What’s the greatest double-barrel duck gun ever made in America? A lot of people think it’s the two models you see here: An A.H. Fox HE and a Fox Sterlingworth Wildfowl. Both of the ones you see here are coming up this Saturday in Poulin Auctions 10/20/18 sale. Check out the info and video below to find out more about them.
Happy almost Thanksgiving. If you still need a bird to help you celebrate this very American holiday, here are three classic American doubles that can help you do it.
These guns are big and they were built to push a lot of lead. Any one would be great knocking down a monster turkey hunting for the table.
ITHACA N.I.D. 10 GAUGE 3 1/2″ MAGNUM SIDE-BY-SIDE – NICE: 32″ BARRELS, FULL & FULL, VERY GOOD BLUE, MIRROR BORES. GOOD, VIVID CASE COLOR. LATE GUN, NO COCKING INDICATORS. PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM, HIGHLY FIGURED WOOD. EXCELLENT CHECKERING, JOSTAM PAD. ONLY 574 OF THESE BIG FIELD GRADE MAGNUMS WERE MADE IN THE 1930’S. GREAT TURKEY OR GOOSE GUN. SCARCE GUN. DIMENSIONS 1 1/2 X 2 1/2 X 14 1/4 WEIGHT: 10 1/2 POUNDS. Price: $3500
PARKER BROS. – 12 GA. DHE 32″ BLS. FULL/FULL – BEAVERTAIL FOREND – STRAIGHT STOCK: 14 1/16″ X 1 3/4″ X 2 3/16″ – 8 LBS. 3 OZS.MANUAL SAFTEY – RECEIVER HAS LIGHT PATINA VOID OF CC – TOP LEVER RIGHT OF CENTER – DOUBLE IVORY BEADS – DOUBLE TRIGGERS – REINFORCED BARREL FOREARM LOOP. WILL MAKE A FINE PIGEON GUN. Price: $4100
12Gauge, 9lbs 2oz, Side-by-Side, Serial Number: 31791. Those interested in long range shooting likely know of the Fox HE Grade or “SUPER FOX”, the most capable long-range gun made in America, or maybe in the world! There is a strong interest in these guns, made so by famous outdoor writer Nash Buckingham in the late 1920’s and in all of the stories written since. There were only about 950 of these guns manufactured, and most have been altered in ways that destroy their function and value, so an unmolested Super Fox is a rare find. The Super Fox performance is entirely dependent on the combination of the over-bored barrels, precise chambers, and special, long tapered chokes, all finely tuned by the famous barrel guru Bert Becker. This Super Fox, sn31791 shipped in 1927, has 32” barrels with factory 3” chambers, showing the correct .738 bore diameter and 4 ½” chokes tapering to a 49 (R) and 48 (L) thousandths constriction. Like most waterfowling guns, this Super Fox was used, but also well maintained, as it retains over 92% bold factory case color, 92% factory blue, 97% factory trigger guard blue, near perfect screws, excellent bores, no dents or dings, barrels tight on the hinge pin and breech face like a new gun, ejectors are super strong and well timed, mechanics are excellent, no cracks or repairs to the factory length wood that still retains the original finish and superb checkering, and there are the customary handling marks on the barrels and wood. Most HE Super Fox guns have plain jane American walnut chosen for its strength. This gun has nicely figured English walnut with nice, strong straight grain through the wrist, making it a much more handsome Super Fox than you usually see. THIS IS AN AMAZING FIND AS THESE GUNS ARE ALMOST ALWAYS ALTERED, USED HARD, AND LACK THE SUPERB ORIGINAL CONDITION YOU SEE IN THIS GUN. The Super Fox is in such hot demand and the prices have risen so sharply as a result, this gun will go fast as it is one of the finest conditioned factory original Super Fox guns seen for sale in a very long time. Don’t hesitate or it will be gone! Thanks for looking at our fine guns. Price: $9,750.00
Here are two tough-to find American doubles coming to auction. They’re both A.H. Fox HE SxS, one in 12 gauge and one in 20 gauge. Both are coming up this weekend at Amoskeag Auctions March sale.
Fox made about 300 of these HE-grade Super Fox side-by-side shotguns — just sixty in 20 gauge and the rest in 12. All of them were heavy, overbored doubles made for wildfowling with Western Cartridge’s new-at-the-time Super-X ammo.
