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Ask Dave: Is the Ithaca Deerslayer still a good slug gun?

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July 07, 2006

Ask Dave: Is the Ithaca Deerslayer still a good slug gun?

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

Dave, I have an Ithaca Deerslayer slug gun (rifled barrel) that, with scope and saboted Winchester Supreme ammo, gives me 4-inch groups at 100 yards with the occasional flyer going out to 6 inches. I've killed deer with it, but the hits were not where I thought they'd be, and I'm looking for something more accurate. The local gun gurus say I should buy a box of every slug made and see what groups best, but I'm not looking forward to shooting box after $12 box of shells through this little cannon.

Are my expectations too high? Should I trade the gun? -- Daniel Beetz, York, ME

Daniel, I owned a Deerslayer slug gun in the early 90s, and have the subdural hematomas to remind me of it. The thing had a 15-pound trigger and weighed about 6 1/2 pounds, and while it shot OK for the time it would throw flyers just as your gun does. Slug-gun design has come a long way since the Deerslayer, and I'd sell it and look for something more modern.--DP

Comments (27)

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from chris wrote 5 years 18 weeks ago

I've been a rifle hunter for 15 years. Three years ago I purchased a used Ithaca model 37 12 gauge for some new tight properties I'm hunting. I can't believe the accuracy under 100yards and the take down power with the lightfield 3" commanders. I'll never go back to the 308. Only problem with my Ithaca is that the pump rattles pretty loud.

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from Michael H. Green wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

In my experience, hunting with deer slugs for the last 48 years, the original Brenneke slug with screwed-on felt wad, is the best deer getter out there. Very good accuracy plus exceptional knock-down power. I've shot a few deer well over 100 yards, including a 10-point buck at 110 yards and an 8-point at 159 yards. The 8-point dropped in his tracks, hit in the shoulders. The 10-point, 200# dressed-out, staggered in a tight cirle and dropped, hit a little behind the shoulders. My first experience with the Brennekes was with my 16 ga. Winchester Model 12, in about 1970. Great accuracy, especially considering no sights other than front bead. I then decided that I wanted a low-power scope, but couldn't bear to drill-and-tap my Mod. 12, so I bought a used 12 ga. smooth-bore Ithaca Deerslayer and topped it with a Leupold 2-1/2 Compact. Good combination: as you may know, the Ithaca Deerslayer bore is slightly undesize, so slugs don't "rattle down the bore", a term I've read in outdoor magazines ad nauseum. Bottom line is that you don't need to pay $3 per slug to get top performance; get a smooth bore Ithaca Deerslayer, put a decent scope on it and round up some Original Brennekes(not the ones with plastic wads). You'll punch full-sized holes in your deer. A plus for the Ithaca 37 (or 87) is that with the bottom loading and ejection you won't have your action getting filled with dirt, rain or snow.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

Want to try one hell of a slug gun!A pulled out one of my Modified Chokes and screwed it in my,Model 11-87™ Sportsman® ShurShot™ Synthetic Turkey. Talk about a tack driver and sending down range a lot of lead.

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from Ed J wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

Savage Mod 340 has a .224 dia and 1 in 16 twist.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

