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Hi, new guy here with a... a... I don't know what!

This is a discussion on Hi, new guy here with a... a... I don't know what! within the Ithaca Shotgun Forum forums, part of the Shotgun Forums by Model category; So of all the strange twists, my WIFE decided she liked the looks of a nice, clean ( looking ) Model 37 Deerslayer at an ...



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Old 12-11-2020, 07:24 PM   #1
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Hi, new guy here with a... a... I don't know what!

So of all the strange twists, my WIFE decided she liked the looks of a nice, clean (looking) Model 37 Deerslayer at an auction last Saturday. I really fell for this, it was so clean, I suspect it had been refinished, but a nice job, even matted the top of the receiver. Wood is excellent. By serial number, it dates to a 1974 vintage. Oh, and it had a Unertl 6X Condor on the barrel mount dovetail, straddling the rear sight. And that, I'm pretty sure, is where all of the good stops.

We get home, I step into the gun room and shove a functioning dummy into the magazine tube. Yep, right back out it pops. I go to remove the slug barrel, back the cap off, attempt to turn the barrel... Nothing, at least nothing yet, I haven't tried Kroil and persuasion, not without a stop by the tree of Ithaca knowledge here first.
Why yes, it does get better; ensuring the gun is clear, I dry fire it, hit the action release and go to cycle the slide. Of course it's frozen in place, why wouldn't it be? Not totally frozen, as in no movement at all, just the little bit of slack before it hits an immovable wall that says "something's out of place here"

Any advice at all on where to start doing anything to/with this?
Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2020, 06:00 AM   #2
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The Model 37 is not a hard disassembly/assembly. Also, Kroil and heat are your friends.

Tons of YouTube videos. Here is one.

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Old 12-15-2020, 08:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jwsmith1959 View Post
The Model 37 is not a hard disassembly/assembly. Also, Kroil and heat are your friends.
Thanks for the reply. I don't know though, in comparison to 870s, 500s and 590s, Benellis and others that I've taken apart and put back together , the 37 seems to start with "remove buttstock" and then disassemble from there. I'd opine that was why the one we got, and many other Ithacas I bet, are dirty in and around the trigger group and bolt area, because guys punch out the bore and wipe the bolt face, give it a squirt of WD or CLP and call it good.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not an advocate of a complete tear-down and scrubbing every time after it goes "bang", but over time, "stuff" accumulates back there. This 97% in appearance Deerslayer was much dirtier inside then the exterior would suggest.

But; Good news! I WAS able to get that barrel to rotate her 90 degrees and came right off. I did loosen the barrel yoke though I'm not certain that was the culprit. Honestly, maybe I just wasn't holding my mouth just right the first couple times.

In agreement with you, I had my orange can ready to deploy at the barrel joint, but I never needed it this time. That was next though, I'm a firm believer in Kroil, including over most other penetrating oils, Kroil is the best. It has a place in the bore cleaning process as well.

So further, the rest of the disassembly went off fine, and the firing pin, I discovered, was seized forward, which I tapped it and freed it, I also gave the firing pin tunnel a good scrubbing, but did not see much of any major grit or shavings, just normal sludge you'd find in many holes. Then I noticed the firing pin spring looked like some POS some prior owner stuck in there and noted I should look for a replacement. Much to my surprise, a website showed the 37 firing pin spring, and lo and behold, that WAS the absolute correct spring, 7 coils, no closed ends, not a masterpiece of the spring-makers craft, but that's what Ithaca would have sent as a replacement. One other thing I did notice during reinstallation of the firing pin into the bolt, the slot (or flat) in the firing pin that the retaining pin goes through was cut at a darned angle, sloping upward at the back!? I had a points file and gave that back part of the slot a few licks, and the firing pin travels freely. I'm pretty convinced that was at least part of the firing pin seizing forward, do you think?

Beyond that, I just cleaned and scrubbed (and steel wooled) my way through the parts, then reassembled. I'm going to go shoot her today, her shell stops are moving and holding shells in the tube until it's time to let one loose now.

And yes, I watched a ton of videos on the 37, teardown and reassembly.

Say, I also found out that my rear sight dovetail is loose and some mook actually ground most of the sight blade away in order to clear that ridiculous scope he had on there. (6X Unertl Condor). So now I need to find a correct mid 70's style rear sight and figure out how to tighten a buggered dovetail.
Or a suitable replacement.

And THAT brings me to my next question; if anyone reading this has a moment to measure their original deerslayer rear sight at lowest and highest point in elevation, in relation to the flat rib that the sight is located on, I might just replace it with a folding leaf of some type, something from Williams or Marbles I guess.

