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Ithaca back in business - in Ohio

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Preacherman, Feb 27, 2006.

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  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    From the Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghampton, NY ( http://www.pressconnects.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060207/SPORTS/602070332/1003 ):

    Tuesday February 7, 2006

    Back in business: It's now known as Ithaca Guns USA

    Dave Henderson

    The familiar but tattered Ithaca Gun name can once again be listed with shotgun manufacturing companies.

    It's now Ithaca Guns USA, LLC, and headquarters is Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

    The move from moribund to viable happened, or is happening, fast. When I ran across the Web site (http://www.ithacagunsusa.com/) last week, it was still under construction and I was only the 700th-something visitor.

    Craig and Floyd Marshall, owners of MoldCraft, a molding and tool and die company that makes plastic molds for fast food chains' salad bowls and the like, purchased the rights to the Ithaca Gun name, designs and inventory in December. Using their 30,000 square-foot CNC machinery-equipped plant and Ithaca Gun plans and specs, the new company is already turning out variations of the Model 37 pump that has been the flagship of the troubled Ithaca Gun name for early 70 years.

    "We've been in business for 36 years," said Craig Marshall from his office Monday afternoon. "We had the machinery and the know-how— and frankly I find the gun business far more exciting than molding salad containers."

    Ithaca Gun LLC, which was formed in 1995 to purchase the company's name and assets following the failure of Ithaca Acquisition Inc. in King Ferry, failed itself last summer.

    The company moved from its rented factory quarters in King Ferry last spring in anticipation of being purchased by a Rhode Island entity. When the deal fell through, Ithaca Gun LLC — which had defaulted on a development loan from Cayuga County and faced significant federal and private debt — closed its doors.

    The company's barrel machine was lost as collateral and most of the remaining tooling was sold off, but netted just $8,200. The Marshalls entered the picture in the fall with a purchase offer, and a deal was was finally negotiated a week before Christmas.

    "I think the former owners deserve credit in that they turned down a larger offer to assure that manufacturing would remain here (in the United States) and quality would be maintained," Marshall said.

    The guns are identical to those made in the past, but Marshall notes that the use of better steel and new manufacturing processes will improve the quality. The company is building variations of the Model 37 bottom-ejection pump and has plans to eventually redesign and build the Model 51 autoloader, the NID double and possibly the elaborate Knickerbocker trap design.

    They have a service department in place that will service all Ithaca models with the exception of the SKBs. The new company cannot honor the warranties on guns built by Ithaca Gun LLC, however, because of pending legal consideration.

    Ithaca Gun was founded in the 1880s and was managed for nearly 100 years by the Smith family until it fell on hard times and sold out to the company that owned Brunswick/AMF in the 1980s. That Ithaca Gun entity went bankrupt in 1986 and a Rochester-based corporation, Ithaca Acquisition was formed to buy the assets in 1987. That company moved the manufacturing plant from its original site on Fall Creek in Ithaca to a school building in King Ferry in 1989. Ithaca Acquisition failed in 1994 and Ithaca-based Ithaca Gun LLC was formed in 1995.
     
  2. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    The fact that a overpriced pump gun is their flagship -- oops ONLY -- product could be one of the problems with the company... It's a nice pump gun, but this isn't 1949.

    If they use that CNC machinery to make an American gun that is less expensive, equal or better in quality, prettier and easier to find than a new BT-99, they'll be on their way. A GOOD O/U design and some nice SxS upland guns for less money and in more gauges than Ruger's Gold Label, and they're good to go.

    What the American gun market DOESN'T need:

    1. $500+ pump shotguns.
    2. Yet another semiauto (unless it's something really creative and cool, like some must-have upland gun that swings like nothing else in the world, or some really unique Sporting Clays comp gun and even that is getting to be a really saturated market).
    3. Guns with full-page ads everywhere but don't actually exist. :)
     
  3. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    I am delighted to see an American company up & running again...particularly here in Ohio, where we have lost A BUNCH of manufacturing jobs over the last 10 years.

    P.S. Open note to Springfield Armory, Armalite, and other gun makers*** in The Peoples Demokratic Republik of ILL...If ILL-inois House Bill HB2414 gets passsed into law, follow the lead of Ithaca, and move to Ohio. We are still not as gun friendly as some other states, but we'd be glad to have ya move in & set up shop here.



    ***Rock River Arms & Les Baer Custom are also there, right?
     
  4. cmidkiff

    cmidkiff Member

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    I've got a Model 37 Featherweight, great gun. Glad to see them up and running again.

