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Why not an Ithaca M37?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Boats, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. Boats

    Boats member


    After years away from having a shotgun around I am considering acquiring one. I cut my teeth with the Remmie 870 in the Navy, but being a lefty I think I can do better for my circumstances. I have always been intrigued by the Ithaca bottom feeder, or have thought about a Mossberg of some flavor.

    My questions about Ithaca shotguns are these: 1) Do they still fire as long as the trigger is depressed and the slide being worked? 2) Which flavor would make the best HD shotgun? 3) What should I expect to pay? I do not need any accessories other than to be able to night sight it or put a flashlight on it as I am not particularly interested in have any mag extensions or bayonets or anything.

    About the Mossbergs: How well do these hold up? I have heard good and bad about them. Is the 590 fragile? Could I butt stroke someone with it like I could the Remmie 870 and be confident it would still fire?

    Your answers are appreciated.
  2. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    The slam fire feature(actually a hazard to many) on the Ithaca pumps was eliminated prior to 1990.

    While a bit pricey, the 37 will last forever. The Deerslayer variant with its tight bore is commonly used as a cruiser gun.

    In the Floating thread at the top of this forum there's a thread about the Big Four pumps. You may find it educational.

    No shotgun makes a great impact weapon, but the 590 will hold up as long as an 870 will.

  3. romulus

    romulus Well-Known Member

    The Ithaca is a fantabulous pump...I would check the grip in your hand, though...the reason mine sees less action than my 870s is the extra wide curve to the stock's grip area, hard to reach the trigger comfortably...
  4. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Well-Known Member

    Why not? I can't think of any reasons. An outstanding gun made from solid chunks of milled steel. I own a few. Only think I can say BAD about the gun, if you can call it bad, is that it may be a bit light for proper balance on some people. It's also much harder to shoot trap with the gun. You can't just drop a round in the ejection port. You can still turn the gun over or single load into the magazine. Different manual of arms.
  5. Lancel

    Lancel Well-Known Member

    Got a 20 ga Ithaca 37; great pump shotgun and my favorite.

    The trigger is nice and crisp as opposed to mushy like Mossberg 500.

    Note that not only does it not slam fire but also you must release the trigger before pumping for it to fire at all.

    There are definitely more accessories for the Rem 870 though.
  6. Kahr carrier

    Kahr carrier Well-Known Member

    The original Winchester 1897 will slam fire if that is a feature you are looking for.:)
  7. Lone Star

    Lone Star Well-Known Member

    Ithaca M37's made before the gun was re-designated as M87 do slam-fire. Later ones don't. Too big a liability issue.

    Current guns are again re-named M37, I think, but don't slam-fire.

    Lone Star
  8. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Well-Known Member

    Mossies are pretty decent guns for lefties. they do have the advantge of being able to just toss a round in the ejection port, and they also have the unobstructed loading port on the bottom.
  9. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Well-Known Member

    Lone Star, the M87 designation doesn't have anything to do with the slam-fire feature. I don't know why they renamed it, but this was part of a reorganization, sale, or something else. I've got a slew of 37's, some pre, some post-M87 and I've also got pre-87 non slam-fire guns. Go figure. Non-disconnector guns will release the hammer early so that it will follow the bolt carrier forward instead of firing. The distinguishing characteristic of a slam-fire gun is a lug on the side of the hammer.
  10. romulus

    romulus Well-Known Member

    For what it's worth, the M87 designation derives from the organization in 1987 of Ithaca Aquisition Corp. out of the ashes of the defunct Ithaca Gun. The transition to the new Ithaca Gun Co. escaped my notice, but It's safe to assume that by taking on the original company name they also redesignated their most representative product with its original name, the M37...
  11. Mike-SoCal

    Mike-SoCal Well-Known Member

    A question and a comment

    I have an Ithaca 12ga pump bought two years ago. I can hold the trigger down and continue to dry fire the shotgun. Does this mean that ammo can be "slam-fired" or would one round go off and the rest of the shells ejected intact as I pump?

    Romulus: I agree with your comments concerning the extra wide curve to the stock on the Ithaca. With my large hands, I have no problem reaching the trigger, but find it less easy to position the wrist for the most comfortable feel when compared to the thinner grip of the 870.

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2003
  12. Lancel

    Lancel Well-Known Member


    You may just be cyling the action and not really dry-firing---

    You can observe the hammer movement by watching through the loading/ejection port while cycling (pumping) the action with & without the trigger pulled. Plus if you remove the barrel, you can see/feel if the firing pin protrudes from the bolt face when you cycle the action with the trigger pulled.

    To see if the shotgun you purchased is a new model made with a disconnector you can check the serial number by calling 1-888-9ITHACA.

  13. ajacobs

    ajacobs Well-Known Member

    Hmm, I bought an ithaca in 93 that was the model 87 only it was the police model with the extended factory mag (you can't add mag extensions to ithaca's do to their barrell attachment method) It does slam fire with live ammo. I wonder if this is something they kept in the millitary police model. I don't used the feature and don't see a practical aplication for it but I have done it for fun.
  14. Gila Jorge

    Gila Jorge Well-Known Member

    I have shot them along with Win 97s. The win 97s will slam fire...an abomination! The Ithacas that I have shot did not. I am not comfortable with the way they load. What about the Browning....?
  15. Mike-SoCal

    Mike-SoCal Well-Known Member


    Thanks for your comments.

    With the barrel removed, I can see the firing pin receed into the bolt as the slide is pulled back and then reappear as the slide goes forward. Best if I just go to an indoor range this weekend and test it out with live ammo. It's not that big of deal for me as I'm going to list it for sale and use my 870's.


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