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Old June 2, 2009, 01:48 PM   #1
XpatBubba
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Ithica model 37 Featherweight

I just inhereted one.
I do not have anywhere I can shoot it for sport so I am going to keep it for home defense.
Is there anything I can do to TAC it out without gunsmithing. There are no gunsmiths where I live.

12 GA 2 3/4"

#371724247

Tell me about this gun, I am not very familiar with shotguns in general, I am a pistol rifle guy. Any info on this gun (things unique to its design, drawbacks, pros cons etc)is greatly appreciated.
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Old June 2, 2009, 02:07 PM   #2
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the only thing, IMO, that you need to do to "tac it out" is to load it with 00 buck
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Old June 2, 2009, 02:17 PM   #3
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OO Buck ^^^^

bingo
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Old June 2, 2009, 02:24 PM   #4
XpatBubba
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got that part covered

weapons lights, ergo grips, stuff like that

She will work just fine the way she is, just a lil Plain Jane next to some of the other stuff in my collection.

Simple is nice too.

How is the mod 37 as far as functionality?
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Old June 2, 2009, 02:38 PM   #5
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IMHO, '37's have great ergonomics and handling. I hunted with one that a friend owned back in the '80's and they always seemed to be a better-than-average wingshooter. The light weight is nice too. I have one that I'm going to make into an "all-arounder" that will work for hunting OR home defense.

Practical considerations: Being a bottom-ejecting design you should be very, VERY aware of the chamber, and whether it's loaded or not.

It probably will fire if you hold the trigger down and continue to cycle the action, as did many other shotguns of the era. Try it out when you get to shoot it. I never found this feature to make me any faster or more accurate, but it IS fun...

When I was gunsmithing, quite a few 37's came through the door, but rarely with problems. I shortened barrels, installed recoil pads, different beads, but that's about it. I never had a 37 in for a reliability issue.
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Old June 2, 2009, 02:42 PM   #6
XpatBubba
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Great info Slope, just the kind of thing I was hoping to hear
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Old June 2, 2009, 03:02 PM   #7
oneounceload
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Quote:
got that part covered

weapons lights, ergo grips, stuff like that
The issue then becomes, when you do something like add all those things, you take a nice, light, and lithe handling gun and completely distort the balancing and handling characteristics which is what makes it what it is.

Try using it as-is and see how you like it before spending money on things that might make it a worse-handling gun.........

JMO, YMMV
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Old June 2, 2009, 03:04 PM   #8
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These are sweet little guns and look for a slug barrel for it. These are shorter and will add to your options. Not sure if they make or ever made a mag. extension. Perhaps you could also incorporate a barrel hand guard like from a 1200 or 1300 Winchester.


Be Safe !!!
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Old June 2, 2009, 04:48 PM   #9
Slopemeno
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You can't really put an extension on a '37, but they made factory 8-shot versions. I'd probably go for the regular 5-shot since there's a much bigger range of barrels available.

And I agree- less is WAY more on a gun like a 37. I'll take the quick-handling over the accessory-barges you see...
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Old June 2, 2009, 06:45 PM   #10
XpatBubba
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I like lights/lasers. The reality of me needing to use this thing is more of a when than an if. I don't live on Mayberry street. I might be best off sticking with the AR platform for my home/perimeter defense needs.
I think I will give the Featherweight to my watchman, deterrence and all.

Thanks for the info

Sure hope my silly little inquiry diddn't offend any purists.


Bub
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Old June 2, 2009, 06:57 PM   #11
Mike Irwin
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I have two Model 37s, both hunting style guns.

I almost bought a police cruiser a few years ago, but decided not to.

In any event, the Featherweight is a lovely little gun to carry, but it can eat you up pretty quickly with recoil.

Firing buckshot out of one with just the plastic butt pad (no recoil pad) is an experience.
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Old June 2, 2009, 07:22 PM   #12
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I agree with most of the posters here. The Ithaca 37 is one of the great classics and I'd definitely keep it. Unmatched in it's handling qualities for a pump gun, IMO. I don't profess to be the end-all expert on the 37, but here's how I see your gun: My resources show yours to be manufactured in 1980...so it will have a trigger disconnect...i.e., no 'slam fire' capability. It also was made after the time when Ithaca specifically fitted individual barrels to individual guns during 37 production. Which means you can find other Ithaca 37 barrels that will work without hand fitting.

At a place like this one:

http://www.barrelexchange.com/index.cfm

(And again, if anyone has better information than the above, don't be shy. I think what I have is correct, but I can't swear to it).

Personally, I would not "Tac out" a classic like the 37. #1) there are not a lot of accessories for them. #2) It just won't 'look right', IMO. I might get a 2nd barrel from someplace like the barrel exchange, cut it to 18 1/2", replace the bead and consider it "tac'ed". But this is all JMO.

BTW, I have 1920xx, manufactured in 1948. It is a wonderful old shotgun.

Last edited by TxGun; June 2, 2009 at 07:59 PM.
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Old June 2, 2009, 10:15 PM   #13
XpatBubba
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Thanks Txgun,

I will check that site out. I will leave the classic be and try and put an 870 Marine version the guns to buy list. My watchie is proudly toting the 37 tonight.
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Old June 2, 2009, 10:26 PM   #14
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Designed by the famous firearms designers John Browning and John Pedersen, the gun was initially marketed as the Remington Model 17. The Model 17 was a 20-gauge of trim proportions, later redesigned and refined into the popular Remington Model 31. That gun would eventually be replaced in production by the Remington 870 which is still produced to this day.

