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Weird guns.


Not what I thought a space gun would look like, I'm not surprised the machete stock didn't catch on. It could be a mean pig gun though. The Soviet TP-82 was a triple-barrelled pistol that was carried by cosmonauts on space missions. 

It was intended as a survival aid to be used after landings while awaiting recovery in the Siberian wilderness. It was intended to protect against the Siberian wildlife, namely bears and wolves.

The upper two shotgun barrels used 12.5×70 mm ammunition (28 gauge), and the lower rifled barrel used 5.45×39mm ammunition. The TP-82 has a large lever on the left side of the receiver that opens the action and a small grip-safety under the trigger-guard that resembles a secondary trigger. The detachable buttstock was also a machete that came with a canvas sheath.

The pistol could be used for hunting, to defend against predators and for visible and audible distress signals. TP-82s were carried regularly on Soviet and Russian space missions from 1986 to 2007.


A duck hunter gets into position with his punt gun.

A punt gun is a type of extremely large shotgun used in the 19th and early 20th centuries for shooting large numbers of waterfowl for commercial harvesting operations. A single shot could kill over 50 waterfowl resting on the water's surface.

Punt guns were usually custom-designed and varied widely, but could fire up to a pound of shot at a time. They were too big to hold and the recoil was so large that they had to be mounted directly on punts used for hunting, hence their name. Generally the gun was fixed to the punt; thus the hunter would manoeuvre the entire boat in order to aim the gun. The guns were sufficiently powerful, and the punts themselves sufficiently small, that firing the gun often propelled the punt backwards several inches or more.

In the United States, this practice depleted stocks of wild waterfowl and by the 1860s most states had banned the practice.
In the United Kingdom, a 1995 survey showed fewer than 50 active punt guns still in use. Since Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 there has been a punt gun salute every Coronation and Jubilee in Cowbit, Lincolnshire in England.


A replica of a Tupara (two barrel) black powder shotgun, commonly used by Maori during the New Zealand Wars.

From the 1850s these double-barrelled percussion-lock shotguns became widely available in NZ. They were preferred over the old flintlock muskets for bush-fighting, because the range of engagement was usually close, and the double-barrelled guns offered a higher rate of fire. However few traders bothered to supply plentiful ammunition, powder, percussion caps or spare parts and Maori often struggled to get supplies of these essentials.

The double-barreled tupara shotguns could be loaded with musket balls or shot. In some battles women were used to reload muskets while the men kept on fighting. Northern Maori, such as Ngāpuhi, learnt to speed load their muskets by holding three lead balls between the fingers of the left hand. The powder was premeasured in paper twists. When the powder was poured down the barrel, instead of using the ramrod which were slow and awkward, they simply thumped the butt on the ground. As the barrel was fouled by powder residue, progressively smaller balls were used. The muzzle velocity dropped as a result but the smaller balls could still cause severe wounds at close range.

According to Sir J.E. Alexander: "Sometimes five nails were tied together, heads [to] points, also plugs of hard puriri wood coated with tea-chest lead. I also heard of bullets being cast in the bowls of tobacco pipes, a row of these being laid in the ground and the lead run into them. The means of making rough powder are not wanting in New Zealand, but percussion caps are a great difficulty." Percussion caps were sometimes made by fitting match-heads into boot eyelets, while any scrap paper was liable to be pressed into service for cartridges.


The 7.62 mm SLR was a noisy beast which didn’t go bang, it went boom! It was often referred to as ‘the elephant gun’ by the Diggers. “I had seen a guy hit with an SLR through a rubber tree and I thought that was pretty Impressive—so I liked that.”

“When you look back it was cumbersome to be a scout with that weapon, but it was all right. It was good in a shit fight.”

“The SAS patrol SLRs were converted to automatic by the squadron armourer, who also removed the flash eliminator to shorten the weapon’s length: They were pretty nasty weapons. It creates a long flame. You could shoot and cauterise the wound at fifteen paces!”

"We wanted to put a lot of tracer into the magazines so that—from the bad guys’ point of view—they could see a lot of tracer coming at them, as well as the noise of having a lot coming at them. They could physically see the tracer which gave the impression that we had more firepower.”

Nev Farley ran through his patrol’s SOP on the initial burst of fire: “Most of the blokes carried a 30-round magazine on their weapon. Because the idea was that when you had a contact, you deliberately fired as much ammunition as you could, and if you had those bloody SLRs on fully automatic, firing a 30-round magazine, and if the flash eliminator was taken off it, you would think, ‘Fuck! What have I hit here?’ Because it sounded heavy, and fast, and automatic, and it would just make old Charlie think,‘ Shit, I’ve hit something big here’ and it would stop them, rather than race in and try to take you out. Because they think they have hit so much firepower, it’s at least a bloody company, and by that time we’ve got ourselves on a back bearing and fucked off out of there. It’s pretty bloody scary when five blokes all open up at once. There’s a lot of noise and if you’ve got three SLRs on fully automatic with a 30-round magazine, shit flies everywhere.””

From the book “On Patrol with the SAS, Sleeping with your ears open.” By GARY McKAY

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