Monday, April 18, 2011

The Model 37 Has Arrived (Finally!)

Laura & I picked up our new Ithaca Model 37 last Thursday. It looks just like the picture I posted in my previous blog entry entitled Home Defense Shotgun.

The unfinished, black walnut stock eagerly drank in three separate rubbings with tung oil, and looks beautiful.

A young friend recently asked me about my suggestions for acquiring firearms, and I wrote back about why I put a shotgun at the top of the list. I thought you might be interested in my answer:

Why the shotgun first? Well, it's the ultimate home defense weapon. Last night on the phone, my barber informed me that in all the time they've been keeping records on such things, there has been only one gunfight in which it took more than one shot from a shotgun to end the fight. The single exception took two shots.

Compare that to the scores of horror stories you can find about multiple hits by handguns -- of any caliber -- that did not stop the aggressor.

When I lived in Texas, I became friends with a neat guy who had served with the Marine Corps in the South Pacific. He had carried a shotgun at Guadalcanal. Some of the deadliest Spec Ops people you will ever meet favor the shotgun -- not for long range, of course, but for the close-in kind of fighting that you're more likely to see inside your house or in your yard.

In addition, a 2 & 3/4 inch shell loaded with # 8 shot is relatively cheap, will stop someone in your house as certainly as #00 buck, and is much less likely than a handgun to penetrate a wall and kill your mom or sis in the next room.

Also, the general public along with many authorities do not view the shotgun in the same category with "assault rifles". Shotguns are for hunting pheasants and geese, and people tend to view them with less suspicion than some other weapons.

For that reason, when I ordered my Ithaca Model 37, I specified the wood stock rather than the synthetic. I don't want it to dress it up like an assault rifle, either. If someone sees it, I want their first reaction to be "Oh, do you hunt?" rather than "Oh my! Are you one of those?" The first question is much easier to answer: "I'm not really a hunter. I just keep it for snakes and varmints around the garden and chicken house."

Finally, let me say that although the shotgun is a great weapon, you DO need to train with it just as seriously as you would with a handgun. I've been running through the basics with my wife, along with a couple of suggested drills from my barber. I want to  make it a daily habit, just as we do with family worship. How to hold, load & unload (in the dark) and use with a flashlight.


The Warrior said...

You've pretty nearly sold me now, and that ain't easy for a guy like me.

Steven Charles said...

I too use an Ithaca for my home defense needs. They are an old & proven design that is a true workhorse. You can't beat 'em. :)