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 Post subject: A.H. Fox Sterlingworth 12 gauge SxS
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:43 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:27 pm
Posts: 2
Want to know the background info about a shotgun i recently inherited. It is an A.H. Fox Sterlingworth side by side shotgun. The model number/serial number is 65717. Any and all help is appreciated if you need pictures to help determine any characteristics just ask.

TYIA


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 Post subject: Re: A.H. Fox Sterlingworth 12 gauge SxS
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:21 am
Posts: 887
Location: Scotland
My listings would date that one 1912/1913. That is the only info I have but there are many people on the forum with more knowledge on these guns than I :)


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 Post subject: Re: A.H. Fox Sterlingworth 12 gauge SxS
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:15 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 3339
Location: WA/AK
Sterlingworth -- When Ansley H. Fox, was forced to add a lower priced gun to his line of graded Ansley H. Fox guns, in 1910, he didn't want to detract from the A.H. Fox Gun Co. name, so they dummied up "The Sterlingworth Company." The first year’s guns, beginning with serial number 50,000, were marked as being "Made By The Sterlingworth Company, Philadelphia, U.S.A." Actually the first few hundred were marked "Wayne Junction" instead of Philadelphia.

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They even produced a separate The Sterlingworth Gun Co. catalogue for 1910. These guns were built under the same patents as the graded Ansley H. Fox guns. The main moneysaving features were an American Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) stock as opposed to the more costly European thin shell walnut (Juglans regia) stocks on the graded guns, and the "Sterlingworth Fluid Steel" barrels instead of Krupp Fluid Steel barrels. Workmanship on these early Sterlingworths was generally excellent, better than graded guns from the 1920's and 30's. The early "The Sterlingworth Company" guns had a rounded front for the side panel of the frames. According to my list of observed specimens that was changed to the same pointed profile as the graded guns by #51,301.

In 1911 this field grade gun was added to the A.H. Fox Gun Co. catalogue as the Model 1911. "Model 1911" is stamped in the forearm iron (A very few graded guns made about this time are stamped Model 1910).

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The lowest Model 1911 serial number I've recorded is #53,140. All of these early Sterlingworths had a recessed hinge-pin head like Parkers, or Ansley's earlier guns made in Baltimore and the Philadelphia Arms Company A.H. Fox gun. The highest "pin gun" Sterlingworth serial number I've recorded is # 62,244. After that Sterlingworth hinge-pins are dressed smooth like the graded guns.

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1928 top, 1936 bottom
When the small-bores (16- and 20-gauge) were added to the Ansley H. Fox line they were briefly referred to in some flyers as the Model 1912, but I've never seen one so stamped. Graded 20-gauge guns have serial numbers beginning with 200,000 and 20-gauge Sterlingworths 250,000. Graded 16-gauge guns have serial numbers beginning with 300,000 and 16-gauge Sterlingworths 350,000.

Most of the Philadelphia produced S-worths had the word "Sterlingworth" roll stamped on each side of the frame. After production moved to Utica, Savage started using a "Fox-Sterlingworth" roll stamp.

When the Sterlingworth came out in 1910 it had a price of $25. The price stayed at $25 thru 1916, then climbed quickly to $55 by 1919. A.H. Fox Gun Co. reduced the price to $48 in 1922 and again to $36.50 in 1926. Workmanship of course declined.
Parker Bros. introduced their Trojan Grade at $27.50 in 1912. The Trojan’s price climbed like the Sterlingworth to $55. Parker Bros. kept the price and the quality of the Trojan high and sold about 33000 total. Fox began cutting the price of the Sterlingworth and sold well over 100000.

Savage kept the $36.50 price until June 1932 when they upped it to $39.50. On February 10, 1936, they upped the price again to $42.85 (the digits 2 and 8 are transposed in McIntosh's book). On February 1, 1938, Savage tried a price cut and dropped it to $35. February 1, 1939, they upped the price to $44.75. January 2, 1940, up again to $48.50. January 2, 1941, up to $52.65 and June 16 up again to $56.50. January 2, 1942, up again to $64.95.


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 Post subject: Re: A.H. Fox Sterlingworth 12 gauge SxS
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:35 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:27 pm
Posts: 2
Thank you for all the background! Will post pictures to help pin down date stamped. Does anyone else know of where I can get a better history of this specific gun? Thank you both for your responses!


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 Post subject: Re: A.H. Fox Sterlingworth 12 gauge SxS
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:45 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 3339
Location: WA/AK
You can get a letter on your gun from the Savage historian. For $40 Graded or $30 Sterlingworth (last prices I've seen quoted) you can get a factory letter on most any Ansley H. Fox shotgun (Philadelphia or Utica) from Mr. John T. Callahan, 53 Old Quarry Road, Westfield, MA 01085. The information exists on the factory work-order cards, probably 85+% of which still exist. Send him the complete serial number and a check, and he can do the rest. That would tell you the specifications of the gun when it left the factory.


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 Post subject: Re: A.H. Fox Sterlingworth 12 gauge SxS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:32 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:33 pm
Posts: 736
Owning and shooting old shotgun is fun and the Fox Sterlingworth is one of the very best. I shoot a Lefever I grade, which is really no grade at all, and the Fox gun. I find Parkers less handy than either but the lefever, for me, fits and swings best. While old guns are usually a little beat up I can find no reason to like new guns any better.

Sometimes early guns have a lower comb. New guns are usually straighter, but not all.


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