Over the past two decades we’ve witnessed the slow decline of the Spanish fine-gun trade. Now two heritage brands have come together in a way that suggests revival. Arrieta bought Arrizabalaga in 2012, but only recently did it acquire the capital to underwrite the current renascence. The reboot has been bankrolled by Ricardo de Serdio, a private-equity investor whose presence suggests growth potential and renewed confidence in Spanish best guns.
Arrieta dates from 1919, when Avelino Arrieta established himself as a gunmaker in Eibar. In the US the firm is perhaps best known for its 2"-chambered Holland & Holland-type sidelocks. Arrizabalaga dates from 1944, when four master gunmakers founded the company and one of them, Pedro Arrizabalaga, lent his name to it. The company’s reputation rests on best guns along Purdey and Boss lines.
Now under the name Arrieta & Arrizabalaga a range of six new models has been developed that features in a sumptuously produced catalog. The pride of the collection is clearly the over/unders. According to Managing Director Miguel de Oriol: “We have a new owner, and we have reengineered our range of shotguns and rifles. We now make and sell two over/unders. One is a battery-detachable sporter, and the other is a sidelock. Both can be manufactured with wingshooting or competition specifications.”
Efforts to bring about the amalgamation of these once-rival companies clearly were undertaken in the belief that their united energies would not only resurrect the fortunes of the Spanish gun trade but also elevate it to compete with makers of best guns everywhere.
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