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