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Old 05-24-2012, 05:51 AM   #31
HardCase
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+1 (though mine is the regular nova in 3.5")

I understand you can vitrually do anything with the 2.75" shells, but I like the idea that if I need ammo for whatever reason I can use any 12ga shell I find.
That was my thinking. I have a half-dozen 12 gauge shotguns, and a half of those take 3" shells, the others are older and only go 2.75", and I have found that the 3" are pretty adequate for my annual goose-hunting outings, but I wanted one that would, as you say, eat any ammo I might care to feed it, and the SuperNova will do that.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:02 AM   #32
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The gun is definitely big, and not real light although not too bad. But it shoots great, we've even used it for trap and sporting clays a few times.....with standard 2.75" target loads. The pump stroke is a little long, but again, not a real big deal. For an all around field gun, I'm actually quite impressed with it for the money.

While I agree it has some merits, and I also shot it on the trap field a few times, I never once in my time owning it chose it over a different pump action for field duty.

Perhaps you are taller/stronger/more manly than I, but at 6'1 I felt the gun was just too cumbersome for use as a general purpose field gun. The 20 gauge version with 3" chamber will handle the 20 gauge magnum shells, which brings it into sloppy 16 territory. Honestly the 16 gauge is a hell of a gun, if ammo were more readily available and less expensive I would almost never shoot 12 unless it was a trap league.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:38 AM   #33
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While I agree it has some merits, and I also shot it on the trap field a few times, I never once in my time owning it chose it over a different pump action for field duty.

Perhaps you are taller/stronger/more manly than I, but at 6'1 I felt the gun was just too cumbersome for use as a general purpose field gun. The 20 gauge version with 3" chamber will handle the 20 gauge magnum shells, which brings it into sloppy 16 territory. Honestly the 16 gauge is a hell of a gun, if ammo were more readily available and less expensive I would almost never shoot 12 unless it was a trap league.
Manly is definitely the word I use most often to describe myself!!

Actually, it sounds like we are pretty close to the same size. I used to be 6'2.5", but seem to have shrunk to about an inch shorter than that due to my antiquity. I'm of pretty average build. I agree that the SuperNova is a big gun. The only time I've picked it to carry in the field has been turkey hunting from a hide or blind.

Most of my bird hunting, which in my case is almost exclusively waterfowl, geese mostly but some ducks, is done with a Benelli Cordoba semi-auto in 12 gauge. It's a light gun, very quick handling, and as reliable as a hammer. It works great with either 2.75 or 3" ammo.

I do not own a 20 gauge. I don't hunt upland birds, just waterfowl and turkey.

Edit: Re the 16 gauge, I am thinking that it might be starting to experience a bit of a Renaissace, I have seen more of them on dealer shelves in the last couple of years than ever before, and interest is picking up. Hopefully the ammo manufacturers will start cranking out some reasonably-priced trap/skeet/target loads for them eventually. Even if that happens, I'll probably not go there, but I definitely think there is a niche for the sweet sixteen.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:18 PM   #34
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Manly is definitely the word I use most often to describe myself!!

Actually, it sounds like we are pretty close to the same size. I used to be 6'2.5", but seem to have shrunk to about an inch shorter than that due to my antiquity. I'm of pretty average build. I agree that the SuperNova is a big gun. The only time I've picked it to carry in the field has been turkey hunting from a hide or blind.

Most of my bird hunting, which in my case is almost exclusively waterfowl, geese mostly but some ducks, is done with a Benelli Cordoba semi-auto in 12 gauge. It's a light gun, very quick handling, and as reliable as a hammer. It works great with either 2.75 or 3" ammo.

I do not own a 20 gauge. I don't hunt upland birds, just waterfowl and turkey.

Edit: Re the 16 gauge, I am thinking that it might be starting to experience a bit of a Renaissace, I have seen more of them on dealer shelves in the last couple of years than ever before, and interest is picking up. Hopefully the ammo manufacturers will start cranking out some reasonably-priced trap/skeet/target loads for them eventually. Even if that happens, I'll probably not go there, but I definitely think there is a niche for the sweet sixteen.
My first shotgun was a M-37 in 16 Ga. that I bought for $50.00 in about 1980 or so. Wonderful shotgun and gauge. I still have it. No waterfowl hunting here in Hawaii, and if I wanted to hunt turkey, I would probably use my 12 Ga. M-37 M&P for heavier loads.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:46 AM   #35
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Just wanted to say good thread guys, lots of good info here!
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:02 PM   #36
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Well I went back in today and started the haggle. Couldnt get him to budge much. To further add to it the hand written tag says model 87. He would not let me write down the serial number, but said it was 795***-2. According to the ithica site it means its a '61. He kept saying it was not a model 37, but an 87. when I pointed out that um...they didnt make 87s until 87 he started saying something about the serial numbers being like some guitar companies and being all mismatched.

