Of course, now this will seem ridiculous to you, but in the 70s the Soviet space agency armed cosmonauts with laser weapons. The danger was represented not only by possible living organisms that could harm our astronauts, but also quite real astronauts from countries at war with us.
Since it was stupid and impractical to use conventional weapons in space, for example, a shot from a banal pistol generated such recoil that an astronaut in a state of zero gravity or low gravity would be thrown back many meters, in addition, a bullet could damage the skin of the ship, which would inevitably lead to death of the crew. That is why our scientists decided to start developing the latest weapon, the laser pistol. A similar pistol appeared in 1984, light and compact.
Initially, the task for the scientists was to make a pistol that could disable optical systems, as well as blind the enemy. As cartridges, special flash capsules were used, since at that time they were already compact and could fit in the clip. Like everything ingenious, the laser pistol was quite simple to manufacture, and the principle of its firing consisted of the explosion of one capsule (cartridge), the light from which passed along the barrel and amplified, forming a beam, which hit the enemy with power comparable to that of a pneumatic weapon. By the way, the Americans were also afraid of skirmishes in space, but their imagination was limited to only a light knife, although, you must admit, it would be strange to watch an astronaut running after an enemy with a knife.
Fortunately, the Cold War never reached outer space, and therefore the need for this weapon disappeared, leaving it only an exhibit in cosmonautics museums.