View Full Version : Ithaca model 37

John G
March 9, 2001, 06:53 PM
What are your opinions on the Model 37? Its JMB's last pumpgun design, so it has to be good I figure. I'm looking into a 16ga for sentimental reasons. Thanks for the help.

March 9, 2001, 09:34 PM
I have a Model 87 (same gun, built when Ithaca reorganized after bankruptcy in 1987 as Ithaca Acquisition) and I love it. It is far prettier than my 870, that solid receiver without ejection port is stunning, it is finely crafted, I love the way the barrel threads into the receiver...a fine, fine piece.

My only complaint is the fit of the stock...

March 9, 2001, 10:19 PM
Very good pump guns. I used them for years. Very light and so they were great for upland but I smashed my share of ducks with one as well. The only reason I sold my last one was the slam fire issue. The gun did this to me a couple of times because I had in the heat of flying game shucked the gun with the trigger still depressed. Once this realy did hurt as my left hand on the slide slid off and my thumb jammed between the mag and barrel where they join %#@**&.

Badger Arms
March 9, 2001, 10:43 PM
I have several. For defense, they are second to none. They are reliable and will empty a magazine in a heartbeat. Very light and handle better than any other shotgun I've ever fired. JMB had help with the design by none other than John Pederson of Remington 51 and Pederson Device fame. Was the competitor to Garand for the service rifle that became the M-1. Perhaps the simplist, most elegant designs in a pump-action shotgun ever. The Browning BPS owes much to the Remington 17.

March 9, 2001, 11:07 PM
I love them. Slick and smooth. I wish I could find a defense version for a reasonable price.

Dave McC
March 10, 2001, 09:40 AM
A classic,with durability and longevity second to only the 870, and not far behind that.

Never owned one, but had several good friend with them that I shot on occasion. The term that comes to mind is "Shootable".

March 10, 2001, 07:19 PM
I second what has been posted above. Just a word of caution, they will "slam fire." That is there is no slide block built into them. If you have the trigger pulled when you rack the slide they will fire. A buddy of mine learned this the hard way one day. No one or anything was hurt but we all learned a good lesson. Smooth is fast. You'll like it.

March 12, 2001, 08:40 AM
I think the slamfire problem has been rectified in current Model 37's. I have an older 20 that will "slamfire" meaning that continuing to hold the trigger back and pumping the gun will produce a fire when it locks up on the new round in the barrel. This has never been a problem for me, as I don't hold the trigger back. the Model 37 is a great gun.

Cannon Cocker
March 12, 2001, 03:19 PM
First gun I ever hunted with was my dad's Model 37 featherweight in 16 guage. I think that gun's got to be over 30 years old and it's still going strong and has never missed a beat. In my opinion the action is smoother than an 870's and I really like the bottom ejection.

On another note that Ithaca is the hardest kicking 16 guage I have ever fired. It puts most 12 guages I have fired to shame in that department. The featherweight is a joy to carry all day, so I don't mind the kick that much, although it would be my last choice for trap or skeet for that reason.

March 14, 2001, 10:20 AM
I just bought one yesterday. Havent recieved it yet and am really looking forward to it.
The M37 goes way back. there are some features about it that are unique to only the Ithaca. You should have no fear about quality.
About the slam fire. The reason you get the "slam fire" is because up to a certain year there was no trigger disconnect. I forget but I'll go back and look in my references and find out what year they changed this. On any new Ithaca this is only a thing of the past. If you shuck a newer Ithaca with the trigger back what will happen is that you will chamber a round but your wont be engaged and you will have to eject the round and rechamber with your finger not pulling the trigger. I have friends who will only have the early model because they like the lack of a disconnect.
It funny when you look in the blue book its the M87 that has the highest collector value which is curious because theoretically they are of a lesser quality when they were manufactured by the Ithaca Aqusition company. (AS EXPLAINED BY THE ITHACA CUSTOMER SERVICE REP.) So it depends on who you talk to about the M87. I was told if they had 20 minutes (Ithaca Aqusition)of "finishing" left it could have gone out the door without it which might explain maybe the Stock fit issue mentioned above. who knows. Watch the blue book values because you can buy Ithaca pretty darn good even the new line is really priced right as far as I am concerned. (Eccept the trap models but they always seem to be high.

Dave McC
March 14, 2001, 11:44 AM
CC, the increased recoil is directly due to the lighter weight, a good tradeoff for an upland gun and not so great for one used more with heavy loads. If I were setting up a pump for strictly upland work,carried lots, shot little to some, an Ithaca would be a top contender.

OTOH, if I were going to pick a launcher for 3" waterfowl/turkey loads,I'd go with a heavier pumpgun, like the 870 or BPS.

Any single pumpgun that's used for everything is a bit of a compromise, and like all compromises, isn't as good at any one thing that a more specialized piece would be.

March 14, 2001, 12:47 PM
I shot a round of sporting clays for the first time with my new old 1955 ithaca m37 12 gauge. I only hit 15 out of 25 but it was my first round of sporting clays and the first time to shoot that gun. I have had alot of pumps but none compare to how sweet the Ithaca feels. My next purchase will be a new one.

Mike Irwin
March 15, 2001, 12:21 PM
Regarding the slamfire issue...

Virtually EVERY pump shotgun design from the same period had this feature.

March 15, 2001, 09:34 PM
Regarding the finish on the Model 87: the metalwork is actually very nice on my 87 M&P, far better than the 870 I have (I'm waiting on an 870 Police, I cant wait to compare it.) There are no heavy tool marks, gouges, etc, the lines and corners are all straight and true. My only complaint in the metal compartment is the magazine cap, rather crudely roll-stamped. I just found an old style cap, beautifully checkered.

The wood is actually the problem: good looking walnut, but the corn-cob style forend seems to have been turned with dull chisels, and the pistol grip is way too generous: it brings back the last three fingers so my index can barely reach the trigger - an ergonomics problem I would have to solve before I were to rely on this piece for HD. But that receiver is a masterpiece of simplicity in design...a gem.

March 16, 2001, 02:22 PM
talked to Ithaca and this is the reply " Sir, you are correct it was a serious issue with liability and in 1975-76 they built the trigger disconnect. It was not done by accident but by design to eliminate the slam fire capabilites. I hope you had a good wager on this on."
Ithaca gun co. llc.
Interesting comment about pumps of this era, I have an old 20Ga. Sears, Roebuck (same as the Winchester 1300) that I found out in the woods, laying in the brush all rusted. The action wouldnt open and I mean this thing must have been laying there for a long time. Ive owned the property for 15 years and my Uncle before me (he said it wasnt his) I took it home, got it all apart replaced a broken ejector rod, derusted and polished it real good and slowrusted it. Refinished the wood and it looks really nice. Took it out back and busted clays all morning. I havent thought to see if it will slamfire but will check it out.
By the way did anyone throw away an old 20ga with a broken ejector?

March 17, 2001, 10:07 PM
They put the trigger disconnect on in 1975?
I bought mine new (I thought) in the mid-1980s and I don't think it has one. I thought I remembered trying this once on a dare. Maybe it does have one. Good excuse to get it out and try it.

By the way, it's a great gun, accurate and light, easy to load. I have a long barrel for ducks and geese and a 20" factory barrel for home defense.