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37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions
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Author:  PNWIthacaJunkie [ Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:09 am ]
Post subject:  37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Hey there fine Ithaca people!

I'm not a frequent participant and haven't been on the forum much lately as I've been focusing on a new hunting companion and not spending quite as much time obsessing over shotguns. Not that this is a bad thing! I will also concede that I have recently 'cheated' on you all and spent
last season hunting with a non-Ithaca.

My experience here is that you are all GREAT people who are knowledgeable and willing to help. So, if you can forgive my recent disloyalty, I'd really appreciate your advice.

The 37R 16 gauge I bought a few years back has decent pre-war wood (albeit in need of refinishing). The receiver is in fair shape with evidence of use that would be expected for the gun's age. But, the barrel has surface pitting that is probably beyond repair.

With the new pup, I am really starting to focus more on upland and am leaning toward being 100% dedicated to the 16 gauge. It's not uncommon to encounter quail and pheasants on the same hunt. I'd like to give this gun a serious go next season. It is huntable as is, but I'd like to pretty her up and have a field gun that better 'honors' the Ithaca history and tradition.

I am capable of refinishing the stock and forend, but not quite sure what to do with the barrel? With the solid rib, I am of the impression that polishing the barrel to remove light pitting is likely not possible. Additonally, I have gleaned from this forum that hot bluing is not an option. So, wondering what your thoughts are on the following options or other ideas. Search for a replcement barrel and get it fitted to the receiver, try to find someone who can restore the barrel, leave it as is and go hunting, sell it and find another 16 in better condition, or ???

Your suggestions and advice are most appreciated!

Author:  IthacaMatt [ Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Yeah, I don't think you can't do a hot blue job on a solid rib barrel either. The solder on the rib won't stand up to the process.

I won't say another 16 ga solid rib barrel isn't out there, but you are going to be hard pressed to find another. If you do find one you better buy it.

If it was mine and I wanted to have the metal done I would contact Les Hovencamp at Diamond Gunsmithing in Ithaca NY. He can give you a quote on what it would take. You might as well send the whole gun in minus the wood and have it all done if you are gonna do the barrel anyway. Yes, some of the pitting may not come out but it will be better than it probably currently is.

Les would be the only person I would trust fitting a Ithaca barrel as well.

Good luck. The 16 makes a fine upland gun.

Author:  nesto [ Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Matt is right - send the entire gun to Les for refinishing - wood and metal. Hard to estimate how bad the barrel is without seeing it, but Les is the only one I would let touch it.

Author:  1977cutcher [ Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

If you are a DIY kinda guy and want to attempt to tackle it your self there are a few you tube videos on salt bluing. I have never done it my self but I would be seriously tempted if I had the right gun to practice with. Sounds like you might have a good candidate, does not sound like you you can hurt it much.

Author:  drcook [ Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

I have a pre-855 barrel that I would sell. HOWEVER, it would need fitted of course, and choke tubes installed. It is 26" long, must have originally been a 28" and had the choke cut off, or it was opened up to cylinder bore. I bought it to have fitted to the gun I have with a polychoke on it but would pass it on. It has a brass bead fitted and the blueing is not bad.

Mike Orlen OR Les could install the choke tubes. Les could (I believe) and you would have it done at the same time it was being fitted.

Having a field barrel with tubes fitted to the receiver opens up possibilities :-)

PM me if interested and we can go from there. I would only want what I paid for it. I am in the process of building a long range rifle for my wife, hence I am selling some of my extra parts off and trying to give board members first go at them.

dc

Author:  PNWIthacaJunkie [ Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Thanks for your suggestions fellas. Really appreciate it.

I've had Les finish one of my 20 gauges and was pleased with the work his shop did. However, his cost for total restoration is probably cost prohibitive, given the condition of the barrel. On his website it's not totally clear he'd charge for slow rust bluing the barrel only. Looks like possibly $150. With shipping both ways, probably pushing $200. I may try send an online quote request with pics to see what they think they can do about addressing the pitting.

I'm going to look at the DIY bluing it myself. I've been able to polish down shallow rust on smooth barrel guns, but don't know how to approach it with the solId rib.

My understanding has aleays been that if you can't get it mostly polished out, rebluing - regardless of who does it - will only highlight the imperfections.

Dr cook - thanks for the barrel offer, but Im afraid that would compound my issues and costs.

Author:  oyeme [ Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Everybody has to decide what their $ threshold is but to have a righteous early gun to hunt with the new pup for approximately $200? That is a no-brainer for me. However, like I said it is up to the individual.

