Any Ithaca 37 Fans or Guru's.....?? What Might this Problem Be?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Nalapombu, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

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    Hey all,

    One of my all time favorite 12 gauge shotguns is the Ithaca 37 Police model. The one that has the 20 inch barrel, corn cob forend, those orange ramped front sights and the standard capacity mag tube. Don't know why, but I have liked them for a long time.

    So, every now and then I scrounge around looking at all the USED gun sources I can find to see if I can pick one up inexpensively. As you might guess, I haven't found one yet. I wouldn't mind getting one that needed a bit of work, some TLC or even a part or 2 that needed replacing.
    So I ran across a 37 Featherlight in 12 gauge with a 28 inch barrel, I think and the owner said it has some problems. He described it as fine shooting the first shot, but when the action is cycled, it freezes up and won't fire after that. No other details are given. I take it another shell was picked up off the carrier and loaded into the barrel or else why would he mention that it fails to fire after the first shot? I'm just speculating on that though. I'd need to get in touch with him to find out any other details.

    What do you think that could be? Lets say worst case scenario....the bolt and parts associated would have to be replaced....with a nice, functioning USED one. What do you think that would cost? Just a rough idea would be OK. I'm just trying to get an idea if it would be worth the gamble to get it.

    I wouldn't mind tinkering with it myself over time it it was something I could fix. I'd have to learn about it, but that would be part of the enjoyment of the project.

    What do you think?

    Thanks all.
    Larry
     
  2. skyfall

    skyfall

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    Ithaca Gun Co. has a web site and they sell parts and also work on older shotguns. I have an Ithaca 87 Stakeout(AOW) and they will work on it if it ever breaks.I have only spoken to them on the phone once,but they were polite and helpful.Give them a call.
     
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  3. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    I've had a Model 37 for so many years I don't remember where I got it.

    I'm a fan of the gun but know little about it's mechanics.
    So, sorry I can't help you with your problem.

    Ithaca laser and Red Dot.JPG

    Ithaca Mod 37.jpg

    Ithaca PGO.JPG
     
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  4. usnret

    usnret

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    It might just need a real good cleaning.
     
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  5. peng

    peng

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    When my brother and I were about 13 my Dad bought us our first shotguns so we could go duck hunting. I got a 870 and my brother the M37.

    I was jealous because his was lighter and the shells came out the bottom. I thought wow I bet that is so much better for hunting because it is protected from the elements.

    Boy was I wrong. That gun fired once and then jammed very frequently. I thought the mechanism was overly complex, maybe that has something to do with it. I don't think my experience is typical but your post reminded me.

    The 870 on the other hand never missed a beat, even when it had to be used as a canoe paddle or retrieved from drowning a few times.
     
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  6. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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  7. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    I'd rather see you buy a gun in better working condition. And while tinkering with guns is fun, I'm in favor of locating a good local gunsmith who works on guns every day and is good at what he does and is honest and not a bull****ter and won't over-charge you.

    Some gunsmiths are not actually dishonest but sometimes they don't work very fast and that can drive labor costs up, so when selecting a gunsmith talk to them about different projects first and see how they would deal with different scenarios.

    The gunsmith in my area is really good at what he does and I encourage as many people I can to go to him so he can stay in business. He never charges me much and sometimes will repair the gun while I'm there in the shop and will let me watch and ask questions.
     
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  8. Americanpatriot

    Americanpatriot

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    The only jamming I remember with my Ithaca and action jamming was Federal shells after firing jammed it up and was difficult to get spent shell out of chamber to extract. Only happened with Federal, don't know why. If this is what is happening see what brand shell was being used
     
  9. rock_castle

    rock_castle Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

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    I've had my 20ga 37 Featherlite for 40+ years and it's never had a single issue. I'm not even great at cleaning it either. I guess I'm lucky.
     
  10. skyfall

    skyfall

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    I also have never had a problem.I do rack my slide hard to the rear when I eject a hull and have used various brands and loads.My 2 favorite shotguns are the Ithaca 37/87 and a Winchester 97.
     
