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 Post subject: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:16 pm 
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Here's a close look at the latest Ithaca Model 37 20 gauge, with the new (current) standard stock dimensions-- this time with a 26 inch barrel as well.

http://randywakeman.com/IthacaModel37twenty.htm


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:48 pm 
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Very nice article and great website. Sounds like an honest review, and a quality gun! Now how about I come look you up for some pheasant hunting while I'm visiting my wifes family on Thanksgiving near Rantoul? :D

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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:49 pm 
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Randy, The picture on the webpage is still on your c drive, so it doesn't show up on any computer but yours.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:38 am 
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Should be "all better." :oops:

Image


Buddy is fixated on the Ithaca Model 37, or is it his rooster?


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:54 am 
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Mr. Wakeman,

Thanks for giving such a complete, and factual review of the Ohio made 20 gauge Ithaca 37s. Very helpful also was the understanding and explanation given of the recent history of the Ithaca Gun Company and its development.

I could not possibly have described my experiences with my three Ohio made Model 37s, two 12 gauges and one 20 gauge, better than you did in this article. My personal experience and sentiments regarding the Ohio made Ithacas mirror yours in many respects. I also am eagerly awaiting the 16 gauge!

A poster on www.16ga.com just recently requested opinions of the new Ohio made 37s from those who have personal experience with them. I provided mine, but then discovered this thread, so I provided a link to this thread which I believe he will be most grateful to have.

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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:45 pm 
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I got to handle a few of the new Ithaca's recently at a large retail store in Ohio. I have as of yet to chime in on any of these "New Ithaca" threads. But I have to say I was very disappointed. I am glad to hear that the fine checkering is gone by the way side because most of it was already worn off just from people handiling it in the store. The wood was alright but I would have expected a better finish an if the jeweling of all the bolts looks like the three observed than just leave them unjeweled. I know this will bring out the people who say I have not a clue and that if I have nothing good to say don't say it at all but anytime someone questions something on this board people get all up in arms. As to being the finest 37 ever made I must say hardly. I own more than a few and I will take my 1951 20ga over any produced that I have seen.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:53 am 
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I'm not sure what relevance your comments have to the tested article? You don't seem to have any particular questions, it appears also that you've not so much as ever shot a current production Model 37. "Your" 1951 Ithaca was not the subject of the review, of course. You may well love your honey-dipper 2-3/4 in. fixed choke old gun, but there are several reasons for referring to the current Model as superior.

As far as "disappointed," well-- it sounds like a few clumsy gun-shoppers need to learn not to inflict rack-rash on new guns. Wood is just wood-- the originally tested Ithaca had fine-line checkering, was shot very hard, but had no signs of wear. Those looking for "highly polished plastic made by old world craftsmen" have other options.

Ithaca's have never been cheap-Charlie guns; they are costly to make. The current later 2008 dollar bill equates to only about 14 cents in 1951 dollars. Compare, and you just might find that the Ithaca Model 37 is a better value right now than it was back then.

Sure, it IS better. It is better machined, with better equipment. The barrels are substantially stronger, and the integral barrel lug is a quantum leap ahead of the old solid rib and vent rib models-- whether roll-stamped "Roto-forged" or not-- where most were plain barreled versions.

The current Ithaca of course is screw-choked, and steel-shot compatible. It certainly makes it a more versatile shotgun, and whether we like it or not "no-tox" is here to stay. Along with that you have 3 inch chambers-- desireable for heavier payloads for turkey, wild pheasant, or just for moderate 1 oz. no-tox loads for decoying ducks. The shells this shotgun dropped my roosters with so efficiently, a 50's Ithaca cannot even fire. The barrel twists off with no chatter or slop-- that is modern machining not generally available in the 50's. I don't know what your issue is with the engine turned bolt, but everyone who has gone over it feels it is a touch of class.

As for the wood, it is certainly far better than average walnut, though if it is furniture that you want-- it is certainly available. Grousen's latest guns are stunning examples of what you can have if you'd like.

Moreover, the problem with 50-year old "anything" is that they are no longer produced, and not generally available new-in-the-grease. Factory service, support, and warranty are often non-existent.

After 2,000,000 or so Model 37's produced, they are hardly obscure or unappreciated. What happened, though, with year after year is that corners were cut-- well-evidenced by roll-checkered shellac-coated Model 87's and the sometimes crude, very crude King's Ferry output. The cut game-scene engraving gave way to rolled engraving, and I can personally attest . . . quality control and customer service vanished. Nor were my King's Ferry guns steel-rated as supplied-- mine came with "lead-only" Colonial tubes.

