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 Post subject: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:52 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 4:44 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Fremont County, WY
I am thinking about buying a used 12 gauge SXS. My budget doesn't allow for anything over $500 or so. Curious about what the opinions are about Savage/Stevens shotguns, particularly Savage-Fox Model B? Not really interested in Turkish SXS's.

What about Winchester Model 24's?




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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:19 pm 
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Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
I would take the Savage over the Winchester 24. I started early with a Savage 311 and that got be hooked on duck hunting. It is not a Purdey, but it is a good solid gun.

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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:28 pm 
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Parts MAY be hard to get, the interior springs etc., are not the best. I had the 20 gauge upscale cousin - the BSE (walnut stock, cut checkering and ejectors) and it did an ~OK~ job, but was very heavy for a 20. I bought a S&W Elite Gold, which is now the Cabela's Dickinson, made by AKUS in Turkey. True bone and charcoal case coloring, true Dickson triggerplate action; weight acceptable at 6#-5oz.

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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:37 pm 
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Location: Mid-Missouri
The “fox” model b is just a gussied up stevens 311. Both are reliable, utilitarian shotguns but neither of them will make your heart go pitter-patter. If you shop carefully, your $500 could also buy you a miroku-charles daly, an east german sauer or a swedish husqvarna. Maybe even a decent lc smith or a decent spanish gun. There are lots of good buys to be found in the $500 range if you stick to 12 gauge.

My advice: forget the name on the gun and start shopping your price point. Each day, go to gunbroker and conduct two searches. Learn how to use the site filters and look at:
1.) used side-by-sides listed in the past 24 hours with a buy it now price
2.) used side-by-sides ending in the next 24 hours
In both cases, sort by lowest price first. When you reach your max price stop looking (though make sure you look at both featured auctions and non-featured auctions. )

Do that for a couple of weeks until you get a feel for pricss and what’s available. Resist the temptation to jump too soon. The right deal Will come along. That said, if you see a great deal with a buy it now price then strike. Don’t play games. If you find YOUR GUN grab it!


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 4:44 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Fremont County, WY
Thanks a bunch for all the advice. It much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:41 pm
Posts: 252
Deleted for content


Last edited by sneem2 on Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:38 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:41 pm
Posts: 252
Not a big fan of Fox Model B. My father had one. Heavy. Poor balance. The barrels truly looked like they were made from steel pipes. You can do better in the $500-$600 range.
I would look at Lefever Nitro Specials. There is currently what looks to be a clean one on gunroker going for a $399.00 buy now price.


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:03 pm
Posts: 189
Everything already said about the Fox B and 311 guns is accurate. They are sturdy well built guns, but very heavy and not well balanced. Not ideal for upland bird hunting. The 311 in 12 gauge was my first shotgun. I used it to hunt pheasants, quail, rabbits, squirrels and ducks. Once I could afford better and knew what to look for in a light well balanced SxS for upland bird hunting I moved on to other guns. Some of the older SxSs like the Nitro Special already mentioned would be a better option. However with those older guns you are going to be dealing most likely with very tight fixed chokes. I know you said you did not want a Turkish gun. However, you should not write them off. With CZ's oversight on quality control on the Turkish makers, the new Bobwhite G2 is a very nice gun. It can be had new for a little over $500. You would be getting a light weight gun with choke tubes and a good warranty. I have one in 20 gauge and I am very pleased with it.


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:15 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:32 pm
Posts: 84
I will agree with the previous posters. The Fox you speak of is a Stevens for all practical purposes. Years ago my brother in law bought one new. It is heavy, poorly balanced and clunky. He is not a gun guy in the least, but after owning it for a short time and shooting it a few times he admitted that he should have bought something else. They didn't slap the name Fox on it for nothing. Name recognition sells, as it did with him.

There are better guns for $500 with a little looking and patience. Good luck in the search and may you shoot your choice in good health.


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:31 am 
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Location: Mid-Missouri
OP: Keep an eye on Simpson Ltd's "What's New" page. They get a boatload (literally) of cast-off European guns* every couple of months and begin listing them on their site one-by-one as they get photos and descriptions ready. You'll see a whole bunch of serviceable shotguns pass through at attractive prices.

You've got to be careful, though. Sometimes their descriptions are optimistic. The good news is that they post a few photos of every gun they list so you get a pretty good idea what you're going to get. Also, they accept returns if you're not happy.

Be prepared to send whatever you get off to have the chokes opened up, as a lot of these old guns are choked TIGHT. Also, they sell fast (sometimes within minutes of being posted).

anyway . . . . https://simpsonltd.com/whats-new/


* My understanding (which may be wrong) is that some European countries limit the number of guns a person can own. Consequently, a lot of older guns get sold off as people buy newer/better guns. Simpsons imports a bunch of these culls. A lot of the guns they sell show quite a bit of use and finish wear. Some have issues. You can assume these are not the best used guns Europe has to offer. These are the guns people could part with. Think of it like a really well-stocked Old World pawn shop. In fact, if you ever visit the store, you can't take it all in . . . plus only a portion of their inventory is on display. BTW, every Simpson Ltd gun will have an import stamp. Fortunately, they've invested in a precision laser engraver and the stamps are subtle and typically well hidden (often on the watertable of a double gun).


