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 Post subject: Ithaca/SKB 600 Skeet
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:29 pm
Posts: 6
I've been out of the skeet world for about 20 years. Long story. Anyway, all of the things that put a stop to those days have gone by the board in their own way. Hence, I have been looking for a new shotgun. I've always got my eyes open, but I've been obsessing over a particular person's Ithaca/SKB Model 600 in SKT/SKT 26" barrels. The S/N is prefixed by a "CM". From what I can tell (without holding it), it looks to be hand engraved. I would have no idea, with any assurance, when this gun was made, but it is likely before 1979.

My concern: I've shot my father's Weatherby Athena and did not like it....at all. It was a beautiful gun but one I did not shoot effectively. Neither in the past or in the present. I believe, without doing too much research, that the Model 600, in form, was a predecessor to the Athena, just not nearly as pretty. Is this the case?

My other concern: if I decide to procure this gun, what should I be concerned with, mechanically? I've read about firing pin springs. I will likely have a reputable gunsmith go over it and, once pronounced as operable, have the forcing cones lengthened. Beyond that, we shall see once I shoot it a few rounds.

As you can see, I'm a noob here. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.




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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca/SKB 600 Skeet
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:11 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 2627
The Japanese made SKB guns that were imported by Ithaca are excellent guns. There are those in the know who consider them rather grossly underrated and some who feel that they are on par with some Browning models in workmanship.

My Model 500 field gun, which I purchased in 1974, has been flawless. Of course, as a field gun its not seen the high volume use that a dedicated target gun would experience but I would buy a Japanese SKB with no second thoughts. My understanding is that SKB, headquartered in Omaha I believe, has excellent customer service and does support the older Ithaca SKB guns.

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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca/SKB 600 Skeet
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:36 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:07 pm
Posts: 1284
Location: Van Alstyne, Tx
Schooly D wrote:
I will likely have a reputable gunsmith go over it and, once pronounced as operable, have the forcing cones lengthened.


1. Shoot it!!
2. do not change it!!

How much is the price ?


DO NOT change it!


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca/SKB 600 Skeet
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:07 pm
Posts: 1284
Location: Van Alstyne, Tx
PS as much as I have come to like the Japanese SKB's they really are not worth throwing lots of money into except basic repairs. They, like 99.99 % of other shotguns work as intended, and no crazy stuff will make them hit targets any better.
Also most all of them on auction sites are IMHO, overpriced. No surprise there.

You need to shoot it with cheap shells like gun club or similar and see if it ejects them well.

Don't pay over 600 for it, and it should be 95% at that. IMHO of course
make sure there are no cracks in the wood.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca/SKB 600 Skeet
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:29 pm
Posts: 6
The price is $600 shipped. It has what is described by the owner as a 1/2" tight drying crack near the butt. Pictures of the this, the model information on the barrel and the serial numbers have been received. the crack looks like a flaw in the wood more than a crack of any type. This does not bother me in the least. The pics on the posting are not the best, but it looks like the engraving is hand done rather than acid etched. I could be wrong (and part of me does not care). This is not an investment piece nor a show piece. It will be a target gun. If I cannot shoot it in the degree that I did before after some extensive practice, then I will find something else. I'm not married to any particular manufacturer but there are guns that I'm not fans of (think Citori, Athena, etc).

I mention forcing cones because in my previous life, I shot a Ruger Red Label, which is essentially a field gun but I tricked it out to work for me (forcing cones, EDM porting, cheek piece, semi-annual cleaning by a local gunsmith that I trusted). My fear is that I will shoot it and it will feel like the Athena (clubby, front heavy, etc). But, that is subjective to me.

I will go on record and state that if I could put my hands on that particular Red Label, the discussion of guns would end....except for that darn auto safety feature that I did not have removed.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca/SKB 600 Skeet
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:13 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:07 pm
Posts: 1284
Location: Van Alstyne, Tx
price seems fine :) I think they are show pieces, lol. on the rack next to a lot of other O/U's they look really good!


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca/SKB 600 Skeet
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:36 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:55 am
Posts: 211
You mentioned springs...my father-in-law has a Weatherby/SKB he purchased in the late 60's. He stopped documenting his rounds on that gun at 30,000. The gun has never been opened. HOWEVER...he was careful to always de-cock the gun after shooting. He told me that the design was such that you needed to do that. That means either a snap cap, or, if you break the gun down, firing the pin against a block of wood (that's what I do).

Its a good practice for any gun (and many of us don't do it), but for early SKB's its a bit more important. The newer guns have upgraded springs.

Today...I own 3 SKB's and have owned 3 others. The Japanese guns are very solid and a tremendous value.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca/SKB 600 Skeet
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:00 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4012
Location: Western Tampa, FL
I believe these SKBs had chrome lined bores. If so, lengthening the forcing cones would remove that section of chrome lining and possibly bring about some further maintenance issues. I suggest that you definitely check that possibility out before doing any extensive work to those barrel internals.


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 Post subject: Re: Ithaca/SKB 600 Skeet
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:03 pm
Posts: 3976
Location: Mid-Missouri
Schooly D wrote:
My concern: I've shot my father's Weatherby Athena and did not like it....at all. It was a beautiful gun but one I did not shoot effectively. Neither in the past or in the present. I believe, without doing too much research, that the Model 600, in form, was a predecessor to the Athena, just not nearly as pretty. Is this the case?


More likely the Weatherby was just a gussied up SKB -- not a "predecessor". Every Japanese-made-by-SKB Weatherby I've seen or handled has been identical to an SKB gun with the exception of cosmetics. BTW, when comparing SKB models, the 500, 600 and 700 are the exact same gun. The differences are all on the surface -- nicer wood, more engraving -- the internals are identical.

All that said, two supposedly identical guns can handle differently depending on wood density. Barrel length also is a factor. My guess, though, is that an SKB would handle a lot like the Weatherby you've shot.

FWIW, I have been a big fan of SKBs in the past. I've owned six or seven of them, at least. I still own two. But, eventually, I came to the conclusion that they don't fit me as well as a Browning. Gun fit is very personal. It would be good if you could shoot one before buying.

Schooly D wrote:
I've been obsessing over a particular person's Ithaca/SKB Model 600 in SKT/SKT 26" barrels.


You couldn't pay me to shoot a 26" barrel over/under.

BTW, I once had a 28" barrel SKB 600 that was factory choked skt/skt. I've never seen another one. I should have never sold that gun. Sold it cheap, too.

Schooly D wrote:
if I decide to procure this gun, what should I be concerned with, mechanically? I've read about firing pin springs. I will likely have a reputable gunsmith go over it and, once pronounced as operable, have the forcing cones lengthened.


You shouldn't be concerned about a thing. Maybe pull the stock and soak the action in some mineral spirits if it looks gunky. Or take it to a gunsmith and have him do it. I wouldn't change a single part. I sure wouldn't pay to have the forcing cones lengthened. You won't see any benefit.

If you're willing to dump an extra $200 in the gun, why not just apply that cash to buying a "nicer" gun? I don't mean that the way it sounds. SKB's are nice guns. By jumping from $600 up to $800, you could probably pick up a more modern SKB with screw-in chokes. Or maybe even a used Browning, if you luck into a great deal.




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