View Full Version : Ithaca 37

June 4, 2012, 09:37 AM
Just purchased a 1942 Ithaca 37 in 16ga. Was wondering if you all could give me some history on the gun. I know it is a Browning design and was used by the military. Can someone tell me when they stopped making them? thanks

June 4, 2012, 09:49 AM
They never stopped making the Ithaca Model 37, it is still in production.
No die cast parts,no alloy or plastic parts and if your left handed there is a left hand safety for the gun.

If you should ever need any parts they are all avaible from Ithaca in Ohio, 419-294-4113.

The serial number range for the 1942 Ithaca is 50901 to 63000.

June 4, 2012, 08:04 PM
Since yours is a pre-73 model be aware that they do not have a disconnector. If you pump the gun while holding the trigger back the gun will fire as soon as it is in battery.

Pumpfiring is VERY fun if you have the ammo budget.:cool:

June 5, 2012, 05:51 AM
sounds like a really neat gun! Can you post any pictures...

June 5, 2012, 09:01 PM
Ithica then a break in the 80s or so, then former employees bought it and I thought out of business again. If not --good.

I bough a 37 that was in bad shape. I had it reblued and the gunsmith did a beautifl job-late 70s. Previously it looked like someone had taken a pipewrench to the barrel to try and disassemble. I gave it to my son for college graduation. He wanted choke tubes but the barrel was to thin. I sprang for a new barrel w/ tubes. Had to be sent in for fitting of the barrel.

I hope he still has it.

June 8, 2012, 04:40 PM
I have 3 Ithaca Model 37s two bought new by me in 1967 the Deluxe Vent Rib Models one in 12 gauge one in 20 gauge.
My 3rd Ithaca Model 37 was made in 1947 and was bought new by my uncle in 1947.
That is the gun I learned to shoot on.
He left it to me when he died, in great condition.
All my Ithaca Model 37s are in excellent shape and have been used alot.
Never a breakdown or a problem with any of them.
Mine 3 do not have a disconnector on them either and I love to pump fire them slang term (SLAM FIRE)
Ithaca should have never changed that pump fire in the 70s that is why alot a people bought that shotgun for being able to pump fire it also it had bottom ejection.
Leave a good thing alone, it worked for years, but as always some bean counter at the Ithaca Company thought his idea to save money and take that off the shotgun.
John Browning designed the 37 to work that way, I know they are smarter up at Ithaca than JOHN MOSES BROWNING.

June 8, 2012, 07:42 PM
The I-37 has a loyal owner base as do some of the other "slam fire" pump guns. If you're a fan of the bottom eject style pump gun, as are many left-handers, the Browning BPS at $660 may be more in your budget than a new I-37 at $859.

Beyond safety considerations, a reason "slam fire" shotguns have been discontinued may have something to do with how a machine gun is legally defined. If you are stretching a point, as attorneys are apt to do, a "slam fire" gun is capable of firing more than one shell with a single pull of the trigger making it a machine gun by some vague definitions. Of course, the same can be said about a "fanner" cowboy revolver.

June 9, 2012, 07:28 PM
to the 1932 National Firearms act.
If it is doing it now, then it a bad dis-c0nnector.

Second, confirm the SN on the barrel is the same as on the right reciever front edge, IF NOT the have the headspace checked as the pre-855,000 Sn receiver and barrels were specifically mated and headspaced.
After 1963 (post 855,000 SN) barrels were interchangable.

Goggle diamond gunsmithng , the owner is retired cheif engineer of the Ithaca NY, Ithaca gun and specilizes in the 37.

Recommend two other websites:

www.shotgunworld.com good ithaca forum here.


June 9, 2012, 11:05 PM
First of all the "slam-fire was eliminated due..
to the 1932 National Firearms act.
Couple points.
1. It's 1934 NFA act
2. The Ithaca 37 was first produced in 1937, well after the NFA act was passed.

The disconnector was put in because of liability/safety concerns, not the NFA. The sources I trust say 1973, while others say 1975. Everyone agrees that the point was in the early/mid 70's. Two of my 37's, made in the 60's, will pump-fire while my third, which was made in the late 70's will not.

June 10, 2012, 06:59 AM
First in the Model 37 there is NO disconnector, if you hold the trigger back on a late model gun the hammer will follow the bolt home.

Second the early guns had a second sear that came into play when the trigger was held back and the action was operated.

The second sear is/was a small projection on the right side of the hammer. With the trigger held back the slide stop held the hammer back until the slide came forward locking the bolt into battery. Then the side stop moved to lock the slide into locked position. At the same time (trigger held back) the hammer was released and the gun fired.

June 10, 2012, 08:35 AM
The new ones do not fire when pumped holding down the trigger. Try to check on what is being produced instead of making your opinions show your lack of knowledge.

