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#269674 - 03/08/12 06:50 PM Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns
gw-smith Offline
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Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 33
Loc: Raleigh, NC
Looking for opinions on Galazan produced Fox shotguns from folks that have owned them or spent a fair amount of time shooting them. I shot a friend's 20 gauge today that was really nice. I commented on the gun and he insinuated it could be bought (as always he wants something else). For me this would be a fairly significant purchase and I would rather have a 16 gauge. But the opportunity is there at a fair price. Interested in any positive or negative thoughts before I lay out that much coin. I did a forum search and didn't come up with much in the way of actual reviews or opinions. Thanks.

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#269685 - 03/08/12 07:26 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
tut Offline
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Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 784
Loc: Retired FED
Go to the Fox collectors site. They have their opinions and for the most part they are pretty good opinions.

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#269698 - 03/08/12 08:19 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: tut]
Doverham Offline
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Registered: 01/20/10
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There has been some discussion about them on the SSM forum as well. Several posters there own one or more and will be able to provide some input. There are several 20 ga. CSMCs for sale on Gunsinternational currently to give you some idea on market pricing.
_________________________
Such a long, long time to be gone, and a short time to be there.

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#269701 - 03/08/12 08:55 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Chuck H Offline
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Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 13252
Loc: Torrance, CA
I visited CSM a few yrs back and looked at a friend's Fox in process, while we were visiting for a tour of the RBL line. The Fox parts were very well machined. When I saw the finished gun later, it was impressively finished. I would be proud to own a CSM Fox. I think you'll find the 20ga a respectable gauge for all upland use.


Edited by Chuck H (03/08/12 10:05 PM)

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#269705 - 03/08/12 09:51 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Bob Cash Online   content
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Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 432
Loc: Left Coast
I traded into this one for well south of 10K





20 gauge XE, 26" Full/Mod, DT, English, Exhibition wood, Skeletal butt, 5lb 11oz. 98+%
Thusfar I've only shot Skeet. I'm reloading 3/4oz Spreaders and I'm averaging 22's/23's. To say I love it would be a gross understatement.

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#269709 - 03/08/12 10:17 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Joe Wood Offline
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I don't own one but have been around several. The only criticism I have is the wood seems to be selected for figure only and not much importance given to strength. Both I have handled had the grain turning sideways in the wrist and head of the stock. One is already cracking and I'm afraid a slight sideways bump will complete the fracture. Just something to be aware of......and avoid.
_________________________
Names don't impress me, whether of man or gun, it's what they're made of that does.

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#269727 - 03/09/12 06:38 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: Joe Wood]
Dick_dup1 Offline
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Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 750
Loc: WI
I have 16 gauge I ordered from CSMC to my specifications including engraving and 'Fox' banner in gold.
It is as fine as any shotgun manufactured today and as fine if not better than any Fox ever manufactured. Many collectors turn up their noses at CSMC guns and therein lies the difference.
For collectors, it doesn't matter that much if the gun fits or every specification is to their liking, what matters is the gun is 100% original or as close to 100% as they can afford/find.
To a shooter, a gun that has a stock made to your specifications is a joy to hunt with and the ability to order a Fox with whatever other specifications you want is only limited by your resources and imagination.
So if you are ordering a 'Custom'(bespoke to some) Fox, it's as fine as any gun available today.
If you are purchasing on the secondary market it may or may not be a good value. Certainly if it doesn't fit you can tell yourself you got a good deal and either use as is or get it to fit.
For me the allure of the CSMC Fox was to get a gun made to my specifications 100%.
I don't think I would purchase one on the Secondary market.
My 16 gauge was also targeted at under 5# 13oz.
With 26" barrels it actually weighs 5# 9oz.
A joy to carry and a joy to shoot with 3/4oz loads.





Exhibition Circassian Walnut.-Dick

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#269753 - 03/09/12 08:29 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
L. Brown Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 7496
Loc: Iowa
Up my way, there are some guys who've done some of both. That is, start with an original Fox and then customize it--wood, metal, etc--to their desires. The result is some gorgeous guns.

