If this is a pre-1963 M. 37, believe it would also be engraved in the barrel, just fore of the receiver and on the bottom. Guns with pre-855,000 serial numbers were hand-fitted together at the Ithaca factory.
But if you do, in fact, have an original 1937 M. 37, I think you may be sitting on quite a special firearm.
OK, well I pulled the barrel off and sure enough, on the bottom of the barrel is the same four digit number that's stamped on the front of the receiver. On the barrel, just before the number is a little 4-sided star kind of stamp as well
Personall, I have a had time believing it's a 1937 gun, although I don't know all the history of it. It is a really nice piece, however.
BTW, the number is in the 1,000 range and the gun does have the little helper pin on the magazine end cap.
Ithaca did away with the magazine cap pin in 1955; the same time they did away with the checkering pattern on the butt stock and brought our the Raybar front sight. The mark on the barrel near the serial number is the stamp that was assigned to the gunmaker who proofed the barrel. According to Walt Snyder's book the stamp you described was used by Charles Fox. Serial numbers 0001 to 3500 were M37's manufactured in 1937.
Thanks for all the input guys. It appears as though I do have a 1937 Model 37. The gun is in really great condition. I had it out Sunday just to try it and the best part is that when I pointed it in the right direction, the skeet would fall from the sky
You're a lucky man, indeed: you own a first-year model of arguably the lightest, smoothest-pumping, best-pointing shotgun ever manufactured. That basic design lived, virtually unchanged, until Ithaca Gun folded last year.
BTW, has anyone gotten back to you with a value of this baby? I would think that it might be worth a very handsome sum, especially if they only produced a limited number of them. You might want to think about having it appraised. Walt Snyder, who literally wrote the book on the Model 37, sometimes posts on this site. Perhaps he would be willing to give you a ballpark value.
OK, well now everyone's got me curious. When I received this gun I was given my choice of seven different guns. I picked this because I needed a general purpose 12 Ga pump gun for playing. Sounds like I still need one. If anyone could clue me in on a value range for this gun I be very thankful. I have no idea what to think this thing is worth.
Since I'm new here, I don't know all of the customs of the board. If it's best to keep value-type talk off the board, my email is [email protected]. I can send pics for reference if req'd.
Ithaca made approximately 3500 M37's (all 12 ga guns) that first year so while they are not frequently encountered they are not really all that rare. If the gun is a plain barrel standard grade (not a 37S or 37T) in really nice collectible condition it is probably worth somewhere in the $600 range; maybe a bit more if its a three digit serial number. If it's a 90% gun probably $400-$450 so you may as well go ahead and shoot it. If its a 37S or 37T then thats a different story.
Thanks Rick. It's S/N 16xx and there are no 37S or T marks on the barrel. I like it and I'm quite pleased with it. I don't shoot all that much so it's not like I'm going to wear it out, but I will be using it.
That was my thought value wise. Maybe $400 unless super codition, then maybe a little more.
just for info, the cap pin was a great idea to help loosening the cap, but unfortunately, most used it more to tighten the cap and sometimes actually put a small bend in the barrel. That is why it was done away with.
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