Although AR-15s are all the rage in gun circles right now, this hasn’t always been the case. It wasn’t long ago that the tactical pump shotgun was the mainstay of law enforcement throughout the country and was still being used fairly often by the military. Yet even with the popularity of the AR-15s, the shotgun still has legions of fans and one in particular is so popular that Inland Manufacturing made the decision to manufacture a replica of it — the famed M37 Ithaca Trench Shotgun.
Inland teamed with Ithaca Gun Company to create the 12-Gauge recreation of a weapon the U.S. Navy Seals depended on in Vietnam. The point man of the SEAL team would carry the Ithaca M37 because of the formidable 12-gauge caliber rounds it could unleash at point blank range in the dense jungle.
Ithaca uses their 18-inch barreled Defense Gun with its standard bottom feeding and ejection port as the foundation for the M37 Trench Shotgun. Then by using Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling, the shotgun undergoes three modifications.
The first change is the replacement of the Defense Gun’s 18-inch barrel with a 20-inch version of the original, complete with beaded sight. The next modification is a bayonet mount, which also acts as a heat shield. Although no bayonet is included, the addition of the mount/shield provides a definite boost to the Inland M37 Shotgun’s cool factor. The final modification is the replacement of the Defense Gun’s rubber recoil pad with a military-style grooved buttplate.
The M37 Trench Shotgun is very sharp-looking with rich oil-finished walnut stocks that could match up to many of today’s most expensive guns. The modifications not only provide an aggressive tactical look, but help increase the accuracy of the shotgun.
Author Scott W. Wagner explains how the modernized M37 Trench Shotgun improves overall efficiency for the shooter in his article “Inland Manufacturing 12-Gauge M37 Trench Shotgun: A Historic Reproduction Ready for Duty” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“The extra two inches of barrel and the weight of the heat shield and bayonet mount impart more weight up front, which helps keep the muzzle locked on target for rapid-fire shooting. “ (Read more at USConcealedCarry)
During range testing, the Inland M37 proved itself combat ready. Using a variety of ammo, the Trench Shotgun was consistently true to the point of aim and at a distance of 30 feet, four-inch groupings of eight pellets were the norm.
If this weapon has piqued your interest and you would like to purchase a working recreation of one of the workhorses of Vietnam ground forces, be prepared for sticker shock. The MSRP on the Inland M37 Trench Shotgun is $1259. However, you can rest easy knowing that you are the proud owner of not only a great shotgun from a historic standpoint, but an excellent modern home defense weapon.
In simple terms, it would seem that infantry combat could be divided into two main categories — long-range and short-range. Naturally, the best weapons for these scenarios would be the long-range rifle and the short-range pistol. These beliefs were the foundation for decades of modern warfare and were basically the only options up until World War I.
Since war is neither black nor white, it was soon discovered that mid-range weapons were useful for troops that weren’t necessarily engaged on the front lines. These included artillery units and certain other support personnel.
The Winchester M1 Carbine was developed to fill this void and it did so in a spectacular manner. Its combat prowess soon earned it a legendary status as possibly the best handling short rifle ever made. Even in the modern world, there is still a place for a specialized weapon like the M1 Carbine, as author Scott W. Wagner points out in his article “Inland Manufacturing M1 1945 Carbine: Handy Property Defender” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“I know it is an AR world, but there is still room for competing designs that offer some advantages over an M4 AR-15 in terms of weight and controllability. The 1945 M1 Carbine from Inland offers those advantages.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
Getting your hands on one of the original M1 Carbines will cost you a pretty penny, probably upwards of $2,000. Luckily, Inland Manufacturing Company in Dayton, Ohio is now producing excellent replicas of the historic M1; their 1945 M1 Carbine. Inland Manufacturing was a subsidiary of General Motors during the war and was actually part of the home front effort, producing the original M1’s up until 1945. The replica is modeled after the last rifles shipped overseas as the war was ending.
Inland’s version of the M1 is so realistic that the front of the barrel behind the sight is stamped with the company name to avoid confusing it with an original. It features a walnut “GI-style” stock, a high-quality Parkerized finish, and a fully adjustable rear sight that accommodates tweaks in both windage and elevation. A blued 15-round magazine is also included.
During range testing with two types of .30 caliber ammo, results were mixed. Using Hornady 110-grain FMJ ball ammo, the 1945 M1 would only allow about 10 percent of the bullets to feed. Further examination revealed that the rounds were longer than the length needed for proper feeding. However, the similar Remington FMJ ammo cycled without a hitch. Accuracy was superb with 4-inch groupings attained at 100 yards.
The Inland Manufacturing 1945 M1 Carbine is an outstanding mid-range rifle that can still compete with automatic weapons because of its weight and maneuverability. If you want to accessorize the rifle with modern conventions, Inland now markets a Scout model with a Picatinny rail for mounting scopes, lights, and other add-ons. If you are interested in picking up a replica of a historic rifle at a price significantly lower than the original, Inland can set you up for about $1079.