O’ Neil, don’t pay any attention to that guy!Ok, here’s part of the scoop as I know and can find out for ya.HistoryThe .22 Hornet's ancestry is generally attributed to experiments done in the 1920s using the black-powder .22 WCF at Springfield Armory. [2] Winchester adopted what had so far been a wildcat cartridge in 1930, producing ammo for a cartridge for which no commercially-made guns yet had been built. It wasn't until 1932 that any company began selling commercially-made guns for the cartridge.Older guns generally have a slower twist rate of 1-16" (or one turn in every 16 inches of barrel length) for lighter bullets with a .223 caliber dimension. Newer guns feature a faster 1-14" twist for 40 to 45 grain bullets in the more standard .224 caliber.Neil, what you need to check the twist of you barrel you’re going to take a cleaning rod and pull the patch from the chamber end to the muzzle and here’s how. Pull the patch into the bore about 2-4 inches, now make a mark flush with the muzzle like at 12 o’clock. Now pull the rod until it makes a 360 degree full turn and again mark the rod at the same position you made before pulling. Pull the rod on out and measure the distance. If it’s 1-16 it’s a good chance its .223 diameter.Beginning during World War II, aircrew survival rifles in .22 Hornet were developed and issued by the U.S. military. They typically were bolt-action rifles with telescoping stocks or break-open rifle/shotgun over-under designs. [3]Rifles are currently (2007) being chambered in .22 Hornet by Ruger, New England Firearms, CZ and various other mass-market manufacturers. Most current-production rifles in .22 Hornet are either bolt-action or single-shot designs, with the exception of a very few "survival" rifle/shotgun over-under designs such as the Savage Model 24 from Savage and a few European-made kipplauf break-action, single-shot rifles. It is possible to get an extremely-accurate new .22 Hornet rifle for as little as US$200, although prices can go very much higher for rifles made by custom riflemakers and the specialist London and European trade.Revolvers have been produced in .22 Hornet by Taurus, Magnum Research, and others. Single-shot pistols in .22 Hornet have been made by Thompson. (Power levels are somewhat less for this cartridge in short-barrelled handguns than in rifles.)In Great Britain, the .22 Hornet was extremely popular among specialist roe deer stalkers in the early 20th century; but the calibre was outlawed by the 1963 Deer Act owing to inadequately low bullet energy, and has fallen considerably in British popularity since then.[citation needed] Wildcat variants of the .22 Hornet, such as the .22 K-Hornet, can boost bullet velocity and energy considerably above factory .22 Hornet levels, but performance still falls short of what is deer-legal in any part of the United Kingdom.

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from Ed J wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

NeilRegardless of what I say next, the first thing you do is take them to a competent gun smith and have him take a casting of the the barrel and chamber. He can then measure the grove diameter and then you will know.Ok? Now some history. The .222 Dia. has a bore dia of .217 and a 1 in 16 twist. Sound familiar? Thats the spec's of a 22 rimfire which is what they used about 1920. Next they went to the .223 dia with a bore dia of .218 till oh the 2nd W War. Then the major mfg's .219 bore dia. and .224 grove dia.Odds are that yours are .224's however refer to first sentence and be sure!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

Neil,Good luck getting an answer.

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from Neil wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

Dear Mr. Petzal,A question I have not been able to figure out for some time. I own four pre-64 model 70 .22 Hornets. The earliest being a 1947 rifle with a '46 barrel. My question is what is the bore of these rifles? Is it .223" or .224"? I have heard various responses from various bullets comapanies and experts but no one seems to have a definitive answer. Some say the pre-war were .223" and then after .224". The Rule book says .222"?!!! What is it? Also is it safe to fire .224 ammo in a .223 bore?Best Regards,Neil

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from KJ wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Charlie Bob -I have a B-Square mount and a Bushnell 1.5x4 scope on my 870. I have a fully rifled barrel (made by Mossberg for the 870), and using 2 3/4" sabot slugs I can shoot 3" groups at 100 yards. My gun shoots the Remington Copper Solid sabots better than any others. I don't like changing the barrel, because then I have to re-sight the scope, and off the bench the kick is a real b!tch.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

C-Bob expect pitiful accuracy... on a pump gun all your sights should be connected to the barrel. I would buy rifle sights that clamp on to your ventilated rib and experiment with extended rifled choke tubes and super full turkey chokes. Works on my 1100. If you have to have a scope buy a new barrel from Remington with the cantilevered scope mount...

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from Charlie Bob wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I am looking to put a b-square mount and some type of scope probably the eotech on my 870. What kind of accuracy can I expect with this setup i will turkey hunt in the spring and deer hunt in the fall I am concerned due to the lock up of barrel to receiver as the mount is on the receiver.

