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 Post subject: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:29 pm 
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All my new ithaca needs to hit the field is a plug in the magazine. Is the brownells universal plug ok?

How do I install it? Not familiar on how to take apart ithaca. My 870 was easy but looking at the instruction on the net the ithaca looks a little tricky.



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 Post subject: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:53 pm 
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Dunno about the universal plug, but it should work fine. After all, a 5 round magazine is going to be roughly the same length no matter who makes it. So a plug to limit it to 2 rounds should be the same regardless of make.

As for taking down the 37, it's easy. With the action open, screw down (towards the receiver) the magazine cap on the end of the mag. Watch where the tip of the magazine cap meets the barrel lug. Once the cap is clear of the lug, rotate the barrel a quarter turn. The barrel should come right out. Then, just unscrew the cap the other direction. Be careful at the end of the threads as there is a spring in there and it can send the cap flying if you aren't holding onto it. Put your plug in, reverse the directions, and check to make sure you can't load more than 2 shells. If not, then you're good to go. Check out the ithaca subforum here for a lot more info.


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 Post subject: Re: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:59 pm 
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stobes21 wrote:
Dunno about the universal plug, but it should work fine. After all, a 5 round magazine is going to be roughly the same length no matter who makes it. So a plug to limit it to 2 rounds should be the same regardless of make.

As for taking down the 37, it's easy. With the action open, screw down (towards the receiver) the magazine cap on the end of the mag. Watch where the tip of the magazine cap meets the barrel lug. Once the cap is clear of the lug, rotate the barrel a quarter turn. The barrel should come right out. Then, just unscrew the cap the other direction. Be careful at the end of the threads as there is a spring in there and it can send the cap flying if you aren't holding onto it. Put your plug in, reverse the directions, and check to make sure you can't load more than 2 shells. If not, then you're good to go. Check out the ithaca subforum here for a lot more info.


i don't think the barrel just comes right off . It was made in 1940 before the interchangeable barrels.I'm not sure because i can't pick up the gun till next week.

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 Post subject: Re: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:02 am 
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stockranger wrote:
i don't think the barrel just comes right off . It was made in 1940 before the interchangeable barrels.I'm not sure because i can't pick up the gun till next week.


I've got a '49 model, also well before the interchangeable barrels, and it comes out with a quarter turn. If the barrel is fixed to the receiver then there is a problem with the gun.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:24 am 
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oh ok . I guess the barrel just has to be fitted to the gun because it has to be headspaced or something like that ? ok then i'll order the plug

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 Post subject: Re: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:32 am 
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stockranger wrote:
oh ok . I guess the barrel just has to be fitted to the gun because it has to be headspaced or something like that ? ok then i'll order the plug


I assume it was something like that as well. One thing to be aware of is that the mag cap can get stuck on the end there really bad. You may well have to soak it in something for a while before you can get it off. There may be a tool to help with it, but I'm not familiar with it. I just use fingers and force. Once you do get it off though put some sort of lubricant or something on the threads so you don't have further problems.

If you have problems getting stuff set up drop me a pm and I'll send you some photos of mine in the disassembly process.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:36 am 
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yeah i want to take it all apart to clean and inspect. If i get stuck can help me put it back together ?



https://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store ... spx?p=1232

I was looking at this one . Has anyone tried it ?

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 Post subject: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:01 am 
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I'd be happy to help as much as I can. When I got my gun I took it apart as much as I felt safe, which did not involve removing the stock and going into the receiver. I had a smith do that. If you plan to do that I suggest you go over to the ithaca subforum and talk to guys who are experts on the 37.

