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44 AMP
January 11, 2008, 11:22 PM
Please help me identify my grandfather's shotgun. Here's the info: Ithaca double barrel 12ga, bought new in 1909. Fluid steel barrels. Splinter forend, pistol grip stock. Double triggers, 26in barrels. There is a very worn engraving of a dog (pointer?) on both sides of the reciever. Reciever is marked "Ithaca Gun Co Ithaca NY"

There are traces of case hardening color on part of the reciever. There are two pins through the reciever, and the only screws are two in the trigger guard tang, and one large one inbetween the top lever and the safety. The safety has 3 positions. In the center position (safe) the letter "S" can be seen through the hole in the safety. Forward position is "fire", and when the gun is opened the safety moves back to the "on" position. Rear position is "fire", and when the gun is opened, the safety stays in the rear position.

The gun cocks on opening, and the serial # is 190xxx, which is repeated on the inside of the forearm, the forearm iron, the reciever and underneath the rear of the barrels. Also in that location (on the reciever) is "PATD" and the numbers "1" and "12".

I clearly remember he told me he bought the gun new in 1909, and had the stock made to order for him (it has a bit more drop than usual), and he had it choked to his order, full & full. It has extractors, but not ejectors. Grandpa once told me that "if I knew then what I know now" he would have spent the extra money and gotten ejectors. He also told me that he killed a fox with that gun at "40 rod", which if my math is right works out to be 220yds! The old man could have been BSing me, but somehow, I don't think so. He told the story often enough, so I think that it was true, one of those "once in a lifetime" shots.

Do any of you gurus know which model Ithaca this is?

Thanks!

J F Cooper
January 13, 2008, 03:40 PM
The serial number is, in fact 1909 mfg, and it's a Flues Model in Grade 1, Grand Dad didn't kill anything at 220 yard, maybe he meant 40 yards. I don't know why he would order full and full in 26" barrels.. The 3 way safety was an option.. The gun came with 2 5/8" chambers, Don't use it with off the shelf ammo, use Poly Wad or Kent ad keep the chamber pressure under 8,000 PSI..JFC

44 AMP
January 14, 2008, 08:57 PM
I'll have to have the chambers checked, but I always thought they were regular 2 3/4". The gun has been sucessfully used for many many years with 2 3/4" shells. I have used it with Remington & Winchester ammo, but only 3 or 3 1/4 dram equivalents. I have a letter from Ithaca, dated 1949, answering my grandfather's question about the springs. When he bought the gun, he was told the springs were guaranteed never to take a set.

They answered with a form letter, at the bottom of which was a personal note from the Ithaca vice president that the guarantee on the springs was still good, and that the gun was safe with modern ammo. They did, however, caution against the use of "express" loads in the gun, saying that they were not necessary, and "akin to using a bulldozer to thread a needle".

He had the gun choked full & full, and 26" because that is what he wanted. He was a Yankee farmer, and hunted squirrel, rabbit, "patridge", and pests, notably foxes and dogs. He also loaded his own shells, some of them with musket balls he had found as a boy, and others with a variety of shot, buck & ball, #1s, and others up through #8.

His test for a full choked gun (12ga) was that you could balance a dime in the muzzle. By today's standards, that is likely extra full, because a dime falls into the barrel of my full choke Remington 870 Express.