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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

As you all can see, this is my first post! I must say, this is a damn sweet forum and I enjoy reading all of the great topics thus far.

Anyways, on to my question/s.

I am looking to replicate, or piece togethor a Ithaca Model 37 with a Duckbill shot spreader on the muzzle. Now, I'm not sure on where to get a Duckbill, so if anyone could point me in the right direction, that would be great for one.

Now, onto the shotgun itself.

I understand that the Homeland Security model was and is the closest to the Model 37 used by United States Navy SEAL pointmen in Vietnam. Now, I know the M37's they used had an eight shot magazine. Is there anyway to replicate this? I saw something that seemed to be an extended magazine tube that was actually attached to the Duckbill shotspreader.

I will include a simple, and very crude "arteest" rendition of said piece.



The "arteest" rendition I added is crude and basic, but I think it should convey the idea as to what I'm referring to.

Now, if this exsist, can it be found? Also, if at all possible, could someone point me in the right direction.

Thank you,

Erik.
 

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What help I can be:

The SEAL Ithaca is essentially the same as the standard 8 shot police model Ithaca made for many years after the Vietnam war.

I'm not sure they still make the extended guns, but used models are still plentiful.

The SEAL guns were made by the US Navy Weapons Lab in China Lake California. They were made from standard 5 shot guns by replacing the magazine tube, removing the barrel's mount, and reattaching it near the muzzle. The "duckbill" spreader was attached to the barrel by brazing. If it had been attached to the mag tube, the barrel couldn't have been removed for cleaning.

Apparently, this was a major job, since the SEALs couldn't get enough of the modified guns from the Lab, and were forced to use some standard Navy issue 5 shot guns.

The first gun made was given to SEAL Chief James "Patches" Watson. He had them further modify this gun by replacing the butt stock with a pistol grip and attaching a ring to the bottom. He slung the gun over his shoulder or neck with a cord.

The spreader was designed to be used with the Navy standard #4 buckshot ONLY, and this may still be true for the current model.
Many people believe #4 buck to be too light for combat use, but Chief Watson, in his book "Pointman", responded that "The Vietnamese I shot didn't complain". He allowed that the actions took place at night, and at short ranges.

I'm not sure who still makes the spreader, but I think they're still in business.
The post-war spreaders were modified by a reinforcing ring around the end due to the original model's tendency to weaken from firing. The ends would spread apart, and no longer function.
The newer model with the reinforcement has slightly degraded performance over the original.

I'd suggest finding out if Ithaca still offers a parkerized 8 shot model, or find a used one.

I'd post a request for info on the current maker of the spreader on a forum like The Firing Line. Somebody will have contact info.

One you've got the gun and a spreader, all you'll need is for a good gunsmith to braze the spreader to the muzzle.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow!

Thank you for all of the great info! I really appreciate it. Now, I just have to track down the gun itself and the duckbill and I'll be ready to rock and roll. Thanks again! :D
 

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ADDENDUM:

A POSSIBLE contact for the shot spreader:

Great Lakes Arsenal
60233 Northern Ave.
Ray, MI 48096-3914
(810)749-9386
e-mail:[email protected]

This is old info, and may no longer be valid.

A quick look at the on-line gun auctions turned up only one 8 shot parkerized Ithaca 37, but they turn up fairly often.

I also took a quick look at Ithaca's web site, and they show no extended models. However, I'd contact them, since it's very possible they just don't advertise on the sporting site.

If worse comes to worse, Ithaca's parts section links to the Gun Parts Corporation. Gun Parts sell Ithaca 20" barrels and new mag tubes. It might be very possible to buy new parts and convert a 5 shot gun.
 
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