP cases - never trim them just use them till they split. Usually can reload at least 10 to 15 times.
3.3 grains of Win 231
Light roll crimp, not a taper crimp. A roll crimp will ensure reliable feeding.
With the above load you should expect 1" groups at 25 yards and 2-2.75" groups at 50.
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