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View Full Version : Ithaca 37 Defense. Feels nice.


Tibodoe
January 05, 2013, 03:04
While shopping for 22 shells at Academy, I noticed a few home defense
shotguns on the shelves. I looked at the 500 Mossberg, it was about what
I expected. I asked the clerk for the next one in line. He handed me
an Ithaca 37 Defense. It was 7+1 with a 20 inch barrel. I was very impressed. The balance was excellent, and the action was smooth as silk.
It had a solid feel that I did not expect. I am considering buying one,and
wondered if anyone here had one.

Bret

W.E.G.
January 05, 2013, 03:07
Get a haircut!

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/shotguns/ithaca37easyridershotgun.jpg

Andy the Aussie
January 05, 2013, 03:11
I loved my M37s..!!!!

Temp
January 05, 2013, 09:26
I was also on the lookout for a Model 37 defense when I stumbled upon this nice old Model 37 at a gun show for $250. My intent was to cut the barrel, but after finding that it's a 1948 vintage, I decided to leave it alone.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h225/FalMike/1948.jpg

0302
January 05, 2013, 09:51
I would love to have a 37 with an 8 rd tube. I hunt with an original remington model 17, 20 gage from 1924, still a great shotgun.

Mebsuta
January 05, 2013, 13:03
I was also on the lookout for a Model 37 defense when I stumbled upon this nice old Model 37 at a gun show for $250. My intent was to cut the barrel, but after finding that it's a 1948 vintage, I decided to leave it alone.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h225/FalMike/1948.jpg

Awesome gun and IMO you did the right thing leaving it unmolested. :)

hedp
January 05, 2013, 13:12
Being at Academy, I would assume it's a new production model? Are these the ones with fixed, non removable barrels? Not sure what to think about that feature on pump guns.
But I'm a 37 fan, got three, two 12's from '53 and '75, and a 16 from '52. Still looking for an original 8 shot version.

Andy the Aussie
January 05, 2013, 14:52
One of my two was an 8 shot with sights, got it for a song at a Service Rifle Match one day as the previous owner had two issues..it had been shot, as in hit by a .22 round in the tube and, the slam fire function caught him out and he was a little scared of it. He had no clue where to get the tube replaced but it took me about a week.

The other was one of 100s that were brought here from Vietnam. Short sock and a bit ugly but 100s mechanically sound. It was a bit surreal cleaning it up (fully striped to parts) knowing the gunk and such can from that nasty little country/conflict. Interesting, it had the 18 inch barrel, when I put my choke guage on it, it showed FULL... ;)

hokey45
January 05, 2013, 21:37
Ithaca has changed hands and locations a few times and the 80's and 90's guns are hit and miss quality wise. Ithaca fans are saying the one's coming out of the new Ohio operation are as good as any ever built, it's like being able to buy a new 40's vintage gun. The defense guns will not have the polish (or the price) of the field guns but internally they are the same. It's all forged steel, no plastic, no aluminum, made in the USA.

http://www.ithacagun.com/

I love Ithacas. Their standard stock dimensions are perfect for me whereas Remingtons are stocked for some kind of mutant. My 16 gauge M37 is the perfect dove gun.

doubletap
January 06, 2013, 01:52
About a year ago I heard about the Ithaca Defense model, went to the Ithaca website and looked it over, then had my local dealer order one. Outside of it being a 3" gun, it is as well built as any of my older Ithaca's that date back through the 70's to the late '40's. It has a great feel, works slick as goose snot, and best of all, no disconnector in the trigger group. About everything you could want in a defense shotgun, and the price was right, a smidge over $500 IIRC about this time last year. Don't feel bashful about getting one, they're great!

bubbagump
January 06, 2013, 16:52
While shopping for 22 shells at Academy, I noticed a few home defense
shotguns on the shelves. I looked at the 500 Mossberg, it was about what
I expected. I asked the clerk for the next one in line. He handed me
an Ithaca 37 Defense. It was 7+1 with a 20 inch barrel. I was very impressed. The balance was excellent, and the action was smooth as silk.
It had a solid feel that I did not expect. I am considering buying one,and
wondered if anyone here had one.

Bret

No 'defense' model here, but the Ithaca 37s are arguably the best pump shotgun ever made. Both mine are from the '50's.

b.