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#269755 - 03/09/12 08:32 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Brittany Man Offline
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Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Midwest
First let me state that I have never owned a CSMC Fox but I have always wanted one & I have looked at many on the secondary market & a few CSMC display guns at various shooting events.
I had one on order but cancled my order when I ran into difficulties with CSMC over wood selection. Joe Wood is spot on in his comments that many of the CSMC foxes have poorly grained wood in the head & wrist. I would also comment that in my observation the workmanship varies significantly on these guns. Some are very nice & some I would not want to take home.
I discussed the workmanship issue with large nationally known dealer who has more than a few CSMC Foxes come through his shop. He concured & his opionion was that the quality depended upon the gunsmiths that were working for CSMC at the time the gun was made. He seemed to think that turnover in the highly skilled people at CSMC was significant.
My suggestion would be to look at as many CSMC Foxes as possible before making a purchase & choose carefully.

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#269756 - 03/09/12 08:35 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
eightbore Online   content
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Registered: 02/20/02
Posts: 11251
Loc: Maryland
G-W, what grade is the gun you are looking at?

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#269771 - 03/09/12 09:31 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
jmc Offline
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Registered: 06/13/03
Posts: 517
Loc: Virginia
I don't own one but a friend has an FE 20 ga that is outstanding in all regards although I can't say I inspected the layout of the grain at the wrist/head. It is however a beautiful gun and exhibits the highest workmanship. I believe it was ordered a little more than 10 years ago. I've made the same comment before - I only wish they did not scallop the action on the grades that were originally produced as flat e.g., C and X. That said, Bob's XE is out of sight!

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#269777 - 03/09/12 10:59 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Brittany Man Offline
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Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Midwest
JMC,

I looked at (and regret that I did not purchase)a used 20 ga CSMC CE at the 09 Vintagers shoot in MD. This gun had the flat back action & I was told the customer who ordered the gun wanted it exactly like the 20 ga CE on page 134 of McIntosh's book except for having 2 triggers. I was looking for a 16 ga & ordered a 16 ga from CSMC at the shoot. They would not build me one with a flat back action though that is what I wanted.
My point is that they have built at least one gun with a flat back action in the past & with the current cnc machineing of the actions I don't see why it would be difficult to do so.
That particular CE 20 ga was one of the nicest CSMC Fox guns I've seen & I don't remember the serial # or when it was built.

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#269790 - 03/09/12 12:23 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
jmc Offline
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Registered: 06/13/03
Posts: 517
Loc: Virginia
Brit - thanks for sharing. I was not aware that CSMC had made any without the scalloped action. I've never seen one and just assumed and really just prefer the plain action with rebates. I'll check the book tonight. I was at the Vintagers in 2009 but don't recall seeing that particular gun in the CSMC tent - probably overwhelmed by all the RBLs!

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#269791 - 03/09/12 12:25 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: eightbore]
gw-smith Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 33
Loc: Raleigh, NC
Originally Posted By: eightbore
G-W, what grade is the gun you are looking at?


It is a single trigger CE grade (20 gauge) - very similar in specs and condition to the one Steve Barnett lists on his site and GunsInternational. We haven't talked price yet.

Thanks for the comments everyone - I like what I hear. I only know a few guys that have owned them and nobody has regretted the purchase. All guns have pros/cons but doesn't sound like there are too many guys that were completely unhappy with their CSMC Foxes.

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#269793 - 03/09/12 01:00 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: jmc]
Brittany Man Offline
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Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Midwest
jmc

The CE 20 w/flatback action was not in CSMC's tent. The gun was in the tents close to the parking lot & sold 1st or 2nd day. It was owned by a former employee of CSMC (don't remember name)& the story was that the original owner of the gun had been very specific re. period style engraving & configuration on the CE & then later traded it back to CSMC for a higher grade. The gentlemen that had the gun at the Vintagers then purchased the gun from CSMC for the ammount Tony allowed the original owner on trade. He told me the name of the engraver who I recoginized as one of the engravers who did most of the higher grade guns & I'm thinking it was an earlier gun.
I'll stand on what I said about the varying quality of workmanship on CSMC Foxes in my earlier post but this one was first rate.
To be fair, all gunmakers have some up & downs in quality but IMHO CSMC Foxes & all Spanish gun makers vary more than I am comfortable with & each gun needs to be evaluated on it's own merit.

