Ian presents the Ljutic Space Gun in this episode of Forgotten Weapons. This gun was created by Al Ljutic, who was quite an interesting character – probably even more than the gun itself. He was a professional boxer in the 1930s, and he ended his career when he got home and could not remember what had happened in his last fight.
Ljutic was selected for the US 1940 Olympic rifle team, and while the event was cancelled when war broke out, he eventually became a businessman, making high-end trap shotguns. One of the first he ever built was a rifle for himself, which became the Space Gun. His very first gun, however, was a patent for a gas-operated rotating-bolt rifle system which Winchester bought.
The Space Gun is a rather unorthodox looking gun, as it looks like a single long barrel with a buttstock attached to one end, but it offered good recoil reduction for a single-shot 12-gauge, and had a natural fit and sight picture. Only 200 were ever made, as Ljutic focused production on his Mono-Gun, which had a more traditional look and feel to it, and became the more popular design. The Mono-Gun propelled Ljtuic and his company to success, and they still make shotguns today.
Here is the Space Gun #107, and Ian takes a closer look at the locking and firing system that makes it comfortable to shoot. Despite how odd it looks, everything about the gun has been created with a specific purpose in mind. The pistol grip allows solid control, the stock and receiver are one continuous tube that directs the recoil directly onto the shooter’s shoulder instead of bucking up, a thick recoil pad, a substantially raised sight, and threaded interchangeable chokes.
It is basically a single-shot bolt-action with a very heavy striker, and the forward impact counteracts some of the rearward recoil when fired. This type of mechanism is sometimes inaccurately called a slam-fire gun.