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 Post subject: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:13 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 am
Posts: 20
Location: New York
Hi Everyone -

I had my first trap shooting lesson with my 1973 Ithaca Model 37 and while it was a lot of fun the negative was I only shot 5 rounds out of 100 with my gun. The rest of the time I used my instructors Remington 1100 and an over under rental.

Based on what I’ve read, the issue I ran into seems to be one others have experienced as well. Still I wanted to gather as much insight as I can from this great community specific to what happened to me in the hopes I can resolve this issue.

I had Rio 2 3/4 inch size 8 lead shot and before I bought this ammo I mentioned it in another question I posted and folks said it should be fine (no mention of the fact that it might stick).

I loaded the Rio shells easily, fired with no problem but the shells stuck every time. My gun looks great so if anyone thinks I should do any specific checks on the gun itself or post any specific pics let me know but I really feel it must be that the shells were expanding and getting stuck.

If that is in fact the case I wanted to ask those who have had this same issue what ammo did they use and what ammo did they use to avoid the issue entirely ?

I have learned a ton since joining this community a few weeks ago but ammo is still an area where I’ve got a lot to learn. What ammo brands have brass shells and are low brass shells good enough or should I only look at high brass shells or are high brass not for target shooting ? I’ve seen folks say they’ve avoided the issue with Remington STS and Winchester AA but then I’ve seen others say they’ve had their guns have shell ejection issues with those as well.

I really want to compile a list of ammo to avoid and a list of ammo I can trust for my purpose of trap shooting. Goal is to find ammo brands I can rely on when shooting 100+ rounds of trap with minimal to no shells getting stuck.

Thanks all !

Joe



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1973 Ithaca Model 37, 12 Gauge, Old Blue


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:30 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 190
There is no "stock" answer as to which make of shells will work for any gun, not just the Model 37's.
I suggest you try a number of different makes and loads in you gun before you buy a case of one type. Also, look back at some of the older posts concerning this type of problem for solutions offered.

The Model 37 has two cut-outs in the chamber end of the barrel that have to line up with the matching cut-outs in the receiver when the barrel is installed. Make sure they line up correctly. You can see the alignment if you invert the gun and retract the bolt. Also, I have had good luck polishing the chamber and forcing cone using very fine emery paper and steel wool on a wooden dowel chucked in a drill with light oil for lubrication and cleaning. Just don't go crazy with the emery paper. The steel wool won't hurt the barrel steel and burnishes out the chamber after using the paper. If you do it correctly, you should have a mirror finish to the entire chamber, but maybe not at the forcing cone due to factory reamer marks.


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:46 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1283
Location: Ohio
Do you have the stuck spent shells? If so check for small bulges at the 6 & 12 o’clock positions. If there’s bulges then the extractors are not aligned with the barrel notches. Loosen the barrel yoke screw, then remove and RE install the barrel. The yoke should find it’s own center during the process. RE tighten the screw with the barrel installed. Usually you only have to do this once but I have one that gave me fits, took a number of tries but I finally got it.

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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:20 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 10:45 pm
Posts: 1356
Location: Western New York
I agree 100% with the two preceding posts.

I've never had to go the emery cloth route, but the 0000 oiled steel wool has always gotten the chamber and forcing cone glass-smooth. And re-alignment of the extractor cuts by self-centering the yoke was a great piece of advice that Cutcher gave me for solving cycling problems.

About the only other advice I'd venture to offer is that it makes sense to check the strength of the extractor springs with your thumbnail occasionally, just to make sure they still have plenty of oomph to grab the lip of the casing, and hit the extractor edge occasionally with a flat file if it shows any sign of starting to get rounded off, especially if you're cycling steel-base ammo

FWIW, the only ammo I've ever encountered that failed to load, fire, and eject in my 37 properly (Winchester "white box" Super Target bulk pack) also failed to do so in my Wingmaster and my Model 12.


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:42 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 10:24 am
Posts: 399
Location: Ithaca, NY
I got a cure. Unfortunately not a fix you can do at home. Call me

Les Hovencamp
www.diamondgunsmithing.com
607-273-4510


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:50 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:25 pm
Posts: 8815
Location: Louisiana
Les does indeed have the fix. When I first got my '59 16ga M37 in 2012, it would extract only with great difficulty. Even good shells like Remington, Winchester and Federal stuck so badly I could barely get the breech to open. I sent it to Les and it's worked like a champ ever since. His invoice said "Reamed receiver, chamber and heading cut, function tested". He's the former head of Ithaca Gun Company's repair shop and is truly a M37 expert.


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:25 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 am
Posts: 20
Location: New York
Thanks for your insights everyone !

Wanted to share a minor update here and see if it spurs any additional thoughts from this great community !

I bought a set of A Zoom snap caps and they load and eject as smooth as possible.

