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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:17 pm
Posts: 17
I'm an Ithaca Model 37 man. Mine is a 12 ga. from 1945, it's smooth as butter and cycles itself it seems.

I tried an older Remington Wingmaster, here are some of the differences other than slight stock fit

Ithaca Model 37-Easy to break down and clean the magazine tube, hard to clean the bolt and carrier.
Rem Wingmaster- Easy to break down and clean the bolt and carrier, hard to clean the magazine tube.

Model 37 ejects out the bottom and easier to pick up off the ground
Wingmaster ejects out the side and fun to hit your brother with expended shells

Model 37 has it's classic roll engraving on the side. As a young boy I was intrigued by it and I still like it.
Wingmaster is also a beauty but unadorned by what some may see as a cheesy roll engraving.

My c.1945 Ithaca 12 30" barrel weighs 6 1/4 pounds and is a joy to carry in the field and when the pheasant is dropping and the dog racing to his bird- you won't feel the recoil. There is a reason they are called "Model 30 Ultralight"

Wingmasters are heavier, from just a hair under 7 pounds for a 12 up to ... 7 1/2 maybe more, they made an awful lot of variations over the year. That extra weight is an advantage for you shoulder, it's still a light gun for trap.

After a long day hiking, only a strong (stubborn) young man would not notice (admit to noticing) 8 to 10 oz or more weight in his gun.

Likewise, shooting at clay birds, the heavier gun is going to feel better.

Nice old Model 37's suffered from some population decline as young mall ninjas hack sawed the barrels and painted the wood black to make "home defense" shotguns from them. The 37 can be "slam fired".. hold the trigger and rack the pump as fast as you can and it goes "boomboomboomboomboom". I can't say about the Wingmaster, both are too nice to be abused this way.

I meet fellas in the field. The dogs jump around and play. We eye each others guns.
"Is that a 37? Nice gun" One says.
"Looks like an old Wingmaster, she's a beauty herself!" I reply.
"Tut tut chaps, Care for some tea? Admire my double barrel!" a third chimes in.
"That's nice but nothing beats a classic American Pump Gun" my dog tells him.




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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:32 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:10 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Atlanta Michigan
MNGunner wrote:
There's a 1953 Ithaca 37 16ga on gunbroker right now and it looks like it's in fantastic shape!

They didn't list barrel length or choke (at least I didn't see it)

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/887179022


They list it as 28" MOD, if you missed that at least two photo's show it as MOD and several photo's show a fairly long barrel.Most single barrel shotguns with MOD chokes are 28".


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:33 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:58 pm
Posts: 102
Of these older pumps, namely older wingmasters, model 12s and ithaca 37s, how do I know if they are steel safe?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:49 am 
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Life of Riley wrote:
Of these older pumps, namely older wingmasters, model 12s and ithaca 37s, how do I know if they are steel safe?


An older Remington 870 with fixed chokes, a Model 12 marked Winchester Proof Steel, and all Ithaca 37s ever made, if they have a fixed modified choke, preferably less than .015 constriction, ought to handle cheap steel shot loads no larger size around than #6. Most cheap steel 2 3/4” ammo seems to be #6, although you do see #7s occasionally.

Even then they might get a cosmetic ring bulge just behind the choke. Shoot it and don’t worry about it.

This was all worked out over forty years ago, before factory choke tubes, when steel shot was new.

Steel shot sucks.

Use lead shot, unless cornered by a do gooder and forced to use steel.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:13 am 
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Location: Omaha, NE
Ithaca claimed that their Roto-Forged barrels were were safe for use with steel.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:45 pm 
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EricB wrote:
Ithaca claimed that their Roto-Forged barrels were were safe for use with steel.


Aside from environmental concerns, a railroad car load of scrap steel (or cast iron) is about $125 a ton, and that same railroad car loaded with scrap lead is over a thousand dollars a ton.

The cost of all the other components to make the shotgun shells is about the same, whether steel (soft iron) or lead is used.

When the black day comes, not far in the future, that steel shotgun shells are cheaper to buy on the shelves than lead ones, our old smokepoles will have to eat steel shot, because it won’t be long after that lead ones will never disappear, but be a specialty item for gun nuts with old fixed choke shotguns.

The softest steel shot is many times harder than gun barrels. The shot-shell makers early on worked out protective wads to remedy this.

