Ammunition in space


I would like to open these thread and start a discussian about ammo in space.
I wonder if the NASA had given the astronauts some weapons and ammo for what
reason ever.
Any handguns/ ammo in museum or collections?

To that ammo used in killer satelites, would be very interesting. The russian
shortened Richter R 23 ammo should have been used for that purpose.

What happens if you fire a gun in space :-)

A. What happens to the projectile - will it fly forever
B. What happens to the target
C. What happens to the gunner

Just an idea …



Recoil of full auto weapons of greater than 20mm calibre is usually a big problem in space, my personal experience, I lost both eyes operating a 20mm quad at the 2nd battle of Mars, still hurts. After my injury they swiched to recoilless laser weapons, just like Star Wars.


Why should we think of outer space as the next frontier for wars and weapons?? It seems we have enough fighting right here on good old Mother Earth without expanding it to space and other planets. Maybe I’m turning into an old man who just likes to get along but that’s my take on it FWIW.



C’mon Ray, don’t be shy, we all know about your space gun, the one you hide under your pillow. Here is a picture of it for everyone to see


According to this there were REAL machine guns in space, believe it or not!!!


There is the Russian TP-82 Survival gun, which was carried on space missions until recently.


I believe that Winchester small rifle primers are used to set off the charges to jettison the space shuttle booster rockets.






may be a misunderstanding - this question is no joke!

In fact the russians had those personal weapons in case
they are need to survive after landing.

Knowing some details about the russians, I wonder if the
NASA do the same.

There are rumors about US satelites using a big Dardick system.

Any idea


Since the oxygen needed to burn the powder is in the powder there should be no reason for it not to go off.
The recoil would be just like on the earth except with no friction with the ground you may begin to spin backwards.
The bullet would orbit until it was slowed down which due to it’s small mass would happen very quickly but if shot against the orbit direction it would become another shooting star real quick. Vic


Vic, the projectile would only slow down if the orbit were low enough to be within the Earth’s atmosphere, which the great majority of them are not.


It would have to be a recoil-less system due to the zero-gravity nature of outer space. I expect the “official” answer is “no”, just like the official answer to the subject of sex in space is “no”.

I had a debate with my high school science teacher about this very subject many years ago. He said that ammunition would not even fire in outer space due to the lack of oxygen… We were debating the whole issue of the conundrum where you drop a bullet and fire a bullet at the same time and in theory, they hit the ground at the same time. My position was that this only would only be true in the vacuum of space.

I’m sure it has been tried, but will we ever learn about it?



Newton’s 1st and 3rd Laws of Motion apply even in space. The astronaut would be pushed backward, not at a great speed, but he/she would continue in that direction until stopped by some other force.



Tony even in space there are particles, due to the small mass of the bullet it would slow down relatively quick, the fast way is to shoot it in the other direction of motion that would slow it down real quickly due to relativity.


An unsubstantiated rumor floated around many years ago that a MBA Gyro-Jet pistol was taken on at least one of the Appolo Moon Missions. This was only a rumor but since the Gyro-Jet weapons fire what is in fact a solid fuel rocket and has little or no recoil on firing, the vacuum of space would have little effect. Maybe one of the Gyro-Jet collectors, such as Mel Carpenter could add fuel to the fire on this subject.



Interesting details about the Gyro Jet. Any ideas about the big caliber Dardick satelite killer gun?

Here is the russian space gun ammo

12,5mm flare, 12,5mm shot , 5,45 x 40

The bang of these ammo will scare aliens to death :-)

More assumptions are very welcome


better pic of the 5.45x40 SN-P ammo (basically, 5.45x39 loaded with soft-point bullet) for TP-82 survival gun

I also have pics of the gun itself, if anyone is interested.



Was there a 15mm ammo too ?


And here the 23mm space Rikhter with shorter cases:


AKMS–Concerning your statement "We were debating the whole issue of the conundrum where you drop a bullet and fire a bullet at the same time and in theory, they hit the ground at the same time. [color=#0000FF]My position was that this only would only be true in the vacuum of space.[/color]

The Mythbusters show a couple months ago did a show on this very subject. They used a M1911A1 fired horizontally and a rig to drop a bullet from the same height as the barrel (about 3 or 4 feet) at the same instant. Guess, what, in the Earths atmosphere, not a vacuum, good old Newton was right. Both bullets hit the ground at the same time.

I was surprised by one thing. The range of a horizontally fired .45 ACP was only about 550 feet. I would have thought it would have been much further.