My Ithaca double barrel is finally done!


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forindooruseonly
May 1, 2012, 01:58 PM
I've always wanted an Auto-Burglar, but I just can't justify the price right now. So, after losing out on the last one I saw at auction I decided I'd just try and build something similar and make a sawn-off shotgun.

What I didn't want to do was just hack down an old shotgun without really thinking about it or putting much thought into it - I definitely didn't want some piece that looked like it came from the evidence locker after a botched hold-up. I set out to build something nice, as ridiculous as that sounds, so I set some ground rules. I definitely wanted a gun without a through-bolt in the stock, just because I didn't want to deal with the hole and how I'd have to shape the stock around it. Second, I wanted an older gun with a nice patina to it rather than a newer gun. I also wanted a splinter foregrip and checkering. After considering all that, I found that many of the cheap doubles out there were unsuitable for what I wanted. Ithacas seemed to fit my wants, and while the 20 ga. guns - which I originally wanted - commanded a premium, the 12 ga. versions were relatively cheap and plentiful.

Here's the another issue I came up against that I didn't expect until I started seriously looking to cut down a shotgun; I found I didn't want to butcher a perfectly nice older American shotgun. The guns I found were in two camps: generally in disrepair, or very nice and not deserving of the axe. The quest became not to find a nice shotgun, but one that I wouldn't feel guilty about butchering. I looked for one already bubba'd for Cowboy Action, or one that had been damaged in a way that left the core good enough. This is harder than it sounds. After a year of looking, I found an Ithaca Flues that had some monster dents midway down the barrels. I don't know what in the heck happened to it, but it certainly got whacked. The stock had been "refinished" at one point. I'd found my gun.

I filed my Form 1 and waited. Around six months later, bored and wanting a project, I went ahead and sawed the stock off. We used a power saw to get rid of the bulk of it, then whittled the rest down to a shape I wanted and finished it off with sandpaper. We scuffed the foregrip, restained both pieces, and sealed the wood with a clear. Another month later, my stamp showed up, and I took the barrels to a local smith who chopped them to 11 inches, reinstalled the bead and filled the gap between the barrels. The goal was still to make something as nice as possible, with a vintage look to it. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a263/Forindooruseonly/Ithaca3.jpg

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a263/Forindooruseonly/Ithaca1.jpg

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Rail Driver
May 1, 2012, 02:18 PM
Watch out for that latch when you shoot that thing. I don't recommend shooting it one handed.

Looks like a smashing candidate for some chamber adapters - you can get 12 to 20ga, 12 to .45LC, and there are at least one or two companies that will make you any insert you can stuff in the chamber/barrel as long as you're willing to pay what they're asking.

BEAUTIFUL gun.

MasterSergeantA
May 1, 2012, 02:22 PM
Very nice! You have given me some food for thought as I have wanted to do the same thing for a while.

oneounceload
May 1, 2012, 04:09 PM
Looks like a smashing candidate for some chamber adapters -

Can even go down to 28 or 410 as well

nice job on the stock

TurtlePhish
May 1, 2012, 07:33 PM
That's a beautiful and really classic sawed-off. Be careful when you touch it off...

Better give us a range report! And video!

DammitBoy
May 1, 2012, 07:46 PM
That's a beauty. How much did the gun originally cost you with the beat up barrels?

Swing
May 1, 2012, 07:59 PM
Very nicely done. :)

PoserHoser
May 1, 2012, 09:05 PM
New favorite :what:

bluethunder1962
May 1, 2012, 09:13 PM
So cool. I was just sending mssgs about buying one, Just to long of a wait. You going to shoot yours. I have a stage coach shotgun and still haven't worked up the nerve to shoot it.

huntsman
May 1, 2012, 09:55 PM
looks great, have you shot it? The Flues had a reputation of cracking frames with heavy loads so what are you going to shoot in it?

forindooruseonly
May 2, 2012, 02:27 AM
Thanks everyone for the great positive feedback and compliments! I tried to make it something a little special when compared to the typical Stoegers and such I see cut down and I wasn't sure how people would react to it.