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from keith wrote 6 years 25 weeks ago

I have been through 3 different incarnations of slug guns: the first was a remington 870 wingmaster with a smoothbore 28" barrel (IC choke) and the never fail 2 bead sight system ;-). When I saved up enough money, I bought an 870 express slug gun and used it for a season. Never could get decent groups out of it and the sights sucked. Then I went big bucks and bought (now out of business) Ithaca Deerslayer II with fixed, rifled barrel and shot $12 boxes of saboted slugs through it because I thought that was what you were supposed to do if you were stuck in a shotgun zone. Sure, I shot deer with it, but never got used to the pyramid front sight or the thought that my slug diet of pre-season sighting in cost more than gas money to get out to the field. Now I'm back to using the venerable old smoothbore with 2 beads and a ventilated rib and the 3 dollar box of 1 oz. rifled slugs. I shoot the hell out of it for the month leading up to deer season and when I can put five slugs into the head of a deer target offhand at 50 yards I know I'm good to go for the season. I don't need to shoot 1" groups or anything out past 100 yards. I think I have yet to sling lead at anything much past 50 yards. I'd prefer to be closer to my quarry as a testament to stalking or good hunting skills. As far as recoil, past shooting at paper plates and targets, it's a non-issue - you never notice how much a gun kicks if you're shooting at a deer.

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from bill wrote 6 years 28 weeks ago

xoxo's right back, i wasnot calling you wussys, i was saying you dont have to fire the shoulder cannon 12 in order to kill deer, and that a 20 is more than enough to kill a deer and personally have hunted many times with a 20, maybe you have some luck with the 870 but i have personally not been able to "drive tacks" at any more than 30 feet let alone 125 yards.p.s. i have absolutely no trouble with my unit and need absolutely no synthetic assistance

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from Patrick wrote 6 years 29 weeks ago

Harsh.... I have put a lot of time in on tring to get my 870 to shoot a tight group with the Ithaca barrel. I found that Ithaca barrels were produced by another company, and sold under the Ithaca name. It was an low quality barrel, and gave a bad name to the trusty Ithaca shotgun. I have recently solved my issue by purchasing a mossberg barrel. My 870 is now a tack driver @ 125 yards using lightfield ammo. And I mean a tack driver.Oh, and Bill I would like to think you weren't calling us fine folks wussy's. But it sounds to me like you are saying that unless we are your size we should all shot 20 gauges. My wife is 5'02" and 112 lbs and she shoots the crap out of her 12 gauge. So on behalf of us fine folks I would like to take the time to tell you to be quiet....CHUMP. You were asked for your help not your opinion. So, take your viagra and go to bed, and maybe you should get a new seeing eye dog. My issue was with the Ithaca barrel, not the slug gun. I have a deerslayer and its a great gun. That is why I was so puzzled by the the poor performance of the barrel. Hugs and Kisses Bill.

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from bill wrote 6 years 32 weeks ago

one other thing, i dont shoot a 12$ box of slugs, i get the cheep green box of remingtons for 4 or 5 bucks, and they have done just for for more than enough years. ive never lost a deer in my life with those slugs, and i havent missed any either. in the long run it isnt about buying a sub 1" @ 100 yard shotgun, its knowing the shotgun you have and being able to control it. if you cant handle a 12 or a 16 go buy a 20 or even a light rifle.

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from bill wrote 6 years 32 weeks ago

wowwhoever you people are your bein pretty harsh on the trusty old shotgun.ive been hauling a slug gun in the woods for years, and have owned many different models. my worst ever probobly being the remington 870. sure it was good for busting the heavy stuff but beyong 40 yard i didnt trust it at all. the grouping was terrible. the best grouping gun ive ever had is the browning a-5. ive killed over 30 deer with that gun many over 80 yards out. my old ithaca was nothing to sneeze at either. the question now is recoil. personally i have absolutly no trouble with recoil. granted im 6-6 and im tipping the scales at 300 pounds. but if your smaller youse your senses and get a smaller gun. i hae killed just as many deer with a 20 as i have with a 12, you dont need a cannon to do it, just get your shots in the right spot. so take it easy on the slug gun. it isnt a sub 1" gun at 200 yards, live with it.

