school me on ithica model 37s shotguns!

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by mfp4073, May 21, 2012.

  1. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago

    Hence 12 gauge Ain't 12 Gauge.

    Depending on the load, and what you want to do with it, 12 gauges vary drastically.

    12 gauge is about the most variable gauge, since the majority of international shotgun shooting competitions use it, but then again so do the majority of deer hunters in states that don't allow rifles, as do the majority of bird shooters, and the majority of people screwing around.

    You can buy 12 gauge loads all the way from light target designed not to recoil much so that youth target shooters can shoot all day with out bruising or pain, all the way up to max DRAM magnum loads intended to drop geese at long range with heavy weight tungsten shot, all in 12 gauge.

    Easiest way to think about it is backwards compatibility. Big heavy geese/waterfowl guns that have 3.5" chambers can handle most any loading wall the way down to light target loads (but the gun is big, and heavy, and swings slow, and if an autoloader may not cycle the light loads)

    Light weight upland bird hunting guns from the 1950's will not shoot heavy modern loads, don't try it, not meant for it - much more fun to carry around bird hunting however.

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/12gauge.htm
    #21
  2. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius 1.5 Finger Discount

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    20,325
    Location:
    DFW, Texas

    I meant 12ga in the sense that it's all the same calibre (but not necessarily the same.
    #22
  3. CurtOKC

    CurtOKC Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Oklahoma City,Oklahoma
    :DBought a 12 model 37 with a 20" deerslayer barrel and a 28" modified barrel when I was 16. Traded it for a remington 870 deluxe brushmaster. One of my greatest trade mistakes. The 37 was much smoother and faster handeling.
    #23
  4. NDEBT

    NDEBT Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,292
    Location:
    Poteau Oklahoma

    I agree to a point but a model 12 winchester or a old Ithica feels less clunky to me than a 870 or Mossburg. I have all four plus a few more pump shotguns:wink:.
    #24
  5. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago
    I agree,

    The Ithica is a beauty, the 870 wingmasters (old ones) are also excellent. The Browning BPS is very similar to a 37, atleast my japanese one is.

    Current pump assortment is

    BPS 28
    870 Wingmaster 12
    Ithaca 37 lightweight 12
    Benelli Nova 20
    Sold a Benelli Nova 12 (way big)

    have had a number of other pumps.

    Have
    AH Fox 12 sbs
    Stevens 16 side by side
    CSMC RBL 28 sbs matched pair
    Ruger Red Label 20 o/u
    Baikal IZH 20 o/u
    Brazilian 20 sbs (unimpressive).

    I'm sure there are some i'm forgetting about, always happens.

    Point being Ithaca is a great shotgun, but there are others that are more universal, particularly if you want to modify it at all.
    #25
  6. CurtOKC

    CurtOKC Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Oklahoma City,Oklahoma
    I recently saw a 410 Browning BPS. It was real odd looking being unlike the Winchester 42 it was not built to scale.
    #26
  7. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago

    Very very few companies are building .410 shotguns on unique frame sizes, usually they're using the same action and hardware as they do on a 28 and often even on the 20's.

    You get that iffy thing where the barrel looks like a pencil and then has a huge taper up into the reciever and a huge raised rib.

    Crazy looking, much more attractive in the 28 flavor.
    #27
  8. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,054
    Location:
    Nor Ca.
    I can tell you it was designed by John Browning and is the US longest running production shotgun. They made millions of them.

    The original design was sold to Remington and resulted in the model 17. Only produced from 1921 to 1933 in 20 gauge. A real feather weight and I have one.

    Remington decided to shut down this model in 1933. Ithica decided to produce it, geared up and then found the patent did not expire until 1937. Hence the model designation and when the first guns were produced.

    You can go here http://www.ithacagun.com/pdfs/serialnumbers.pdf and find the production date by serial number.
    #28
  9. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,073
    Location:
    Griz Country
    While a little off topic, I guess we're discussing various pumps and the virtues or demerits of each. About 4 years back I picked up a Benelli SuperNova in 12/3.5" It was on sale and while I don't recall the exact price, think it was in the $450 range. I bought it to have as a spare, when my son visited from out-of-state for example, but primarily for turkey hunting. I didn't have a gun that handled the big 3.5" Roman candle-like shells. 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.
    #29
  10. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius 1.5 Finger Discount

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    20,325
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    +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.
    #30
  11. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,073
    Location:
    Griz Country
    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.
    #31
  12. P B G

    P B G Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,001
    Location:
    Greater Chicago

    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.
    #32
  13. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,073
    Location:
    Griz Country
    :lol3 Manly is definitely the word I use most often to describe myself!! :lol3

    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.
    #33
  14. Andyinhilo

    Andyinhilo Long timer

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,726
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawaii
    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.
    #34
  15. mfp4073

    mfp4073 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,602
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Just wanted to say good thread guys, lots of good info here!
    #35
  16. mfp4073

    mfp4073 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,602
    Location:
    Central Florida
    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.
    #36
  17. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,054
    Location:
    Nor Ca.
    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.
    #37
  18. mfp4073

    mfp4073 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,602
    Location:
    Central Florida
    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.
    #38
  19. Andyinhilo

    Andyinhilo Long timer

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,726
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawaii
    Only on the sporting models. The M&P guns still have no disconnector.
    #39
  20. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,052
    Location:
    the Root, Western Montana
    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.
    #40