A couple classics: A 16g Ithaca NID & a 20g Fox Sterlingworth…

20 gauge Savage-Fox Sterlingworth SXS shotgun, 28" barrels
20 gauge Savage-Fox Sterlingworth SXS shotgun, 28″ barrels

Stone walls. Grown-over apple orchards. English setters.

If you’re a sucker for all the trappings of traditional grouse hunting, you’ll probably like the classic American shotguns posted here.

I’ve called the Fox Sterlingworth the gateway drug of doubles. It has been the first side-by-side for a lot of guys (including me), and it has initiated a passion that has taken over many a life.

This Sterlingworth caught my eye because it’s a 20g with 28″ and super shootable stock dimensions. It’s also priced very fairly.

20 gauge Savage-Fox Sterlingworth SXS shotgun, 28" barrels
20 gauge Savage-Fox Sterlingworth SXS shotgun, 28″ barrels

Savage Arms Co. Sterlingworth, 20 Gauge Game GunPrice: $1,499.99
Chambers: 2 3/4
Metal Condition: Very Good
Wood Condition: Very Good
Bore Condition: Very Good
Barrels: 28″ Blued Steel with Tapered Concave Rib
Triggers: Double Triggers with Extractors
Stock: Checkered Walnut Pistol Grip Butt Stock
Stock Dimensions:
DAC: 1 3/8″, DAH: 2 3/8″, Cast off: 1/8″, 14″
Fore End: Checkered Walnut Splinter Style
Butt Pad: Synthetic Butt Plate
Weight: 6 lbs. 2 ozs.
Sights: Single Bead
Chokes: Fixed: Full & Modified

16 gauge Ithaca NID Side-by-Side Shotgun
16 gauge Ithaca NID Side-by-Side Shotgun

Ithaca was one America’s most successful gunmakers, and NID was the final incarnation of their SxSs. These guns are basic and tough– like old-school F150s with crank windows and bench seats. This 16g NID is on Gunbroker.com now, and the listing ends tomorrow, 12/23, @ 8:26:50 AM ET.

16 gauge Ithaca NID Side-by-Side Shotgun
16 gauge Ithaca NID Side-by-Side Shotgun

Ithaca NID Star Model 16 GA: Up for sale we have a beautiful NID 16 guage, 28″barrels choked M/F, all serial numbers match. This gun was made in 1929, 2 3/4″ chambers and shoots well, the gun is very solid and locks up tight. There is one deep scratch on the forearm, other then that the wood is really nice. The barrels and bores are excellent.

16 gauge Ithaca NID Side-by-Side Shotgun
16 gauge Ithaca NID Side-by-Side Shotgun

If this 20g A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS is legit, it’s a steal …

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4", Straight Stock, Skeet & Upland Game?
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4″, Straight Stock, Skeet & Upland Game?

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.

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4", Straight Stock, Skeet & Upland Game?
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4″, Straight Stock, Skeet & Upland Game?

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 20GA. NICE! Straight Stock!

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4", Straight Stock, Skeet & Upland Game?
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4″, Straight Stock, Skeet & Upland Game?

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

Price: $1,850

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4", Straight Stock, Skeet & Upland Game?
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4″, Straight Stock, Skeet & Upland Game?
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4", Straight Stock, Skeet & Upland Game?
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20ga 2 3/4″, Straight Stock, Skeet & Upland Game?

Nearly new: a 20g A.H. Fox Sterlingworth ejector, late Savage era…

20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun with Ejectors
20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun

Here’s a tough shotgun to find, not because of its gauge or grade, but because of its condition. Twenty-gauge Fox Serlingworths are easy to track down. But how often do you see one that’s almost new?

A.H. Fox introduced Sterlingworths in 1910 and made them until 1946. Sterlingworths were the lowest-grade, least expensive double the company offered, and even though they were far from the cheapest side-by-sides on the American market, they were incredible deals. Hunters and shooters realized this, bought up thousands of them, and made the Sterlingworth Fox’s most successful model.

20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun with Ejectors
20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun

This Sterlingworth is a later gun, with the cyanide-applied case colors on the action and canoe-paddle stock typical of models in A.H. Fox’s later Savage era. The Savage Arms Co. bought A.H. Fox in November of 1929, and they went on to make changes to the Sterlingworths as a way to cut production costs.

