Trench Guns: Ithaca Model 37 Back in Production

Ithaca-37

The Ithaca Gun Company may have gotten its start in 1883 but they didn’t begin producing their best-selling shotgun for another fifty years. That gun was none other than the Ithaca Model 37, a gun that itself had a long history. It got its start back in 1915 when John Browning entered a patent for a 20-gauge shotgun that would be sold as the Remington Model 17. Years later, Ithaca decided to produce a shotgun and opted for waiting for the patents on Browning’s gun to run out. They had believed the patent was set to run out in 1933 so they named their new shotgun the Model 33, but then they discovered it wouldn’t actually run out until 1937. Four years past the date originally hoped for, the Model 37 went into production.

The Ithaca Model 37 shotgun has a very specific claim to firearms fame: historically it enjoyed the longest-ever production run of all pump-action shotguns. It even outdid the Winchester Model 1912 which was the very gun that led to Ithaca’s production of their Model 37. Despite its popularity the pump shotgun saw a cessation of production in 2005, but fortunately for fans of the gun it’s back in production for 2016.

DSCF3133

From Ithaca and MKS Supply:

“Manufactured by Ithaca in a joint and exclusive effort with Inland
Manufacturing, the Ithaca Model 37 “trench gun” is back. This new,
all-American-made combat shotgun is faithful to the original from its
bead sight, Parkerized finish, oiled stock, and ventilated hand guard to
its hard-to-miss bayonet lug that fits the long 1917 bayonet.

The receiver is CNC-machined from a solid block of steel and features
the same military markings as the original. Also like the original, it
loads and ejects through the bottom of the receiver.

Charles Brown of MKS Supply, the exclusive marketer for the Model 37
says–‘or those who want a mean-looking, authentically reproduced
combat shotgun, the new Ithaca/Inland Model 37 will be both fun to shoot
and a good-looking, authentic combat firearm once used by our troops in
Vietnam.'”

Specs:
* Caliber: 12 gauge (3-inch)

* Weight: 6.7 pounds

* Barrel: 20 inches

* Finish: Parkerized

* Overall length: 38.5 inches

* Stock: American Walnut (oil finished)

* Capacity: 4+1 rounds (4 in magazine, one in chamber)

* Sight: Brass bead front

* Accessories: Military-style sling and one 15-round magazine

* MSRP: $1,239

Ithaca Website


katie.ainsworth

Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at ainsworth.kat@usa.com


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  • Jsim

    Whats with the accessory 15 round magazine?

  • michael franklin

    They must have pulled that from their m-1 carbine info

    • Swarf

      That would be awesome, though.

  • Marc

    $1200 for a five shot pump? That must be some damn good bud they’re smoking.

    • Cameron Bissell

      i suppose its dual purpose to smoke said bud.

    • iksnilol

      Probably intended for the collectors.

  • iksnilol

    I like Ithacas, though they should modernize it IMO. Make a quick change barrel, sell it with one short barrel with bayonet lug and one long hunting barrel.

    • Kivaari

      They have quick change barrels. Screw the magazine cap down, then push the bolt back a short distance, then a quarter turn and it is off. A fault with the M37s, is you can not take the trigger group out without having to loosen the buttstock. The large and small screws at the upper rear of the action seem to fall out often.

      • iksnilol

        Ah, I seem to remember there was a version with soldered on barrels.

        Glad they fixed that. I remember seeing one in 16 gauge for sale here in Norway. Too bad I couldn’t buy it. :/

  • Mike N.

    Or you can buy a $200 Stevens 350, a very nice Chinese made Model 37 knockoff.

    • Nils

      Are they actually made in China now? Has Savage no shame?

      • Mike N.

        Yeah but hey it’s only $200 and a better shotgun than the Norinco 870 clone sold as the H&R Pardner Protector (which, ironically I found to be a better finished and smoother shotgun than the last “real” 870 Express I bought). I bought one for myself and one for my in-laws as a gift. For a home defense shotgun I can’t ask for more.

  • FrenchKiss

    I’d buy an old police version for $500.

  • Evan

    I want one, but that price is absurd. I paid $350 for my Mossberg 500. I don’t see how this is any better, other than that it does look really cool. I’m not about to pay a $900 premium for looks.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I’d say the Ithicas are worse than a 500.

      The bottom eject thing seems really great idea esp for lefties who refuse to shoot proper, until you realize the gun craps where it eats, and that’s never a good idea. I kinda wanted one, until I tried to do an ammo changeover and then clear a malfunction. No thanks!

      • iksnilol

        “Refuse to shoot proper”?

        You remind me of those teachers who’d smack peoples left hand when they tried to write with it.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          You have a mental illness and can train out of it. Dirty devil handed mongrels.

