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 Post subject: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:16 pm
Posts: 3
After reading so many positive comments on this site about the Wingmaster I was all set to buy one. Then I noticed a few people with nothing but good things to say about the Ithaca 37. How does the Ithaca 37 compare to the Wingmaster, especially in the following areas:

1)Reliability
From what I have read the Wingmaster is known for its reliable operation. How about the 37?

2)Durability
Supposedly a well cared for Wingmaster can last a lifetime and be given to the next generation. Can the same be said of the 37?

3)Fit and finish
Is the 37 that much nicer than the Wingmaster?

4)Availability of parts
I know parts are easy to find for the Wingmaster, how about the 37?

5)Recoil
I figure the recoil on the featherlight 37s will be greater than the Wingmaster but will the heavier models like the Deerslayer have more recoil as well?

I'm sure there are some areas that I have not thought of so please bring them up if you feel they are important. This will be my first shotgun purchase so I need all the help that I can get. Thanks.

Sam




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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 9:36 pm
Posts: 1233
I like them both, but as for choice I would pick the Ithaca. They are of about equal quality and durability but I would choose the gun that you see less often just to be different. Parts for both are plentiful, though the Remi parts are probably a little more numerous and slightly cheaper. The Wingmaster is a little prettier but I like the classic utilitarian look of the M37. Either will last you a lifetime if you bother to clean them like you should. It is also true that the lighter Ithacas will kick harder with equal loads. The stock dimenstions are about equal so I would imagine that equal weight models would feel the same. Ithaca also claims a good deal more hand fitting of parts than the Remi, but both are nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:58 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 9:43 am
Posts: 59
Location: Denver
I shoot both and like both,

I need to ask what do you shoot now?

What do you Hunt?

The Ithaca has a smoother action and is bottom eject.

Both are great guns I think you get less short stroke on the Ithaca.

Ithaca offers more models at different weights.

I would go with the Ithaca.

Let me know what you hunt and if you want a 12ga or 16 or 20.

Because Ithaca makes a lot of pumps it would be helpful to know what you hunt and how much.

If you find a good deal on a wingmaster I would not pass it up either though.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:16 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for the replies.

Fattire75,
I don't shoot anything right now. This will be my first gun purchase.

I would like to do some deer, duck, and upland hunting. My thinking is that this will require at least two guns to do this properly. I was thinking about a 12 guage for deer and then a 20 guage for the upland hunting. Hopefully I can do some duck hunting with one of these but if not I can either put off the duck hunting for now or buy a shotgun just for that purpose. Please share your opinion on the proper guage for each kind of hunting.

For deer hunting, I was thinking about a Deerslayer 2. This has a rifled barrel so I am not sure if I can use duck hunting ammo with it. I have to do some more reading on this but maybe a smoothbore would be more versatile. For upland hunting I was thinking about the Ultralight English but I am not sure if I want to spend that much yet.

Not sure yet about how much hunting I will do as I have never been hunting before. I will probably do more upland hunting than deer or duck though.

I have some questions about chokes, barrels, and gauges but they can wait for the next post.

Thanks.

Sam


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:56 am
Posts: 173
Location: Western New York
Well my OPINION would to be to go with the wingmaster. I too have shot both, and the fit of the remy is much better for me. the ithaca has a fatter stock to me. Remington and Ithaca both have a solid reputation. Go with the one that fits you best. They'll both last many many years. Note: Ithaca Model 37 does have a reputation for kicking a little more! just my 2cents!

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:18 am 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:53 am
Posts: 117
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
My 16 ga Ithaca was put together in 1954. It is still in excellent condition and has put many birds down. It is a real joy to carry through the woods as it is so light and handels so well. That said, I will also add that I don't hunt much with it any more. The fixed choke (modified) is a little tight for small game in close and I have blown a few grouse and rabbits to pieces. I have looked at the new 37's and they look pretty good. They have the screw in chokes, seem to be put together pretty good and run about $400. Bottom line is that the model 37 has always been a favorite of the upland hunters and there is a good reason why. The 870 is also a good choice and a great all around gun. It will never achieve the cult status of the 37, though. That shouldn't mean a whole lot ... but it does anyhow. Ever met a man what don't like to brag about his gun(s)?


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:27 pm 
Go with Ithaca.

Their shotguns are made from all steel, and are still fitted by hand. Excellent Customer Service, and Lifetime Warranty's.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2003 9:57 pm
Posts: 329
Location: Grand Prairie, Texas
The bottom eject feature has to give the plus to the 37.

I just got back from a dove hunt, and half of what I ended up hunting were the spent hulls, which we are duty-bound not to leave all over the landscape. Although I dearly love my gas gun for clays, a gun that makes hull retrieval a snap (doubles and the bottom-ejecting Model 37) will probably be my choice for hunting at some time in the future.

That red and silver bas***d must be around here somewhere!

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 11:49 pm 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2003 3:41 pm
Posts: 116
6 million Remington 870 owners can't be all wrong. Likewise 4 generations of Ithaca hunters can't be all wrong either. In other words, a Wingmaster and an Ithaca 37 are both darn good guns. To put my 2 cents towards your questions:

1)Reliability
Both are extremely reliable shotguns if taken care of properly.