One of the most legendary guns of WWII was the STG-44. Manufactured as the Sturmgewehr 44, the rifle was innovative in that it allowed selective fire and is widely considered to be the first modern assault rifle and forerunner of the AK-47.
The STG did not make it to the front until late in the war, primarily due to Nazi infighting, but immediately proved its combat worthiness on the Eastern Front against the Russians.
The STG-44 gave line soldiers increased volume of fire compared to standard issue rifles and a wider range than submachine guns. Luckily for the Allies, the STG-44 never made it to the Western Front in any significant numbers or the outcome of the war may have been quite different.
Today, even if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, the cost of an original STG-44 is prohibitive. A gun brokerage recently posted one online for sale at $6000. Realizing that most working people don’t have an extra 6K under the mattress, American Tactical Imports (ATI) has contracted with GSG, a German company specializing in firearm replicas, to import their facsimile of the famous rifle. The replica can be yours for a tenth the cost of an original, listing at $624.95 and comes in a custom made wooden case just like the original.
The GSG replica not only looks just like the original STG-44, but feels like it. It’s so similar that GSG felt the need to add a new name, calling it the Schmeisser. The replica functions in either automatic or semi-automatic mode. There is also a protective heat shield on the barrel to protect it during extended fire in automatic mode.
All of the controls on the STG-44 replica follow the original design. The thumb safety is on the left side, along with the charging handle, which is situated on the receiver. The magazine release button is also on the left side. Magazines are made from polymer and hold about 25 rounds.
At the range, the STG-44 replica loaded with a variety of .22LR ammo easily equaled or bettered any .22 rifle on the market. Accuracy is aided by excellent sights. The rear sight allows for windage adjustment with a small control knob on the side which is spring-loaded. The gun hit point of aim at 50 yards using the 400-yard elevation mark on the rear sight.
The STG-44 Schmeisser can be an effective home or property defense weapon, as author Scott W. Wagner points out in his article “American Tactical GSG STG-44 .22 LR Carbine” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“With the weight, it is a serious gun and not for younger or smaller shooters. If used as a home defense arm, its appearance alone is sure to deter any intruder! First bad guy thought – ‘What the heck is that?!’ Second thought—‘Run!’” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
While the caliber is a .22, keep in mind that there are 25 at your disposal, which is probably enough to stop even the most persistent intruder. Or you could make the WWll armament buff in your family really happy this Christmas when he unwraps a replicated piece of history.
The first line of defense is to simply know that you need to be defended. It’s a crazy world out there and there are many places and situations that need you to be aware of your surroundings. When this happens, know that a concealed weapons permit will help you by allowing you to carry your gun on you as much as possible.
On USConcealedCarry.com author Bruce N. Eimer, Ph.D talks about the ways you can avoid becoming a victim of a crime.
A Concealed Weapons Permit Will Help You
“Recognize that there is no downtime when you are attacked or being sized up by a violent criminal predator. So, go armed. Carry a gun everywhere. You can never know when you will or will not need the gun, so you always need it! A defensive firearm is an emergency rescue tool like a fire extinguisher and it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. If you are attacked, take the offensive aggressively back to your attacker and claim victory for you. That being said, it is in your own best interest if you can safely avoid having to fight for your life. If you have no other choice but to employ deadly force, you just might have missed the early warnings of an impending attack.” (Click here to read more about how a concealed weapons permit can help you)
Dr. Eimer also explains that there are certain skills that will help you in making sure you are never caught unaware and then become a victim yourself. Learn and use these skills and you will start feeling a lot safer.
The first of these skills is Attitude. Your attitude says a lot about you and will help others to see that you are confident and will likely not make an easy target.
The second skill is Awareness. Always be looking around you and size up your surroundings as well as the people in your immediate vicinity. This will help you to see trouble coming so that you can get out of the way and keep yourself safe.
This naturally leads to the third skill which is Avoidance. Be on the lookout for exits routes in any place you happen to be in as well as on the lookout for trouble before it start.
The fourth skill is Communication. Practice what you might say in certain situations as well as phrases for letting people know you mean ‘no’ when you say ‘no’.
The fifth skill is Mobility. Keep moving at all costs. Say what you need to say while you are moving. Know where you are going and get there quick. Move away from the trouble and it can make all the difference.
The final skill is Fighting Ability. If you know how to physically defend yourself then this can help you to thwart your attacker’s plan. This can certainly mean that you gain the upper hand and increase your chances of survival. A concealed weapons permit will help you, but if you can’t even get a chance to possibly use your gun, then it won’t do you much good. When push comes to shove, if you know how to fight then you may just be able to create the opportunity you need to protect your own life.