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There has been much talk about AyA's of late so I would like to make a few observations  after years of working on them .Like all makers they had ther ups and downs so there were periods when the guns seemed better than at other times .There were also many different models made for different markets some of which were only seen in very small numbers in the UK , hence the frequent confusion as to which model is which .

All makes of guns have inherent problems which is due to design  taking into consideration materials , production methods and manufacturing costs .

AyA's IMHO are very good guns for the money although in recent years the cost of buying new has rocketed  , but second hand can and does give excellent value  .

So here's a couple od common  problems , they all have a "knock in " joint pin that do come loose with heavy use and a very small tolerance on the cover plate so fitting a lager one ,. This also means the guns can tend to shoot loose comparatively quickly  . Add to this , again in my eyes,  the bolts do not have a deep enough cut ramp that engages with the barrel bite so when the gun does come loose there's very little to build up to increase the bite . Minor points but thats the way they are made   .

No 2's   [all the sidelocks for that matter  ] had a long standing problem with strikers breaking and or distorting , but this was eventually sorted with the redesign of the striker which can be fitted to most No2's without problem and the older ones with a simple modification to the disc .

OK the wood was always pretty plain buy not many broken stocks and the checkering could be a bit deeper ,so yes the Crown Sables , Arazagbalaga's , Grulla's and Arrieta's did have better and more attractively finished guns , but personally the AyA's seemed better built 

Without rambling on and on I will conclude that AyA's are good guns but they do need to be maintained and if they have been then no problem  . Like buying anything else second hand you need to be on the look out   for as much original finish on the action as possible , check for tightness in the action, in boxlocks check the locking screws on the body pins are not chewed up from frequent removal .That there is no movement between stock and action and that the barrels are clean and sized .

Yes I would buy one and as an English gunmaker /gunsmith as much as it goes against the grain I did recommend them to customers over decent English guns  knowing their  budget and intended  usage .

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Gunman said:

There has been much talk about AyA's of late so I would like to make a few observations  after years of working on them .Like all makers they had ther ups and downs so there were periods when the guns seemed better than at other times .There were also many different models made for different markets some of which were only seen in very small numbers in the UK , hence the frequent confusion as to which model is which .

All makes of guns have inherent problems which is due to design  taking into consideration materials , production methods and manufacturing costs .

AyA's IMHO are very good guns for the money although in recent years the cost of buying new has rocketed  , but second hand can and does give excellent value  .

So here's a couple od common  problems , they all have a "knock in " joint pin that do come loose with heavy use and a very small tolerance on the cover plate so fitting a lager one ,. This also means the guns can tend to shoot loose comparatively quickly  . Add to this , again in my eyes,  the bolts do not have a deep enough cut ramp that engages with the barrel bite so when the gun does come loose there's very little to build up to increase the bite . Minor points but thats the way they are made   .

No 2's   [all the sidelocks for that matter  ] had a long standing problem with strikers breaking and or distorting , but this was eventually sorted with the redesign of the striker which can be fitted to most No2's without problem and the older ones with a simple modification to the disc .

OK the wood was always pretty plain buy not many broken stocks and the checkering could be a bit deeper ,so yes the Crown Sables , Arazagbalaga's , Grulla's and Arrieta's did have better and more attractively finished guns , but personally the AyA's seemed better built 

Without rambling on and on I will conclude that AyA's are good guns but they do need to be maintained and if they have been then no problem  . Like buying anything else second hand you need to be on the look out   for as much original finish on the action as possible , check for tightness in the action, in boxlocks check the locking screws on the body pins are not chewed up from frequent removal .That there is no movement between stock and action and that the barrels are clean and sized .

Yes I would buy one and as an English gunmaker /gunsmith as much as it goes against the grain I did recommend them to customers over decent English guns  knowing their  budget and intended  usage .

 

 

Very interesting, thank you for posting 👍

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interesting...................

i concure with everything you say.........i had 2 aya #2.........and both in the early days had the same problem............those of you who remember Darlows in norfolk will remember Frank........a proper gunsmith of the old sckool who loved working on sxs's..........

my pins failed on both aya's and i took them to Frank...and said more or less what has been written in the post...and he made a new set of pins for both guns......and i never ever had a problem with the guns for decades after that.......

i chose the guns for the wood...the wood was plain good grain and even thro the grip......okay they didnt look fancy ..but were very sound...the wood was oiled and easy to keep fresh..as the guns were used for game and rough......

:good::good:

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1 hour ago, London Best said:

Thank you, Gunman. As always, told like it is by someone who knows what he’s talking about, and no BS.

:good:

Have to admit to being a tad selfish here, but we know that Gunman did a lot of work with W&S and something similar -  should Gunman have the time and the inclination - for their 700 series would be well received - and not just by me.

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44 minutes ago, wymberley said:

:good:

Have to admit to being a tad selfish here, but we know that Gunman did a lot of work with W&S and something similar -  should Gunman have the time and the inclination - for their 700 series would be well received - and not just by me.

I’ll second that proposal.

Can we have a vote on it, Gentlemen?

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2 hours ago, London Best said:

I’ll second that proposal.

Can we have a vote on it, Gentlemen?

Yes please, another vote for some information about the W&S 700  (and apologies for diverging from the AYA topic).   I always make a point of reading advice posted here by the UK professional gunsmiths, which contrasts with a more brutal approach described on certain websites from other parts of the world (eg, action tightening by the big hammer technique or the shim + superglue method).

