AYA English Game
First impressions: 4/5
This gun is undeniably pretty and is the archetypal English game gun harking back to classic patterns from a number of the great gun making dynasties. As you would expect for a gun of this type the wood was excellent and well shown off by the sleek lines, the engraving was of a traditional pattern and very well executed. I must admit at this point that by choice I would generally reach for an over and under over however that did not stop me really wanting to pick up this gun and start shooting.
Design, build and functionality 5/5
This gun was designed and built as a collaboration between Sportarm and AYA with extensive research being focused mainly on classic designs such as the Holland and Holland Royal Brevis. Barrel lengths are from 27” to 30”. Single or double trigger formats are available and you can choose between straight hand stock or pistol grip with guns being able to be “made to measure”. The chambers are 70mm with the barrels meeting the latest CIP standards and are steel shot compatible so can stand up to the rigours of modern cartridges. It comes with a fitted leather and canvas motor case.
Field Test: 4/5
I tested this gun on the clay ground at Lady's Wood, putting it through its paces on a variety of targets ranging from skeet to high tower and even for an over and under user like myself the clays kept breaking. The gun felt beautifully poised and came up to the shoulder and onto target before you had even really thought about it. The gun feels even lighter and more manoeuvrable when you start shooting, I really enjoyed this but I can see it not being to everyone’s taste. For the more traditional types of game shooting such as grouse, partridge or early season pheasant this gun would be perfect however maybe not surprisingly it would not be my first choice for extreme partridges and pheasants.
Value for Money 4/5
My debate here was whether this gun is a reproduction and should be viewed against buying an original or whether its is a new concept and should be compared against its modern peers. In the end I decided it’s a combination of the two. In either category it holds its own for value for money. If you looked for an equivalent from the 1920s then you would struggle for this money to find one in mint condition from a decent maker. Compared to modern offering is stands out as a bit of a unique gun even saying that it appears better value that the other AYA models or equivalent guns from other manufacturers.
This gun really seems like an innovative step forward in the market, harnessing design highs from historical models and combining that with modern technology and technical know how to produce a beautiful and useable gun. I can see this gun really appealing to someone who wants the glamour and looks of the 1920s combined with top quality modern gun making. I really enjoyed shooting with it and it even made me question for a fleeting moment whether maybe I should revisit shooting with a side by side. I would however recommend anyone who is potentially interested to thoroughly test this gun as the lightweight design and handling will not be to everyone’s taste.
- Type: Shotgun
- Mechanism: Side by Side
- Make: AYA
- Calibre: 20 gauge
- Model: English Game
- Barrel: 30"
- Weight: 6lb.1oz.
- Origin Spanish
- Stock: 15"
- Choke: 1/2 & 3/4
- Trigger: 2
- Ejection: YES
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