    Wonder if they sell that 'Law Enforcement' stock and forearm :)
     
  5. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    the question is who will buy ? take a poll on this board you'll find a ton
    870 expresses, alot less wingmasters, md12's and 37's. the market seems to be for $200. pumpguns.

    I looked at new ithica before and didn't think it measured up to the orginals. maybe these guys will make a true featherweight again, a 16 that is 6lbs with the 28" barrel.
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Here, we have a 3-shot limit for ANY shotgun hunting. Most states do, AFAIK. Doesn't do much for the desirability of a pump gun.

    I use a pump gun because it's what I've got. But I wouldn't go spend good money on a fancy one.

    An old Ithaca double, though...:)
     
  7. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    Guns Ithaca should make:

    -"Tactical" pump gun with ghost ring sights, mag extension, a 18.5" bbl and Piccatinny rails all over the place - including a package with a light
    -Shorter versions of the above - including a modular "system" like the Remington MCS
    -A new Ithaca Auto & Burgler - with specific instructions on their site describing how to apply for the federal stamps to legally own
    -A nice sub-$1000 double shotgun or two
    -A nice sub-$1000 double RIFLE in 45-70
    -~$300 16ga featherweight
     
  8. Headless Thompson Gunner

    Headless Thompson Gunner Member

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    Why are Ithacas pump guns so much more expensive?
     
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    They're not more expensive than the Browning BPS, a similar gun. But nobody actually buys the BPS, either. They're a different design from most modern pump guns, a JMB design I believe.

    Both have some sort of auto-feed feature so you can stuff all three rounds in the magazine and the first one gets thrown into the receiver. Kinda cool, but you still only get 3 shots when you're hunting (here anyway). And they eject through the bottom.

    It seems most shotgunners prefer pumps for cheap and reliable, or autoloaders/breakopens for higher-end.
     
  10. Wags

    Wags Member

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    Zzzzzzzzz. Old news and same news article as before. What Ithaca (Craig Marshall) needs to do is start putting products on Dealers shelves, and full page adds in popular gun rags to get the word out they are back in business. I'm excited for them, but will not purchase anything new until I start hearing how quality is and price. I wish them all the luck in the world.
     
  11. Wags

    Wags Member

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    ArmedBear: The Ithaca Mod 37 is a John Browning design, but there is a big difference between the Mod 37 and BPS other than bottom ejection.

    The auto-feed feature you mentioned is NOT related with the Mod 37 or BPS. It's the Browning Auto-5. Bad information your putting out here is not good for new shotgunners that are here to learn.
     
  12. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Sorry about the bad info. I thought the Browning-designed pumps had a similar feed design.

    Also, I wasn't saying the BPS and 37 are the same design; rather, I was trying to say that the two guns are in a similar league as far as current-production pump guns go, and that their prices are similar.

    My bad.

    Market-wise, the question isn't whether the 37 is "worth" more money, but whether most pump-gun buyers care about the difference as long as the 870 works fine, costs a lot less, and has lots of parts and accessories available for cheap.

    Also, if the Model 12 was still in production, it would be even more expensive.

    I bought an 870 for $235 new, and it's shot thousands of rounds at clays, and a good deal fewer at birds over water and brush.

    But my real money is going for break-actions, starting with a Browning I pick up Wednesday. High-end pump guns don't fit my needs or wants, nor those of most other people around the local shotgun ranges or hunting areas.
     
  13. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    I think that they would be stupid to drop the M37. When you say Ithaca, you think M37. There will always be a market for them...but its a niche market, not a growth market.

    So, I think they need to also diversify their lineup a lot.

    Mike
     
  14. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Oh yeah, keep the M37.

    But if a company banks its future on confronting Remington and Mossberg pump guns (and now Benelli Novas as well as various el-cheapo knockoff guns) head-on in the mass market, I'm not buying their stock!:)

    There's HUGE opportunity in the shotgun market right now. But that's not where you'll find it.
     
  15. Wags

    Wags Member

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    The Mod 37 is the current flagship for the name Ithaca. Granted they are a lot more expensive than the standard pumps now out there, but you have an all steel shotgun, lighweight, handfitted, and an action smooth as glass. No plastic parts, period. I have a 20ga from the late 1940's where the action will almost work itself when you stand the shotgun up-right. Try that with any other pump...... And the Deerslayer line are still IMO the most accurate slug guns you can find.

    It's a tuff sell when everyone is trying to save a buck marketing a new pump action product around $450 and up. Are they worth it? In some aspects yes. But Ithaca is competing against some established heaver hitter quality shotgun manufactures that are making quality products also and a few hundred $$$ cheaper. It's all in what the consumer wants or willing to spend.