A.H. Fox – Sterlingworth – 20 g: Late Savage-era gun from around 1938

Shotgun type: SxS
Action: Boxlock
Ejectors: No
Trigger: Double
Grip: Pistol Grip
Forend: Checkered
Lop: 14 5/16 ”

20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun with Ejectors
20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun

Type of butt: Factory
Drop comb: 1 9/16 ”
Drop heel: 2 5/8 ”
Cast amount: 0 ”

Weight: 6 lbs, 4 oz

Finish: Case Colored
Overall condition: Very Good
Stock condition: Very Good
Metal condition: Very Good
Stock: Original finish
Metal: Original finish

20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun with Ejectors
20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun
20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun with Ejectors
20 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun

Good gun alert: 20g Fox Sterlingworth, 28″, ejectors…

20g Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun, 28" barrels, Ejectors
20g Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun, 28″ barrels, Ejectors

Here’s a double a lot of guys are looking for – and for good reason. Fox Sterlingworths are great American doubles. Finding one in 20g with this much condition, 28″ barrels and ejectors is tough to do.

If you like the looks of it, get on it now. It’s online and the auction ends 9/15/13 19:05:0. Here are the spec from the seller:

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth, 20 ga. side by side shotgun. Serial #263097, mfg. 1929. Very good condition. Oh boy, oh boy, we have a Prom Queen here! Go get the crown! Beautiful and elegant 20 ga. Sterlingworth on the small frame with ejectors and CONDITION: 70% fading case colors and 95% blue on the barrels! Yee haw! Nice tight action. 28″ ribbed barrels. Bright bores. Choked M/F. Marked “Savage Arms Corp., Utica, N.Y. USA” on top of left barrel and “Sterlingworth Fluid Compressed Steel” on right top of barrel. Original stock has some hunting marks as expected. Hard buttplate. Ejectors work great! Double triggers. All original and gorgeous!

Good gun alert: a 16 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth, 30″ bbls & ejectors…

16 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel Shotgun, 30" barrels, ejectors
16 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel Shotgun, 30″ barrels, ejectors

Fox Sterlingworths are easy to find. That’s because A.H. Fox made a ton of them. Even the small bores — the 16 gauges and the 20 gauges — are pretty common.

Regardless of the gauge, most of the Sterlies you see out there are similar – pistol grips, non-ejectors, 26″ or 28″ barrels. So once you throw in ejectors and squeeze the barrels out to 30″, you’re dealing with a Sterlingworth that’s much harder to find–especially in 16 gauge.

Well, here is one of those hard-to-find A.H. Fox Sterlingworth SxSs in 16 gauge, with 30″ barrels and ejectors. It’s a Savage-era Fox with 2 3/4″ chambers and high dimensions, so it’s more shootable than Fox’s earlier doubles.  The price is fair, too.

Here’s more about it from the seller:

Fox Sterlingworth 16E gauge S/S : 1933 ejector Fox 16 with open chokes, clean bores, tight action, some color & re-blacked barrelsLOP: 13-3/4″ Drop: 2-1/4″ – 1-1/4″ Cast: 0″: Barrel length: 30″ 2-3/4″ chambers, chokes – R)663-007, L)664-007, Choke: IC/IC Weight: 6lb14oz. A good shooter ready for the field! Price: $1,695.00.

Auction alert: 1913 A.H. Fox Sterlingworth with original hang tags!

Hang tags for an. A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel Shotgun #66328
Hang tags for an. A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel Shotgun #66328

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.

What is hard to find is a Sterlingworth with it’s original hang tangs, especially models from the first few years of production. That’s why this 12 gauge Sterlingworth coming up at Amoskeag Auctions caught my eye.

Hang tags for an. A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel Shotgun #66328
Hang tags for an. A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel Shotgun #66328

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.

12g Fox Sterlingworth double barrel shotgun with hang tags
12g Fox Sterlingworth double barrel shotgun with hang tags

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)

Good gun alert: A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge double barrel shotgun…

 

A.H. Fox 20 gauge CE grade double barrel shotgun
A.H. Fox 20 gauge CE grade double barrel shotgun

Here’s a side-by-side you don’t see every day. It’s a 20 gauge A.H. Fox CE double barrel shotgun and it’s being auctioned off at Little John’s on Wednesday, May 23. The C grade was Fox’s mid-grade gun. From one of their catalogs: “This is the grade that has made good everywhere. In every respect it is 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 introduced 16 & 20 gauge guns around 1911-1912 and the company called their new smallbores “The most perfectly proportioned small-gauge gun ever built.” A lot of Fox collectors would agree with this statement, and because Fox made so few graded 20 gauges, this CE is sure to attract a ton of interest. Add in it’s condition and the presence of the original hang tag and this side-by-side could each go for $10,000+.

 

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