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…

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.

New Beretta 486 Parallelo side-by-side shotgun

New Beretta 486 Parallelo side-by-side shotgun: Beretta has included a side by side in their shotgun collection for a long time. The new 486 Parallelo (which means side-by-side in Italian) replaces the 471 but it is much more than a re-designed modernisation of an existing gun.

Baikal MP43 E-1C shotgun

Baikal MP43 E-1C shotgun review

Baikal MP43 E-1C shotgun review: With superior steelwork, strong mechanics and good performance, the latest Russian-made side-by-side should impress.