betterment of firearms design. A number of these improvements met with little favor despite their virtues, and a few led to litigation ancl considerable controversy. Perhaps the most widely acccptcd of Manton's designs was the elevated rib for sighting double-barrel arms, and second was his patent brccch complete with drain hole, which made it possible for double-barrel guns to be constructed in a more streamlined form. Less popular were his V-shapcd priming pan and his gravitational safety stop designed to prevent the accidental discharge of a gun while a chargc was being rammed home.
Most controversial of all were Manton's contributions to the development of the percussion ignition system. In 1816 he patented a percussion pellet lock which Forsyth claimed was an infringement on his patent, and in the suit which followed Forsvth won. Thereafter Man-
m ton turned to the tube lock and obtained a patent on it in 1818. Again Forsyth sued, but his patent was about to expire, ancl although the court found in his favor. Mantón was soon able to put his lock into production. Finally, Manton's friends also advanced him as having developed the true percussion cap. If he did so, he failed to patent it, and the claim is generally disregarded today.— Harold L. Peterson.
By E. J. Hoffschmidt
The Ithaca Gun Co. of Ithaca, N. Y., started manufacturing guns in a small wood building on the banks of Fall Creek in 1880. Their first model was a 12-ga. hammer gun, and from this they evolved a series of single- and double-barrel shotguns. Although they have manufactured M1911A1 automatic pistols, M6 survival weapons, and M3A1 sub-machine guns under World War II government contracts, and are currently producing a cal. .22 rifle, their reputation has been built on their trap guns, their double-barrel guns, and the Model 37 Featherlight slide-action shotgun.
The Featherlight was first offered in 1937. It won immediate acclaim since it was a good pound lighter than its nearest competitor. This weight reduction was accomplished by clever design rather than by the use of light alloys. The number of operating parts was kept to a minimum and they were lightened where possible.
As with most slide-action shotguns, the bolt has no locking lugs or separate locking block. The slide tips the end of the bolt up as it is pulled forward. When the end of the bolt is locked into the top of the receiver, the slide supports it from below to prevent unlocking.
Another good design feature is the bottom ejection system which prevents rain from getting into the gun when
1 Before attempting to remove barrel, unload magazine and chamber. To empty magazine, push in spring shell stop (13) on inside of receiver as shown. Ease rounds out one by one. Pull back on slide release on forward side of trigger guard and pull back slide handle to empty chamber handled normally. This system also provides a good safety factor since it protects the face from brass particles or powder burns resulting from defective-shell bursts. Since ejection is downward, the Featherlight is a great favorite with left-handed shooters. Ithaca makes a left-hand safety that can be easily in-
2. Magazine nut pin*
3. Magazine nut
4. Magazine nui pin check screw*
5. Magazine nut pin catch spring*
6. Magazine nut pin check spring cap*
7. Yoke screw
9. Magazine spring
10. Magazine spring cup
11. Receiver and magazine tube
12. Slide handle assembly
13. Spring shell stop (left)
14. Spring shell stop spring
15. Spring shell stop screw
16. Positive shell stop (right)
17. Trigger plate screw
18. Hammer pin
19. Trigger pin
21. Safety catch spring
22. Safety catch
23. Mainspring cup
25. Mainspring cap
26. Stock bolt
27. Stock washers
28. Mainspring stop
29. Trigger plate
2 To remove barrel (1), pull back on slide release on forward side of trigger guard and puli slide handle assembly (12) to rear to open breech. Pull up magazine nut pin (2) and use it as a lever to rotate magazine nut (3) until projection on it is free of barrel lug. (Magazine nut pin furnished only on guns built prior to 1955. On later built guns having no pin. simply rotate magazine nut in direction shown)
stalled in place of the normal right-hand safety.
Model 37 Featherlight shotguns arc made in 20-, 16-, and 12-ga. Barrel lengths range from 20" for the riot gun, to 30" for trap or duck hunters. The 5-shot magazine is easily plugged to conform with Federal law.
30. Slide stop spring (bottom)
31. Trigger spring
33. Slide pin
34. Slide pin spring
36. Slide pin check pin
37. Hammer bar
38. Hammer bar pin
40. Slide stop
41. Slide stop release spring (top)
43. Bottom extractor
44. Bottom extractor spring
45. Positive extractor spring cap
46. Positive extractor spring
47. Positive extractor (top)
¿8. Extractor hinge pin (bottom)
49. Firing pin check pin
50. Firing pin spring
51. Firing pin
54. Buttplate and screws
55. Carrier screw (2)
56. Carrier screw lock screw (2)
* Not used in guns made after 1954
3 Barrel is joined to receiver by an interrupted thread. When magazine nut is free of barrel lug. give barrel 14-turn in direction shown and pull it free of receiver. Magazine tube and slide handle assembly remain attached to receiver
4 Slock (53) must be removed before disassembling action. First remove butt-plate screws and buttplate. Stock is attached to receiver by a long bolt (26) which has a square head with slot so that it can be removed with a long screwdriver or socket wrench
5 With stock removed, remove trigger plate screw (17) and pull trigger plate group to rear and out of receiver. Remove 2 carrier screw lock screws (56) and carrier screws (55) from receiver. Hold receiver bottom up with magazine to left, and with punch or fingernail pull slide pin (33) toward body until slide bar can be pulled forward from engagement with slide (35). Pull slide, breechblock (52), and carrier (42) together to rear, out of receiver
6 Positive extractor (47) is retained by a powerful spring. To remove it, use a thin punch to push spring plunger back; at same time push extractor out of its seat as shown. Bottom extractor (43) can be easily removed by driving out its hinge pin (48). To remove firing pin from breechblock, first drive out firing pin check pin (49). Then firing pin and spring (51 and 50) can easily be removed. Reassemble in reverse ■
Was this article helpful?
Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.