The TP-82 is a very large triple-barreled pistol (with detachable stock) issued to Soviet and Russian cosmonauts from 1986 to 2006. During that time, they were a standard part of the NAZ, or standard survival kit, kept aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. In 2007, due to discoveries that the original 20-year-old ammunition had become unreliable, the weapons were retired, and replaced by standard automatic pistols.
The TP-82 has three barrels, so that it can perform a variety of roles for the cosmonaut awaiting retrieval in the wilderness. The two large smoothbore 12.5 mm barrels can fire shotgun shells for hunting or flares for signalling. The smaller 5.45 mm barrel uses rifle bullets, for precision shooting. The removable buttstock contains a machete and spade, as well.
Game and Story Use
- In a cold war espionage game, the downed Soviet pilot (who's also carrying valuable spy photos) will be armed with one of these.
- If a conflict breaks out aboard the International Space Station, there may be an old TP-82 available in an old unused emergency kit, though it may have been replaced by a more modern (and less fun) handgun. Other than those, the only weapon aboard is likely to be the Kamcha (a traditional Kazakh horse-whip) mentioned in the newspaper article (above).
- Characters with Black Market connections to the Russian Mob might have a brief window to buy these "space guns", and their no-longer-reliable ammo, for cheap. Quality control or hand-reloading shells might make them serviceable again.
- Combination Guns are popular with gunfondlers, collectors, and the like. They may be a way to establish eccentricity or personality in a character, or provide clues to a assassin's background.