The impressive new over-and-under from ATA Arms could be the next step in Turkey’s conquest of the UK gun market, says Jason Harris
We appear to be going through a kind of renaissance in the British shooting trade, with a variety of new guns emerging on to the market – many of these coming from Turkey.
Turkish ATA Arms are being distributed in the UK by Wildhunter, a company that has been making inroads with a range of sporting accessories and are now branching into the gun market.
Turkish shotgun innovation
The ATA O/U is really a game gun, being built on a light alloy action frame, giving an overall weight of 6lb 4½ oz. Although light, this gun seems to be solidly built.
There’s been a great deal of design inspiration taken from Beretta.
The action frame shape withdraws on the monoblock lock into the action frame in the same way a Beretta does. This is also true of the extractors and their trips in the fore-end. Also, the round cocking rods that run through each side of the action frame floor. However, that is where the similarities end.
The barrels are monoblock and appear to be chromelined. Barrels are multichoke with a set of five choke tubes. Chambers are 76mm with superior or Magnum proof and also carry the special steel shot proof. The guns are British proofed. The top rib is ventilated and 8mm parallel. It is matted to reduce glare and has a quality red hi-visability sight.
Side ribs are solid, but don’t extend back under the fore-end ood – another weight-saving idea. They also taper tighter between the tubes at the muzzle end. The barrel blacking is a deep gloss and the barrels themselves are nicely finished.
The outside finish is generally very good, as well as the barrels, the action frame has raised side panels finished gloss black. The forward knuckle part of the frame and the underside have been finished matt black to contrast. The fore-end is matt to match into the action frame.
The finish does all the talking, as there’s no engraving other than the maker’s name in gold, discreetly placed in the bottom corner of the raised side panel. It’s a functional gun and the engraving isn’t missed – it’s better for it.
The wood-to-metal fit is also very good – coming from Turkey there’s no excuse not to put good wood on. Obviously there’s a limit, depending on the price of the gun, but this ATA in particular is very impressive. It has a dull oil finish with a laser-cut chequer. The pistol grip is quite full and deep. There is a slight palm swell for the right hand. This isn’t quite right for a game gun – there’s a little too much wood – it makes more sense for a Sporter, but it has the benefit of making the gun comfortable in the hand.
The length of pull is 375mm or 14¾in, finished with a slim black recoil pad which has a harder heel to prevent snagging going into the shoulder. Drops are 61mm at heel and 39mm at comb. With 2mm right hand cast.
The fore-end nose is rounded and has an Ansonstyle push rod for release. Looking inside, the gun is nicely finished. The mechanism is held on the trigger plate, the hammers pivot together at the bottom and the sears are suspended above and behind and housed in a top section of the trigger plate, which slots into the underside of the top strap. Coil hammer springs are captive on rods so that the hammer rebounds and prevents striker drag. The gun is locked up by a U-bolt that protrudes through the action face. The action face itself is reinforced with a steel plate around the striker holes.
Resetting for the second shot is mechanical so the lightest cartridges won’t be any problem in this gun. The trigger pull feels good and crisp. The safe forms the selector switch, moving left and right to select either under or over barrel first and then forward for fire.
The safe is automatic return when the gun is opened after firing and the trigger itself is gold-plated. The gun comes in a semi-rigid breakdown case, with a suede finish. There is a small box with the spare choke tubes and key.
The ATA Arms lightweight field O/U retails for £835, which I feel is very good value for money.
One of the best Turkish guns I have seen - the Turks could become a real force to be reckoned with