So best I got him was 339 with tax, background, and a carry case.

Going to let him stew on it for awhile while I do some more research.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:26 PM   #37
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The 87 and 37 are the same gun. Ithica went bankrupt and the new owners bought the company in 1987 and there you go. The company was sold again and the new, new owners returned it to the model 37.

It may turn into one of those collector items or just an orphan.

The slam fire feature was lost in 1976 at ATF request.
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:00 AM   #38
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Do any of you have a current flaydermans and if so, could you look up values for this gun as if it were a 61 model 37 and a 87 model 87? Still trying to get some leverage on the price with him.
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:03 AM   #39
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The slam fire feature was lost in 1976 at ATF request.
Only on the sporting models. The M&P guns still have no disconnector.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:39 AM   #40
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This thread is fun to read. When I first started bird hunting with the family in 1974, I used dad's old JC Higgins 16 gauge bolt action thing the first year, then he got me an Ithaca 37 Featherlite pump 20 gauge with the glowing bead. Full choke.

Beautiful gun, and I used it for several years. When I decided I was all big and tough, I went to a 12 gauge and Grampa used the Ithaca. After he passed, the 37 sat in Dad's closed for 20 years.

Fast forward to when my boys are ready to start shooting. I get the Ithaca from Dad, and we all head out to throw some clay pigeons and teach the boys to shoot. After doing this for a while, I decide to show them how it's done so I have Val throw me a few birds and I shoulder up the 37 for the first time since I was about 17.

I could not miss. What a well balanced sweetheart of a shotgun. I'd forgotten just how easy it is to use that thing. It's stayed in my gun cabinet since then. I love it.
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:05 AM   #41
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This thread is fun to read. When I first started bird hunting with the family in 1974, I used dad's old JC Higgins 16 gauge bolt action thing the first year, then he got me an Ithaca 37 Featherlite pump 20 gauge with the glowing bead. Full choke.

Beautiful gun, and I used it for several years. When I decided I was all big and tough, I went to a 12 gauge and Grampa used the Ithaca. After he passed, the 37 sat in Dad's closed for 20 years.

Fast forward to when my boys are ready to start shooting. I get the Ithaca from Dad, and we all head out to throw some clay pigeons and teach the boys to shoot. After doing this for a while, I decide to show them how it's done so I have Val throw me a few birds and I shoulder up the 37 for the first time since I was about 17.

I could not miss. What a well balanced sweetheart of a shotgun. I'd forgotten just how easy it is to use that thing. It's stayed in my gun cabinet since then. I love it.


I had an experience similar to what you describe, except with a Remington 870 Express in 20ga. I have never owned a shotgun that was not a 12, even when I was a kid. My dad gave me a 12 when I was 12! I still have it plus a few others. But this past fall my girlfriend bought her 13 year-old son the 870 20 and off we went to the range. Great little gun, and I found the same thing when I tried it on some clays, easy to swing and shoot and hit. I will say that it didn't powder the birds (or I didn't!) quite like I can with my 12s, however.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:18 AM   #42
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Well I went back in today and started the haggle. Couldnt get him to budge much. To further add to it the hand written tag says model 87. He would not let me write down the serial number, but said it was 795***-2. According to the ithica site it means its a '61. He kept saying it was not a model 37, but an 87. when I pointed out that um...they didnt make 87s until 87 he started saying something about the serial numbers being like some guitar companies and being all mismatched.

So best I got him was 339 with tax, background, and a carry case.

Going to let him stew on it for awhile while I do some more research.
Throw it up to the shoulder. If it feels good $340.00 is a deal. I just bought this old Ihtica double for that reason. I don't shoot clays much but hunt all the time. I can hit swerving doves with my 37 as good as or better than my Browning O/U. Hell if you don't like it sell it.
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:40 PM   #43
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Well the deal is a bust. He raised the price from yesterday to today... mainly because I came back I guess. So fuck him. I have gone almost 40 years without one.... I can go a few more.

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Old 05-26-2012, 02:54 PM   #44
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Well the deal is a bust. He raised the price from yesterday to today... mainly because I came back I guess. So fuck him. I have gone almost 40 years without one.... I can go a few more.

Are you dead set on the ithaca?
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:59 PM   #45
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Are you dead set on the ithaca?
Not dead set, but really liked both the look and history of the gun.
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