James Bond’s Gun – IGN
James Bond can fix almost any situation with a smooth conversation, a sophisticated gadget, or a strong drink, but when things get tough and the cards are no longer available, Bond calls his trusted sidearm. In Bond’s 46-year film history, the MI6-released Bond pistol was limited to three pistols: the Walther P99, the Walther PPK, and in one case the Walther P5. Of the three variants, the Walther PPK was the most frequently used weapon in James Bond’s arsenal. The PPK was featured in 16 of the 22 films made in the James Bond franchise. The P99, on the other hand, can be seen in 5 films.
With Quantum of Solace debuting nationwide tomorrow, IGN Gear felt it appropriate to pay homage to them Bonds devices yesterday and now the most iconic aspects of the James Bond cinema franchise – his pistol. The Walther PPK
The Walther PPK was released in 1931 by Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen, a German weapons manufacturer specializing in handguns. The model name PPK stands for Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell, which translates as Police Pistol Detective Model. The reason for the detective-centric title is that the weapon is easy to conceal and is ideal for covert operations. The PPK is a semi-automatic blowback pistol with a double-acting trigger mechanism and an exposed hammer.
The PPK was very popular in both the police and the civilian sector. It is believed that the gun’s popularity and notoriety across Europe is the main reason Ian Fleming assigned the gun to James Bond. Before the success of the James Bond series, the weapon was mainly associated with the Nazi military. During World War II, the PPK was a standard pistol for the Nazi police, pilots, and party officials.
Despite its early uses during World War II, the PPC has since become an integral part of the James Bond universe. When Ian Fleming wrote the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, Bond was introduced with a Beretta 418. The Beretta 418 remained Bond’s literal weapon until 1958, when Fleming invented the weapon for the book Dr. No. Bond lore, Fleming received a letter from fan and gun collector Geoffrey Boothroyd. Boothroyd allegedly condemned Fleming for his choice of guns and suggested a range of pistols that would be better suited to Bond’s highly skilled background. Boothroyd advised the ideal combination of Bond with the 7.65 mm Walther PPK.
Needless to say, Fleming took Boothroyd’s advice to heart. Boothroyd’s collaboration on armor for the franchise was so extensive that Fleming included Boothroyd in the novels as Major Boothroyd, who later became known simply as the Q.
When the first James Bond film, Dr. No, filmed and unveiled in 1962, filmmakers immediately fitted Bond with the PPK instead of the Beretta 418, as stated in the books. The PPK was used in every film thereafter until 1999, The World is Not Enough, with the exception of Octopussy from 1983. In Octopussy, Bond is seen with a Walther P5. The reasons for this prop swap are not known. However, some believe that Walther asked the film’s producers to use the gun because they were in the process of marketing the gun to German police authorities.
The PPK is slim, compact and devastatingly sexy. Literally. It played an essential role in shaping the pop culture impact of the James Bond series. In fact, the PPK is so prominent that it was used in Mike Myers’ Bond parody, Austin Powers.