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Thread: what can you tell me about the Ithaca model 51 autoloader?

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Default what can you tell me about the Ithaca model 51 autoloader?

    have a chance to buy a ithaca featherlight model 51 auto loader in 12GA.....guy wants $350 for it seems like fair price for an autoloader in new condition......what do you think? anything i should know about it?



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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Nice guns but they did have problems and the early trigger workings were a problem at best. Most of the parts that break are very hard to find like the slide which is about $130.00 and out of stock at gun parts for years.When they run they are good but I would pass one one now.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Thanks Will! Contacted one of the guys at GNG and he gave me some good knowledge....he said basically the same thing parts are hard to find and very expensive, he also mentioned the blue book value of the gun in mint condit was between $230-$275 so the guy clearly is askin too much... yep i think ill pass......dont really have $350 to blow right now....



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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    What Will says about the Ithaca holds true for many earlier autoloaders. The Brownings were good guns but many are flat worn out nowadays and IMO autoloading shotgun technology has done nothing but get better in the last 50 years. Alot of the old autos were and are very ammo specific, and have to be tuned just right to work. A little wear from half a century of use and viola you have a singleshot automatic you can't get parts for. Though some may swear by their or Gramps' Remington 48, Winchester 50, Ithaca 51, and so on alot of the autos from that timeframe were less than stellar performers.
    Just something to think about while you're shopping.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    ...were and are very ammo specific, and have to be tuned just right to work....
    An dat's da troot. Even when new they could be maddening. Back in the early days one of my hunting pards had one, and it was dandy with factory high base loads, but it was a no-shot with handloads and a single shot with trap loads. It appeared to have a minimum chamber and we finally got it to feed handloads by tracking down a real tight sizing die. Then a few months of trying later we found the load combo that cycled reliably. I don't recall ever having a single instance where a trap load- factory or handload- cycled the action. He worked hard to make that sucker work, and it was heartbreaking. The guy didn't have a lot of buxx and was pretty well stuck with it cuzz he couldn't even trade it off.

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