Winchester Model 12 or Ithaca 37?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by hoopstar789, May 14, 2018.

  1. hoopstar789

    hoopstar789 Distinguished Poster

    Looking to get one or the other eventually but was curious on y'alls opinions on them. Already have the tacticool modern Rem 870 tricked out but would like an old classic. Also both seem to be notorious for slam firing.
     
  2. Vick

    Vick Distinguished Poster

    Both excellent classic shotguns. I have always been partial to the Ithaca M-37, but have had a pile of Winchester M-12's thru the years and have nothing bad to say about them. I liked that the M-37's are lighter weight and (after you get used to it) that they don't have a disconnector (especially liked this on the riot guns) so you can fire on both ends of the pump routine. You can empty a M-37 riot gun really, really, fast! I liked this on the occasional shotgun courses we used to throw in at the practical matches, although I ended up using a Remington M-1100 cut down to 18.5" most of the time.

    For interest sake, I had a M-12 Trap gun once that had a "release trigger"...it didn't go "BANG" when you pulled the trigger, but when you released the trigger after pulling it.
     

  3. hoopstar789

    hoopstar789 Distinguished Poster

    This may sound a bit dumb or maybe I just love the rush of rapid firing but a big factor of me looking to get one is due to the fact you can slamfire
     
  4. 22lrfan

    22lrfan Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    I've got both and prefer the 37. I'm left handed and it loads/ejects from the bottom.
     
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  5. bubbat

    bubbat Gatekeeper to my corner of Hell.

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    I want an 37, never shot one till a couple years ago, and MrsHighbrass let me shoot hers, it's a fine shooting shotgun.
     
  6. Quickeye

    Quickeye Vietnam&PersianGulf Wars MSGO Supporter

    Ithaca Model 37 is of John M. Browning design, and the fire control (hammer, sear, trigger) set up is similar to the fire control of the AR - 15. Stoner knew a good thing when he saw it.
    The Winchester 12 gauge 16, and 20 are hard to find in good to excellent condition and fetch high prices. The 28 ga is worth its weight in silver; with a Simmons vent rib maybe gold.
    The disconnector on the Mdl 12 wears quickly and many will fire second shell on bolt closure, so be aware.
    In these parts it'd be easier to find an Ithaca 37, than a Mdl 12, cheaper too.
     
  7. Jeff700

    Jeff700 Distinguished Poster

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    Another vote for the Ithaca, although I've never owned a Model 12. Not all of the Model 37's have the slam fire "feature". I believe the guns made after 1975 were no longer capable of this. However, some of the riot models made after 75 still had the slam fire capability.
     
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  8. vr1967

    vr1967 Rooinek Amerikaanse

    Of the 2 choices listed, I’d take the Ithaca. I never cared for the Model 12, preferring the model 97 instead.
     
  9. oldguns

    oldguns Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

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    High Standard 200/JC Higgins 20 also have no disconnector, I think, and are usually cheaper.
     
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  10. hoopstar789

    hoopstar789 Distinguished Poster

    Well, I guess with that being said. Anyone have a old 12 Gauge Shotgun that One is damn reliable and two that can slam fire their willing to let go?
     
  11. DEADEYE 1

    DEADEYE 1 Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    NO to willing to let go, Yes I have both. My advice is to buy both.
    When I have hunted with some of my guns in my collection, they earned their keep. When I was young, my first love was rabbit hunting with my beagles.I had 3 shotguns, my Belgium 12 3 inch magnum, and my first real gun, a Mossberg 410 bolt action I later traded the Belgium Browning for a Light Twenty Browning .Then there was my Stevens 20 gauge double that the safety and firing pin broke and I could not find a gunsmith that would repair it, so I retired it.11 years ago when I started repairing guns I restored the double. So with a pack of beagles and at 20 years old, I went looking to buy a 20 gauge pump. I had a good job but with a house payment and young family, I really could not spare the money. I visited a local sporting goods store. They were running a promotion using a local loan company, 12 months, no interest.I bought a new Ithaca Featherweight 12 gauge model 37 pump. That was and still is the best rabbit gun I have ever hunted with. In a briar thicket when the action was fast, I could shoot it from the hip.
    The 26 inch improved cylinder also patterend buckshot better than my 3 inch magnum Browning with a 32 inch full choke.It is a rootin tootin killer of about anything I hunted with it.
    Even my Uncle that was my mentor was impressed with my Ithaca. He was about the best hunter I ever hunted with, so having his approval of my shotgun meant a lot to me.
    It took me over 30 years to find a Model 12 20 gauge like my Uncle carried. One of his grandsons got his.My other Model 12 is a 16 gauge that a millionaire that owned a plantation owned. I paid 600 dollars for it from a friend of the rich man. It basically fell in my lap because my best friend knew I was looking for a Model 12.
    I have seen a couple Ithacas for sale in the last few years.If you find a older one it will probably be for less than a Model 12.I will own mine when I die, but if I run across one for sale, I would be happy to tell you.If I never hunt again with my Ithaca, I have had it for over 40 years, its one hell of a gun that I bought for 139. dollars on the easy pay plan when I was poor but it made me rich. I wish you good luck in finding one , there are millions out there.
     
