Some rifles are better made than others. While many share the same high quality materials, it’s elegant styling and finer fit and finish that make Cooper’s Model 52 tack-driving beauties.
Back in the 1990s I reviewed a Cooper Model 22 centrefire rifle and although its workmanship was impossible to fault, it didn’t hold much appeal for me because it was a single-shot bolt action. This handsome rifle was undoubtably intended to sell to varmint hunters, who were just about the only bunch of shooters who would appreciate the increased stiffness that results from dropping the magazine cutout from the receiver. Big-game hunters, on the other hand, appreciate the advantage of being able to deliver a fast follow-up shot when game is missed or wounded. They wouldn’t have been all that thrilled about being handicapped by a single shot boltgun. As time wore on, their demands for a repeater became so insistent that Dan Cooper could no longer ignore them.
The biggest obstacle he had to overcome was in designing a magazine-fed rifle capable of delivering the same degree of accuracy for which the Model 22 single-shot had become famous. Cooper is a perfectionist, and even though big game hunters might have found a gun that averaged MoA plenty adequate for their purposes, he wasn’t satisfied until he succeeded in producing a repeater capable of consistently grouping three shots into half and inch or less at 100 yds.