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Our story - part 4...     back    next

Away from the simulator

Now feeling more confident about where I was aiming we had a few trips to Southdown preferring to concentrate on particular stands until we felt we had learned something.

Back at Headley we did the 60 clays over 9 sporting stands, some were easier and some not so much but we decided since these stands were relatively consistent on each visit this is where we would track our progress. 

Still not making great strides we booked to do the advanced tuition at Headley and had some instruction on a couple of the stands, again I was told to see about getting my gun fitted.

The other Aaron in the shop at Southdown suggested I tried a combraiser so we stuck a pad along the top to see if it would improve things at all.

This we tried but my success was erratic to say the least.

I think the truth of the matter is gun mount inconsistency.

Too much time too much chat

Every evening after shooting we would spend our time chatting about our day and looking at guns - I guess it had just a bit of an addiction.

We had watched a competition and seen a couple of people shooting side x sides.  We then realised that there was a veteran S x S class.

I had noticed Pete looking at them on guntrader and, guess what, I started looking too.

Little Spanish side x side

I completely fell in love with a little Spanish gun - cheap as chips but so pretty! Pete noticed that I kept going back to it on Guntrader.

We were looking for another road trip and I was looking for a little 'gun prettying' project so this was it!

Atkin Grant and Lang - St Albans Hertfordshire!

We set off at the crack of dawn and drove up to see it.  She was prettier in the flesh so there we were - gun No 4!

Although it clearly had little class, it did have hand detachable sidelocks, an articulated front trigger, ejectors and was fitted with gas vents, all probably meant to appeal to the English market, but making me feel she was not your average cheap Spanish side by side.

We were desperate to know a bit more about this gun, researched all the proof marks and drew a bit of a blank.

There was some engraving on the barrels which said "Made in Spain for LL Personne & Co Ltd England "

I posted on facebook S x S group which drew some comments that helped us along.  It took a while but we finally identified this little gun as an Armas EGO "Florenitino Arizaga" makers mark JZ.

We took it apart one day to have some work done and found EGO under the tang behind the trigger guard.  I could rest easy now lol.


Little Spanish Side x Side

Hammer Gun

Not to be outdone and it was his idea initially I guess, Pete decided to look for a hammer gun.

A few weeks later the choice was made.

We decided to get this one RFD so it was sent to Southdown Gun club for us to collect.

Gun No 5!!

"My little SxS 12 gauge hammer gun.  well she is a beauty as you can see.. for those of you that know about SxS’s she has a Greener type Crossbolt locking system and action Side clips too. We have absolutely no idea of the maker or the age yet as we can’t decipher the proof marks. We will take it to the gunsmiths when we next visit and ask for some help with identification.

Side clips refer to the little extensions on the back of the frame that are intended to dovetail into the bevelled recesses on the end of the barrel chambers. They are to help keep the barrels from moving in a sideways plane during firing Side clips are pretty cool to look at but have one big disadvantage …they are sharp and it’s easy to cut yourself on them.

She is choked Full and Full and is cast slightly left but easy to shoot and everybody smiles when they see her at a clay shoot. My aim is to open the chokes to ½  & ½  and get the cast adjusted for me. Recoil is easy for me and Jan too [so don’t be put off trying one just from stories you might hear] but DO be very careful of battered finger syndrome !!  I think I absorbed all the recoil though my middle finger against the trigger guard!  Yikes it hurt…so much so I bought some finger sleeves, a purpose built finger protector for the trigger guard and started wearing gloves to help with the gun grip. I’m hoping that getting some right hand cast on the stock will help me hang on a bit tighter and give my finger a rest"


Italian (maybe??) Hammer Gun

It has to be said these are fun to shoot but you must remember they are generally auto safety and double trigger which takes a bit of remembering and grip the straight hand stock tight otherwise you could end up with alll the recoil back though the trigger guard onto your middle finger!

Unfortunately Pete seemed to suffer this to extremessad

Quite by coincidence (apparently) a 12g S x S with a pistol grip (easier on the fingers) multi choked and a single trigger popped up for sale at Southdown Gun Club Gun Room

I bet you can't guess what he did? cheeky


Fabarm Beta Lux

I have to say, handling this gun feels the same as an over and under, the only difference of course is the sight picture.

You guessed it -Gun No 6!!

Fabarm is a well-known Italian firm based in the Gardonne region of northern Italy, an area famous for its gun-making.

It is a mass-produced side-by-side with a recoil-activated single trigger and interchangeable chokes and it has a unique four-lump bolting system. Unlike the vast majority of side-by-sides which utilise twin Purdey-style lumps the Fabarm has four lumps that enter corresponding slots in the action table. It’s a very strong-looking arrangement but not especially elegant.

The barrels of the Fabarm Beta are rather unusual, too. They are bored on what the firm describe as the Tribore system.  Essentially, the Tribore arrangement involves a barrel with an extended forcing cone leading into a wider than average bore (18.7mm or 18.8mm rather than the standard 18.4mm)

My 30in barrelled, 7lb+, slightly muzzle-heavy gun seems really steady, very comfortable and seems to have many of the handling qualities of an over-under. She’s a great gun but I will have to have some minor adjustments made to the stock to make it suit my gun down mount before I can shoot it well enough to be happy.


Fabarm 12 gauge Side by Side

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