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Ithaca Model 49 .22 Single Shot Rifle

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by moewadle, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. moewadle

    moewadle Well-Known Member

    I admit I am slightly obsessive and one gun I love, even though I am a 63 year kid, is the Ithaca 49 .22 Saddlegun which was sold from late 1961 to about 1979. I know a few things about the history of this firearm but what I am here for is to get information. I found this web site a couple days ago by entering the general keywords for "Ithaca 49 Rifle" and found an old information thread. However, I could not reply because I was not registered at THR so had to go out of the site to register. Now I cannot find that old thread from about 2-3 years ago. Anyway, in that thread an entry by someone who called himself Jagermeister replied to someone's question about the Ithaca 49. He had showed a page from some reference with a picture and a few paragraphs about the gun. Then it was said, I think in that information, or by Jagermeister that the gun is a simple single shot but there are a couple of things to know about disassembly or some parts can be damaged. So, I would like to have some instructions on disassembly and re-assembly of this firearm. Note that I have never dismantled a gun before but I have an inexpensive, worn 49 that I am willing to take a small risk with to learn about this gun.

    To add a bit of information about this firearm I can confirm from ads in two different guns related mazazines that the Ithaca 49 first came out in late 1961 and the MSRP was $19.95. It was originally made with walnut stock and forearm but at some point the walnut furniture was dropped in favor of some very blonde wood. I was told by a gunsmith, via email, in Ithaca New York that he was a gunsmith for Ithaca for 28 years and that the blonde wood was elm wood as he remembers from what was marked on the boxes of wood coming in to the plant.

    I had read one internet item that the Ithaca 49 was made by Erma Werke in Germany and then the wood was put on USA. The gunsmith mentioned above said that, No, the 49 was completely made in the USA but the Ithaca Model 72 Lever repeater was made by Erma Werke with the wood put on in USA.

    I have seen a lot of mistakes made regarding the information about the receiver/frame of the Ithaca 49. Someone on the internet referred to it as a zinc alloy. Anyway, the frame is anodized aluminum. That is why it has a look and texture different from the blued steel barrel.

    The 49 was made for so many years that I am guessing that many were sold as beginner's rifles and I assume there are a lot of used ones out there. I also see that Stevens made, or at least sold, an identical gun as the Stevens Model 89 for a few years after Ithaca discontinued their model. I wonder if perhaps there was some sort of agreement between the two companies in which Stevens perhaps put their name on a gun that they paid Ithaca to manufacture.

    As additonal related information Ithaca came out a few years after the 49 started being sold with a Model 49R which was a lever repeater. This was only made about three years. I read in a circa 1971 magazine a report on the 49R by a gun editor tested it. He remarked that it was not a bad gun except that the tubular magazine was made of PLASTIC and each time the loading rod was pushed down some plastic was shaved from the tube. I also saw an entry somewhere on the internet that the 49R was a piece of junk. This opinion seems to have some credibility because Ithaca stopped selling the 49R and promptly replaced it with the Ithaca 72 which, as stated above, was made in Germany with wood put on in USA.

    I am just now realizing that there were apparently two variants of the 49, not including the different types of wood used. The variants seem to be that one type has the phony tube magazine extending virtually to the end of the barrel so that that the forward barrel band is a one-piece unit which also includes the front sight. Then a second variant, which I have not seen, but have seen pictures are a 49 with a barrel that extends beyond the end of the phony magazine about 2-3 inches and may have a dove-tail of some type in the front of the barrel for a sight or ????

    Can anyone answer my questions or elaborate further on the Ithaca 49? Also, I will, but have not yet joined NRA, just got back into guns after a 20 year lapse and would like to know if NRA has files on this firearm. Thanks very much for any information you can give me. I am also interested in compiling serial numbers on the 49 so I can try to ascertain dates of manufacture of various ones. Thank you again. I am Moe Wadle email me at moewadle@yahoo. com
  2. ulflyer

