Ithaca DS Police Special & M&P Question


January 31, 2005, 04:16 AM
I have been trying to find some more info on the model 37 DS Police Special and the M&P model but I'm coming up empty.
I was trying to figure out if there are any markings on the shotgun that would identify it as a DSPS or M&P model.
From what I read, it appeared that this model & the Model 37 DSPS were identical to the standard model 37 except that they had 8 shot magazine tubes. However, I then found the odd mention of DSPS's and M&P's with 5 shot mag tubes. I would assume that without some extra marking it would be impossible to tell an M37 M&P or a DSPS with 5 shot mag tube from a regular M37?
But what I would love to know is if Ithaca marked all M&P's and DSPS's in some form or another at the factory, that would differentiate them from regular model 37's? Much like the way Remington did with the 870P. In that its stamped Police on the left side of the receiver.



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January 31, 2005, 09:15 AM
The DSPS stamping on the barrel was a dead giveaway on mine. :D

I have a 5 shot "LAPD varient". Parkerized finish, swivels, disconnect on the trigger, and wedge rear sight. The receiver is slab sided with no engraving.

Fred Fuller
January 31, 2005, 10:56 AM
Ithaca used guns produced for commercial sale as a basis for most of its police, riot and military sales contracts. There were differences in some variations produced for larger contracts but mostly the guns came straight off the commercial/sporting production line. Differences in barrel lengths, presence of factory sling swivels, sights, and finish are noted.

It was not until 1968 that Ithaca began marketing the Model 37 with a 20.1" barrel and a full length 7-round magazine tube. The Military and Police version had a bead sight, the DS Police Special version had rifle sights, that is generally the only difference between the two (a few M&P guns had WW1 style bayonet adapters as they came from the factory but still had bead sights). The short and long magazine tubes were both produced as M&P and DSPS guns at the same time, the mag tubes are not the difference, just the sights.

Ithaca was among the first if not the first manufacturer to promote choked barrels on service guns. They offered DSPS and M&P guns with improved cylinder, modified and full choked barrels.

Find a copy of Thomas F. Swearengen's _The World's Fighting Shotguns_ to read details- HTH,


January 31, 2005, 01:57 PM
You might do some research on the Ithaca web site, or just email them and ask what they'd know about your particular gun.

February 1, 2005, 12:21 AM
Hey Guys,

Thanks for the help. I have checked the Ithaca web site and sent them an email asking for info, however that was over 2 weeks ago but haven't heard anything as yet.

I am considering purchasing a DSPS from a shop here in Canada, but the shotgun looks a little sketchy (from the pic they sent; unfortunately they are about 1500 miles from where I live).

I have only seen one of these for sale here in Canada, this one is $369 Cdn or about $310 USD.

I am attaching the pic (its not a close up pic :-( ), I hope a few of you might take the time to have a look at it and let me know what you think. The first thing that struck me is that the finish of the barrel doesn't seem to match the finish on the receiver. I have e mailed the shop back asking if its just the pic or what. I have also asked them if they will let me know what the serial # is and I will call Ithaca and ask them if it was manufactured as a DSPS or if its a put together gun. Unfortunately, here in Canada, everything has to be registered and as such a lot of people are reluctant about giving out serial #'s
I have been considering trying to buy one from the U.S. but it seems that a lot of people aren't too excited about selling to someone outside of the U.S. because the U.S. seller has to do some leg work to get an export permit.

Here is the pic:


Jesper Andersen

Fred Fuller
February 1, 2005, 01:55 PM
It looks like a 'parts gun' to me, from the pic you posted. Usually the parkerized finish on 37s is pretty uniform, not three shades different between barrel and receiver. And the furniture I would say is aftermarket, looks like Choate plastic to me.

No reason the gun can't be mechanically just fine as is, barrels are interchangeable as is furniture. But if you wanted it as it left the production line, it doesn't look to me as if this gun will fill that bill. I think your idea of checking with Ithaca is a good one.


February 3, 2005, 10:21 PM

Heard back from Ithaca, it is actually a model 87 DS Police Special manufactured in 1990.

Now hopefully I'll hear back frm Ithaca about the difference in colour between the finish of the barrel and the finish of the receiver, i.e. if it is put together special. The owner of the shotgun says the barrel is marked 'DS Police Special'


Jesper Andersen

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