Author:  EricB [ Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Let us know what you decide to do. I lose most of my rational thinking when it comes to Ithacas, so I wouldn’t be the one to take advice from. I’ll just wait and see what you do.

Author:  ohio mike [ Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

I have had very good luck with Mark Lee Express blue and just recently did a solid rib 16 and am getting another ready right now. I hand polish everything and use a heat gun to warm the metal. Comes out great but time consuming,about 15 hrs labor start to finish. There's a thread showing a couple I did in this forum including a 16 gauge RD. And yes it is a true rust blue. The defects will not show up worse. Check out his instructions on line or Brownells' website has a lot of great tips.

Author:  EricB [ Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

ohio mike wrote:
I have had very good luck with Mark Lee Express blue and just recently did a solid rib 16 and am getting another ready right now. I hand polish everything and use a heat gun to warm the metal. Comes out great but time consuming,about 15 hrs labor start to finish. There's a thread showing a couple I did in this forum including a 16 gauge RD. And yes it is a true rust blue. The defects will not show up worse. Check out his instructions on line or Brownells' website has a lot of great tips.


Did you practice first on something that didn’t matter? I have a ‘49 m37 but I wouldn’t to damage it. The bluing is gone but it’s otherwise perfect.

Author:  ohio mike [ Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Yep,polished and blued a couple of pieces of flatstock and a old Stevens bolt action. It's not as hard as you might imagine. Prep is the big thing. Had done a lot of cold bluing over the years but this is far,far,far superior.

Author:  drcook [ Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuP4m6L95K4

I have friends that have done rust blueing. It is not all that hard to do, just time consuming.

With rust blueing leaving a satin finish, any remaining pitting won't be as obvious as on a highly polished blued barrel.

Also WHO CARES. On the gun that I had the receiver welded up and a spot on the barrel fixed, you can see it in the right light, but it turned into one of my favorite hunting guns.

What made it special is (other than the actual welding and blueing) I did all the polishing, filing and sanding the welds down, refinishing the wood and recutting the checkering.

One of my BPCR rifles has a rust blued barrel. It is pretty cool.

Author:  PNWIthacaJunkie [ Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Thanks to all who have replied. The friendly and helpful suggestions are much appreciated and what I love about this forum. Ithaca people are the best!

I'm giving serious consideration to giving rust bluing a go. The Midway video was very informative, so thanks for that David. Not sure what to think of Larry Potterfield's choice of music though!

Author:  drcook [ Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Just make sure you remove any actual rust from the pits. I used Rust Remover and the small brass and stainless brushes from Harbor Freight and Lowes. You put one of the bristles down in the pit and work it in a circular motion. Eventually you will be able to work the rust out. You don't want active corrosion under the blueing as it could continue until it ate a hole in the barrel.

I also got a set of picks from H.F. and gently used them in the bottom of the pits to help break up and abrade the rust loose.

Author:  PNWIthacaJunkie [ Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Thanks to the encouragement some of you provided, I took a stab at rust bluing the barrel. I used Mark Lee Express as endorsed by Ohio Mike and it turned out pretty good. The pitting was shallowed than it looked and sanded out pretty well. The finished product is a vast improvement.

I am in the process of bluing the remainder of the gun now. My first go with the receiver and forend slide was unsatisfactory. My second attempt with the receiver today looks better.

Author:  1977cutcher [ Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Looking forward to pictures!

Author:  ohio mike [ Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

How many coats? I do 6 to 8.

Author:  PNWIthacaJunkie [ Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Same. I must have done something slightly different when I did the receiver and forend slide. Wouldn't darken up.

I redid the receiver yesterday and it's looking much better. Not perfect, but substantially better than what I started with.

Cleaned up a couple of bungled screws last night and doing those and the slide this afternoon

Author:  PNWIthacaJunkie [ Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Well, after more time and effort than I would like, I think I finally figured out how to post pics. Drum roll.....

Regretably, I did not take pics before I started. But, the barrel pitting, bluing loss, overall rust patina were quite bad. I am generally pleased with the results even though its far from perfect.

There are still a few deeper dings and pits that I will have to live with. And, I'm still having issues with the rust bluing on the slide. I'm going to give it one more try, but would appreciate suggestions from anyone who has had similar issues with home rust bluing.

The wood is intact without cracks or chips, but as you can see needs refinishing.

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Author:  ohio mike [ Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 37R pre-war 16 gauge suggestions

Pretty darn nice first attempt! :B3

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