Shootability
January 06, 2013, 16:58
I have the 37 police special and a 37 that started out as a long barrel goose gun - I cut it back - no one hunts with 2 3/4 shells for Geese anymore but a nicer defense gun you could not ask for.

I really like them - rugged and sweet handling and the slam fire option is a hoot.

ByronF
January 07, 2013, 06:10
Opinions on Stevens 350? Looks like an Ithaca clone. Very affordable so I assume made in Turkey or Phillipines or some such place.

bubbagump
January 07, 2013, 09:16
I have the 37 police special and a 37 that started out as a long barrel goose gun - I cut it back - no one hunts with 2 3/4 shells for Geese anymore but a nicer defense gun you could not ask for.

I really like them - rugged and sweet handling and the slam fire option is a hoot.

The slam fire option IS a hoot. Both of mine have that. Fannable 12 gauge shotguns are a whole lot of firepower in a very manageable package. Raises eyebrows on the skeet range though.

1MOR
January 07, 2013, 11:55
The M37 was an issue weapon for the LEO that I worked for. Carried one for 20 years and became very familiar with these kiddies. Light, strong, even with one action bar, never jammed in rain snow and freezing sleet. Slamfire from the hip was a sure way of cleaning up a room where an armed felon was hiding and would not interfere with a gas mask. Bottom ejection enabled use by righties and lefties. Load it up with #00 buck and you are good to go for any defensive purpose. Bad guy wearing body armor? No problem, center mass hit from M37 takes his feet away, second hit takes him on the way down and the third hit would remove everyting north of his shoulders or, everything south of his hips. Forgot to add, the M37 was remarkably accurate when using slugs, even with the simple brass bead front post and no rear sight other than the milled recess. Practice, practice, practice.
The M37 MIL/LE had a weakness, the walnut buttstock, at the wrist would crack upon solid application of an upward buttstroke.

A sizeable contract was let to Ithaca for M37s to be given to ARVN. The butts were sized to fit ARVN personnel, or, short buttstocks. The ARVNs had trouble handling the recoil and, the contract production went to US LE agencies. Hence, the explanation of why so many of the older 18" parked MIL/LE M37s are wearing Pachymar slipon buttpads.
This has the 8 round tube and shares my office space. I found this cherry and brought her home. Keeps my 5 round version company. Wish they would mate and start a family.

http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/249/ithaca.jpg

Tibodoe
January 07, 2013, 23:43
Beautiful. I want the pick of the litter.

tdb59
January 07, 2013, 23:48
... Interesting, it had the 18 inch barrel, when I put my choke guage on it, it showed FULL... ;)

A lot of M37s have a smaller diameter bore than the industry norm.

wkendwarrior2003
January 08, 2013, 17:40
About a year ago I heard about the Ithaca Defense model, went to the Ithaca website and looked it over, then had my local dealer order one. Outside of it being a 3" gun, it is as well built as any of my older Ithaca's that date back through the 70's to the late '40's. It has a great feel, works slick as goose snot, and best of all, no disconnector in the trigger group. About everything you could want in a defense shotgun, and the price was right, a smidge over $500 IIRC about this time last year. Don't feel bashful about getting one, they're great!

So you can slam fire these Ithacas? They're still making them this way??? Maybe I should get one...

bubbagump
January 09, 2013, 06:45
So you can slam fire these Ithacas? They're still making them this way??? Maybe I should get one...

Not being made anymore, afaik. Used ones are out there though.

Ironhandjohn
January 09, 2013, 15:26
I've owned two Ithaca 37s. The first was an ex-Georgia Dept. of Corrections model with the extended mag tube. This one had a disconnector installed and a crinkly black finish on the forearm and stock.

I then found an older 37 at a pawn shop in Rapid City, SD and bought it for $75 because it had a broken firing pin. It had no finish and a looooooong barrel so I handed it over to the gunsmiths at Jack First Guns. They cut the barrel back to 19" and gave it a matte-blue finish, which was gorgeous with the walnut stock and forend. I even found a repro heat shield/bayonet lug for it, but didn't like the way it threw the balance of the gun off. I was tempted to make a 'scalp' like the one on Scott Glenn's 37 in "Apocalypse Now", but decided that it would be a violation of good taste.

http://parallax-view.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/compound.jpg

:wink:

Andy the Aussie
January 10, 2013, 00:09
Never got that far... he had NO clue as to how he would get it replaced (per-internet days and no Aussie agent at the time) so he just wanted to unload it. I cleaned up the hole (it was a grazing hit to one side not a center hit through and through) and used it as such for a couple of years before a mate in the states mailed me out a replacement having seen it when visiting.

augie1
January 10, 2013, 10:50
Acquired a nice Ithaca 37 police similar to the one 1MOR posted after my department traded them in to a local dealer/gunsmith who took them in trade to build us FAL carbines to carry as our patrol rifles in place of the shotguns. Mine has park'ed finish, 8 round tube, marked "police" but has the engraved hunting scenes on the receiver (sweet!), and 2-3/4" only. Paid $100 to the dealer for it back in 2001.

