Ithaca 37

The Ithaca 37 is a pump-action shotgun made in large numbers for the civilian, military, and police markets. It utilizes a novel combination ejection/loading port on the bottom of the gun which leaves the sides closed to the elements. Since shotshells load and eject from the bottom, operation of the gun is equally convenient for both right and left hand shooters. This makes the gun popular with left-handed shooters.

Ithaca 37
Class Manportable
Type Rifles
Manufacturer Ithaca Gun Company
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1937
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United States of America View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Ithaca Gun Company 1937 View

The Ithaca 37 is based on a 1915 patent by the famous firearms designer John Browning, initially marketed as the Remington Model 17. The Model 17 was a 20-gauge of trim proportions, which Remington later redesigned and refined into the popular side-ejecting Remington Model 31. The Model 31 would eventually be replaced in production by the less expensive to make Remington 870 which is still produced to this day.

Following the First World War, the Ithaca Gun Company was searching for a pump-action shotgun to produce, primarily to compete with the ubiquitous Winchester Model 1912. They settled on waiting for Remington Model 17 patents to expire. After gearing for production of the Ithaca Model 33, they discovered a Pedersen patent that would not expire until 1937; along with the introduction date, they changed the model designation from 33 to 37.

With the depression dragging on and war looming on the horizon, it was possibly the worst time to introduce a sporting arm. Many sporting arms ceased production entirely during the same period. While Ithaca did produce some shotguns for military use during the war, they also produced M1911 pistols and M3 Grease Guns.

After WW-II, Ithaca resumed production of the Model 37. Made in many different models, the Ithaca 37 has the longest production run for a pump-action shotgun in history, surpassing that of the Winchester Model 12 that had originally inspired Ithaca to produce pump-action shotguns. Ithaca has suffered many setbacks in its history, changing hands numerous times. At one time, the Ithaca 37 was renamed the Model 87, although it was soon changed back in one of many ownership changes. Production paused in 2005 when Ithaca once again changed hands. Production has resumed in Ohio.

Loading the Ithaca 37 involves inserting shotshells of the proper gauge through the loading/ejection port in the bottom of the receiver and pushing them forward into the magazine until retained by the shell stop. The slide release is pressed and the slide retracted completely then pushed forward. Pulling the trigger fires the gun and releases the slide for reloading. On most models up to 1975, holding the trigger down allows the gun to fire the instant a new round is cycled into the chamber without requiring the trigger to be released, a process known as slamfire. Otherwise, the model 37 operates in much the same way as other pump-action shotguns.

Type Shotgun
Place of origin United States
Service history
Wars World War II
Vietnam War
Production history
Designer John Browning
Designed 1933
Manufacturer Ithaca Gun Company
Industrias Marcati
Produced 1937-Present
Variants Bataan Modelo 71
Specifications
Weight Varies
Length 760mm-1006mm
Barrel length 13 inches (330 mm) to
30 inches (760 mm)
Cartridge 12, 16, 20, or 28 gauge
Barrels plain
ribbed
rifled
Action manually operated, pump-action
Feed system 4, 5, or 7-round tubular magazine(riot, standard, and extended tube versions)

End notes