The Winchester Model 52 was one of the most accurate rimfire rifles ever produced in America. The Model 52 was the first bolt action .22 rifle produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Only 125,419 of these classic WWI style rifles were produced between 1920-1980.


The Model 52 was designed by T.C. Johnson and Frank Burton. After the Model 1885 was discontinued, Winchester needed to release a new gun to keep their position in the market. The idea to produce a bolt action rifle was inspired by soldiers returning from fighting in the first World War. The Model 52 made its debut as a target rifle at the National Rifle Matches in Caldwell, New Jersey in 1919. Many records were set using the Model 52, earning it the nickname of “the King of .22’s”.

Magazines & Stock Design

The rifle has a removable box magazine with a 5-round capacity. Buyers also had the option to purchase a 10-round magazine. Earlier serials of the Model 52 were only equipped with a metal sight. Starting in 1924, the barrels were drilled and tapped for mounting a scope. Also in the late 1920’s, the innovative speed lock was added to the Model 52. The speed lock featured an adjustable trigger and a reduction in firing pin travel. This resulted in an extremely fast locking time. The stock was also updated to have a more pronounced grip and a wider more flat forearm. The later stocks also have an oil finish rather than varnish to cut manufacturing costs.  

Our January Firearms, Ammo, & Accessories auction features five Winchester Model 52 rifles. The auction is on January 28th @ 10am ET. The auction will be held live and online. Pre-bidding is open now! If you have any question about the Winchester Model 52, or any other items in the catalog, feel free to give us a call at 800-726-6466 or email

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