SOLD FOR: $2,950.00
Make: A.H. Fox Gun Co.
Model: A Grade
Serial Number: 302344
Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1925 (https://www.doublegunshop.com/dgsnos1.htm)
Gauge: 16 Gauge, the chambers appear to have been lengthened as the forcing cone starts at approximately 3″ down the chamber.
Action Type: Top Break Side by Side Box Lock Hammerless Shotgun with Extractor
Markings: The top of the right barrel is marked “CHROMOX FLUID COMPRESSED STEEL”, the top of the left “MADE BY A.H. FOX GUN CO PHILA. PA. U.S.A.”. The bottom of each barrel has weight stamp “4”, the barrel flat is marked “A”, “302344” and with an ovalled “FOX / PROOF”. Each side of the receiver is marked “ANSLEY H. FOX” in banner and the receiver and trigger plate have Grade A scroll engraving. The water table is marked “PAT’D AUG.16-04 / AUG.1-05 OCT.17-05 JAN.16-0? / MAY 11-09 MAY 2-11 JUNE11-1?” on the left with “302344” and “A” on the right. The bottom tang is marked “302344” as is the top of the forend iron.
Barrel Length: 26”
Choke: Both bores are choked Improved Cylinder, Fixed
Sights / Optics: There is a white bead mounted to the front of the rib with a smaller brass mid-bead. The top of the rib is finely serrated to reduce glare.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with splinter forend, round-bottom pistol grip, straight comb and ventilated orange rubber Pachmayr White Line recoil pad with black and white spacers. The forend has a few scattered light compressions, a couple of small nicks on the top-left edge toward the rear and light handling marks. The buttstock has some scattered light compressions, drag lines and scuffs with a tiny loss at the rear of the top tang, a short, thin crack extending back from the rear of the top tang with another extending down from the right-rear edge of the top tang which is just barely into the checkering on the right of the wrist. The stock has slight flex to the receiver, with the flex opening up a gap on the rear of the receiver on the right. The wood is generally proud to the metal and the checkering is smoothed but well defined. The LOP measures approximately 14″ and 13 1/8″ from the fronts of the triggers to the back of the recoil pad, 12 1/2″ and 11 5/8″ to the back of the wood. The drop at comb is approximately 1 3/8″, drop at heel 2 1/4″. The pad is still fairly supple showing light wear and slight discoloration from age and oil, in about Very Good condition. The stocks rate in about Good-Very Good condition and would easily rate Very Good or better but for the flex on the right of the wrist.
Type of Finish: Case Colored Receiver Blue Barrel
Finish Originality: The receiver’s finish is original. We believe the barrel finish to have been applied by Fox at their factory, but given the difference in wear between the barrels and receiver, this finish was likely applied by Fox after being returned to their factory for some reason.
Bore Condition: The bores are bright. There is no erosion in the bores. The bores just meet at the muzzles.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 85% of its metal finish. The right barrel has a light mark on the bottom approximately 4″ in front of the forend and there is very light wear on the bottom of the barrels from the forend, concealed while installed. The receiver shows finish wear in its case-coloring on the bottom, forward of the trigger guard and in the bottom portions of each side, with the case-coloring getting stronger on the way up the sides, being strongest on the top. There is handling wear in the top tang around the safety and lighter handling wear in the bottom tang and trigger guard. The trigger guard screw at the rear of the bottom tang is not seated flush to the tang. Exposed portions of the forend iron are worn to white with the top of the forend iron retainining strong case-coloring. The worn areas have a few spots of light discoloration from oxidation. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The pin heads are unmarred. The markings are mostly clear with the patent dates on the water table having a few characters obscured by wear from the barrels and the Fox Proof stamp being shallow and incomplete. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Very Good condition, we would rate it closer to Fine but for the flex in the stock.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The barrels lock up to the receiver with no play. The safety engages automatically when the action is opened. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: Ansley Fox was one of the earliest American innovators with internal hammer double guns. In 1894, at the age of 19, he was issued a patent on a system of cocking the internal hammers of a break-action gun using leverage from the barrels with his design actually containing nineteen patentable features, according to the U.S. Patent office. Fox would continue on, making it his life’s work to produce “The finest gun in the world” (as well as the finest car in the world and a few other manufacturing ventures). He even gained the praise of Theodore Roosevelt who wrote to Mr. Fox in a letter “The double-barreled shotgun has come, and I really think it is the most beautiful gun I have ever seen. I am exceedingly proud of it. I am almost ashamed to take it to Africa and expose it to the rough usage it will receive. But now that I have it, I could not possibly make up my mind to leave it behind. I am extremely proud that I am to have such a beautiful bit of American workmanship with me”. The A.H. Fox Gun Co. would continue producing shotguns of various grades and chambered for various gauges through the late 1920s, when they fell victim to the Great Depression and were acquired by Savage Arms. This example is a 16 gauge A Grade, produced in 1925, the heyday of A.H. Fox, during the Roaring ’20s when post-war America was booming and Fox guns were selling as well as ever. Today, A.H. Fox shotguns are quite collectible. As Fox’s reputation was built on quality, their success didn’t necessarily mean that a huge number of guns were made. Even including the guns produced under Savage, fewer than 4,000 16 gauge Fox’s were produced. For the dedicated Fox collector, a 16 gauge in this condition would make a great addition to a collection and for the collector just starting out, this wouldn’t be a bad piece either. Better still, with its bright bores and tight lockup, this shotgun can still serve, nearly 100 years later, to take down flesh or clay birds in style. Please see our photos and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This C&R eligible shotgun can be transferred in California.