    ulflyer Well-Known Member

    Moe: you're still a young feller....at least by my standards. Yep, I like the 49 as well and have had several over the years. I've never tried to take them apart other than removing the stock and forearm for refinishing along with the phoney tube. The receiver is riveted togather and I don't think it can be taken apart. I do see an allen screw forward of the lever which may allow removal of it. As to some tubes being shorter than others, on mine when I put it back togather the tube could be reinstalled more forward in order to give it a more flush fit, not even with the barrel but back about 1/2" or less. I've seen them both ways at gun shows and i think that may be simply the way they were put togather. Just guessing of course. Mine is an earlier one with a very nice striped walnut stock.
  3. moewadle

    moewadle Well-Known Member

    Question about how to remover forearm of the Ithaca 49

    Ulflyer, thank you for the information. Tell me, how do you get the forearm off? I took the barrel band off and figured I could simply pull the forearm off and it would not come. What else is holding it on? Thanks for the help on this. My email is moewadle@yahoo.com if you care to answer that way. Thanks, Moe
  4. KarlG

    KarlG Well-Known Member

    IF you are looking for the post with the blow-up of the Ithaca 49, HERE it is.
  5. moewadle

    moewadle Well-Known Member

    Question and Thank You regarding Ithaca 49

    Thank you to the originator of previous entry giving me the link to that older thread about the Ithaca 49. I would also like to contact Jagermeister about the information he gave in that old thread. Could you email me about the source of the two pages with illustrations of the 49 and the Stevens model and what you can say about disassembly of the Ithaca 49. Thank you.
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    I expect the ejector trip is broken, a common problem with those guns. When that happens, the ejector is pushed out by its spring as soon as the breechblock drops, and the result is as you describe. When working properly, the ejector trip holds the ejector in until the bottom of the block strikes the trip and pulls it down out of the notch in the ejector, resulting in the ejector being released and throwing out the empty case.

    Gun Parts lists the part as available at $4.10.

    I checked the old thread and find that I said neither the single shot nor the repeater were "worth a counterfeit nickel." I have had no reason to change that opinion.

  7. ktd

    ktd Well-Known Member

    I had an Ithaca 49 as a kid and it was a great little rifle. And I was one of those with dreams of AR15s and SPAS12s and Pancor Jackhammers. That 49 shot a lot of cans and frogs. We used to use it with CB caps all the time. Kinda makes me wish I had one now, I guess I am off to gunbroker or something to look for one.

    I doubt the receivers were ever made of zinc, does not sound right for the time, that person probably was thinking of the henry "remakes" that use zinc to cut costs. I found it a sturdy little rifle and it was fun to watch people get hit by the brass when it ejected straight back.

  8. Rex B

    Rex B Well-Known Member

    me too

    When I was about 13, my Dad asked me if I'd like a .22 for Christmas. I said "Sure!" and showed him an ad for an Ithaca 49. One of those was under the tree Christmas morning in the early 1960s. they cost right at $50 at that time in Albuquerque NM. I spent a lot of time with that thing walking the canals South of town where I lived.
    I sold that thing about 15 years ago, now I wish I had it back. I'm looking for the guy I sold it to, and also looking for another like it if I don't find that one.
    Solid gun, I don't recall any plastic, don't recall any problems at all.
    I bought a bag full of receiver parts for one of those on ebay a few months back, not sure why. If anyone needs any parts, let me know.

    Rex B rex at txol dot net
  9. SteelyNirvana

    SteelyNirvana Well-Known Member

    Sears gun

    I stumbled across this thread looking for info on my Sears Roebuck gun. What I have is a Sears Model 2200 Lever action .22 cal No 101.538830 it apears to be an Ithaca Model 49. My father said it was my first ever christmas present back in '81. I was looking for parts for it which I think I have because in all diagrams I have seen it is an Model 49. Just thought I'd add this info to the mix.

    Brian Craig
  10. Odie808

    Odie808 New Member

    what would one of these be worth, later model light colored wood.
  11. ulflyer

    ulflyer Well-Known Member

    If its an Ithaca anywhere from $100 to 150 depending on condition and how bad someone might want it. Prob somewhere in between. Sears...I'd guess a little less. Take it to a gun show and start at 150 and see what you get offered. Dealers won't give you that, but folks looking
    are more apt to be interested.
  12. SteelyNirvana

    SteelyNirvana Well-Known Member

    Break down instructions?

