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Thread: Ithaca M37 - WWII or Vietnam?

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    Contributing Member Promo's Avatar
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    Ithaca M37 - WWII or Vietnam?

    Can someone tell me from that pictures if it's a WWII or a Vietnam M37?









    Thanks,

    Georg

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    Senior Member Jim's Avatar
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    Based on this shotgun serial number list,/web page, it would appear as if the receiver was manufactured in 1943.
    Here's a link to that reference. I don't know about the other stamps.

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    Really Senior Member Tom Doniphon's Avatar
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    It's maybe one of the riot guns sold to Vietnam in the early 1960s. They had both a normal Ithaca serial number on the receiver as well as an S prefix number on the face of the receiver and the barrel. The S prefix was usually hand stamped. But these may or may not have also been US marked with the P proofs. Does you gun also have the S prefix number on the receiver face?

    The N in a box mark looks like a Czechicon proof mark found on shotguns.

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    I believe this one is not original military at all.
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    Speedgunner,

    Can you clarify upon what fact you believe that? No, it's not my shotgun, just doing research on it.

    Georg

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    The markings would indicate VN era. But it is hard to tell if it is real.

    The S/N on the right side of the receiver does not indicate WWII manufacture. All guns made well after WWII had the serial on the face of the receiver, not on the left side.
    Guys fake a lot of stuff, but the serial on the left side of the receiver almost certainly makes it a VN gun, since the lowest factory number on non military guns found in that position are probably in the 900,000 range.
    Also, the VN guns had a short stock with a rubber recoil pad.

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    Senior Member Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scosgt View Post
    The markings would indicate VN era. But it is hard to tell if it is real.

    The S/N on the right side of the receiver does not indicate WWII manufacture. All guns made well after WWII had the serial on the face of the receiver, not on the left side.
    Guys fake a lot of stuff, but the serial on the left side of the receiver almost certainly makes it a VN gun, since the lowest factory number on non military guns found in that position are probably in the 900,000 range.
    Also, the VN guns had a short stock with a rubber recoil pad.
    Actually, his serial number, 69446, does indicate WWII manufacture. The serial number blocks for the model 37 run to 1943 (63,001 - (69446) - 69,999) then they gap to '46.
    Just for the sake of FYI because it has no bearing here, Ithaca did continue shotgun production in '44 & 45. They just did not maintain any serial number records for them for those 2 years. I got this from Ithaca customer service. I asked because my shotgun's number (90241) fell in that gap and I couldn't account for it.

    Now, I am not saying his shotgun is 'real'/correct, I do not have the knowledge for that. Neither can I vouch for serial number location. However, my (probably) 1945 model 37 commercial model, (not military marked) shotgun has the serial number on the front of the receiver, not on the side (as mentioned above).
    My 1945 mfg gun (the barrel was cut down, it is marked "full." Note too, that, unless I'm mistaken, that is not a standard Ithaca recoil pad.)
    Last edited by Jim; 05-23-2011 at 11:08 AM.

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    Really Senior Member Tom Doniphon's Avatar
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    The info about 1943 serial numbers running from 63,001 rto 69446 is not entirely correct. There are many WWII Ithaca Model 37 shotguns in the high 64,000 serial number range that were shipped in the last half of 1942. There were even a few guns shipped that were in the 70,000 range. These were long barreled guns.

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    I ain't no expert. I just cited figures from this reference- http://www.ithacagun.com/pdfs/serialnumbers.pdf linked from the Ithaca Gun Company site. http://www.ithacagun.com/

    I'm interested in learning more about these guns. May I have your reference please?

    I'm not too surprised to hear some were long barreled guns. The AAC used trap and/or skeet shooting to train aerial gunners to lead their shots and traditional long guns were used for that. Whether any particular make or model were used I have no idea.
    Last edited by Jim; 05-24-2011 at 04:04 AM.

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    Really Senior Member Tom Doniphon's Avatar
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    The source of the info is the Ithaca WWII Military contract shipping records. The vast majority of the Ithaca shotguns shipped to the Military during WWII were long barreled shotguns.

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