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#269794 - 03/09/12 01:06 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Wild Skies Online   content
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Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 410
I often wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat wondering why I dilly-dallied and didn't purchase this, the most beautiful CSMC Fox I could ever imagine. Every time I look at it I just shake my head...my never-ending search for the ultimate grouse/woodcock carry gun would have been satisfied.
http://www.foxriversporting.com/products/ah-fox-de-28ga-csmc
_________________________
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Since 1951

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#269830 - 03/09/12 06:32 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
L. Brown Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 7496
Loc: Iowa
That is indeed a gorgeous gun, WS. The only thing that might bother me is the drop. 1 3/4" at heel is pretty darned high! Don't think I've ever owned a gun with less than 2" DAH.

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#269845 - 03/09/12 08:19 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
bbman3 Online   content
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Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 2177
Loc: Georgia
I bought a CE 20 from Tony years ago that he had built to exhibit at the Grand American .It was truly a beautiful gun! Bobby

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#269864 - 03/10/12 02:40 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Model2128Ga Offline
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Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 77
Shop for an old Fox! I would much rather spend money for stock modifications or restoring an old original A.H. Fox than to spend anything for a CSMC shotgun. One thing that is not mentioned is that those high CSMC prices are mostly for modern labor cost to a gun with "very little" history. Be ready for a hefty loss if you decide to sell that CSMC gun later on.

21


Edited by Model2128Ga (03/10/12 02:42 AM)

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#269981 - 03/11/12 12:31 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
treblig1958 Offline
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Registered: 03/27/05
Posts: 2894
Loc: Pennsylvania
I noticed the stampings on the barrel of that 28 gauge, it would be great to have the original Fox stampings on those barrels.
They still are beautiful guns and built to your specs!!

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#269986 - 03/11/12 03:16 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Chuck H Offline
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Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 13252
Loc: Torrance, CA
I'm pretty sure comparing an original Fox to a CSM Fox is not a worthwhile endeavor. Kinda like trying to compare a 55 Vette to a 2012 Carbon Corvette. Which is better? ...depends.

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#269994 - 03/11/12 07:11 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: Chuck H]
King Brown Offline
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Registered: 06/02/02
Posts: 6355
Loc: Nova Scotia
Good point, Chuck. My preference as a dreamer would be for the original. Others are like those who buy the new iPads as marvels of technology (when all of them are magic to me).

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#270010 - 03/11/12 08:50 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Dick_dup1 Offline
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Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 750
Loc: WI
"I'm pretty sure comparing an original Fox to a CSM Fox is not a worthwhile endeavor. Kinda like trying to compare a 55 Vette to a 2012 Carbon Corvette. "

I would agree that only similarity is 4 wheels and a steering wheel for the Corvette comparison but the comparison to a Fox made in the early 19th century and a CSMC Fox is ridiculous.
Without CSMC markings on the firearm, one Fox will look exactly as another Fox and function the same. I haven't been into any Fox internally but I certainly think the CSMC Fox would be much better finished. 20th century engravers are long gone so if you want a Fox engraved by one of those guys, you have to find one on the secondary market.
If you want a finely engraved gun to you specifications as one could have made for you in the 20th century, then CSMC offers as a fine a game gun made anywhere in the world at a very competitive price and made in the USA where one can actually communicate with the maker or fairly easily go see your gun.
For me it was no-brainer for a 16 gauge Fox DE Special because there were only about 60 made in the 20th century and the chances of finding one made to my specs, new condition, are zero.
After collecting Supers and Model 21's for 20+ years, I know the pitfalls (not all, as there are always new scams out there) of purchasing used guns and the time and effort required. I decided that It wasn't worth the expenditure of energy/time because one, I couldn't find what I wanted and two, I could order the same gun made today from CSMC and in fact made much better. It's really time to get over this prohibition that some seem to have against CSMC Fox's and Model 21's.
There is a whole new generation of buyers out there that are enjoying these CSMC guns of which I have joined.-Dick


