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Which to choose: Uncle's 1966 Remington 760 or 1971 Ithaca 37?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by BluegrassDan, Mar 16, 2013.


Which to choose?

Poll closed Apr 15, 2013.
  1. 1966 Remington 760, .30-06, with same period Redfield 3x9x scope

    21 vote(s)
  2. 1971 Ithaca 37 Featherlight, 12 GA, full choke

    46 vote(s)
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  1. artee

    artee Member

    Apr 21, 2010
    Great Lakes State
    Wow! What a terrible problem to face. You're hunting needs for TN and all the lower 48 are really pretty well covered.

    Does EITHER have a special attachment for you? Did your great uncle hunt with you with either one? Did he ever share a story with you or your dad (or other relative) that involved one or the other? If so, or there is any other sentimental type value attached to one over the other, that would be my pick. That will give you the family treasure to share with your kids or nephews/nieces down the road.

    I have shot and hunted with a Model 37 for almost 40 years. My pick when I could finally get a "real" shotgun to takeover for my first, a .410. Worked all summer for a Mossberg 500 and when I had the money, $100, decided to hold out for the M37 12ga plainbarrel at $169. (Those were new, hardware store prices then) The next year, I added the deerslayer barrel. Great gun. Great combo. Fits like a glove. Light to carry. Quick to reload fast to swing. I believe the decades gives me the ability to see your needs and the advantages of each gun.

    If no sentiment can sway you, consider the Remington 760. The Redfield scope should be considered a classic, especially if it's a widefield with the "TV Picture" ocular. And more so if it has the AccuRange feature. These were the scopes of Hathcock and others in Viet Nam. This doesn't make them "best", just historic, a scope with a tale, a pedigree. And still a very usable and decent scope to hunt with to this day. I have wanted, and never got a 760. I've been around several friends and relatives with them and others with the auto 740 version. I think going to 4 lugs in the 7400 was an improvement for accurate mating of the bolt lugs and engagement surfaces, but the 760 was a fine shooting, Bolt-Accurate pump rifle. Fast. Good woods gun--faster follow up shot than your lever, and in a true All North America chambering of .30-06. And, a scope works better on that rifle for the important rifle to shooter stock fit then on a 94. Your eyes will likely change with age. You'll still be shooting that scoped 760 long after the 94's irons are a blur. As a young man of 20 or so, you can't be sure you'll be in Tenn or even the Southeast all your life. Maybe you'll go into the military. That 760 is in the most available chambering for North America, and really the World, is long range accurate and fast to shoulder, shoot, and hit with.

    I can not bash the Ithaca. Love that gun. But, let me point out a disadvantage of a mid 70s M37. They are mostly 2 3/4 in chambers and recievers. You're 3" 20 ga only lacks in low density (steel load) capability. Because of our non toxic laws, it's hurting for shell space for a non toxic and AFFORDABLE load. You really need a 3 in or more 12ga to clearly surpass a 3in 20 gauge. It may not even be safe to use steel in that M37. I've never been able to get either "re-invented Ithaca" to clearly approve steel in my 28in Modified 1973 barrel. If non tox hunting areas and game-types continues to spread outside of water fowl, you'll need a replacement barrel and "Half" the gun you sentimentally cradle won't be your uncle's at all.

    It's a tough choice, but my pick to keep as a working heirloom and remembrance of my uncle for 50 years from now would be the Remington 760 and Redfield scope.
  2. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    Is taking them both with the promise to pay off the second over the next few months an option? This is a family deal after all.

    Even if you end up selling it later on you would have the option of selling it within the family or to a closer friend of the family which sort of keeps the direct history of it intact.
  3. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    Mar 27, 2009
    nc mountains
    It is rare to have everyone lined up for one firearm. Just that says alot about the ithiaca shotguns.
  4. BluegrassDan

    BluegrassDan Member

    Oct 25, 2008
    Elizabethton, TN USA
    I really appreciate all of the thoughtful responses. Overwhelming support gor the Ithaca!

    Now that I've gotten prices from a few price guides and a reputable gun store, I feel pretty good about offering a price for both of them. If she'll let me make two or three payments it can work.

    I like having shotguns, but I'm really into handloading and shooting rifles. Having a new .30-06 die and a rifle to match would be just dandy. The M37 will be useful for thunder chickens.

    I'll keep everyone posted on how it progresses. Thanks again!
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