The design world hyperventilated when it was announced that Marc Newson would be going to work with his best bud Jony Ive at Apple. But that doesn’t mean all of his work will be done inside the spaceship, and now Newson has revealed another project: Redesigning one of the most iconic firearms in history.
Newson’s design for the Beretta 486 debuted at an event in London last night as a modern overhaul of the traditional side-by-side shotgun. Basically, Newson gave the shotgun a 21st century industrial design makeover, consolidating and reconfiguring all the elements, but making some aesthetic adjustments as well.
Some of the changes are material. By bringing the walnut wood up and over the receiver, he’s able to add an element of warmth and craftsmanship to what are normally cold steel parts. The receiver is now completely edgeless, without any noticeable breaks between wood and steel.
He also had all the parts re-machined into more streamlined, ergonomic shapes, including a brand-new opening lever design, relocated trigger guard, and a narrowed forend.
Of particular note are brand-new barrels that are completely devoid of any welding lines.
But Newson also aimed to make the shotgun a bit more pretty. Covering the shotgun are lacy laser-etched engravings inspired by ancient pheasant-hunting depictions from Japan.
In a statement, Newson seems to have forged a technological bridge between his own work and the traditions of the centuries-old manufacturer. “I got to observe the fascinating mix of traditional skills employed by Beretta’s craftsmen in conjunction with the most impressive state-of-the-art engineering processes including the use of intricate x-ray equipment, sophisticated laser technology, and robotics,” he said. “I believe that my vision to create an innovative and modern design while respecting the DNA of the product typology has been spectacularly achieved.” Perhaps he will bring some of what he gleaned while gun-slinging to Cupertino. [Beretta via Dezeen]