Edited by Dick_dup1 (03/11/12 12:44 PM)

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#270013 - 03/11/12 09:12 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
SKB Offline
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Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 2143
Loc: Colorado
I believe all AH Fox shotguns were produced in the 20th Century....
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#270019 - 03/11/12 10:23 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Chuck H Offline
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Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 13252
Loc: Torrance, CA
Dick,
The debate is all about intangibles like "soul", "character", etc..

I appreciate all that too. Like you, I would love to have one of those original DE's in perfect condition that just happen to be made to my dimensions, and in the gauge I prefer. Then, I would like to buy it for the price that was somewhat less than the cost of a new fully loaded pickup too. Lots of wishin'.

So, I think I'd do exactly as you did.

Regards
Chuck

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#270021 - 03/11/12 10:42 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
RHD45 Offline
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Registered: 10/08/07
Posts: 1522
I guarantee after 10 to 50 years of use that a CSMC Fox will have all the soul and character of the originals with similar use.Nothing nicer than a well used and maintained high grade shotgun to feast the eyes on.

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#270023 - 03/11/12 12:50 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: Chuck H]
Dick_dup1 Offline
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Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 750
Loc: WI
We agree, Chuck and RH.
Thanks-Dick
BTW for point of information, the CSMC Fox DE Special is an uncatalogued Grade. The engraving is deeper cut. I noticed this engraving style in the catalog and asked Lou about it and then ordered the DE Special engraving for an additional few $$.
I've seen one or two CSMC Fox's with this engraving, mostly in a bright finish, The one I have is case colored, subtle but up close very nice.


Edited by Dick_dup1 (03/11/12 12:51 PM)

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#270024 - 03/11/12 01:01 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
SKB Offline
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Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 2143
Loc: Colorado
The early lightly cut DE engraving pattern is most pleasing to my eye.
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#270028 - 03/11/12 01:50 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
GregSY Offline
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Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 1843
Why do people feel the need to use the terms '20th Century', '19th Century' etc.? Too many hours spent watching Antique Roadshow, I guess.

1) It sounds snobby
2) It forces the listener to then convert the reference to real
years.

It's not hard to simply say "1800's" "1900's" etc.

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#270033 - 03/11/12 03:10 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: SKB]
Chuck H Offline
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Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 13252
Loc: Torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: SKB
The early lightly cut DE engraving pattern is most pleasing to my eye.


I like the early C and D lighter engraving as well. If I were to do a custom Fox or order a CSM, it would be in the style of the early engraving.

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#270059 - 03/11/12 05:43 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Daryl Hallquist Offline
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Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 4429
Loc: Bozeman, Mt.
Here is my favorite C Grade style, made only around 1906. There were at least two other C Grade styles to come later. I like all of the early and modern Fox guns.





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#270064 - 03/11/12 06:40 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
bbman3 Online   content
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Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 2177
Loc: Georgia
Nice! Bobby

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#270101 - 03/12/12 07:27 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: bbman3]
eightbore Online   content
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Registered: 02/20/02
Posts: 11251
Loc: Maryland
Wild Skies, I am not sure who finally bought the 28 gauge you linked us to, but Tony was considering buying it back. Chances are that he did.

