View Full Version : Noooooooo! Grandpa's shotgun

November 27, 2008, 08:11 PM
Got a new gunsafe as an early Christmas present today. I put all the longguns in there and remembered that my great-grandfather's Fox Sterlingworth (yeah, it's a post-Savage '33ish model I think) was still broken down. I went to put it together when I noticed the barrel wasn't locking up. I looked at the tang and the thingamagig that you thumb over to break the barrel is stuck on the tang. It won't swing all the way in line with the barrel.
So, then I thumbed it over to break the barrel again and noticed that it had dinged the stock and bitten into the tang enough to scratch the metal.
So, after five minutes of throwing up, I gave up and decided I could only do more harm.
I've never been able to figure out what grade it is, but I am supposing it's a fancy one that wasn't well cared for before I got it and was cleaned, broken down and stored when I did get it. I've seen similar guns for sale for $1,600 and up.
It needs serious TLC and the receiver fixed for starters. I do not want to send this to Clem the gunsmith at the local shop. Can someone recommend a smith who works on these old guns?

B. Lahey
November 27, 2008, 08:26 PM
Don't feel too bad, at least it's fixable. My grandfather's Fox shotgun was a victim of Katrina. Old doubles don't react well to being submerged in salty chemical sludge for weeks, as it turns out. Ugly.

Dave McC
November 28, 2008, 09:05 AM
The Sterlingworth was the utility grade Fox shotgun. Made with the same internals and design of the upscale versions, it sold for a lower price point and had little decoration and plain wood.

It's an outstanding shotgun.

Fox shotguns are still made by Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing. Owned and operated by Tony Galazan, the Fox guns are highly decorated and start at around $9k.

Common prices on working Sterlingworths run up to $1500 here, even though they're not flat black and belt fed.

This is well worth fixing. Not going to be cheap though. Good doubles smiths charge about what good surgeons do. Give Galazan a call.

Try Briley also.

And Doug Turnbull Restorations.

In your shoes,I'd bite the bullet and get it fixed. It's a part of your heritage.

November 28, 2008, 03:07 PM
It's a part of your heritage.

It does my heart good to see things like that in posts. Nothing torques my angst worse than seeing folks basically throw away heritage, history, and memories of kin folk and passed on loved ones.

November 28, 2008, 03:17 PM
In your shoes,I'd bite the bullet and get it fixed. It's a part of your heritage.
Sometimes, you just gotta do the right thing.

November 28, 2008, 08:44 PM
Really not that hard to take apart. Here's a few pic's of one that I did ( Had done ) I used Kirk Merrington to do the things I could not. He does really good work.

November 29, 2008, 12:18 AM
The Sterlingworth was the utility grade Fox shotgun.

This doesn't appear to be a 'utility grade' shotgun. It is moderately engraved and has case coloring remaining on the metal under the foregrip. But, maybe that's utility for those days.
Thank you all for the help. Although I'm strapped like everyone else and have a baby on the way, keep your fingers crossed for me this week. I've got an important job interview with life-changing and shotgun-restoring money on the line.

December 1, 2008, 05:24 PM
If it's a Sterlingworth, it's very likely a "low-end" Fox. Nice gun but a "stripped" model in its day. Could somebody later had it engraved?

December 3, 2008, 04:44 PM
As far as I know, the Sterlingworths were available in several grades according to how heavily they were engraved. Was it a department store gun? I think everything my great grandfather ever owned was from Woolworth's or Sears. Given the condition it's in, no one spent a minute caring for this gun, much less spending an armload of money getting it engraved.
I do know that the gunsmith I'm sending it to is having me insure the broken receiver for $1,000. That tells me something.