In the "Thought" for January 12, I speculated that perhaps Q was "lying down" in Schrenk's apartment, allowing him to get to the gun first, a face-protection boon given Schrenk as a token of respect for their long association.
Now, I'm starting to wonder if perhaps Schrenk might not have done the same thing.
I suspect this because of something Schrenk says just before he sends Q out with Ignatov. "Drive him as far as the river. If you want to, ask Boris and Dmitri to go with you, but I'd prefer you to go alone." [15:139] Now, this is odd indeed. As I pointed out in the "Thought" for yesterday (January 20), Ignatov is not a very accomplished operative. Moreover, Schrenk is aware that Q's already subdued Ignatov once. Whatever else they may think of each other, Q and Schrenk have profound respect for each other's skill at tradecraft. Finally, if Schrenk's really gone round the bend with his dream of vengeance, it'd make more sense for him to shoot Q himself, as distasteful as that might be.
Thus, it may be that Schrenk, by sending Q out with a rather clumsy assassin, and then explicitly shaming Ignatov by telling him that he can have two assistants if he wants (instead of ordering Boris and Dmitri to just go with him), is, in the twisted logic of the trade he and Q share, offering Q a boon equal in value to that which has been given him.