The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Dave McCracken Memorial Shotgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 5, 2010, 02:44 PM   #1
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 857
Old Ithaca side by side...any value?

I recently came into possession of an older Ithaca shotgun. It's a side by side 12 guage with no serial numbers. It says on top "Smokeless powder steel" and "Made in the USA". It has a flying goose embossed into the stock. It's in fair condition for its age. Does this gun have any value? Can anyone tell me anything about it? My 85 year old father gave it to me and it was his fathers gun. I don't have any children and I'm not sure what to do with it.
NoSecondBest is online now  
Old March 5, 2010, 03:24 PM   #2
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,487
It should have a serial number

take off the forend, and remover the barrels. It should be on the action flats, the barrels, and maybe both the forearm wood and metal. My 1909 Ithaca is like that.

Never seen one with a goose (or any animal) on the stock. Probably done by a previous owner.

Early Ithaca barrels were "Damascus" (also known as stub twist), and fit for black powder only. Later (early 1900s) they went to "fluid steel" which was suitable for smokeless powder. There is an improved later version of the barrel steel but I can't remember the name right now.

Does the gun have double triggers? (most likely), does it have ejectors, or jut extractors? How many positions on the safety? Splinter or beavertail forearm?

Old Ithacas (standard grades) don't bring the buck like Parkers or some other doubles, but they are fine shotguns. If its in real fine shape, $400-500 maybe. If worn, not nearly as much.
Ejectors were an option (cost extra), but will add to the value of the gun, somewhat.

See if a dime will balance in the muzzle. If it does, that barrel is full choke.

If in sound condition, use only low brass (high base) shells. Use ONLY LEAD SHOT!!!!!!!!!!! This is important. The guns made before the 1950s when plastic shot cups became standard in ammo, are choked much tighter than newer guns. There is more constriction in the choke, and steel shot can bulge or even split the barrels of the old guns. It just doesn't compress the way lead shot does, when it goes through the choke.

If you are shooting it, I would recommend 3 or 3 1/4 dram equivalent loads. The "express" 3 3/4 dr eq. shells will be hard on the gun, and may crack the reciever, over time.

I have a 1949 letter (sent to my grandfather) reaffirming the guarantee on the springs, which also states not to use the express shells.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old March 5, 2010, 03:47 PM   #3
oneounceload
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
Posts: 8,518
Quote:
I don't have any children and I'm not sure what to do with it.
How about nephew or nieces? I'd hate to see something that has been in my family that long go away - that's not something you can get back down the road.

As to the gun, do yourself a favor and have a competent gunsmith (read that as someone who knows what he's doing around old guns) give it once over. If in good condition, RST, Polywad, among others, sell low-pressure "vintager" ammunition. Have your gunsmith verify the chamber length. Many older guns came with 2-1/2" chambers. While your smith is checking it out, have him measure the bore and determine what the chokes are. Odds are, if a field gun, M&F, if a waterfowl gun, F&F, but check to make sure.

Enjoy that piece of family history
oneounceload is offline  
Old March 5, 2010, 08:47 PM   #4
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 857
I took the forearm off and it's got serial numbers stamped all over. The wood forearm is stamped, the barrels are stamped, and the frame is stamped all with 334689 and an S12 on the frame. The barrels have proof marks on them also. It's a splinter forearm. It does have double triggers also. My regret is that I'm in my sixties and don't have any heirs to leave it to. I remember my grandfather shooting turkeys with this gun back in the 60's when I started hunting. He was a turkey hunting fool. He got a lot of birds with this gun. I took this gun out last year and called in a gobbler with his old Lynch call and shot the bird with some old shells I got with the gun. I felt like the old guy was there with me that morning. That was pretty cool but I don't think I'll be getting out much more myself (health problems). I'm just getting to where I'm starting to think about what to do with some of my things. Thanks for the feedback.
NoSecondBest is online now  
Old March 5, 2010, 09:19 PM   #5
TxGun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 14, 2008
Location: Texas Hill Country ranch
Posts: 437
If you can determine the model, this may help you date it:

http://www.diamondgunsmithing.com/page46/page46.html
TxGun is offline  
Old March 5, 2010, 09:37 PM   #6
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 857
It's a Flues double made in 1920. He was using 2 3/4inch shells with it so I guess (hoping) that's the chamber size. Thanks for all the help. I'm guessing the S12 stamped on the inside of the frame indicates the grade of the gun. It doesn't have any scrolling on it except a dog on each side of the receiver. I checked the choke too and as indicated above, a dime will only fit into one barrel. Full and Modified?
NoSecondBest is online now  
Old March 5, 2010, 09:51 PM   #7
oneounceload
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
Posts: 8,518
A smith will have the tool that can measure your bore and chokes - he might not even charge you for a quick check. I do not remember if the Flues were 2-3/4 or not - remember, the shell length is the FIRED hull length - therefore a 2-3/4 unfired will fit in a 2-1/2" chamber; however that is a bad thing waiting to happen
oneounceload is offline  
Old March 5, 2010, 09:58 PM   #8
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 857
I'll take it to a good smith and have it checked over. I'd like to know the chokes, chamber, and if it's safe to shoot with modern (low power) loads. Good info and help guys, I appreciate it. Thanks
NoSecondBest is online now  
Old March 6, 2010, 07:20 AM   #9
darkgael
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2006
Location: Homes in Brooklyn, NY and in Pennsylvania.
Posts: 4,305
Flues

Fwiw: I have two Ithaca Flues that are both a few years older than that gun. Fluid Steel barrels. Both are 2 3/4" chambers. Still have yours checked/
Pete
__________________
"Only hunting and mountain climbing are sports. The rest are just games." - R.Ruark
NRA Life Member
darkgael is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07940 seconds with 9 queries