          • iksnilol

            What if I say I am ambidextrous?

            And that I actually have on occasion shot two pistols at once (with decent accuracy).

            Don’t forget devil eyed aswell πŸ˜›

      • James

        I lol’ed. i keep trying to correct my lefty son, but to no avail.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          I feel for you! You’re living my nightmare! If it helps any… You could try a card or smear Chapstick over the left eye, that’ll sway the eye dominance.

      • Evan

        I’m a lefty, and the 500 has never been a problem for me at all. I hate left-ejecting guns with a burning passion; they’re nothing but a crutch and completely unnecessary for virtually any application (with the exception of bullpups).

        • iksnilol

          What about bolt guns?

          • Ceapea

            I’m a lefty! and only a lefty, not ambi. I have a few recent left handed firearms. I regret getting them. they are completely un-natural to shoot. I grew up shooting RH guns and they all work as well for me as for RH shooters. Even better, in some instances. Like mag release buttons on most handguns. My left hand/trigger finger can drop a mag without breaking my firing grip, unlike most RH shooters.
            The only RH guns that have ever caused any small bit of grief for me are direct blowback PCC’s. Keltec sub 2000 and Marlin Camp 9’s come to mind. Other than those, I have no use for LH specific guns/rifles. And that includes bolt guns, of which I own more of, than any other type of rifle.

          • Evan

            I reach over the receiver with my left hand to cycle the bolt. The mad minute is pretty much out, but other than that it works fine. This only works on rifles without scopes. For a scoped bolt gun, if firing from a supported position, I just use my right hand while leaving my left in place. I’ve never shot a scoped bolt rifle from a non-supported position, but I’d probably have to work something different out for that.

    • K.T. Huskyberg

      Does the article have a mix & match from the M1 in the pic? I’m not sure about that $1200 price or 15 round included mag.

    • MR

      They added twenty to 1917 and got 1933. I’m thinking numbers might not be their strong suit.

    • oldman

      It is probably a typo because it says it comes with one 15 round magazine what its 5 feet long.

  • Edeco

    Oh my heavens I want that. Even the 4-round capacity seems perfect. I like those bayonet; strange result of older ideas meshing with then-contemporary ideas.

    So expensive though. Even if the shelf price is $900, brutal financial realities being what they are, it probably wouldn’t work for me this decade.

    • mosinman

      kinda makes sense though,since the shotgun is a close range weapon and in WW1 trenches a bayonet could be useful since you’ll be engaging at close range

      • Edeco

        Totally, but the 1917 is pretty long, I guess the idea was hanging on from when stabbing horses was a concern, which made it impressive but less handy. I recall reading where they’d get pushed through a torso too far and that would be a liability since more length to withdraw before the user could free his weapon :S

        • mosinman

          i wonder if it can mount a shorter bayonet like they used in WW2

          • Kivaari

            The M1 bayonet will not fit. The M1917 Enfield bayonets (having the two grooves on the grips) is what is used. The M1903 and M1 can be swapped.

          • mosinman

            thanks!

          • Edeco

            Be interesting. Not my department, but if used for home defense maybe help prevent an assailant taking full or partial control of the weapon.

            Not that accept everything ever said about issue of assailants disarming victims; there’s some hysteria and propaganda.

      • RICH

        If I’m not mistaken that early bayonet had a 17″ blade…. on the end of that shotgun it was quite a reach !

  • insertjjs

    I kick my self for not buying this early 70s M37 Deer Slayer Police special for $400.

  • Bigbigpoopi

    Faithful enough to still slamfire it?

    • Rusty S.

      Unfortunately? no

      • Edeco

        Crud. Some will disagree, say it’s unsafe. But in a martial shotgun and if it’s historically correct, I’m disappointed they’d change that. Over $1K and watered down? Bleh.

  • Joseph A. Merrill III

    Carried one in Icing Conditions for guard duty. Ice formed in receiver. Not Good. I preferred the Model 97’s or the Model 1200’s we had a few of each and two racks of the Ithaca’s for Guard use. Problem was made worse by taking them in and out of warm buildings. I never had a problem with the Winchesters way too many jams with the Ithaca’s loading and unloading them every shift change. Ft. Belvoir early 70’s.

    • mcducky

      I was at Ft. Belvoir. 521st MP Co. 1971-1973. Had 1200’s, 1897’s and the 38’s in our arms room. I liked the 97 the best.

      • Renegade

        There are still 1897s in inventory, though they are few and far between. Some of the armory guys are pretty protective of them.

        • mcducky

          I’ll bet. BTW, all our M1911A1’s were from WW2. I found an American Rifleman article back then that listed S/N’s, manufacturer, and 1970’s approximate value. We always got the same pistol. Mine was made by Remington Typewriter Company (not Remington Arms). Somewhat rare but only worth ~$200 back then.

