The Fox Carbine

The History of Gerard Fox and the Fox Carbine.

 

The story of the Fox Carbine actually begins with the Eagle Carbine which was developed and manufactured in small numbers in the 1960's. A man by the name of Bill Ordner. developed the .45 ACP Eagle Carbine, patterned around the M3 Grease Gun.

Bill owned the Eagle Gun Company, which he operated out of his house in Stratford, Connecticut. The factory where the Eagle Carbine was actually manufactured, was located in northeast Pennsylvania. Bill would travel to the factory to proof fire new stock and pick up shipments of Eagle Carbines for resale to dealers.

The Eagle Mark I, followed later by the Mark II version, were the first of several open bolt carbines to be manufactured and sold in the 1960's. These were followed by the Spitfire, the Apache and the Commando Carbine which appeared in the early 1970's. All were semiauto carbines that fired either .45 ACP or 9mm pistol cartridges using surplus Thompson, M3 or Sten magazines.

The Spitfire gained special attention as it was later determined a machinegun by the ATF. It was discovered during testing that if you hold down the safety while pulling the trigger, the gun would fire full auto. This was a major flaw in the design, and one that caused a reclassification.

In 1967, a company call Meriden Firearms was incorporated and began business as the exclusive distributor of the Mark II Eagle Carbine. The man behind the business was Gerard J. Fox, commonly referred to as Gerry. Gerry believed the Eagle Carbine had limitations, but thought it would be a good start for developing a replacement firearm. In 1969, just as the business seemed to gain some traction, a fire broke out in the Pennsylvania factory destroying the inventory, parts and much of the tooling. Now both Bill and Gerry were very opinionated to say the least. They just could not come to terms as to how to retool and reorganize, so they decided to part company.

Gerry was convinced a new gun replacing the Eagle Carbine would do better in the marketplace. It was at this point that Gerry teamed up with John Hoover and formed the TRI-C Corporation. Gerry began a redesign based upon his experience and what he felt would be appealing to both the public and especially, law enforcement. After countless hours of designing, trial and error, a completed prototype was in hand which would ultimately come to be known as the Fox Carbine.

Manufacturing began soon afterwards in space rented in a factory building on Cambridge Street in Meriden, Connecticut. Sales saw limited success and the business was further hurt by the recession in 1974 and 1975. In 1976 a fire broke out in the factory which destroyed the building and damaged much of the inventory, equipment and tooling. With no real hope of recovering the losses, John resigned as Vice President. Gerry gathered the remaining assets in hopes of finding a buyer of what was left and the rights to manufacture.

In 1977, Gerry struck a deal with Dean Machine Company, a small manufacturing company in Manchester, Connecticut. As part of the agreement, Jerry was hired on as President of a subsidiary called FoxCo.

Gerry continued until a falling out with Dean Machine, which spelled the end of FoxCo name, however not the end of the Fox Carbine. The company reformed and began manufacturing under the name of Demro. The carbine was essentially the same, but it was no longer Fox. The new name was the XF-7 Wasp.

Today, the Dean Machine Company factory sits vacant in Manchester, CT with a large sign on the front that reads "ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN-UP IN PROGRESS AT THIS SITE". It is rumoured that the original owner moved to Florida after the plant closed. I have also been told that he passed away a couple years ago. I have yet to uncover any more information so I would welcome any input.