What they weren’t able to do was protect the forcing cone for the choke.

Lead deforms, and steel doesn’t, as it passes through the choke.

If using old shotguns to shoot steel, use no more than a modified choke and small steel shot, and never look down your gun barrel too closely or else you may see a tiny, cosmetic ring bulge just before the choke.

And never shoot steel in any old double shotgun, especially not a Superposed.

Any 870 or Model 12 made since 1931 or M37 made forever ago, should be fine.

Ithaca never had choke tubes until after they went bust and relocated to King Ferry.

That’s why they said Roto Forged barrels were good for steel shot.:)

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:47 pm
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Location: N. IL
SuperXOne wrote:
The softest steel shot is many times harder than gun barrels.


Pretty sure that in incorrect for steel shot. Steel shot is annealed to make it soft. Without digging out some manuals or doing a full blown lit review online. Steel shot is supposed to have a DPH of 90 or less. Shotguns barrels are harder than that. The shot wads for steel are designed to protect the barrel though. Even though steel shoot is softer than the barrel steel, it can scratch or damage the barrel.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:12 am
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Steel shot shells use a different wad than lead, no slits in the side. The really don't contact the barrel much. Chrome is harder than steel if you have chrome lined barrels.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:35 pm 
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You can do what you wish, but personally I would never shoot steel in ANY Model 12 or any fixed choke Model 870 or Model 37. Is it really worth the risk? Sure Model 870 barrels are cheap and plentiful but not Model 12 and 37 barrels. Just my 2 cents....

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:50 pm 
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I recall reading about Winchester Proof steel used for barrels and receivers had to have a hardness of less than Rockwell 60 (RC 60). RC 60 is fairly hard steel. The reason for this was so that they could be engraved. The engraving tools were supposed to be at or above RC60 and they would not engrave steel as hard as the tool blades themselves.

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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: Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:47 pm
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Location: N. IL
lt0026 wrote:
Steel shot shells use a different wad than lead, no slits in the side. The really don't contact the barrel much. Chrome is harder than steel if you have chrome lined barrels.


It all depends on the brand and specific product line of ammo you are shooting. I pick up my wads every chance I get when picking up decoys. I have shot Rio, Remington, Winchester, and Federal red and blue box. They all have slits in the wads. I know some of the rear breaking wads in Federal Blackcloud do not have slits in them. The majority of cheap steel like I shoot has slits.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:06 pm 
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The best shotgun shot I ever knew, operated a sporting clays range with his wife.

One day he handed me a Beretta 391 barrel, and said look through it.

It was horribly scratched from forcing cone to the choke tubes.

He’d warrantied the barrel, after a purchaser had reported shooting some Black Rain Cloud Death Swarm type steel shells through it, just one time.

He claimed the wads had failed, but Beretta had replaced the barrel anyway, under warranty.

He also was of the opinion #6 steel could duplicate #8 lead, and since he set all the targets so he could break one with his 391 using #8 shot and an IC tube, steel shot won’t close the sporting clays ranges.

What he was worried about, was that in order to work steel has to be driven so fast it would kick his customers away, to other hobbies.

Lead shot works well, at 1,175 FPS on targets.

The sharp recoil impulse of even the slowest steel shot loads is very unpleasant, he claimed.

Someday I might have to find out, if that’s true.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:56 pm 
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I’d buy another Model 12 or 42 if I wanted a .410. That’s what I grew up with. Had several friends that had 37s, my second son has one. Seems like nice guns, wouldn’t take one as a gift if I had to keep it and use it, for various reasons. One day in ‘79 our local K-mart was moving to a new store and was liquidating it’s gun department. I picked up a new Wingmaster 12 ga with mod barrel for around $130. Just heard so much good about them, had to have one. I committed to shooting it only the first year I got it. I shot it well but the first day I learned to despise it! If you don’t quite get the shell in the magazine far enough to catch the shell catch it slides back under the elevator jamming the gun. Only remedy is to remove the barrel and take the shell out. Meanwhile roosters are flushing all around you and your new 870 is in two pieces! The grip is too small for my liking and the safety is on the wrong end of the trigger guard! Other than that is fine. My eldest son won’t even take it as a gift for the same reasons. Took a Mossberg down several times one day to fix jams. What a POS!
Your mileage may vary!