Last edited by Bladeswitcher on Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:39 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:52 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Michigan
On Michigan ARMSLIST there's a J C Higgins (311) that looks to be in excellent condition, even the steel pipes sneem2 talks about look good. I don't know if the price is right for those ? Maybe they will ship to your FFL for that $ ?

As for the balance people talk about I say hog wash. I've never seen a shotgun that the balance can't be changed, my shooting buddy can change the balance on his $$$$$ Zoli between stations if he wanted.

That being said I really do think the CZ is the better gun, much better choice. I know a CZ SxS shooter with thousands of rounds (skeet, SC, 5 stand) and his gun keeps clicking along just fine.

Don't be in a hurry the right gun will come along, don't be surprised if it's something other than the Savage-Fox Model B :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:17 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:04 pm
Posts: 471
I bought a 311 off the used rack at a LGS a few months ago for $275 - works fine, locks up tight, and it's kind of an interesting novelty (which is why I bought it). Kind of a Jed Clampitt thing at the skeet range.

But it would be close to the last gun I grabbed if I were going to go shoot something competitively. The chokes are tight - even tighter than marked - and there is a pronounced side to side bias in the pattern (they're level, but at 25yds the patterns barely overlap). I don't know if a B would be better.


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:02 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:41 pm
Posts: 252
Not being familiar with the CZ Bobwhite, after the recommendation I looked them up. Seems a lot of gun for the money. A new gun with warranty and choke tubes in your price range is a much better option than a used older gun with neither. Matter of fact, I may look into one myself.
The CZ Bobwhite is definitely worth a look and consideration. But don’t jump into anything quickly. Take your time and look around.


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5294
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
I had a Fox model "B" as a teenager. The balance & handling qualities weren't great & it worked until I destroyed it shooting Herter's wads. They were the first plastic wads I ever loaded & nobody told me I couldn't use the same data as I was using for fiber wads & I was too inexperienced to know. It started opening from recoil when fired so I got rid of it! I have had a number of 311 20 ga. guns & have used my present 311, 20 ga. over 30 years. It is still functional & handles much better than the 12 ga. version, IMHO! The lock up is their weak point. The closing lever is the only think that holds them closed! Still, if not abused & taken care of, they can provide many years of reliable service. As for the Win. model 24. I owned one of them also. It was very functional but unimpressive. The lockup was probably stronger than the 311 Stevens but again, handling was not great!


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:19 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 4:44 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Fremont County, WY
Thanks again for the advise and I plan on taking my time. I am not a competitive shooter, mainly I just shoot informally by myself. I do hunt though, so the shotgun will be carried out in the Wyoming sage and mountains for sage grouse and blue grouse.

The truth is I don't have the $500 yet and will probably have to sell another firearm to pay for it. I am not in a hurry, as I have other shotguns to use until I decide on a SXS.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:03 pm
Posts: 4148
Location: Mid-Missouri
gomerdog wrote:
The truth is I don't have the $500 yet . . .


Don’t let that stop you from looking. Start watching the gunbroker listings to get an idea of what’s available and what they bring.


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:11 pm
Posts: 1033
I have owned several fox model B’s and a few 311’s ( presently own a 311 16 ga.). Fine , solid guns but heavy and not well balanced. However , I do have a miroku / Charles Daly 500 20 ga. That is a pleasure to carry and shoot. Just my observations. Good luck in your search


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:02 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:52 am
Posts: 569
Location: Ohio
DoublesForever wrote:
Everything already said about the Fox B and 311 guns is accurate. They are sturdy well built guns, but very heavy and not well balanced. Not ideal for upland bird hunting. The 311 in 12 gauge was my first shotgun. I used it to hunt pheasants, quail, rabbits, squirrels and ducks. Once I could afford better and knew what to look for in a light well balanced SxS for upland bird hunting I moved on to other guns. Some of the older SxSs like the Nitro Special already mentioned would be a better option. However with those older guns you are going to be dealing most likely with very tight fixed chokes. I know you said you did not want a Turkish gun. However, you should not write them off. With CZ's oversight on quality control on the Turkish makers, the new Bobwhite G2 is a very nice gun. It can be had new for a little over $500. You would be getting a light weight gun with choke tubes and a good warranty. I have one in 20 gauge and I am very pleased with it.


I second this. With the quality of the CZ and their factory support in the unlikely event something goes wrong, there is no reason not to buy one over an older used utility grade gun. I know the turkish guns get a bad rap, but at one time so did Belgian, Spanish, Italian guns. CZ really upped the game here and at a very reasonable price.


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 Post subject: Re: opinions on Savage-Fox Model B 12 gauge SXS
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:10 pm
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Location: New Hampshire, USA
Earlier Turkish guns seemed to be plagued by weak firing pins, and I would like to think something as simple as that would have been corrected by now.




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