02 Dec 2005

Sad Day

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Uncle Bob Edwards -- Ithaca Gunmaker

The equipment of the celebrated Ithaca Gun Company was sold at auction in a going-of-business auction sale last Tuesday.

The Ithaca Gun Company was founded in Fall Creek, NY in 1883 by the renowned American arms designer William Henry Baker, in partnership with Leroy & Lou Smith, George Livermore, J.E. VanNatta, and Dwight McIntire. Originally called “W.H. Baker and Company, Gun Works,” the name was changed, and the first Ithaca Gun catalogue appeared in 1885, advertising “the celebrated Ithaca gun, the strongest, simplest, and best American gun manufactured.” Famous models included the Flues, Knickerbocker, and N.I.D. (“New Ithaca Double”), and the heavy-duty Magnum 10 double-barreled models; the Ithaca single-barreled trap guns, and the popular Model 37 pump-action Featherlight. Ithaca made the least expensive of America’s classic double-barreled shotguns. Field grade Ithacas were inexpensive, but they were rugged and simple, and were famous for their fast lock-time.

Ithaca guns were used by Annie Oakley, John Phillip Souza (Ithaca’s most opulent productions were once called their “Souza-grade”), George Marshall, and Dwight Eisenhower, and admired by such well-known sporting writers as Charles Askins, Elmer Keith, and Michael McIntosh. I shot a goodly number of ruffed grouse and ducks, when I was young, with a slick-handling Model 37 12 gauge.

The Ithaca Company has died twice previously, and the famous Ithaca name has been revived each time. We are living in a period when appreciation for, and collector interest in, classic American firearms is at an all time height. So, who knows? Springsteen could be right:

Maybe ev’rything dies, baby, that’s a fact
But maybe ev’rything that dies someday comes back.

24 Feedbacks on "Sad Day"

Lew Stevenson

Didnt know they had gone out of buisness needed a rear sight for my rifled barrel 37, lost it deer hunting this year. Sorry hope they bound back I have three 37 all I have ever shot . Almost 50 years.
hope some one carries parts. Of course with a utica who needed parts i lost the sight in the brush cant blame the gun..

Mike F

The company that bought Ithaca, Mold Craft-Tool Craft out of Upper Sandusky Ohio, plans to continue making the guns. They have already moved the whaterver it is they bought, to Ohio.


I bet they could sell some more Model 37s.


They are back, you know. In Sandusky, Ohio.


Never Yet Melted » Good News

[…] It looked like curtains for the venerable Ithaca Gun Company last December, when the company’s equipment was auctioned in a going-out-of-business sale. But a number of Ithaca models, like the 37 Featherweight Shotgun, retained a strong following, and (as some predicted at the time) Ithacas was not simply allowed to die. […]

Joe Micanek

What is a new Model 37 priced at? Do they sell for as much as an old Model 37 made in NY?

tom rutledge

It’s a sad when we lose another american gun Co. to all those foreign makers just so they can pick up the pieces and claim fame to another great gun maker. It’s been my observation that since we allow so many imports in this country there no appearent concern to try to retain the old school try to keep what we so dearly need in this country and that is our job’s. Are we going to just give everything away to the foreign competition? No one seems to have the drive to by good home grown quality anymore and pass it on to the next generation. We are running out of heirlooms to give away and some day they will own us lock stock and barrel. Not only that, our skill’s are diminishing to do good quality work, we worry more about how cheap and throw away the item’s are and just keep buying the same old junk over and over. What a leagecy to leave our children. Just something to think about the next time you purchase that so called high quality item from China or who knows where. Our pay check reflects who we are really in competion with, the illeagle people working in this country are demanding more and more each day and are getting pretty brazen about it to boot. Maybe we are just upside-down in this country and just maybe we deserve what we get for being so stupid to let it happen, all in the name of progress and of course not the money.


Ithaca Gun Co. was probably ran by some young know it all who was going to show everyone how smart he was especially after graudating from a four year school. What ever happen to all those engineers and smart guys who started the Co. back in the good old days of the 1800’s. Ithaca was a good gun, as good as they come as far as i’m concerned. There double gun and single barrel trap wer as good as any maker going and there mod 37 was a standard as pump guns go. So what happened?????? Lets make the guns here and sell them here and lets put those other so called gun Co’s. to shame. If this keeps up China will own the world for crying out loud. By the way, why is it the Turks are better gun smiths than us? Because they work cheaper maybe? you see investmants in foreign Co’s. are what helped the 29 crash and the great depression get a foot hold. Think about it Maytag just went under a few years ago because they couldn’t build a piece of junk to stay in competion with all the other trash that is being mfg. A simple fix to an otherwise over complicated seal in the Neptune washer run them into bankruptcy, forceing them to sell out to a holding Co. There went another Icon, OOP’s

Neil Rinearson

I have stumbled upon this website as result of 1) a question about the later models of the 37, and 2) an outright admiration for the Ithaca build guns in general. While I failed to get the information I was actually seeking, However, I noted: “Another Right-Wing Web Aggregator and Purveyor of Unpopular Opinions” ! It would seem I have kindred spiritship with an unknown fellow American! I investigated the jdz “usa.net” address as best I could without success. To wit: I hope to share exchange with “JDZ” sometime in what is left of my future. NJR “Rhino”


jdz@usa.net is just one of my email addresses. I have no particular affiliation with “usa.net” –other than as a customer.