BP

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 3005
Burnt Powder wrote:
I’d buy another Model 12 or 42 if I wanted a .410. That’s what I grew up with. Had several friends that had 37s, my second son has one. Seems like nice guns, wouldn’t take one as a gift if I had to keep it and use it, for various reasons. One day in ‘79 our local K-mart was moving to a new store and was liquidating it’s gun department. I picked up a new Wingmaster 12 ga with mod barrel for around $130. Just heard so much good about them, had to have one. I committed to shooting it only the first year I got it. I shot it well but the first day I learned to despise it! If you don’t quite get the shell in the magazine far enough to catch the shell catch it slides back under the elevator jamming the gun. Only remedy is to remove the barrel and take the shell out. Meanwhile roosters are flushing all around you and your new 870 is in two pieces! The grip is too small for my liking and the safety is on the wrong end of the trigger guard! Other than that is fine. My eldest son won’t even take it as a gift for the same reasons. Took a Mossberg down several times one day to fix jams. What a POS!
Your mileage may vary!

BP


Never had that or any other problem with my 870. I would hazard a guess that not shoving a shell past the latch would cause a problem potentially in most any gun? Maybe I`m not understanding the problem as described. I could be wrong, but isn`t the function of the shell latch to hold the shell in the magazine?

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:27 pm 
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Location: Omaha, NE
Sounds like operator error. I don’t think Remington would have sold so many millions of 870s if everyone struggled with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:23 pm 
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I bought a new 37 16 ga years ago when they were made in Kings Ferry. The gun did not come with the shell limiter installed in the magazine, so I decided to see how many shells it would hold. I filled it up and then turned the gun back over and it proceeded to empty the entire magazine onto the ground. I eventually sold the gun and found that nobody wanted a Kings Ferry gun!

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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: Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:34 pm 
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My dad’s 37 from ‘52 hasn’t missed a beat but once when a fired shell didn’t want to come out. Otherwise flawless.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:21 pm 
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I never suggested that having a shell miss the catch and slide above the elevator wasn’t operator malfunction, just stating that is what happens if you happen to not push the shell in quite far enough for it to catch. On a model 12 it just falls on the ground without jamming the gun. Just like the safety location. I have blown a shot because I was trying to take the safety off in the front of the trigger guard, but it’s in the back on an 870. I don’t like it there, makes no sense to me! Operator malfunction? Might be, but that’s how an 870 is made, I don’t like it that way. I still have my 870, I never use it, it’s not for sale, I’ll take one of my model 12 or 42s each and every time. I do not like 37s, 17s or BPS either. Don’t like how bottom feeders work. Shove a shell in the magazine and then pump the action to chamber it, then shove the rest in the magazine. Operator malfunction, maybe? That’s how they work and I don’t like it. I prefer my Model 12s for those reasons, your mileage surely may vary. You decide how you like your pump gun to operate and buy the one you like. All three, Model 12, 870, and 37s are great guns, but different they are.

BP

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:02 pm 
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Burnt Powder wrote:
I never suggested that having a shell miss the catch and slide above the elevator wasn’t operator malfunction, just stating that is what happens if you happen to not push the shell in quite far enough for it to catch. On a model 12 it just falls on the ground without jamming the gun. Just like the safety location. I have blown a shot because I was trying to take the safety off in the front of the trigger guard, but it’s in the back on an 870. I don’t like it there, makes no sense to me! Operator malfunction? Might be, but that’s how an 870 is made, I don’t like it that way. I still have my 870, I never use it, it’s not for sale, I’ll take one of my model 12 or 42s each and every time. I do not like 37s, 17s or BPS either. Don’t like how bottom feeders work. Shove a shell in the magazine and then pump the action to chamber it, then shove the rest in the magazine. Operator malfunction, maybe? That’s how they work and I don’t like it. I prefer my Model 12s for those reasons, your mileage surely may vary. You decide how you like your pump gun to operate and buy the one you like. All three, Model 12, 870, and 37s are great guns, but different they are.

BP


Fair enough, sir. Choices are wonderful things! Some like chocolate....some like vanilla!

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for an older classic pump
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 am
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Location: Omaha, NE
On the 37 I never thought about loading one in the mag and then pumping. I just stick one in the chamber, then close the action & fill the mag. Easy as pie.
To each his own.



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