I've found a barrel for my early 50's 16 ga. Ithaca 37 I'm interested in buying. My gun is s. n. 397437. Will this barrel work (it is a Roto Forged barrel
and how difficult are they to make fit?
The early barrels screwed in to the action, later barrels utilized concentric thread-like rings, but they did not screw in. Sorry I don't know what serial number range that would be, but I am sure someone, Walt, perhaps, will come along.
Thanks Dennis. Ad from GI now attached.
After closer inspection of my barrel's threads and shank, don't think this barrel will work...
The interchangeable barrels start at SN 855,000. Earlier barrels have the serial number matching the gun they were fitted to. NSN should imply the newer, interchangeable barrel. A replacement older style barrel will need the head space checked/adjusted to your receiver to be correct.
The model 37s older cousin is the Remington model 17, an identical appearing gun with many differences (no parts Interchange between the two designs) and one can usually swap barrels between different examples of the Remington.
That almost never happens with the model 37s built prior to serial 855,000. A gunsmith can often get them to fit, but, it is not 100%.
I had Les Diamond of Diamond Gunsmithing fit an early 20 ga. barrel onto a 1957 M37. He did so without altering and rebluing the receiver as does the current Ithaca factory. Les was the head gunsmith at old Ithaca in NY.
The later barrels will fit an early model gun, but the gun won't shoot reliably. I have 1960 37 with two barrels, one for duck and the other for upland. The upland barrel went bad and I replaced it with one of the interchangeable barrels. It would shoot sometimes and ftf at others...Geo
Les Diamond has fit several barrels for me. Very happy with his work. This reminds me I have one solid rib 20 barrels I need to have him fit for me. He is very reasonable. 37 barrels can often be found on EBay if you keep looking. I seem to find one every few months that I need.
Thanks Jon. I've only checked GI. If anyone sees a 16 ga. early 50's barrel...
I found a 1939 20 ga. barrel for my 1957 gun. This was a first year barrel. I've often wondered what happened to the rest of the gun. I found it in the Shotgunworld classifieds. It pays to look there as well. Gil
I had two Ithaca 37’s from the 1950’s...I bought 3 different barrels from the Kings Ferry plant in the mid 90’s and all of them fit and functioned perfectly with zero gunsmithing/fitting. Just screwed them in and they’re still working reliably. About 15 years ago I gave those Ithaca’s and the extra barrels to a young cousin of mine in Iowa so could have a shotgun to shoot high school trap with....Shes an adult now and she’s using the Ithaca’s and still shooting deer, ducks, geese, turkeys, varmints, and trap with them with zero reliability issues. She’ll probably teach her daughter and son to shoot shotguns with those Ithaca’s.
Barrels for the pre 855000 guns and barrels for post 855000 ARE NOT interchangeable.
LeFusil-King Ferry stocked both systems (not available from the current Ithaca factory) and usually had to do some minor fitting on the pre 855000 guns, they then stamped the SN of the gun on the barrel. If you bought 3 pre 855000 barrels and they fit perfectly and head space was good, you were indeed lucky. I am glad the gun is still in use and going strong.
I tried putting prewar model 37 barrel on a different prewar gun 1 time. Was told it probably would not work, and it didn’t.
Haven’t tried since.