The Fox Model B

Fox Model B-1

Around the first of August I start to get giddy. Almost the same feeling I had as a child around the end of November knowing Santa was only a month from visiting. I don’t get that wave of anticipation about Christmas quite like I did as a kid, however there is one day each year that brings on those youthful days of calendar watching. That day is the Saturday before Labor Day. Widely observed as a holiday here in the South, this day marks the opening day of dove season, a most sacred of days.

And with the anticipation comes the preparation. The gathering of shells and buckets- sunscreen and insect repellant- is almost ritualistic.

Fox Model B-2

As for what shotgun to bring along to pluck these tasty morsels from the sky there is little thought or hesitation as to what my pick will be. With all the choices at my disposal, I won’t be carrying the 870, or the 1100, not even my ol’ Ted Williams. Nope. I will cross the field and sit the stool with the same gun I have used for this annual excursion every year since I was eighteen, my fathers Fox Model B 16 gauge side by side. This was the first gun my old man purchased, with a little help from his uncle, using money earned from a hard, hot summer working tobacco. It is the gun he killed his first deer with. And I, too, carried it deer hunting for a few years. It has brought home squirrel and rabbit for the stew pot. But over all, it has been my go to wing gun- a faithful companion for many a blistering hot opening day.

Fox Model B-3

First produced in 1940 by Savage Arms Company (Savage Arms purchased A.H. Fox Co. in 1929) as an upscale version of the Stevens Model 311, the Fox Model B would be a strong seller for Savage until its discontinuation in 1988. The Fox Model B was offered in 12, 16, 20, & .410 bores with standard barrel lengths of 30, 28, & 26 inches in 12 gauge and 28 & 26 inch barrels for the 16 and 20 gauge models along with the occasional 24 inch barrel. All .410 bore guns were equipped with 26 inch barrels. The MSRP was $25.75.

Fox Model B-5

The Fox Model B shotguns sported a simplified version of the Anson & Deely type of box lock with a single underbolt and was accessed by a Scott spindle top lever. The hammer and sears were powered by coil springs which made for a hunk of gun, but one that would rarely see the inside of a repair shop. An engraving pattern adorn the sides and bottom of the frame.

Fox Model B-6

As were most American double guns from this period, the Model B’s barrels were built on the through lump system versus the chopper lump, the dovetail lump, or mono-block systems, which produced a wider gun across the breech. All but the .410 bore guns were sold with standard full and modified chokes in the 28 and 30 inch barrels and modified/IC in the 26 and 24 inch barrels. The .410 bore was sold with a full/full configuration. 12, 16, and 20 gauge guns were chambered initially for 2 3/4″. After the discontinuation of the 16 gauge in the early 1970’s the 12 and 20 gauge guns became available with a 3″ chamber. All .410 bore guns were sold with a 3″ chamber.

The Model B was equipped with “select” American black walnut forends and stocks with a gloss finish. A through bolt retains the stock and the forend is held by a spring tension latch that is self adjusting and will not loosen. Stocks were pistol grip type with a fluted comb and a corrugated black plastic butt plate. Guns from the mid 50’s on had a more ergonomic pistol grip and donned a black plastic grip cap. To begin with, forend style was a large version of the splinter style forend but was eventually changed to a beavertail forend. Simple hand cut checkering was used to embellish the stock until the mid 60’s when the pattern was changed to impressed checkering using a fancier looking pattern. The Model B had raised solid ribs for the first twenty years of manufacture, later switching to a ventilated rib.

Fox Model B-4

The Fox Model B is a true American working gun built for hard field use and to handle heavy loads with minimal discomfort. They are tried and true, and still readily available at gun shows or on gun store racks. I know the one I use is worth its weight in gold. The gun practically shoulders itself, has a fine rise and smooth follow. It has provided me many a fine meal and given me hours of companionship atop an upside down five gallon bucket tucked just in the weed line off the side of cut corn or sunflower fields. And it sits now patiently waiting the return of opening day. I only wish I could be as patient.


Chuck Hawks Fox Model B


By Roger Pettit

Disabled Marine with over 40 years of experience with firearms. I was disabled in the US Marine Corp in 1988 and attended Marietta College receiving a B.S. in Industrial Engineering (Cum Laude). I then attended Ohio University working towards a Master’s of Science in Environmental Science with a specialty in Environmental Engineering. I have worked for BATTELE, FEMA, NC SERT, NC CC&PS, NIOSH, Ohio EPA, & US EPA. I quickly became bored working in the engineering and financial sectors and started seeking employment in the security sector. I have been employed as a Fugitive Recovery Agent, Contractor and in the executive protection industry. There was an unsuccessful operation at the Durham Veterans Hospital in which I could no longer meet the demands of rigorous physical activity which led me to become a civilian instructor. I have received a number of high marksmanship awards both in and out of the service and have shot competitively most of my life. I am a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, NC DOJ CCH Instructor, Range Safety Officer (RSO), Metallic Reloading Instructor, and NRA Recruiter. I have had to use force-on-force in my lifetime and this real-world experience allows me to help my students prepare our students for both the intended and unattended consequences of utilizing deadly force. Over the years, I have taken a large number of people that have NEVER picked up a gun, and in the course of just a few hours, given them the skills and confidence to be well on their way to becoming proficient in the use of that firearm. I have two daughters and have learned that one can never have enough patience and nothing can be taken for granted. Our classes are taught in a comfortable classroom that is conducive to learning and an enjoyable experience.

3 thoughts on “The Fox Model B”
  1. A well-written article JB. I had my 1968 Model BSE 12 gauge modified into a “Coach Gun.” I was pleased at 19″ how well it patterned shot and slugs. Ejectors are stout and flawless and make for a quick reload. The single mechanical trigger is another benefit. I have done some other tricks learned by the “Elders” to prevent stock cracking and so far so good, plus added a little weight to the inside of the stock. Breaks down very small for travel.

  2. My father gave me a ???? “B” model 12gauge as an early Christmas present in the late ’70’s – early 80’s… Just can’t be sure. It was ( if I remember correctly) just barely legal by 1/4 inch. I no longer have that gun and have spent quite a bit of time trying to locate it or one like it. It shot great and was quite a conversation piece at camp due to the double triggers and it’s short length. It was basically a coach gun. If given the opportunity I would purchase another like it

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