With a history going back to 1880, we should all be glad that the magic is back in the Model 37. Too often we pay only lip service to our wish of quality-made, American made firearms. Guns get evaluated and graded on what they do, either way. That was the case in GT; that is the case with the review cited here.

It's not often that a very young company is responsive enough to make quick changes to better their product. Ithaca did just that, and they deserve recognition of that.

For a long time, over and over again, folks have asked when they can get a "really good" new Model 37 in 12 or 20 gauge. The answer is right now, anyway you want it . . . your own engraving pattern or a custom stock if you wish. That's a good thing; there has been no reliable production of Ithaca Model 37's since 2005 when King's Ferry folded up-- and it wasn't exactly reliable or good for years prior to that.

That's all a good thing, as far as I'm concerned, a very good thing. Nostalgia and "lifetime guns" are all well and good-- but many shooters look for current product that will serve their needs for their lifetime, not somebody else's.

I, for one, am delighted that Ithaca is back and busy shipping out quality guns. Who wouldn't be? They've never been more precisely machined, they've never been stronger, they've never more versatile, and they've never been made from better materials. Best of all, they've not been this readily available for several years.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:52 pm 
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Randy,

Your defensive "book" to a gentleman's honest opinion throws up lots of red flags for me! I certainly hope you have the purchasing power to keep the new Ithaca in business because they may need your help!

You've certainly kept me from craving one.

Tim


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:40 pm 
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ithaca4me; what store were you in that you were able to handle the new Ithaca's? Unfortunately they haven't come out in any stores around here yet. I had to order one to get a look at it.
bksht; Hope you change your mind the new Ithaca's are some kind of nice!

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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:55 pm 
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They had them at Fin Feather and Fur in Asland ohio. I believe maybe Valley in Strasburg has some and Jaquas has some also. Don't let Mr. Wakeman put you off to the new Ithaca bksht. I hope they succeed I did not just go to fiddle with one I had every intention of buying one until I seen one up close. They will get better they have to. But not buying one did turn out very well I spent the money on one of the Marlin XLR .410's.
Great gun too. So with adding that to the collectoin out of 20 shotguns only 2 are not Ithaca produced. I would say that 2000 dollar grade Mr. Snyder put a picture up of in the gallery has to be right up there as one of the finest 37's ever produced.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:57 pm 
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Everybody's entitled to their own opinion, and it is not my intent to disrespect anyone here.

I thought Mr. Wakeman's "defensive book" was a very well articulated explanation as to why he believes the current model is "superior". In his response Mr. Wakeman made numerous good points to specifically justify his argument which seemed very valid to me. I personally didn't see any "red flags" as he thoroughly supported his viewpoint. Mr. Wakeman took many aspects of the gun into account, articulated on them, and took issue with another poster's comments. That happens with regularity on these forums. This is not the case in this post, but what I don't understand is why folks come on to an "I Love My Ithaca" forum to blast their negative comments.

Similar to ithaca4me, I also have an older model 37. It is a 16 gauge M37R (solid rib) gun, made in 1952, that I also cherish, and will probably never sell. It does have the advantage of 56 years of "breaking in", and has a highly polished and honed action due to this. In fact my 1952 37R has the silkiest, smoothest pump action of any Ithaca I have ever had the pleasure of pumping. Yet my Ohio made M37s already have a wonderfully smooth action, are not even broken in yet, and the sky is the limit as to how silky smooth their actions will become with use. I have owned a couple of King Ferry guns, still have one, and I don't think they will EVER come close to the quality of the early 37s or the Ohio made 37s.

I don't have this information, but if someone does and would provide it, I would be very appreciative. Regarding the 2000 dollar grade gun, how much did it cost, in what year, and converted to real dollars (adjusted for inflation) what would be its present day cost? I don't think we are comparing apples to apples with the example given of this 2000 dollar grade gun vs today's standard grade gun.

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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:07 pm 
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One thing I can say about my review is that it is a review.

A little context: orginally, my comments about Ithaca on this forum had a few uninformed people calling me "an Ithaca shill."

When the Gun Tests article came out, again we had a few people making some very odd comments "Where's the Ohio cheerleading team now?" etc., etc. Not particularly intelligent or civil.

Anonymous comments are to be expected, of course. Welcome to Al Gore's internet.

A new version for 2009, and changes that are easy to discern and define as improvements. Back to the future, again, with weird speculations as to Ithaca's future, and off-topic non-reviews with the old good / bad bluster.

