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.
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.
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:
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.