Walther PPK handgun from 'From Russia With Love'

A look at the guns of James Bond for the Skyfall premiere

by ROB REED, Examiner.com  |  published on November 21, 2012

With the new James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” in theaters Friday this is a good time to look behind the movie magic and compare the “reel guns” of Agent 007 to the real guns used in the films.

The iconic James Bond gun is, of course, the Walther PPK pistol. The PPK is a pre-war German design chambered in 7.65mm (.32 ACP) or 9mm Kurz (.380 ACP). The pistol’s compact size and slim lines make it easy to conceal in a tailored suit. The small caliber and relatively low ammo capacity (seven rounds in the magazine in 7.65mm) are not major disadvantages to a spy who lives by his wits instead of relying on pure firepower.

The PPK enters Bond lore in the first Sean Connery Bond film, 1962’s “Dr. No.” In an early scene Bond’s boss, “M”, forces Bond to turn in his Beretta for the Walther pistol. The character “Maj. Boothroyd” presents the new gun and tells Bond, “Walther PPK 7.65 millimeter with a delivery like a brick through a plate-glass window.” (Maj. Bootroyd was named after the Scottish firearms expert who earlier wrote Fleming with suggestions on Bond’s weapons).

While it’s questionable whether the 7.65mm round really hits like a “brick through a plate glass window,” it is a step up in power from the “.25 Berretta” Bond creator Ian Fleming had the spy carry in the “Dr. No” novel.

Interestingly, neither of two prop pistols in this scene are what they are supposed to be. The Berretta pistol Connery surrenders is a Berretta Model 1934 in 9mm Kurz, not the .25 ACP Berretta Model 418. And, instead of receiving a PPK in 7.65mm, Connery is actually handed a slightly larger Walther PP in 9mm Kurz. So, not only is neither pistol what it is supposed to be, neither one is actually the correct caliber and they both are the same caliber! (A photo of Connery’s Walther PP is included in the slideshow at top.)

A third “stand in” prop pistol is also used later in the film. When Connery attaches a suppressor to his handgun a FN Model 1910 pistol is used as the prop instead of the Walther PP (or PPK).

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