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 Post subject: (my gun) Ithaca 37 or 87 whats the difference?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:54 am
Posts: 94
So, last year I picked up a used Ithaca 12ga that appears to be an old police shotgun. Got it off gunbroker and it is sold to me as a Model 37.

The barrel has factory rifle sights and says Model 37 on it. The receiver is devoid of the traditional Ithaca game scene. The serial number is MAG-870042xxx.

The gun DOES NOT slam-fire. Well, it tries to. When the trigger is depressed, gun fires the shell that is in the chamber. While keeping the trigger depressed the slide is pumped. Once back in battery, the hammer has not been retained by a disconnector, but has ridden the bolt forward into battery and is now at REST on the firing pin with a live round in the chamber. The gun has not discharged a second time - has not slam fired.

My questions to those learned in the world or Ithacas:

Is this gun a Model 37 or a Model 87?

What's the difference between a Model 37 or a Model 87 anyway?

The plan for this gun is to register it and have the barrel cut down, repark and add wood. Don't know that I want to cut a factory rifle-sighted barrel. Can I buy a second barrel to be sacrificed?

The no slam-firing issue... is this a malfunction on part of the gun? Design flaw? Something that can be easily remedied? I'd like for it to disconnect or to slam-fire; the way it is right now is not safe.

...because every thread should have a pic of the offender


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 Post subject: Re: (my gun) Ithaca 37 or 87 whats the difference?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:19 am 
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Location: Northeast Ohio
After one of the bankruptcies, the new owners who bought the company in 1987 simply changed the name of the Ithaca pump from model 37 to 87. It's my understanding there were no changes made to the gun itself, other than renaming the model. After another bankruptcy the next new owners changed the name of the model 87 back to model 37.

Your receiver is of the model 87, and barrel of the model 37. I suspect the barrel is not the one that was originally on the gun when it left the factory. Or perhaps they wanted to use up their supply of barrels already stamped as a model 37. Who knows? Ithaca had a habit of making stock changes as well, then mixing up the buttstocks and forearms of different styles until the old supply was exhausted. No problem though with using your 37 barrel on your 87 receiver.

I personally wouldn't cut the deerslayer type barrel on your gun now. I would pick up an older plain barrel and have it cut to your desired length and have a new front bead put on it.

Back in about 1976ish the ATF requested gun makers to discontinue the slam fire feature, and Ithaca complied with that request.

I gleaned the above information from reading Mr. Walt Snyder's great book on the Ithaca 37 & 87. His book is worth every penney spent on it, and then some!


I hope this was of some help to you.

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I am thankful for the blessings and comforts of puppies and gun dogs, of good hunting companions, and the health to enjoy them all.


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 Post subject: Re: (my gun) Ithaca 37 or 87 whats the difference?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:44 pm
Posts: 1775
Location: Michigan
I have two 1975 Model 37's and they do not have the "slam fire" feature. If one holds the trigger back the hammer will follow the breach block as the action is closed.


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 Post subject: Re: (my gun) Ithaca 37 or 87 whats the difference?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:44 pm 
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the info.
Grousen wrote:
It's my understanding there were no changes made to the gun itself...

Your receiver is of the model 87, and barrel of the model 37...

Back in about 1976ish the ATF requested gun makers to discontinue the slam fire feature, and Ithaca complied with that request.

Be that as it may. Is it possible to "convert" the gun to properly slam fire?


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 Post subject: Re: (my gun) Ithaca 37 or 87 whats the difference?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:44 pm
Posts: 1775
Location: Michigan
During the cocking cycle the slide release engages a stud on the hammer if the trigger is held back. That is on the "slam fire" types. Ithaca just removed the stud on the hammer to prevent the "slam fire" feature.
You would have to add a small stud on the right side of the hammr so the slide release can hold the hammer back till the action closes. Watch the slide release when closing the action, it pop's into place locking the action closed. If you take the gun down you will see a small hook on the slide release, that small hook is the sear for the fire on closing (slam fire).


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 Post subject: Re: (my gun) Ithaca 37 or 87 whats the difference?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:12 pm
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Location: Hampshire, UK.
jaguarxk120 wrote:
During the cocking cycle the slide release engages a stud on the hammer if the trigger is held back. That is on the "slam fire" types. Ithaca just removed the stud on the hammer to prevent the "slam fire" feature.
You would have to add a small stud on the right side of the hammr so the slide release can hold the hammer back till the action closes. Watch the slide release when closing the action, it pop's into place locking the action closed. If you take the gun down you will see a small hook on the slide release, that small hook is the sear for the fire on closing (slam fire).

I have two M37 DSPS Ithacas. According to what I have read, one is a mere 12 months older than the other. (One is ~1983, the other ~1982, IIRC.) The older one slam-fires but the newer one does *not*. The things is, I seem to remember seeing the "stud" to which you allude on *both* guns. (I haven't actually had both guns disassembled at the same time.)

I had thought that the slam-fire facility had been disabled about that time and that I had two guns that straddled that era. Now, though, I reckon that *one* of 'em is malfunctioning...

Regards,

Mark.



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