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I am continually amused to the point of disappointment with the endless debate about “best possible” here. This recent Ithaca Flues thread puts me there again. “You guys” act like every engine should be designed rev to 10,000 RPMs and make peak horsepower for the entire 24 hour of Le Mans- ever year for decades. Your Silverado or Chevelle was never meant to do so, but most will go over 100,000 miles just like the vast majority Flues 20s have lasted far longer than 2 or 3 owners lifetime.
I expect whatever I buy to serve my purpose flawlessly and without question and in my case a gorgeous little graded Flues 20 has done everything I ask. I have several others and at the pace I’m on there isn’t one of them in danger of being worn out in anyway, but I can certainly enjoy what they are, where they come from, and what they can do.
I think we often forget the appreciation for history, quality, and art forms that caught our attention in the first place.

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They sold a lot of Ithaca doubles. Built to a price point. Think about the millions of days those guns got carried in the field. Think about the train load of game taken with them. Field grade gun are just that, guns for the field. If you want a higher grade gun then go for it but do not belittle others for their choice.

I had a uncle who bought a Cresent .410 during the depression because that was the best he could afford. With that gun he was deadly on quail. It must have shot thousands of quail and most times it was two birds on every flush. Later in life he could afford any gun he wanted but for quail that was his lifelong gun. I use that gun one day a year for Dove. It is choked full and extra full because he had a local gunsmith backbore one barrel for about six inches behind the choke. It shoots a very tight pattern and he used that barrel for his second, longer range shot with great effect.

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My dad had 3 firearms, a centerfire rifle, a 22lr and an Ithaca Flues 12ga. My son has his 12ga. I love the Flues guns. Every time I slide through the woods with one of mine and look down at it, I remember the good times with my dad. Ive probable had 20 Flues in all different gages over the last 30 years and enjoyed every one. There are 3 in the safe as I type and all are babied with LP handloads.

Th 28ga GR2 is the one that "got away". smile

Last edited by ithaca1; 01/25/22 12:01 PM.

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Reminds me of Boone Pickens here in the Texas Panhandle. Incredibly successful oil man. One of the most fanatical quail hunters in Texas history. He could have afforded a truck load of London guns but throughout his hunting career he always carried his Browning Belgium 20 gauge Lightening. Gun was almost worn down to the nubbing from the many years afield. And he was one of the deadliest shots the state has seen on birds. Another quite successful business man who could buy anything chose a Remington 870 for the tens or hundreds of thousands of shots he took on all game birds. Me? Though not near in the class of these gentlemen I usually choose my lowly Lefever DS 16 gauge with 26" barrels for my "serious" quail hunting. It doesn't need me but does tolerate me cause I carry it around. Weren't for that I think it could limit out by itself while I sat in a warm house.

When the occasion has arisen, I have commented to fellow shooters, "Hell, it's a shotgun! Just shoot it!" After all, from the best to the least, newest to the oldest, they'll never be more than a tool that spits chunks of lead through a round metal tube....

Yes, I have nicer guns. Why? I now have no idea. Most of them just occupy space in my gun safe and only once or twice a year get to see daylight. I'll bet some haven't been shot in 20 or 30 years. And they're all "good" guns. And full of workmanship and history but few tug at my emotions like my lowly Lefever and maybe a pretty plain Parker.


It ain't whether you hit a bird that matters, it's the fun you have even if you don't.
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Better a Diamond with a flaw, then a pebble without.
Confucius.

Best,
Ted

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Detroit might be a shithole, but it be my shithole.
Lonny Rhodes

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Originally Posted by Marks_21
I am continually amused to the point of disappointment with the endless debate about “best possible” here. This recent Ithaca Flues thread puts me there again. “You guys” act like every engine should be designed rev to 10,000 RPMs and make peak horsepower for the entire 24 hour of Le Mans- ever year for decades. Your Silverado or Chevelle was never meant to do so, but most will go over 100,000 miles just like the vast majority Flues 20s have lasted far longer than 2 or 3 owners lifetime.
I expect whatever I buy to serve my purpose flawlessly and without question and in my case a gorgeous little graded Flues 20 has done everything I ask. I have several others and at the pace I’m on there isn’t one of them in danger of being worn out in anyway, but I can certainly enjoy what they are, where they come from, and what they can do.
I think we often forget the appreciation for history, quality, and art forms that caught our attention in the first place.

Might need to up your meds.....

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Ithaca Flues shotguns, or any of the other shotguns in the Thread about the Ithaca gun that was apparently repaired with makeshift sideplates, were not sold as Best Guns by any stretch of the imagination. Even in their higher grade iterations, they were mass produced, and mostly machine made shotguns that have served several generations well when used within their design parameters. In fact, most continue to function well even though they were used with ammo that they were not intended to use.

The hysteria and hand wringing over a very small number that have cracked frames is indeed unwarranted. I can't prove it, but I have little doubt that there have also been a small number of hand finished English doubles that have had cracked frames over the last 100 or more years. That could be due to incorrect ammunition, abuse by the owner, a design problem, or a heat of poor quality steel that was used in forging the frame. Without specific knowledge of the cause, engaging in sheer conjecture serves no purpose, except perhaps to inflate the already inflated
egos of some who wish to pose as firearms experts.

The analogy given by the OP concerning pushing passenger cars beyond their limits certainly applies to guns and other machinery. An Indy car can go over 200 mph, but the engines are routinely rebuilt after a small fraction of the miles driven by your Chevy pickup truck. That doesn't mean the pickup is bad because it won't go over 200 mph, and it doesn't mean the Indy car is bad because it doesn't last for over 200,000 miles. Nobody should avoid using or buying an Ithaca Flues or Fox Sterlingworth due to some unwarranted irrational fear that the frame may crack. That's about as brilliant as wearing an N95 mask while driving alone in your car... but we see that too.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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I should think "best possible" is something in which a person would invest considerable pride Will "best" last longer? Maybe. Will "best" work and feel better? Almost certainly. Will it look better? It certainly better!

OTOH, the draft mule-tough M1 Garand was the "best" in it's day.

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I have had/have, many Ithaca Flues models.
They were made by the thousands, they were cheap, common, and nearly disposable. I bought some at an auction where the guy had been accumulating bits and pieces of them for almost 70 years. He had hundreds in every imaginable abomination. Franken Fluesies by the armload.

They kept beefing them up as they went along, because they kept breaking. Feeding them the ammunition of the day as the ammunition increased in power, sent many of them to an early grave. He bought piles of them for parts.
The auction I went to, the guy said he had been buying them since he was a teenager, because nobody wanted them. They were cheap and plentiful. Auto loaders and pumps flooded the market and replaced them. Just like the semi autos do today.
They finally gave up on it, and brought out the NID.

The point being, was they weren’t that good to start. Adequate, but not really refined enough to last thousands of rounds. The cocking mechanism on some of mine got progressively bound up, and they were retired.
Once they start to bind up on the cocking stroke, you’re looking at about a $500 repair on a $300 gun.
And of course, because there is no draw on the stock, as the wood dries out and shrinks, the front end of the stock gets beat to smithereens.

So they might be liteweight, and fun to shoot, but they aren’t much more than a farm implement. And will break with limited use.


Out there doing it best I can.
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I think the relative simplicity of the engraving on the grade 1 1/2 is very cool.

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