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#270184 - 03/12/12 06:15 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: Brittany Man]
Kutter Offline
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Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1207
Originally Posted By: Brittany Man
JMC,

I looked at (and regret that I did not purchase)a used 20 ga CSMC CE at the 09 Vintagers shoot in MD. This gun had the flat back action & I was told the customer who ordered the gun wanted it exactly like the 20 ga CE on page 134 of McIntosh's book except for having 2 triggers. I was looking for a 16 ga & ordered a 16 ga from CSMC at the shoot. They would not build me one with a flat back action though that is what I wanted.
My point is that they have built at least one gun with a flat back action in the past & with the current cnc machineing of the actions I don't see why it would be difficult to do so.
That particular CE 20 ga was one of the nicest CSMC Fox guns I've seen & I don't remember the serial # or when it was built.


When that flat back action gun was built (mid to late 90's?), the frames and other main parts were investment cast. The scallop design was cast into the frames. To make the flat back frame, the scallop was filled by (TIG?) welding it in on each side and finishing the frame then as any other.

There may have been another,,or two actions modified like that for customers, but I'm not really sure.


Since that time I belive CSMC has switched from investment cast to other method(s) of producing the frames and major parts.
Wire EDM and other sorts of CNC machining techniques I'd guess.
I'm not a machinist and don't know what it takes to change or stop and delete certain features from being cut with that type of machinery.
But that's what I know of it.

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#270389 - 03/13/12 08:28 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
gspspinone Offline
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Registered: 08/23/09
Posts: 168
Loc: CT
I was at CSMC today to pick up my RBL, was shooting the breeze with Lou who introduced me to a man named Lucas who has built every Fox that CSMC has ever produced except two (vacations). The comment earlier about CSMC having a high turnover of smiths would seem to be irrelevant when considering their Foxes.

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#270401 - 03/13/12 09:15 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Brittany Man Offline
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Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Midwest
If it's true that Mr.Lucas has built every CSMC Fox but 2, CSMC must be the only gun maker in the word that has one man build one type of gun all by himself.

Responsibility for the finished product or final assembly & finishing possiblty but "build" I seriously doubt.

I'm not doubting that Lou told you that but just think about that statement a little bit & read a few books about how high end shotguns are produced.

The comment made to me regarding turnover of gunsmiths at CSMC was speculation by a very informed person during a discussion of why the CSMC Foxes & CSMC sidelock O&Us seem to vary considerably in build quality. Possibly he was wrong about the Fox guns at least & Mr. Lucas is simply overwhelmed by all that work!

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#270407 - 03/13/12 09:36 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: Brittany Man]
Doverham Offline
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Registered: 01/20/10
Posts: 1183
Loc: Just hours from Paradise
I would love to see CSMC offer the engraving style found on Eisenlohr's No. 35 CSE (shown on p. 20 and elsewhere in MM's Fox book). That is one elegant shotgun and I wonder if that engraving pattern woudl take less time than the deep engraving style CSMC is offering as its "Special" design.

I gave some serious thought to buying a CSMC Fox but couldn't quite justify the investment - if they offered one with that CSE engraving, I would have to buy it.
_________________________
Such a long, long time to be gone, and a short time to be there.

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#270410 - 03/13/12 09:53 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Brittany Man Offline
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Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Midwest
Doverham,

I agree with you on the CSE. The most elegant of all Foxes IMHO.

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#270413 - 03/13/12 10:16 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Researcher Offline
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Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 4401
Loc: WA/AK
I'm sure if you asked, Tony would have your CSMC Ansley H. Fox shotgun engraved exactly like old No. 35. All it takes is liberal application of dollars.

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#270484 - 03/14/12 10:49 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: Researcher]
Dick_dup1 Offline
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Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 750
Loc: WI
Originally Posted By: Researcher
I'm sure if you asked, Tony would have your CSMC Ansley H. Fox shotgun engraved exactly like old No. 35. All it takes is liberal application of dollars.


Well almost.
If CSMC doesn't think they can do something well, then they will not do it. I wanted my initials on the trigger guard but blended into the engraving pattern and not in block or any other separate script. Lou didn't feel they could succeed. I commissioned another engraver with a degree in Art to complete a pattern that I could forward to CSMC. I had previously used the engraver for a small job which he did very well in 1930's style. Anyway, he never did the pattern and when when it was time to do the engraving, I had to go with standard trigger guard for the DE Special which is very nice anyway.