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from Patrick wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I have recently purchased an Ithaca slug barrel for my Remington. The pattern is dead on @ 50 yards. However, it is very sloppy @ 100 yards. Should I ditch it or does certain ammo work better than others. HELP!!!

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from Andrew Sacco wrote 7 years 18 weeks ago

I think there's some unneccessary bashing of Ithaca here. I have a Deerslayer II with the fixed barrel in 12 ga. that I got five or years ago. Did NOT shoot Partition Gold well at all, but 2 3/4 inch Lightfield EXP always inside 2" at 100 yards with a scope and rest. A fine gun, but I don't think the twist rate is good for the higher velocity and faster loads.

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from Kenny Weaver wrote 7 years 38 weeks ago

This may not be the correct place for this question but I could not figure out how to ask a question on this blog.In October of 2005, I lost everything in a house fire, including my guns. I have triplet boys, age 14. I want to get them involved in hunting. I would like to get each of them their own shotgun and rifle. But I can only get one thing at a time. With deer season coming up I want to get them a deer gun first. What would you recommend for a rifle and shotgun? I live and hunt in Northwest Mississippi.

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from Stephen wrote 7 years 38 weeks ago

Every slide or auto slug gun I have had the (mis)fortune of shooting has been marginal at best. My mother-in-law has a gorgeous Remington 1100 with a rifled barrel that I wouldn't use to kill deer unless they were less than 50 yards out. Even then I'd be crossing myself before pulling the trigger.On the other hand, my Mossberg 695 bolt action 12 ga. prints groups around 2 inches on center at 100 yards with Lightfield Hybred EXP sabots, day in and day out. I've killed deer out to 150 yards with it, and the slug hit right where I was aiming. Does it kick? Hell yes, but on November 15 with a thick blaze coat on, it's hardly noticeable.Unfortunately Mossberg ceased production of this fine weapon a few years back, but you should be able to find a decent used one for around $250. They're not pretty (parkerized barrel and grey synthetic stock), but they certainly get the job done. One caveat, these typically come with a cheapo Bushnell fixed 4 power scope. Upgrade to a 3x9 at the first chance you get.

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from Capt Walt wrote 7 years 39 weeks ago

There is a whole new Breed of Deerslayer out there.Check them out athttp://www.ithacagunsusa.com/Gone are the days of the old sloppy actions. I can remember using a friends deerslayer years ago and it was not plesent. They had some really worn machines they were making them on. The New company has not only new blood but new machines. The new DeerSlayer II with a 20" barrel set up thumbhole stock with a Tru Glow site and sling would be just the gun to carry in semi-urban hunting areas like Massachusetts and Coastal Maine and New Hampshire that have shotgun only hunting areas.I cant wait to try out one of these new Ithaca's loaded with LIGHTFIELD 3" Commander slugs for Black Bear or Deer here in Maine. I have used the Lightfields on Winchester, Remington, Mossburg shotguns and the ammo performs excellent with minimal recoil.Capt Walthttp://home.maine.rr.com/newengland/

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from Ithaca37 wrote 7 years 39 weeks ago

Wow, you guys are being awfully harsh to the Ithaca, which is arguably one the finest pump action shotguns ever produced. You can not ecer make an informed decision on a firearms accuracy after shooting on lyy one type of ammo. Just a thought, but with how severe the recoil is on sabotted slugs could the flyer simply be the result of flinching? You should get a rifle if you require precision accuracy out at or beyond 100yds.

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from Visitor wrote 7 years 39 weeks ago

test

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from Kevin wrote 7 years 40 weeks ago

I B a dork. The mounting system that I used on my Ithaca was a B-Square product :)

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from Kevin wrote 7 years 40 weeks ago

Posted by, :)I have a "newer" English style ultralite Ithaca Model 37 16ga. that I put an A-Square vent-rib mount and rings on. I bought two boxes of "Foster" type slugs to shoot through the IC choke tube. Two boxes equal ten shells. I have three shells left. I removed the A-Square mounting system. I left the range with a headache and a flinch. I'd vote for a heavier Remington 870 or if you are willing to spend the money, get an autoloader. The trigger on my 16ga is very nice though. Quite crisp. I estimate it at about 4 lbs.. Not bad for a shotgun. I will use it on dove, but not deer.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 40 weeks ago

The newest incarnation of Ithaca is so new there's no way to judge. I haven't seen anything they've turned out.