Watch out for that latch when you shoot that thing. I don't recommend shooting it one handed.

I've heard the horror stories - I'm planning on a firm two-handed hold!

Looks like a smashing candidate for some chamber adapters and Can even go down to 28 or 410 as well

That is something that I hadn't even contemplated. I will definitely look into that, especially since I originally wanted a 20 - but a 28 sounds interesting - maybe shoot that one-handed...

Better give us a range report! And video!

I will! But I don't have a video camera...not sure people wanna see my ugly mug anyway. I'll see if I can come up with something.

That's a beauty. How much did the gun originally cost you with the beat up barrels?

I found it on gunbroker, and after shipping and stuff, I was into it right at $300. $300 plus the $200 tax and the $50 the gunsmith charged to chop the barrels - so $550 total.

looks great, have you shot it? The Flues had a reputation of cracking frames with heavy loads so what are you going to shoot in it?

I haven't yet. It's been raining here and I don't feel like fighting the mud to get to my range. I was warned about the Flues by a couple of people. It'll see mostly light field or skeet loads, with maybe the occasional reduced recoil buckshot loads. I'm definitely not a recoil junkie, so I doubt it'll see much of anything stout.

Honestly, I'd be surprised if it gets shot much at all. It's kinda one of those things that I've got that will get put in the safe and I'll crack a smile when I think about it - it's cool, but it's also ridiculous - but in reality doesn't get shot all that much.

Prince Yamato
May 2, 2012, 10:07 AM
Can someone post a link to shotgun chamber adapters? I never even knew such a thing existed.

huntsman
May 2, 2012, 10:50 AM
Honestly, I'd be surprised if it gets shot much at all. It's kinda one of those things that I've got that will get put in the safe and I'll crack a smile when I think about it - it's cool, but it's also ridiculous - but in reality doesn't get shot all that much.


yeah that would make me smile also :) I don't think it's totally off the wall, it can also be a SD tool once you determine the best load for you.

scramasax
May 2, 2012, 11:03 AM
Very nicely done.

Cheers,

ts

forindooruseonly
May 2, 2012, 01:04 PM
it can also be a SD tool once you determine the best load for you.

Maybe, but I've got a personal hang up against using any NFA item for SD. I'm scared that it would turn it into something else in the eyes of the public if a zealous prosecutor or journalist tried to make a point of it, and I don't want to be the guy that put NFA items on the map like that - even if it was justified.

Besides, I'm not sure it'll do anything my $150 police trade-in Mossberg won't do ten times better :)

manithree
May 2, 2012, 03:23 PM
Can someone post a link to shotgun chamber adapters? I never even knew such a thing existed.

http://www.gaugemate.com/

My son loved his .410 gaugemate in his H&R while he was working up to 20G. He was 9, and the youth model is LIGHT, so even 20G is kinda stout in it.

Sam1911
May 2, 2012, 04:10 PM
You know, that's about the prettiest I've seen. Very well done!

DammitBoy
May 2, 2012, 07:14 PM
Thanks for the reply indoor!

TurtlePhish
May 2, 2012, 09:59 PM
See if you can find .45-70 adapters. THAT should be fun. :evil:

Prince Yamato
May 3, 2012, 12:35 AM
Heh... So I could build a 12 gauge sbs and put in the .22lr adapter and fire rat shot out of it?

whitethomas
May 3, 2012, 08:28 AM
Hey! Thatís really a good job!

forindooruseonly
May 3, 2012, 12:43 PM
See if you can find .45-70 adapters. THAT should be fun.

Ha! I like to think of myself as a manly man, but that does NOT sound fun... In fact, I'd rather go with Prince Yamato's suggestion.

I did shoot it yesterday with Winchester field loads of #7 1/2 shot and 1 1/8 oz. It wasn't too bad, even one handed. The shape of the grip makes it want to slide in your hand, so a firm grip is necessary. I don't think I'd try it with any high brass though!

oldbear
May 5, 2012, 08:35 PM
forindooruseonly, you should be VERY PROUD of the job you did. You took the time to find the right platform, thought out what your final project would be, and finally did an excellent job..

