The tradition of fine gusmithing, according to the English model, emerged in the Basque country following the battle of Talavera, when the troops of the Duke of Wellington and the Spanish resistance defeated Napoleon. At that time, crude steel was already renowned for its strong characteristics; and so English officers brought back bare Spanish gun barrels with them upon their return to England, for the use of London gunmakers.
This was the start of a long-lasting bond between London and the Basque port city of Bilbao, which still exists today. The Basques were sending ships to England with iron ore and brought coal back to Spain as backhaul. This close-knit commercial alliance between London and Bilbao led to an exchange of a variety of technologies and techniques, resulting in the Basques adopting the passion for fine English gun manufacturing.
Under the influence of King Alfonso XIII (° 1886), who had a great passion for driven hunt in Spain and England, this form of hunting became very popular with the Spanish elite. As a consequence, the demand for fine shotguns – which could fire a large number of rounds – increased; these fine guns were often issued in pairs and even triplets.
That is why Miguel Aguirre and Nicolas Aranzabal, founded their gun making factory Aguirre y Aranzabal in 1915, better known as AYA. With the support of the English company ASI (Anglo Spanish Imports), which had picked up AYA as a supplier in the mid 1950’s, they grew to become the most successful and respected gun maker in the Basque country.
Today, AYA is still known for its traditional artisan side-by-side guns and has its largest customer base in the United Kingdom. These guns are the best alternative for those who want a classic English shotgun, but who are not willing to pay London prices. Their range mainly consists of rifles with the Anson & Deeley system and the prenowned sidelock system of Holland & Holland.
Both systems offer the choice between a standard version and a upgraded version.
Eighty percent of AYA’s production consists of the standard sidelock rifle “N ° 2”, that can easily match many English guns. As of 2011, AYA issues two version of their “N ° 2”: a standard version and a “N ° 2 De Luxe”, for which a higher quality of wood is used; this carefully selected wood is identical to the wood used for their top model “N ° 1”. The “N ° 2 De Luxe” also carries a more sophisticated engraving.
The “N ° 1”-s are AYA’s top-tier shotguns and have a manual engraving. One can choose from a wide range of the proposed engravings from their catalog, or design your own personal engraving. The customized adjustments and designs are all finished to the highest standards, the barrels are made out of chrome-molybdenum, and only the finest wood is used.
Why choose an AYA shotgun?
Each AYA gun is specially made to order. As a result, each gun is unique and a true hand-made product. If desired, photographs of the wood blanks on AYA’s inventory can be sent to you by email, wherefrom you can select the wood that you wish to see used on your gun – and this is standard practice without surcharge.
To further personalize your gun, the stock can be entirely measurements made so that the rifle is a true extension of your arm at an additional charge of only 730 € . Naturally, all new AYA guns are proofed for the use of the most powerful steel cartridges.
Several of our customers who possess very expensive luxury weapons, choose AYA for their hunting trips around the globe without risking the loss of their more expensive guns. Likewise, we have customers whose expensive, older guns are not suitable to fire steel cartridges. They often opt to have a clone made of their existing gun by AYA to avoid this issue.
At the international arms exhibition IWA 2010 at Nürnberg, Germany, Mr. Inigo Lopez – director of AYA – sealed the successful cooperation with BLIKI, by granting us the exclusive dealership of AYA products in the Benelux countries.
Visit the website of AYA
Left handed AYA
At least 10% of all people are left handed. AYA creates shotguns which are specifically built for left handed customers.
BLIKI has these kind of shotguns in stock. Feel free to pay us a visit an try them yourself.
The extra cost of this comfort option is 1.960 EUR.
Ordering process of your AYA
Choose your gun type and system:
- Sidelock (No1 or No2)
Afterwards, we go through the list of options and specifications.
Many of these specifications are free of charge; such as:
- Chamber length
- Barrel length
- Color and harding of the bascule
You can then further complete your order to your liking with additional options:
- The round action
- The traditional receiver with tear drops
The rounded action receiver will result in an aerodynamic design. The sharp edges are removed, however - with this feature - the lining in the stock around the side plate will be absent with this feature; with the loss of the tear drops as a consequence.
The choice of wood
As from model “N ° 2 De Luxe”, high-quality grades of wood are used. You will receive photographs of AYA’s top-woods on stock; whereupon you can personally hand-pick the blank of wood of your liking.
A practical example:
Shapes of stock-grips & for-ends
The metal used, comes in several colors of your choice.
We have always standard guns on stock which we welcome you to try out.
Why not have a custom-made stock? In order to have individual stock measurements, we use a gun with adjustable stock. Whilst you shoulder the gun, we check if your eye is perfectly in line with the rib. The adjustable stock allows us to make the necessary corrections, in order to make your gun a true extension of your arm and for your aim-point to equal the point you’re looking at.
To conclude the ordering process, you can add several options, such as:
- Chromed barrels
- Exchangeable chokes
- Steel load tried and certified
- Single (selective) trigger
- Spare parts (Complete set of fitted spare parts)
- Initials engraved in the gold oval on the stock or on the trigger guard