Ljutic Space Gun

Al Ljutic (LEW-tic) was quite the interesting character, from his early days as a professional boxer to his selection for the US 1940 Olympic rifle team, to his eventual primary business making excellent high-end trap shotguns. One of the first was a gun he built for himself which wound up becoming the Space Gun. A very unorthodox looking gun, it offered remarkable recoil reduction for a single shot 12ga, as well as a very natural fit and sight picture. Only about 200 were ever made, though, as Ljutic focused instead on his Mono-Gun, which was a much more tradition looking (but no less excellent) design, and which became very popular.

This is Space Gun #107, and we can take a look at the locking and firing system which makes it so comfortable to shoot. Basically, it is a single shot bolt action with a very heavy striker, the forward impact of which counteracts some of the rearward recoil of firing. This is sometimes describes (incorrectly) as being a slam-fire gun…


      • In space, nobody can hear you scream… and nobody can aim a shotgun well and shoot without recoil blowing him backwards.

      • Yes. Several of Ljutic’s trapshooting friends thought his prototype looked like something out of a science fiction movie. They started calling it “Al’s Space Gun”, and the name stuck.



  1. Ian,

    You’ve probably noticed…the incomparable Weaponsman is gone. Would you do a memorial for him, perhaps a Cz special, a 2 gun run, whatever you think would honour his memory?

    Thanks for FW, too, in its own right a unique resource. We greatly appreciate your efforts and enjoy being your unseen, unheard, unknown but yet supportative friends. Here in gunless safe utopia Teutonia, vicarious learning is better than nothing, and who knows…

    Thankful in Franconia,

  2. Ljutic also made some very interesting pistols,one of the was a 4 barrel derringer if my recollection is correct.

    • Saw one of these in the 70’s at the Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club in Rochester, Washington. Strange looking to be sure! In the miserable cold, fog, and constant rain, no one, not even someone with an expensive shotgun shoots worth a hoot!

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