Weapons for survival of astronauts: the gun TP-82

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In 1980-ies in the USSR was created a self-defense weapon cosmonauts — hunting manual 3-barreled gun TP-82, which became part of the special complex SONAS (small arms wearable emergency stock). Initiated the creation of special small arms for the Russian cosmonauts was Alexei Leonov. The famous Soviet astronaut in 1979 he visited a weapons factory located in Tula. There he told the designers-gunsmiths that landed in 1965 on the territory of Perm region of the astronauts from the ship «Voskhod-2» lost connection with the group search. As a result, the cosmonauts had the whole day to wait for help. Astronauts were looking for with the help of helicopters.

All the time they spent in the winter woods in deep snow, could be their last. In Perm the woods found a large number of different predatory animals that might attack people. To protect themselves, the astronauts had absolutely nothing. Then Leonov noted that if the astronauts had a special versatile weapon, they could feel the winter woods with more confidence. In 1981 the idea Leonov, who at that time already was not only the first cosmonaut, published in open space, but also the Deputy head of the cosmonaut training Center, quickly found the official support. Already in 1982 the gun TP-82 was officially adopted for service by the Soviet space missions.

TP-82 was designed to ensure the survival of astronauts and crews of long range aircraft, which had landed outside a given territory, in wild natural conditions. TP-82 is a triple non-automatic hunting gun. Its main purpose is to protect astronauts from dangerous forest animals, and criminals, guns can be used for the production of food by the method of hunting and feeding light signals visual observation, if the lander landed or splashed down in sparsely populated, uninhabited areas. The pistol has smooth top with 2 horizontal trunk 32 for a hunting caliber and underneath rifled barrel 5.45-mm.

Weapons for survival of astronauts the gun TP-82
Weapons for survival of astronauts the gun TP-82

The development of the pistol worked Tula arms plant, and creating ammunition for him TSNIITOCHMASH in Klimovsk. The first Russian space ship, in which was included this pistol complex, was the Soyuz T-6, which was launched into space in the summer of 1982. 4 years later the gun TP-82 was also adopted by the air force of the USSR, it was planned to use as a survival weapon for pilots of long-range aviation, who were forced to make an emergency landing. The issue of weapons was stopped in 1987. According to the information available in the public domain, the non-automatic pistol TP-82 was a part of the wearable emergency stock of Soviet and later Russian space vehicles until 2007. By this time over the shelf life of ammunition for weapons that were released in the USSR.

Weapons for survival of astronauts TP-82 is a non-automatic gun. Barrel unit of the pistol is composed of 3 trunks. Two top — smoothbore, designed for the use of hunting cartridges of 32 caliber, lower — threaded, designed for use cartridge 5,45х40 mm. Lower the barrel of the gun has a special adjustment device, which consists of 3 screws (one bottom and 2 on each side) and are designed for shooting. The smooth barrels of the gun have an ordinary extractor, which moves back when tilting barrel unit under the influence of 2 pins that are on the front of the top walls of the pads on the inside. Lower the barrel of the gun TP-82 has a spring ejector, triggered by pressing a special button, which is located on the receiver unit on the left side, bottom.

Reloading the gun TP-82 is carried out by means of a «peremanivanie» barrel block (like hunting rifles), the latch stems has the form of a long lever, which is located in a horizontal position on the left side above the pistol grip. In order to open the barrel block, it is necessary to press the lever to the left. The gun features a trigger mechanism surkovym, he niesamowity, has 2 openly located trigger.

Weapons for survival of astronauts the gun TP-82
Weapons for survival of astronauts the gun TP-82

The right trigger of the gun serves the right «smooth» trunk, the left trigger can switch freely between the lower rifled and the left smooth barrel, with the left side on the frame there is a vertically moving switch. The number of samples of the gun TP-82 was installed automatic fuse, made in the form of a button on the handle located under the trigger guard. Sights gun open type, fixed. In order to improve the accuracy of firing a weapon, it is staff staffed with removable butt, which freely joined the bottom of the pistol grip. This butt was at the same time specially designed a machete, the blade having a trapezoidal shape, enclosed in a semi-rigid sheath. To fire the machete in the sheath were joined TP-82, at that time the lower part of the scabbard to play the role of the buttplate.

