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 Ithaca 37 question - slam fire action?
mtk  [Member]
11/9/2006 2:52:37 PM
Hello,

I was reading an ad for an Ithaca Model 37 shotgun and the ad noted that it was one of the old "slam-fire actions." I remember reading about certain combat/riot shotguns allowing you to hold the trigger down and pump the action and the weapon would fire each time it locked up fully. I can only assume this is the type of thing he was refering to in his ad about this Ithaca, which leaves me two questions:

First, am I correct in my assumptions?

Second, the ad implies that this is no longer a feature of Model 37 shotguns. Is this the case, and if so, at what date/serial number did they make this change?

Any help would be most appreciated.
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dfariswheel  [Member]
11/9/2006 3:49:55 PM
The "slam fire" is not a "feature", it's caused by the lack of a disconnecter.
In the old days, a lot of firearms designers didn't include a disconnecter in shotguns.

While you "can" slam fire many older design shotguns, this is hard on the gun, NOT safe, and like "fanning" a single action, you'll hit nothing.
What it is, is a "COOL" thing to do at the range.
The other people who don't know any better and don't notice that you're not hitting anything will be impressed, the experienced shooters will have nothing but contempt for you.

"Slam firing" a shotgun is very much a "Hollywood" thing that looks great and deadly on the screen and is useless in the "real world".

As for the slam fire/disconnecter era in the Ithaca, the change over was in the early to mid-1980's. Sorry, I don't think anyone but Ithaca knows at what serial number the change was done at.
Ithaca is back in business, so you might ask them:
www.ithacagunsusa.com/
mtk  [Member]
11/9/2006 4:46:02 PM
Actually, I didn't think it was a feature, so it sounds like I want a late-80's or later model. Thanks much for the info.
ikor  [Moderator]
11/9/2006 7:36:20 PM
Either will work fine for you as long as you allow the trigger to return under recoil, which most shooters do. I prefer the older Ithaca shotguns, but then I had a 20ga. bird gun for 5 years before I ever realized it did not have a disconnector

My old agency bought several dozen of the early disconnector guns in the early 80's and the quality was for shit. We sent them back, bought 870s and never looked back. The 870s are still in service there today.
Carney2134  [Member]
11/9/2006 9:03:08 PM
I have an Ithica Model 37 DeerSlayer( Handed down from my father) that i use as a trap and skeet gun, iv never tried to fire like that


chris
UZI4you  [Member]
11/9/2006 11:07:02 PM
I had an old Ithaca 37 police model with the high cap tube many years ago. I sold it because it kicked like a horse while slam firing.

The Winchester M97 and 12 didn't kick as bad as the 37.
Donner_und_Blitzen  [Member]
11/10/2006 7:32:54 AM
There is a little more to it than just not having a disconnector. if you have ever had one apart you will find it is designed that way. It is not an accident that it slam fires. The trigger group in a m37 works just like a full auto trigger group in closed bolt machine guns. When the bolt closes while the trigger is held back it trips a sear letting the hammer fall. This the same way full auto work in a closed bolt gun. If it did not have a disconnector the hammer would just follow the bolt closed and not fire. That is why you can not convert most semi-autos to full auto by removing the disconnector




click on thumbnails for fullsize pictures

I removed the trigger group from my Ithaca M37 to see how this beast works. What you have is basically a full auto trigger group in a manual operated shotgun.

You have four main parts. trigger, trigger sear, hammer and trip sear, the trip sear also locks the fore-end closed

in Picture #1 you can see pointed out by the red arrow .the trip sear is holding the hammer down, when the bolt closes and the trigger is held back,it presses the lever down releasing the hammer.

Picture #2 this little hook is what makes the so called "Slam-fire" guns work. This is in the normal position when the bolt is closed and ready to fire.The hammer is held by the trigger sear

Picture #3 shows the hammer in the fire position and the trip sear/fore-end lock is down releasing the fore-end so the bolt can be retracted.

picture #4 this is were the trigger sear engages. When you release the trigger this notch get caught on the trigger sear that is under the hammer.
RA45T  [Member]
11/10/2006 9:12:28 PM

Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
The "slam fire" is not a "feature", it's caused by the lack of a disconnecter.
In the old days, a lot of firearms designers didn't include a disconnecter in shotguns.

While you "can" slam fire many older design shotguns, this is hard on the gun, NOT safe, and like "fanning" a single action, you'll hit nothing.
What it is, is a "COOL" thing to do at the range.
The other people who don't know any better and don't notice that you're not hitting anything will be impressed, the experienced shooters will have nothing but contempt for you.

"Slam firing" a shotgun is very much a "Hollywood" thing that looks great and deadly on the screen and is useless in the "real world".

