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View Full Version : how good are Ithica shotguns ??


detroit360
March 17, 2015, 19:07
I was in a gun store today and saw this used Ithica model 37 12 gauge, and it looked pretty nice. It had some ingraving on the receiver, and some nice wood, the gun was in really nice condition,275.00 bucks . The problem is I don't know Jack about shotguns< I need some input from the guys who do know, thank you!!

SAFN49
March 17, 2015, 20:03
Buy it!!! $275 is a steal. I'll give you $300 for it. Quickest $25 you'll ever make. :wink:

pjpjr
March 17, 2015, 20:06
Great shotguns.......especially the older vintage ones. I wouldn't hesitate to pay that for a nice one!

J. Armstrong
March 17, 2015, 20:28
An interesting feature of the early Ithaca M37s was their lack of a disconnect. Like, say, a Win 97, you could hold the trigger down and pump the action and it would fire when it went into battery. A dubiousl feature at best, but one you need to be aware of for safetys sake.

Pretty sure later versions added a disconnect?

Always liked the M37s. The actions never seem to be particulary smooth ( but then I'm used to High Standards with their silky smooth operation ) but my Ithacas were always dead stone reliable, fairly light and very quick handling.

hokey45
March 17, 2015, 21:31
Ithaca 37 is my goto shotgun for just about everything. Lighter and more compact than an 870 or 500. Quality is a bit hit and miss: Ones built mid 80's and earlier in Ithaca NY are great, later ones and ones built in King Ferry NY are so-so then the new ones built in Ohio are supposedly as good as it gets. I have an early 80's 12 gauge that has worked flawlessly an has become my one gun for birds and clays. I have a 90's vintage King Ferry 16 gauge that looks great but is not as smooth and tends to dump shells on the ground when I pump it.
This can tell you when it was made:
http://ithacagun.com/pdfs/serialnumbers.pdf

happy hunting!

detroit360
March 18, 2015, 10:18
bought it, Its a featherlite built in ithica n.y. 1958, shes a beauty, thanks guys!

W.E.G.
March 18, 2015, 11:37
from the movies...


<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QLAYw0vM-bw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

TenTea
March 18, 2015, 12:25
An interesting feature of the early Ithaca M37s was their lack of a disconnect. Like, say, a Win 97, you could hold the trigger down and pump the action and it would fire when it went into battery.

Same with the old Stevens 520/620 pumps.

Big stuff at the trap range on doubles...no, I'm not kidding. We had fun! :biggrin:

The first time I performed this feat, I gave no warning to my associates that I was blazing thru a magazine full in a couple seconds.

Beryl
March 18, 2015, 16:10
I had one several years ago and it was a great shotgun. The neat thing about it is the bottom eject. I used to flip it upside down and jack empties up into the air and shoot them before they came back down.

Invictus77
March 18, 2015, 16:32
An interesting feature of the early Ithaca M37s was their lack of a disconnect. Like, say, a Win 97, you could hold the trigger down and pump the action and it would fire when it went into battery. A dubiousl feature at best, but one you need to be aware of for safetys sake.


Early 870s as well.

The ones I have seen that would do this were the oldies with "ring grooves" around the fore arm rather than checkering, but I don't know if the forearm is a 100% true identifying characteristic of with/without disconnect.

detroit360
March 18, 2015, 18:27
I took it apart soaked the parts and receiver in mineral spirits scrubed it up as I don't think it has ever been apart, put it back together, guys like browning are truly genius in there own right, the machining is really nice in the older guns along with the fit and finish!

mpnv
March 18, 2015, 18:56
Congrats on your find! Great buy!............



..............have mercy on the Hippies..........

Wecsogery
March 18, 2015, 19:39
JMB design. Nuff said.:)

SAFN49
March 18, 2015, 22:09
Sooo, are willing to make an easy $25 and sell it to me? :whistling: :biggrin: PLEASE

detroit360
March 18, 2015, 23:11
I'm coddling up to it tonite, it will be right next to my bed, so I can fondle it at my leisure at the slightest whim HOO HAA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

gordonm1
March 19, 2015, 13:22
I have an early King's Ferry 3" model and it won't handle 3" loads or heavy 2-3/4" loads even after sending it back to have a new bolt fitted. The action rod (from pump handle to action) broke with 3" steel before I tried a new bolt for big $$. I'm kinda gunshy about another and don't like to sell junk so I still have it. It still works for quail and trap loads and maybe 1-1/4 oz factory pheasant loads.

I have also owned an earlier 20 gauge featherlight I wish I still had and an early 2-3/4" 12 gauge that was great even after a lot of use and wear but it does not have adjustable chokes for the multipurpose wishes I have. Also, the old after market chokes were pretty ugly on them in my opinion.

My Browning BPS has basic drop and comb that fits my large frame better so it is my primary upland bird and waterfowl gun.

