The TP-82 pistol (Russian: ТП-82), also known as the TOZ-82[1] is a triple-barreled Soviet firearm that was carried by cosmonauts on space missions as a survival weapon.[2]

The pistol was issued as a part of the Soyuz Portable Survival Kit (Russian: Носимый аварийный запас, Nosimyi Avariynyi Zapas, or NAZ for short). It, along with its ammunition, are collectively known as SONAZ (Russian: СОНАЗ, Стрелковое Оружие Носимого Аварийного Запаса, Strelkovoye Oruzhie Nosimogo Avariynogo Zapasa "Small Arms of Portable Survival Kit").[3]

History[edit | edit source]

The TP-82 was developed in 1981 in response to suggestion from Soviet astronaut Alexey Leonov in 1979. Leonov was an astronaut in the Voskhod 2 mission in 1965. During the return stage of the mission, the landing capsule deviated away from the intended landing zone and landed in the inhospitable wilderness in Siberia. Leonov and his partner, Pavel Belyayev, were aware of the wild animals around, and only had a Makarov pistol inside their survival kit for self-defense. The two astronauts had to spend one night inside the forest. This incident prompted the development of more advanced survival weapons for astronauts.[4][5]

Throughout its history of use, NASA astronauts have also trained with the gun on occasion. Private spaceflight participants have also been seen using the gun.[6][7]

TP-82s were carried regularly on Soviet and Russian space missions from 1986 to 2006. In 2007, the media reported that the remaining ammunition for the TP-82 had become unusable and that a regular pistol would be used on future missions.[8]

Design[edit | edit source]

The TP-82 is intended as a survival weapon to be used should cosmonauts land in inhospitable terrain. The upper two smoothbore barrels use 12.5×70mm ammunition, and the lower rifled barrel uses 5.45x39mm ammunition. The pistol can be used for hunting, to defend against predators and for visual and auditory distress signals. The detachable buttstock is also a machete that comes with a canvas sheath.[3]

The TP-82 has a single trigger and two exposed hammers. The right hammer fires the right shotgun barrel, and the left fires the left shotgun barrel. The left hammer can be switched to fire the bottom rifle barrel via a sliding selector on the side of the gun. Pushing a lever located on the left side of the gun leftwards breaks open the weapon for reloading.[3]

Ammunition[edit | edit source]

The SONAZ kit was issued with three types of special cartridges: the 12.5×70mm SP-D smokeless buckshot, 12.5×70mm SP-S signal shot, and 5.45×39mm SN-P with soft-point bullet.[3]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.