As for the plug: For reference, I'm running a 20 ga. 1949 model. I assume your '40 20 ga. is very close, if not identical to mine in dimensions. I have a black plastic plug. Some sort of universal model, but I don't remember what brand. It is exactly 6 5/16" long. With it installed 2 (2 3/4") shells fit fine, and a third can be pushed in about 7/8". Of course the third shell does not enter fully, so it is legal. Based on those measurements, you need a plug that is at least 5" long (technically anything longer than 4 13/16", but we'll round up for simplicity's sake) and up to 7" (again, technically less than 7 3/16", but we'll round down for simplicity's sake. Heck, a dowel rod small enough to fit inside the mag spring between 5 and 7 inches long will take care of you. So, I'm sure that universal plug will work for you. But it is by no means your only option, and if you're looking to save a few bucks on shipping and parts you can do it yourself in a matter of minutes.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:44 am 
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ok sounds good

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 Post subject: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:36 am 
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You don't need to buy a plug. Just cut a stick and put it in there. Select a tree branch that will go inside the mag spring. If necessary, take it out and shorten it until you can get 2 shells in the magazine with a little bit of extra space, but you can't get 3 in.

I did that about 50 years ago, and the plug still works fine.

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 Post subject: Re: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:54 am 
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Seamus O'Caiside wrote:
You don't need to buy a plug. Just cut a stick and put it in there. Select a tree branch that will go inside the mag spring. If necessary, take it out and shorten it until you can get 2 shells in the magazine with a little bit of extra space, but you can't get 3 in.

I did that about 50 years ago, and the plug still works fine.


That's right. Who's going to see it anyway? If you want a little more weight out front, you can use something heavier. I used a strap decoy anchor as a plug in the magazine of my 20 gauge auto. I like the feel for skeet and dove shooting.

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 Post subject: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:27 am 
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Just measure the inside diameter of the spring in the tube and go to local hobby shop and buy the appropiate dowel for a buck ,cut it round over the ends.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:33 am 
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Do not, under any circumstances, cut a green stick and insert it as a plug. As it dries out, the moisture will wreck havoc with your magazine innards. I saw what it did to a friends Auto-5. Use a plastic or hardwood dowel rod.


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 Post subject: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:44 am 
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The complete take down is not too hard on the 37. You have to have the right gunsmith screwdrivers to keep from messing up any of the screws, and you can use a socket extension to remove the stock. It's a square bolt on the older ones and a socket extension and a cresent wrench on the other end worked for me. if your not comfortable or have a stuck screw or some of the like, a gunsmith shouldn't charge too much for a complete takedown and lube. If you have the time to be there with him, then he can show you how for future reference.

Takedown guides are availibe online and in print.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:48 pm 
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16'er wrote:
The complete take down is not too hard on the 37. You have to have the right gunsmith screwdrivers to keep from messing up any of the screws, and you can use a socket extension to remove the stock. It's a square bolt on the older ones and a socket extension and a cresent wrench on the other end worked for me. if your not comfortable or have a stuck screw or some of the like, a gunsmith shouldn't charge too much for a complete takedown and lube. If you have the time to be there with him, then he can show you how for future reference.

Takedown guides are availibe online and in print.

Good luck!


i would just send it to a smith to take it down and clean once every 10 or 20 years but i don't know any around here that work on ithaca. A smith could easily do a half a$$ job and i would never know because its all sealed up in the reciever.

I have a large selection of screw drivers but you think i would need something special ? It looks real tricky. I noticed 1 or 2 of the reciever screws is a little messed up. would be good to replace those I am thinking.

i was wondering if maybe i should just mail it to ithaca and they can clean it, inspect, and replace any worn parts.atleast i know i can trust them to do it right and do a good job. I wonder what it would cost to ship something that big?one of the ithaca instruction manuals says if you have to do more then take the barrel off mail it back to ithaca or take it to a smith.

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 Post subject: re: Ithaca 37 plug?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:54 pm 
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Though you don't see them nearly as much anymore the Ithaca 37 is/was the longest running production shotgun out there. I don't have production numbers, but I can guarantee that the 37 is one of the top five selling pump guns of all time. Any gunsmith who doesn't know what he's doing with a 37 shouldn't be in business. Find a smith in his 40s or older who works with a lot of shotguns and I'll guarantee he knows his way around a 37.




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