Lot # 85: Rare A. H. Fox He Grade Superfox Double Ejectorgun Shipped To E.C. Crossman. Serial #202292, 20 Ga. (2 3/4”), 32” Chromox barrels choked full and full with bright excellent bores showing just some faint remnants of light pitting in a couple spots with a tiny dent in the right tube near the muzzles which was professionally raised. The barrels retain about 90% original blue, the loss due to overall light fading, actually appearing much stronger undernormal ambient light. The frame is lovely and retains 75-80% original color case-hardening which is quite vivid, the belly of frame toning to a silvery case-hardened patina; it features light fancy borderline engraving with little floral sprays around the pins and screw holes.
The gun is stocked half-pistolgrip in a nice grade of walnut, the stock rating very good plus to near excellent with much original varnish and only minor dings and handling marks from the years. It is fitted with a more contemporary Hawkins recoil pad, added to the contour of the butt, the original pad having deteriorated with the years, the length of pull is 14 7/16” with drops of 1 1/2” and 2 7/8”; the forend is a bit darker and rates very good plus as well showing a thin sliver of bedding compound at its junction with the forend iron. The gun locks up Fox-tight with the top lever still right of center, the gun seems to operate well mechanically and the ejectors are robust; the safety is non-automatic. The included factory letter confirms the configuration and shows shipment to none other than E.C. Crossman on August 14, 1925 “for Phill Crosman” (sic). Savage historian John T. Callahan took the liberty of including copies of the original build card and job tag for the shotgun. The build card, under the “For” heading reads “E.C. Crossman”, the rear of the card showing pellet count for left and right barrels. The job tag reads on front and back: “Test Gun and send to Phill Crosman” and “Mr. Roll This Gun shoots 79% in 5 shots out of Right bbl 79 1/2% out of 5 shots in Left bbl B.Becker”, obviously from the renowned Burt Becker to Adolph Roll, Fox Sales Manager. With only sixty 20 ga. Super Fox shotguns ever made, this is a really rare and lovely Super Fox in its own right, all-the-more desireable with the connection to the famous Crossman clan. Truly a super – Super Fox. Estimate: $8000 – $10000.
Lot # 386: A. H. Fox He Grade Super Fox Boxlock Double Ejectorgun: Serial #29562, 12 Ga. (3”), 30” barrels choked full and full with bright excellent bores. The barrels retain about 98% excellent quality restored blue finish with some light muzzle wear and a remnant or two of light pitting beneath. The frame is lovely retaining 99% restored vibrant color case-hardening with the familiar light H-grade borderline engraving and makers name; the triggerguard shows excellent blue as well. The round knob pistolgrip buttstock rates excellent as professionally refinished with evidence of a repaired crack at left and right of top tang; it seems to have been effective and the stock seems sound and will not flex. The splinter forend is in a similar state of condition and both show perfectly chased checkering.
The length of pull to the grooved hard rubber buttplate is 14 1/8” with drops of 1 5/8” and 3” (although the factory letter indicates 2 3/4”, the stock appears original in all respects). The safety is non-automatic and two of the screws show some light slot damage…they are not quite regulated and clearly someone with an incorrect width blade attempted to turn them. The gun locks up tightly with the top lever still right of center and the gun seems to operate properly mechanically. The included factory letter verifies the configuration and shows shipment in September of 1925 to W. R. Burkhard Co. (St. Paul Minn.). Really an excellent as-restored Super Fox that should be taken back afield for some waterfowl bustin in the fall seasons. Estimate: $2500 – $4000
The Super-Fox is one of America’s legendary shotguns. Famous outdoor writer and sportsman Nash Buckingham raved about it’s ability on high birds. He loved the loved the gun so much that he named it “Bo Whoop” because of the unique sound it made when fired.
The A.H. Fox company offered the Super-Fox from 1923 to 1940. In one of their catalogs, the company wrote: “The long distance shooting Gun built especially for close patterns at extra range…gives patterns never before attained at forty, fifty and sixty yards and above….”
In his book A.H. Fox: The Finest Gun in the World, Michael McIntosh wrote “…The Super-Fox was the product of several minds, all focused on the remarkably complex problem involved in getting a shotgun to reliably deliver a high percentage of its shot to roughly the same place at any distance beyond forty yards. It was also the product of technologies unknown before and of splendid talents brought together at precisely the right time.”
A.H. Fox brought in Burt Becker to build the first of these doubles. Becker was a well-known gunsmith with a gift for boring barrels. In describing Becker’s contributions to the Super Fox, McIntosh wrote:
“Becker clearly understood the advantage of keeping a gunbarrel free from abrupt changes in diameter, and his solution involves a three-fold approach. First, Super-Fox chambers are bored to extremely close tolerances, and most will not accept a cartridge that is even slightly oversized. There also is a bit more taper in the Super-Fox chambers than in the average gun’s. Becker’s forcing cones are 3/4-inch long and obliquely angled, so that shot columns are eased rather than squeezed into the bores. Finally, to reduce the difference between chamber and bore diameters even further, Becker overbored the barrels. A 12-gauge Super-Fox has nearly 11-gauge bores.”
