View Full Version : Ithaca barrels

August 9, 2000, 09:08 AM
I have a model 37 which I use for duck and goose hunting. I would like to get a short barrel (18 to 20 inches) to use when I'm not hunting to keep the gun around for home defense. Is there a good source for these?

August 9, 2000, 09:23 PM
I'm in the same boat. Did look into who makes them and found that if your gun is a newer one (3") then you could just order a barrel from ithaca or a hastings from say cabellas. However if you have an older (lighter and better) 2 3/4" one like me you have to send your gun to ithaca for custom fitting of the barrel as the barrel to receiver lugging was changed often in the good old days. I have found that some barrels off friends guns will fit mine while my barrel won't fit there's! I have put down the notion of custom fitting from ithaca $$$ and decided to just keep checking the fit of used ithacas that I come across. A whole used gun is cheaper than a new barrel from hastings $310 USD or ithaca $185 USD + fitting $$??

Hope ths helps and keep enjoying the best shotgun ever made.


Captain Bligh
August 10, 2000, 07:02 AM
For what it's worth, I contacted Ithaca with this question. I wanted an 18.5 home defense barrel. They said the shortest they offer in improved cylinder is 20".


"Never turn your back on the crew."

August 10, 2000, 09:15 AM
Thanks! I figured that someone else would have been down this road. Yeah, I get Cabela's catalog and notice how high the prices for barrels are. I've seen used 870s for sale at gun shows for $ 150, so spending 250 on a barrel is not exciting to me.

Dave McC
August 10, 2000, 12:06 PM
Don't have extensive first hand experience with Ithacas but...

If the choice comes down to changing my bird gun to a HD tool or buying a used 870 set up for HD for a price less than that of a new Ithaca bbl, it stands to reason to get the 870.

Shotguns can do lots of things, but ONE shotgun set up ONE way can do some things very,very well, others not so well.

'Nother option, save up a little and watch for a riot 37 to come up for sale. This would mean that you wouldn't have to change your "chops"....

August 10, 2000, 06:19 PM
I use to think the same way about the 870 and bought one. I think if one has gained experience with the handling and function with one shotgun in say hunting then the day comes he must pick up the firearm to save his life, then the most familliar gun is the best option. RHC can probably find a used 37 for less than a used 870 and the low capacity of 4 shots is not a handycap in home defence. If one were to go Dave's route then I would ditch the 37 and use the 870 for both hunting and defence. I would probably even buy a mag extension if the wieght did not bother me. Myself I like the super light wieght of the 37 and find it dificult to trade that in for a 870.
Oh one more thing. Don't break your neck trying to find a 18-20" barrel. Just cut what you find. It is still legal down to 18" for manual action guns here in Canada and I am sure it must be down south too.


Badger Arms
August 10, 2000, 10:04 PM
To add to what Moe said, All you have to do to cut it down is measure 18.5" from the face of a closed bolt to a point on the barrel. Mark that point. Clamp the barrel in a cheap miter box and take a fine toothed hacksaw and go to town. You'll have to deburr it a bit but make sure you are consistant on the inside. To finish it off, I put a piece of 280 grit sandpaper on top of a folded shop rag, stick the barrel into the sandpaper, and roll the barrel with my palms until all of the cut marks are gone. Finish off with a paper grocery bag (yes it works) to polish the muzzle some. Make sure the sandpaper doesn't wrap around and scratch the barrel when you do this. The finished product can be left in the white and oiled or touched up with some cold blue. You can then take the barrel and have a large bead put on by a competent gunsmith. I have a pistol-gripped Ithaca that I just left the bead off of, tough. And, yes Mr. Weaver, you do get in trouble for even a hair below 18" so leave some extra for Uncle Sam.

August 11, 2000, 11:09 AM
I think I'll watch for both things at the next gun show I go to, either a used Ithaca riot gun or a barrel I can cut down. It's so easy to change barrels on Ithaca that I could do it quickly. There's something to that about only having one type of action to practice, though it's too late in one sense, since I also have a Remington 1100 in 20 gauge my father and I hunted with.

Blue Jays
August 12, 2000, 01:28 PM
Good Afternoon Everyone-

Currently running a Vang Comp Remington 870 Police Magnum, but I've always loved the notion of the bottom-ejecting Ithacas.

When was the last time that Ithaca produced their Riot Gun version of the Model 37? Without an extensive TFL search, what is an overview of the main differences? Thanks everyone! :)


~ Blue Jays ~

Badger Arms
August 12, 2000, 06:18 PM
Ithaca went through tough times. I do believe their catalogs from the mid 90's listed riot versions but I tried to get one in 96 and they weren't producing and haven't produced them since for public consumption. They have said, however, that a police order would be welcome. I, at one time, considered purchasing a lot of, say, 20 from them. I dropped the plan but still think if a dealer went to them with such an order they would produce a small lot. In the meantime, buy a Chinese gun and do some action smoothing on it. These really aren't that bad. I've handled a handful of them recently and all but one seemed decent. The one in question would jam to the rear when cycled and I had to use considerable force to slide it forward. A little buffing, deburring, polishing, and general fitting would make the gun quite acceptable for home defense. And at around $150 selling price they are worth the money for sure.

So far as the barrel length, I do not believe Ithaca ever produced an 18.5" barrel. They went from 20" to 14" for their AOW guns. I don't have the catalogs nor can I confirm this either. As for me, I've made about 5 cutoff guns in my time and still have two. All were 18.5" and none had front sights. These were strictly pistol-grip backpack guns for bear protection.

[This message has been edited by badgerarms (edited August 12, 2000).]

January 6, 2001, 04:48 PM
Old thread, but I did finally find a 20" barrel for home defense for my model 37 at at reasonable price, a factory barrel for $125. It was parkerized and a little rough looking, but it's what I wanted.