I’m not sure what we’re seeing here. Is this a rare, 20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game gun? Or is it just regular 20g Sterlingworth someone has messed with?
This gun is serial number — 270421 — which puts it around 1938. That’s near the end of the line for A.H. Fox, and three years into the period when the company was building their straight-gripped, high-stocked Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game guns. So there’s a chance this is one of those guns. If that’s the case, it’s a great deal.
But here’s the thing: The stocks on Sterly S&UGs didn’t have the checkered sidepanels — or at least none of the ones I’ve seen, and the none ones Fox advertised in their literature, had stocks with checkered sidepanels. That detail was reserved for Foxes in B-grade and up.
So did the person who ordered this gun also ask for the panels? Did a stocker at the company add them as a way to kill the last few hours of a work week? Or was the stock a leftover intended for a higher-grade gun, and since A.H. Fox was nearing its end, the company wanted to use it up?
Of course, the other possible answers to this riddle are a restock — maybe by Savage at a later date or by someone else — or maybe even little custom work to the wood after the gun after it was delivered (I doubt this, though). But even if one of those are the case, this side-by-side is still a nice little double.
Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4″
Action tight Bluing 85%. Case color 12%
Desirable 26” barrels
Straight Stock! Wood shows handling wear. Has recoil pad installed
Acouple shallow dings in the barrels from over the years
LOP – 15 1/8 DAC – 1 1/4” DAH – 2 3/8”
Great light weight gun weighing in at 6lbs 2oz
Middle barrel bead, double triggers, extractors, box lock