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Old August 14, 2021, 09:02 AM   #1
kje54
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Ithica M37 Clone

Bought this Norinco M37 a long time ago, have put quite a few rounds through it with only one problem. Was looking to sell it but found out the going price for these right now is around $125, $75 less than what I bought it for.

The ghost ring had come loose, couldn't tighten it down so I decided to change the sights and camo paint it. Removed the rear sight, found a pic rail with one slotted mounting hole then added a red/green dot. Cut the tall front sight down and started painting, going for the Flecktarn look (my favorite).
I had already switched out the butt with a shorter Choate butt, 14 + inch LOP it just too long for me.

Before:



After:

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Old August 14, 2021, 09:48 AM   #2
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It's still a $75 dollar gun!
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Old August 14, 2021, 10:21 AM   #3
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I really like the true Ithaca 37 pump. Its my favorite pump shotgun. The market on those has gone pretty expensive.

I've never looked at a Norinco clone. Zero experience. I have no idea about the build quality or reliability.

While its pretty much impossible to avoid doing business with Chinese products ,I do have some bias against it.

Myself? If I had an itch to buy an Ithaca 37, I'd look till I found a deal on a USA original.

The Chinese ones might be good. Don't know. Do all parts interchange?
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Old August 14, 2021, 11:12 AM   #4
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When I bought it at a gun show eons ago I had no idea it was Chinese made, I thought it was cool looking and the price was right and I was looking for a tactical shotgun. It was my first shotgun and I didn't learn that it was an M37 clone until many years later.

As for parts interchangeability, yes with some fitting required. I did take it apart and cleaned up any rough edges with files and sandpaper a while back, definitely made the action a little more smooth. It doesn't care what I feed it, fires everything I've put through it without a hiccup as long as I don't short rack it.

Last edited by kje54; August 14, 2021 at 11:17 AM.
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Old August 14, 2021, 12:54 PM   #5
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IIRC Norinco is pretty well known for the 1911 clones and semi-auto M14 clones.

In the early 1980's I at a gun show there was a guy dealing the M14 clones for $400. Looked pretty good but other expenses had priority and I passed on it. Many times I wish I would have plunged and bought it.

Some folk have panned Norinco products and I admit I've never owned one so any recommendation I would make should NOT carry much weight but fit and finish on the M14 clone looked pretty good.
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Old August 14, 2021, 03:44 PM   #6
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Chinese clones have a bad rap, probably just because they're made in China. The reality is most are solidly made. The biggest issue with them is almost always parts availability. The newest ones and the ones that have been around for a while parts availability is good, the ones like mine that haven't been made in quite a while........ Ya know what I mean.

Same with the Turkish guns, most are very well made with a very few exceptions. The larger, more established Turkish manufacturers produce quality firearms at relatively cheap prices and parts are not a problem. I'm currently waiting on a SDS Imports M12 PT semi-auto bullpup to come in, paid $309 shipped, my FFL fee will be $21.
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Old August 15, 2021, 12:35 PM   #7
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" they produce quality guns and parts are not a problem"..



every time I hear that, I chuckle...

just my point of view, but if its real quality, parts are never a problem, because you don't need them. Quality doesn't break. IF it breaks or wears out quickly, it wasn't "quality", you just thought it was.

To be fair, some parts on quality guns do sometimes fail (like an extractor or springs) but they are fairly rare.

Chinese produced guns are kind of all over the map, some are ok, some are crap, and some are inbetween.

My guess on market right now is a tactical shotgun not based on a Winchester, Remington or Mossberg gun isn't a high demand item. And while a Chinese copy of an Ithaca should be a decent serviceable gun, its not going to bring much cash on the resale market, as you found out.

Remember, the market price of guns is only partly based on what they are, a lot of it is based on what people want to buy TODAY, and what they're willing to pay to get it.
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Old August 15, 2021, 03:39 PM   #8
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The M-37 has a long history of military and police use.I've had excellent luck with them.

I think shotshells have changed a bit.The brass case heads may not be quite as brass.For whatever reason,I think the inside corner of the rim , where the extractor hooks grab,has a larger radius. True,old extractors wear,springs get weak,and crud collects.

But a failure to extract presents a problem stoppage for the bottom eject with no side port. The next round feeds into the lifters, it can't chamber and its not going to come out the bottom easily. The gun is tied up. Best way to clear it is pull the barrel. Not so good in a gun fight.

Once again,the Ithaca is a proven performer. The Norinco might work fine,but an extractor issue is the sort of bug that MIGHT show up with a clone
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Old August 15, 2021, 11:12 PM   #9
kje54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
" they produce quality guns and parts are not a problem"..



every time I hear that, I chuckle...

just my point of view, but if its real quality, parts are never a problem, because you don't need them. Quality doesn't break. IF it breaks or wears out quickly, it wasn't "quality", you just thought it was.

To be fair, some parts on quality guns do sometimes fail (like an extractor or springs) but they are fairly rare.

Chinese produced guns are kind of all over the map, some are ok, some are crap, and some are inbetween.

My guess on market right now is a tactical shotgun not based on a Winchester, Remington or Mossberg gun isn't a high demand item. And while a Chinese copy of an Ithaca should be a decent serviceable gun, its not going to bring much cash on the resale market, as you found out.