          One lucky MP was issued a 1911 made by Singer Sewing Machine Company. They only made ~1000 that were too high of quality. They we ordered to switch production to Norden bomb sights. That 45 was worth $20,000 in 1972!

      • richard kluesek

        Sadly the ’97s are also out of manufacture except for the Norinco forgery.

    • iksnilol

      Uh, in cold conditions you should NEVER (like abso-[expletive]-lutely never) take a firearm in a warm building then out in the cold again. That messes up any gun.

      This is Arctic Stuff 101.

  • Cymond

    I had no idea they were out of production. The website didn’t go down, so I assumed they were still functional.
    ithacagun dotcom/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=267

  • Kivaari

    Well, that price is remarkably overpriced. They are an interesting shotgun. Using 3″ shells will be very painful. We had M37s years ago, and were issued 2 3/4 magnum 00 buck. Those shotguns could bring tears to your eyes. I hated qualification days.

  • RICH

    WOW ! Just a ‘wee’ bit on the pricey side for what it is ! ! IMHO.

  • Ryan Snow

    No slam fire *deep sigh*

  • Themtman

    I couldn’t say when exactly, but they’ve been making Ithacas for at least 4 years. Not the trench gun model, but several of their classics and a model called, IIRC, the Hogslayer.

    • DW

      The deerslayer II and III. Fully dedicated slug guns, they hve fixed barrel and claim to shoot 2MOA.

      • iksnilol

        Isn’t a dedicated slug gun kinda pointless?

        I mean, then it is basically a rifle.

        • DW

          They actually describe them as a 12-gauge rifles.

        • Paul White

          you don’t think an affordable, 76 caliber rifle, is worth having?

        • Cknarf

          Can’t take deer with rifles in Illinois, for some reason.

          • iksnilol

            But isn’t a slug gun with a rifled barrel kinda a rifle?

          • Doom

            Not legally a rifle, but without the semantics, yes, it is a rifle. If it were legally considered a rifle you would have to pay the BS 200$ tax stamp for a “destructive device” since it would be a rifle over .50 Caliber.

    • Nils

      They’ve got several versions of the Model 37.

  • Joe

    John Browning strikes again, a design meant for civilian use pressed into service in the Great War.
    As it was not originally a military design, it is elegant and technically innovative, but not overbuilt.
    While durable enough to stay in service for decades it’s not as durable as Browning’s military designs, let alone the later M500 or 870.
    I’m just happy the 37 is still in production from a parts-availability standpoint.
    I won’t buy one of the new guns but I will need to maintain my 1942 vintage Model 37.

  • J.T.

    The Model 37 has not been out of production since 2005. The trench gun model has been out of production, but not the standard Model 37. The rest of the model 37 line was only out of production from 2005 to 2007.

    • RocketScientist

      You expecting anything approaching accurate, quality, readable reporting from Katie? This is the “reporter” who has trouble even doing copy/paste press-release articles. Unless the new shotgun in question does indeed ship with a 15 rd. magazine?

  • DW

    Obviously this is for collectors. LoL practical use for a bayonet lug, even more when you consider the bayonet it accepts.

    If you absolutely need a bayonet shotgun and have not much money, Mossberg’s 590 SPX can accept M8 bayonets…

  • Grump

    All U.S. made pump shotguns would be expensive if they were still made to the quality standards of 50+ years ago.

    I’m not interested in a Trench Gun personally but its nice to see at least one company still offering a premium pump line.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    I would definitely pay a small markup over, say, an 870 or 500/590, but $1239? That’s about three times the cost of an 870. That will almost get you a Benelli M4. That WILL get you a Benelli M2.

    $600? Definitely. $700? Definitely. $800? Yeah, maybe still.. But $1239? Sorry. No can do πŸ™ No matter how faithful to the original it is.

  • richard kluesek

    Long time ago I had a ’37 with 20″ barrel and extended magazine tube to the muzzle for 7 + 1. Wish I had kept it and installed a barrel shroud. Traded it for a Remington 870 I still have with the extended magazine and …. a barrel shroud which is why I traded. They get hot firing that many rounds.

  • somebodystolemynamefatboy

    The Model 37 Police ‘Deerslayer’ was standard in LAPD for a long time.

    • BlackLion

      Still standard in NYPD.

  • oldman

    It seems someone has issues it says accessories military style sling and one 15 round magazine. What the magazine is 4 or 5 feet long? I am thinking the accessories and msrp are for a different gun.

  • JoshCalle

    $1200 and they don’t even include the damn bayonet. Even IF I had the money to blow on this thing, having a big freakin sword on the end of it is like half the appeal, the other half being slam firing.