    When I open my safe and I'm going small game hunting mainly birds, it's a no brainer here at the Wags household, grap an Ithaca Mod 37. Lug one around an afternoon sometime and you'll see why they are the prefered choice of some of the old timers ( and newer shooters also). And don't forget that quick 2nd or 3rd shot from the smoothest action you'll ever work........
     
  16. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Well I have to admit to being a bit of a contrarian myself; I was thinking about the mass market. Looking closer at the 37...

    Do you have any idea what the going price of a 37 English Upland 20 gauge will be?:)
     
  17. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    Might have to buy one. I've bought a BPS, might have to have the other bottom ejector. I always happy anytime something good happens with any firearms manufacturer.
     
  18. asknight

    asknight Member

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    "and has plans to eventually redesign and build the Model 51 autoloader"

    WHAT?!

    Why redesign it? Just bring it back! I love my dear old 51 Featherlight in 12ga. w/ 26" barrel. It is the ultimate upland shotty, and swings like a dream. I don't want plastic on my guns.

    I hope this plastic company won't turn Ithaca into another TUBAR shotty manufacturer.

    No, Ithaca doesn't "need" a tactical shotgun. Everyone else and their mama is doing that right now. Bring back the classics that we love, then start doing something more.
     
  19. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    It wasn't to many years ago when you could pick up a used one in good condition for $250. I'll bet if you looked you could find a 40-50's vintage model 37 for under $500. it will be fixed choke probilly mod or full
     
  20. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    Except a High Standard (or J.C. Higgins). They do it quite nicely.

    Still, the 37 was a very nice shotgun. I've owned one and used another (owned by my dad). I hope they continue.
     
  21. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    Nothing wrong with a niche market. Most people, myself included, don't think of pumps when the conversation turns to high-end shotguns.

    But the pump always seemed to me to be an American classic and an engraved version with select wood was something I always wanted to add eventually. The no side-eject made for a great canvas - Stephen Olin comes to mind, as example.

    For reasons I'm not at all clear on, the Ithaca could be made considerably lighter than the BPS. An American "fine game gun" if you will. Not as refined as the continentals, but distinctly American.

    I've got sufficient mass market guns.
    That Ithaca always did clean up real nice...
     
  22. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    From what I've read - at one time, Ithacas were THE police shotgun - probably because of the TV show Adam-12. It's a market they could re-enter. Push the all-steel and left/right-friendly bottom eject.

    Sure, there are a lot of "tactical" shotgun gizmos out there, but I think Ithaca could fill a gap with a pump gun that includes rock-solid, metal AR-like attachments using police and military to help in the design.

    Selling 12-ga pumps to hunters just is not going to drive enough profit to stay in business.
     
  23. Shweboner

    Shweboner Member

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    I had an older M37 Featherweight. It didnt really do much for me, the action wasn't near what my Mossy has. But it was 'nice' and it always worked. But it got downsized along with a few others in favor of something new.

    That being said.....

    I cannot wait to get my hands on one of these... depends on the price though..
     

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  24. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    A couple things...

    First, I'm glad there's an Ithaca gun company again. I do hope this one stays the course.

    The problem with any US made pumpgun is that it has to compete with Remington and Mossberg. That means it has to offer something the others do not.

    The 37 is a great shotgun. JMB designed the Model 17 as an upland shotgun, and the 37 followed suit. It's light, reliable, quick, and shallow enough in profile that it's a great pointer.

    The flat sided, uninterrupted design lends itself to ornamentation. The two fanciest pumps I ever saw were 37s, made to be presented to President Eisenhower. Asking price was over $40K. They were worth it, gold birds and all.

    OTOH, the Deerslayer variant was meant for slugs, but the full length Full choke given by the undersized bore worked well with buck, and many a point man in The Nam Mess thanked Heaven for his. The DS was the first open sighted fighting shotgun we had. Still a good choice out where the sidewalks end and the wild things are.

    Never owned a 37 but did fire a few. Decent triggers, smooth action and a well deserved rep for performance.

    If I ever get a non 870 pump, it'll be either a Model 12 or a 37.....
     
  25. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    The 37 fits the bill if your a lefty. I just found one used and abused for $175 but think I can get him down to $150. If so, Im gonna have to get it duracoated or something cause there is a bit of rust and the blueing is beat up. Still, for $150 + the cost of duracoating, it's gonna make a nice field gun for birds.
     
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