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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I look through the classified sections of the various shooting magazines and at gun shops, I see a lack or absence of Ithaca guns in all models. Other classic American guns like LC Smiths, Fox, Parker, etc. seem to be listed in greater number. What might be the reason(s). Did Ithaca produce less than these other companies, are they not considered as 'classic' as these others or do Ithaca owners hold on to their guns or am I looking in the wrong places. Any thoughts on my observation are welcome.
 

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With well over 11 million Remington Model 870s out there, there are only 58 Remington pump shotguns on GI. Yet, with less than 35000 Winchester Model 21s there are 270 on GI?!? Perhaps it has more to do with the potential profit margin on the gun as to whether it is worthwhile to list it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Read an interesting article in Sporting Classics on the Ithaca NIG hammer. The author hypothesized why so few are available. His theory is that it may be due to the failure of the internal mechanism of the relatively new boxlock action, thereby taking a great number of these guns out of circulation. Is it possible that other failures like this in other models have reduced the number of guns available and possibly reduced the desire of collectors to invest in a gun that may have problems wether it is a real problem or not. I seem to recall discussions around issues that the Fluse model has of cracking in critical spots.

The resale value idea makes sense if our guns are purchased as an investment to make a profit. However from my experience this does not hold water. Unless the gun is an exceptional high grade example the values of our guns seems to remain on average very close to what we paid for them. So from my point of view if I find an Ithaca gun that I want in my collection, I will pay the price (negotiated as low as possible, I am a Scotsman after all) but never expect to gain monetarily from this addition. The gain is from the pleasure derived in owning and shooting a fine American shotgun, and belonging to a unique group that enjoys Ithaca shotguns.
 

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On GI the heading Ithaca NID shows 44 guns. However, only 31 of the guns listed are actual NIDs original or ICD. The others include Flues, Minier, Lewis, a Western Arms Long Range (listed by the dealer as a NID), and an E.F. Flues gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Researcher, I went to the GI website and this is what I found for sale;
417 Parkers
234 LC Smith
160 Fox
125 Ithaca

This I think helps clarify my original point. Its just a phenomenon that I have been noticing and seems to be consistent for auction sites, or gun classifieds in magazines. Pricing, production numbers, brand mystique, among other factors may contribute to this. I don't expect to find an answer but it piqued my curiosity.
 

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Just speculating but maybe it has to do with the fact that no one published a book entitled, "Ithaca: The Finest Gun In the World".

It is my understanding that one book by Macintosh about Fox guns, really stoked the fire for classic American double gun collectors, and especially for AH Fox guns.
 

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I will be consigning for sale a very nice Ithaca NID Magnum 10 in the next week or so. There were relatively few of these made and they were the first guns chambered for the mammoth 3.5" 10 ga shell. They were built like a tank. I really hate to sell it, but it's time to thin the herd.
 

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casonet said:
I will be consigning for sale a very nice Ithaca NID Magnum 10 in the next week or so. There were relatively few of these made and they were the first guns chambered for the mammoth 3.5" 10 ga shell. They were built like a tank. I really hate to sell it, but it's time to thin the herd.
Isn't that the gun and chambering that Elmer Keith helped convince Ithaca to make?
 

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It was one of the Olins. Perhaps John Olin's son who ask Ithaca if they could build a gun that would handle the shell. Ithaca followed through
 

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nwcanoe said:
As I look through the classified sections of the various shooting magazines and at gun shops, I see a lack or absence of Ithaca guns in all models. Other classic American guns like LC Smiths, Fox, Parker, etc. seem to be listed in greater number. What might be the reason(s). Did Ithaca produce less than these other companies, are they not considered as 'classic' as these others or do Ithaca owners hold on to their guns or am I looking in the wrong places. Any thoughts on my observation are welcome.
I would suggest three reasons.

First, all my life when I read Gun Trader's guide books I've known that pre NID Ithaca doubles are sort of like salt wood Brownings. That gorgeous old Ithaca double, is not considered as safe as the holy trinity of Parker, A.H. Fox, and LC Smith (plus a real Lefefer if you can find one). Right or wrong, it's hurt the Ithaca brand.

The second reason is that Ithaca was the Plymouth of old classic doubles. They were worn brand new, always the cheapest quality double of the Big Four. Again that hurt the brand.

The last reason is that Parker, A.H. Fox and L.C. Smith all died about seventy some years ago. I own about a dozen Ithacas, all repeaters, most M37s.

We covet what we cannot buy new.
 

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I disagree about the quality being "Plynouth" level. Maybe you should take a look at a Souza grade. The lock on the NID was a vast improvement on its predecessors and in my opinion every bit as strong and reliable as anything with the exception of the Model 21 which has no peer. The American Doubles that get no respect are the 1894 and 1900 Remingtons although they are very solid guns. The Parkers are way too complicated in their design, and the Fox and the Winchester are utterly simple.
 

