Not that many of them would call themselves Spanish, because this is Basque country, and another example of how upset people can get when politicians and kings start drawing lines on maps.
However, this is no place for political history, so let’s have a look at one of the better modern guns to come from the region.
Back in 1977 the Beretta importers, Gunmark (now known as GMK), were looking for a reasonably-priced O/U to compliment their range, and hit on the Lanber.
It wasn’t exactly new to the UK – previous importers had brought it in under the names of Eibargun and – if you would believe it – Animo Express. Gunmark used its proper name, and to describe the venture as a success would be an understatement.
By 1997 they had sold 20,000, and it is still as popular as ever.
All of this means there are plenty of examples on the second-hand market.
Looking at a second-hand Lanber Sporter
With an importing history going back more than 30 years some of them will be distinctly the worse for wear, but a surprisingly large number are in very good condition, which says much for the soundness of the basic design.
In fact, design changes over the period have been subtle as well as few and far between.
If you are looking for something super-cheap, then avoid pre-1982 guns.
The first multichoke sporter came out in 1983, and the very few Deluxe Skeet and Trap models date back to 1984/5.
In 1987 the woodwork on the Sporter was re-designed by Sporting champion Barry Simpson, who worked for Gunmark at the time, and after that date the guns just got better as the years went by.
Current guns are the Field Deluxe, the 20-bore Field, and the Sporting Deluxe.
All have recommended retail prices of under £1,000, and most gun shops are currently offering very good deals.
> Low-profile action with barrels hinged on stub pins.
> Hammers are driven by coil springs on guide rods, are hinged from the bottom of the action, while sears hinge from the top strap.
> All guns have single, selective triggers, with the barrel selector incorporated in the safety thumbpiece.
> Woodwork is either varnished or oil finished, depending on the age.
> Most relatively recent guns have 14.1/4in stocks, with drops at comb and heel of 1.1/2in and 2.3/8in respectively.
> Newer guns have 76mm (3in) chambers and magnum proof, and there’s a choice of 28 or 30in barrels.
> Left-handed woodwork is available on request.
> No real weak points have emerged in over 30 years.
Recommended by many shooting coaches as an ideal first gun.
> Plenty on the market to choose from.
> Older guns may have fired many thousands of cartridges.
WHAT TO PAY
> The current Sporting Deluxe has a recommended retail price of £995, but deals in the shops can be £100 cheaper.
> £550 or a little more will get you a very good second-hand example, and we have seen prices as low as £250 for older guns.