View Full Version : Ithaca 37 or Remington 870?

Sam C
June 16, 2002, 09:03 PM
I am in the market for a new slide action shotgun. I have a couple of 870's and like them. Problem is, I understand that new 870's have an integral locking system. If true, Remington has lost me as a customer. I had an Ithaca long ago as a kid. I remember it fondly. Question is, Is an Ithaca 37 as well built or better than a Remington 870? I've heard that the receiver walls on the Ithaca are the strongest (thickest) in the industry, true? I am looking at Ithaca's "New Custom Classic". How does this compare over all to the 870? Thanks, Sam :)

Badger Arms
June 17, 2002, 12:02 AM
Yes, as well built but not QUITE as user friendly. In fact, I think it is better built from machined blocks of steel. That also makes it more expensife. The design isn't nearly as durable. The Ithaca also is more difficult to single-load and kicks harder (because it's lighter). I own both and my HD gun is still a Remington.

Dave McC
June 17, 2002, 06:09 AM
Sam,Ithaca owners tend towards loyalty, I've noted. And they're right, the 37 is a lot of gun. But...

Thye're at a disadvantage on the range and during crises because of the bottom loading.

The lighter weight means it's a bit slower to recover when doing repeat shots. It kicks more, tho proper form and fit make that difference negligible.

And the distaste I feel towards the new mods at Big Green can easily be assuaged by buying older 870s, especially the earlier classics. With 8 million 870s made, there's bound to be some good used ones for sale near thee.


Al Thompson
June 17, 2002, 07:14 AM
Sam, what do you intend to do with it?

Master Blaster
June 17, 2002, 07:25 AM
Bottom Loading/ ejection

Saturday I went out to Omelanden, stae park in New Castle DE
Its a state run park dedicated to shooting and archery.

Trap is 2.50 for a round of 25 birds, thay have sporting clays and skeet as well.

I saw a person with a bottom eject browning, and he was complaining about the fact that in singles you can only load one, and waht a b**ch it is to load his gun that way.

Its no problem with an 870.

Sam C
June 17, 2002, 08:23 AM
Thanks guys for the information. Gizmo99, I'll use my new shotgun for rabbit and pheasant hunting. Already have an 870 for social purposes. Sam :)

June 17, 2002, 08:28 AM
If you want to load one round in an Ithaca, load one into the magazine and pump the handle. Since I automatically push the operating handle back after pumping out an empty hull, there is no disadvantage for me. If you are one of those people who can shoot and leave the handle to the rear after making the shot, the Remington allows you to simply "throw one in the hole" to reload single shots. The Ithaca has an advantage in my book in that it does not have a loading gate masquerading as a carrier. The magazine is easier to load than the 870's. As a side benefit, the magazine is also easier to UNLOAD than that of the 870. The Ithaca has only one shell stop. You can push the shell stop to the side with your fingers and unload the shells one-at-the-time into your hand. I like the safety of that operation. I also like the bottom ejection, as the empties tend to stay closer to the shooter.

I own both 870's and 37's. I like both. Basically this is a Ford/Chevy kind of thing.:D

June 17, 2002, 01:50 PM
Clem: I've got 870s and have shot my friends 12 gauge and 16 gauge Ithacas and think that they are both excellent arms. You can empty an 870's mag the same way as an Ithaca. Rack the action, roll the gun to the right and remove the shell on the lifter. Now push the lifter up and depress the right shell stop. Rounds will pop out one by one till the mag is empty. As you say, much safer than cycling the shells through the action. This isn't possible with the long foreends found on some 870s which is another reason I prefer the short "police" foreends.