I’d be very interested to learn more about the non-replaceable hinge pin, having once been advised not to buy any 700 series gun that shows even the slightest sign of looseness, because re-jointing could prove very expensive.

Some people have suggested that the action frame and hinge pin were made from one solid piece, but that would seem difficult to achieve by traditional engineering processes (turning, milling, shaping, grinding, etc).   Was it really machined from solid, or was the pin turned in the normal way and then fitted in a way that made it non-removable?

And does the hinge pin itself on the 700 series tend to suffer much from wear, or can looseness usually be cured by building up the hook with TIG? 

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Rereading my post , the point I made about the joint pin should have concluded that the one thing that really needs to be looked out for is that when the top lever snaps home fully and there is the slightest play or looseness in the action between the barrel and the face ,is the time to have the bites attended to . After this the wear rate as with AS WITH ANY OTHER  gun , will increase rapidly .

This may be  after many thousands of cartridges ,or continuous use of heavy loads and should be picked up and attended to  when the gun is serviced , which should also pick up any other problems such as strikes as previously mentioned  

It is not a problem that should prevent anyone from buying an AyA but can mean the gun will last far longer and I was regularly seeing guns from the 60's that were still in excellent condition  that needed little work at all .

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12 hours ago, The Heron said:

Being an enthusiastic aya owner myself I found it a very interesting and informative article. 👍

Yep. Always shot their XXV box or SL although I did try 2 real ones but they were far too small in the hand for me. That is until recently when I spotted a nice 700. No sooner had I got it and liked it disaster struck in the shape of arthritis. I had tripped over a very light 20 bore which was still good to go and then I got lucky. I got my hands on a XXV 702 at a tad over 6lbs which is manageable. The sad thing is is that I have to return the Zoli  to my step-son who gave it to me. Tried to shoot it on saturday, could just about lift it but swinging it was no good at all. Cleaning it was literally a pain. A little fed up about this as, yep, at the end of the day it's just a Zoli but it's one of a limited batch and somewhat special - the sort of thing that you simply enjoy owning. Shame.

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1 hour ago, wymberley said:

Yep. Always shot their XXV box or SL although I did try 2 real ones but they were far too small in the hand for me. That is until recently when I spotted a nice 700. No sooner had I got it and liked it disaster struck in the shape of arthritis. I had tripped over a very light 20 bore which was still good to go and then I got lucky. I got my hands on a XXV 702 at a tad over 6lbs which is manageable. The sad thing is is that I have to return the Zoli  to my step-son who gave it to me. Tried to shoot it on saturday, could just about lift it but swinging it was no good at all. Cleaning it was literally a pain. A little fed up about this as, yep, at the end of the day it's just a Zoli but it's one of a limited batch and somewhat special - the sort of thing that you simply enjoy owning. Shame.

Yes I have written on here before about my love of my xxv it owes me nothing and I would not part with it. 

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On 18/10/2020 at 10:20, Gunman said:

There has been much talk about AyA's of late so I would like to make a few observations  after years of working on them .Like all makers they had ther ups and downs so there were periods when the guns seemed better than at other times .There were also many different models made for different markets some of which were only seen in very small numbers in the UK , hence the frequent confusion as to which model is which .

All makes of guns have inherent problems which is due to design  taking into consideration materials , production methods and manufacturing costs .

AyA's IMHO are very good guns for the money although in recent years the cost of buying new has rocketed  , but second hand can and does give excellent value  .

So here's a couple od common  problems , they all have a "knock in " joint pin that do come loose with heavy use and a very small tolerance on the cover plate so fitting a lager one ,. This also means the guns can tend to shoot loose comparatively quickly  . Add to this , again in my eyes,  the bolts do not have a deep enough cut ramp that engages with the barrel bite so when the gun does come loose there's very little to build up to increase the bite . Minor points but thats the way they are made   .

No 2's   [all the sidelocks for that matter  ] had a long standing problem with strikers breaking and or distorting , but this was eventually sorted with the redesign of the striker which can be fitted to most No2's without problem and the older ones with a simple modification to the disc .

OK the wood was always pretty plain buy not many broken stocks and the checkering could be a bit deeper ,so yes the Crown Sables , Arazagbalaga's , Grulla's and Arrieta's did have better and more attractively finished guns , but personally the AyA's seemed better built 

Without rambling on and on I will conclude that AyA's are good guns but they do need to be maintained and if they have been then no problem  . Like buying anything else second hand you need to be on the look out   for as much original finish on the action as possible , check for tightness in the action, in boxlocks check the locking screws on the body pins are not chewed up from frequent removal .That there is no movement between stock and action and that the barrels are clean and sized .

Yes I would buy one and as an English gunmaker /gunsmith as much as it goes against the grain I did recommend them to customers over decent English guns  knowing their  budget and intended  usage .

 

 

Very informative post GM I Myself using a aya no3 magnum wildfowling found it very nice to read a post from a shooter who knows what’s he’s talking about Sidenote “what’s your opinion on AYA NO3 magnum” mine beaver tail fore end pistol grip etc I did email aya few years back my gun was made 1979 have to say very well built I would someday like to see the model “super solway “ 

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Hi l had a aya guns one was a 10gauge matador. One was a 12gauge it was the same as the 10gauge, same  fore end and pistol grip, it was single trigger and two and three quarter chamber. Would it be called a matador. I had a similar 12gauge  that had a three inch chamber but it was a double trigger. I didn’t know that there were so many models. My friend had a over and under aya.

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