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 Post subject: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Been a Model 12 fan for most of my life. The other day a gunsmith brought to my attention what he regards as the superiority of the Ithaca 37 design and construction.

I could get excited about trying one. Main concern is possible negative features for the clay shooting sports. Does the bottom load/eject and not being able to drop a round directly into the chamber become a major annoyance?

The 37's I've looked at are all older guns with the cut wrist checkering and grooved forearm. Do more recent models offer advantages over the early 37's?

Thanks.


Last edited by Hoppes#9 on Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:25 pm 
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If you don't see a pump as a horrible handicap, it's a fine gun...


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:31 pm 
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The Model 37, fine gun that it is, is not as user friendly for target shooting as the Model 12. If you are already used to a Model 12, you won't like the 37.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:48 am 
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Ole Cowboy wrote:
The Model 37, fine gun that it is, is not as user friendly for target shooting as the Model 12. If you are already used to a Model 12, you won't like the 37.

Could you be more specific?


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:37 am 
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Basically it has to do with the ease of loading a shell into the chamber and the "perceived" safety in doing do on the Target Field. The Model 12 is fool proof easy and the Model 37 can be a nightmare.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:13 am 
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A "nightmare"? Hardly.

On a slide-action shotgun, action open incapable of firing is spotted by anyone (who isn't blind) from a very long distance by the position of the forearm next to the receiver. That is such a very rudimentary level of firearms understanding that, if not possessed, handily disqualifies anyone from being a range officer.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:46 am 
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Nothing was said about not being able the see that a pump has the action open. :roll: What I was referring to was the ease of loading a shell directly into the chamber, one being easy and the other not so easy.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:06 am 
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Which is true, of course, but as the original poster mentioned it-- sounds like he knows how to load a M37. The same is true of a BPS, naturally. As far as "skeet, other clay sports" . . . either you're too lazy to pump, or you're not. For trap games, old M12 trap models are generally favorites as they are heavy.

The lighter weight and no side-opening in the receiver for stuff to fall into is part of what has made the M37 a field favorite, along with ease of loading into the magazine for those that are troubled by flaps. The heavier weight of the M12 is part of what slowed its sales; just not the lightest thing to carry all day.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:13 am 
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I shoot skeet and trap regularly with my Ohio made 37s and don't experience any handicap at all. For skeet, once on the station, I close the action, load two shells into the magazine, press the forearm release lever, pump once, and I'm ready to go. It takes longer to type it than to do it. On doubles, I have found the second shot to be no problem at all. In fact, I think the "pumping the gun" provides me a nice cadence or timing on my doubles.

For trap, after shooting a bird, I remove the empty hull from the chamber, close the action, load one in the magazine tube, press the forearm release lever, and immediately OPEN THE ACTION. The action remains open until it is my turn to shoot. I then close the action, mount the gun, and call for the bird. After the 5th shot at each station, I do not load the magazine with one shell until I am on the next station. My gun is always completely unloaded with the action open as I am changing stations, as it should be. I've never had any shooter complain of any alleged unsafe gun handling/practices. I have a 34" Hastings barrel that I use on my designated for trap 37, and shoot this gun on trap better than I have ever shot any other trap gun I have owned.

For sporting clays I shoot my 37 for fun as well. But I must admit that a pump gun on some of the sporting clays doubles is a handicap when others are shooting O/Us and semi-autos. If I am feeling in a competitive mood, I will shoot my Browning 425 Sporter with its 32" barrels on sporting clays. The newer Ohio made 37s feature Briley choke tubes, which are advantageous on the sporting clays course when comparing the older 37s to the newest ones.

Being a Model 12 fan, you will most likely really appreciate the high quality of the new 37s being made in Ohio. The 37 is now being made on CNC machinery to tighter tolerances than ever, with the finest of materials ever as well. Check out Ithaca's website for how they are building their shotguns these days:
http://www.ithacagun.com

The new 37s being made in Ohio with Briley choke tubes do have heavier barrels than the older fixed choked barrel guns, which is a good thing for the skeet and trap shooters among us. Ithaca is now making a trap specific model 37 which I believe is also a bit heavier than their field model 37s, with heavier butt stock and a higher monte carlo comb. Ithaca also offers a choice of barrels which give different heights of P.O.I.s. The newer Ohio made 37s also have an extremely slick pump action right out of the box, reminiscent of the older guns before Ithaca's cost cutting measures started in the late 60s /early 70s.

The only other negative in my opinion of shooting high volume with the 37 is its relatively lighter weight compared to most other trap and skeet guns, which can affect recoil. To counter this, I reload light loads, 1 ounce for trap with my 12 gauge, and 3/4 ounce for skeet with my 20 gauge, and slow them down to about 1140 fps.

I don't shoot registered birds. I shoot for fun, and shooting an Ithaca 37 low gun on the skeet field, besides being great practice for upland birds, is about as much fun as one can have with a shotgun, legally of course! I use 37s for all my upland bird and deer hunting as well.

