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 Post subject: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:41 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:58 pm
Posts: 102
I've been thinking of getting an older pump for field use and to break out at the clay range once in a while. Quite frankly I'm just in the mood to buy another gun in the not too distant future. I've been thinking of all the great classic pumps from days gone by. I am left handed so was hoping to be able to flip the safety is my only concern. 12, 16, or 20 gauge would all be fine. Preferably something made in the 70s or earlier. Any recommendations on certain models or things to look out for is appreciated.




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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:05 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 5715
Being left handed you would like bottom ejection. Browning BPS or Ithaca 37.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:21 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:44 pm
Posts: 2452
Location: Michigan
Remington has made left hand 870's in the past.
They made the older trap 870's in left hand with 30 inch full choke barrels
in three different grades, A,B, and C. Each with better wood.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:58 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:45 am
Posts: 2075
I shoot pumps left handed. The 870, model 12 and the 37 are very easy to find left hand safeties for and to make the switch.

I’d go with the model 12, I have two and they are good trap guns. I also have three 870s and an Ithaca 37. The model 12 is the heaviest of the three, the 37 would be the lightest.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:47 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 199
I'd vote for the Ithaca 37 in 12 or 16 gauge and the Remington 17 in 20 gauge. Can't beat them left or right handed.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:22 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:38 pm
Posts: 204
Ithaca 37 would be worth a look.


Last edited by oldshotty on Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:42 pm
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Location: Missouri
An older Remington 870 is a wonderful shotgun that gives perfect satisfaction to the owner, but no Remington pump ever made equals a pre 64 Model 12 Winchester or any Ithaca Model 37 made from 1937 until yesterday.

And since Ithaca will make more Model 37s tomorrow and the day after that, when looking for a classic pump, look for an Ithaca.


This 1957 20 gauge Deluxe cost $300 before the coronavirus.

https://imgur.com/gallery/I7Odr8T

A brand new one even better, is less than a thousand if you can find one today.

There were only two pump shotguns ever made for the American market worth the cost of having engraved, and the other one besides the Ithaca Model 37 was the Model 12 Winchester, that died almost 55 years ago.

The choice is clear.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:45 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:47 pm
Posts: 410
Location: N. IL
Being a lefty, get an Ithaca 37 or left handed Remington 870 if you want an older gun. The most useful would probably be a BPS of more modern manufacture. Great gun for a lefty and with choke tubes you can shoot what ever you want with it. Trap, skeet, lead, steel goose loads, turkey. Great guns for lefties and you don't have to switch the safety.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:08 am 
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Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
The love for a shotgun usually has a lot to do with how it feels TO YOU when you use it. I had four BPSs that never missed a single beat , but I could never grow to love the bottom loading and ejection. Neither an Ithaca or a Model 12 ever felt nearly as good in the hands as a Wingmaster to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:12 am 
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Location: Missouri
Virginian wrote:
The love for a shotgun usually has a lot to do with how it feels TO YOU when you use it. I had four BPSs that never missed a single beat , but I could never grow to love the bottom loading and ejection. Neither an Ithaca or a Model 12 ever felt nearly as good in the hands as a Wingmaster to me.


The fellow wants an old blued steel and walnut pump with a reversible safety that’s ideally about fifty years or so old.

The Winchester 1200s are junk.

The Savage 67s might be junk depending on how new they were.

The High Standards are unrepairable as are the Nobles.

He might as well buy a new Mossberg 500 with tubes.

The same goes for the pre invector BPS.

These days, you’d better be very careful with a Model 12, because it’s so hard to find a gunsmith for one.

He’s down to an old 870 Wingmaster or Ithaca 37.

On the day both were new, the original purchaser could not or would not pay the extra coin for the Ithaca.

The 870 is at least temporarily out of production. The reason it was cheaper new than the Ithaca is the Ithaca was from butt plate to muzzle made entirely of steel and walnut designed by the great JMB and the Ithaca might after fifty years need another $2 shell stop spring he can put on himself.

And Ithaca is still very much in business.

If a man doesn’t have an old school pump and wants one, he wants an Ithaca Model 37 and may not know it.:)

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1898
Location: Omaha, NE
All of those mentioned so far will work well for you. The safety on a 37 is easy to switch to lefty. If you stumble across a Marlin 120 though, do not buy it. Pretty gun but not repairable. I think all of them need repairs.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:28 am 
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Only one of all the guns mentioned can be taken down: barrel off and trigger group in your hand in less than a minute with nothing more than a golf tee as a tool. The 870.

