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.
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.
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.
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."
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.