The comment

"The comment made to me regarding turnover of gunsmiths at CSMC was speculation by a very informed person during a discussion of why the CSMC Foxes & CSMC sidelock O&Us seem to vary considerably in build quality. Possibly he was wrong about the Fox guns at least & Mr. Lucas is simply overwhelmed by all that work!"

is what makes the Internet such a poor resource for facts. A second hand report of a 'speculation' by a person that in no way has access to the facts to offer an objective assessment.
I have been handling every CSMC gun I could get my hands on since I first met Tony at a CADA Show in Chicago in the early 1990's. They have all been very nicely made and the only significant variability I have found is the engraving and figure of the wood. Some I liked and some I didn't like. This is not 'build quality'.
If you obsess over things than you never will get a gun built to your specifications because no one makes the perfect gun.-Dick
BTW
"if they offered one with that CSE engraving, I would have to buy it."

No one is going to offer you anything. If you want that pattern, call CSMC and ask for it. I was very specific in what engraving I wanted on my Fox and except for the initials, it's exactly as I wanted.


Edited by Dick_dup1 (03/14/12 10:53 AM)

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#270510 - 03/14/12 01:27 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Brittany Man Offline
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Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Midwest
Mr. Dup

This post was started by a gentleman wanting an "opinion" on CSMC Fox shotguns. My Websters dictionary defines opinion as "a belief not based on absolute certainty or positive knowledge but what seems true, valid or probable to ones own mind" and I think my response accurately reflects this definition.

I agree with you 100% that engraving choice or wood selection has nothing to do with "build quality" unless the wood selection results in a structurally unsound blank.

I've wanted a CSMC Fox gun since Tony had a display @ the 1993 Grand American & I've looked at over a dozen guns since then & I've seen some very nice ones & some that in my opionion suffered build quality issues. Like I said before, each one needs to be evaluated on its own merit. I actually did give up on finding one that suited me in both "build quality" and configuration & despite my concerns, ordered & put a deposit on a CE grade in September 2009 at the Vintage cup. Part of the deal I made was that they were to send me 3 stock blanks to choose from. They sent me only 1 blank. A very beautiful blank but one that was very poorly grained in the head & wrist which I regected. Over the next 4 months I was repeatedly told they would send additional blanks. By the end of January 2010 I had still not received additional blanks s & was tired of fooling around & I cancled my order. To CSMC's credit they promptly refunded my deposit & someome else got to build my new shotgun. That is why I don't own one.

BTW I do own a CSMC Model 21 which has a few quality issues but is basically a good gun so I'm not anti CSMC. I just think this board is a place to post experiences & "opinions" both positive & negative so that people can make informed decisions based on their formed "opinions".

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#270520 - 03/14/12 02:33 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Clif W. Offline
Sidelock
*

Registered: 07/14/11
Posts: 200
Loc: AZ. USofA
While Tony is to be commended for keeping American Gunmaking traditions alive, the sun does not rise and set in his ass. I too have found that any honest opinion of his work is summarily shot down by his cheerleaders, not so much here, but you'd better duck over on SSM

For the record, I was a previous owner of an RBL 28 and have an Inverness on order. I realize these guns for what the are, very workable guns for the price paid.

Rather than spend 20k on a new M21, I will wait for an original that is within my limits of fit. While I have tempted to have a M21 made for me, I realize even if fit for me, it will swing like a pig on a shovel in comparison to one of my Purdeys -not bragging just realizing fact. But I am rare in that I have an affection for both, something that a CSMC 21 will never satisfy.

I feel the same for the Foxes, wait for an original one, therein lies the magic that a copy can never fulfill



Edited by Clif W. (03/14/12 02:34 PM)
_________________________
-Clif Watkins


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#270563 - 03/14/12 07:23 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
gw-smith Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 33
Loc: Raleigh, NC
Thanks everyone - I was looking for opinions - both positive and negative.

