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I’ve been looking at a Spanish SxS listed locally, trying to figure out if it’s a “decent” quality gun or not. It’s listed as an Armas Ego sidelock, with ejectors. A friend told me it’s a very low quality import gun, but the only other Armas Ego sidelock I’ve seen listed was almost $5k. The makers mark of "J.Z." also matches up with Armas Ego in the reference I found. From what I see and have found online so far, I'm inclined to not believe this is a cheap/low quality gun.

These are the only pics available at the moment. I do recognize the "U1" on the barrel flats as being a date code, which my chart tells me is 1976. And also marked as 12ga 70mm (2 3/4"), so at least I won't have to hunt everywhere for short ammo. Seller lists it as having 27.5" barrels.

Any input on quality and value are welcome.

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I don't agree with your friend as to it being low quality. It has some nice features such as cocking indicators, bushed firing pins, hidden third fastener and articulated front trigger. It is of course a true sidelock.

I would have a double gun "smith" go through it and determine its health and then if all o.k. use it. You might also have a qualified person remove the stock and check for any internal cracks. The analysis is particularly important for the barrels, i.e. no pits, bulges, rings, dents, loose ribs, etc.

Keep the loads light or appropriate for an older double and you should be able to enjoy it for many years. Cool looking sidelock!

I can't figure out what the tiny metal protrusion is to the right side about 2-3 inches behind the hinge pin. I am sure some experts will provide more information.
 

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There was a time not too long ago when cheap, price point driven Spanish doubles flooded the U.S. market and sullied an entire market. This is not one of them. As Oyeme mentioned, cocking indicators, bushed firing pins (disc set strikers), hidden third fasteners and articulated front triggers are hallmarks of high grade sidelocks. One thing I always look at closely is the checkering. The sharper the better. I've picked up 60-90 year-old doubles and found the checkering was still sharp, and indicated very little use.
 

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Baron,

It appears that your friend has little knowledge of Spanish shotguns and has bought into the old myth that Spanish guns are low quality. If you look carefully at the underlugs of your Armas EGO, you will see a fine line running fore and aft. That is the parting line indicative of chopper lump construction, ie: each barrel is forged together with it's underlug. The underlugs are then joined together. This is a very strong doublegun design, rarely found on low quality guns. Lesser quality side by sides will typically employ a platform lump wherein the tubes are joined to the top of a platform which incorporates the underlugs. The sidelock action (Holland & Holland type) of your gun has intercepting sears to prevent accidental discharge, a feature not found on low quality guns.

In 1976, Armas EGO's base sidelock was the non-ejector Model 130 which has the same engraving pattern as your gun. The ejectors on your gun identify it as a Model 130E. I don't recall if your model has gas escape valves like the higher grades. FWIW, the price of your Model 130E in 1976 was US$369.00 F.O.B. Factory. The price Stateside would have been considerably more to cover international shipping, handling and importer profit. I seriously doubt that many EGO sidelock models made it to our shores. Does an importer's name and city appear on barrels or frame?

There were four higher grades, Models 140 Deluxe, 141, 1900 Bristol Classic and Model Selection (full coverage game scene engraving). You may be interested to know that Armas EGO also built bespoke SxS double rifles in African calibers for dangerous game.

Some years ago, I purchased a Model 200-A single barrel trap gun direct from Armas EGO in Eibar. The gun has a drop out trigger assembly and a 34" barrel choked XF. I also purchased a spare drop out trigger assembly and a lifetime supply of parts. Armas EGO ceased operating in the late 00's.

DF

Montani Semper Liberi
 
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