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I am tripping on my target rifle???

1159 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  CarolinaChuck
I purchased a Win 52B 20+ years ago that is a full blown custom built around a barreled action sold in 1950. I found it in a pawn shop without sights and put Redfield Olympic peep sights on it. Good shooter, a great rifle to use because it was a bit rough and had no real historical value because of what it is. I know who sold the barreled action, but not who it was sold to, nor do I know who built the rifle or for who it was built.

It is a prone rifle that is pressure bedded with two adjustment points on the end of the stock. Still shoots fine today, and I book it in value to what I have in it. Here is what is tripping me out:

Been a long time since I have shot it, so I tore it down and gave it a good going through. I put it back together and it groups under 1/4 MOA at 25 yards (one ragged hole) about 1/4 inch to the left and 1/4 low; cool, it is right back on line and I wouldn't have much fiddling to do getting it back dead on.

I reach up to click the rear sight 4 right and 4 up and realize the rear sight is almost all the way to the right already. Long ago when I originally put it together I never remember it being this way. I look down the on the rifle, and sure enough, the rear peep sight is actually well right of the center line of the bore. It will go far enough to hit dead on, but not if you were to have much of a wind.

Has anybody had or delt with a similar issue? I just can not quite get my head around what issue I am dealing with. Is it a sight issue? Is it a crown issue? Is it a barrel issue? I just can't see how a tube groups like this and has the sights so out of wack with the bore.

It has an Eric Johnson 5 star, 8 land 28 inch barrel that had no crown on it when I bought it. I had an 11 degree crown cut on it, and had the barrel and action reblued when I first put it together as it needed it. Outside of that, the front sight was parkerized; both rear and front sights were purchased used from two different sources. The stand-offs for the front and rear peep sights came on the rifle, and are a dead nuts match for the Olympic sights.

What do I got going on here, and how do I go about trouble shooting the issue?

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I hate when folks make a post and never bring it to a conclusion, so: What I seem to be looking at is an optical illusion, possibly caused by me now needing reading glasses to see anything up-close; and of course the cheap ones at the dollar store is all I buy… There is no way for me to stand over the top of the rifle and trust anything I am seeing.

I got the smart idea to string the front and rear sight apertures and get a better picture of what I was looking at. I can now see that the rear aperture is over the bore line. I am thinking the rear peep sight base is not for the 52B and Olympic sights. I have 9 /34 MOA left to the right (39 clicks) of windage. I think the Redfield Olympic rear sight has 18 MOA right and left when centered, is that correct?

I am surprised no one accused me of smoking something funny, but that would have OK given the original post. As well as the rifle shoots, I knew there had to be some logical reason/solution to what I was looking at.

I am kind of curious as to what others have on Model 52’s with an Olympic rear sight as far as the centering of their windage goes. I might find that what I have is about the norm considering the rage of movement of the sights. Kind of reminds me of playing with used race engines; every engine builder has a different idea and none of them want to play in the same sandbox. And don’t ask why, because there is no rhyme or reason…

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I'm not familier with those sights but I'm sure we have someone to answer you question so don't go away yet.

Have you tried centering the sight and counting clicks ?

Also, what kind of torque ( inch pound) setting do you have on the action screws ?
The action screw went down to 16 inch pounds and the front barrel band to 13 inch pounds. I backed them off and then retorqued them as it seemed tight enough not to losen up. The bloody thing weighs over 12 lbs and sub-sonic ammo has 0 recoil. It grouped well, so I left it be. I have a high dollar Mac Tools inch pound screw driver type torque wrench.

My thinking is, if it loosens up or won't group one ragged hole I can go up from there, but there aint no sense it getting heavier than getting a good grouping from a baseline stand point.

When I first put it together I didn't own the torque wrench, so I just snuged them up and left it alone as it shot well. The rifle has only been apart one other time to repair a striped hole mounting the trigger guard to the stock. I don't recall what I torqued them down to the at that time, but I did use the torque wrench. Being a single shot there is little need to do more than pull the bolt to clean the rifle when needs be.

There was one other issue I had not addressed from the original purchased, and that was the rubber washer under the front barrel band hold down screw that was rotting when I bought it. Well, it finially went to S#!+ and Hogs ate it; I had to break down and find a replacement and see what the hubbub was about the adjustments up front were for. I had always left them alone, but they are in full play now.

It has a Henery Wright trigger, so all that needs to be done is to loosen the screw on the bottom of the stock that holds the trigger up into where it lives. The trigger guard is slotted to allow the trigger to fall down enough to allow the bolt to be removed.

I will say this, it is a well made rifle by one of the old smiths from an era gone by. It was a long struggle for me to learn about it, as most folks had little idea what it was, let alone, what the smith was trying to do when he put it together. The old boy I bought it from back in 1987 didn't even know anything about it other than he wanted $425 and not a penny less. I went in an quizzed that old boy three time about that rifle before I went went back the forth time with the cash.

As the years have gone by, lots of folks are revisiting the old days and information is much better communicated now with the internet. I ran down someone on a forum, don't remember which one, who had Al freelands shop records; he originally was the one who purchased the barrel action from Wincheter and sold it in 1950, buyer unknow.

I lost my hard drive on the computer that information was exchanced on where I had it stored. The trigger has a hand stamped Paten Pending # stamped on it, outside of that I would have never been able to figure out what it is. It could very well be one of the early triggers he made, I will probably never know.

I really appreciate the responce, it is a one off rifle which has really been a joy to own and keep shooting. I get the most pleasure out of it by letting other folks shoot it. Although, there is the occasional scoped 10/22 owner that thinks the old girl has no business at the dance; He, He, He, He!

Again, thanks for your post, and any comments are surely welcome. Kind of funny, that old lap top lost another hard drive again last week; too bad computers don't work like old rifles do...

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