The AYA legend begins in the early days of the twentieth century, when Miguel Aguirre and Nicolas Aranzabal, two young gunsmiths from Eibar, the center of Spanish gunmaking, decided to perfect their skills under the tutelage of Eduardo Schilling, a German immigrant who had set up his business in Barcelona and had soon acquired a reputation for himself equal to that of the best London gun makers. In 1915, Miguel and Nicolas returned to Eibar and jointly founded “Aguirre y Aranzabal, AYA”. They make double barrelled shotguns in both side-by-side and over-and-under versions, in boxlock and sidelock versions, as well a double rifles, and all models share a common denominator: their exceptional quality.
AYA espouses an ethic based on excellence in craftsmanship, where guns are made and assembled by hand in a way which elevates each fine gun into a masterpiece. AYA is returning to its roots as leader in gun making in Eibar. By judicious investment in machinery and technology, AYA has not only become self-sufficient in the manufacture of parts for its own requirements, but it has also become the main supplier to the other firms in the area.
In this way, AYA is not only continuing a long tradition of gun making excellence, but it is also working to ensure that the whole of the Basque gun making industry can flourish in the future. Since 1945, AYA has produced more than 600,000 shotguns of different types and grades. At the present time, more than 100 years after its creation, AYA is positioning itself to face the challenges of the 21st century.