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from Visitor wrote 7 years 40 weeks ago

Are the new ithacas just as bad? i am considering buying one.

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from chris wrote 5 years 18 weeks ago

I've been a rifle hunter for 15 years. Three years ago I purchased a used Ithaca model 37 12 gauge for some new tight properties I'm hunting. I can't believe the accuracy under 100yards and the take down power with the lightfield 3" commanders. I'll never go back to the 308. Only problem with my Ithaca is that the pump rattles pretty loud.

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from Michael H. Green wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

In my experience, hunting with deer slugs for the last 48 years, the original Brenneke slug with screwed-on felt wad, is the best deer getter out there. Very good accuracy plus exceptional knock-down power. I've shot a few deer well over 100 yards, including a 10-point buck at 110 yards and an 8-point at 159 yards. The 8-point dropped in his tracks, hit in the shoulders. The 10-point, 200# dressed-out, staggered in a tight cirle and dropped, hit a little behind the shoulders. My first experience with the Brennekes was with my 16 ga. Winchester Model 12, in about 1970. Great accuracy, especially considering no sights other than front bead. I then decided that I wanted a low-power scope, but couldn't bear to drill-and-tap my Mod. 12, so I bought a used 12 ga. smooth-bore Ithaca Deerslayer and topped it with a Leupold 2-1/2 Compact. Good combination: as you may know, the Ithaca Deerslayer bore is slightly undesize, so slugs don't "rattle down the bore", a term I've read in outdoor magazines ad nauseum. Bottom line is that you don't need to pay $3 per slug to get top performance; get a smooth bore Ithaca Deerslayer, put a decent scope on it and round up some Original Brennekes(not the ones with plastic wads). You'll punch full-sized holes in your deer. A plus for the Ithaca 37 (or 87) is that with the bottom loading and ejection you won't have your action getting filled with dirt, rain or snow.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

Want to try one hell of a slug gun!A pulled out one of my Modified Chokes and screwed it in my,Model 11-87™ Sportsman® ShurShot™ Synthetic Turkey. Talk about a tack driver and sending down range a lot of lead.

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from Ed J wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

Savage Mod 340 has a .224 dia and 1 in 16 twist.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

O’ Neil, don’t pay any attention to that guy!Ok, here’s part of the scoop as I know and can find out for ya.HistoryThe .22 Hornet's ancestry is generally attributed to experiments done in the 1920s using the black-powder .22 WCF at Springfield Armory. [2] Winchester adopted what had so far been a wildcat cartridge in 1930, producing ammo for a cartridge for which no commercially-made guns yet had been built. It wasn't until 1932 that any company began selling commercially-made guns for the cartridge.Older guns generally have a slower twist rate of 1-16" (or one turn in every 16 inches of barrel length) for lighter bullets with a .223 caliber dimension. Newer guns feature a faster 1-14" twist for 40 to 45 grain bullets in the more standard .224 caliber.Neil, what you need to check the twist of you barrel you’re going to take a cleaning rod and pull the patch from the chamber end to the muzzle and here’s how. Pull the patch into the bore about 2-4 inches, now make a mark flush with the muzzle like at 12 o’clock. Now pull the rod until it makes a 360 degree full turn and again mark the rod at the same position you made before pulling. Pull the rod on out and measure the distance. If it’s 1-16 it’s a good chance its .223 diameter.Beginning during World War II, aircrew survival rifles in .22 Hornet were developed and issued by the U.S. military. They typically were bolt-action rifles with telescoping stocks or break-open rifle/shotgun over-under designs. [3]Rifles are currently (2007) being chambered in .22 Hornet by Ruger, New England Firearms, CZ and various other mass-market manufacturers. Most current-production rifles in .22 Hornet are either bolt-action or single-shot designs, with the exception of a very few "survival" rifle/shotgun over-under designs such as the Savage Model 24 from Savage and a few European-made kipplauf break-action, single-shot rifles. It is possible to get an extremely-accurate new .22 Hornet rifle for as little as US$200, although prices can go very much higher for rifles made by custom riflemakers and the specialist London and European trade.Revolvers have been produced in .22 Hornet by Taurus, Magnum Research, and others. Single-shot pistols in .22 Hornet have been made by Thompson. (Power levels are somewhat less for this cartridge in short-barrelled handguns than in rifles.)In Great Britain, the .22 Hornet was extremely popular among specialist roe deer stalkers in the early 20th century; but the calibre was outlawed by the 1963 Deer Act owing to inadequately low bullet energy, and has fallen considerably in British popularity since then.[citation needed] Wildcat variants of the .22 Hornet, such as the .22 K-Hornet, can boost bullet velocity and energy considerably above factory .22 Hornet levels, but performance still falls short of what is deer-legal in any part of the United Kingdom.

