One of 87; The Smith & Wesson Model 52-A in .38 AMU
One of the true Holy Grail Guns For Smith Pistol Collectors, The S&W Model 52-A in .38AMU Is Rarely Seen Let Alone In Like-New Condition And Within Its Original Box.
This Firearm Is Often Mistaken Visually For A Model 39 And Is Often Mistakenly Called A Model 39-1. It Is Actually A Handgun That Dates From A Period In Time When The Factory Was Working Directly With The Military In The Development Of A Better Target Pistol And Cartridge Combination.
For those of you unfamiliar with this extremely rare variation, in his book “The History Of Smith & Wesson”, Roy Jinks says in part, that after the first three steel samples were built up, an order for 100 aluminum frame models was sent to the shop floor in 1961. There were concerns about calling these guns a 39-1 for instead of the “-1” indicating an engineering change, it would actually have designated a caliber difference and there could have been confusion between a 39 in 9mm and a 39-1 in .38AMU. So at the time of manufacture (1961), the factory stamped these guns as a Model 52 (which at that time, was an unassigned Model number). 87 of the 100 were completed and some number (Mr. Jinks doesn’t indicate how many) were sent to the military for evaluation. Mr. Jinks also doesn’t indicate if any of them came back. The balance of the guns, however, went into the vault; awaiting sale to the military.
It seems as though that never happened; although the text is a bit vague as to whether no orders ever came in or just not a big one for the balance of whatever guns hadn’t been sent to the military already for testing. Mr. Jinks then goes on to indicate that in 1964, the Company decided to sell to the public whatever number hadn’t been sent to the military and that had been languishing in the vault for three years. However during that three year period, Model Number “52” had been formally assigned (or reassigned depending on how you look at it) to the gun we know as the steel frame, 5”, .38Special Model 52 today. So according to Mr. Jinks, the people at the plant unpacked this undisclosed remaining number of guns and stamped them with an “A” designation so they wouldn’t be confused with the “real” Model 52 marked firearms they were selling by that period of time.
The Previous Owner Was An Advanced Collector Who Knew Rare S&W’s And Who Only Obtained Perfect Or Near Perfect Examples Of Them. This Pistol Had Been In A Private Collection For Decades And Was Once Accompanied By An Equally Like New, Non-Model Marked, Short Lever Model 39 And A Companion, Like New, Original (Locked Out DA; DA/SA) Model 52 In .38Special With Factory Ordered, Smooth Rosewood Stocks As Indicated On Its Box.
Both Of Those Guns Sold Easily and Now It Is Time To Put This One, The Rarest Of The Three, Up For Sale.
The Gun Is In Perfect And Apparently Unfired Condition. No Modifications Have Been Detected And The Pistol Is Being Sold With One Magazine.
Also Included Is The Original Box, Cleaning Kit, Wrapping Paper And Half Of The Warranty Card As Seen In The Accompanying Photos.
Trades Accepted: No
Shore Galleries has been in business for over 60 years. Located in Lincolnwood, Illinois, a north suburb of Chicago.
We are a Law Enforcement dealer specializing in guns and accessories for LE and security. We also cater and have a strong presence in the civilian market Besides accepting credit cards, VISA, MASTERCARD and DISCOVER we also will accept PAYPAL payments on most items. We also accept money orders and cashiers checks.
NOTE: We will not sell or ship any item where prohibited by law. We also only sell to US addresses only, No exceptions. We do not export.