The A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Wildfowl was made up from leftover HE-grade Super-Fox actions and barrels. It was offered from 1934 to around 1940. I don’t think many of them were made, and if this one is as good as it looks, it may be the best one out there.
NOTE: In his original listing, the seller calls this gun a “Fox Waterfowl Grade (XE) Sterlingworth” and says it “…is basically a Super Fox XE.” This is incorrect. I believe he meant to say “HE” instead of “XE”. I made the correction below.
Fox Waterfowl Grade (HE) Sterlingworth Near Mint: Amazing, near mint, late production Fox Sterlingworth side by side in little known Wildfowl Grade. A rare grade and gun is all original in near mint condition. The case coloring is some of the best I have seen on a Fox shotgun. Beautiful dark walnut in forend and stock, which has original, period correct, Jostam Mfg. red rubber pad. Original blue on 30 inch Full/Full choked barrels with ejectors. Action snaps shut tight like a vault door. Length of pull is 14 inches with 2 3/4 inch drop at heel. Take down those high flyers like Bo-Whoop’s cousin should!! Price: $7,000
I used to be hot for Lefevers – especially ones in 16 gauge. I owned three F-grades 16s at one point, including one that was practically new.
These days, my passion for Uncle Dan’s doubles has cooled a bit. But I have to say, the Lefever you see here does get my heart pumping. Its sleek looks reminds me why I fell in love with these guns. If the stock was a bit longer, I’d be on the phone right now trying to cut a deal.
Lefever HE 16E gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun: Fine condition LOP: 13-3/4″ Drop: 2-1/4″ – 1-1/2″ Cast: 1/4″on Barrel length: 28″ Choke: rt:IC/lt:F (light) Weight: 6lb, 13oz 1913 HE in fine condition, side plates have 99% original case color, frame 70% color, very nice Damascus pattern with very good bores, very minor pitting, barrel wall thickness .040+ both barrels, 2-1/2″ chambers, ser#677–. Price: $3,000
Heritage Auctions in Dallas, TX, is having their 2014 June 8 Arms & Armor Signature Auction tomorrow. Here a few lots that caught my eye.
Lot 32401: 12 gauge A.H. Fox HE Grade Boxlock Ejector Double Barrel Shotgun: Serial no. 29397. 12 gauge. 30-inch barrels with matted concave rib. Casehardened border engraved boxlock action. Watertable marked with: H. Finely checkered replacement straight stock of semi-figured contrasting walnut. Silver’s style recoil pad. Fox D-style checkering pattern with scalloped panels at head of stock and arrow head points at grip. Finely checkered replacement splinter fore-end with Fox D-style checkering with diamonds and waves. DATA: Barrel dimensions: Bore diameter: 0.744/0.744 inches. Chokes: 0.048/0.048 inches. (Extra Full/Extra Full) Chambers: 3 1/4 inches. Stock dimensions: Pull: 14 3/4 inches. Weight: 8 pounds, 9 ounces. Estimate: $3,000 – $4,000.
Condition: Excellent, as completely redone. Gun was converted to straight grip, stocked and reblued by Keith Kearcher. Barrels show 99% reblued finish. Action with 99% vivid Doug Turnbull case colors. Triggerguard has been lengthened, reblued and re-engraved. Replacement stock & fore-end show a few very small marks.
Lot 32402: A.H.Fox A Grade Lightweight Double Barrel Shotgun: Serial no. 201859, 20ga, 28-inch barrels with matted rib and marked: CHROMOX FLUID COMPRESSED STEEL/MADE BY A.H.FOX GUN Co. PHILA.PA.U.S.A. Floral-engraved receiver marked: ANSLEY H. FOX. Extractor. Checkered walnut stock and forearms. Whiteline butt pad. LOP is 14-inches. Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500.
Condition: Good to Very Good. Barrels retaining approximately 60-70% blue. Receiver with a gray-brown patina. Stock very good with handling wear and fine scratches. Pinned chip repairs at frame.
