AyA History - in short
AyA was founded 1917 by Miguel Aguirre and Nicolas Aranzabal to make locks for the trade in Eibar. Their apprenticeship had both done by Eduardo Schilling (from Germany) in the town Catalonia.
1938 Augustin Aranzabal headed the firm and also expanded the business to complete guns. There are no AyA guns made before 1938.
Spain which had suffered a civil war before the second world war was declared neutral in the war and when the second world war ended 1945 the gun industries was unharmed by bombing and other destructive war efforts.
By 1953 the company had expanded to become the largest gunmaker in Eibar with over 500 employees, not to count all outworkes who also worked for AyA. Over the golden years from 1950 to 1965 the annual production was approx. 20 000 guns per year.
But the economic recession in the 70-ties and the change in gun fashion from Side-by-Sides to over&under guns brought the company to the face of bankruptcy. By mid 70-ties there was only a few employees left in the company.
1981 AyA was one of many firms in Eibar that was brought together in DIARM (Desarrollo de Industrias Armeras SA) in Itziar just outside Eibar. Some guns was made by DIARM under the AyA name, but most of DIARM’s production was sold under DIARM or other more local names. But DIARM was never a financial success so by 1988 the governments founds was empty and DIARM collapsed.
1988 AyA was restarted as a gunmaking company by Imanuel Aranzabal in Eibar. Now the Side-by-Side was back in fashion and by 1993 the company had around 10 employees. By 2001 the company moved to new locations in Eibar and expanded from 12 employees to 25.
More history can be found on the AyA-site, please se links below.
AyA in Sweden
AyA Home Page
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Senast uppdaterad/Last update: 2010-11-28