Tell me about vintage Ithaca SxS’s

Mosin77

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
1,677
It’s me again, the shotgun dilettante who doesn’t actually use one much but likes the idea…. Local gun shop has a pair of Ithaca doubles, one in 20g, one in 12g. 12g has beautiful Damascus barrels. The prices are beyond reasonable (several hundred apiece.) One is a Lewis model in 12g, in extremely nice condition. The other is a Flues 20g in …cosmetically challenged… condition. Bores on both are immaculate. Any input from someone who has shot or enjoyed these? They are both guns that I could plausibly purchase for “investment” but would I want to buy or load reduced power shells and shoot them afield? The 20g is probably in the 5lbs range, the 12g in the 6lbs range. Ie the sort of guns one carries much, shoots little. I’m very attracted to the idea of scooping up one or both but not if I’m asking for trouble. The Ithaca NID seems well loved, but the earlier ones seem to not be as loved.
 
First question: Chamber length? Re the "Damascus" barrels. "Damascus"is a much abused term. Strictly speaking it refers to one of four patterns among many in twist steel barrels. That aside, you have to be sure the barrels are sound. Loads to be within the pressure range the barrels are meant for. I have a Flues 28 ga made in 1911, the first year for an Ithaca 28 ga. Loads are restricted, not pressure wise, but for recoil as the wrist is a bit delicate. The gun is scaled down as a lady's gun or a boy's gun. 3/4 oz OK, 1 oz verboten.
 
I bought them both. Figure I can always use low recoil loads or mini shells in the 12 gauge. This one is technically a Lewis 1 1/2 grade I think. No choke markings on the barrel flats of either gun. The 20g is so light, it feels like a .22.
 
I have an Ithaca Flues in 12 gauge. I like it. It shoots well though it does not weigh anywhere near six pounds…more in the 7.5 range. i do not shoot it as much since a found an old Parker that I like.
 
NID was the better modern 20th century shotgun. Flues and Lewis weren't considered a stellar design. A 20 ga NID would temp me.

I see you purchased both. Somebody has to rescue those old American made sxs shotguns. ;)

Have you checked the chambers on those? 2.75" wasn't a standard until the 30's here.
 
Last edited:
I have an Ithaca Flues in 12 gauge. I like it. It shoots well though it does not weigh any. where near six pounds…more in the 7.5 range. i do not shoot it as much since a found an old Parker that I like.
Not quite shure what you mean by the weight comment, but the British makers of the really really high end shotguns have a rule of thumb that a gun should weight 96 times the shot charge. 96 times a 12 gauge load of 1.25 oz is exactly 7.5 lb,
 
Not quite shure what you mean by the weight comment, but the British makers of the really really high end shotguns have a rule of thumb that a gun should weight 96 times the shot charge. 96 times a 12 gauge load of 1.25 oz is exactly 7.5 lb,

I think he was referring to my original offhand comment that the 12g Lewis is in the 6lb range. I still haven’t weighed it but they also had a 12g Flues with fluid steel barrels which I didn’t even mention, since it was missing the buttplate, sight bead, and generally looked abused… but that Flues 12 was very much heavier than the earlier 12g (which dates to 1904 by a serial number search.) The Flues 20 dates to 1911.
 
Thanks for clearing that up. I was, in fact, referring to the post about the Lewis.
 
Not quite shure what you mean by the weight comment, but the British makers of the really really high end shotguns have a rule of thumb that a gun should weight 96 times the shot charge. 96 times a 12 gauge load of 1.25 oz is exactly 7.5 lb,

Yes, but in London Best, 1.25 oz is a pigeon or wildfowl load and 1 1/8 oz is still pretty heavy. The usual game gun is shooting 1 or 1 1/16 oz in a 6 - 6.5 lb double.
 
Back
Top