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from Ed J wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

NeilRegardless of what I say next, the first thing you do is take them to a competent gun smith and have him take a casting of the the barrel and chamber. He can then measure the grove diameter and then you will know.Ok? Now some history. The .222 Dia. has a bore dia of .217 and a 1 in 16 twist. Sound familiar? Thats the spec's of a 22 rimfire which is what they used about 1920. Next they went to the .223 dia with a bore dia of .218 till oh the 2nd W War. Then the major mfg's .219 bore dia. and .224 grove dia.Odds are that yours are .224's however refer to first sentence and be sure!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

Neil,Good luck getting an answer.

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from Neil wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

Dear Mr. Petzal,A question I have not been able to figure out for some time. I own four pre-64 model 70 .22 Hornets. The earliest being a 1947 rifle with a '46 barrel. My question is what is the bore of these rifles? Is it .223" or .224"? I have heard various responses from various bullets comapanies and experts but no one seems to have a definitive answer. Some say the pre-war were .223" and then after .224". The Rule book says .222"?!!! What is it? Also is it safe to fire .224 ammo in a .223 bore?Best Regards,Neil

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from KJ wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Charlie Bob -I have a B-Square mount and a Bushnell 1.5x4 scope on my 870. I have a fully rifled barrel (made by Mossberg for the 870), and using 2 3/4" sabot slugs I can shoot 3" groups at 100 yards. My gun shoots the Remington Copper Solid sabots better than any others. I don't like changing the barrel, because then I have to re-sight the scope, and off the bench the kick is a real b!tch.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

C-Bob expect pitiful accuracy... on a pump gun all your sights should be connected to the barrel. I would buy rifle sights that clamp on to your ventilated rib and experiment with extended rifled choke tubes and super full turkey chokes. Works on my 1100. If you have to have a scope buy a new barrel from Remington with the cantilevered scope mount...

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from Charlie Bob wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I am looking to put a b-square mount and some type of scope probably the eotech on my 870. What kind of accuracy can I expect with this setup i will turkey hunt in the spring and deer hunt in the fall I am concerned due to the lock up of barrel to receiver as the mount is on the receiver.

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from keith wrote 6 years 25 weeks ago

I have been through 3 different incarnations of slug guns: the first was a remington 870 wingmaster with a smoothbore 28" barrel (IC choke) and the never fail 2 bead sight system ;-). When I saved up enough money, I bought an 870 express slug gun and used it for a season. Never could get decent groups out of it and the sights sucked. Then I went big bucks and bought (now out of business) Ithaca Deerslayer II with fixed, rifled barrel and shot $12 boxes of saboted slugs through it because I thought that was what you were supposed to do if you were stuck in a shotgun zone. Sure, I shot deer with it, but never got used to the pyramid front sight or the thought that my slug diet of pre-season sighting in cost more than gas money to get out to the field. Now I'm back to using the venerable old smoothbore with 2 beads and a ventilated rib and the 3 dollar box of 1 oz. rifled slugs. I shoot the hell out of it for the month leading up to deer season and when I can put five slugs into the head of a deer target offhand at 50 yards I know I'm good to go for the season. I don't need to shoot 1" groups or anything out past 100 yards. I think I have yet to sling lead at anything much past 50 yards. I'd prefer to be closer to my quarry as a testament to stalking or good hunting skills. As far as recoil, past shooting at paper plates and targets, it's a non-issue - you never notice how much a gun kicks if you're shooting at a deer.

