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Reviews : Arsenal

Ithaca M37 Shotgun and M1911 Pistol

New management resurrects the Ithaca brand with two excellent tactical firearms.

February 07, 2012  |  by Scott Smith - Also by this author

Ithaca has brought all of these features together to make a nearly perfect rendering of a duty 1911. The pistol was even finished with tried and proven Parkerizing. This finish is low gloss and absorbs lubrication to help in preventing corrosion in wet climates.

Durable and Accurate

While looks are important for a duty pistol, performance is the biggest concern. To evaluate Ithaca's new 1911, I rounded up ammunition from Atlanta Arms and Ammunition, Black Hills, Remington, and Winchester, and headed to the range.

Prior to testing the pistol for accuracy, I fired nearly 200 rounds of mixed ammunition to test its reliability. It never missed a beat and fired hollow points, full-metal jackets, and semi-wad cutters with boring consistency.

After the reliability test, it was time to evaluate the Ithaca 1911 for accuracy. I had some 230-grain hollow points from Remington and Winchester and some 185-grain hollow points from Atlanta Arms and Black Hills. The Ithaca showed no preference for bullet weight or manufacture; it simply shot well. It printed sub-two-inch, eight-shot groups from a rest at 25 yards. That's eight shots compared to the standard five or three, which translates to one fine shooting pistol.

The Ithaca M1911 I have been testing is a fine pistol. It shoots well and is dead nuts reliable. Ithaca's 1911s are not cheap, but they are worth every penny. You will find this pistol more than up to the task of duty, CCW, and even competition.

The new Ithaca Gun Company is carrying on the heritage of Ithaca and then some. The M37 Defense Gun shotgun and M1911 handgun are built for a wide variety of applications, and their accuracy and reliability make them ideal choices for law enforcement duty. These two weapons will meet and exceed your accuracy requirements and will serve you well for years to come.

Scott Smith is a former federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs who currently serves as a reserve officer and is a contributing editor to POLICE.

Ithaca M37 Defense Gun Specs:

Caliber: 12 gauge

Capacity: 8 rounds

Barrel Length: 18.5 or 20 inches

Overall Length: 38 inches

Weight (empty): 7.1 pounds

Trigger Pull: 4 to 6 pounds

Sight: Brass bead

Stock: Synthetic (available in walnut)

Price: $519

Ithaca 1911 Pistol Specs:

Caliber: .45 ACP

Capacity: 7 rounds

Barrel: 1-16 inches, left-hand twist

Weight (empty): 2.6 pounds

Barrel Length: 5 inches

Overall Length: 8.75 inches

Height: 5 inches

Width: 1 3/16 inches

Trigger Action: Single

Safeties: Manual thumb, grip

Sights: Novak or BoMar available

Price: $1,599 and up

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Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Alan @ 2/14/2012 12:24 PM

I like it. I loved hunting with my grandad's 37 years ago.

Joe @ 6/3/2013 11:26 PM

I salute your admiration for the M37 Ithaca. I too hold it in deep respect. Only one comment brings me to question this article. How is it that the fixed barrel is tremendously better than the older generation. Since 1959 the Ithaca Deerslayer with a dismountable barrel has been the standard for decades before the intro of fully rifles shotgun barrels and mounted optics. I take your last comment with a grain of salt considering the targeted large vital area of the whitetail deer and black bear and normal hunting distances.

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