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Old May 16, 2012, 11:24 AM   #1
KnightofCydonia
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Ithaca 37 Buying Question

Seller wants $350 for this one. It looks to be in pretty good shape. Is it refinished? What decade do guys think it was made? Polychoke, a good thing in my books. What is the going price for this gun/condition in your area at an average price? Do you think it can swap barrels?
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Old May 16, 2012, 11:32 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Not sure if it's refinished or not, but the "corn cob" forearm was changed to a much larger, squarish design in the early 1960s.

The checkering looks to be pressed, so I'm guessing it's sometime in the 1950s. The "white line" pistol grip cap is also a 1950s construct, I think.

Yes, it can switch barrels, but it has to be either an Ithaca 37 barrel or one made for the 37, obviously. And, because of the way the nut holds the barrel in place, it's pretty difficult and involved to put an extended magazine on them. You need both a new mag. tube AND a new barrel.

Great shotguns, but they can beat the living hell out of you.
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Old May 16, 2012, 12:07 PM   #3
zippy13
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Polychoke, a good thing in my books.
Most of today's shooters would consider the Polychoke a negative. You might negotiate a lower price because of it.
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Old May 16, 2012, 02:27 PM   #4
Dave McC
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I like 37s, but $350 is not a screaming deal.

If the serial number is over 855K, barrels can be interchanged without factory fitting. Earlier than that, no.

Offer $300 and mention that most folks hate Polychokes....
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Old May 16, 2012, 02:52 PM   #5
jaguarxk120
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First the choke is the cheaper model, not the vented style

Second if the gun is a early model before 855,000 serial number not being able to interchange barrels doesn't matter with the PolyChoke. PolyChoke's are still made and now make adjustable chokes for the screw in choke barrels.

Third if it is a earlier gun then the action should operate like greased lightning, slick and smooth.

Last like Dave said make a lower offer, after all it's a older gun parts worn, parts hard to get PolyChoke, ect.,ect.

GET IT!!!!
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Old May 16, 2012, 05:55 PM   #6
Freds484
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I love Poly Chokes the ventilated style ones.
I had them put on my 2 Ithaca Model 37 Deluxe Ventilated Rib Models when I bought them new in 1967.
I bought one in 12 and one in 20 gauge.
They still work great and look great after many years of use.
If your Ithaca was made before 1975 you can pump fire it slang term slam fire it.
You load the chamber with 1 round and the magazine with 4 rounds, pull the trigger and pump as fast as you can with the trigger held back without pulling the trigger each time.
I love that feature on my Ithaca 37s and don't know why Ithaca removed it on the 37s.
Try making a lower offer as said above and if its made before 1975 grab it before someone else does.
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Old May 16, 2012, 08:36 PM   #7
Daggitt
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I'll strongly reccomend against ,"slam firing" the 40 year old used shotgun of uncertain history. Probably not a good idea.
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Old May 16, 2012, 09:43 PM   #8
Sheikyourbootie
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Quote:
Daggitt
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I'll strongly reccomend against ,"slam firing" the 40 year old used shotgun of uncertain history. Probably not a good idea.
Why? These guns are designed for it. If you remove the stalk, and then remove the trigger group, there are TWO seers present. The second seer engages a triangular shaped pin sticking out to the right of the hammer. Assuming the trigger is held down while pumping, that second seer catches the hammer and holds it back until the bolt assembly is locked...thereby pushing the slide release bar forward (this bar is where the second seer is located). If the little tab were broken...the hammer would just follow the bolt down and not have enough momentum to dent the primer.

The REAL danger (as I found out with my recent 200 dollar purchase that I decided to function test before I cleaned the crap out of the receiver) is debris holding the trigger in a depressed position....thereby FIRING THE SHELL JUST FROM PUMPING!!!!! I tried to capture this malfunction on video .... could not get the gun to reproduce the malfunction though. Upon complete disassembly, the cause was self evident...all the rust and 50 years of crap were engaging the trigger.

Function test your gun in a safe place and ALWAYS keep the muzzle in a safe direction.
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Old May 16, 2012, 09:43 PM   #9
KnightofCydonia
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I found a 1948 Ithaca $250 + shipping. PLEASE TELL ME TO BUY IT! Or is there a hidden catch?

