How the A.H. Fox ended up being “The best gun in the world.”

Why A.H. Fox doubles room considered amongst America"s standard shotguns:Considered preferable as other classic American twin guns, such together Parker, Ithaca and also L.C. Smith.Sold come Savage eight in 1930, who continued production.Grades were defined by the class of the stock"s wood.XE class featured engraved video game scenes.Theodore Roosevelt"s Fox sold for a record $862,500 in 2010.

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Ansley Herman Fox was a bright, charismatic young man and also a well shotgunner. Trap was his game and also he was the winner of numerous events in and around Baltimore and Philadelphia. Fox wanted to acquire into the gun making business and also his ventures into the field had several starts and stops. He obtained his an initial patent because that a double-barrel gun in 1894, once was 24 year old.

Most Fox models were available with a single selective trigger, but twin triggers remained the an option of numerous shooters.

In 1896, Fox persuaded a few friends and also family members to partner with him in what ended up being known as the nationwide Arms firm of Baltimore. Before any guns to be manufactured, that agency was reorganized together the Fox Gun firm of Baltimore. Just a couple of hundred weapons were made by this very first incarnation the the Fox agency — and also those models are really rare.

In 1900, the Fox firm was offered to the Baltimore Gun agency and Ansley Fox came to be an employee of that firm. During this period he was likewise a experienced shooter because that Winchester.

Vintage catalog with Fox shotgun ~ above the cover.

The following step ~ above Fox’s quite rocky road to success to be his development of the Philadelphia Gun agency in 1905, which conveniently evolved to the A.H. Fox agency of Philadelphia. For the next 25 years, the Fox was a respected member that the standard American dual club, acquisition its ar in shotgun background alongside Parker, Ithaca and L.C. Smith.

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Winchester’s fine version 21 came along in 1930, the same year Fox was offered to Savage, which ongoing making the A.H. Fox firearms until 1942. These firearms should not be perplexed with the Fox model B double, i m sorry was introduced by Savage circa 1939. This reduced priced utility version was usually an update of a series of Stevens double-barreled guns, i beg your pardon Savage likewise produced.

The Fox Family

This XE design circa 1916 reflects off the elaborate engraving and checkering patterns of the professional Fox workers.

The line-up the A.H. Fox models presented in 1906 contained three grades: A, B, C, adhered to by D and F in 1907. All were initially readily available only in 12 gauge till 1912, once 16 and 20 gauges were added. Another model was added in 1911, one that ended up being quite popular, the Sterlingworth. It to be a utility model with plenty of of the same style features as the greater grade guns and had a base price the $25, exactly fifty percent the $50 for the A Grade. Prices for the other grades were $75 because that the B Grade, $100 because that C, $250 because that D, and $500 because that the F Grade.

Each great featured raising levels of higher grade wood, an ext elaborate engraving and fancier checkering patterns. Another model to be the XE Grade, which was decorated with elaborate game step vignettes.

This Sterlingworth model illustrates the operating lever and also barrel extension of the box-lock design.

Automatic ejectors were readily available beginning in 1907 and also the model qualities were detailed as AE, BE, etc., to show the added feature. Other easily accessible options were cast-off stocks, Monte Carlo combs and beavertail forends. Solitary trigger models became available in 1914. Many shotgunners in those work learned to shoot with twin triggers and also liked the quick selection of choking or load, as plenty of still carry out today.

Teddy’s pets Fox

The most famed Fox shotgun of every time certainly is the one the belonged to president Theodore Roosevelt. Together referenced in the quote in ~ the start of this column, Roosevelt took the total on his famed 10-month afri safari in 1909. The a FE great 12 gauge with 30-inch barrels choked full and also modified with twin triggers and also was presented to the previous president by Ansley Fox as a gift. In a letter come Mr. Fox, Roosevelt declared that his arrangement was to take it the total on his safari “loaded through ball” (slugs) primarily to be offered as a backup for lion and other dangerous game. Roosevelt subsequently offered the gun because that geese and ducks.

Theodore Roosevelt’s FE Grade, referred to as the most expensive shotgun in the world.

When he died in 1919 the shotgun to be left come his son, Kermit, that passed it down to his son, Kermit Roosevelt Jr. It remained in the Roosevelt family members until 1974 when it was sold to Fox chronicler Thomas Kidd, and then come an undisclosed the person who lives who, in October the 2010, placed the total up because that auction with James Julia. History was made when it sold for $862,500, the greatest price ever before paid in ~ auction because that a shotgun.

Another major event in ~ the Fox company in 1911 was the exit of Ansley Fox. If the firm founder knew a lot about shotguns, the had differences with his investor on exactly how to operation the business and also they bought the out. Fox left the pistol industry and several years later developed the Fox motor Company. He developed a vehicle with one air-cooled engine and also it was priced in the $4,000 to $5,000 range, competing with the highest priced Dusenburgs and also Stutz models. Just a few Fox automobiles to be built between 1921 and 1923, and also by the finish of 1923 the company went the end of business.

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Editor"s Note: This article originally appeared in the December 2018 worry of pistol Digest the Magazine.

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