View Full Version : Ithaca Auto Burglar

Ala Dan
February 20, 2002, 01:43 AM
Anybody got one? I know they fell at the hands of an ax
cuz of the 1968 Gun Control Act; but I was just curious to
see if any of these great defensive weapons survived.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, Life Member N.R.A.

February 20, 2002, 11:15 AM
I know that some have survived; there were two separate class 3 enthusiasts at shoots I've been to who each owned one. Unfortunately I was not able to handle or fire either....so many toys, so little money.

February 20, 2002, 10:16 PM
Can these shotguns be legally manufactured/converted today? (With the appropriate Class III license.)


February 21, 2002, 12:03 AM
If you are willing to go through NFA paperwork and can find someone competent do to it, yes.

February 23, 2002, 03:46 AM
A friend has one...never have got up the nerve to ask him if his is one of the "legal" ones WITH the paperwork...but it IS kinda cool...kinda like the ORIGINAL car-jack repellant!!!....mikey357

Dave McC
February 23, 2002, 09:23 AM
A note about the Auto Burglar....

I recall reading some thing about these, wish I could remember the source. Most were made in the smaller gauges, I think just a handful in 12, same for 16, mostly 20s and 28s with a few 410s bringing up the rear.

What most folks don't know is that many of these were upscale models, with pretty wood and much engraving.

Also, some LC Smiths were made in the same style, but a utility grade model with 12-14" bbls, hammers,16 gauge only. Supposedly, these were issued to bank couriers as inside railroad car weapons circa 1890-1900. Might be myth, never seen one.

February 27, 2002, 06:48 AM
I worked with a guy back in 1987 that had one in 20 ga. Very cool gun. Bob(? I think that was his name)(the owner) was kind of an odd sort though.

Old Wanderer
January 18, 2009, 01:15 AM
Boy I sure did not think I appeared "odd" :mad:

Lost mine when a "friend" borrowed it and got searched at a road block..

Bill DeShivs
January 18, 2009, 02:28 AM
Auto Burglars were made in 20 ga., with a very few in 28 ga. They were not made in other gauges. I have never seen or heard of a factory made fancy model. I have been interested in these guns for many years. There was another incarnation made in 1969 by Holland firearms for law enforcement use. These were made by Sarasqueta in Spain.
John Norrell firearms made a few 20 ga. double pistols back in the 1980s on old Iver Johnson frames. These were not nearly as refined as the Ithacas.
Denny's Guns made 50 in the past few years. Both the Denny's and Norrel guns had crude pistol grips made from cut down full stocks.
I have never heard of any LC Smith factory shotgun pistols.

January 23, 2009, 03:50 PM
He used to make them in 20s as well.



Mike Irwin
January 23, 2009, 03:58 PM
H&R also made a .410 version, single barreled, similar to the Auto Burglar.

January 23, 2009, 05:11 PM
It would be perfectly legal to make your own version of one today. You could make your own or you could buy one already made. It is an NFA weapon and you would be required to register it and pay the transfer tax on it. The law making it illegal to manufacture new machineguns for the general public does not include other NFA weapons: you can still manufacture new short barreled shotguns, short barreled rifles, AOWs, suppressors............. Just not new machineguns.

There was a pretty good article on the Ithaca Auto Burgler within the last year in the Small Arms Review magazine. I have it around here some place if someone is really interested.

I notice on that link posted a couple posts above mine that they now come with 3" chambers and auto ejectors. Mine also has a 3" chamber.
FWIW: I STRONGLY advise you against firing 3" shells in one of these short shotguns. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Notice that the Auto Burgler has a pistol grip that is at pretty much a right angle to the barrels while those ones shown on the link above as well as mine in the picture below have a very rounded grip that allows the gun to roll upward in recoil rather than straight back against your elbow joint.

I have a modern day version of it, manufactured by Serbu:


January 26, 2009, 03:35 AM
In another era, our school class was taken on a field trip to the San Jose, CA PD. We were taken to the armory which was a huge birch cabinet with locking doors. They allowed us to handle some of the empty weapons.
They had two Ithaca Auto Burglar pistol/shotguns. Those were 20 gauge. We were told they were used on stakeouts. This was as you might surmise, a hell of a long time ago. In 1959 or 60 California was a different place.
By the way they also had a couple of 45 ACP Reising Carbines, one Thompson (I think an M1A1) with a box magazine and a couple of Model 94 30-30s. The Reisings had a cutts comp type gadget on the muzzle but the top half of the device was cutaway.

Dave McC
January 27, 2009, 08:56 AM
I did fire an Auto Burglar once, in 20 gauge. It was a handful, pun intended.

Even with a very firm grip, good stance and light loads it almost twisted out of my hands. Two shots were more than enough to satisfy my curiosity.