    Has anyone got a set of break down instructions for the model 49? I need to replace the firing pin and ejector rod on mine,or should I go ahead and send it to the loacl gunsmith?. I would'nt have to replace the ejector rod but I goofed-up:banghead: when I was in my teens trying to break it down and haven't touched it sense.


    Brian Craig
  13. rustymaggot

    rustymaggot Well-Known Member

    i went thru horror after horror with mine, so i decided to write out instructions to save you guys heartache. i got my rifle in non working condition and i spent 2 years collecting parts as i broke em trying to fix other parts. im almost an expert on this darn thing by now. this is for the single shot version. ive never seen the inside of the repeating one.


    make sure you remove the pins in the correct direction. aka drive from the side without the 3 little chissle like marks or you will enlarge the holes more than needed.

    first remove the pin securing the lever

    remove lever and make sure you dont lose parts. there ois one rounded spring loaded pin pointed tward the trigger, and one spring loaded pin up in the hole in the falling block. rattle the bolt/block thingie untill the spring and small retaining pin fall out.

    the bolt pivot pin should come out now. if it doesnt, then the pin up in the little hole didnt fall out yet. mess with it until it falls out and the pivot pin just glides out.

    you can now remove the bolt/block thingie. DONT LOSE PARTS, THEY FLY OUT OF THE BOLT.

    now unscrew the hex screw under the reciever. that releases tension on the extractor trip. once tension is released you can drive out the really small long retaining pin at the farthest most part of the reciever.

    remove the extractor trip lever.

    now the extractor retaining pin, which also is the barrel retaining pin can be removed. dont lose parts, the extractor can fly out when you remove the pin.

    to remove barrel, remove front sight via screw under it. the fake tube is attached to the wood.

    remove barrel band and the wood slides right away.

    barrel removes with lots of work. dont eff with it unless you have a reason to remove the barrel, its alot of work for nothing.

    trigger and hammer remove by driving out the pins. hammer spring is located in the stock bolt area. remove buttpad and remove stock, unscrew metal thingie to release hammer spring tention. do that before removing hammer.

    reassemble in reverse order.

  14. Hemicuda

    Hemicuda member

    I have a .22 and a .22 Magnum in the Mod. 49... I re-blued, remainted, and re-finished the wood on one... the other is original... these things are SIMPLE, and like ANY gun, if you are gentle dissasembling and reassembling them, you won't break anything...
  15. rwilliamspop

    rwilliamspop New Member

    I'm new here and understand this thread dates back to '07, but I want to thank "Rustymaggot" for the break-down instructions on the Model 49 Single Shot. I was given a Model 49 by my father as a Christmas present in the mid 60's. I can't even fathom how many "shorts" when thru that barrel. I still see myself sitting on the back porch steps waiting on a blackbird to land in one of the pecan trees. Oh what memories. Dad's been gone since '96 but I can still hear his voice thru the screen door. Anyway, what else do you have but your memories.

    Again, if anyone picks up on this thread I give credit and thanks to Rustymaggot for his selfless act of kindness. Kudos to U friend!!!

  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    According to the book "Single-Shot Rifles & Actions" by Frank de Haas:

    "The receiver & finger lever (as well as the #2 barrel bands) are made of die-cast Zamak, which is a zink alloy."

  17. GeorgeR

    GeorgeR Well-Known Member

    Ithaca 49

    I have the 4 pages from the original Ithaca factory manual that shows complete takedown/assy. If anyone wants them, email me and I'll get them to you.
  18. dieselmech

    dieselmech Active Member

    hey what a great find on this thread. I have one that I found in a box while cleaning out a shed that is in good shape for the most part. I have one problem wich is that when the hammer will not stay ingauged and will fall when the lever is closed. If I manuely cock the hammer back and smack the but plate it will drop. Any idea's? gunsmith time?
  19. Rookie10

    Rookie10 New Member

    RE:Ithaca Model 49

    I was browsing and found this site. Had to post about the Ithaca 49. My dad traded a couple of pocketknives for one when I was 11 or 12. He eventually gave me the gun, which probably wasn't much, but I absolutely loved. When my parent's home burned in 1985, I lost the Ithaca gun along with several others. If I could have a handful of items back, the little gun would be on the short list if just for the memories. I don't own a lot of firearms now, but wouldn't mind finding one at a show just for old-times sake.
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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