Last edited by OMCHAMLIN; 12-15-2020 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 12-15-2020, 09:27 AM   #4
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Glad that you were able to get it cleaned up.

I never had a Deerslayer barrel, so can't be any help to you there.

I bought my 37 in around 74 or so with some hard earned hay hauling money. I loaned it to a friend in the late 80's for a dove hunting trip. It got "lost" by the airline on a flight from Lubbock to Houston. I remember it taking forever to settle with them on it.

Sounds like you have a handle on it. Hopefully, Williams can help you out with the sight.

Good luck and all the best.
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:16 AM   #5
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Aww, shoot! Well, maybe not so fast... I took it out for it's full up, loaded magazine and live fire test and it failed miserably, dumping shells from the magazine everywhere. Studying up on that, it seems to be the spring loaded shell stop (right hand), and s I will first order a spring, and if that doesn't resolve it, I'll gently tweak the stop inward and try it until it's right.
I am about to order a Williams ramp and a blade to replace the buggered rear sight after the shell stop issue is resolved.
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Old 12-31-2020, 05:50 AM   #6
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Good News: I guessed correctly and the Williams brand rear sight turned out to be just right for height, so the Deerslayers iron sights are restored.

Just nearly good news (almost): I received the replacement shell stop and spring, popped them in and.... It works too well, it won't release any of the shells! Oops! Okay, one minor bend, mid point in the shell stop, and it's feeding (releasing when it's supposed to) low brass target loads, but on Winchester 1oz. Foster slugs? Not so much. No release on those. I stopped there for the evening, but it appears I am going to have to bend and try, bend and try, until I get it right, but GET IT RIGHT, I will!
So, question; for these final adjustments, I think I should focus on bending just near the stop's tip, not back mid way on the shell stop, what say you, and why?

On the + side, I took the Winchester Ranger 120 that we picked up at the same time out and test fired it, it (the cheap, bargain basement "K" car of American pump shotguns!) ran like gang busters! It even handled Aguila Mini-Shells, so long as you were purposeful and fluid in racking the pump. I went home and splurged for an 18" rifle sighted slug barrel on eBay for it, along with a Choate +2 mag extension. Paid more for the one barrel than the whole gun, but I wanted it, so there...
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:12 AM   #7
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Okay, the damn thing is FINALLY fixed... in ALL regards. I say that because along the way, I also replaced the firing pin but had to fit the groove in the firing pin to the cross pin that retains it. The firing pin that came in it was also "fitted", but in such a way that it tended to stick in the forward (fired) position when dry fired only, because during actual firing, the shell's primer cushions the firing pin before it protrudes out far enough to stick, which I think might be the real cause of many reported "Model 37 Ka-booms!", not the mis-positioned fork of the lifter as many often point to. Yeah, a lifter fork "could" get in the way by mis-alignment, but a firing pin protruding from the bolt face is intentionally in the correct position to cause an out of battery detonation. Anyhow, I fitted the new firing pin and tested it by dry firing it, and it no longer sticks forward. While I was at it, I dressed the old one and now it no longer sticks, so I have a spare.

Anyhow, it loads, feeds, fires (accurately, BTW), ejects, safety functions properly, disassembles easily but stays together when intended. Oh, I almost forgot, I also had to tighten the front forearm retainer after it popped off, which caused me to "bugger" the pristine screw for the barrel brace, which I had to dress, polish and re (cold) blue, which turned out very nice. I use Brownells Oxpho Blue and man, so far, that is the hands down BEST cold blue I have ever used if you do your prep. Heck, it even works with minimal prep, as far as just darkening something with out too much shine. Previously, I had used Formula 44/40, Birchwood Casey and even the magical stuff from the "guy at the gun show" of so many years ago, Van's Instant Gun Blue.

The (my) big takeaway from this was gaining a slight bit of hands on knowledge on a shotgun I was never too familiar with, and that's mine to keep (until it leaks out). Besides, now the wife has a functional version of the gun she won at the auction (for $295, plus a hunk of RayBar for the front sight, a rear sight (Williams, it looks fine and zeros, so WTH?), a shell stop and spring and a firing pin and spring and pin, and some time.
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Last edited by OMCHAMLIN; 01-14-2021 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 01-15-2021, 01:56 AM   #8
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Glad you got things sorted out. I blew up a JC Higgins pump many years ago that had a protruding firing pin. I learned a valuable lesson - thoroughly go through any unfamiliar gun prior to test firing.

Good luck and all the best.
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