Lot 32425: 20 gauge Charles Daly Diamond Grade Boxlock Ejector Double Barrel Shotgun: Serial no. 10599. 20 gauge. 28-inch Kochlings Spezial Steel barrels. Matted concave rib marked Charles Daly Diamond Quality. Extended rib with square cross bolt. Barrels with wedges of fine foliate scroll. Casehardened scalloped boxlock action fully engraved with fine foliate scroll and a game scene on the underside. Watertable stamped: PRUSSIA. Ejectors. Sideclips. Auto safety. Intercepting safeties. Cocking indicators. Casehardened triggerguard with game scene. Finely checkered half pistolgrip stock of highly figured walnut. Vacant silver oval. Horn inlay at grip. Drop points and checkered panels at head of stock. Finely checkered splinter fore-end with Deeley-style release & horn tip. Later leather covered recoil pad. DATA: Barrel dimensions: Bore diameter: 0.629/0.628 inches. Chokes: 0.031/0.031 inches. (Extra Full). Chambers: 2 1/2 inches. Proof: German Nitro 20/20, 12/23. (Note: Out of proof due to enlarged bores, by 0.003 and 0.004 inches respectfully.) Stock dimensions: Pull: 14 3/8 inches. Drop at comb: 1 3/4 inches. Drop at heel: 2 3/4 inches. Cast-off: 3/16 inches. Weight: 5 pounds, 11 ounces. Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000.
Condition: Excellent, as partially refreshed. Barrels retain 99% reblued finish. Lower rib, under the fore-end with 4 plugged holes. Excellent bright bores. Action shows 90-95% dark case colors with thinning at front from carry-wear. Triggerguard with 80-90% case colors with wear at the lower tang. Stock shows a few light nicks, some dull areas & some areas of light recoated finish.
Lot 32428: Cased E. M. Reilly Bar-in-Wood Hammer Double Barrel Shotgun: Serial no. 22423. 12 gauge. 30-inch Damascus barrels with game rib marked: E. M. Reilly & Co., New Oxford St. London & Rue Scribe, Paris. Casehardened side-lever bar- in-wood action. Rebounding locks. Percussion fences. Finely checkered straight grip stock of figured walnut. Drop points. Horn buttplate. Finely checkered splinter fore-end with Anson release. DATA: Barrel Dimensions: Bore Diameters: 0.731/0.732. Choke: 0.011/0.014 inches (Improved Cylinder/Modified). The left choke is recessed. Chambers: 2 3/4 inches. Proof: Birmingham Nitro, .729/.729, 2 1/2, 3 tons. (Note: Not in proof due to lengthened chambers.) Stock Dimensions: Pull: 13 3/4 inches. Drop at comb: 1 1/4 inches. Drop at heel: 2 inches. Cast-off: 1/8 inches. Weight: 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Brown leather trunk case with green baize interior. Brass fittings. Maker’s period label. Replacement straps. Estimate: $3,000 – $4,000.
Condition: Fine, as partly refinished. Barrels with 94-96% rebrowned finish, excellent bright bores. Barrels show slight external unevenness from rebrowning. Action a nice polished silver gray finish. Reblued triggerguard shows 97-98% finish. Refinished stock with a few light marks, possible older restock. Recheckered stock and fore-end. Fore-end with some slight marring to checkering. Trunk case in very good condition with nicks and scrapes to the exterior. Interior shows some wear and fading.
Turkeys are early risers, and hunting them means waking up even earlier. So when my alarm went off at 2:45am a couple Saturdays ago, I was cursing these birds and wondering if shooting one was going to be worth the effort.
My guide and I were in our blind by 4:30am. My camo face mask wasn’t even over my eyes when we heard toms gobbling in their roosts. As the light came up,the black silhouettes bordering the field in front of us turned into green pines, poplars, and birches. Birds chattered around us, unseen crows squabbled and sounded off, a pair of owls asked “Who…Who…Who-who.”
A pair of hens pitched out of the trees, then an ambitions gobbler. All three worked the field, well over 100 yards away. We sat and hoped. My guide scratched his call. The gobbler thought no. By 6:30pm the sun was up, the hens were gone, and we were moving on.
Running and Gunning means driving from spot to spot, calling, and listening for gobblers to respond. We had a gobble at our fifth spot, and within minutes we had our backs to a rock wall, a hen decoy in the boot tall green grass in front of us, and a gobbler coming our way.
My guide scratched out a call. The turkey gobbled. The gobbles grew more assured and distinct. Closer. My old 12 gauge Fox shotgun was up and ready for the shot, even though the turkey was still a ways off.
Then there he was, probably 80 yards out, at about 3 o’clock, then 70 yards. All puffed up like a Thanksgiving centerpiece, strutting and snorting like he knew he was the morning’s big event. I took him at about 15 yards, and he tumbled and rolled as the Fox boomed and the 1 3/8ozs of lead hit home.