Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Are Ithaca shotguns worth it?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Archangel14, May 19, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    581
    There an Ithaca 37 Home Defense model at my LGS going for about $650. Nice, solid, holds 6 (I think).

    But right next to it is a suped-up Mossberg 500 that holds 9 shells. The price is $420.

    I've shot my Mossy 500 plenty, and it's been flat out reliable. So I ask, is the Ithaca worth it at $650? Or would I be throwing money away based upon the "idea" of having something cool?
     
  2. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Messages:
    21,221
    Location:
    AL, NC
    They're worth it to folks who like Ithacas. New ones (again called 37s, in one incarnation they were called 87s) have an MSRP of $685. I don't know if you're looking at a new one or an old one. Whether it would be worth it to you or not, I don't know. https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/re...un-a-classic-12-gauge-pump-action-powerhouse/

    By the same token, you have your Mossberg chops down pat, and that's worth a lot. There's nothing at all wrong with a Mossberg, if it will do the job you want it to do.
     
  3. flylo

    flylo Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    I have both you're looking at only my Ithaca is a older Lightweight. The older 37s you can hold down the trigger & when you pump it fires every time when the breech closes. Very fast but I bought the mossberg for home defense. Also china Norinco made a copy I bought several years ago for $100 new of the Ithaca but it had the dissconector like the new ones. Unless your a lefty I'd buy the Mossberg. JMHO
     
  4. VA27

    VA27 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,855
    Location:
    Slovenly Manor, Dungheap-Upon-The-Hill
    As much as I like Ithacas if I were you I'd stick with Mossberg for one reason. You're already used to the safety on the Mossberg. I know that sounds silly, but missing a shot 'cause you're fumbling for the safety is not a good thing.

    I'm not a collector so wouldn't pay that much for an Ithaca no matter how nice it is. I picked up a 1967 5-shot DSPS from the LGS a coupla months ago for $125. Someone had chopped the stock off at the pistol grip. I picked up a used stock for $20 and a $1 bolt from the hardware store and it's right as rain now. It's a special order PD gun with a disconnector (no slam fire).
     
  5. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,672
    Personally I wouldn't spend over a couple hundred for any special purpose short barrel home defense/riot shotgun. If it was a nice featherlight with 26" or 28" barrel then maybe I'd go as high as $550.

    For a home defense shotgun that's going to sit in the closet for the next 40 years, will rarely be shot at targets and highly unlikely be used for the purpose it was purchased you are better off finding a cheap Chinese made H&R or other short barrel 870 or Ithaca clone and save yourself $400 or more.

    For my home defense shotgun I simply bought a 20" 870 riot barrel for $100, a 7 round mag extension for $30 and a barrel clamp for $5 to convert my hunting shotgun to HD gun but can turn it back into hunting configuration quite easily.
     
  6. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    581
    Actually, I take my Mossberg to the range with some frequency and plan on taking some shotgun training courses. It's not a safe queen. Still, I have this interest in the Ithaca. Is it just an old school "cool" thing that interests me? For a few hundred dollars less you can get many durable shotguns. I think I picked up my 500A for about $300 total (tax, fees, etc...). What makes the Ithaca worth the extra $350+. I just can't see what it is.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Nickel Plated

    Nickel Plated Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Messages:
    385
    For reliability and function, I'd say not. No mater how much money you spend on it, it won't do anything any better than a $300 Mossberg or Remington. Not to say it's not reliable, but it ain't $600 worth of reliable.

    I feel the Ithaca is the kinda shotgun you buy because you specifically want a shotgun that's built the way I feel shotguns should be built. Wood and milled steel everything. No plastic or alloy to be seen. Not necessary, but like you said, it's cooler that way.

    Sort of like a proper semi-auto G-36 clone. No better than a decent AR-15 but people will still pay the $2-3,000 for it because it's a G-36.

    If you want an Ithaca, then buy the Ithaca. If you just want a home defense shotgun, there's cheaper just as good options out there.
     
  8. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    18,681
    I'll take an older Ithaca 37 over a newer gun. The old ones could be fan fired. :D
     
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    8,995
    Location:
    USA
    To much $$ for an Ithaca. It started life as a Remington, they dumped it for the 870. If i remember correctly? Had a 16 & 12 ga. Had problems with both when new at the time. Yes, hold the trigger back & keep firing. Not a safe feature.
     
  10. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Messages:
    4,012
    Location:
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    I do not believe the barrels can be swapped on the tactical Ithaca either.
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    After 50+ years of shotguns, I'm just totally mystified how anyone can "Fumble" a cross-bolt safety?

    Either your trigger finger is on it, ready to push it off if you need to shoot?

    Or your trigger finger is inside the trigger guard on the trigger, before you are ready to shoot?

    If you are doing it the second way?
    You need more training with your shotgun, or any gun.

    rc
     
  12. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Messages:
    820
    243winxb please note the Winchester Model 12 will do the same thing and there are many out there that swear by the Winchester M12!!!
     
  13. Nickel Plated

    Nickel Plated Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Messages:
    385
    Seriously guys. This isn't a jet fighter here. If you can't operate the controls of a gun you probably shouldn't have one. if it's that big of a problem, then keep the safety off.

