Decision Time! And I need your help - 870P vs. Ithaca M37 Defense.

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If the 37 works better for you, that's great. I'm putting more emphasis on getting the first round chambered than in how fast the magazine loads, and for me that'd happen best in the 870 since the magazine is totally bypassed. Topping up the magazine after that's not too hard with a good follower, I prefer the stronger mag spring for more positive feeding.
Different instructors teach different methods, there is no One True Path, everybody has to figure out what works best for them.
I used to teach the shotgun at my PD & never had much problem in teaching the sideport combat load. I find it very simple to do & find it quite simple to do under stress.

This is all just me, other opinions vary.
DPris if I went with the 870P -- which sight combination do you prefer and why (obviously excluding the bead you hate)? I have liked the idea of the rifle sights with tritium bead --- but honestly I haven't tried one, and won't get the opportunity to until after I buy it.

It seems like going with the Gun Genie website is the only way to get 870P here in Mass ... I called around and it doesn't appear anyone carries them.
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Preferences differ when it comes to iron sights.
For pure accuracy with slugs, Remington's standard rifle sight option works well, but the problem I see with it is that it's slower to acquire & harder to line up precisely in low light situations. The notch is small & the front blade is narrow. If you have good light & plenty of time to line things up, they're great.

I prefer a ghost ring (relatively large rear aperture) with a substantial front blade or post. I want to be able to find that big post inside the open aperture in a hurry, and in most available lighting situations.

Tritiums can help in dimmer light, but if you only have a vial in the front blade it won't give you a rear point of reference to line it up with, and it can actually be slower in lowlight situations while you're devoting attention to get that wandering white dot planted in a rear notch or aperture.
A tritium front works better with a non-tritium aperture than a non-tritium notch.

My recommendation would be to go with some form of a ghostring, if you want a tritium front & can find a good match with the GR that might meet your desires.

Looking through a good GR gives you a broader centerpoint to put your front sight in, acquires faster than notch & post for most of us, and offers the ability to adjust your sights to efficiently use slugs.
Thing with just a bead is there's no repeatable rear reference point for consistent sight picture, and the bead may be regulated WAY off for slugs at any given distance. Slug weights, types, and nose profiles can also vary from each other in point of impact relative to the same point of aim. Adjustables can correct for that, a bead can't.

My old Winchester 1200's bead put slugs a full foot off my best point of aim with it at 25 yards, and was a major nuisance to try to qualify with. The plain 870 with elevated bead that replaced it could take me out to about 50 yards with some (not much) confidence as it sat, but the big bead would totally cover a head-sized target in doing it.

That 870 was later retro-fitted by the original Scattergun Technologies with their Track-Lok sights & it (along with the other two Remmies) are now sighted to put a slug of choice exactly where I want it at 50 yards while matching up with buckshot to 25 yards, and it leaves me a much better (less obstructed view) sight picture than the old oversized bead on its base.
Some prefer to zero for slugs at 75 or 100 yards, and you can go that route if you want. 50's good for me & what I want my guns to do.

One of the other 870s is an old Highway Patrol shotgun that came with a bead & now has Vang's LPA sights on it, the other is a newer Remington PMax with ghostring arrangement.

Straight rifle sights on a shotgun are OK for a hunting gun, in my opinion, but less effective than a good GR setup for defense.

A few thoughts...

Sights - I happen to agree with DPris, for the reasons he has described. In a nutshell, rifle sights are the slowest, and for the purposes you have outlined (defensive), you are almost necessarily talking about scenarios that are fast and close. You don't need rifle sights for that, and they are likely to be the slowest solution. Your earlier threads motivated me to dig out a 20" smoothbore/rifle sights 870 barrel I had stuck on a shelf and using it reminded me why, for me, it really doesn't have much use except for during the shotgun part of deer season. YMMV...

My experience with slugs and bead sights has been better than DPris describes, but I'd still go with ghost ring sights if I were drawing on a blank piece of paper. Either is likely to do the job, especially if you do your part. At the end of the day, though, any of the three will work if you put in time to learn to use them and keep those skills sharp through regular practice.

As far as the gun itself goes, again, the choice is yours. Any of them are likely to do what you want, and if you find you really don't get along with the gun, hey, it's just a gun - as you've found out, used ones find a home quickly. Sell or trade it and start again - it's just a gun, not a lifetime promise. ;) And that's why you really can't go wrong with the 870. If you love it and it works for you, you win. If you hate it and want to sell it, someone else will buy it in a heartbeat, and you win.

BTW, sent you a PM concerning a possible candidate.
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New Ithaca 37. May not be as "proven" but new 870's have proven declined quality so I'd go the other route...
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Not sure about the Ithaca but I own several 870s. I can say that for $800 I'll sell you any one of mine! In all seriousness you're way overpaying for $800. A stock 870 with extended tube is about $350-400. Figure in no more than $50-100 for any stock you want and that's $500 max.