I am wondering if this is more evidence to support that my particular issue is ammo related and not related to a more complex issue requiring gunsmithing.

That being said, I just tried calling Les and will try again tomorrow - interested to hear have that conversation and if I need to send her in I know from everything I’ve read here that she’ll be in the best and most capable hands !

Thanks all !

Joe

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1973 Ithaca Model 37, 12 Gauge, Old Blue


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:33 pm 
Diamond Grade
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 10:45 pm
Posts: 1356
Location: Western New York
Okinawa wrote:

I bought a set of A Zoom snap caps and they load and eject as smooth as possible.

I am wondering if this is more evidence to support that my particular issue is ammo related and not related to a more complex issue requiring gunsmithing.

Joe


I think it's evidence that it's fired-ammo-related. The shell's base expands under ignition. Cheaper ammo with a thinner base perhaps expands more. But if the underlying problem is that there's a ridge or constriction that has built up in the chamber, it's probably not going to get any better and may start impacting extraction of "good" shells. Removing it is the solution.


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:44 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 1283
Location: Ohio
The snap caps have proven that the gun is timed correctly so that's good. I agree that the problem is with fired shells. Don't know if it has to do with cheap shells, miss aligned extractors or what. I would re-align the barrel because it is quick and dose not cost anything. I would then try the gun and closely examine the spent shells if they stick for clues.

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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:57 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 am
Posts: 20
Location: New York
Thanks guys !

I am going to the range this weekend and will report back. I bought 25 rounds each of the ammo below to test out.

Bornaghi Cesare Target Loads T4CESARE2875, 12 Gauge, 2-3/4", 1 oz, 1420 fps, #7.5 Shot, 25 Rd/bx

Fiocchi Premium Target Crusher Shotshell 12CRSR75, 12 Gauge, 2-3/4", 1 oz, 1300 fps, #7.5 Lead Shot, 25 Rds/Bx

Remington Premier STS Target Loads STS1218, 12 Gauge, 2-3/4", 1 oz, 1185 fps, #8 Lead Shot, 25 Rds/Bx

Winchester AA Diamond Grade Shotshells AADGL12507, 12 Gauge, 2-3/4", 1 oz, 1250 fps, #7.5 Lead Shot, 25 Rds/Bx

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1973 Ithaca Model 37, 12 Gauge, Old Blue


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:22 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:31 pm
Posts: 1424
Your gonna have trouble with the first two I betcha.


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:48 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 am
Posts: 20
Location: New York
Crazy ! Because the first two were $8 and change and the bottom two were $11 and change. Plus $14.99 shipping (ordered 1 week ago and still have not arrived :)

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1973 Ithaca Model 37, 12 Gauge, Old Blue


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:11 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 am
Posts: 20
Location: New York
Made it out to the range today so wanted to share an update !

The ammo mentioned in my last post didn't arrive in time so I went with 50 rounds of the Rio target ammo that jammed on every shot during my last time out and my plan was to buy Remington STS and Winchester AA Diamond Grade at the range. Turns out they didn't have either due to shipping delays so I had to settle on 50 rounds of Fiocchi Exacta White Rhino.

Guess what I started off with the Fiocchi and no jams !!!

Then I moved to the Rio and NO JAMS !!!

This is my second time shooting trap in 2 months and 3rd time overall and in my last game with the Rio I hit 18 out of 25 which to me felt great !

Now I can say after using my 73 model 37 I am so happy with my shotgun - the way it felt, the way it looked, just everything.

Also upon arrival and when leaving two guys came up to me to say wow nice gun ! Nice gun indeed !

As for what I did to not have any jams this time vs last time: I removed the stock and sprayed Brakleen (non chlorinated) through the chamber. It dripped out the back and surprisingly (to me) not much dirt came out. Then I used my Tetra Gun Cleaning kit to clean the barrel. First I used the wire brush (passed it through like 5 times) then pushed 5-6 patches through with cleaner and it went from dirty to glowing clean.

That was all I did differently ! So happy seemingly all ammo is working through my gun now.

Have a nice night all and thanks for you help !!

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1973 Ithaca Model 37, 12 Gauge, Old Blue


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 Post subject: Re: Shells Firing but Sticking in my 1973 Ithaca M37 (Ammo Q
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:05 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:44 pm
Posts: 2446
Location: Michigan
The problem is two fold, first the steel headed shells and of course cheap shells.
Many many years ago when paper shells were made the shell body was made from waxed paper. Winchester went so far as to "seal" case mouths with wax. Federal when they first started making plastic bodied shells sealed case mouths with wax.

That wax coated the chambers with enough lubricant to prevent spent shells from sticking.
If you prep your loaded rounds with a wipe of JPW, that small amount of wax lube should stop the shells from sticking in the guns chamber.




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