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I still tell people that my '28 16 Ga NID is like having an old Pontiac with all the options working.
This is the gun I always wanted, even before I knew it. SXS, 2 triggers, selective ejectors, cocking indicators. Straight and tight.
When I bought this, I was pretty low bux and I put a $900. gun on layaway. The day I paid it off and took it home, the guys in the shop said if they'd seen it, it never would have gone on the sale rack.
No beauty queen, but a gun I never thought I'd be able to own.
When I had the chambers lengthened, I was not concerned with how it would affect it's resale: There was never any thought that I would ever sell it. I'm going to hunt it till I can't any more.
I love my kids and theirs, buy they might bury me with this one.
 

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Interesting question....since it appears that the majority of american SxS went the upland route, perhaps it was fewer to start with re timing and marketing....tho TR certainly got his pimp in.

I would guess simple esthetics played a large role in NIDs and earlier models.
The frames and triggers seemed more blocky, less refined, than either a Fox or a Parker.
The Fox frame fits perfectly well to smaller gauges than 12, with the Parker looking less put together as gauge declined below 16...to me.
The Smith had that whole sidelock thingy going on and their engraving was comparably top-of-the-line early on, which is where image is often fixed.

While Elsies are ho-hum in looks to me, a NID is one sxs apart from Fox which I would buy today....the waterfowling 10s, Super or magnum, have a good rep and why that NID 28 did not sell gangbusters, I fail to see....probably weight and the desire for firepower and multiple shots of the day.
Still, I remember one old fella in an ad holding rabbits and pushing the Ithaca28.

In truth, satisfaction can be found in any in-shape american sxs.....one is lucky to be in a good position with game birds to find out why.
 

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Isn't that the gun and chambering that Elmer Keith helped convince Ithaca to make?
Maybe in Elmer's mind, but it was a collaboration between Ithaca and Western Cartridge Co. The first Magnum-10, serial number 500000, a No. 4E+ with all the options except beavertail forearm was made for Capt. Chas. Askins, who was also involved in the development of the Super-Fox a decade earlier.

500000 01 full view.jpg


500000 02 close up.jpg


Askins later sold the gun to Elmer who certainly made it well known.

According to the records compilation Ithaca did in the 1960s there were 887 Magnum-10s built in all grades.
 

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casonet said:
I disagree about the quality being "Plynouth" level. Maybe you should take a look at a Souza grade. The lock on the NID was a vast improvement on its predecessors and in my opinion every bit as strong and reliable as anything with the exception of the Model 21 which has no peer. The American Doubles that get no respect are the 1894 and 1900 Remingtons although they are very solid guns. The Parkers are way too complicated in their design, and the Fox and the Winchester are utterly simple.
At the $100, $150, $200, and more expensive quality levels an Ithaca was likely the same as a Parker, AH Fox, and LC Smith but those were but a fraction of sales of classic doubles.

Go look at say, about a 1908 Flues model Ithaca.

The amount of adjustments on that Flues are perhaps only exceeded by a Lefever.

In every way you can measure, that Ithaca is high quality American double gun.

Yet those started at $18 in the Sears catalog and the LC Smith was $25 and thd Parker was $35.

Being the lowest price at the base model, plus the Nitro Special, kept Ithaca afloat long enough to make the switch over to the Model 37, but at the same time, made Ithaca the bargain name of classic doubles.

I've always wondered how Ithaca maintained the lowest price of the big four classic guns.

To examine one, you're paying a premium for a Parker, and an Ithaca is a bargain, but they all four are about the same gadgets, different makers.

And then, profits from the Ithaca 37 kept the Knick trap guns alive until the 1970s.

But if the Knicks had said Parker on the barrel, we'd not be able to afford any today.
 

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Gentlemen,

Ithaca made good solid double guns, a little bulky for my taste. However I have a 12 gauge Ithaca/LeFever Nitro made in 1926 on a 16 gauge frame that is a real serious bird gun, with engraving and Oak leaf carved stocks. Further the Souza grade guns were some of the finest double guns ever made. Ithaca always priced their field type guns very low to help make sales. IMO it kept the business a float for many years, but has hurt the resale of most Ithaca guns, excepting the Souza grade guns. The Ithaca guns were all box lock guns and they had to compete with LeFever, Parker and Fox, the American Sportsman had a lot of good box lock guns to choose form. Our family never owned an Ithaca gun until I bought the Ithaca/LeFever a few years back. Not because of the quality of the gun, but because most of the guns were a little heavy to Grouse hunt with, unless you purchased a 28 gauge gun. The 28 gauge Ithaca goes for some serious money, if you can find one for sale.

all the best,

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man
 

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Of the early century guns, the Big 3 get all of the respect: Parker, Fox and LC Smith. Like it or not, that's just the way it is. Take the lowly Remington 1900, a very good gun, well made with a pedigree, but nobody wants them because they aren't one of the Big 3. To some extent, Ithaca falls into that same category, although in my opinion they should be considered right along with the Big 3, but I can't change that. The NID in my opinion is by far the best design that Ithaca came up with. They are strong, durable and in my opinion nice looking guns. I sure like mine.
 
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I agree that in general Ithaca is undervalued. Why, I don't know. For some reason the model 12 Winchester far out values a similar 37. I like the fact that I can afford a lot more Ithaca guns for a collection but they are not as good of an investment as a Winchester.
 
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