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20-bore ATA Arms SP Elegant Gold Game

The Turkish manufacturer is ready to challenge Italian dominance with its mix of high quality and unbelievable value, says Matt Hunt

ATA Arms SP Elegant Gold Game

20-bore ATA Arms SP Elegant Gold Game

Overall Rating: 98%

Manufacturer: ATA

Price as reviewed: £999

Almost two years ago, I was approached by the Editor of Shooting Times to write gun reviews. Those two years have seen the shooting industry face disruption and challenges not witnessed since the war years. There have been winners and losers in the gun trade, so I wanted to highlight what is, in my opinion, the standout gun of the past two years.

Appealing to the masses with exceptional value for money and a product range catering for every conceivable taste, budget and sporting use, the Turkish manufacturer ATA Arms has disrupted the gun trade in a way not seen since AYA’s arrival on the UK scene in the late 1950s. (Read more on Turkish shotguns here.)

A close look at the ATA Arms SP Elegant Gold Game

The latest addition to the ATA SP range of over-and-under shotguns is the 20-bore Elegant Game — a striking-looking sideplate game gun. As with the rest of the ATA SP range, the style and design mirrors the Beretta 680 series. The lines, shapes and styling of the ATA Arms SP Elegant Gold Game design are, I believe, among some of the most beautiful of all the over-and-unders available.

ATA shotgun

ATA SP Elegant Gold Game 20G

The review gun was supplied with 30in barrels and a factory-fitted multichoke system. The choke tubes are a simple and lightweight design based on a Beretta Mobil system — five choke tubes are supplied. The profile of the barrels adequately allows for the multichoke system, but you notice the swell at the muzzle when the gun is mounted.

The barrels are of monobloc design with chrome-lined tubes. The build quality is very neat, although ATA still feels the need to engrave over the external barrel joints. The top rib is a 6mm vented type, with a precise machine finish. The blacking of the barrels is a superb high gloss that gives a durable and traditional look.

Unfortunately, the barrel engraving of the maker’s name and ‘instructions for use’ is on the naive side, detracting from an otherwise stunning set of barrels. The gun has a 3in chamber and bears the fleur-de-lys CIP proof stamp for use with high-performance steel. That said, in a gun weighing a little over 6lb, I can’t see high-performance steel being that comfortable to shoot in volume. (Read more on guns that are proofed for steel.)

ATA Arms SP Elegant Gold Game

The quality of the wood is superb

The action depth is perfect to allow an adequate gap for loading, and the sideplate is slim and of the appropriate length to give the gun the correct lines aesthetically.

Although striking, the engraving lacks a quality feel. The shaded scroll and gold-inlaid game scenes are a bit loud for my taste. A simpler pattern would enhance the quality look of the gun. The action is finished in a bright and polished coin style.

The stock measurements will suit most, with a length of pull of 14¾in and a fairly standard 1½in drop at comb and 2in drop at heel. Different length recoil pads are not currently supplied to adjust length, but I’m sure they will come.

There has been a great improvement to the length of the pistol grip on the 20-bore model and it now has a more conventional pommel, more suited to a game gun. The fore-end shape has a deep belly to allow for the catch, but other than that I like the length and shape. The wood looks superb and is of Grade 5 quality. You do tend to get greater variances with Turkish guns when it comes to wood grade, so always have a good look around to find the best. Wax oil gives a matt finish to the woodwork.

ATA Arms SP Elegant Gold Game

The gun handles well, feeling fast and lightweight when shooting

Need to know

  • Manufacturer ATA Arms
  • Model SP Elegant Gold Game
  • Bore 20
  • Barrels 30in
  • Chamber 3in (76mm)
  • Chokes Multichoke
  • Rib 6mm vented
  • Grip Pistol
  • Weight 6lb 6oz
  • Importer Sportsman Gun Centre, 01392 354854
  • Price £999
Reviewing a shotgun

The top lever opens the gun with ease and there is a sense of quality


Operationally, the gun worked superbly and without fault, clearly demonstrating a good level of quality control at the factory. The top- lever opened the gun with ease and gave a quality feel on closing.

Being a game gun, it was fitted with an automatic safety that worked perfectly, although the shape of the safety was poor and not comfortable to operate manually when required.

The gun has a fast and lightweight feel when shooting. Its point of balance is perfectly on the hinge pin, making for exceptionally good handling. The trigger felt crisp and at no point during the test did it feel as if I was using a budget gun costing sub-£1,000. It was a pleasure to test this gun for my final review.

  • Action and barrels: Would be great if the engraving was better 19/20
  • Handling: You won’t find better in this price range 20/20
  • Trigger:  Absolutely nothing to improve. Perfection 20/20
  • Stock: Could be better finish, but quite exceptional  19/20
  • Value: Amazing. As good as guns 10 times the price 20/20


Is this the end of Italy bossing the market?