For 20 years, the Russians took a survival drilling pistol kit with them into space. Then they ran out of ammunition. The YouTube video above does a good job of highlighting the pistol and kit. Such an item would likely be a “curios and relics” item in the United States, as no ammunition is available for the shotgun barrels and very few were made. Some enterprising importer would do well to get a couple of dozen thrown into a Russian import container of rifles and shotguns. Collectors in the United States would gobble them up . . .

The shotgun barrels are fired by outside hammers. It’s not clear how the rifle barrel is selected, but the long lever on the left side of the receiver (just above the grip) seems a possibility, though it may be the action release lever.  The left hand hammer may have a selector for the shotgun barrel.  The trigger below the trigger guard may be a grip safety. Perhaps someone can explain how the front sight mounted horizontally on the left shotgun barrel is supposed to work.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 7.59.17 AM

A wiki article confirms what is said in the video. The TP-82 used 12.5mm shot shells and 5.45 rifle ammunition and the Russians stopped including the gun on missions because the special ammunition for it had become unavailable or unreliable.

In 2007, the media reported that the remaining ammunition for the TP-82 had become unusable and that a regular semi-automatic pistol would be used on future missions.

I have also seen the gun referred to as the TOZ-82, but not as often.

In the IAAForum, a post by historian addresses the TP-82 ammunition. It says the 12.5mm shotgun is a unique Russian 32 gauge shotgun shell and unusual 5.45×40 ammunition was used for the rifle barrel, even though the chamber is the same as for 5.45×39.

 The chamber for the 5.45×40 is the same as the 5.45×39. The cartidge for the TP-82 had to get a different designation because the gun was also designed for military air crews (likely bombers) which of course would not be allowed to use expanding projectiles on regular ammunition.

I also found now the info on the two different projectiles. The first pattern was a soft point, the second one has a hollow point and steel core (probably some sort of “universal” cartridge).

SDC is right, I mixed up the shot caliber, it is a 32 GA and the cartridge designations are:
SN-S (signal)
SN-D (shot)

No slugs are listed actually.

The TP-82 is known with at least three different fore grips (under the barrels).

The forum shows a picture of a standard survival kit issued to aircrews.

There were thousands of Soviet Aircraft that could have been issued this kit. If standard Soviet practice was followed, the kit would be included with aircraft for export, so some TP-82 kits might be in former east block countries or Egypt, India, or other African and Asian nations. Some may still be floating around Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Cuba and Nicaragua.

The Russians would never throw away a handy item like this. Somewhere, these kits are available. They just need to be found.

This interesting firearm shows the utility of short barrelled rifles and shotguns for military purposes. Too bad it didn’t exist in 1932, to be presented to the Supreme Court in the infamous Miller decision.  But the presiding judge, Heartsill Ragon, made sure that such an event would never happen.

Parts of the kit, including the machete/stock were said to be available in online auctions as recently as a year ago according to dailymail.co.uk. The use of the TP-82 was said to have started as early as 1968. But Russians with the right stuff still don’t gun un-armed.

Russian cosmonauts still carry semiautomatic firearms in space.

At any one time, there are usually one or two handguns on board the International Space Station.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

Recommended For You

32 Responses to More On That Russian Space Gun

  1. I never really considered putting a gun in a display case, but if I could get my hands on one of these, I’d make one for it. It is just that interesting.

    Space guns. Yep.

  2. Speaking of collectibles, the Savage Model 24 Camper goes for about $700, if you can find one.

    http://www.gunsamerica.com/914707283/Savage-Model-24C-Series-P-Camper-s-Companion.htm

    Cases here:http://maxicon.com/guns/savage_24c.htm

    I remember a Discovery Channel show on a group of volunteers who had to walk something like 70 miles inAlaska, getting by on odds and ends left in caches, hunting camps, etc. The one thing that saved them was an over-under shotgun in .22/410 that even the noobs could shoot squrrels and snowgrouse.

    • those older combos are getying fewer by the years for sure. curious question for you, i just fixed a seized firing pin and cleaned the bore (lands and groves are perfect now, i thought they were compromised at first with the older powders) its a 1924 savage sporter in 25-20 wcf , ill attach a picture if neccesary) the finish is about 95% there, any idea kn a real value ?

  3. I want to know what OUR guys (and gals) carry up there. I would find it extremely difficult to believe that American astronauts go unarmed in the company of armed Russians. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the 80s, but I would like to think that we don’t rely on the Russians for protection.

    • Sigh, read up. The Russians were not “armed” this was not a carry gun. It was packed away in Soyuz for an off course landing not to be deployed in space. Americans (among others) trained with the gun and had the same access to it as the Russians.

      • “Russian cosmonauts still carry semiautomatic firearms in space.

        At any one time, there are usually one or two handguns on board the International Space Station.”

