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Ithica Model 51 Featherlight

This is a discussion on Ithica Model 51 Featherlight within the Shotguns forums, part of the Gun Forums category; So I just got this shotgun for my birthday!!! Used to be my dad's and it is in GREAT shape. I am working to get ...

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  1. #1
    Gunatic Fanatic KeeneState83's Avatar
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    Ithica Model 51 Featherlight

    So I just got this shotgun for my birthday!!! Used to be my dad's and it is in GREAT shape. I am working to get some pictures, just gotta find the time when my anti-roommate isn't around!

    Anyone know much about them, i have looked all over and not finding much info on them. I would be interested in a synthetic stock to put on it for shooting. I don't want to risk messing up the wood...

    Anyways...just thought I would share. Shot it for the first time today!! I am a very happy person!!!

  2. #2
    Gunny At Large The Joker Adler's Avatar
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    They are sweet shooters but they were plagued with two issues.

    1. The bolt handle tends to fall out, so watch it.

    2. There was a serious metallurgy problem with the action bars on the design. They were made of bad metal and had a tendancy to break one or both of them, rendering the gun unreliable. There are some parts out there, but they cost an arm and a leg. Some people have had mixed results trying to weld them.

    As for synthetic, they were made in the pre synthetic days for the most part, and as Ithaca was a more expensive gun maker, wood was more popular.
    The Italians have a saying. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." And although they've never won a war or mass-produced a decent car, in this area they are correct.

  3. #3
    10111011 mattxander12's Avatar
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    Post up some pics !!!

    I am in the camp of a good walnut can't be beat for sexy-factor.

  4. #4
    Gunatic Fanatic KeeneState83's Avatar
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    Got some Pics!!

    Hey guys. As promised I took some pictures of the Ithica today. Sorry it took me so long to get them up here, what can I say...I was lazy.

    I got out shooting this past weekend. Brought this along. All I had were target loads, but it went bang! I didn't have any clays or anything, but it was fun none the less.

    Enjoy!











    It even works!!


    There is some light scratching on the stock. Nothing too deep though. I can probably fix it up.


    It's shiny, I promise. Hard shot to get. As you can see from my frisbee-bar chair configuration. Any suggestions??


    That's it for now, I am planning on bringing the camera the next time i go and trying to get some shots. We'll see how that goes...

  5. #5
    Gunatic Loyalist (Bow down) Nose Nuggets's Avatar
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    thats a fine looking shooter. i love the mill works, looks like the mill work on my remy 1100.

  6. #6
    Gunatic Fanatic KeeneState83's Avatar
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    It looks real nice. Anyone have any suggestions about fixing the scratches on the stock.

    I wanna try to do something. I was thinking sanding it with like 400 grit and refinishing it. Is that a good idea or no?

  7. #7
    Gunny At Large The Joker Adler's Avatar
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    Usually you need to strip all the finish off. The problem there is with grip caps. I cant remember if the 51 has a cover over teh grip cap screw.

    I usually strip with a chemical stripper and then refinish with either a oil based varnish like Tru Oil, or just with some nice Tung Oil for a more traditional non glossy finish.

    If you use a varnish the trick is to keep it out of the checkering.
    The Italians have a saying. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." And although they've never won a war or mass-produced a decent car, in this area they are correct.

  8. #8
    Gunatic Fanatic KeeneState83's Avatar
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    I will check it out, but I don't think there is a cover on the screw...if we are talking about the same thing.

    If I were to do this I should probably do the same thing to the fore-grip as well? Keep them both looking the same...I might not even bother, I've yet to decide if it bothers me enough.

  9. #9
    00000 kartoffel's Avatar
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    A classic oil finish won't hurt the checkering. You can get a nice satin finish with just plain old boiled linseed oil or tung oil. It will take multiple applications and some hand rubbing. Just rub the oil in with your bare hands until it gets warm from the friction, then wipe with a lint free cloth and put the rifle away. Repeat once a day or so, occasionally going over the stock with some 0000 steel wool.

    Beware of Formsby's brand "Tung Oil", which is actually a varnish like Tru Oil. It gives a nice finish, but it's not actually oil!

    This place has plenty of ideas: http://parallaxscurioandrelicfirearm...um/view/id/101
    Last edited by kartoffel; 04-27-2009 at 11:36 AM.

  10. #10
    Gunny At Large The Joker Adler's Avatar
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    I have used the Formby's and Tru Oil, and the above post is right, it is a varnish.

    I recommend Tung Oil, as it dries much better and faster than any linseed oil.

    Brownells.com has a wide variety of oil finishes and stains. I have seen some good results from Danish oil as well on a few AKs and SKS guns.
    The Italians have a saying. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." And although they've never won a war or mass-produced a decent car, in this area they are correct.

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