Ithaca Gun is back in business
Ithaca Gun is back in business, but, for the first time since the company was founded in the 1880s, it is headquartered no where near Ithaca.
It is now Ithaca Guns USA, LLC, and headquarters is Upper Sandusky, Ohio, rather than Ithaca, King Ferry or Auburn. But they are making familiar Ithaca Gun models.
It all happened, or is happening, fast. When I ran across the Web site (www.IthacaGunsUSA.com) last week, it was still under construction, and I was only the 700-and-something visitor.
Craig and Floyd Marshall, owners of MoldCraft, a molding and tool and dye company that makes plastic molds for fast food chains, salad bowls and the like, purchased the rights to the Ithaca Gun name, designs and inventory in December. Using their 30,000 square-foot CNC machinery-equipped plant and Ithaca Gun plans and specs, the new company is already turning out variations of the Model 37 pump that has been the flagship of the troubled Ithaca Gun name for nearly 70 years.
Ithaca Gun LLC, which was formed in 1995 to purchase the company's name and assets following the failure of Ithaca Acquisition Inc. in King Ferry, failed itself last summer. The company moved from its rented factory quarters in King Ferry last spring in anticipation of being purchased by a Rhode Island entity. When the deal fell through, Ithaca Gun LLC — which had defaulted on a development loan from Cayuga County and faced significant federal and private debt — closed its doors.
The Marshalls entered the picture in the fall with a purchase offer, and a deal was negotiated a week before Christmas.
“I think the former owners deserve credit in that they turned down a larger offer to assure that manufacturing would remain here (in the United States) and quality would be maintained,” said Marshall.
The guns are identical to those made in the past, but the use of better steel and new manufacturing processes will improve the quality. The company is building variations of the Model 37 bottom-ejection pump right now and has plans to eventually re-design and build the Model 51 autoloader, the NID double and possibly the elaborate Knickerbocker trap design.
They have a service department in place that will service all Ithaca models with the exception of the SKBs. The new company cannot honor the warranties on guns built by Ithaca Gun LLC, however, because of pending legal consideration.
Well, it's not in Ithaca (or Kings Ferry, which was close enough for me).
My rather extensive collection of Ithacas will not include anything made in Sandusky.