The weapons were specially crafted in TSNIITOCHMASH cartridges. The head of the work to create them was P. F. Sazonov. The set of developed ammunition consisted of 3 rounds. The first of these was fractional SP-D (generated based on hunting 32 caliber). 12,5х70-mm divisional cartridge in a brass cartridge case was equivalent to the standard cartridge hunting shotguns 20-gauge (15,9 mm) fraction No. 3, which was used in hunting rifles with a barrel length of 700 mm. Signal cartridge SP-P was also designed on the basis of hunting (flares with a single red «an asterisk»). It significantly outperformed prior to this 15 mm cartridge 7С8, first time burning flares. Bullet cartridge was designated as SP-P. In the beginning there were bolobolova bullet 5,45х40 mm with a steel core and a special hole in the tip for increased expansive action. The extensiveness of the lesion with the help of this cartridge 8-10 times exceeded the indicators of bullets 7Н6 submachine gun cartridge 5.45-mm.

Effective range of these bullets from the gun TP-82 reached 200 meters when using the SP-P and up to 40 meters when using fractions. Regular ammunition weapons include 31 cartridges: 10 cartridges SP-D and SP-C, and 11 ammunition SP-P, which were placed in a special canvas pouch. In the design of all of these munitions were implemented measures aimed at ensuring the health and preservation of tightness even after a relatively long stay in a vacuum under low pressure.

Weapons for survival of astronauts the gun TP-82
Weapons for survival of astronauts the gun TP-82

The gun was actively tested as a means of hunting. With smooth shafts it was possible to hunt small animals such as the hare or the Fox, as well as a huge number of birds from quail to grouse and capercaillie. With the rifled barrel it was possible to conduct shooting of wild boars, ibexes, antelopes, gazelles, small moose with a weight of animal up to 200 kg. At the same time, the signal cartridge SP-C was the most effective alarm in the parameters visual observation at that time (when compared with existing means).

Of course, when landing in the forest the gun TP-82 would be a significant boon to the astronauts. The removable butt stock of the gun, which served as a machete, copes with his work. According to the head of training of cosmonauts Alexander Herman, there were cases where some astronauts in two days of survival (this length have workouts in the winter woods) cut down a few cubic meters of wood to provide themselves with firewood and building shelters.

The gun TP-82 was impressed by the durable, reliable and solidly made product. Such of its elements as a holster case with a machete, a bandolier, had a minimum weight. The controls were comfortable, the ongoing manipulation with them is logical and simple. Available on the gun safety device ensures the safe handling of weapons, including when the weapon or when not fully latched receiver unit. Experts have noted a soft descent, a good balance of models and «easy grip» handle. Shooting him would be as with the attached butt-with a machete, and without it. Without attaching the stock and fire it is best to shot in an emphasis or signal cartridges.

Weapons for survival of astronauts the gun TP-82
Weapons for survival of astronauts the gun TP-82

he gun TP-82 was adopted in 1986 and in the same year for the first time went into space. They were armed with Soviet cosmonauts from the joint Soviet-French crew. It was discontinued in the late 1980-ies. Officially for the reason that are made of guns was enough, and further issuance was inappropriate. However, according to the Tula gunsmiths, the culprit was lack of funding. In just the time of release in Tula, according to various reports, managed to collect from 30 to 100 «space» guns. Now everyone can see the rare weapons in the artillery Museum in St. Petersburg, the state Armoury Museum of the city of Tula and in the exposition memorial Museum of cosmonautics in the Russian capital.

Performance characteristics of the TP-82:
Caliber: 2×12,5 + 1×5,45mm.
Length — 360 mm, butt — 670 mm.
Barrel length is 300 mm.
Height — 150 mm, butt — 235 mm.
Curb weight1.6 kg.
Weight with the buttmachete — 2.4 kg

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