The bore is mint NO pitting or corrosion . External finish is good with a fair amount of bluing remaining .
2 3/4" 12 GA 30" full choke . Ser # puts date of manufacture as 1948





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Old May 16, 2012, 09:57 PM   #10
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I used to own one of these. It will catch you by surprise too dangerous for me.
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Old May 16, 2012, 11:49 PM   #11
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I bought a pair (12 and 20ga.) a couple years ago off a fella that was clearing out his safe. He had had them since the mid 60's. Both vent.rib and the 20 is in absolutely superb condition with the 12 at about 75%.
Gave him $500 for both.

Quote:
I found a 1948 Ithaca $250 + shipping. PLEASE TELL ME TO BUY IT! Or is there a hidden catch?

The bore is mint NO pitting or corrosion . External finish is good with a fair amount of bluing remaining .
2 3/4" 12 GA 30" full choke . Ser # puts date of manufacture as 1948
Buy it!
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Old May 17, 2012, 06:36 AM   #12
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Buy It Now!!
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Old May 17, 2012, 06:48 AM   #13
Bushmaster1313
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Buy it

Walter Snyder, the guru of all things Ithaca, says in his book to never slam fire a 37.

I listen to Walter on thInge like this.
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Old May 17, 2012, 08:29 AM   #14
mr.t7024
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Ithaca 37

Can not add any more on this 37.I do have a model 37 ultra light,with an English stock,and it is awesome.I would rather have a Model 37 than any other pump shotgun! Cliff

I love the bottom ejection!
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Old May 17, 2012, 01:49 PM   #15
darkroommike
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Model 37 good, I have the one my Mom bought my Dad the year I was born. The Ithaca website can give you the year of manufacture. I personally do not like the Polychoke but wish my barrel was ANYTHING but a 30" full choke--Dad hunted ducks, I don't. The "new" Ithaca company can convert your receiver to accept the new interchangeable barrels (NOT cheaply) but your old barrel will no longer fit after conversion. I'm exploring (when I have more cash) having the barrel shortened to 28" and installing a set of internal chokes. I may not do anything to it, it is my one full solid link to both of my deceased parents and my own birth.

The Model 37 is also one of the easiest shotguns to use left handed, bottom ejection and one of the easiest to use one handed, it's light and slick enough that you can rack another round into the chamber with a quick vertical one-handed pumping motion. It is, with the Model 12, one of the most famous "riot guns" of the 20th century.
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Old May 17, 2012, 10:31 PM   #16
jrothWA
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First, any M37 that not SN greater than 855K, ...

MUST have the same SN on the barrel about the 5 o'clock position.

IF NOT THEN have the HEADSPACE checked. As the barrel/receiver was specifically mated and headspace.

Any different SN barrel can be mated to your action, just need to locate one. They are getting scare(er).

Contact Diamond Gunsmithing, as the owner is retired [by the kings Ferry clowns] chief engineer of Ithaca Arms.

He can check out all M37's up to the Upper Sandusky take-over.

He did a 1954 16ga for me, and mated a 1948 barrel that he re-choked to SK and mated to my receiver and reblued per Ithaca specs. He also noted that the new barrel had bulged and wasn't accepting any responsibility for me shooting it. The original barrel was checked out as great.
the new blue on the two barrels and action REALLY make it look NICE!
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Old May 18, 2012, 07:38 AM   #17
Mike Irwin
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You know, I've used and loved 37s for years, and this is the FIRST time I've ever heard that the earlier ones had fitted barrels!

Good information.


"These guns are designed for it."

Actually, I'd say it's really a case of not so much the gun was designed for it, it was a case of the gun wasn't originally designed with a disconnector. It was happenstance. I sincerely doubt that the designers of the early shotguns, most of which could be pump fired, really intended for them to be used that way.


"I used to own one of these. It will catch you by surprise too dangerous for me."

Splatman, care to elaborate? What's dangerous about a Model 37? I learned to shoot 12 gauge on my Dad's 37, and never had a single issue with it. Now that Dad has passed on, I've got his 37, and I'm actively looking for an older model in 20 or 16 gauge to join it.
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Old May 18, 2012, 08:01 AM   #18
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Splatman I'm under the impression you have naver owned or shot a Winchester Model 12. They will pump-fire just like the Ithaca Model 37.

The Ithaca Model 37 is one of the greatest shotguns ever made, light fast handling, all machined parts, no plastic or stamped parts.

