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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to begin shooting trap and I need to know if it is proper to use an Ithaca 37.

My concern is that I have read that the gun should be unloaded with the action open until ready to shoot. This is hard with the Ithaca 37 because you cannot drop a shell into the open chamber. Also, when do I eject the empty and when do I bend down to pick it up from the ground?

Thank you

Lou W
 

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The first time I ever shot trap was with an Ithaca 37 with a polychoke on it. I shot a 23. You load it one at a time before you shoot like anyone else. You pick up the hulls at the end of the round. They will be at your feet. When I shot a pump I ejected the empty round when I shot. It wasn't something I did automatically without thinking about it. The empty was ejected as the gun came down from the recoil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
But you cannot load the open action!

Do I close the action, dry fire, load the magazine and then operate the pump to chamber or do I close the action, load the magazine and operate the pump while pushing the slide release

Seems tricky either way

Lou
 

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I taught a lot of new shooters who had field grade 870's, 37's, and even a Savage 24. You can use just about anything to get you into the game (the addiction and long slide to financial ruin from having to ultimately have that $10K gun come later).
I (and others who read your post) am pleased that you put safety right up there on your list of considerations. No matter what gun you shoot, this should always be your first thought (your second thought should be to keep your head on the stock).
Shoot a lot and you will eventually shoot well.
Be safe,
Mike
 

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he is correct however I also shot one and it is possible to pull the slide back immediately after the shot and hold the other hand under the gun to catch the empty. It becomes very easy and quick with practice, same as a mod 12 or 870 just a slight difference in where you catch the empty.
 

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I didn't realize this was so complicated. Keep the action open until you're on the line. Once on the line, close the action and put a shell in the magazine. When it's your turn to shoot, work the action to chamber a round and shoot. Since it's a pump, you control when the empty comes out, and you can work the action with one hand an spit the empty out into the other and put it in your pouch. Once you've shot your fifth shot at a station, leave the gun empty and the action open while switching stations.

~Michael
 

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"you cannot drop a shell into the open chamber."

Yes, you can. And its easy to do.

Move the slide forward until the two arms retract up into the top of the receiver, but not so far that the bolt closes (you can also do this just by pushing the two arms with your fingers.)

At this point you can put the shell in the chamber and close the action.

Piece of cake.

I do this with the gun (pointed down range) but with the ejection port facing up. Others have told me they can do this without turning the gun over.

By the way, if the action is closed and you want to open it, you should NOT dry fire the gun. Push the action release button to open the action.

"when do I eject the empty"

As soon as you've taken your shot.

"when do I bend down to pick it up from the ground?"

When your round is over and everybody on your squad is done shooting.

Or, you can do like cubancigar said.
 

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Upon firing, put an another round in magazine, open gun and catch empty with hand, leave action open with shell waiting in receiver till its your turn, then close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Still not sure about loading seequence!

Dry fire load then pump

Or

Load then pump with finger on slide release?

Thank you

Lou
 

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"Dry fire load then pump Or Load then pump with finger on slide release?"

Neither.

Read my post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I will get some snap caps and practice like timb99

Thought you could not drop shell into to open action

Glad to know you can.

Soon its off to the range!

Thanks to all

Lou W
 

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Simplest and fastest method of single loading a 37;

First round at a post, load as Tim described, fire but don't retract the slide just yet - for the remaining rounds at a post, load one shell into the magazine, retract the slide, catch the fired shell with your fore end hand (if you want it), wait until it's your turn to close the slide, fire and repeat magazine load from closed slide, open slide, catch empty, wait until it is your turn to fire then close slide.

This method allows for minimal fumbling and the gun is not chambered until it is time to fire. If there is a disruption on the line that requires everyone to unload, move the slide forward then use the slide release to open the slide and eject the live shell.

Final point, most ranges do not allow you to pick hulls up off the ground and if your hulls do hit the ground they are considered club property. Ranges like this usually have lots of unsorted hulls that they will give back to members or sell at very low prices so it is not a big loss if your hulls hit the ground.
 

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DO NOT DRY FIRE ON THE LINE. Sooner or later you will drop the hammer on a loaded round. Follow the advice of those who are familiar with the 37 as to loading sequence and be sure not to walk from post to post with the action closed. The 37 was not made to load singly and you must exercise extra care to be safe with it.
 

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I started with a 37. Initially I loaded from the ejection port with the gun upside down till one day my pinky hit the trigger when I was turning the gun back over. From then on, I did as slick13 suggested, loading from the magazine!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Assuming I get as hopelessly addicted to trap shooting as the rest of you, it is clear that I will have to eventually have to upgrade from my Ithaca 37 full rib to a more range and shooter friendly trap gun.

I have a Remington Wingmaster with an 18.5" barrel that sports a nice stock and a Limbsaver recoil pad.

What replacement barrel would the Forum suggest for the Wingmaster?

Thanks

Lou W.
 

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AGAIN, the safest and easiest way to handle a 37 on a trap line is as I described above. Go to the line with the action open and the gun unloaded. Once at your position, close the action, and put a round in the magazine. When the guy to the left of you's gun goes bang, squeeze the slide release and work the action to chamber a round. Call for a target, shoot it, eject the empty into your hand, close the action, put the empty in your pouch, and put a live shell in the magazine. Repeat until that station is complete, and rotate with the action open and the gun and the magazine empty.

When at your shooting position, alway keep the gun pointed downrange, especially when you're chambering a round, and at no time pull the trigger unless you've called for target and intend to shoot it. At no point will you need to dry your 37.

Have fun with the 37. My late 1940s Model 37 16 ga. really kicks, and I wouldn't want to shoot more than 50 targets with it.

~Michael
 

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Bushmaster - I also started trap shooting with an Ithaca 37 and became very frustrated. I wanted to keep my empties and the club had the policy that you cannot pick them off the ground. When I tried to catch them as I pulled back the slide I would get jambs and sometimes was not ready at my turn. If you can let them hit the ground then the methods noted above will work. I bought an 870 and it is so much easier. It seldom jambed when I caught the empty and as you note it is easy to load single shells into the open action as gravity works with you.
 

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I have shot many thousands of targets out of an Ithaca 37. Just open the slide, then turn the gun over so the port is looking up at you, use the crimp end of the shell to push the narrow end of the lifter fingers down, push the shell into the chamber, turn the gun back over,and when it is your turn to shoot, close the slide. After you have shot, capture the stock with your primary arm between it and your stomach side, place your primary hand under the port, open the slide with your off hand like normal, and eject the empty directly into your hand. Now the gun is open and ready to repeat the sequence. After a bit you will realise that you can push the forend just a bit forward with your off hand thumb and the fingers will drop down and you can just load the shell directly into the chamber without having to even mess with them. It will become very easy very quickly. This is safe because the firing pin is nowhere near the load until you turn the gun back over and close it.
 

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Bushmaster1313 If you push the release leaver and pull the forend back (empty gun). Roll gun over, you will see shell lifter forks recede to top of receiver as you slide forend forward part of the way.This allows you to put a shell in chamber with out putting it in magazine first. Roll gun back over your ready to go with leaving bolt open or closing it while waiting for your turn to shoot. Do as Cubancigar2000 said about catching empties. I have a Model 37 I purchased from JC Penny back in 1974. Boy, you sure wouldn't do that today.

John
 

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At some place safe to shoot put a coffee can out , shoot at it 10,15 times one shot after the other. If the recoil doesn't bother you , you should be ok. It was too much for me. I damn near was afraid to hollar pull at the end. I only shot it one round of 25. For hunting I love it. For trap, I'd quit first. Hoot
 
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