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  11. davsco

    davsco

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    not helping the OP here, but my dad and i hunted pheasant and rabbit with ithaca 37 featherweights for years (12ga for him, 16ga for me). don't remember any issues at all. i'm a lefty and appreciated the bottom eject. super fun times!
     
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  12. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

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    Thanks for the info and suggestions guys.

    The Ithaca 37 is just one of those guns that I have always liked and wanted. When I ran across this one and read the description, I thought that it might be a possibility. It could very well need a good cleaning, but it might be a more extensive problem. The chances of me getting it are very slim as he probably wouldn't sell it for what I am willing to give him for it.

    Borg, I don't mind having a gunsmith do the work if its something that I am in over my head with, which wouldn't be that difficult at all. I haven't found one close to me here in north west Houston. Sure, there's a sign on darn near every shop that says "GUNSMITH AVAILABLE" but upon further inquiry, they are not very personable or helpful and/or they charge an arm and a leg for small stuff that shouldn't cost what they are asking.
    I would really like to find a local guy or gal that is trustworthy and honest.

    Thanks again all for your help.

    Larry
     
  13. musicman10_1

    musicman10_1

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    I have 2 Ithaca 37 shotguns and they both dislike cheap Walmart bulk boxed ammo. They run fine with decent shells but the cheap stuff . . . not so much.
     
  14. skyfall

    skyfall

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    Since there have been no activity in 2 years,I must be the only one with an Ithaca 87 Stakeout. I have owned it since 1988 and it is still 90-95%.
     
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  15. PEC-Memphis

    PEC-Memphis Scottish Member

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    Doh ?
    Same here.
     
  16. billorights

    billorights

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    I bought a police trade in 37 many years ago for $125. Always loved the Featherweight. Carried it in my patrol car when they allowed us to use our own if we qualified with it.
    Back then the qualification was only five rounds of slugs. I put all five in the head of a standard FBI target. Traded it for a Stevens double .410 311A in unfired condition. That was the only reason to let it go. Wish I could have another one for that price.
     
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  17. banger

    banger

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    Over the years, I kept several fine old Police Ithaca shotguns in service.

    The problem I would encounter was..... From years of Police service, these shotguns were loaded and unloaded countless times.

    After unloading, the slides would naturally be run forward.

    Over the years, the bolt would impact on the interior of the receiver.... raising a burr.

    Over time, this burr would get more and more pronounced...

    Eventually resulting in the round not feed properly, or at time, at all into the chamber.

    Fear not though... this burr was easily removed and the weapon restored to firing condition.
     
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  18. Fla Trooper 265

    Fla Trooper 265

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    The first shotgun I was issued on the Florida Highway Patrol was an Ithaca 37. To say it was used would have been an understatement. All the blueing was gone and the stock was all beat up. But it worked and shot fine. Due to its lightness it was brutal to shoot slugs out of. There is no telling how many Troopers it was issued too or how many rounds had gone through it. But it most have been a bunch. The 37 is a workhorse of a shotgun.
     
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  19. IllinoisGun

    IllinoisGun

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    I bought a brand new parkerized 37DS back in 1982 and the rear sight leaf flew off after shooting at some crows the first time out in the field. I sold it 2 years ago for $600.
     
  20. Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt Millennium Member

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    My 37 was my very first gun. I went into the gun store in Santa Monica, Ca. Yes, you read that right. Small place but good guy running it. I was not 18 yet and I just came in every once in a while and gave him more money toward the purchase. He kept track of it in a paper ledger book . Some weeks it was only a couple of dollars but I kept on giving him everything I could. I had it all paid off and on my 18th birthday went in there and filled out the paperwork and went home with my new prize it’s still in my safe today and will never leave me. It is a police model as described by the OP. But I have kept it in immaculate condition it was brand new when I got it and it still looks that way. It was the shotgun I carried around during the Los Angeles riots never had to fire it during that time frame but it was nice to have, but that’s a story for a different day.

    One thing to add the only part I have ever replaced was the magazine tube spring. It was working fine I just thought it be a good idea to replace it I kept the old one anyway
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019