What more can one ask of the gun.
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Old May 18, 2012, 11:22 AM   #19
PetahW
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FWIW, I took Splatman's comment as made tongue-in-cheek. .

As in: "It's too dangerous for you to use, so package it up & ship it to me for safe-keeping."

Then, again - It could be he's just inexperienced, since the feature is a real plus for self-defense in a tight spot, where fast shooting is called for.

.
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Old May 18, 2012, 03:22 PM   #20
Sheikyourbootie
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Quote:
Mike Irwin

You know, I've used and loved 37s for years, and this is the FIRST time I've ever heard that the earlier ones had fitted barrels!

Good information.


"These guns are designed for it."

Actually, I'd say it's really a case of not so much the gun was designed for it, it was a case of the gun wasn't originally designed with a disconnector. It was happenstance. I sincerely doubt that the designers of the early shotguns, most of which could be pump fired, really intended for them to be used that way.
The reason I said they are "designed" for it (..."it" being pump/slamfire) is that upon dis-assembly of the gun, it's not just the absence of a trigger disconnect, it's the fact that there is a dedicated second seer (on the pump release bar) that (only when the trigger is held down while pumping) engages a triangular tab on the hammer...it only lets the hammer fall when the bolt is driven home and locked. I would figure that if JM Browning wanted a trigger disconnect, he would have put one in the design.

On my dad's home defense model, there IS a trigger disconnect...AND the second seer is gone, as is the little triangular tab on the hammer from older models. To me, it's not a big deal to be without slam/pumpfire, it just seems like "slamfire" is the original intent of the design?

Looking at the lock-work, it appears that if the triangular tab on the hammer were to ever break off, that an attempted slamfire would result in the hammer following the back of the bolt with insufficient force to dent the primer?

Bushmaster...I'm curious (not being argumentative here) as to why Snyder recommends to never slamfire? Was it because it's supposed to cause damage to the trigger group, or because it could lead to an accidental discharge???? I'm just curious. Curious enough to get his book, in fact. My grandfather would occasionally "slamfire" my 1947 vintage 37 when dove hunting...as has my father....as have I. 60 plus years of occasional slamfire and no mishaps?

I realize that just because you CAN do something...it doesn't mean you SHOULD. I'd like to know what harm can occur from "slamfire"
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Old May 18, 2012, 07:59 PM   #21
Freds484
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Pump fire ( slam fire )


Ithaca 37s and Winchester Model 12s are made to be pump fired.
That is why Military, Prison Guards and Law Enforcement always wanted these shotgun.
I do not know who invented the Winchester Model 12.
John Browning designed the Ithaca Model 37 if you look up your history before the patent was sold.
The gun was designed to fire that way.
Ithaca took that off their shotguns in 1975 I guess the people at Ithaca in 1975 thought they were smarter than John Browning who designed that shotgun.
I have 3 Ithaca model 37s one 12 gauge made in 1947 that my uncle left me in great condition and two that I bought new in 1967 one in 12 gauge one in 20 gauge.
All of them have had thousands of rounds out of them all look and work great.
All have been slam fired plenty with no problems at all.
Fred
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Old May 20, 2012, 09:17 AM   #22
splatman
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It was many years ago when I had my Ithaca. No doubt that this is a nimble
and well built firearm. Its just not for me, because as a hunter I tend to grip
the firearm firmly with the trigger depressed when jacking in another round.
Once a new round is chambered I release the trigger, line the shot up and
squeeze the next shot off. That is the way I have been programmed to shoot...
kinda like permanent muscle memory. Operating a shotgun in this manner is
completely automatic for me and I don't have to think about it. When I started hunting with my Ithaca I couldn't deprogram the way I shoot and would ultimately slam fire the gun unintentionally which I can attest will wake you up
in a hurry. So I ended up selling the gun. I now hunt with a Franchi over & under. So right or wrong the way I operate a shotgun (a pump) was not safe
for me and my hunting buddies when it came down to the Ithaca.
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Old May 20, 2012, 10:20 AM   #23
Sheikyourbootie
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The gun was designed to fire that way.
Ithaca took that off their shotguns in 1975 I guess the people at Ithaca in 1975 thought they were smarter than John Browning who designed that shotgun.
Fred, I could be wrong here, but I thought the ATF forced that change on all manufactures of shotguns with this feature???? Seems silly to me, since semi-autos allow for a faster rate of fire, for the ATF to even bother mandating such a change.
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