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"We pulled the trigger, the safety went forward, both barrels fired almost together, the gun opened, ejectors kicked the fired cases over our shoulder ...the most completely automatic gun we ever fired" Elmer Keith- Shotguns by Keith


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
Posts: 1898
Location: Omaha, NE
casonet wrote:
Only one of all the guns mentioned can be taken down: barrel off and trigger group in your hand in less than a minute with nothing more than a golf tee as a tool. The 870.


Good point. The factory didn’t need trained machinists to assemble them which made them cheap to build.

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The people in government want to disarm you because they intend to do things to you that would get them shot.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:29 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:44 pm
Posts: 2452
Location: Michigan
One nice thing about the Ithaca 37 is you can load the gun with out anybody
knowing! You lift a shell with your finger tips into the action - then pull the
forearm forward. Be careful not to load your fingers too.
Once you master this loading trick you'll never go back to shoving a shell
into magazine and cycling.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:08 am 
Limited Edition
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:07 pm
Posts: 378
Location: Finger Lakes
Virginian wrote:
The love for a shotgun usually has a lot to do with how it feels TO YOU when you use it. I had four BPSs that never missed a single beat , but I could never grow to love the bottom loading and ejection. Neither an Ithaca or a Model 12 ever felt nearly as good in the hands as a Wingmaster to me.


Same here. There is just something that is comfortable about the Wingmaster. I have a LH Wingmaster that I purchased in 1982.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:42 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 5715
If you like lots of sloppy stamped parts go Remington 870. If you want a well machined gun go Ithaca.


Last edited by lt0026 on Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:49 am 
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So what? MEC reloaders are made of stamped steel too= best sellers. 870 made of machined steel and also stamped steel parts= best sellers with over 11 million produced. Model 1100 same way= most popular auto ever produced with over 3 million made.

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"We pulled the trigger, the safety went forward, both barrels fired almost together, the gun opened, ejectors kicked the fired cases over our shoulder ...the most completely automatic gun we ever fired" Elmer Keith- Shotguns by Keith


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:52 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 5715
casonet wrote:
So what? MEC reloaders are made of stamped steel too= best sellers. 870 made of machined steel and also stamped steel parts= best sellers with over 11 million produced. Model 1100 same way= most popular auto ever produced with over 3 million made.

Beretta dominates the semi auto world. Remington is yesterday. Beretta is today. Beretta isn't going anywhere. Remington went belly up because of the big box junk they made.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:00 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 3005
lt0026 wrote:
casonet wrote:
So what? MEC reloaders are made of stamped steel too= best sellers. 870 made of machined steel and also stamped steel parts= best sellers with over 11 million produced. Model 1100 same way= most popular auto ever produced with over 3 million made.

Beretta dominates the semi auto world. Remington is yesterday. Beretta is today. Beretta isn't going anywhere. Remington went belly up because of the big box junk they made.


Anybody that`s been even half attentive to the Remington saga knows that that`s not the case and that it`s far more complex a situation. Perhaps you do as well and are simply trying to get a rise out of some people?

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:34 am 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:42 pm
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Location: Missouri
I always keep at least one 870 around and consider it an improvement over the Model 31 it replaced.

I own a couple of High Standard pumps, a BPS, a half dozen Model 12s, and even my .410 repeater is a Mossberg 500.

Then I own other automatics and doubles too numerous to mention.

But holed up dodging the Corono, the guns I most cherish and love are my nearly a dozen Model 37s.

When I look at my wife I remember when we first met, when we were young. I look at my grown children and see them when they were little.

And when I look at my huge stash of guns I pick up a Model 37 and remember once having five cock pheasants all dead in the air at one time, twenty years ago in South Dakota.

Or when my youngest was only 14 and I bought a 1948 20 gauge R and showed him the inside of it in my mother’s garage.

Or a thousand other good memories of the finest repeating shotgun ever made by anybody.

The Ithaca Model 37 is the finest handling bird gun that costs less than the price of a new house.

It is a perfect masterpiece of the art of building assembly line shotguns, so perfect not one substantial improvement has been made to it since the Remington Model 17 that John Moses Browning designed first was made, and very few refinements, none worth mentioning.

It’s not the other pump shotguns are bad, it’s that the Model 37 is the perfect repeater.



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I have never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as a reason for withdrawing from a friend. Thomas Jefferson


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