AYA Model 25: A classic side-by-side shotgun

Eric Sof

AYA has a long and good reputation for the production of shotguns to a wide variety of specifications, ranging from “working guns” to “best guns”, and their Aya Model 25 is a classic side-by-side shotgun in the English tradition. Today, the gun is known as AYA XXV/SL.

Design

The walnut stock is straight, without a pistol grip, and is lightened by two longitudinal holes plugged at the butt end; both it and the short and tapering fore-end are well finished and carefully checkered. The barrels are lighter and shorter than is usual so that the principal weight lies in the center of the gun and it balances well.

AYA Model 25 - 12 gauge shotgun
AYA Model 25 is a 12 gauge shotgun (Photo: AYA Firearms)

The action uses internal hammers and double triggers, and the smooth stock permits the hand to be moved rapidly to shift triggers between shots. The top lever opens the gun and sets the automatic safety, while the action of opening the gun cocks the hammers. As the gun is closed, the ejectors are cocked and the double under bolt locks the gun firmly. The barrels are usually provided with modified choke on the right and full on the left, and these produce tight patterns.

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Based on Churchill Model XXV of London

These short, light, and centrally-balanced guns are not to everyone’s taste; in broad terms, this gun has been based on, if not copied from, the Churchill Model XXV of London, and Churchill had his own ideas on what constituted a good gun and on how to shot it.

Robert Churchill was an English shooting instructor who developed an E.J Churchill XXV – a 25-inch barreled shotgun. He combined his short barrels with a special high, tapered rib which gives the shooter an optical impression of length. The XXV was especially popular with shooters of smaller stature and retains a following to this day.

Technical specifications

Manufacturer: Aguirre & Aranzabal, Eibar, Spain
Type: double, side-by-side
Gauge: 12
Barrel: 25 in (635 mm)
Weight: 6.25 lbs (2.83 kg)

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