ithaca shotgun

The Riot Gun: The Ithaca 37 - 12 Gauge

The pump shotgun world is quite a bizarre one. A market filled with brand new Remington 870′s and Mossberg 500/590′s, older model High-Standard, Winchester and a long line of department store boom sticks litter used racks across the US. And yet, in all of this, there’s just been one constant. The Ithaca 37.

This shotgun is one of, if not the oldest continually produced shotgun on the market, dating all the way back to the late 1930′s, and yet somehow hasn’t stopped being so popular.

The Ithaca’s beginnings lie not with Ithaca, but with Remington. In 1915, John Moses Browning patents a shotgun design, hammerless and bottom-ejecting and sells it to Remington. Remington let their big designer, John Pedersen work on it and two models came to the market. The Model 10 in 12 Gauge that was Pedersen’s design and the Model 17 in 20 Gauge that was both Browning and Pedersen’s work. These sold decently well, with a lot of Model 10′s sold to the US Army during WWI. However in 1931, Remington released a new shotgun, the Model 31, that replaced both the Model 10 and Model 17 in production. 

Ithaca, primarily making double-barreled shotguns at the time, decides to snatch up the designs for both guns, and began tweaking them while waiting for the patents to go out. They did and thus the Ithaca 37 began production.

It came in 12, 16, 20 and 28 Gauge, a series of different barrel lengths, sight choices, magazine tubes from 4 round Riot tubes to 7 round extended tubes. For the post-Depression US, it was a success in the civilian and military/police market.

The Ithaca 37 was a success in every way. It served the US Military from WWII all the way to Vietnam. It served and still serves the LAPD and NYPD as standard shotgun and while recent guns have been undercut by competitors like Remington and Mossberg as well as Chinese copies, Ithaca guns are solid, reliable and nigh-on indestructible. Whether it be a DSPS, Defense, Featherlight or otherwise, Ithaca 37′s are as iconic with police as the S&W Model 10.

The Silver Screen and the Ithaca 37 have been together ever since Cool Hand Luke. Ever since, almost every type of film has featured an Ithaca 37. Horror movies like The Thing and Aliens feature them, crime dramas like Miami Vice, Dirty Harry, Magnum Force and Cobra feature almost every model from Riot Models to Stakeouts. Even science fiction like They Live, The Terminator, Robocop and so many more feature the Ithaca 37. If it’s a movie, it will end up featuring at least one Ithaca 37.

Despite having a filmography on par with Sylvester Stallone, the Ithaca 37′s video game appearances are a bit lacking, with only period games like L.A. Noire and some combat games featuring the big old Ithaca either sawn down to a smaller size or other modifications. But it’s large size and distinct looks will always tell you that it’s an Ithaca.

And that is the Ithaca 37, the king of the pump action shotgun world. Despite the changing times and modernization of police forces, the Ithaca 37 has remained as popular as it was all the way back in 1937. It might be on the replacement block by a lot of police forces, but even when any other shotgun has broken or jammed, the Ithaca won’t. From the mud of Vietnam to the urban jungle of New York City, the Ithaca 37 is a favorite of those who wish to put out a lot of punishment without fearing a jam.

I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum”


As you all know, I’ve been rethinking my first handgun list amid the aftermath of the Paris terror attack. I also have created a new list for my first rifle. Originally I was between the Remington 870 and the Ithaca 37. Both great shotguns. But after this happened, and after talking to @evolutionofthear15 about the G30, I’ve decided I’d rather 30 rounds of 5.56/7.62 than 8 12 gauge.

So here are my choices:

-The WASR 10. That’s right up @therevenantrising’s alley. I am also considering one of DDI’s new AKs but I don’t know enough about them.

-The VZ58. I love this rifle, and have fired one.

-The IWI tavor. I really want one, and if I get it as my first rifle, so be it. But Imma get one regardless.

I did have the BCM RECCE 16 and the Daniel defense DDM4 on here, but I’ve decided that I want my first AR15 to be a build project.

Again, message me or reblog here with any information you have on these rifles. Thank you


This is my new build Ithaca 37HD (Home Defense / Heavy Duty) From the Ithaca Gun Company now in Sandusky Ohio. Right now I’ve got it as far as I can take it because the aftermarket for it is almost nonexistent. Starting from the muzzle to the buttstock I have an XS 24/7 Big Dot sight. A new in box SureFire 624 forend light ,back when it was Laser Products Corporation, that has been discontinued since 1996 that I upgraded with the LM2 LED head. Shot shell index cards by Esstac. Finally an Original SOE single point sling. I plan on getting SOE shot shell index cards and changing out the buttstock for a Choate pistol grip youth/tactical model.