The Auto & Burglar 20-gauge side-by-side shotgun was produced by Ithaca Gun Company from 1922 to 1933. Approximately 4,000 were produced and two variations were made.


Ithaca Auto & Burglar Shotgun
The 10-inch barrels mean this shotgun falls under NFA classification. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Approximately 2,500 of the original variation, often to referred to as the Model A, were manufactured from 1921 to 1925 using Ithaca's standard 20-gauge Flues model shotgun. It fired 2.5-inch shells from side-by-side barrels measuring 10 inches in length. Some models featured a pistol grip with a "toe" that extended from the top to reduce recoil.


Ithaca Auto & Burglar Shotgun
The safety, lever to break the action, and the "toe" on the top of the grip helped reduce recoil. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

In 1925, Ithaca redesigned the gun using its New Improved Double (NID) model shotgun. It fired 2.75-inch shells from side-by-side barrels measuring slightly longer at 12.2 inches. The newer models didn't have the "toe" on the grip. Approximately 1,500 of these newer models were produced.


Ithaca Auto & Burglar Shotgun
Some good honest wear and tear is nice to see on an old gun. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Ike, a former law enforcement officer, purchased his Auto & Burglar 20 years ago for $500. He has seen them selling recently at auctions for upwards of $12,000. "They're extremely rare," he said. "To find one, and put it in your collection, is a great thing. And I'm proud to have this in mine."


Ithaca Auto & Burglar Shotgun
Markings on the side show it belonged to the Seattle police department. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

His gun bears markings on the side showing that it was used by the Seattle police department sometime probably in the 1920s and '30s. Officers carried them on motorcycles and in cars, and were allowed to use them to shoot to maim fleeing burglars. According to Ike, they were chambered in 20-gauge to be less lethal and have less recoil than a 12-gauge.


Ithaca Auto & Burglar Shotgun
The Ithaca Auto & Burglar is a good-looking gun. (Photo: Ben Philippi/
revolver barrel loading graphic