Review: Ithaca DeerSlayer III

Ithaca Gun Company, which operated in New York for over 100 years, is now in its second set of owners in Ohio after moving to Upper Sandusky in 2005.

The gun in the picture is the DeerSlayer III, which features a heavy, fluted, free-floated 26-inch rifled barrel fixed to the receiver. The checkering, satin urethane finish and bluing are all very well done. It has a very nice 5-pound trigger that feels lighter than it really is.

I was sighting this in the day I took the picture. At 50 yards every slug hole touched. The heavy barrel and a soft recoil pad combined with the good trigger make the DS III very pleasant to shoot inasmuch as slug guns are ever pleasant to shoot.

At nearly 10 pounds with a scope on top, the DS III is not a gun for deer drives. It's made to be hauled to a treestand and shot deliberately and accurately at deer. At $1,189 the DS III is not cheap,* to put it mildly. I keep telling the Ithaca folks to make a matte finished version with a black plastic stock. It wouldn't be good looking but it would be practical and could sell for less.

*if you want cheap accuracy, the H&R/New England Firearms single shot Ultra Slug Hunter is the deal.