The Daily Mail has a story today, citing a blog called The Appendix, about the Cosmonaut Survival Kit. The kit includes a combination gun with both shotgun and rifle barrels.
The kit included the Soviet TP-82, a special combination gun with a detachable machete created for hunting, firing distress beacons and self-defence.
American astronauts who trained as part of the Soyuz spacecraft crews for the International Space Station in the 90s also had to learn how to use the firearm.
Appendix recalls how astronaut Jim Voss learned to use the gun in a mock-up spacecraft in the Black Sea using wine, beer and vodka bottles as target practice.
Reportedly, Russian cosmonauts still carry firearms in space, but now they pack plain old Makarov service pistols.
So, then, 2001: A Space Odyssey might have gone differently if Russians had manned that spacecraft.
"Open the pod bay doors, HAL"
"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
"Don't make me use this Makarov, HAL."
"Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over."
"Open the pod bay doors NOW, HAL, before I bust a cap in your cyber ass."