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  12. oldguns

    oldguns Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

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  13. bubbat

    bubbat Gatekeeper to my corner of Hell.

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    Mine won't slam fire, I remember reading somewhere they updated it in the early '50 to not slam fire.
     
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  14. DEADEYE 1

    DEADEYE 1 Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    I have a NWTF 1300 Winchester and it has, a bolt assist that feels like it pushes back and makes it so that you can pump one out and another in battery fast.There are a lot of Mossbergs in pawn shops that you can find really reasonable. Are you wanting a gun that is in good shooting condition, but needs some spray paint, You can probably a good deal on a Mossy 500.
     
  15. hoopstar789

    hoopstar789 Distinguished Poster

    I already have a good pump gun (870), I just want a 12G that I can slamfire
     
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  16. HerrZnk

    HerrZnk Distinguished Poster

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    I have read elsewhere that a disconnector was added to the M37 after 1975.
    The M37 was the first firearm I bought with my own lawn mowing money when I was about 13 or 14. Bought it at the Jackson Mall Woolworth's or W.T. Grant, can't remember. I paid for it & the guy told momma she'd have to fill out the paperwork. Wish I still had that one, but now I have a nice one in 12 gauge and another in 16 gauge. Both "slam fire".
     
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  17. Quickeye

    Quickeye Vietnam&PersianGulf Wars MSGO Supporter

    "Slam fire" is a term usually reserved for semi-automatic cycling of the bolt, (and firing pin). If a pump action shotgun fires on bolt closure,with trigger pulled back and held, it is unserviceable, and most likely meets the definition of NFA weapon, ie. firing more than one time with one pull of the trigger. In addition, continued use in this unserviceable state could very easily lead to broken operation rods, or rod, and if firing occurs before breech bolt is locked, personal injury may result.
    Clip or magazine; black assault rifle or AR-15 semi-auto sporter;
    pump or slide action shotgun "slam fire" or defective operation of the shotgun?
    The Ithaca mdl 37, currently has a firing pin spring to preclude
    firing on bolt closure. If it does fire it is not operating correctly.
     
  18. hoopstar789

    hoopstar789 Distinguished Poster

    Not supposed to put vertical foregrips on AR pistols either making them SBRs or Shoulder SB tactical braces for that little bit but people do it anyway. Not that om suggesting people to break the law but I doubt the ATF is worried about people with "slam fire" shotguns
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018 at 6:22 AM
  19. Quickeye

    Quickeye Vietnam&PersianGulf Wars MSGO Supporter

    You mean on your assault pistol?
    I'm simply trying to point out that the uninformed MSM misuses terms constantly to undermine gun rights. Why give them anymore ammo with misnomers, like slam fire on a shotgun?
    Pass me a clip for my assault rifle would ya'?
     
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  20. HerrZnk

    HerrZnk Distinguished Poster

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    I've used various Ithaca M37 shotguns (all produced prior to 1975) since the early 1970s and they all will fire as soon as the bolt goes into battery. Some of the M37s I've fired were made in the 1950s. The M37s manufactured prior to 1975 are NOT "unserviceable" but were designed to be a shotgun capable of rapid fire. They are operating properly. To quote a Wikipedia description:
    "On most models up to 1975, a second sear was installed that would drop the hammer as soon the gun went into battery if the trigger was in a depressed condition. Thus, holding the trigger down allowed the gun to fire the instant a new round is cycled into the chamber without requiring the trigger to be released; this feature was called "slam-fire". Otherwise, the model 37 operates in much the same way as other pump-action shotguns."
    If this were a violation of the NFA of 1934 I'm certain our dear BATFE would've taken note by now, some 81 years since the shotgun's introduction.
    Ithaca 37 - Wikipedia
    I would also refer to the excellent book on the M37, Ithaca Featherlight Repeaters, the Best Gun Going by Walther C. Snyder.
     
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