The design of firearms tend to be a hybrid of high-technology and human-centered elements. Barrels are carefully fabricated to exacting standards, but the grips and shoulder stocks are artfully sculpted to fit human hands. Newson made it his mission to harmonize these two types of forms. "The main focus for my design of the 486 was to simplify and rationalize all the surfaces," writes Newson. "Specifically streamlining the area of the action."
The "Action" is the metal hub where the trigger, reloading mechanism, and safety come together and serves as a showcase for Newson's design expertise. Trigger guards are often screwed-on pieces of sheet material, but Newson opted to mill his so that it becomes part and parcel of the gun's receiver. Cleverly, the 486's safety switch stands alone on the stock with a "wood bridge" hiding its connection to the receiver—and thereby calling special attention to its lifesaving functionality. Similarly, the lever that unlocks the barrels for reloading was left uncluttered by decorative swirls to better reveal its critical role.
The delicate, laser-etched engravings depict quails which were imported to Europe from Asia as game birds for hunting. Newson used them as an homage to the slaughtered flocks and an opportunity to add a personal dimension to the aesthetics. "I am fascinated by Japanese culture and in particular the different comprehension of scale and detail," writes Newson. "With this in mind I started to look at Japanese tattoos and the craftsmanship involved in creating complex engravings as a means to compliment the surfacing of the action."