The Ithaca Model 37 is turning 75 this year, and to celebrate, the Ithaca Gun Company will be making a very limited edition Model 37 with gold-inlaid laser engraving and highest-grade wood furniture. The Model 37 has had the longest production run of any pump-action shotgun, and has been made in every imaginable configuration in order to serve the hunter, sportsman, soldier and armed citizen.
This 75th anniversary 37 is made at the Ithaca Gun Company’s new facility in Sandusky, Ohio, and was designed to embellish the form of the original without deviating from the design. The sides of the receiver have been laser-cut and inlaid with 24-carat gold banners, foul and lettering, and the steel screws, trigger and shell stop have been given a long-lasting titanium gold finish to match.
As a final touch, the forend and buttstock are cut from AAA-grade hardwood with a deep finish and diamond checkering.
Despite all the polish, the 75th Anniversary Model 37 still retains all the elements of the workhorse shotgun designed by masters John Browning and John Pedersen. It comes with a 28-inch barrel and three Briley chokes, a 3-inch chamber and extended forcing cone, and a 4-round magazine tube. It will only be available in 12 gauge.
The asking price for the 75th Anniversary Model 37 is $1,975. It does come with a unique serial number. According to Ithaca, “For collectors, the guns are stamped with a unique serial-number such as M371275-1, where M37 refers to the model, 12 is the gauge, 75 is the anniversary designation and 1 is the number in the production sequence.”
Even at that price, it would be a shame to put this gun on the mantle and never take it out to bust a few clays. It’s still a Model 37 and it needs work to be happy.
The only time the Model 37 was not in production was when the company changed hands and was relocated to Ohio from New York. The Model 37 saw military service from World War II to the Vietnam War. With its solid one-piece steel receiver and bottom loading and ejection port, the 37 is almost impervious to abuse and poor conditions.
In addition to its combat role and police duty, and personal protection, hunting and sport, the Ithaca 37 has been a darling of the movie and television industries since 1967, where it showed up in “Cool Hand Luke” and in “Dragnet” in the hands of Joe Friday himself. It’s not just a piece of history, the Model 37 is part of our culture, and even if you don’t go in for all that gold leaf, it deserves to be celebrated.
If you’re interested in the Model 37 but want something a little more modern or just don’t have two grand to spend on a commemorative shotgun, check out the Model 37 Defense.