Choke barrel determination

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Choke barrel determination

Postby cmbx » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:56 pm

Good afternoon,
I am new to this forum so please forgive my naivety. I have a question regarding a Fox Sterlingworth that I inherited from my grandfather. It is a Sterlingworth 16 gauge serial number 361306, so I believe it was manufactured about 1926. Can you tell me whether or not there are any chokes on the barrels? I am familiar with Ithaca where choke type is stamped on the barrel like MOD or improved cylinder etc. I assume I should limit this shotgun to bird shot rather than something like 00 buckshot or any steel pellets. If buckshot can be used, I have read that it should never be fired from a shotgun with a choke smaller than improved cylinder or modified (i.e., full choke). Hence the reason for my question. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! (There are no add-ons such as a poly choke) Thank you.
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Re: Choke barrel determination

Postby Jeff S » Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:43 pm

A 16 ga. Sterlingworth is a nice gun. It’s a pretty safe bet that it had some choke when it left the factory, but it could have been altered. Checking it with a barrel micrometer is best. Sometimes grandfathers cut barrels. How long are the barrels right now?
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Re: Choke barrel determination

Postby vaturkey » Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:33 pm

Post a close up of the ends of the barrels on this forum and we can probably tell you whether it was cut or not.
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Re: Choke barrel determination

Postby Researcher » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:44 pm

There were no choke markings on A.H. Fox Gun Co. guns. Here are the Sterlingworth pages from a 1919 A.H. Fox Gun Co. catalog.

1919 Sterlingworth picture.jpg


1919 Sterlingworth text.jpg


There were no changes to Sterlingworth specs through the last A.H. Fox Gun Co. catalog in 1929. Normally the 32-inch (Trap) and 30-inch (Standard) came full & full. The 28-inch (Field) came modified & full and the 26-inch (Brush) came cylinder & modified. Other borings were one of the few options on the Sterlingworth.
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Re: Choke barrel determination

Postby Double O » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:00 pm

Welcome cmbx!
Incredible knowledge is available here about Fox shotguns.
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Re: Choke barrel determination

Postby cmbx » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:34 pm

Fox IMG_0356.JPG
Fox Sterlingworth
Fox IMG_0360.JPG
Fox Barrels
Fox IMG_0355.JPG
Sterlingworth
Fox IMG_0360.JPG
Fox Barrels
Fox IMG_0355.JPG
Sterlingworth
I appreciate all the help. The barrels are 30". I believe from the posts that both barrels would have a full chokes, but I am unsure.
I have attached some pics of my grandfather's 16 gauge. I doubt that the barrels have ever been cut.
Thanks again for the quick responses.
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Re: Choke barrel determination

Postby vaturkey » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:54 pm

IMO, the have not been cut. A good barrel guy can fix the gaps between the barrels on the ends.
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Re: Choke barrel determination

Postby Researcher » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:13 pm

How long are those barrels? They look pretty long in the pictures. One should never use steel shot in these old doubles. They were made for lead and nowadays if one needs non-toxic shot one can use bismuth or "Nice Shot" loads from RST. From back in the days when these guns were being made I don't recall ever reading any restrictions about the use of lead buckshot.
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Re: Choke barrel determination

Postby Stan Hillis » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:01 am

He stated, below the last pic, that the barrel set is 30".

Only a gauge will tell for sure, but I believe they are choked M and F. Pretty sure I can see the difference in wall thickness at the muzzles.

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