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I was out shooting some blank 12 ga ammo I made using corn meal instead of lead shot. I shot 4 of the 5 without a problem until trying to pull the trigger on the 5th round. Nothing happened, not even a click. I ejected the round, tried to dry fire it and nothing. I need some help analyzing what could be wrong. I know, stupid move but I was testing some rounds to shoot out of my cannon that is also a 12 gauge. Could the firing pin be busted? Could the corn meal have come back and gunked up the trigger and firing pin? Gosh, this shotgun has been with me since my 16th birthday and I'm 48 now. It is in almost mint condition. Any suggestions other than, way to go dummy will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 
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If you look up "American Rifleman" from March, 2001 there's an article about disassembly of the Model 37.

I don't see why you suspect the corn meal - did it get back around the action? (No wad).

One thing about the 37 - the cartridge has to be well "held" to fire, or the strike will be weak. I know you said no click, but, you might not hear it if is moving.
 
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Thanks for the advice on the disassembly of the Model 37. I've never had it apart since I've got it. It's always been a superficial cleaning. I'd dumped the shot out, refilled the shell with corn meal, replaced the wad and folded the end of the crimp back into the shell. I'm just thinking there wasn't enough back pressure because the "bang" was basically and "poof". In other words, no hearing protection was needed. I'm going to strip it down tonight and let you all know what I find. Thanks again.
 
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The bang (or poof) comes after the strike - the weapon doesn't know what load it will shoot.

If you've never had it apart, it is probably time anyway. I've had mine for a very long time, and, many years ago I went to a gunsmith who offered a tear down cleaning service. I couldn't believe what had built up in the action. (I grew up in an area where Ithaca shotguns were VERY popular.) Now that I've done some more gunsmithing, I would do it.

I just looked, the AR article is on-line. <broken link removed>
 
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To rodell:
Thanks again for all the information. I'm a little nervous taking it apart now that you said "now that I've done some more gunsmithing, I would do it". Do I need to be more experienced to get this thing apart to clean it? I'm very mechanically inclined but I do know that some things take special tools or prior experience to take apart. I'm not afraid to tear anything apart, it's just getting it back together is the scary part. Thanks
 
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You likely dumped the powder out with the shot. The sound you heard was the primer firing. Lots of serious accidents happen when a shotshell is fired without a powder charge. The wad can get lodged in the barrel.

Check you barrel extra super good before shooting this shotgun again.
 
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You all are great! Rodell's web site link did the trick. Got it all apart and found that the hammer was froze up. Nothing some break clean and some tri-flow couldn't cure. There sure was a bunch of stuff all packed in there and around the hammer. She is all lubed and ready to go now and works good as new. I am hooked on this site now for sure. Thank you all again for your input and guidance.
 
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I used to carry the M-37, best dang pump ever made. I could hold the trigger back and just pump the rounds through. Every time the bolt locked the hammer would drop on a fresh round, magic. Take the gun into the shower and sluice it out with very hot water. Treat with WD-40 then oil it up well.
 
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You all are great! Rodell's web site link did the trick. Got it all apart and found that the hammer was froze up. Nothing some break clean and some tri-flow couldn't cure. There sure was a bunch of stuff all packed in there and around the hammer. She is all lubed and ready to go now and works good as new. I am hooked on this site now for sure. Thank you all again for your input and guidance.

Another Ithaca returned to action. I have a Deerslayer, which has repeatedly lived up to its name.
 

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