This is my first post here but not my last. I have posted this same thread in several other firearms forums in the hopes of gathering as much info as I can on this old family heirloom and I figured there had to be some knowledgeable folks here.
Anyway I recently acquired a 1942 Ithaca Long Range SxS that has been in my family all it's life, it belonged to my Grandfather who served as a tail gunner in a B-24 Liberator over Europe in WW2 and when he passed away about 15 years ago this gun went to my uncle and then he gave it to me.
When I first took possession of this shotgun I thought it was simply a nice family heirloom but upon taking it apart for the first time and looking at it more closely I noticed something strange. Under the barrel there is a serial number indicating it was made in 1942 but what was strange were the proof marks including a "P" and a flaming bomb. These appear to be military proof marks but what are they doing on an Ithaca SxS? What purpose could the military have in such a shotgun?
I know that these Ithaca Long Range Guns aren't incredibly valuable and I doubt I would ever sell this gun anyway because it's a family heirloom, however I am curious if this gun is rare and potentially worth more because it has military acceptance markings?
Anyway here are a bunch of pics of it, any ideas you might have would be welcome.
the us army air corps bought thousands of shotguns to train air crew gunners and fighter pilots in the basics of leading targets. they would start off with simple skeet shooting than move to skeet shooting in a speeding vehicle usually a jeep before they turned em loose in a aircraft gunner seat.
i like ithaca firearms but the truth about is they had some quality issues so had to go through extra hoops to proof their guns. the flaming bomb is a military acceptance proof. your shotgun was originally purchased by the us govt and received a proof mark as part of the process. you got an interesting piece of history.
one other thing. the upsurge in skeet and trap as a popular sport really took off after ww2 in large part to the enormous numbers of airmen, sailors, and aa crew trained using skeet. they simply enjoyed it and continued the sport after the war. shotgun sports simply exploded after thw war ended.
"Gun control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound." L. Neil Smith
The problem with being stupid is you cannot simply decide to stop doing dumb things...
As far as I know all the shotguns they used in aerial gunnery training were repeaters, but I know that the Special Services used to buy all kinds of guns available to be signed out by military personnel for recreational purposes. My buddy's Dad way back was a navy captain, and whenever we would be interested in a gun he would go with us and check one out and we would take it to the range and shoot it. One time they even ordered one just because we wanted to shoot it. Back then I couldn't believe all the stuff the military got "free". Now I know; they earned it and they deserved it.