In the early twentieth century. two young budding gunsmiths from Spain, Miguel Aguiire & Nicolas Aranzabal began their apprenticeship under a German immigrant named Eduargo Schilling in Barcelona. Schilling had already acquired a high standing reputation in Spain, being compared as equal to the best gun makers working in London.
After Miguel & Nicolas completed their training they returned to Eibar. In 1915, together they founded Aguirre Y Aranzabal, or more commonly known as AYA. Their beginning years were difficult, amid the first world war and then the Rif war following in 1920.
Their guns were noticed in 1938, mainly making boxlocks & sidelock shotguns. Even though the guns were seen as reliable they were not classed as a high standard best gun. Being more seen as an entry level and middle market guns.
It was not until the mid 1950’s that AYA was able to flourish with the help of Andrew & Peter King, who happened upon the gun makers while holidaying in Spain. Upon their return to Britain the King brothers agreed to help AYA produce a English style shotgun specifically for the British market. This led to the production of the AYA model No 1 ‘deluxe’.
With the help of ASI, the firm which was founded by the King Brothers, AYA was now able to distribute their shotguns to the UK. The English style AYA model No 1 ‘deluxe’ was compared to the best English guns, but were sold for a fraction of the cost.
The close working relationship between AYA & ASI was vital for the expansion of AYA. Allowing them to distribute guns abroad. The companies still continue their strong relation to this very day.
From humble beginnings, AYA has continued to grow and challenge the best English guns on the market. Since 1945, they have produced 600,000 shotguns ranging from entry level to finest grade.