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Older Ithaca Shotgun Question, Model 37

sohigh1sohigh1 Member Posts: 862 ✭✭✭✭
edited January 2012 in Ask the Experts
A good friend of mine recently inherited an Ithaca Model 37 Featherlight 12 ga. shotgun.

Cosmetically, the gun is in pristine shape. There is one problem, though.

We cannot seem to get the shells to stay in the magazine. Whatever mechanism that should retain the shells in place for the next shot does not appear to be working properly.

I am no gun smith, not even close. But, is there some minor adjustment that can be made to remedy this problem?

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    AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 3,173 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    There are two shell stops. The "primary" stop is the one that holds the shells in the magazine as you load it and the "secondary" stop that holds the rest of the shells in the magazine as you rack the slide to load the first shell into the chamber. From your post, I'm guessing that all your shells come tumbling out of the magazine along with the first one as you work the slide. If that is the case, the secondary stop is the culprit. It's the one on the right side of the gun. It should move down as the slide moves back and up again when the slide closes the action. It could be broken or blocked by something. If you can't or don't get it fixed it's still a repeater but just a 2-shot. Put a shell in the magazine, rack it into the chamber, then load a second shell into the magazine and you're good to go--twice. The 37's are good old guns--I bought my first one in 1952; it's been used hard and still is going strong! Your friend has a great old classic shotgun.

    BTW: It's Ithaca.

    EDIT: OK then, it's easier than I thought! Reach in behind that primary shell stop (the one on the gun's left) with a small screwdriver and bend it a LITTLE. Keep in mind that it's easier to bend it out than to bend it back!
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    sohigh1sohigh1 Member Posts: 862 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ah, spelling, thou art a jewel. I cannot believe I did not notice the misspelling.

    Any way, I should have clarified further. We cannot get even one shell to stay in. Trying to load the gun with it empty does not work, whether or not there is one in the chamber. Both stops are still present. I notice that the one slides up and down as you work the action.

    Does that help narrow it down?
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    perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    Not trying to be a wise * but you did not pick up some 16 Ga. Or 20 Ga. shell by mistake did you [?][?]
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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It sounds to me its gummed up with dried oil. You could hose it out with wd-40 and the p-tube. It helps if the gun is warm. There are no screw adjustments. A trip to the smith couldn't hurt and should not cost a lot for a cleaning. There could be broken parts that need to be replaced or perhaps some that require fitting/tuning. 37 are nice, I have my dad's.
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    sohigh1sohigh1 Member Posts: 862 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Perry, you made me go look! Yes, I am trying the right ammo. Whew! lol

    After reading what you all posted here, I got the gun out, (my friend left it here in hopes you guys could help me) and here is what I see.

    If I put the shells in with the pump action half pulled, the shells will stay in. But, as soon as I slide the pump forward, the shells pop out.

    So, the stop that slides up and down appears to being doing it's job. But the other stop seems to not pop back out enough to hold the shell in place. Does that make any sense?
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    62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,069 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As 007 mentioned, the cuts for the shell stops may be fouled with dried oil or grease from storage over the years. A good dousing with brake cleaner will break down the build up and free up the parts, if this is the problem. If you do this, be sure to re-oil the gun as the brake cleaner will remove all oil. The Model 37 is a great shotgun and I have never had a problem with the ones I have had, as long as I do my part in keeping them clean and lubed.
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    HerschelHerschel Member Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    WD40 might be a good idea to free up the moving parts but be sure to clean it all out of the action with some kind of solvent. WD40 is for water displacement. IT IS NOT A LUBRICANT. WD40 left in the action will become sticky with time and really gums things up.
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    ithaca4meithaca4me Member Posts: 538 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sounds like the shell stop spring may be weak as well as a good cleaning needed. When I unload mine I just take my finger and squeeze the shell stop aginst the reciever. Tear it down and clean it this spring is not that stout to begin with and if it is gummy it could keep it from coming back to position Ithaca sells them for a couple bucks. Don't give up on it.
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    wpagewpage Member Posts: 10,204 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    +1 on the good take down cleaning and it being a fine gun...
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    CSI21CSI21 Member Posts: 1,206 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I love the 37, and yes take it and get it broken down cleaned and inspected. Thats the first thing I did with mine, also had where the stock splits and cracks at the receiver fixed. The wood work cost a few more bucks, but the oil,cleaning, and assembly, plus function check was less than $30 dollars, well worth it in the long run. My gun is ancient, but shoots well. Another John Browning design, adopted from the Remington Model 15.
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