Following the First World War, the Ithaca Gun Company was searching for a pump-action shotgun to produce, primarily to compete with the Winchester Model 12. They settled on waiting for Remington Model 17 patents to expire. After gearing for production of the Ithaca model 33, they discovered more Pedersen patents that would not expire until 1937; along with the introduction date, they changed the model designation from 33 to 37.

With the depression dragging on and war looming on the horizon, it was possibly the worst time to introduce a sporting arm. That this shotgun survived World War II is a testament to the soundness of the design. Many sporting arms ceased production entirely during the same period. While Ithaca did produce some shotguns for military use during the war, they also produced M1911 pistols and M3 Grease Guns.

After WW-II, Ithaca resumed production of the Model 37. Made in many different models, the Ithaca 37 has the longest production run for a pump-action shotgun in history, surpassing that of the Winchester Model 12 that had originally inspired Ithaca to produce pump-action shotguns. Ithaca has suffered many setbacks in its history, changing hands numerous times. At one time, the Ithaca 37 was renamed the Model 87, although it was soon changed back in one of many ownership changes. Production paused in 2005 when Ithaca once again changed hands. Production has resumed in Ohio.


Users
The largest single user outside the US Military is the Los Angeles Police Department. Along with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, numerous other users include military, police, security agencies, and prisons. The Ithaca 37 was a popular choice among civilians for both sport and personal protection. With higher prices for new Ithacas and decreasing availability compared to the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870, use of the Ithaca 37 continues to decline. Interestingly, Ithaca's loss of market share was hastened by competition from a copy of the shotgun. Chinese copies of the Ithaca 37 (itself a copy of the Remington Model 17) have been imported recently. Additionally, the supply of used civilian and departmental shotguns has been a steady competitor.

Operation
Loading the Ithaca 37 involves inserting shells of the proper gauge through the loading/ejection port and pushing them forward into the magazine until retained by the shell stop. The slide release is pressed and the slide retracted completely then pushed forward. Pulling the trigger fires the gun and releases the slide for reloading. On most models, holding the trigger down causes the gun to fire the instant a new round is cycled into the chamber. Otherwise, the model 37 operates in much the same way as other pump-action shotguns.


Ithaca StakeoutThere are versions too numerous to mention. Here are some popular models:

Ultralite: an aluminum receiver variation.
Deerslayer: a version with a shortened barrel and rifle-style sighting system.
DSPS: for Deerslayer Police Special. A military and police version
Stakeout: short version with 13 inches (330 mm) barrel and pistol grip stock
28 Gauge: 28 gauge model built on traditional size 28 gauge receiver.[1]
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Old November 14, 2012, 06:42 PM   #15
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I know this is an old thread but I have some info that may help other still looking.
I talked to an Ithaca rep the other day looking into finding a shorter replacement barrel for my model 37 with a 28 inch barrel and he told me they do not make a shorter replacement barrel for the 37 featherlight but if you have a 37 made after serial number 855,000 then you will not have to have any fitting done and next year they are going to start making replacement barrels for their model 37 Defense in lengths 18 1/2" and in 20" inch. like he told me if you can wait a bit you will be able to buy a new one because all model 37 barrels interchange after serial number855,000. or you can do what I did and buy a used one and cut it down to the legal length of 18" inches, but like I did not go any lower than 19 inches myself because tape measures "read different" depending on who is holding it! also that is 19 inches from the action not the thread lock in the action like it should be. I like the shorter barrel because it makes it easier to maneuver inside. and I kept the stock barrel for hunting.

new barrels from Ithaca price at 12 gauge M37 field barrel with brass bead sight in 26" and 28" lengths - $224.00 for on with out the vent rib or go on eBay and pick up a used one for less than $100.00. just make shore it is after serial number 855,000.
Here is the link to Ithaca that i Used just follow the link under Resources tab to gun info request, fill out the info and a rep will call you back shortly like with me it was less than a hour and i got a call back.
http://www.ithacagun.com/ithacaorderform.html

Hope this helps
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Old November 14, 2012, 06:56 PM   #16
Bear007
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Also here is the link from Ithaca for the serial numbers to help you tell when is was made they stopped the " slam Fire" option in the late 70's I don't know why but I am shore the government had something to do with it.

http://www.ithacagun.com/pdfs/serialnumbers.pdf
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Old November 15, 2012, 11:33 AM   #17
napg19
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The only problem I had was when hunting and ready to squeeze trigger I had pulled back the fore end just alittle in my excitement and gun would not fire till I pushed forend forward. Maybe this was just my shotgun. It's been sold since then.
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Old November 19, 2012, 03:48 PM   #18
drcook
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Some of the older Ithacas were "hand fitted" to a degree and barrels sometimes will not be simply interchangeable. Here is the shop for the old head gunsmith from Ithaca before they moved the business to here in Ohio

http://www.diamondgunsmithing.com/

Sometimes you can find the old original Ithaca slug barrels for not much. BE ADVISED that they were made undersized for the Remington slugs that were available then (I cannot tell you the exact timeframe).

My older one came as a set, vent ribbed, tapped for chokes, field barrel and rifle sighted slug barrel. I had the gunsmith that I deal with ream the barrel out to correct 12 gauge size and will accomodate slugs and sabots (even being a smoothbore) without excessive pressure. It's basic function is a home defense barrel as the length is just perfect.

I might even try it for close quarters rabbit hunting in the brush, might be just perfect for that.

I have 2 12 gauge Ithaca field guns and 2 Deerslayers with the screwed in barrels. They are superb guns.

Don't go chopping it up. You might find out you want to go upland game hunting and it will serve you very well in that regard.
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