How I worked on and repaired an Ithaca Flues 16 gauge double shotgun.
by Mark R. Hollensen
So, in comes another old double shotgun with a similar customer request. They want it inspected for use and, in this case, both barrels are going off at the same time with one pull of the trigger. Not good! This time the shotgun is an Ithaca Flues double chambered in 16 gauge. The serial number had a distinct “S” over it, placing this shotgun as a Grade 1 Special and two grades above the field grade. The serial number lists this shotgun as having been produced in 1916. Since Ithaca reportedly didn’t introduce a 2 3/4” chamber in the 16 gauge until 1934, this shotgun undoubtedly has 2 9/16” chambers, unless it has been re-chambered somewhere along the way over the past 103 years.
Right now, about the only good news is that the barrels have not been cut down but the overall condition of the shotgun was not very good. There was lots of surface rusting present on the barrels inside and out, one fairly deep dent on the right barrel, and both bores were pitted heavily with rusting still going on inside. Measuring the barrels, I found that they are 28” long with the original steel front sight bead still attached, choked full (left) and modified (right.) The front trigger fires the left barrel and the rear trigger fires the right.
I decided to do a little research on the Flues shotguns, mostly for the benefit of my customer but also to include here. History tells us Ithaca made various models of double shotguns between…
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