The Ithaca's are lighter and fast though and my 12 gauge lets you hold down the trigger and keep pumping out shots.

detroit360
March 19, 2015, 14:23
This gun was built in 1958 in Ithica, I'm sure it will be ok for regular no. shot 23/4 shells, that's all I want it for. If I need more power I'll just use my Remington express magnum, is kings ferry in N.C. ?

bulletslap
March 19, 2015, 21:49
The Ithaca Model 37 is a great gun, a simplified version of the Remington Model 17 based on a Browning patent, but also it contained patented designs by John Pedersen and a Mr. Garrison. Ithaca waited until the Pedersen patent expired and then introduced the Model 37, and in 12,16, and 20 gauge. The Model 17 was in 20 gauge only. Many of the features were incorporated into the Remington 31, and it's simplified copy the Mossberg 500. The current Browning BPS is similar in design, but not near the gun of the others I have mentioned.

The great John Browning held Pedersen in very high regard, as I recall.

detroit360
March 20, 2015, 08:49
I'm no expert be it seems to me that by looking at my 870 and comparing it to the ithica its not nearly as complicated, I'm not knocking the ithica, but I'm wondering if its because the loading port and the ejection port are one in the same ?

hokey45
March 20, 2015, 14:19
You did good. A 50's vintage Ithica is a quality gun. It will handle any 2-3/4 shell. All steel, no plastic or aluminum. Given a minimum of care they don't wear out. Being a 50s gun the serial number should be on the front of the receiver and the barrel should have a matching serial number. Sometime in the late 60's they moved the serial to the right side of the receiver and barrels no longer were serialed to the receiver but you could then swap barrels around with no headspace issues. On yours if you want a second barrel it must be fitted to your receiver.

King Ferry is in NY I believe. My KF gun is beautiful, handles well, and I shoot real well with it but as mentioned before they have action issues.

detroit360
March 20, 2015, 18:08
My serial no. starts with 72~~~ and it is marked on both receiver and barrel, also the forarm has the rings, the stock plain, but the walnut is beautiful.

detroit360
March 20, 2015, 18:16
My serial no. starts with 72~~~ and it is marked on both receiver and barrel, also the forarm has the rings, the stock plain, but the walnut is beautiful.

hokey45
March 21, 2015, 07:08
Pics please! Ringtail forearms and Ithicas were mean't to be together.

detroit360
March 21, 2015, 15:39
Cant do pictures, what do you rings and forarms are not meant to be together??

bulletslap
March 21, 2015, 16:01
The 870 is not my favorite pump, but I couldn't argue the point that they are the most successful pump in history, in production since 1949 or 1950?

I have never owned one personally, but when my daughter wanted a pump for home defense I gave her a 870 20 gauge.

hokey45
March 21, 2015, 20:00
Cant do pictures, what do you rings and forarms are not meant to be together??

No I mean they go together, like rum and coke, V8s and muscle cars, big assets and low cut dresses. No other pump sports a ringtail/corncob/cylindrical grooved forearm better than an M37. They made other styles forearms but the ringtail looks best.

detroit360
March 21, 2015, 20:11
Gotcha, I wasn't sure what you meant.

andresere
March 27, 2015, 10:09
Make sure that you keep the buttstock bolt tight but not too tight. They are prone to cracking there. This is why the top gun (12 gauge) has a new stock. I just got the last one myself. Finally found a 20 to go with the 12 and the 16. The 12 is a '48, the 16 is a '49, and the 20 is a '56. They are incredible shotguns. Does yours have a raybar front sight on it? Ithaca went to them in the early 50s.
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll166/andresere/rifles/Ithacas%20002_zpsu5m64npd.jpg (http://s288.photobucket.com/user/andresere/media/rifles/Ithacas%20002_zpsu5m64npd.jpg.html)
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll166/andresere/rifles/Ithacas%20003_zpsdycth6dl.jpg (http://s288.photobucket.com/user/andresere/media/rifles/Ithacas%20003_zpsdycth6dl.jpg.html)

Warbirds Custom Guns
March 27, 2015, 23:23
I've owned a few Ithaca 37's in the past but never kept one.
I'd like to find a nice one now.
They originally had Rabar front sights on them.
I still have 2 Ithaca 51's (2-3/4" & 3") I used for duck & goose hunting.
Never going to sell them.
You did good as I see them selling for $350. for nice older vintage here.


.

andresere
March 28, 2015, 08:36
They originally had Rabar front sights on them.

.

The Raybar sights came out in 1955 for Ithaca. You could send your earlier barrels in and have it retrofitted. They also changed the buttstock that year, quite a bit different profile.

detroit360
March 28, 2015, 21:21
Raybar sights, like plastic is whats on mine

D P Six
March 28, 2015, 21:59
http://images.gunsinternational.com/listings_sub/acc_903/gi_100540139/100540139_903_46136DE5A2699734.jpg


Ithaca use to make some really nice side by sides.