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Thread: Ithaca 37 WWII? Nam era???

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    Senior Member Jim's Avatar
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    Ithaca 37 WWII? Nam era???

    I know this is a military shotgun forum and my shotgun does not have any military or Gov't markings. But I believe there is enough evidence to believe it has been in the wars, just no way to prove it. enough to justify posting it here? If not, then please accept my apologies.

    I am confused about the serial number. i have tried to look it up but get confused by the number among models. If I read it right, mine might have been made in 64/65.



    As a rule, the army in 'Nam did not issue shotguns for soldiers in the field. But if you had one, they would supply shells for them. I do know soldiers bought sporting shotguns at the PX and cut down the barrels for carry in the field. It is my belief that this may be one of them. (if I got the serial date right.)

    I refinished the stock with BLOicon. It was black with grime when I got it. Over all this gun has been rode hard and put up wet. There is wear on the internals that it has been shot a lot. By example, the positive shell stop is worn so that more than 2 shells in the mag will cause it to let 2 shells come out. That's a heck of a jam, let me tell you. (anybody know where I can find a positive shell stop?)

    The checkering is not straight, looks hand cut. The 73 and star. Home in 73? I bought the shotgun here in Texas. The roll 'engraving' is almost completely worn away. The blue is completely worn away, only finish is patina. The wear on this gun seems to me to far exceed that of a shotgun carried only for hunting, no matter how avid the hunter. The rough hand checkering strikes me as being done by someone with more time than skill on his hands- a soldier? The shotgun is marked "full" so is a cut down. The barrel and receiver serials match. The serial on the receiver is on the face or front of it.
    Said ser.# is 90241. The model designation on the barrel is "Ithaca-37" hyphen is part of stamp and there are no letters like S or T there.

    I hope my old gun is acceptable for this forum and that you all can provide me with some answers.
    Thanks whatever the case.
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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Gun Parts corp West Hurley NY may have the parts you seek. Look on line. I have seen guns like that before. Several different models too. They had been around fishing boats for a few years. There are several men here that will be able to tell you about your serial number and the possibilities.
    Regards, Jim

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    Senior Member Jim's Avatar
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    Last time I checked, Numrich was out of them.

    Am I supposed to be seeing a bunch of ads these days?

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    Senior Member Jim's Avatar
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    I can't seem to edit my topic. I just realized there's another thread with almost the same name. I mean, I looked at that topic too but by "realized" I mean that other didn't even enter my mind when I wrote this up. Probably a lot of folks will pass mine up thinking it's the other they already looked at.
    Shucks! What a mess.
    Can somebody edit the title since I can't seem to????

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    Really Senior Member Tom Doniphon's Avatar
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    You are correct about the date of mfg. (i.e., 1965).

    It's not martially marked; it's not in the correct serial number range; and it was a long barreled gun. So it's not a Vietnam era US Military contract shotgun. It's a commercial Model 37.

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    Senior Member Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Doniphon View Post
    You are correct about the date of mfg. (i.e., 1965).

    It's not martially marked; it's not in the correct serial number range; and it was a long barreled gun. So it's not a Vietnam era US Military contract shotgun. It's a commercial Model 37.
    Actually, we're both mistaken about the date. I went back and looked again. 1965 is a 6 place number. My serial is a 5 place. But it gets stickier there. Assuming the model 37 standard column, the serial numbers run to 1943- 63001 - 69999, (63,001 - 69,999) then there's a gap to 1946 which runs 92000 - 115350 (92,000 - 115,350) So mine 90241 (90,241) seems to fall smack into in that blank zone. What goes on there? I figured Ithaca was involved in other weapons production for WWII. But how then my shotgun???? The gap in numbers run 70,000 - (90,241)- 91,999.

    Is there any knowledge of war time production of model 37s?

  9. #7
    Senior Member Jim's Avatar
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    Heck! Now that I've posted this I seem to be doing everything I should have done first. Just paint me DUH!
    Anywayyy...

    I wrote Ithaca Guns. Even though under new ownership, there is a continuity with the ould company. They replied (in less than an hour I might add). Here's what they sent.
    Ithaca Gun Company Customer Service to me

    Dear Jim,
    During WWII, Ithaca was focused on producing the Model 1911 A1 Pistol for the U. S. Military. Ithaca did produce Model 37’s between 1944 and 1945, but they were not kept track of as far as the serial numbers. Your Model 37 would have been manufactured between 1944 and 1945.
    Thank You for contacting Ithaca Gun Company
    So there we have it.

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    I had a bit to do with some of these a few years ago.

    A bunch was shipped from Viet Nam to Australiaicon in the early 1990s. Sadly, most were destroyed in the great "gun crunch" of 1997.

    The VN lot had everything from early (WW2) to late (1960s) production guns, almost all "riot" configuration and many with a phosphated finish. There seemed to be a few variations in the breech threads from memory. Like the Stevens 77s from the same lot, many had very black looking wood. It seemed to me that in the case of the later-manufactured guns this was not dirt or age-staining, but a deliberate colouration of the timber, like the 77Es

    A couple of the 37s had heat-shield / bayonet mounts that looked to be correct for the type. These apparently escaped the crusher.

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