I’ve always liked these guns. I think they’re great looking birds guns and great values.
(BTW: Sorry I don’t have more pics to post, but the auctioneer only posted the two I’ve used here. Why? I have no idea.)
Lot 45. An Orvis Custom Uplander Sidelock Smallbore Double Ejectorgun by Arrieta: Serial #57-03-100-00, 28 ga., 28” barrels choked improved cylinder and modified with excellent bores. The barrels retain 99% original deep blue with some light border engraving at the breeches and tight matting along the rib. The locks and frame retain 98-99% original blue with very slight thinning and some small blemishes, the locks have multiple fine lines engraved around the borders with geometric patterns on the screw heads and hinge pin. The checkered straight grip walnut buttstock and forend are very good, there is a small hairline crack on each side of the forend at the frame and some lightly-added varnish on the forend and around the locks. The figure is quite nice and the butt has been skip-line checkered, the length-of-pull is 14 3/8” with drops of 1 1/4” and 1 7/8”. The gun also features double triggers, 2 3/4” chambers, the butt is cast-on, there are dial-style cocking indicators and the ejectors are robust. ESTIMATE: $2000-$3000
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
Twelve-gauge Fox Sterlingworths are one of the most popular American side-by-side shotguns ever made. The A.H Fox Company started making them in 1910 and by the time Savage Arms ended the line around 1942, over 110,000 Sterlingworths in 12g had been turned out. So today, good ones, and even ones with a lot of original condition, are pretty easy to find.
Here’s some info on the gun from the auctioneer’s website:
Lot 127. A. H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Shotgun With Original Hanging Tags
Serial #66328, 12 ga., 28″ barrels choked light modified and improved modified with bright bores showing some small dents in each near the muzzle area. The barrels retain 90% original blue showing various small scratches and some silvering of the muzzles and edges of the top rib and having a dent in the left barrel five inches back from the muzzle and a couple of tiny dents in the right barrel a few inches back from the muzzle as well. The frame exhibits 20% case colors with scattered areas of surface oxidation and showing wear on both sides and around the bottom.
The top lever and triggerguard are turning silver with remnants of blue on the bottom of the bow. The pistolgrip stock and splinter forearm rate good to very good showing dings and scratches over a mottled and thinning varnish and having slightly worn and soiled checkering. The stock has a hard rubber grip cap and the original grooved buttplate providing a length of 14 1/8″. The gun features double triggers, extractors, and automatic safety. There are two hanging tags, one with the shot charge and guarantee numbered to the gun and a second which is a certificate of proof. This is an original Philadelphia gun in good working condition and having the original hanging tags is very rare indeed. ($800/1200)
–Alderfer Auctions in Hatfield, PA, has some good double barrels in it’s March 22nd sale. There are handful of American side-by-sides, including some Parkers, some Foxes, some Bakers, and a few more. Here’s a searchable catalog where you can see everything and even bid.
–Amoskeag Auction Company in Manchester, New Hampshire, has ton of Lefevers in their March 26 sales. By ton I mean more than 40. There’s a little bit of everything, from hammerless stuff to real rare, real earlier guns like Barber-Lefevers and percussion conversions. The guns are all on line at Amoskeag’s site. Unfortunately, the site is a bit of a pain in the A to use and you can’t bring up all the Lefevers at once. So to save the hassle of having to click and scroll through all 26 pages, I’ve pulled out all the Lefevers for you. Is that nice, or what?