June 10, 2012, 09:04 AM
Beyond safety considerations, a reason "slam fire" shotguns have been discontinued may have something to do with how a machine gun is legally defined. If you are stretching a point, as attorneys are apt to do, a "slam fire" gun is capable of firing more than one shell with a single pull of the trigger making it a machine gun by some vague definitions. Of course, the same can be said about a "fanner" cowboy revolver.

+1 zippy

Although I can't recall the exact article as it was many years ago, I know I read something...possibly in an NRA gun 'rag' , mirroring what you(zippy) implied in your post.

June 10, 2012, 12:07 PM
oletymer check the Ithaca web site and look under parts internal, you know the parts that Ithaca sells.

Please tell everyone what is the part number of the disconnector. There is a exploded parts diagram and each part has a number that can be looked up with the stock number and price.

June 13, 2012, 12:56 AM
I don't think you can go wrong with an Ithaca. The model 37 is an absolute classic!

Guns Blazing
June 13, 2012, 04:39 AM
I love my Model 37, and i like to hold her by the hip and slam fire some shots every now and then too....awesome shotgun...mine is waaay pre 400000...i have been meaning to figure out exactly how old, it came from my wifes grandpa.






June 13, 2012, 07:14 AM
If you go to www.ithacagun.com under the heading "resources" you will find the serial number listing. It is a PDF file you can save it if you want, but your guns number should be in there.
IF you should ever need parts they have all the replacements, the Model 37 is just the same as it was when yours was made.

Happens to be the longest production of any shotgun made, since 1937 to date.

Guns Blazing
June 13, 2012, 11:59 AM
Cool, thanks for that...looks like mine is from 1949.

June 13, 2012, 09:09 PM
I have a model 37 featherlight but can't find a serial number anywhere. Where should it be located at?

June 13, 2012, 09:25 PM
On the older guns you can find the serial number stamped on the front edge of the reciever. Later guns have the number on the right side lower left corner of the reciever.

June 13, 2012, 10:08 PM
I found it on bottom of barrel after checking receiver again, don't know how iI missed it?.... thanks for help

June 13, 2012, 10:14 PM
My fathers 1954 M37 is my only "Safe Queen". One gun that will never be sold, I'll pass it down to my niece eventually.

June 13, 2012, 10:32 PM
I am on my second M37. I started out with a 12ga and then foolishly traded it away for a BPS with interchangeable chokes and a 3" chamber. It was a good trade, but I sure wish I had simply purchased the BPS rather than trade toward it. A couple years ago, I picked up a 20ga for $200 in very good condition. I will not part with that one and always have one eye kinda watching for another 12ga.

I just wish these older ones had a 3" chamber. I believe some of the newer ones do have the 3" chamber AND the interchangeable chokes. Didn't they rename the models to the 87?

June 13, 2012, 10:58 PM
I have 3 Ithica 12 Ga. My grandfathers with full choke 1947 vintage...never a problem. Picked up a 1952 version for 200 bucks that was WAY rusted inside...and it still fired, but needed to be deep cleaned for safety...as the trigger was rusted into the depressed position!!!!!

Last one I have is a 1972 version, 18" barrel that belonged to a retired cop and didn't even have wear marks on it....300 bucks! Runs flawlessly. All 3 will pumpfire. These are great guns, they swing and handle like a dream. Aside from only firing 2 3/4" shells, I'd stack the quality of these guns (of ANY vintage) against my Benelli Supernova any day of the week.

Guns Blazing
June 14, 2012, 11:59 AM
The company traded hands in 87 and foolishly they changed the name to the model 87...but they realized how stupid that was and changed it back to the 37 later on being that 37 was the year they started making them...and my 1949 Ithaca Full choke model 37 shoots better than my buddys newer shotguns...and i can slamfire...

June 14, 2012, 12:18 PM
It's not a slamfire, but rather a pump fire. When pumped with the trigger held back the hammer does not drop untill the bolt is fully locked up.

I know it's splitting hairs, but it is a difference.

Also note Ithaca is not the only shotgun that will do that, Winchester Model 12 and others will too.

Guns Blazing
June 14, 2012, 01:15 PM
Slam it forward it fires...slam fire, pump fire, tomato, tomawto...

I know it isn't Ithaca specific, but rather age specific...either way id still choose my Ithaca...:cool:

June 14, 2012, 04:37 PM
My Ithaca 37 doesn't feed reliably from the magazine. Sometimes I have to pump it three or four times to get a shell to feed. Any ideas what may be causing this?

June 14, 2012, 05:02 PM
Pokey, on the right extractor...sometimes the spring wears out and needs to be replaced.

June 14, 2012, 07:21 PM
I think you mean shell stop. Just call Ithaca and they have new parts.

June 14, 2012, 07:34 PM
Thanks for the info.