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Ithaca 37 Defender thoughts

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by ILannoyed, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. I'm curious what you guys think about this one. I've been shopping pumps for home defense and was drawn to the 18" riots. They feel much sturdier than the 870 express and aren't as expensive as the police magnums. Anybody have any experiences or opinions?
  2. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    I really like the old 37's but I've heard nothing but bad things about the new Defenders. The cheap 870's haven't gotten a bit cheap feeling but seem to be the most reliable available these days. I'd go with an 870. The new 37's are said to be pretty bad. I've seen too many broken parts on Mossberg 500's, so I'd have to say the Remington 870 would seem the best deal. The current Ithaca 37's are nothing like the originals.

  3. It's not that hard to find a good used older 37 at gun shows (at least in S. Texas). I bought a 12 this year that needed just a bit of work (new buttplate, new bead) for $200...$50 later it looks like a $400 gun. It had been cut to 18 1/4". I bought a pristine 20 for $375...and I mean 95%+. That one stays a bird gun. Point is, find a old 37 field gun in 12 gauge and have the bbl. professionally cut down...or do it yourself. Re-install the bead so it doesn't look half finished and go with it. I have a dozen 870s (Wingmasters) and the 37 is just as much, or more, gun. It's got that old craftsman-made feel to it. And it's a hell of a lot better gun than the 870 Express, IMO.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  4. sambeaux2249


    Dec 4, 2006
    They feel solid, and look pretty... that's about the end of the benefits of the current run. They are hard to work on. There are almost NO aftermarket accessories. Mine drops live rounds on the ground instead of feeding them about 25% of the time. You can't remove the barrel for cleaning, and there's no ejection port, so it's a huge pain in the ass to clean. They are ONLY available with a bead sight... *shrugs* I'm sure the older ones were better, but I really don't care for mine. I wouldn't use it for home defense except as a last ditch effort after I've gone through all my other shotguns.

  5. Thanks for the input guys. I'll have to find an old one somewhere and grab an 870 in the meantime.