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#270573 - 03/14/12 08:23 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
gwsmith Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 115
Loc: Raleigh, NC
Anyone know why CSMC won't make a 12 gauge Fox?

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#270606 - 03/15/12 05:53 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Mark Ouellette Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 619
Loc: Michigan
Perhaps because there are so many of the original 12 gauge AH Fox guns available. Finding an original 16 gauge CE grade or higher in 70% of better condition that also fits you is tough. Plus the price af that original 16 gauge Fox will be high. One might as well have CSMC build them a new Fox.


Edited by MarkOue (03/15/12 05:54 AM)
_________________________
USMC Retired

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#270738 - 03/15/12 05:44 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: Brittany Man]
gspspinone Offline
Sidelock
*

Registered: 08/23/09
Posts: 168
Loc: CT
Originally Posted By: Brittany Man
If it's true that Mr.Lucas has built every CSMC Fox but 2, CSMC must be the only gun maker in the word that has one man build one type of gun all by himself.

Responsibility for the finished product or final assembly & finishing possiblty but "build" I seriously doubt.

I'm not doubting that Lou told you that but just think about that statement a little bit & read a few books about how high end shotguns are produced.

The comment made to me regarding turnover of gunsmiths at CSMC was speculation by a very informed person during a discussion of why the CSMC Foxes & CSMC sidelock O&Us seem to vary considerably in build quality. Possibly he was wrong about the Fox guns at least & Mr. Lucas is simply overwhelmed by all that work!


Lucas is the master gunsmith in charge of every Fox project that is built at CSMC...does that mean he strikes the barrels, checkers the stocks, engraves the actions, installs the beads,..etc on every one? No, of course not....no gunmaker to my knowledge has one man that does. It does mean that he oversees the manufacture of every component, creates a few himself and assembles each gun in the whole and times the action. His final step is quality control.

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#270793 - 03/15/12 11:38 PM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Brittany Man Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Midwest
gspspinone

So what you are saying is basically the same as my comments re. Mr. Lucas (actually I think his name is Louca if we are talking about a small Italian gentleman). In English gunmaking terms he would be called a finisher (final assembly & fitting) & a viewer (quality control). He really hasn't built all but 2 of the CSMC Fox guns as you stated earlier but is responsible for final assembly & QC.

That means other skilled workers such as barrel makers, stock makers, actioners & others are involved in CSMC Fox production & depending on their ability & skill level at the time any one gun is produced may have some impact on quality of the finished gun. It is not implausible to assume some turnover in personnel so the comments re. turnover resulting in some variation in build quality is really not all that far off base. I don't know if "significant level of turnover" is correct or not but that is how it was told to me & I can definitely see that build quality on some CSMC guns is a lot better than others.

I must say that some of you CSMC champions certainly are a loyal lot. You are either more fortunate than I am on the quality issues or perhaps less particular than I am.

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#270824 - 03/16/12 08:03 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Dick_dup1 Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 750
Loc: WI
"I must say that some of you CSMC champions certainly are a loyal lot. You are either more fortunate than I am on the quality issues or perhaps less particular than I am."

I have handled far more than a "dozen" CSMC guns and own four originally purchased by me so I know the ones purchased by me have been taken care of and I know the original condition and functioning when they arrived.
I'm not a "champion" and "perhaps less particular than I am" are both subjective comments that get no where in this discussion but simply serve to bolster my assertion that the Internet is "such a poor resource for facts".
As to wood, that is subjective and if you agonize over wood then that's your right. It doesn't mean that the build quality is variable.
If you have facts about your Model 21 build quality, then Post them.
I don't have any build issues with my CSMC guns and no failures as of the present. My latest, as 20/28 A-10 set has been shot only at SC for about 500 rounds with no problems.

I have still to read ANY specific build issues in this Thread and all I see Posted is subjective opinions.

Purdey's, who built what at CSMC, speculations about turnover, old Foxes, are not Germain to this discussion but only show the bias of the Poster.

