Tuesday, January 10, 2012

AyA’s #2 Round Action Is A Very Sweet 16

It’s hard for me to believe there isn’t a 16 gauge scattergun in my safe. I’ve owned five since 1997, 3 SxSs, an O/U and a pump, and somehow I’ve traded them all away. Three trades off-loaded problematic guns; I’d be delighted if I could put either of the other two back in my safe tonight. Too bad life doesn’t work that way.
I find the 16 gauge to be the most aesthetically appealing of the SxSs. In 28 gauge, the SxS’s barrels can look a little like Olive Oyl’s arms, specially if those barrels are 28” or longer.

Worse for me is the bug-eyed look at the fences of the 12 gauge SxS.

In 16 gauge, the SxS looks just right.
As a “rough shooter,” I often carry my gun in one hand while fending off brush or pine boughs with the other. I’ve found the squared-off base of the standard sidelock action occasionally to be the slightest bit uncomfortable in a one-hand carry. When I found a round bar action 16 made in the style of best British guns, I was hooked. So the new apple of my eye is the AyA #2 Round Action.

Ain’t she sweet? Michael Yardley gave her a nice revue. I really want my 16 to weigh 6 pounds 4 ounces (actually, I’d like all my upland shotguns to weigh 6-4). I’ll not be too dogmatically specific in my demand, though, so I’ll settle for that dream weight plus/ minus 2 ounces. With that in mind, I’m thinking of buying a used gun whose weight will not be promised but actually confirmed with a simple scale. I can also fire a used gun to verify its barrels’ regulation.
I’d use such a gun almost exclusively for open field work over flushing spaniels. It’d be fed a steady diet of 1 oz. quality lead #6 loads, whether for pigeons used in training, or for hunting pheasants. Fixed chokes of ¼ and ½ would be good, as would a modern recoil pad in a subdued hue. When I find such a marvel, I may not wait long to pull the trigger.