Granddad's '48 Ithaca (mildly salty language)

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Granddad's '48 Ithaca (mildly salty language)

Post by DarwinsFlinch » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:15 pm

My granddad passed about a year ago and left me his hunting gun, a Model 37 16 gauge. Over the years, the man constantly outshot me in the field and at clays. 50 of 50 was not a rare round for him which proves the old saying: "beware of a man with only one gun - he probably knows how to use it." If it was smaller than a deer, he had bagged it (grandmother said he never hunted deer after coming home from WWII) - duck, pheasant, turkey, rabbit, squirrel, bobcat...

I love my 870s, but this gun is everything a well-loved field gun should be. Although most of the bluing is gone after 60+ years, and it is covered barrel to stock with very fine scores from rose bush thorns and pushing limbs aside, there is not a speck of rust on it. The action is buttery smooth and it's spotless inside. Sets a good standard for me to live up to. I am considering sending it to the Ithaca factory to have it engraved with his name and to have it re-blued, but I am torn over losing the field scars.

When I was 12 or 13, he jammed the love of hunting into me with one sentence... I took a right-side shot with my body all twisted up at a dove that was wingin' it for the hills and it tumbled. "Nice fuckin' shot, boss!" I had never heard my granddad swear before (and seldom since) and, after the shock wore off, I doubt I've ever felt more proud. We hunted at least once a year together after that and they are amongst my best memories. I'm done rambling on; just wanted to share. I wish he was still around to outgun me. If you are a hunting family, get out there together and make it happen!





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Re: Granddad's '48 Ithaca (mildly salty language)

Post by ponycarman » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:54 pm

Great looking shotgun and great story. You can never replace the memories :)

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Re: Granddad's '48 Ithaca (mildly salty language)

Post by hunterbob » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:58 am

Awesome story! I say leave it as is. I also inherited my grandpa's shotgun (12ga Model 12) and it's in the same kind of condition you describe. I love having that piece of my heritage around!

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Re: Granddad's '48 Ithaca (mildly salty language)

Post by Synchronizor » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:23 am

I actually happened to have my dad's old 12ga Ithaca 37 Featherlight on loan for my shell carrier video:
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I love my 870's toughness and utilitarianism, but this thing is just classy as all get-out with its richly stained woodwork and beautiful engraving. It's showing its years, but these guns tend to age gracefully. I looked up the serial number, and the manufacturing year is 1966, making this gun close to 50 years old. My dad got this as a gift from his dad, and it'll be passed on to one of my brothers at some point.
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I wish my camera could do it justice.

While I prefer the techniques possible with a side-ejecting shotgun, I have to appreciate the authority with which the Ithaca action launches empty shells. The single action bar is a little outdated, and there's more resistance in the slide than on an 870, but it still moves smoothly and evenly. It doesn't have chokes, and it'll only handle 2.75" shells, but as a light, quick-handling field piece, it's a very nice gun.

This gun holds some special significance to me as the first shotgun I ever fired. One winter afternoon, back when I was just a kid, my dad and I took the pickup truck up an old logging road to a clearcut above the snowline. He showed me how to work it, and after I blasting an old stump a couple of times, he stood behind me and tossed snowballs while I tried to hit them in flight. These weren't wussy Wal-Mart target loads either, I was shooting full-power pheasant loads out of a 6-pound gun with no recoil pad, just a hard plastic cap and a balled-up rag stuffed underneath my coat. The thing beat the crap out of me, but I was grinning the whole time in spite of it, swinging a gun almost as long as I was tall, and not exactly qualifying for the Olympics in terms of hit percentages. We had a great time that day, and it's always been a very fond memory.

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Re: Granddad's '48 Ithaca (mildly salty language)

Post by shootall » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:03 pm

Great story !
Great gun and it looks good if it were me I would leave it like he left it. Nothing on that gun but honest use.

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Re: Granddad's '48 Ithaca (mildly salty language)

Post by Vitaly » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:36 pm

Awesome story and great shotgun! - Blog about the Remington 870 Shotgun

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