Ithaca Model 5E Single-Barrel Trap

by
posted on April 16, 2014
OG_Ithaca5E.jpg

Ithaca Model 5E Single-Barrel Trap

Gun: Ithaca Model 5E single-barrel trap

Condition: 98 percent (NRA Modern Excellent)

Approximate Value: $2,500-$2,750

Most of the older, major-trademark American shotgun manufacturers, including Parker Brothers, A.H. Fox, Ithaca and L.C. Smith, offered a lineup of single-shot trap models in addition to their more popular side-by-sides. Trap shooting was far and away the most popular competitive shotgun sport during the last few decades of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. Evolving from live pigeon shooting circa 1830, the sport progressed to shooting glass balls in 1866 and clay pigeons thrown from a trap in 1880. Thousands of trap ranges threw millions of clay pigeons annually, as shooters of all ages competed in this fast-moving and exciting outdoor sport. Such notables as Annie Oakley, writer Nash Buckingham and President Theodore Roosevelt were all avid trap shooters. Famous band leader John Philip Sousa was such an avid trapshooter that Ithaca named its highest-grade trap gun after him, the Sousa Grade.

This 1931 Ithaca Model 5E 12 gauge-with vivid case colors and extensive engraving with gold inlays-is in near-perfect condition. The action is still very tight, which is very important on competition guns. Experienced shotgun traders and savvy collectors will tell you to be careful when buying used trap shotguns, since they are designed and built to shoot a lot of shotshells within a relatively short period of competition. As a result, action wear can develop long before finish wear is visible on the outside of the gun. You should always focus on the tightness or looseness of the action. Another good indicator is if the top opening lever is still on the right side of center on the upper tang.

This nice Ithaca 5E has an uncut stock with a recent replacement recoil pad typically found on many older trap guns where dimensions are critical and customized to each individual’s shooting requirements. If a trap gun’s stock has been cut to a shorter dimension, the price can drop drastically, but this replacement recoil pad will have a minimal effect on value.

This Depression-era single-barrel trap gun retailed at $175, the same amount as the Grade 5E side-by-side. Ithaca’s single-barrel trap gun was the first shotgun specifically designed to be only a target-shooting gun. Another shotgun innovation introduced in this model is the beavertail fore-end. Even though most single-barrel trap models are considerably more rare than their side-by-side counterparts, there is more collector interest (and value) in the side-by-side models. Because older trap guns are always equipped with a full or extra full choke, usually have 30" to 34" barrels with a high ventilated rib, and are heavy, their utility in the field is almost non-existent. Additionally, most side-by-side collectors (there are very few single-barrel trap collectors) don’t feel that they need the single-barrel trap models to complete their collections.

Even though the Grade 5E single-barrel trap and side-by-side models have the same level of engraving and gold inlays, an original 5E side-by-side in similar condition is valued in the $3,500 to $3,750 range, according to the most recent 27th Edition Blue Book of Gun Values-almost 50 percent more than this single-barrel trap model.

-S.P. Fjestad, Author & Publisher, Blue Book of Gun Values

Originally published January 2007.

According to the 34th Edition Blue Book of Gun Values, firearms of this model and condition have appreciated in value to around $3,500. -The Eds.

Latest

Remington 700 Bdl Ihtog 1
Remington 700 Bdl Ihtog 1

I Have This Old Gun: Remington 700 BDL

After Winchester came out with its iconic Model 70, Remington Arms had catching up to do in the sporting-rifle market. Eventually, its answer was the Model 700, a gun that became one of the most recognized bolt-action designs of all time.

New For 2024: EAA Girsan MC9 Disruptor

European American Armory's latest addition to its MC9 handgun line is aptly named, as the Disruptor is intended to provide an incredible range of features at a price point below other similar options.

I Have This Old Gun: Marlin 1894 Trapper

Collectors refer to these shortened carbines as “trappers,” but that term was never officially used by either Winchester or Marlin. Winchester referred to them as “Baby Carbines” or “Special Short Carbines” on the rare occasions when they were cataloged.

The Rifleman Report: From The ''Inside Out''

The term “inside out” can be taken literally or applied as a phrase to describe the thoroughness with which an idea is understood. In this month’s issue, we hope to illustrate that the latter especially is used as a guiding principle to keep the American firearm industry at the top of its game.

Colt CZ Group Makes Offer For Vista's Ammo Brands

Colt CZ Group made an unsolicited proposal to purchase the Sporting Products Division of Vista Outdoor, which includes Federal, CCI, Remington Ammunition and others.

Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Metal

Firearm trends appear to be a virtual pendulum at times—it isn’t uncommon to see a theme grab hold of the industry only to be reversed entirely some years later.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.