Although it’s a new design, the ATA Venza has a good deal of tried-and-tested principles, says Jason Harris
ATA was founded about 60 years ago and has flourished into a thriving gunmaking business. Its guns are made in Turkey and a range of O/U guns are already available here in the UK. The latest in the manufacturer’s large range of semi-auto shotguns is the ATA Venza. It is something new, but there are a good deal of tried and tested design principles in this gun.
The test gun has a khaki-green finish to the action frame. There are also options to have black, bronze or grey. The black finish is anodised and the other colours are Cerokote, which is a very durable baked on finish developed in America, and used extensively in the defence industry.
The gun is effectively a gas-operated semi-auto, with gas from the fired cartridge being bled off through ports or holes in the barrel where the fore-end loop is attached. The gas then pushes a piston back, taking the action bar and bolt back to eject the fired cartridge and reload for the next shot.
If heavy loads are fired, the gun is cleverly designed to move the barrels back under recoil. In doing, so exhaust ports are opened and any excess gas is allowed to dissipate through holes in the fore-end cap. This makes for recoil being reduced on heavier loads and is also gentler on the gun.
The barrel on this gun is 26in, though 28in and 30in barrels are also available. The gun carries British proof, as Turkey is not a member of the CIP reciprocal proof agreement. The chamber is 3in or 76mm, and is proofed for magnum cartridges and special steel-shot proof. The top rib is thin, parallel, vented and matted to reduce reflection. There is a small red foresight.
Blacking is glossy and gives a nice quality finish. There is a set of five chokes with the gun. These are stainless steel and 70mm long to give a smooth taper to the choke profile. The threads are at the muzzle end so the tubes can be kept as thin as possible, which in turn keeps the barrel profile as uniform as possible. The gun weighs in at just under 7lb. This is achieved by the action frame being made from aircraft grade aluminium alloy, the trigger group is polymer – or plastic as most of us know it.
The receiver shape has an angular sloping back. And although the lines of the gun are straight and square, in section and length, it somehow hides this and the impression on the eye is of a rounded action with smooth lines. Internally, the trigger mechanism and bolt design owes a lot to the Beretta 300 series, so much so that if the parts were not in the gun and I was asked where they came from, I would have said the Beretta. And let’s face it that’s a pretty good gun to emulate. That’s where the similarity ends though. The gas system is all ATA’s own work as far as I know. All of this suggests that the Venza should be a good reliable gun.
The test version has a walnut stock and fore-end, which is Grade 2 walnut so it has a bit of figure and good colour. The woodwork is quite contemporary in its shape, with laser cut chequered patterns to compliment it. The pistol grip feels just a little cramped and I wonder if it’s because the comb is quite forward compared to the curve of the grip. There are a number of shims that come with the gun. So cast and bend can be altered to suit. If desired the safe can be changed round to suit a left hand shooter. Length of pull is 14½in, including a thin black rubber recoil pad.
Internally, the ATA's trigger mechanism and bolt design owes a lot to the Beretta 300 series - a pretty good gun to emulate.