        • It’s just bad wording. There’s no reason at all for them to actually be packing while an orbit – there aren’t any threats to speak of, and firing would be too dangerous in any case.

  4. Let me see if I got this straight. You need a powerful rocket to get to the space station, yet it isn’t a gun free zone. OTOH, any nutball can walk to the local school, but it is a gun free zone.

    Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

  5. OK, I want one…or something like it. Hey Gun Geeks, it there anything modern like that with “normal” ammo? Kinda like a Savage 42 but a pistol?

    No, not the Taurus Judge, S&W Governor, etc.

    • No. Due to length requirements, if you want a shotgun barrel, you can’t go under 26″. With that constraint, any pistol-patterned gun would likely have at least an 18″ barrel. If you have over 18″, then why not add a stock? If you’re still undeterred, then you’re looking at the Savage model 42.

      • “No. Due to length requirements, if you want a shotgun barrel, you can’t go under 26 inch.”

        Uh, then how do you explain the Judge and Governor?

        • They are sold as .45lc/.410 — the .45lc is there with some token rifling to get around the SBS laws

        • The lack of rifling for the shotgun barrels makes this a non-pistol, and therefore a title II weapon. It would be a short-barreled shotgun unless you attached the stock to it. Without the stock it’d be an AOW firearm. It’d still be a title II weapon, but the tax stamp would only be $5. The Serbu shorty is a contemporary example of an AOW shotgun.

        • ATF classifies any pistol with a smooth bore as an AOW (any other weapon, a catch all category for weird guns). It’s regulated just like suppressors, SBR’s , etc. the governor/judge skirts this by having a rifled barrel, for the 45LC, or 454 in the case of the raging judge.

    • ” Hey Gun Geeks, it there anything modern like that with “normal” ammo?”

      Pick out the Drilling of your dreams and start the NFA $200 paperwork.

      When that clears, grab a hacksaw…

      • As I recall, break open combination rifle and shotgun firearms fall under a special “any other guns” category for the NFA. I believe the tax is $5 for these, instead of $200. Perhaps an NFA expert can chime in on this.

        • Yes, this would be classified as an AOW firearm. It would be a short-barreled shotgun only if your attached a stock to it. To get make this a non-title II weapon, you’d need to have rifling in the shotgun barrels.

    • There wouldn’t be much of a market for it. It would be NFA probably as an AOW, since it is a pistol with smooth bore.

  6. i want one so bad. i did not know these were used on aircraft as well. makes me wonder how many are out there and when they will be sold on the surplus market. i am sure some will jump on these. i wonder if you never know if you get one from a plane or a space one.

      • While not definitive, while writing the article, it appeared that the ones used for space had engraving on the sides of the receiver and some minimal scroll engraving on the breech end of the shotgun barrels.

        • That “engraving” comes from the Russians beating the various systems in their ships trying to make them work right.

  7. “For 20 years, the Russians took a survival drilling pistol kit with them into space. Then they ran out of ammunition.”

    I’m a bit bit baffled here. The Russian ammo manufactures couldn’t whip up any ammo for that thing? Not even their ammo developers?

    Makes zero sense.

    • It did not make sense to me either, but.. there may have been a special line for that 32 gauge shotgun ammo that was shut down.

      Or, maybe it was just one of those “official” Russian explanations that make no sense.

      Still, for the weight of the TP-82 and ammo, sans machete/stock, you could have two Makarovs and 100 rds of ammunition.

  8. “Ask a Soviet engineer to design a pair of shoes and he’ll come up with something that looks like the boxes that the shoes came in; ask him to make something that will massacre Germans, and he turns into Thomas [Blanking] Edison.”” – Neal Stephenson

  9. Something similar to this would be entertaining, and maybe useful.
    Say two barrels in 410/.45colt and a lower in something else, .22lr
    or magnum, possibly FN 5.7 or somesuch.
    No butt stock, of course.
    Kinda like a Marbles game getter.
    It would be a fun pistol.

  10. I’d assume the side-mounted sight works just like any other sight, you just have to twist your grip-hold axis and “semi-gangsta” it. It probably needed two different sights since each cartridge type was as radically different as shells and pistol rounds. Sighting at a slight angle wouldn’t change anything about how the projectiles traveled. Or am I way off?

  11. Pretty sure there are some old boys here in Butler County that could turn them out some ammo, no problems.

    Couple people asking about US crews’ and survival guns. Pretty sure that would have been a either an M6 or AR7, or one of the ultralight .38 revolvers USAF issued in the ’50s and ’60s. M6 was a double barrel firing .22 Hornet and .410, and AR7 was .22LR. Not sure if NASA did include any, though, since majority of our returns were in ocean and the chance a Mercury or Apollo capsule would likely not survive a ground landing were in the 99% range..

  12. Great post! I just love gadgety guns and their histories. I’m pretty well versed in odd ball firearms, but I have never heard of this one before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *