The Walther PPK was an integral part of the Bond films, beginning with “Dr. No,” when 007 was set straight about the weapon that would become his hallmark. In the film, MI6 boss M demands that 007 hand over his gun. Bond favored a .32 ACP Beretta, but it had almost meant the death of 007 on his last assignment. Bond reluctantly hands the gun to M who looks at him with disgust. “Yes, just what I thought, this damned Beretta again. I’ve told you about this before.”
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With that, M looks up at Bond: “You’ll carry the Walther. Show him Q.” The quartermaster loads the magazine, slaps it into the gun, and hands it to 007. “Walther PPK, 7.65mm* with a delivery like a brick through a plate-glass window; takes a brush silencer with very little reduction in muzzle velocity. The American CIA swears by them.”
*A technical error on the part of the film’s writers and set armorer, 7.65mm is .32 ACP not .380, an oversight that most people miss in the dialogue.
Bond holds the PPK between his hands, feels its weight and balance, and slips it into his tan and blue chamois shoulder holster. And thus the legend began.
The year was 1962 and the Walther PPK had already been in production for 31 years and by then was regarded as the quintessential .380 ACP semi-auto. How it ended up in the Bond novels and films had nothing to do with author Ian Fleming, but rather a gentleman named Geoffrey Boothroyd, a well-respected British firearms expert who loved
Fleming’s James Bond novels but disagreed with the character relying on a .32 ACP Beretta.
He wrote to Fleming and a dialogue began between them that resulted in the pivotal scene written into “Dr. No”: Bond trades his Beretta for the Walther PPK, the very gun suggested by Boothroyd. A grateful Fleming gave the name “Major Boothroyd” to Q, and with few exceptions, 007 has carried a Walther PPK ever since.
Over the last 50 years, from 1962’s “Dr. No” to 2012’s “Skyfall,” there have been 23 Bond films — “Spectre” will be the 24th. When Sean Connery’s renegade 1983 film “Never Say Never Again” went head-to-head with Roger Moore’s sixth turn as 007 in “Octopussy,” both carried 9mm Walther P5 Compacts in the two competing films. In “The Living Daylights” and “Licence to Kill,” British actor Timothy Dalton, in a more brooding portrayal, still carries the PPK.
During Pierce Brosnan’s 007 films it was decided that MI6 agents needed greater firepower and, coincidentally, Walther had just introduced the 9mm P99. It was a perfect marriage, one that lasted from Brosnan’s 1997 “Tomorrow Never Dies” until Daniel Craig’s first portrayal of 007 in “Casino Royale.” Craig returned to the PPK and PPK/S in “Quantum of Solace” and “Skyfall.”
“Walther is very proud of our connection with James Bond. And it’s a connection we’ve shared since 1962! Bond fans understand that 007 is deliberate and discriminating in all his choices and the fact that he chooses Walther is a powerful testimony to quality and performance. Ian Fleming knew then what Walther fans know today … That Walther is legendary for a reason. Walther continues to reinforce its legendary status today with recent introductions like the PPQ and PPS … state-of-the-art products that any discriminating shooter will appreciate.” – Adam Blalock – CEO Walther Arms Inc.
TWO WALTHER MODELS BOND DIDN’T GET
Of course there were other Walther weapons that could have well-suited the spy. Had screenwriters investigated a more concealable 9mm for Bond in “Quantum of Solace” and “Skyfall,” they could have chosen the Walther PPS, introduced in 2008. As a concealed carry pistol, the PPS ventured into territory previously occupied by smaller caliber semi-autos. The PPS slide measures just 0.812 inches in width, exactly the same as a PPK/S, and with its 3.2 inch barrel, overall length of 6.3 inches and height of 4.5 inches, it can almost hide behind the .380. The standard magazine holds seven 9mm rounds, the same capacity as a PPK/S.
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The P99 has led to other 9mm designs including the latest PPQ M2, another Walther that would be perfect for 007 to carry. The very latest of the polymer-framed P99-based semi-autos, the PPQ M2 has easy to operate elongated ambidextrous slide releases, adjustable white dot target sights and a large round button-style magazine release. The principal difference between previous Walther SA/DA (like the P99) and the PPQ series is the use of a single action (SAO) trigger incorporating a blade-type safety. Walther calls it the Quick Defense trigger system, which was first seen on the P99 QA. Walther’s implementation of the Quick Defense trigger also does away with the P99’s de-cocking system. Almost identical in size to the P99, the PPQ M2 also has a 15+1 capacity.
However, when Daniel Craig returns to the screen for his fourth turn as Bond in the much anticipated “Spectre” this November, he will once again be carrying the PPK. It seems the master spy and his Walther PPK are not soon parted.
For more information, please visit WaltherArms.com.