Before 1934, there was no legal restriction on short-barreled shotguns, and several companies offered pistol-style shotguns for personal protection. One of the best of these was the Ithaca Auto & Burglar. These were made mostly in 20ga, but could also be ordered in .410, 16ga, or even 12ga. They were basically a short version (typically 10″ barrels) of Ithaca’s standard SxS shotgun action with a special stock intended to be held like a pistol.
The stock changed style in 1925, when Ithaca made some changes to the shotgun action as well. The early stocks had a small wooden spur that was reportedly fragile and prone to breaking. This replaced with a more squared-off looking design for the remainder of production.
Production and sale of the Auto & Burglar (and the other guns like it) ended abruptly in 1934, when passage of the National Firearms Act placed a massive tax on their sale or transfer. The guns had already been expensive at $40, and the NFA tax added on an addition $200 to that (this would be changed to $5 for AOWs in 1968). Obviously, nobody was going to legally purchase one of these with a 500% federal tax, so Ithaca stopped making them. Today I am looking at examples of both an early A&B and also a later style A&B.
Tomorrow is the first day of Rock Island’s current Premier auction, so this will be our last video in this series. Hope you’ve enjoyed them!