I love my 870s. They all perform superbly and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one if I had it to do over.
I do not like having to load a round thru the magazine to get an empty gun back in action, period. I put up with it to have a 10 gauge BPS, and as soon as better non-toxic shot arrived, it was gone. No matter how many shots you have, the next one will be quicker with an 870. I also believe the 870 is more robust, requiring less maintenance of close tolerances to keep running. On a self defense weapon I could care less if it has any sights.
When I say 870 I mean a Wingmaster or a Police. Choosing between the Ithaca and an Express......... I wouldn't.
If you prefer the Ithaca you will probably be fine, too. Free advice is worth every penny.
The 870 is one of the most after-market supported firearms in history, second only to the AR-15/M16 weapon system.

You have the option of easily customizing your shotgun to fit just you!

This alone is enough to make me want one, even without considering the ease of disassembly, and the handy "combat-reload-thru-the-ejection-port" trick.

Also, I PM'd you about mag extensions.
I really like the Remington rifle sights on my 870, close up I look through them like an OEG, or just plain overlook them, for more distant targets I use them the conventional way. Great with buck and slugs both.

I still prefer a bead however if a lot of slug shooting isn't on the menu, though I don't have much use for Remington's clunky bead on a pedestal. I'm not a big fan of ghost rings, too "busy" and field-of-view blocking for my tastes.
Couple things--

As the owner of a new 8-shot Ithaca 37--syn stock

You can get the same thing in wood---I know because I had the choice of the 2 side by side---I went with syn stocks because it was $70 cheaper.

The syn stocks are made by Speed Feed using a Pachmayer(sp?) recoil pad.

The new Ithaca's are made better than ever due to CNC machining and higher grade steel.

I've never been one to hang a lot of do-dads on my guns--had a Remington with just shell carrier on it and hated it--carrier-not the gun----so the lack of accessories for the 37 is just fine by me.

I've had shells and/or the follower hang up on Remington's 2-piece mag tube more than once--rendering the magazine useless till you messed with it---bad thing if you really need it and not just out practicing-----the one-piece tube on the Ithaca is a major plus.

My 37 also has the slam fire feature of the old Ithaca's. The trigger is also waaaaay better than any Remington---not that a trigger matters much on a shotgun.
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37 defense all the way, i handled one the other day and it just felt right, almost made me forget i came in there looking for a gun for trap doubles. It was a black synthetic with an 18 inch cylinder barrel.
I agree with leadcounsel, an 870P with factory mag tube and either rifle sights or bead sights should MSRP way less than $800. I've last heard it was around $595. A few questions I would ask is;
Who has a better warranty?
Which model has better parts availability?
Which one has the features that you want available?
match14: The bead or rifle sights is somewhere between $700 and $800, but the ghost ring sights are quite a bit more (according to gun genie). I've read so many people hating beads and hating rifle sights, and it seems like GRS are somewhere in the middle, so I figured I'd go that direction.

I'm beginning to think the "decision" I started this thread to help with may end up being solved by whichever is available. I've tried to have local shops call their distributors to get pricing, and no one can find one!

If I had to choose between rifle sights and bead can anyone give me some advice here? I realize rifle is slower, but at least you can do slugs with them...
Have you tried calling Remington direct? They won't sell you a gun, but they may be able to help you find a dealer or distributor who can get you what you want.
If I had to choose between rifle sights and bead can anyone give me some advice here? I realize rifle is slower, but at least you can do slugs with them...

A couple of thoughts.

First, what range, what use? Your other thread suggests interior or at least very close range defensive use. Even though I prefer GRS, a bead is probably the premier sighting tool for that situation.

Second, you are aware that if you eliminate GRS from the mix, you don't have to choose? Why do I say that? Because you can easily and cheaply find both 18" bead barrels and 18-20" rifle sights barrels. The GRS issue is an issue because either you have the ghost ring rear (and, probably, a rail mount) on the receiver, or you don't, and you need a suitable front sight.

I'm beginning to think the "decision" I started this thread to help with may end up being solved by whichever is available. I've tried to have local shops call their distributors to get pricing, and no one can find one!

I know that feeling... :( But to say it again, it is very easy and pretty cheap ($100, less if you're lucky) to change from a bead barrel to a rifle sights barrel.
Well I own a few different SGs.
My 37 Deerslayer is fine! Fit's me very well and has some classic looks, lines and wooden furniture. I bought it used. Now 800 for an 870 is pretty high I think. In fact for 800 you can get a solid, great condition 870 as well as a solid great condition 37 and still have money for ammo, lunch, more ammo and maybe a movie!
Go with the one that FITS you best. Buy both of them used for less than 800 bucks and spend the leftover on ammo so you can become proficient with each.
Either way you'll be OK but not if you spend 800 on an 870.
Problem? Solution(s)!

Sorry, you're not just getting a Mossberg 500 Persuader, 590, 590 A1 at this point for WHAT reason?
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