The Fox TAC-1. The Carbine with a three-wheel combination lock

    I stumbled upon this “combination lock rifle” as I was reading some reports on how to prevent people from getting accidentally shot, and in all its simplicity it perplexed me.

    The Fox TAC-1 carbine was sold in the 1970s, and had a three-wheel combination lock design to prevent

    unauthorized use.


    The sales brochure marketed the device with the words: “Accidental and unauthorized firing is prevented by a patented and built-in combination lock safety (which can easily be set by owner to any of 1000 possible combinations)

    Back in 1971, Mr. Gerard Jerry Fox patented (US #3735519) a special purpose gun that immediately distinguished itself from the pack of carbines by incorporating a couple of head turning features. Marketed to the law enforcement, security, and corrections community, Fox’s semi-auto carbine was unlike any either before or since.

    To keep the community safe in case the gun was captured, lost, or stolen, it had a combination lock that blocked the sear from firing. Yes, that’s right, a three-wheeled combination lock that could be set from 000 (factory default) to 999, like on a bicycle security chain. Additionally, a battery cell could be fit in the buttstock that powered a cattle-prod type riot control baton capable of delivering an electric shock.

    Description from the patent, US #3735519.

    The buttstock can easily be removed, by the push of a button.


    Gerard J. Fox’s drawings.


    Looks like Samsonite made a rifle.
    Black & White vs. Color. Note different serial number. According to The Fox Carbine homepage, it was easy to change from 9 mm to .45. I guess the lower was the same?
    The trigger…looks interesting.
    According to DollarTimes, $163.00 in 1971 had the same buying power as $968.68 in 2016.
    There was also a Police edition of the Fox carbine, which had a battery cell fitted inside the buttstock. The battery powered an electrically charged riot control baton capable of delivering electric shocks.

    The brochure can be downloaded and viewed here (pdf).

    The Fox Carbine has a homepage, check it out here: The Fox Carbine.






    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6×6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.