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from bill wrote 6 years 28 weeks ago

xoxo's right back, i wasnot calling you wussys, i was saying you dont have to fire the shoulder cannon 12 in order to kill deer, and that a 20 is more than enough to kill a deer and personally have hunted many times with a 20, maybe you have some luck with the 870 but i have personally not been able to "drive tacks" at any more than 30 feet let alone 125 yards.p.s. i have absolutely no trouble with my unit and need absolutely no synthetic assistance

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from Patrick wrote 6 years 29 weeks ago

Harsh.... I have put a lot of time in on tring to get my 870 to shoot a tight group with the Ithaca barrel. I found that Ithaca barrels were produced by another company, and sold under the Ithaca name. It was an low quality barrel, and gave a bad name to the trusty Ithaca shotgun. I have recently solved my issue by purchasing a mossberg barrel. My 870 is now a tack driver @ 125 yards using lightfield ammo. And I mean a tack driver.Oh, and Bill I would like to think you weren't calling us fine folks wussy's. But it sounds to me like you are saying that unless we are your size we should all shot 20 gauges. My wife is 5'02" and 112 lbs and she shoots the crap out of her 12 gauge. So on behalf of us fine folks I would like to take the time to tell you to be quiet....CHUMP. You were asked for your help not your opinion. So, take your viagra and go to bed, and maybe you should get a new seeing eye dog. My issue was with the Ithaca barrel, not the slug gun. I have a deerslayer and its a great gun. That is why I was so puzzled by the the poor performance of the barrel. Hugs and Kisses Bill.

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from bill wrote 6 years 32 weeks ago

one other thing, i dont shoot a 12$ box of slugs, i get the cheep green box of remingtons for 4 or 5 bucks, and they have done just for for more than enough years. ive never lost a deer in my life with those slugs, and i havent missed any either. in the long run it isnt about buying a sub 1" @ 100 yard shotgun, its knowing the shotgun you have and being able to control it. if you cant handle a 12 or a 16 go buy a 20 or even a light rifle.

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from bill wrote 6 years 32 weeks ago

wowwhoever you people are your bein pretty harsh on the trusty old shotgun.ive been hauling a slug gun in the woods for years, and have owned many different models. my worst ever probobly being the remington 870. sure it was good for busting the heavy stuff but beyong 40 yard i didnt trust it at all. the grouping was terrible. the best grouping gun ive ever had is the browning a-5. ive killed over 30 deer with that gun many over 80 yards out. my old ithaca was nothing to sneeze at either. the question now is recoil. personally i have absolutly no trouble with recoil. granted im 6-6 and im tipping the scales at 300 pounds. but if your smaller youse your senses and get a smaller gun. i hae killed just as many deer with a 20 as i have with a 12, you dont need a cannon to do it, just get your shots in the right spot. so take it easy on the slug gun. it isnt a sub 1" gun at 200 yards, live with it.

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from Patrick wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I have recently purchased an Ithaca slug barrel for my Remington. The pattern is dead on @ 50 yards. However, it is very sloppy @ 100 yards. Should I ditch it or does certain ammo work better than others. HELP!!!

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from Andrew Sacco wrote 7 years 18 weeks ago

I think there's some unneccessary bashing of Ithaca here. I have a Deerslayer II with the fixed barrel in 12 ga. that I got five or years ago. Did NOT shoot Partition Gold well at all, but 2 3/4 inch Lightfield EXP always inside 2" at 100 yards with a scope and rest. A fine gun, but I don't think the twist rate is good for the higher velocity and faster loads.

