side by side shotgun

A side-by-side shotgun is where the barrels are literally placed side by side.

The first examples of this type of shotgun were created in France in the 1730s, with barrels held together by soldering. Previously the barrels were kept in place by the stock.

Today an English side-by-side is a sought-after shotgun by many. We have many articles and reviews covering the subject of side-by-side shotguns which you can read below.

If you’re looking for a review of a particular side-by-side shotgun, then visit our review section here, which covers every side-by-side our experts have looked at.

 

AYA No.2 28 bore

AYA No.2 28 bore

Spanish gunmaker Aguirre y Aranzabal (AYA) admits that “a true work of art does not simply appear out of thin air”. The more cynical amongst you might chuckle at this seemingly tacit admission that much of the output of its Eibar factory has been inspired by the work of craftsmen – particularly English craftsmen – who came before. This, however, is…

side-by-side hammergun

Don’t discount second-hand side-by-side shotguns

A: English boxlock shotguns represent fantastic value for money because they are rather unfashionable at the moment. The Italian over-and-under carries all before it. A boxlock made between the wars or just after World War II is a classic handmade sporting gun. So is a hammergun. Both represent very good value for money in the current market. Assessing a…

Winchester Model 23

Second-hand guns for gamekeepers and clayshooters

Winchester Model 23 Side-by-side classes in major sporting contests don’t seem to be as popular as they were, which is a pity because they formed a friendly link between clay and gameshooting. Nevertheless, using a side-by-side for club Sporting targets can be great fun, as well as sharpening up the reflexes ready for the autumn. Of course,…

Man with shotgun

What’s the best cartridge load for standard driven pheasants?

Q: As we move towards the pheasant season can you recommend the best cartridge load for standard driven pheasants, and I don’t mean 60-yard skyscrapers? A: I think cartridges are very much a personal preference and I would say that whatever gives you confidence when you are shooting is the correct cartridge for you. Shooting is a mental game…

side by side shotgun

Fausti Dea British double-barrelled side-by-side 20-bore

Fausti is a name probably not that familiar to many shooters but I would predict that is about to change. The company was formed in 1948 by the Honourable Stefano Fausti and is now run by his three daughters. I do not know if that is unusual in Italy but in Britain over the years a number…

pigeon shooting

Choosing the right shotguns and cartridges for pigeon shooting

What type of gun for pigeon shooting? Over-and-under The over-and-under is my preference for pigeon shooting because the design aids the shooter. You have a single sight plane, which naturally takes your vision out to the bird. The pistol grip ensures you grip the gun properly and aids in absorbing recoil. It’s far more versatile with…

double trigger 12-bore

Newnham double-trigger 12-bore

George Newnham is listed as setting up in the gun trade in 1866 and by 1905 the name, as on this gun, had changed to Newnham Limited, though still at 29 Commercial Road, Landport, Portsmouth. The company survived until around the start of World War II, with another change of name to Newnham & Co circa 1924.…

AYA No 1 action

The AYA No. 1: the best gun I never had

When I edited the very first issue of Sporting Gun, back in 1977, I asked Fred Buller of Chubbs of Edgeware, then one of the country’s leading gunsmiths, to nominate the best new gun for a newcomer on a limited budget. Without hesitation, he recommended the AYA Yeoman. In the era it was a tough but well-balanced, sweet-handling side-by-side boxlock –…

John Blanch

A “sleeper” by John Blanch and Son

The John Blanch shotgun is that ultra-rare item, a shotgun that has lain unused for most of its existence; what is called, in the trade, a “sleeper”. In more general terms “barely shop-soiled” would be an accurate description of condition. What is a sleeper? Why is it that often a fine gun is put away…

F.A.I.R. Iside Deluxe 28-bore side-by-side

F.A.I.R. Iside Deluxe 28-bore side-by-side

There is always something attractive about small-bore guns that is difficult to define. Whether it is the small bore size that accentuates the slimness, the lightweight, dainty action size, ultra-fast handling or, more likely, a combination of all these factors, there is no doubt they are much admired. Also, in…

Midland Gun Co shotgun

How to find bargain British side-by-side shotguns

It is not surprising that even those shooters brought up on the modern imported over-and-under sometimes cast an appreciative eye at British side-by-side shotguns, because they are fine and distinctly attractive pieces of work. Usually lighter and handier than most over-and- unders they are for many shooters still the ideal game…

AYA English Game

AYA English Game

Recent years have seen the rise in influence of vintage style on modern culture. From clothes and hairstyles to interior and product design, the replication of an idealised past is a phenomenon seen throughout history. From Hesiod, Plato and Ovid envisioning a rustic, rural world free from toil or grief in the…

Belgian 12-bore sidelock

Before World War II, if you could not afford to buy an English gun there was the option of an economy Belgian alternative. Of course, not all shotguns proofed in Liège were cheap; the Belgians produced some stunning examples, if not always quite to the British taste, and they were major world…

AYA No. 2 de Luxe

AYA No.2 de Luxe

Any sportsman or woman looking to buy a new side-by-side will almost inevitably find a gun from Aguirre & Aranzabal entering their thoughts whilst perusing the shelves of the local gun shop. Yet there is plenty of competition for a side-by-side at this sub-£10,000 price point. There are a vast number of second-hand English guns on the market, and recent…

man holding shotgun

One gun fits all

The telephone at shooting schools invariably starts to ring more frequently once the first pheasant shoots of the season are behind us. Right now mine is busy with shooters trying to find answers as to why their early outings have not met with the success they had expected. I’ve asked…

Chopitea Side-by-Side 12-bore Boxlock Ejector Shotgun for sale

A private seller is selling this great example of a Chopitea Side-by-Side 12-bore Boxlock Ejector Shotgun for sale at £325! This gun is in excellent condition especially considering that it was manufactured in 1973. The barrels show some light signs of use but are in good condition. The bores are…

Side-by-side shotgun

Should I shoot game birds with a side-by-side or over-under?

Tradition will always be on the side of side-by-side shotguns despite over-unders growing in popularity in recent years as more people enter game shooting via the clay shooting route. But don’t be afraid to go back. Edward Watson explains why those who use over-under shotguns shouldn’t be afraid to try…

Beretta 486 Parallelo review

Beretta 486 Parallelo shotgun reviewed by Shooting Gazette

Apparently, it’s amazing what a difference a couple of inches can make. In the case of the Beretta 486 Parallelo – Beretta’s only side-by-side shotgun – a set of 30” barrels transforms this gun from a bit of a curate’s egg into a serious contender for a spot in anyone’s…

September date for Side-by-Side Championship

Side-by-Side Championship: This year's British Open Side-by-Side Championship will be held at the Aktin Grant & Lang Shooting Ground in Hertforshire on September 20.