Graded, smallbore Foxes are special shotguns. While A.H. Fox did make a lot of doubles, the vast majority most were 12 gauges. When it comes to 16 gauges and 20 gauges, “The Most Perfectly Proportioned Small-Gauge Gun Ever Built,” the vast majority were Sterlingworths, the company’s entry level, field-grade model.
The first smallbore Fox shotgun – a 20 gauge CE #200,011 – left the factory on September 17, 1912. Fox’s graded guns ran As, Bs, Cs, Xs, Ds & Fs., and according to a Fox catalog from 1925 the C was “In every respect…a high grade. It’s beauty in looks and finish. No gun will stand up better to hard work. Its every detail is perfect. And at the price it is in a class absolutely by itself.” Fox made just 413 C-grades in 20 gauge, and the one you see here left the factory in 1926. While there’s no question that it’s a rare gun, what do you think about the finish on the barrels, action, and wood? Original, or refinished? Take a close look and let me know what you think. I’ll let you know the answer in the next couple days.