James Bond pistols in novel and film. Opinions on progress and regress.

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by SSGN_Doc, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Ok I made a point of reading many, (not all admittedly) of the Bond novels while I was underway on subs. I’ve enjoyed different evolutions/interpretations of them in their film versions. The films take some creative license with regard to the weapons used, and fell early and almost solidly into line with the use of the PPK for the majority of 007s handgun of choice throughout the films.

    Bond actually used a Beretta 418 in .25 acp in 5 of the novels and was forced to relinquish it and adopt the PPK in Dr. No. (the 6th novel). This was all done in the first movie, since Dr. No was the first Bond film made and the PPK in 7.65 Auto (.32) was set as the standing Bond pistol for the majority of films.

    Brief use of the Walther P88 occurred by Roger Moore. Then back to the PPK until Pierce Brosnan got to switch to the P99.

    This carried into the first Daniel Craig Bond movie, Casino Royal, which began a modern reinvention of Bond and his entry into “double oh” status. In my opinion, this was a perfect cinematic opportunity to update the entire series. They modernized the car, the pistol, they went with more current intel gathering techniques, backed off a bit from small gadgetry, etc.

    Then the next movie comes out Bond is off the reservation a bit, uses the guns he can get his hands on (Beretta and Sig etc.). Then he’s back to a PPK but “updated” to a .380 instead of the .32, and with a grip recognition safety. Lame, lame, lame. It is said that “The Bond fanbase” wanted the nostalgia of the PPK. I say horse manure.

    If they wanted to be real traditionalists, they could go back to the novels and give Bond back his Beretta 418 in .25 ACP with the grips removed. (First novels mentioned the 418 with “skelotonized grip”. First movie uses a model 1934 or 1935.)

    If I were equipping Bond, I think the P99 was a good update to the PPK, by going to a service sized pistol, with a service cartridge (9x19mm) maintaining the DA/SA and decocker of the PPK. The P99 C offers a compact version of the P99 for low profile carry or even the single stack PPS would offer a single action only, slim, light package in the same size range as the PPK but in 9x19.

    I know it is all a fiction world but it seemed really odd to make some steps to modernizing and then go backward. I also know it is about audience appeal and putting butts in seats. Just frustrating from the standpoint of someone who likes some of the direction they took the series, but is also a firearm fan as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  2. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Bond was also quite the alcoholic, and he drank more whisk(e)y than vodka martini’s in the books than in the films.
     
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  3. Rifling82

    Rifling82 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I’ve never seen one James Bond movie all the way through :oops:
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  4. Mercator

    Mercator Well-Known Member

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    I liked Roger Moore's Bond best because he was tongue-in-cheek, unlike his solemn predecessor. As far as Daniel Craig might have wielded a curare blowgun, all semblance of reality was gone by then. I wish they would close the franchise, because there will be a Janet Bond and a trans-Bond and a multicultural Bond, you watch.

    But whisky wasn't it diluted heavily? Like the whisky flavored soda Churchill used to have "all day long".
     
  5. microadventure

    microadventure Well-Known Member

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    I wish they would remake "On Her Majesties Secret Service" with an actor I don't want to ***** slap. I can't get past "you were expecting somebody else?"
     
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  6. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    I actually have enjoyed the Daniel Craig versions the most. They are a bit darker more edgy. The underlying development of Bond as a character is better and the story lines from movie to movie are more cohesive.

    I don5 doubt there will be social justice treatment to the franchise but the current series has been fairly free of it or even given some push back.

    If they want to do parallel spin-offs of 009 the trans, purple, Scientologist assassin, they could I suppose.

    I was primarily commenting as a gun enthusiast, who observed modernization of a novel and film franchise, that even modernized the duty weapon of the protagonist, only to then drop back to a platform almost 90 years old.
     
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  7. donthav1

    donthav1 Well-Known Member

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    I suppose they're trying to appeal to the tradionalist James Bond movie fans. I imagine it's the same reason that Daniel Craig's Bond is seen driving a silver Aston Martin DB5 in most of the new movies.