Now you are correct in that the original Post did ask for opinions. and that is what is contained in this thread.
EOT for me.-Dick

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#270838 - 03/16/12 08:38 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Black and Tan
Unregistered


GW,

Thank God for small indulgences regarding definitions, nits and freedom of speech.

I do not own a CSMC Fox nor will I ever buy anything from Galazan again after my experiences with an RBL. I did not get what I ordered and paid for in form of wood. The fore-end would not lock up on the barrels and fell off every time I fired the gun. I received no end of "lip" and BS from Tony's praetorians in trying to resolve these issues. If you see a used Fox that is well done by all means have at it. If you order new, you are on your own with that bunch.

Just my opinion and my humble apologies to the flock of CSMC apologists.

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#270865 - 03/16/12 10:16 AM Re: Opinions wanted on CSMC Fox shotguns [Re: gw-smith]
Brittany Man Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Midwest
All,

I realize that we are beating dead horses here & this will be my last post on this subject but Mr Dup asked for specifics as to "build quality isues" so here goes.

As to Foxes (to the best of my memory). If I had known that I would need to defend my opinion I would have kept a log with dates & serial numbers but unfortunately I didn't.

2 that I considered for purchase & rejected because the bbls were not struck well & the ribs had ripples (I'm not talking about the matting but the straightness of the ribs). Both of these guns looked to be new & unused.

One that I specificaly remember that had to be slammed shut for the bolt to lock closed. Looked to me to be an unused gun.

5 or 6 guns that had loose forends that rattled against the bbls when you picked them up and squeezed the forend against the bbls. Some of these guns were actually CSMC display guns & another potential customer commented on this also while we were standing at the display and was told by a CSMC employee "These are display guns. Yours won't be like that"

The others I that can remember were rejected on subjective opinion as to general fit & finish. Subjectively I've seen some guns that I thought were quite well done but were not configured as I wanted.

As to CSMC 21 guns, my own personal gun was delivered with a loose forend (creaked & rattled againt the bbls), forend wood .072" proud of the metal at the bottom of the forend iron(looked like what you would expect on a Stevens 311), safety fitted so loose it had no positive detent in the safe position. Trigger pulls adjusted with the right bbl pull significantly heavier than the left(not the way it's supposed to be & if you don't beleive me read Schwing's Winchester 21 book on how Model 21 single triggers are supposed to be set up and why). CSMC did correct these issues but took 5 months to do it returned the gun with misstimed & buggered up screws & one of the screw counterbores in the forend latch plate burred up because someone @ CSMC used a screwdriver that was too wide to fit within the counterbore. When I complained they told me they would correct it but I would have to send the gun back at my expense (again). After 5 years of shooting I have used up almost all of the locking bolt adjustment to keep the bbls from rattling against the frame. What this means to me is that the gun was not actioned properly in the first place & the bolt is doing all of the work holding the bbls against the frame.. Based on my past experience with returning the 21 to CSMC I really dread sending it back to have it rejointed when I have the bolt adjustment screw totally bottomed out.

It does look nice, makes a good clays gun & I've had no other issues with it.

The issues with my CSMC 21 are minor compared to the problems a friend of mine has experienced with his but I'll leave any comments up to him if he wishes to expose himself to criticism on this forum.

I wanted to edit this post to clean up some typos & add a few clarification points to a post written in haste & add one final point that Cliff W. already touched on.

I do like the concept CSMC has of offering bespoke versions of American classics like the Fox & Winchester 21 shotguns & I don't want to see CSMC go away. I would still like a bespoke Fox & if I thought the probability was higher that I would be satisfied with the gun upon delivery I would order one from CSMC.

I do think (again "opinion" but I'm obviously not alone on this) that CSMC has some issues re. quality control & customer service that need to be addressed & I hope that they do address them. Not mentioning this when someone asks for an opinion on CSMC Fox guns is a diservice to everyone interested including CSMC. I really get tired of reading "all is wonderfull" reviews & comments on guns, cars & other things I have an interest in.



Edited by Brittany Man (03/18/12 04:08 PM)

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