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from Kenny Weaver wrote 7 years 38 weeks ago

This may not be the correct place for this question but I could not figure out how to ask a question on this blog.In October of 2005, I lost everything in a house fire, including my guns. I have triplet boys, age 14. I want to get them involved in hunting. I would like to get each of them their own shotgun and rifle. But I can only get one thing at a time. With deer season coming up I want to get them a deer gun first. What would you recommend for a rifle and shotgun? I live and hunt in Northwest Mississippi.

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from Stephen wrote 7 years 38 weeks ago

Every slide or auto slug gun I have had the (mis)fortune of shooting has been marginal at best. My mother-in-law has a gorgeous Remington 1100 with a rifled barrel that I wouldn't use to kill deer unless they were less than 50 yards out. Even then I'd be crossing myself before pulling the trigger.On the other hand, my Mossberg 695 bolt action 12 ga. prints groups around 2 inches on center at 100 yards with Lightfield Hybred EXP sabots, day in and day out. I've killed deer out to 150 yards with it, and the slug hit right where I was aiming. Does it kick? Hell yes, but on November 15 with a thick blaze coat on, it's hardly noticeable.Unfortunately Mossberg ceased production of this fine weapon a few years back, but you should be able to find a decent used one for around $250. They're not pretty (parkerized barrel and grey synthetic stock), but they certainly get the job done. One caveat, these typically come with a cheapo Bushnell fixed 4 power scope. Upgrade to a 3x9 at the first chance you get.

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from Capt Walt wrote 7 years 39 weeks ago

There is a whole new Breed of Deerslayer out there.Check them out athttp://www.ithacagunsusa.com/Gone are the days of the old sloppy actions. I can remember using a friends deerslayer years ago and it was not plesent. They had some really worn machines they were making them on. The New company has not only new blood but new machines. The new DeerSlayer II with a 20" barrel set up thumbhole stock with a Tru Glow site and sling would be just the gun to carry in semi-urban hunting areas like Massachusetts and Coastal Maine and New Hampshire that have shotgun only hunting areas.I cant wait to try out one of these new Ithaca's loaded with LIGHTFIELD 3" Commander slugs for Black Bear or Deer here in Maine. I have used the Lightfields on Winchester, Remington, Mossburg shotguns and the ammo performs excellent with minimal recoil.Capt Walthttp://home.maine.rr.com/newengland/

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from Ithaca37 wrote 7 years 39 weeks ago

Wow, you guys are being awfully harsh to the Ithaca, which is arguably one the finest pump action shotguns ever produced. You can not ecer make an informed decision on a firearms accuracy after shooting on lyy one type of ammo. Just a thought, but with how severe the recoil is on sabotted slugs could the flyer simply be the result of flinching? You should get a rifle if you require precision accuracy out at or beyond 100yds.

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from Visitor wrote 7 years 39 weeks ago

test

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from Kevin wrote 7 years 40 weeks ago

I B a dork. The mounting system that I used on my Ithaca was a B-Square product :)

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from Kevin wrote 7 years 40 weeks ago

Posted by, :)I have a "newer" English style ultralite Ithaca Model 37 16ga. that I put an A-Square vent-rib mount and rings on. I bought two boxes of "Foster" type slugs to shoot through the IC choke tube. Two boxes equal ten shells. I have three shells left. I removed the A-Square mounting system. I left the range with a headache and a flinch. I'd vote for a heavier Remington 870 or if you are willing to spend the money, get an autoloader. The trigger on my 16ga is very nice though. Quite crisp. I estimate it at about 4 lbs.. Not bad for a shotgun. I will use it on dove, but not deer.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 40 weeks ago

The newest incarnation of Ithaca is so new there's no way to judge. I haven't seen anything they've turned out.

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from Visitor wrote 7 years 40 weeks ago

Are the new ithacas just as bad? i am considering buying one.

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