As for the slam fire/disconnecter era in the Ithaca, the change over was in the early to mid-1980's. Sorry, I don't think anyone but Ithaca knows at what serial number the change was done at.
Ithaca is back in business, so you might ask them:
www.ithacagunsusa.com/


Everything about dfariswheel's post is correct except for the date of the disconnecter removal. This actually happened *around* 1975. It wasn't phased in overnight, and wasn't even ever totally phased out (slamfire was still available to LE after 1975) so there are post-75 guns that are, and are not slam-fire-able, but the only way to tell for sure is to examine the particular gun in question. To further muddy the waters, Ithaca was making non-slamfire M37's for LE use (as a factory option) since the early-to-mid 1960's, so just because you've found a pre-75 M37 doesn't guarantee that you've got a slamfire version. :)

Ithaca continued to provide disconnecter-less guns to LE as an option until they BK'ed in 1986. After this, as far as I've been able to determine, they no longer produced true slamfire guns, but only the "hammer-follow" versions that were still being produced when they BKed again in 2005.
mtk  [Member]
11/12/2006 3:58:54 PM
OK, upon further review, I like the sounds of this "slam-fire action" on the Ithaca 37. So I guess I'll be looking for a pre-75 gun. (FYI, it is for a SBS riot gun project, not a field gun.)

One more question: can anyone tell me if the safety is reversible on the Model 37? It looks like it should be, but I'd like to know for sure it can be reversed or not. Any ideas?
mtk  [Member]
11/15/2006 8:58:20 PM
Anyone know if the Ithaca Model 37 button safety can be reversed for lefty operation?

Anyone?
dfariswheel  [Member]
11/17/2006 12:29:05 AM
Sorry, no idea.

You might contact the new Ithaca and ask them. They'll be able to tell you.
HBruns  [Team Member]
11/17/2006 12:52:22 AM

Originally Posted By RA45T:

Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
The "slam fire" is not a "feature", it's caused by the lack of a disconnecter.
In the old days, a lot of firearms designers didn't include a disconnecter in shotguns.

While you "can" slam fire many older design shotguns, this is hard on the gun, NOT safe, and like "fanning" a single action, you'll hit nothing.
What it is, is a "COOL" thing to do at the range.
The other people who don't know any better and don't notice that you're not hitting anything will be impressed, the experienced shooters will have nothing but contempt for you.

"Slam firing" a shotgun is very much a "Hollywood" thing that looks great and deadly on the screen and is useless in the "real world".

As for the slam fire/disconnecter era in the Ithaca, the change over was in the early to mid-1980's. Sorry, I don't think anyone but Ithaca knows at what serial number the change was done at.
Ithaca is back in business, so you might ask them:
www.ithacagunsusa.com/


Everything about dfariswheel's post is correct except for the date of the disconnecter removal. This actually happened *around* 1975. It wasn't phased in overnight, and wasn't even ever totally phased out (slamfire was still available to LE after 1975) so there are post-75 guns that are, and are not slam-fire-able, but the only way to tell for sure is to examine the particular gun in question. To further muddy the waters, Ithaca was making non-slamfire M37's for LE use (as a factory option) since the early-to-mid 1960's, so just because you've found a pre-75 M37 doesn't guarantee that you've got a slamfire version. :)

Ithaca continued to provide disconnecter-less guns to LE as an option until they BK'ed in 1986. After this, as far as I've been able to determine, they no longer produced true slamfire guns, but only the "hammer-follow" versions that were still being produced when they BKed again in 2005.

I have an Ithaca Model-87 shotgun, a parts-interchangeable version of the Model-37 produced by the company that bought Ithaca after it went under in the 80's. It's serial number is MAG-870xxxxxx. Even the waterfouling design on the side of the action is the same as older Model-37s. Ithaca changed back to calling these Model 37's after a relatively short time marketing the '87s.
This shotgun, re-introduced in 1987, will fire upon closing the action. Hold the trigger back and you can go through the entire magazine by pumping the action.

This is not a design oversight as suggested by dfariswheel and RA45T... it is made to do this by design and not by leaving out the disconnecter.
You may wish to look closer at Donner_und_Blitzen's post which describes the differences.
mtk  [Member]
11/17/2006 1:12:40 PM
I asked Ithaca directly about the safety being reversible and the young lady who answered the phone said she was "99% sure" it could be reversed.

HBruns  [Team Member]
11/17/2006 1:42:16 PM

Originally Posted By mtk:
I asked Ithaca directly about the safety being reversible and the young lady who answered the phone said she was "99% sure" it could be reversed.


Can you find the part number(s) to do this? I do know you can't just flip the existing part.
rob78  [Team Member]
11/17/2006 1:54:48 PM
My dad's old Police Issue DS Featherweight had this feature.

pretty wild looking shotgun with the extended tube and brushed finish.

still got it and it still shoots.
mtk  [Member]
11/17/2006 4:06:45 PM

Originally Posted By HBruns:

Originally Posted By mtk:
I asked Ithaca directly about the safety being reversible and the young lady who answered the phone said she was "99% sure" it could be reversed.


Can you find the part number(s) to do this? I do know you can't just flip the existing part.


I don't have a part number handy, but that fits with another ad I saw for a "lefty safety" for an Ithaca 37. Now to see if I can find that part ad....

bobbyjack  [Team Member]
11/19/2006 6:19:26 AM
I have a Winchester model 1912 made in 1918,so I needed another 20 guage with the trigger disconect! So yes the win mod 12 also was like this ,Also the remigton original shot gun that Itica stole the design from when its patend ran out in 1937!

What was the mod of that Remingtn? Mod 17-A Made untill 1933

You got one of these I'll trade you good!

I need one of those!!!

Bob
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