Sorry for the long response, but I wanted to try to answer all your questions.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:47 am 
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RandyWakeman wrote:
either you're too lazy to pump, or you're not.


Are you saying that a pump isn't a handicap? How many decades has it been since the world shoot was won by someone with a pump gun? Why do you think that is?


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:08 am 
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Handicap to what? Having fun? Side by sides don't win a lot of belt buckles, either, but that's no reason not to enjoy them. Your car might have an automatic transmission, easier and "better"-- but a five-speed manual can be a lot more fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:18 am 
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RandyWakeman wrote:
Handicap to what? Having fun? Side by sides don't win a lot of belt buckles, either, but that's no reason not to enjoy them. Your car might have an automatic transmission, easier and "better"-- but a five-speed manual can be a lot more fun.


Both pumps and SxS can be a lot of fun, but you will agree that they are detrimental to good scores, no?


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:34 am 
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In trap, obviously not, in skeet-- slightly, far too many people can run the field with pumps to call it a ridiculous handicap. In sporting clays, yes-- and there are handicap shoots as a result so you can enjoy what you want and still compete (Connecticut Travelers Sporting Clays Association handicaps: 12 ga=0, 16 ga=3, 20=5, 28=10, 410=20, SxS=+5, pump=+5).

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:14 am 
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RandyWakeman wrote:
in skeet-- slightly, far too many people can run the field with pumps to call it a ridiculous handicap.


A 25 straight is just a start in skeet. I'm not aware of anyone having used pumps to run a 400x400 or more...


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Rubbish. It is called both fun and good shooting.

Just how do you expect folks to both practice and enjoy pump guns, by leaving them at home? Rudy Etchen broke the first 100 straight at trap doubles at the Grand-- in 1950. With a pump, the 870. Etchen's longest run at skeet was 104 targets. On one foot. With one hand. With a M12.

If you don't practice with pumps, you won't get proficient with them or enjoy them. Certainly, just because you have fun with a pump doesn't preclude anyone from using another gun, another action the next day or the next round.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:20 pm 
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The worst safety nightmares I've witnessed on a skeet field is some novice trying to use a bottom dumper pump gun!!


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:35 pm 
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RandyWakeman wrote:
Rubbish.


Ok... so the best you can cite is 100 straight. That's not a bad day shooting, but every single day dozens of 100 straights are shot in this country. The 400X400 and higher come much less frequently. I've asked you to provide the name of the last person to shoot a 4x4 with a pump gun... until you can do that, don't dismiss my statement as rubbish. Even if it's only 1/100th of 1 bird per 100, the pump gun *IS* a handicap, if it weren't, there would be top shooters using them.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:05 pm 
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No, I was referring to Rudy Etchen: http://www.joeletchenguns.com/records.htm.

You seem to have completely lost sight of the original posting, coming from a Model 12 fan interested in using a M37. The question wasn't from a white-knuckled, red-faced, bug-eyed ultimate competitor-- it was from a veteran slide action shooter considering doing the same with an Ithaca M37.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:12 pm 
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I love 37's slickest pump gun around. Some snobs feel if you don't shoot a p gun or a k gun you are two steps lower than whale crap. I could swear it says ithaca lovers only. It makes some people happy to demean others, have fun shoot your ithaca.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 for Skeet, Trap, other Clay Sports
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:51 am 
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Admittedly, obnoxious gun snobs are a pet peeve. They constantly drive people away from hunting and shooting and I mean constantly.

While everyone was apparently sleeping, the pump-gun has been the All-American gun for the last century. Whether it was the 1897 in the trenches of WWI, the M12 in WWI, duckbill M37's in Vietnam, or Mossberg 590's the pump gun has played a huge historical military, social, and sporting role. It is, by far, the most popular shotgun action type in the United States and has been that way for a very, very long time.

It has been versatile, reliable, and affordable. It has introduced many families to both hunting and shotgun sports. It makes a superb general HD firearm. It has set all kinds of records for those that like to obsess over those things, with Rudy Etchen perhaps its greatest representative along with the great Herb Parsons. It drives bigots bonkers when it has set records in trap doubles or wins the Grand-- when the first 100 straight in trap doubles was accomplished by Rudy Etchen, it wasn't that O/U's and autoloaders didn't exist. More the Indian than the arrow.

No wonder younger shooters get turned off by hopeless curmudgeons that can't contain themselves at lecturing at what is an amatuer shooting event. It is food for the soul when the kid with Dad's side-by-side or pump runs the field, and the red-faced "serious shooter" is left carping about late pulls and a bird that flew a couple of inches out of line with the stake.

There shouldn't be a darn thing wrong with Dad and the kids taking in a couple of rounds of trap, skeet, and trying some 5-stand sporting in the same afternoon. If your club doesn't welcome that-- it is time to find a new club, well past time.

As for safety, gun unloaded and breech open before you shoot, the same after you shoot, with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. It isn't that tough. If you aren't growing the sport, you're part of the problem.

Soapbox off.

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