Taofledermaus Wants to Know: Can You ID This Mystery Round?

There’s nothing like a mystery round to pique the interest of gun aficionados all around the internet, and thanks to Taofledermaus, of Youtube fame, there’s a new one. A viewer apparently sent Taofledermaus two mystery shotgun slugs, so he took a close look and sent them down-range to find out just what they were capable of doing. The rounds delivered nice penetration capabilities – well, at 100 yards, anyway – it’s just too bad he only had two rounds to work with.

Originally Taofledermaus believed the rounds to be Latvian, but after some extensive research – and after already having posted the video below on Youtube – he made a discovery as to their origin. Rather than make this too easy, here’s the video, and the answer of their origin will be posted below.

Taofledermaus said he discovered these are Poleva bullets dating back to Russia’s Soviet era. What do you guys think? Did he get it right, and if so, what do you all know about Poleva bullets?


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TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.


  • Zugunder

    Well, he did get it right. There even price on the plastic part, soviet style, ha! And Poleva bullets quiet common thing among hunters in USSR, Russia.

  • Mr.Volt

    At the image the projectile is named Vyatka.
    Just in case.

    • Mr.Volt

      At the last image I mean.

  • Azril @ Alex Vostox

    This reminds me off minnie ball.

    • Chase Buchanan

      Yeah, they proved more accurate than the earlier Mickey balls. Disneyland security forces were looking for a way to squeeze longer range out of their shotguns.

  • avconsumer2

    Early prototype for an outdoor, 360 degree dispersion, speaker?!

  • Ed

    Another special KGB/SpetzNaz pistol and there so many of them like the 3 shot 7.62×39 derringer they made.

  • guest

    The mystery is solved within the article itself. The scan, probably from a hunting book calls it “Vyatka”, and the underscored text points to part 3 being “stabilizing wad” which is presumably polyethylene like the previous slug.

    Very simple COG/COD layout for aerodynamic stabilization.

  • spotr

    The article shows 2 different things. The first is a picture of Vyatka projectiles (projectile is same diameter as the push-cup and internal barrel gauge). That is not what he fired. The internal round components used in the video was a Poleva shotgun hunting round (projectile is smaller than the push-cup).

    K16 on the bottom possibly means 16 gauge (калибр 16)

    • Vasily

      Yes, 16 gauge and the price of 25 kopecks. Argh, the good old days I never saw :.(

      • cs

        The good old days of what, Soviet Union? People were fleeing if they could.

        • Vasily

          Erm, I’m from there, actually, it’s still ok here 🙂 I’m pointing at the price, 25 kop.= quarter of a ruble, riding a streetcar costs me 15 RUR now.

  • taofledermaus

    The kids that sent them to me didn’t even know they were shotgun-related. He just thought they would be neat rounds. I did a lot of Google searches for “Russian shotgun slugs” and everything else I could think of and had no luck identifying. Natually about 30 minutes after I posted the video it seemed everyone in Europe knew what they were. I don’t think any American viewers had a clue either. They were probably 16 ga. and originally had some sabot sleeves. Despite loading them into 12ga shells, just using the shotcup as a makeshift sabot, they performed very well.

  • Sterling Mayes

    Anyone know where to buy these? Or perhaps suggestions for smoothbore slugs that might be accurate past 100 yds?