Remember, the market price of guns is only partly based on what they are, a lot of it is based on what people want to buy TODAY, and what they're willing to pay to get it.
Ain't it great being able to voice one's opinion especially when that opinion is based on a statement taken out of context. You wouldn't be a lawyer or a politician would you?
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Old August 18, 2021, 10:37 PM   #10
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The Norc 1911s have a pretty good reputation. I have one.Good trigger and solidly built, but only average accuracy for a 1911. I have no experience with their shotguns (I do own an Ithaca M37 Featherlite).
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Old September 2, 2021, 04:59 PM   #11
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"Coyote Cap", a gunsmith working in the cowboy action market, decided maybe 20 years ago to make reproductions of the lever-action Winchester shotgun. He contracted with a firearms factory in China (the name was something along the lines of "Rifle Factory Number XX"), and for two or three years he was visiting them every month or two. He appreciated the high-quality machine tools (which looked in pictures to be from the 1950s), and the low cost of labor; but quality control was a chore. There were lots of receivers he rejected due to casting porosity, for example. Anyway, in the end, he got his ... I dunno, thousand? ... shotguns built and imported into the U.S. Very nice (I have one).

And of course in the next couple of years, the Chinese factory produced more of the lever-action shotguns -- in some cases, using the receivers he'd rejected -- for less-picky American importers.
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Old September 3, 2021, 07:45 AM   #12
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Indeed

I spoke to an auto Exec. in China back in 2000. He was lamenting the fact that the Chinese quietly cloned the factory that his company paid for. That's what they got for "partnering" two factories for the price of one. Unfortunately the 2nd factory was not theirs, yet they designed it.
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Old September 3, 2021, 04:51 PM   #13
Don Fischer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kje54 View Post
When I bought it at a gun show eons ago I had no idea it was Chinese made, I thought it was cool looking and the price was right and I was looking for a tactical shotgun. It was my first shotgun and I didn't learn that it was an M37 clone until many years later.

As for parts interchangeability, yes with some fitting required. I did take it apart and cleaned up any rough edges with files and sandpaper a while back, definitely made the action a little more smooth. It doesn't care what I feed it, fires everything I've put through it without a hiccup as long as I don't short rack it.
So you bought it eons ago and don't think it should now be worth less than you paid for it? Seems a lot of people are of that mind set anymore. Read a lot of guy's looking for a new rifle and first question they want to know is how does it hold it's value! Have to wonder if they are making a financial investment or buying a gun to shoot?
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Old September 4, 2021, 12:11 PM   #14
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It always amazes me how certain things that go out of production and off the market because they aren't selling well (or enough) suddenly become worth more, and increase over time, while other things are just "old junk" and not worth much.

And I don't mean just adjusting the $ for inflation. Its a matter of what people want, or what they've been taught to want. Sometimes tis a matter of the public not recognizing the value until too late, and other times it a matter of profiteering and the people buying at inflated price being convinced that from now on the item is worth at least as much as they paid for it.

Some years back, went to a gun show about a week after Winchester had announced closing their plant. Every Winchester gun from old collectables to new in the box waiting first sale had jumped $100!! Knives, knick-nacks, any thing that said Winchester on it, had a bumped up asking price, compared to what they sold for just a month prior.

I had been looking at a NIB Winchester 94-.410, I like .410s, but the near $800 asking price was just too much. A week later that gun was offered for "only" $900, because, well, you know, they aren't making them anymore..."

A Chinese copy of an Ithaca 37 is like a Chinese copy of any gun, it may be a serviceable gun (or may not be) but its not a valuable gun. Never was, and compared to the original of what they copied, never will be.
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Old September 5, 2021, 08:45 AM   #15
mdf9183
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You could always get a Stevens Mod. 350 it is a Ithica mod 37 clone.
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Old September 5, 2021, 11:34 AM   #16
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I've got a Norinco clone of a 97 Winchester I bought over 10 years ago to use in CAS. No worn or broken parts. It has never failed to feed, fire or eject. It's one of my favorite shotguns.
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Old September 30, 2021, 07:58 AM   #17
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good used ithica 37,s go from 250-350 for field hunted grade shotguns around here. winchester model 12 in good used condition go for 300-400 for field hunted grade. gages some time enter into a increase in price. i know where a model 12 featherweight in 12ga in nice condition is for sale for 400 right now,i may buy it.
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Old September 30, 2021, 08:36 AM   #18
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Here in south Michigan Williams Gun Sight has two Model 37's
one at $455 and one at $625. Not bad prices since a new one will be north of $900.

But where can you find a gun with machined parts, no stampings or die cast parts.
And real walnut stocks.
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Old September 30, 2021, 09:19 AM   #19
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Why should I care if it has "all machined parts" as long as it works ?
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Old September 30, 2021, 10:42 AM   #20
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machined parts tend to last longer on high loads than stamped parts, the difference between winchester pre-64 model 94 lifter and post 94 lifters is like day and night. the high rockwell, the better.
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Old September 30, 2021, 05:11 PM   #21
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We’re discussing a Norinco copy of an Ithaca Model 37 trench gun.
My 30” full choke 12 ga. With hand checkered walnut was made in 1945 in Ithaca.
I predict that someday the classic American wood and blued steel pump shotguns will be as desired as Sterlingworths.

The Norinco, made in China, is probably a faithful copy in every respect. No matter how well it shoots, it’s not an Ithaca made in the 40s.

These things blast away at jugs of soda. Meh.

Pheasant season opens in 2 weeks and the “real” model 37s and Wingmaster and Model 500s come out and get carried all season, shooting at pheasant. Grouse. Quail. Duck. Rabbit, squirrel, deer, etc.
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