    I watched a documentary on Ian Fleming awhile back and he actually served with British Intelligence during WWII & after. During his time, their assassins used Spanish 25 & 32 ACP's because they were cheap & hard to trace, basically they were disposable. So that was the basis for firearm choices in the first few books. He changed to the PPK after fans wrote him complaining that a classy, sophisticated, super spy should have a classy sophisticated gun.
     
  8. Nod

    Nod Well-Known Member

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    this is my James Bond pistol
    [​IMG]

    Close anyway !
     
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  9. sheepdawg

    sheepdawg Well-Known Member Supporter

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  10. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Churchill did like Scotch highballs, and so did Bond. Basically whisky (about 2oz) and 4-6 oz of soda water. So, it is kinda like whisky flavored soda, I guess. But if you are having a few a day, it’s still a whisky double shot each time, even if you are diluting it. And the whisky in the UK was a bit higher proof (45-50ish) until more recently, from what I understand. It seems they have standardized on lower proofs around 40 proof.
     
  11. crash11049

    crash11049 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Now bring back memories< I remember my first pistol I purchased.
    A PPK and a beretta in .380 available in a store with a range, and willing to rent any gun in the case.
    Thoughts of 007 in my head thinking the PPK would be the ticket... but no I could not hit a thing .
    The beretta I did much better ...so home it came.
    But still to this day, that PPK still haunts me... if only.
     
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  12. Mercator

    Mercator Well-Known Member

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    By flavored I meant that his drink was more soda than whisky. He did not normally drink martinis like James Bond. By all serious accounts Churchill was not an alcoholic. He liked the taste of whisky and a little buzz, and he liked to joke about drinking. He was portrayed as a hopeless drunk by the Nazis and other enemies. He got drunk with Joseph Stalin during WW2, and hated it, according to his doctor.
     
  13. sheepdawg

    sheepdawg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    He supposedly drank FDR under the table once. It took FDR three days to recover.

    https://grapecollective.com/article...s-the-boozy-brotherhood-of-churchill-and-fdr-
     
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  14. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Copied from a page called “The Churchill project”.

    The following (from Richard Langworth’s Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality) is a fair approximation of his minimum daily consumption of alcohol:

    (1) 3-4 weak (no more than an ounce) whisky and sodas at 11am, teatime and bedtime and occasionally one other during the evening (He never drank whisky neat).

    (2) An imperial pint (20 oz.) of champagne or wine at a 1pm lunch followed by a brandy, also likely an ounce.

    (3) An imperial pint of champagne or wine at dinner followed by a brandy.
     
  15. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    The trigger geometry on the PPK makes it a tough pistol to get a light, smooth pull with. My wife has a Beretta 85 that is very pleasant to shoot.
     
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  16. boatme98

    boatme98 Well-Known Member

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    Same here. A PPK was my first semi, couldn't hit ****. I traded it in a S&W 39. I really wish I'd kept the Smith.
    download (7).jpeg
     
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  17. Mercator

    Mercator Well-Known Member

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    The latest PPK/S I tried had a better trigger but what helped the most was the duckbill beneath the hammer. You shoot better not having to worry about hammer bite.
    Today’s Bond would still be a fool not to choose a small Glock instead.
     
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  18. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    In the ‘80s when Gardner took over writing novels expanding the Bond franchise, he picked the ASP 9mm to be Bonds pistol. It was a very limited custom package done to model 39 S&Ws in the ‘70s. The gunsmith who would do the work, actually did do contract firearms work for the US govt. alphabet agencies.
    So, the model 39 worked over into the bobbed, shortened, edge-melted, covert package with the “Gutter-snipe” sight, was actually a pretty realistic choice for that period.”

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Donn

    Donn Well-Known Member

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    Ian Fleming worked in British intel during WWII, but by his own admission, knew nothing about guns. He allegedly chose the Beretta 25cal because he liked the way it looked. A Major Boothroyd wrote Fleming a letter admonishing that a super agent needed more gun, suggested the PPK. Fleming not only took the advice, but made Q's character's real name Major Boothroyd. Regarding some disparaging comments made toward George Lazenby, (In Her Majesty's Secret Service), he probably came closest to the character described in the Bond books. Connery wasn't even close.
     
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  20. ramjet

    ramjet Member

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    I seem to remember 007 early in the books to have used a 1911. Starched in the waist band. I need to listen to the audiobook to verify. It’s been years since....