2)Durability
Either gun will last you a lifetime if again you take care of it. Many a 870 and especially 37's (since they've been around longer) are in youngster's hands from Dad's and Grandad's that purchased them 30 or more years ago.

3)Fit and finish
I think the older Wingmasters can be especially nice. My brother has a 870 Wingmaster he purchased new in 1973 that looks and shoots great. It really is a quality gun.
On the other hand, I know a couple guys with Ithaca 37's that date back to the 40's and 50's that still shoot with them regularly, and they too are still in very usable shape except for a bit of thinning on the blueing where they've been carried for years. Other than the blueing, they'll be around for a long time to come.

4)Availability of parts
Remington parts may be more plentiful, but that doesn't mean you can't find parts for the 37. After all, Ithaca is still producing the gun and parts, so that shouldn't really be an issue for a long time to come.

5)Recoil
I can't comment on the Deerslayer, but the Featherlight will have more recoil than the Wingmaster. If you're going to be mostly hunting, you'll like the light weight of the Featherlight. If you were going to be shooting mostly clays, then I wouldn't recommend a light gun that you're going to shoot thousands of rounds through. If you want to shoot a lot of trap, you would probably be more happy with a Wingmaster (because of the weight) or better yet a gas powered semi-auto (like a Beretta or 11-87).

If you set both down in front of me and were asking the same price for either gun, I would probably choose the Ithaca 37 over the 870 Wingmaster, mostly because I think the 37 has a bit more hand built fitting than the Remington, but that's just my personal opinion. Either gun will serve you well.

As for gauge of gun, I'd start out with a 12GA, it's hands down the most popular gauge for purchasing shells and barrels, and will work well for all forms of hunting.

Regards,

P.S. - If you decide later on that synthetic instead of wood is the direction you want to take for some reason, then I would broaden my shopping list to include the Benelli Nova as another alternative to look at.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 1:52 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:16 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for the replies.

It looks like my first shotgun will be an Ithaca 37. Now I just have to pick a gauge and a specific model.

Do you guys think I should buy a new one or go for a used one?

Is a 12 gauge too much for small game like rabbits? I hear that a 20 gauge is enough for rabbits so will a 12 gauge be overkill?

Does anyone have a favorite Ithaca 37 model, like the Deerslayer?

Should I go with a model that has a smoothbore so I can use a wider variety of ammo and thus be able to hunt different types of game? A rifled barrel would be great for deer but what about ducks and upland hunting?

Thanks again.

Sam


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:07 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 9:43 am
Posts: 59
Location: Denver
Get a 12 gauge

You can buy light or heavy loads

If you can find a nice one used go for it,

The benefit to a newer gun is the multi choke systems.

I believe you can get the Ithaca regular 12 gauge with the 3 chokes new and then put a deer slayer barrel on it when deer hunting. Contact Ithaca to make sure.

The 12 gauge is really nice because you have so many load selections from 1 oz to 2 oz. You can use it for all game.

Later on you can find yourself a nice light 16 or 20 for upland.

But at 7 pounds the 12 ga is not heavy by any means.

I would go with a 26 or 28 inch barrel for the shotgun. I shoot IC for all my bird hunting even waterfowl. If you live in grouse country go with the 26-inch barrel. I like a longer barrel but I live out west so not a lot of tight cover when using a 12 ga on pheasant or waterfowl so I shoot a 30-inch. When I do hunt mountain grouse I have a 20 with a 26-inch barrel. I also shoot a Savage 16 auto and an Ithaca 16 ga pump for pheasants with a 28-inch.

Good luck

What state are you in?

Also have you ever hunted before or have you just taken a few years off and getting back into it? How committed are you to hunting and trap shooting? An is spending the money on the gun not a big deal?

Good luck and have fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:53 am
Posts: 117
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
The rifled barrel is for slugs only, in particular, sabot slugs. You can shoot birdshot out of a rifled barrel but your shot patterns are going to be screwed up. Stay with a smooth bore for shot shells. You can also shoot the foster style slugs out of a smooth bore with fairly decent accuracy out to 75 yard or so. If you are an inexperienced shooter, not accustomed to stiff recoil, I would recommend the 20 gauge. The 37 is a light gun and recoil in the 12 gauge with 1 oz slugs can be intimidating. The 20 gauge slug will kill a deer quite dead and recoil is substantially less and easier to control. The 20 gauge model 37 is one of the best shotguns ever made for upland game. The only pump gun that is better, in my humble opinion, is the model 37 in 16 gauge.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:09 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2003 1:51 am
Posts: 27
Sam wrote:
4)Availability of parts
I know parts are easy to find for the Wingmaster, how about the 37?

Sam


Yer touching on the biggest difference between the two right here. I own both and shoot both.

Run an internet search or look through the local classifieds, pawn shops and gun shops. See how long it takes to "find" a slug barrel for both and what ya have to pay for it?