I’m pretty easy to find, just Google “David Zincavage.”


John McMorrow

My father worked for Ithaca Gun for nearly 20 years. I cut my teeth on an Ithaca 12-gauge Featherlight. I can tell you there was no man prouder of the product that company produced. I’ve been in California for almost 25 years, and I still run in to hunters and sportsmen who speak with great reverence about the ithaca they own or owned. The sell-out to General Recreation was the beginning of the end of a proud line of American-made firearms. I’ll never forget watching Adam-12 with my Dad and, every time they pulled the shotgun out of the trunk of the squad car, he’d remind me that it was an Ithaca! Best of luck to the folks in Sandusky. Quality vs. price is a hard sell these days…


I have New Ithaca Field grade 12 g. #468140. I got it when I was 16 in payment for a difficult and rather odious job I did for Steve Green an old friend of my father’s. Mr Green, a resident of Yacht Haven on San Juan island was in his mid nineties at the time and realized that I’d caught the shooting bug as he had probably 80 years before. The cash value he put on this lovely classic double was only $60. For a 16 year old kid to have something so fine within reach was quite something. I’ve shot trap and sporting clays as well as rabbits, pigeons, ducks, and grouse with it. I have to use real pipsqueak loads on grouse because the 30 inch barrels make it a real hard hitter. I’m now crowding 60 and this, my first shotgun is NOT for sale.

Dave Michaels

I have owned and used Ithaca 37’s for several years. As most sportsmen know they are solid and reliable. I recently bought my first vintage Ithaca double. I say first, because it will not be my last…

Ithaca is as American as apple pie. Is there an Ithaca owners club where we can rally for the return of these fine shotguns?

Rex McPherson

Hope the new website is up and running soon, I have a Ithaca Over/Under Model 500 12 Ga. Its been a seasonal quail gun for over 25 years and need a little work. Need a few small parts replacements, so it will be good for another 25 years.


Serge Côté

Hi Ithaca lovers,
I got my first gun almost 40 years ago,a model 37 of course.In 1976,I got the new Mag-10.I can’t remember how many thousands of Snows and Canadas I bagged with those two fine guns.
This is not so much important,the most is the memories of many passed over hunting buddies linked with the fun we had using our guns in mud or rain and getting that ultra wary and far bird only lead shot and big guns could reach!!
Last year,I shot my Mag -10 with a wad obstructed barrel…oouch…The result is a bulged barrel one inch after the gas port.Hopefully the barrel didn’t blow,thanks to the old Roto-Forged manufacturing process!How much do you bet the mass production cheap barrels manufactured with China and Tawaneese steel would have resisted in such situation???Thanks God I didn’t lost fingers or my left hand shooting this ultra strong shotgun.
Now I’m scared to shoot this barrel.I just hope the guys in Sandusky(Ohio) resume production,providing new guns and parts so the legendary Ithacas be on the field again, proudly shooted my women and men(they are more than you think) who believe that few extra paid bucks is nothing compared to the cost of injuries!!
Ithacas forever!!!

Chuck Austerberry

Mold Craft – Tool Craft is gone. Out of Business. So is Ithaca Gun. Owners split for the south. Too bad.


That is very good news, I shoot left handed so it’s hard to find left hand pumps, and in fact the very first gun I bought was a Ithaca Deer slayer 12 Gauge pump. Loved the gun want another.


Thank God someone is keeping the name alive! I’ll do everything I can to support the Co.

I;m afraid that America has passed the point of no return. The politicians are all on the take…corporations and Government are the same thing…I see little hope the country can go on too many more years. Too bad the younger generation couldn’t have grown up in the shadow of the WWII guys(The Can DO guys).

Dealing with China is just feeding the dragon that’s going to bite us!

Ther’s nothing like the “feel” of American made quality.


I recently blew out a barrel on my Ithaca over/under model 500 20 gauge. This is a nostalgic piece for me as it was my first gun, given to me by my father. I am having a very difficult time locating a replacement barrel. Does anyone have any suggestions?


Look for another one in the Gun List or at GunsAmerica.com.

Carolina Dave

I Have owned and shot Ithaca 37’s since 1978. I currently own 3. The only shotgun my college educated and very conservative son will use. Shot many a rabbit or other small game growing up in central NY. Truly the best pump shotgun I have ever used, and I’ve handled quite a few. After a career in the Marine Corps, I know the importance of a quality, reliable firearm and this is it. Glad to hear of the resurgence in Sandusky. Best of luck. I will be a continued customer., Semper Fi

L. DeBerry

Yes, Ithaca Gun Co. is alive and continuing to expand on items on their website http://www.ithacagun.com

“Take an Old Friend Hunting”

Long live Ithaca Gun and God Bless America!

lloyd hancock

i was reading these comments with a tear in my eye going back to the times dad had his 37 16 gauge & i had my 37 20 gauge i sure was proud & still am of my daddy we sure used to have fun. its alright for a grown man to cry


Ithaca Gun Co. is alive and well in Upper Sandusky OH.



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