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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks back I was checking out a local pawnshop and saw this Ithica
red taged and prices at $150 sitting behind the counter . When I asked the shop own about it he said it was not working and was actually not for sale. He demonstrated that the action was binding with no movement at all. On top of that the barrel has been cut down and holes have been drilled in the top of the receiver for a scope mount. It is also made before they added the disconnect.

After talking a bit he said he said he would sell it to me and knocked $25 off the top since it was not functioning.

I suspect it was someone's fun or home defense gun and when it stopped working they sold it.

Got it home and stripped it down a few days later to see what the issue was. Turns out it was a simple issue. The hammer bar had become misaligned with the mainspring cup so the hammer was locked in the fired position. Got everything cleaned then realigned and it works like a champ.

In time I am going to replace the barrel and get the filler screws for the holes in the receiver.

All and all I feel like I got a good deal on the shotgun. If you think I overpaid I would be interested in to hearing why. Always up for learning now information and so on.

Thanks for reading!


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Any shotgun in good working order is worth $125. You did great!

if the serial is above 855,000 you can source another barrel for it for a direct replacement if you like.

below 855,000, this can still be done but it requires some specialized gunsmithing-there is a person names les hovencamp in NY who was an ithaca master smith who does this procedure.

or just shoot it as is and love it for what it is. Nice gun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any shotgun in good working order is worth $125. You did great!

if the serial is above 855,000 you can source another barrel for it for a direct replacement if you like.

below 855,000, this can still be done but it requires some specialized gunsmithing-there is a person names les hovencamp in NY who was an ithaca master smith who does this procedure.

or just shoot it as is and love it for what it is. Nice gun!
Thanks for the info in on the barrel! Either way it is a great gun.



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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
From the pressed checkering, it looks 1970s vintage. I have always thought the M37 was the best pump around. I have a similar vintage 16 gauge that finds itself going out more as I age-nice and light.
The serial number puts it at 70 or 71 if I remember right. The simple yet effective design is so cool.

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I wonder if those holes on top of the receiver were for some kind of "tacticool" rail mount setup, seems a bit close for scope blocks.

1973 was the changeover year for the disconnector, so you should still be able to slam-fire that one (not something I recommend without a lot of practice first).

Oh yeah, and Aguila mini-shells will *not* work in the Ithaca, they will flip around backwards when they pop out of the magazine.
 

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I bought an Ithica M-37 in the 70's that was drilled and tapped,from a chain store. It was new in the box. I contacted Ithica and they denied ever selling them drilled and tapped. I never figured that one out.
Now that is interesting. Ithaca had a dedicated slug model also at that time,so not sure why they would drill and tap a non-slug gun. The gun in the original post looks to have a shortened barrel as I can see the word "full" near the receiver. I doubt very much that his holes are factory. By the way, when smooth slug were all the rage, Ithaca got their Deerslayer right. Every one that I shot were VERY accurate. They even made a version with 26 inch barrel.
 

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The 37 is a great shotgun if you like something light and fast that swings to shoulder quickly and naturally. The short stroke action is very quick for follow up shots.
However; not for heavy loads or slugs which can make it rather brutal to shoot.
Your 37 can become a great "kit gun" ... what son and I like to call a "convergible".
Since you already have a cut down barrel, keep it and cut it to 18.5" (legal). Buy a pistol grip. Add a long barrel (may be difficult to find a replacement as they were hand fitted) and keep the stock to rapidly turn it into a fine bird gun.
The simulated version of the original Ithica "Stakeout" is one ultimate "room broom" up close and personal defensive weapon. Just the sight of it scares the crap out of people!
It can be racked with one hand with a vigorous shake. "Slam fire" makes it easy to deliver rapid fire from the hip for room clearing.
Having carried one in the trunk of the patrol car for years(never had to use it), I had a strong itch to re-create it a few years ago. Found a fine used one for a good price and made "shorty", a perfectly legal version, although the original was a couple inches shorter (you can get it down to 19.5" overall, the shortest of any)
Trained and practiced to point shoot from the hip, it is a most effective and devestating close up defensive weapon and you can get really good at slam firing accurately at 5 targets out to 25yds in a quick sweep.
Once I trained son in "tactical shotgun", he became rather expert at it and "shorty" is his favorite gun! He developed a buck and bb load for it that is devestating but not brutal to shoot and very accurate at close range. It became our favorite load!
It can be broken down quickly to carry in a briefcase as a complete kit including tools.
 

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Barrels may be a very tight fit. If so you might need some grinding compound to take the threads down. An excellent pump gun.
 

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Congrats on a fine shotgun which I know you will enjoy very much. As a non functioning 37, you may not have stolen it but for a working shotgun, you did very well. I suspect someone modified the shotgun for deer hunting by adding a reddot optic and shortening the barrel to make it a "brush gun".

I have a 12ga. M37 with a four digit serial number making it a first year production gun. Someone had mounted a ghost ring rear sight, orange fiber front sight and a poly choke on it. Yes, a "corncob" which has destroyed its collectibility but not its functionality. I enjoyed carrying it as a light weight slug gun for many years, dropping countless deer with it. M37s are classics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My only concern is that whatever caused the jam in the first place may recur.

If you get the screws in place, it'll be a nice looking gun.
I had that concern as well. Need to get it out to the range to see if the issue crops up. So far testing with dummy rounds has not cause the issue to reoccure.

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You did well . I can't get enough of the serial number to get the exact year but it is '70 or '71 .
When the factory was in King Ferry they did d&t the receivers but that was after '87 and those holes are spaced wrong for a factory job .

Dar , you spelled it properly there is only one I in Ithaca .

Glenn
 

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Very reliable shotgun. I have the 37 DS Police ; I used it in "practical shooting" and it never jammed. Also, the rifle sights allow grouping Brenneke slugs in tight clusters at 50 meters.
Any idea where yours came from? My DSPS (1967 vintage) was formerly of the Jersey City NJ police department.

I really like the "Raybar" front sight, Ithaca still sells the black and red inserts BTW. Its the same setup as their X-5 .22 rifles. Have a thread here
http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?528721-We-ve-got-a-thing-thats-called-Raybar-love

As I mentioned before, the only issue I ever had with feeding were Aguila mini-shells.
 
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