The first review, hardly a rave, was accurate. Changes were quicky made, the new version was tested, and the improvements documented.

Neither article was more honest than the other, nor were any special considerations given to Ithaca. I'm not related to them in any way. I just shoot, test, and document.

There are reasons for most everything. The value an individual ascribes to any one facet is of course what the individual defines as his needs or wants.

The reason for the review of the 2009 model is transparent. It is very recent, and there has not been enough time for distribution of them to hit the dealers in mass. For those interested in what the current product looks like and does-- there it is.

The rest is up to what the individual wants; nothing further. When more and more folks have the change to shoot with them, you'll see a tone more appreciative of where Ithaca is going. The merits of the current product speak for themselves. Naturally, you'll have to shoot and hunt with one to let them speak properly.

I still want a new 16 gauge, darn it. 8)


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:22 am 
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Randy,

Did you request specific drop dimensions for the stock on 2008 gun you reviewed?

The reason I am asking is that as of 1/27/2008 Ithaca still lists the old drop dimensions (DOC of 1.4" and DOH of 1.6") on their website.

I sent an email to Ithaca and Emily wrote back confirming that a
DOC of 1.4" and DOH of 1.6 "are the same on our new model 37s".


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:17 pm 
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I reviewed two M37's; the initial review was a three gun comparison in Gun Tests.

Just as stated on my site: They now have 1.5 inches of drop at the comb and 2.25 inches of drop at the heel (the first tested 37 20 ga. was 1.4 DAC, 1.6 DAH).

1.5 comb / 2.25 @ heel is what they are as standard equipment, but if you want the older style with less drop Ithaca will be happy to supply it.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:50 am 
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Randy, what's the word on the 16s? Anything official from Ithaca as to when they might be available?


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:06 pm 
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No one wants a new Model 37 16 gauge any more than I do; but I wouldn't look for it until the end of the year if not 2010.

It seems like the demand for the 28's is going to keep Ithaca busy for a long, long time.


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 Post subject: Re: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:35 pm 
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RandyWakeman wrote:
No one wants a new Model 37 16 gauge any more than I do; but I wouldn't look for it until the end of the year if not 2010.

It seems like the demand for the 28's is going to keep Ithaca busy for a long, long time.


10-4, and thanks. I'm sure they'll sell more 28s than 16s.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:39 am 
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I realize,,,I agree,,,that the new Ithaca 37's are the best ones they have ever made, that they probably aren't any higher (adjusted for inflation) than they ever were, and that the older guns come with fixed chokes, aren't steel shot rated, and have no warranty.

However, today at a pawn shop I bought a super, super nice 1955 20 gauge Model 37, with a 28" plain Mod barrel. $220 tax and all. It needed a couple of spots touched up with cold blue, and the varnish had peeled on the stock. After I took it all apart (for the first time since 1955), I saw that all the insides were new, it had all the blue on the slide handle, and was virtually a brand new gun.

I've already stripped all the old varnish, and started the Tru Oil process. Cold blue fixed the little spots on the barrel.

Why Ithacas are so cheap, at least here in Missouri, I have no clue. Right beside the Ithaca was a ratty old Model 12 twenty gauge, with about all the blue worn off, and sporting a Polychoke. The asking price on the Model 12 was $425.

Go figure!


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:09 pm 
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superxone; If you run across another one of those Ithaca 20ga's for around that price would you let me know? Everyone around here seems to want $400-$550, and quite honestly I'm just not going to pay that much.....I guess I'm cheap. Thanks.

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 Post subject: re: Ithaca Model 37 Twenty Gauge Review
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:32 pm 
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Today I ran into a truly 98 percent or better condition Model 37 field with a plain barrel. It's a 16 gauge, full choke, 28". Serial number nine hundred some thousand, late sixties.There are couple of scratches, small, on the wood, but it's nearly unfired. He wants $389. But,,,,it's very, very high condition. About as high as they get, if they aren't new in the box.

There is a sheen of "newness" that a brand new gun has, that it will loose in only a few outings. This thing still has that "new" look all over it. Shame about the few little scratches. They'll look a lot better with some Tru Oil on them. :wink:

(By the way, my "new old" 20 was so stiff, that I had to shoot almost a full box of shells to get it to feed properly. It would stick a shell that was trying to feed, somewhere on the chamber rim, I guess. I took it apart and steel wooled the end of the chamber, and felt some wire edges on it, so I scraped them off with a pocket knife. Whatever I did seemed to work, because it feeds flawlessly now. I didn't know that a 37 had to be "broken in". )


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