A real beast to have on your side. Would NOT want to be on the opposite side!:cry:

But I also love my Remington 870 and Winchester 1897.

If you're going to a gunfight, bring a shotgun. If you don't have one, stay home. After I bought the Ithaca from the dealer, I carried it AND the FAL in the car. And along with my Glock 21 on my gunbelt, I NEVER felt outgunned!

fusalautoleger
January 10, 2013, 21:05
i use an ithaca 37 combo deer and turky slayer ....john m browning came up with m37 for winchester befor they sold it to ithaca in 1937 ...i used to own a m87 3inch 8 shot ..fan fire ...

Timber Wolf
January 11, 2013, 11:44
I have a parkerized older one that is a former State Fish & Game Dept. gun, says so right on the aluminum tag on the stock. It is not the extended tube version but does have some rudimentary rifle sights. I paid a friend of a friend $150 for it many years ago. Sometime after that I picked up a blued modified choke barrel for around $75 at a gun show. I can’t remember if I have ever shot it. It is not all that slick, probably gummed up with dried grease and trunk-lint. I foolishly passed on an 8-shot version at a show a few years ago. It was synthetic stocked with a pistol grip buttstock and was fairly priced. I had other Rem 870s and an 8-shot Moss 500 and stuff and could not see buying it. Dad had all three, 20, 16, & 12 gauges, I suppose my brother(s) got away with them. I loaned a good friend the money at a show years ago to buy a 16 gauge he had been looking for some time. These are great guns and I am glad I have an example in my “collection”.

Tibodoe
January 11, 2013, 12:48
I went back to Academy to buy the Ithaca and it was gone.
I have not seen one of the home defense models on Gunbroker.
I will keep looking.

1MOR
January 11, 2013, 13:20
i use an ithaca 37 combo deer and turky slayer ....john m browning came up with m37 for winchester befor they sold it to ithaca in 1937 ...i used to own a m87 3inch 8 shot ..fan fire ...

Had a Deerslayer which I picked up used, 1967 and then acquired a new Remmy 870 slug gun in 1968. Both fine weapons that put venison on the table. The Deerslayer was the superior firearm in terms of fit, finish and just the feel of a high quality shoulder fired weapon, like that of a Sako or Browning bolt action rifle.

The bolt action deer guns would stay in the rack and the Deerslayer most often made the trip to the woods.

One of my fellow LEOs had an Ithaca Auto-Burglar shotgun, all original with the original Ithaca leather holster. Nasty assed NFA piece!

hedp
January 13, 2013, 18:41
i use an ithaca 37 combo deer and turky slayer ....john m browning came up with m37 for winchester befor they sold it to ithaca in 1937 ...i used to own a m87 3inch 8 shot ..fan fire ...

Winchester never had anything to do with the Ithaca 37 ( although there was a Winchester model 37 single shot shotgun), the Ithaca 37 is an evolution of the Remington model 17 pump, designed by JMB and Pedersen.

SWOHFAL
February 04, 2013, 00:56
Acquired a nice Ithaca 37 police similar to the one 1MOR posted after my department traded them in to a local dealer/gunsmith who took them in trade to build us FAL carbines to carry as our patrol rifles in place of the shotguns. Mine has park'ed finish, 8 round tube, marked "police" but has the engraved hunting scenes on the receiver (sweet!), and 2-3/4" only. Paid $100 to the dealer for it back in 2001.

A real beast to have on your side. Would NOT want to be on the opposite side!:cry:

But I also love my Remington 870 and Winchester 1897.

If you're going to a gunfight, bring a shotgun. If you don't have one, stay home. After I bought the Ithaca from the dealer, I carried it AND the FAL in the car. And along with my Glock 21 on my gunbelt, I NEVER felt outgunned!

Sounds like the deerslayer police special