IMO If you want to look at it. Hang it on the wall and discuss it. Then buy the 37.

If you want to shoot and hunt with it, get the 870.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 3:05 pm 
Both are good, servicable guns. I own a '40s vintage Ithaca M37 12 ga field grade with a fixed modified choke 26" barrel, a '50s vintage Ithaca M37 20ga deluxe grade with a polychoke 26" barrel (beautiful gun), and a late '80s model Remington 870 Express 12ga with a 28" screw-in choke vent rib barrel.

The Ithaca 20 is far and away my favorite. Smooth action, handles well, nicely finished firearm. Great upland bird gun, and a joy to carry.

The Ithaca 12 is a more utilitarian piece but still smooth and ver well made.

the Remington 870 is my duck/goose gun and while nowhere near as refined as the Ithaca has survived winter small game duty and 3 years of South Texas saltwater duck/goose gunning. I clean it with a garden hose, 80 grit sandpaper, and flat black paint.

Beauty or utility. I love 'em all.

-D


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 2:32 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2003 11:36 am
Posts: 44
Location: Winnsboro, TX
This is not a decision a mere human is capable of making.
You have to buy both. :?

In a more serious vein, I'd say the 870 appeals more to my utilitarian instincts. Solid, a bit generic, no nonsense. The Ithaca appeals more to an appreciation for esthetics, and mechanical uniqueness. (these observations could be model dependent) I have plain jane Wingmaster and Deer Slayer. Both are outstanding guns. Mine were purchased used and are both well over 20 years old. I'm sure they'll both outlast me. I don't see how you could go wrong with either.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 2:46 pm 
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Both are good guns. When parts come in to play I would have to go with the Wingmaster


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2003 1:52 pm
Posts: 6063
Location: Ontario, Canada
I have familiarity with both and like them both.

In the early 1970's I was quite "smitten" with Ithaca 37's and shot them for everything, trap, skeet etc. I still have a 1971 munufacture 37 Supreme Trap; I have fitted this with a 26", ribbed, choke tube equipped barrel and it gets used to sporting clays. I have shot my personal best with it on sporting, a 74/100. This gun does not hit me as hard with recoil because of the design of the trap stock and fancy AA walnut is denser, adding more weight than a typical field grade 37.

I bought my first 870 in 1972, a used 20g for upland. It impressed me enough that in 1976 I bought my first 870 trap gun. It has fired a minimum of 75,000 shells (maybe more, that was a conservative estimate) and I will likely take it to the club tomorrow. It is one of five 870's I currently own; the 870TB, 870TC, 870SA (skeet), 870 Wingmaster LC and 870 20g Lightweight.

Comes down to personal preference and what you use the gun for.

I don't tell others what to shoot, only what I would chose to use myself.

Between the two I would chose the 870, based on my requirements, which may differ from yours.

I place a lot of emphasis on clay target shooting. I am well pracited and skilled at loading a bottom ejecting pump for singles on a clay target range but having said that, it is far easier to load a side ejecting pump for this type of shooting, especially with gloves.

Shoot any gun enough and the action around the trigger plate and back of the bolt will get dirty and reguire cleaning. Fire a few 1,000 rounds/year and this is a fairly frequent requirement. I can say from personal experiance, both the 37 and 870 get dirty under these conditions.

It takes a very few minutes with a non-marring pin punch to fully strip the 870 for a thorough cleaning.

To perform the same job on the Ithaca 37 properly requires several sizes of gunsmith screw drivers and a ratchet & extension to get at the stock bolt. The stock, trigger plate and carrier have to come off or out to get the bolt out to clean it and the rear part of the inner receiver. To pull the fore end off, you must use a screw driver to remove the barrel "yoke" off the mag tube.

The same is true if the gun accidently goes for a "dip" in the water and requires cleaning.

For me, it is just easier to work on the 870 and to use it in the target "games" I shoot every week end.

These are my choices and reasons for them, based on experiance. The requirements and opinions of others will differ.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 6:51 pm
Posts: 309
I seldom buy new guns.

But it's safer to buy one. Somes you buy someone's problems with a used gun.

But if you find a nice used Ithica model 37 see if you can take it out and test fire it before you buy it. Some guys will let you do that.

I'd suggest a 12 gauge, but I handled a new Ithica Model 37 20 gauge the other day and it was very light and fast. Didn't buy it though. Don't need one.

I love my old gungy Model 37, not a bit of blueing on it. I don't care about the kick, but I do care about the light weight of the gun and it's quick smooth action.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 5:30 pm
Posts: 556
Location: Missouri
I've owned one Ithaca Model 37 and three Remington 870's. I still own the Ithaca and have long since sold all the 870's.

I'm primarily an upland bird hunter and the Model 37 has always been a favorite of mine. Just never could get used to the extra weight of the 870 after packing the 37.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca 37 vs Remington 870 Wingmaster
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 8:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 12:07 pm
Posts: 1854
Location: Tempe, AZ
I have had my 20ga. Ithaca M37 for 30 years now....no problems and would certainly get another one.



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