Inherited an old Ithaca Doulbe Barrel
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:17 AM   #1
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Default Inherited an old Ithaca Doulbe Barrel

At least I think it's old. I have to be honest, until this came into my possession, I had only heard gun enthusiasts mention the name Ithaca, I had never really looked into the company myself...now that Im an owner, however, im trying to learn as much as I can. (Just started researching today!)

So far, what I've found (and im a total noobie...so im hoping some experts can either verify or set me straight) is that I think this is a 1908 Ithaca Flues.

The metal is in fantastic condition - I can find no rust - anywhere - the barrels look very clean, and it looks like it has a nice patina. Based on other pictures of what I assume this shotgun is, it also looks like this baby was a practical shotgun - used for a purpose - and didn't just set on a mantle (It looks like some of the engravings have been rubbed away...if that's possible?)

I have some concerns - first off - I would imagine with it being over 100 years old, a modern 12 gauge cartridge would explode the barrel. That's a total guess, and based very loosely on various posts i've seen online that talk about modern ammo.

So if that's the case, how in the world do I go about finding ammo that would be safe to fire from it? If it's practical, I'd actually really like to take this rabbit hunting...unless of course that would diminish the value.

What i'm really trying to figure out is what exactly is this shot gun?

I know very little about this, mind you, but the wood seems to be completely original - it seems to have the same degree of wear that the metal does, and all around, this seems like it was very well taken care of (given that it's over 100 years old!)

Anyways - what do you guys / gals think? Did I inherit a treasure or a junker?

p.s. I left my good digital camera in my desk at work today - so im using a piece of **** from several years ago...let me know if better quality pictures would help identify it, and ill retake some shots tomorrow.

Serial number is 179xxxx
Also - where the gun hinges, and exposes its self to insert some shells, beneath each barrel, there are numbers. I couldn't get my camera to focus well enough to get a picture...but on the left barrel is has "26" and on the right barrel is "16"

100_1099.jpg   100_1100.jpg   100_1104.jpg   100_1105.jpg   100_1106.jpg  

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Old 02-22-2012, 12:18 AM   #2
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:37 AM   #3
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update - i went and got some 12 gauge shells - this is definitely not a 12 gauge shotgun. The shells won't even go 1/2 way in. So im now guessing the "26" and "16" on the barrels stand for 26" long and it's a 16 gauge...except that from beginning to end, the barrel measures 23 1/4"

sigh

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Old 02-22-2012, 02:58 AM   #4
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From the pictures, it does not seem to have twist steel barrels. If it did, shooting modern smokeless powder shells would be dangerous. If it is a 16 gauge, you are very fortunate. There is a niche of bird hunters who are always searching for good double guns in 16 gauge. They would pay quite a premium for the one you have. It looks to be in good shape. The opening lever is in the center which shows that it doesn't have excessive wear. The gun should be nice and tight with no wobble felt between the breech and stock. The 16 is actually the perfect upland bird gun. Carries like a 20 and hits like a 12.
cottontop

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Old 02-22-2012, 03:33 AM   #5
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With the S/N in the sub 400,000 range (~1925) it excludes the gun from being a NID (New Ithaca Double) and your guess of it being a Flues is probably correct.

If it is a 16 ga. it will carry a premium but is not a real expensive Ithaca Hamerless SxS in Grade No. 1 with a max 100% value of $1,700. The photos do not show checkering on the pistol grip? May have been an option or the stock has been replaced.

I would not shoot it if it were an heirloom in my family, but that's just me. If you should decide to shoot it have it checked out by a smith.

I'm an Ithaca fan and have a late '30s 16 ga. Featherweight pump. cottontop nailed it as a great upland game gun. My pump has put a ton of pheasant and rabbit on the table!

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Old 02-22-2012, 03:37 AM   #6
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well im definitely excited as hell hell now after reading those replies! . Im going to get my good digital camera and take some more in depth pictures of some of the engraving, I also have a few gunsmiths locally who are going to look at it for me...we'll see what they have to say (one guy deals specifically in civil war era guns, so I hope with his affinity for old guns, this might fall somewhat in his range!)

I'm 99.9999% sure it's a 16 gauge...the only way it's not is if "Old" 12 gauge shells had a smaller circumference.

Quote:
The gun should be nice and tight with no wobble felt between the breech and stock
Yes, it is VERY solid. I haven't shot it yet, though im told the guy that passed it down was an avid bird hunter. Plays in to what both of you have said so far.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canebrake View Post
The photos do not show checkering on the pistol grip? May have been an option or the stock has been replaced.
Yes, i noticed that too, just another one of those quirks, there are a few with this shotty.

For one - im pretty sure the barrel is supposed to be 26"...but from tip to entrance it's only 23 1/4" ... ill take better pictures of all this tomorrow, but TO ME, it doesn't look like it was ever sawed down...

I'm still very much in the beginning stages of learning about this gun, so my speculations will fly wild =)

Just excited that it's at least a decent gun, and hopefully.... a great one!
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimePorkchop View Post
Yes, i noticed that too, just another one of those quirks, there are a few with this shotty.

For one - im pretty sure the barrel is supposed to be 26"...but from tip to entrance it's only 23 1/4" ... ill take better pictures of all this tomorrow, but TO ME, it doesn't look like it was ever sawed down...

I'm still very much in the beginning stages of learning about this gun, so my speculations will fly wild =)

Just excited that it's at least a decent gun, and hopefully.... a great one!
My reference book says that the Ithaca Hammerless were built with barrels 26-32. If your barrel has been cut down the value is shot as a collectible.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:51 AM   #9
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That reduces the value to collectors only and should not diminish it's value to you as a family heirloom.

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Old 02-22-2012, 04:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canebrake

My reference book says that the Ithaca Hammerless were built with barrels 26-32. If your barrel has been cut down the value is shot as a collectible.
Damn...i had no intentions of selling but this bums me out.

Ill post pics tomorrow...its more than likely that I'm wrong...this barrel just look like its ever seen a hacksaw

Plus I'm wondering what possible benefit someone would have had bt cutting off only 2 inches?
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