ACP230
May 6, 2012, 05:21 PM
If I had one I would have to try some hand-thrown clays with it.
Used to shoot them with a .44 Mag Contender and CCI Hotshot shells with nine shot, I think.
Lots of fun and we also hit a few.

hoohaa310
May 8, 2012, 01:53 PM
Dare ya to shoot both barrels at once! :what:

oneounceload
May 8, 2012, 04:15 PM
Can someone post a link to shotgun chamber adapters? I never even knew such a thing existed.


http://www.briley.com/side-kickchambertubesets.aspx

About the best there are

Seminole also makes their version, but the owners are in divorce proceedings and everything they make is in limbo for the time being

bbuddtec
May 26, 2012, 09:57 PM
Great job, and nice pics, looks like a super movie prop!


...wow

smkummer
July 15, 2012, 10:40 AM
You don't need chamber adapters if your a reloader. 7/8 oz. 12 gauge is a 20 gauge target load. Work your way up for a "business" load. Nice work, very classy and I am now looking for a burst barrel double for a prodject. While the auto/burgler looks somewhat odd with its grip/stock, I am sure it controls the gun better that the slant pistol grip from an original long gun.

forindooruseonly
July 15, 2012, 04:46 PM
I prefer the original Auto & Burglar stock, I've shot one and it's much better. It also looks better I think, especially the A models with the spur. The B models are more chunky and not so good looking. However, mine isn't as uncontrollable as I expected. I've shot high brass #6s out of it, and while a handful, it didn't draw blood. Two handed is definitely the better way to go.

Thanks for the compliments!

bubba15301
July 15, 2012, 10:14 PM
if it was made before 1929 you are not supposed to shoot modern ammo thru the old ithaca doubles

bubba15301
July 15, 2012, 10:16 PM
if it was made before 1929 you are not supposed to shoot modern ammo thru the old ithaca doubles and below a certain serial number on the flues model

forindooruseonly
July 16, 2012, 02:32 AM
The earlier ones are prone to cracking frames with heavy loads, so we'll see how long this one lasts. At a handful shells every once in a while, it'll probably last a bit. The point, however, is duly noted.

ColdDayInHell
July 16, 2012, 03:11 AM
Awesome!

Centurian22
July 16, 2012, 03:31 AM
Amazing! Simply beautiful work. I'll have to keep this in mind for a 'retirement project when I have much more time, and hopefully much more disposable income than I do now. Though $550 doesn't seem all that bad for something so eye-catching. Seems a shame to hide it in a safe, I'd be displaying it up on a wall or at least in a visible gun case (like wood and glass type).

Again truly wonderful work! Looking forward to the range report.

nneely
August 13, 2012, 03:16 AM
This is one of my next projects, I love it!

KevininPa
August 13, 2012, 09:12 AM
I always wondered how the Aguila mini shells would work out of a SBS:

http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/product_info.php/pName/100rds-12-gauge-aguila-minishell-7-12-bird-shot/cName/12-gauge-all-12-gauge

Always wanted to make one myself, even have a Western Arms SXS (Ithaca made these) that would fill the bill. Unfortunately, there just hasn't been enough disposable income lately for the tax stamp.

forindooruseonly
August 13, 2012, 10:32 AM
Thanks guys!

KevininPa - I have some Polywad 2 and 1/2 inch shells I'm going to try, but I think I'll order some of those mini shells just to see they work. Thanks for the link and reminding me of those.

Deltaboy
August 13, 2012, 10:41 AM
Thanks guys!

KevininPa - I have some Polywad 2 and 1/2 inch shells I'm going to try, but I think I'll order some of those mini shells just to see they work. Thanks for the link and reminding me of those.
Lovely work and it reminds me of the one our local judge kept under his bench when I was a kid. It is one of the nicest looking ones I have seen out side of the Texas Ranger Museum.

MasterSergeantA
August 13, 2012, 04:08 PM
The Aguila mini-shells work great out of any SxS double. Much lighter and more fun for smaller family members. I even run them in my Winchester 1300s.

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