    But yeah, you can't swap barrels on newer home defense Ithacas. If you want to swap barrels. Either get an older DSPS or get a new hunting gun and buy an extra non-vented field barrel for it. Chop that down and you got a gun that can go from 18" defense to 26-28" hunting.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    I always thought a tang or receiver safety on a fighting shotgun was an abomination.

    If you have your thumb on top of the receiver where the safety is?
    It isn't wrapped around the pistol grip controlling the gun where it should be.

    Without your thumb over the pistol grip?
    You are a 90 degree twist away from someone taking the gun away from you.

    That's why humans have evolved with Opposable thumbs.

    They were always able to maintain control of fighting tools!!

    Had early humans been fighting with a Mossberg's safety on clubs & spears?

    None of us would be here tonight because saber-tooth tigers would have took our clubs and spears away from us after only one or two Mr. S.T Tigers Tactical weapons control classes pointed out the tang safety design weakness.. :D

    rc
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  15. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Messages:
    21,221
    Location:
    AL, NC
    What makes the Ithaca worth the extra $350+. I just can't see what it is.

    Because something costs more, doesn't necessarily mean it's worth more...

    Cost can be a function of many things, and worth might not be one of those things.
     
  16. Mitlov

    Mitlov Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    543
    @rcmodel--my Browning BPS (a field gun mainly used for sport shooting, not a fighting model admittedly) has a tang safety. I really like it. Why? One of the advantages of a bottom-eject shotgun like the Model 37 and the BPS is that it's ambidextrous. But cross-bolt safeties aren't. As a southpaw, I can't operate a right-hand-oriented crossbolt safety without completely removing one of my hands from the proper position. With a tang safety, I can flick it off with my thumb without moving my hands--right-handed OR left-handed.
     
  17. Arp32

    Arp32 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    454
    Location:
    Arizona
    Is the Ithaca worth a couple hundred more than a solid Mossberg? Probably not.

    Did I buy a beater M37 from a pawn shop and put $400 into new sights, replacing busted (and missing) internals, and refinishing it? Yes.

    Probably not a good financial decision, but it was only a couple hundred bucks and I got exactly what I wanted. Financially I was better off sticking with the perfectly functional 870 Express I used to have. There was nothing wrong with it. But no regrets here.

    It's not an investment. It's a shotgun. I say get what you want.
     
  18. ICE1210

    ICE1210 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Messages:
    87
    I'd get the Ithaca. An Ithaca was my first repeating shotgun. Passed from Grandfather to Father to son. I love the Ithaca 37 shotguns, I like the feel, the balance, the smoothness of operation. The Mossies just feel clunky and cheap to me. If you just want a cheap burglar blaster the Mossberg will serve. IF, however, you desire an " an elegant weapon from a more civilized age" get the Ithaca.
     
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    You noticed that too?

    For those of us who grew up on Model 12 Winchesters and Ithaca 37's?

    Well you hit the nail on the head just about square!

    rc
     
  20. natman

    natman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,466
    Read the original post again:

    The poster is recommending the Mossberg safety not because of some superior quality of its safety or because a crossbolt safety is difficult to use, but because the OP is used to it.

    That's sound advice.
     
  21. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Messages:
    820
    Natman when I shoulder a gun there are somethings I see and some I don't see such as:

    Don't see the browning hump on the A5
    Don't see the lever on my O/U's
    Don't see the hump on my Franchi AL48

    But when I shoulder a Mossberg pump the first thing in my line of vision is that ^*%* safety sticking out like a big wart.

    By the way I grew up with a M37 in 16gauge, one of the best upland bird guns ever made.
     
  22. natman

    natman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,466
    To repeat the point:

    It's not about whether you like the Mossberg safety or if it is a good design or not. It's what the OP is used to and it remains excellent advice that his HD gun has the same configuration as the gun he shoots regularly.

    I don't know how to make it clearer.
     
  23. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Messages:
    820
    Actually the original post was about Ithaca shotguns are they worth it?

    And not Mossberg safety's

    Ithaca's are made of steel not aluminum and plastic. They cost more because they take more machining to make.
    Tooling for aluminum lasts longer than tooling used on steel. A machined trigger group costs more than a injection moulded plastic trigger group:barf:.

    Parts machined vs stamped parts cost more.

    Yes I think a Ithaca is worth it:)
     
  24. murf

    murf Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    3,069
    Location:
    arizona
    just pretend it says "tactical" right after "home defense". now the price is just right!

    murf
     
  25. Sapper771

    Sapper771 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,266
    Location:
    11 up and 3 down
    I currently have two Ithacas, a 1950's M37 and a 1970's M37 DSPS. I have owned several Mossberg 500's, currently own a 590A1. Also own an old Scattergun Tech Remington 870, which is a sweet shooting machine.

    All do the job just fine.......but there is something about those Ithacas. They point and shoulder better for me than the others.

    If you are really wanting an Ithaca, check around. I have found older models on used gun racks in shops for under $400 in good condition.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page