Smoothbore From Space

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One of the more unusual shotguns in the National Firearms Museum collection is the appropriately named Ljutic "Space Gun." Custom built as a single-shot - though semi-automatic and side-by-side prototypes were later made - the Space Gun was one man's vision of a 12-gauge trap gun.

The creation of the first Space Gun came about, amazingly, when Al Ljutic agreed to go trap shooting, but then realized he didn't have a shotgun. Quickly machining a single-shot tubular receiver with a button trigger, and the fitting a cylindrical round forearm and a high post rib on the muzzle section of the barrel, the impromptu shotgun was completed just in time for the trip to the range.

While both Ljutic and his wife, Nadine, were later inducted into the American Trapshooting Hall of Fame, it likely wasn't for their skills in mass production - less than 20,000 Ljutic shotguns have been made.

Reprinted from America's 1st Freedom, October 2009.