Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Question An OLD Ithaca Shotgun

    Greetings All!

    A little question for all you PAFOA folks....

    I inherited an Ithaca double barreled shotgun from my grandfather. It is a side by side, damascus steel barreled, engraved model - serial #27184, which puts it's manufacture date at 1895. He took great care with the working order of his firearms, though not necessarily their cosmetics. That is to say the bores are like mirrors, but the wood is quite darkened, there are a few scratches in the stock otherwise OK.

    Value is fairly irrelevant, I've never been offered more than it is worth -sentimentally- to me. The big question is: can this shotgun be used? Do they make low pressure or black powder shells for these old beauties? Or should I just live with this gun as nothing more than a period piece or mantel garnish?

    I am very aware that using a modern shell would quite possibly blow the damascus, wrapped barrel into millions of slivers of shrapnel and would NEVER attempt such a thing.

    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Latrobe, Pennsylvania
    (Westmoreland County)
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    Default Re: An OLD Ithaca Shotgun

    Quote Originally Posted by RuralTom View Post
    Greetings All!

    A little question for all you PAFOA folks....

    I inherited an Ithaca double barreled shotgun from my grandfather. It is a side by side, damascus steel barreled, engraved model - serial #27184, which puts it's manufacture date at 1895. He took great care with the working order of his firearms, though not necessarily their cosmetics. That is to say the bores are like mirrors, but the wood is quite darkened, there are a few scratches in the stock otherwise OK.

    Value is fairly irrelevant, I've never been offered more than it is worth -sentimentally- to me. The big question is: can this shotgun be used? Do they make low pressure or black powder shells for these old beauties? Or should I just live with this gun as nothing more than a period piece or mantel garnish?

    I am very aware that using a modern shell would quite possibly blow the damascus, wrapped barrel into millions of slivers of shrapnel and would NEVER attempt such a thing.

    Tom
    Sounds cool...how about some pics?

    I just picked up an old double barrel myself and have questions about shooting it. Damascus barrels are a no no with modern high pressure shells, but I think you and I would be safe with black powder shells. They probably belch a lot of smoke and fire, but won't have the high pressure as the modern smokeless powder.

    I'd like to shoot mine, but I don't want to loose any fingers or gain a nice damascus rash on my face! LOL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: An OLD Ithaca Shotgun

    Talking about shooting a Damascus barreled shotgun is frequently a way to start a long and heated discussion. I, for one, can't see letting a safe shootable firearm sit unused.
    Have it checked by a competent gunsmith.
    There are a couple of manufacturers who offer BP shotshells. Goex is one. Republic Metallic is another (http://www.republicmetallic.com/SHOTSHELLS.html).
    A third alternative and easy to do is to buy some brass hulls and load your own.
    Pete
    “Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games.”Hemingway ...

  4. #4
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    Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: An OLD Ithaca Shotgun

    I have a 1919 Ithaca that I shoot. If you shoot yours you should get low pressure shells and make sure the length is correct. For example my 16Ga has 2 9/16 chambers.

    RST shells, www.rstshells.com in upstate PA sell a wide variety of short length low pressure shells and they are very knowledgeable.

    I am not sure you have a blackpowder gun post another question here or on the doublegunshop forum.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: An OLD Ithaca Shotgun

    RST's Falcon Lite shells may be just the ticket if the gun checks out. They are a class operation, not far from me near Fairmont Springs. (Cambra/Benton).
    Pete
    “Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games.”Hemingway ...

  6. #6
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: An OLD Ithaca Shotgun

    Good Morning and Thanks for the responses... I think I'll be looking to a) find out the size of the chambers and b) get some low power shells! Like you said Pete, I really hate having a perfectly good gun sitting around, not getting used.

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