Student designed gun goes into production

    Back in 2001 four Cornell engineering students designed a lightweight shotgun for their master of engineering project. Ten years later it has finally gone into production.


    Ithaca Gun, an Ithaca fixture since 1880, ran into financial trouble soon after the students completed the design, and the company assets were sold in 2007. The students had graduated, and they assumed the gun would never actually get made.

    Now based in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, Ithaca Gun recently informed John Callister, the students’ faculty adviser, that their long-dormant designs were to become reality after all.

    “The folks in Ohio called me and said they were hoping I still had the computer files on a disk,” said Callister, senior lecturer in mechanical engineering and operations research.

    All the parts, including the breech block, receiver, slide, carrier and trigger plate, were designed by the students. Dimensions and tolerances were specified to within four decimal places — possible because of the students’ precise calculations.

    “It’s heartening to see it’s actually happening after all these years,” said Tupino, an industrial engineer at Northrop Grumman Corp. in Baltimore. He says he keeps a copy of the design report in his desk at work to this day and still gets asked about the unusual project.

    The gun in question is the Ithaca 28 Gauge Model 37 II. I am please for the fellas that their project is finally being produced.

    [ Many thanks to Jesse’s mom for finding the story. ]

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!