Boothroyd, Fleming and the Browning Hi-Power/P-35?

edited October 2018 in General Discussion Posts: 21
The Browning Hi-Power was used by the SAS in WW II and for the rest of the century.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browning_Hi-Power
http://www.eliteukforces.info/special-air-service/weapons/browning-high-power.php

While Boothroyd corresponded with Fleming many times, I've only seen online an image of their discussion of the PPK.
http://www.lettersofnote.com/2011/06/may-i-suggest-that-mr-bond-be-armed.html

Q1: Did they ever discuss using the Hi-Power?
Q2: If so, what were their opinions of it?
Q3: Does anyone know where I can read more of their correspondence other than just the letter discussing the PPK?

IMO, the 13+1 shots of 9mm HiPower would have been suitable for when Bond "went in" expecting trouble, rather than carrying only his low profile, "everyday carry" (EDC), 7-shot 7.65/.32 acp Walther PPK.
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Comments

  • edited October 2018 Posts: 21
    A member (who shall remain unidentified since he Private Messaged me rather than posted here), shared with me a WayBack Machine archive of a 1962 Sports Illustrated article authored by Ian Fleming that is directly on point: "The Guns Of James Bond: James Bond is fictional. His weapons are not. Here is the inside story of why he abandoned his favorite gun." Fleming claims it includes all of the correspondence between himself and Boothroyd.
    See: http://web.archive.org/web/20121106023506/http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1073622/1/index.htm

    On the first page, Fleming transcribed Boothroyd's rationale for a full-size, 6+" barreled .357 magnum S&W as Bond's supplemental gun carried in his car; essentially, it's a more powerful weapon and can be used for longer range work to 300 yards. There was no mention, much less discussion, of any alternatives and Fleming meant to accept the 6" S&W as Bond's car gun even though by mistake he had it published as a .38 spl S&W Centennial Air-weight. (They had discussed the Centennial as Bond's close combat weapon. But Fleming decided against it since he wanted Bond to be able to use a silencer/suppressor and revolvers cannot be effectively suppressed due to cylinder-barrel gap. That's why Fleming chose the PPK.)

    If Fleming had chosen the Browning Hi-Power as Bond's car gun (like 14 Intel. Co. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Reconnaissance_Unit), the Bond books would have been up-to-date until the 2010s since even the SAS still used them then. Pity.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited October 2018 Posts: 15,481
    Interestingly John Gardner had James Bond use a Browning 9mm gun in his first Bond Continuation novel Licence Renewed (1981). The Browning even featured on the dustjacket cover of the Cape first edition.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    edited October 2018 Posts: 15,423
    FN Model 1903, to be more precise, @Dragonpol. I believe even in the novel Bond acknowledged that it was a very old gun. But, yes, a Browning all the same. He did give Bond a variant of Browning Hi-Power later on, however.

    Alec Trevelyan uses a Browning BDA and a BDM in GoldenEye as a reference to the Gardner novels, the latter of the two which Bond was briefly armed with during the climactic finale.

    As a replacement or a placeholder for the Walther PPK (a role filled with the PP in other scenes for the most part), Bond uses a newer FN Browning, the Model 1910, to fit with a suppressor and take out Professor Dent in Dr. No.
  • edited October 2018 Posts: 5,767
    Bond in the first few novels is rather fond of his small Beretta. Presumably because it´s easy to conceal. If I remember my Fleming correctly, M and Q later on want him to have something bigger and thus give him the PPK. Still a rather small caliber, but still much easier to carry hidden than a Browning Hi-Power.

    I´m Pretty sure that David Morrell in his First Blood novel has Rambo carry a Browning Hi-Power.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 15,481
    @ClarkDevlin, thanks. I knew I'd probably gotten the name wrong but don't have the novel at hand at the minute. I think that I may have mixed it up with the ASP 9mm perhaps.

    Interesting too that Trevelyan uses a Browning. Was this in the novelisation or the film? Or perhaps it was used in both?
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    boldfinger wrote: »
    Bond in the first few novels is rather fond of his small Beretta. Presumably because it´s easy to conceal. If I remember my Fleming correctly, M and Q later on want him to have something bigger and thus give him the PPK. Still a rather small caliber, but still much easier to carry hidden than a Browning Hi-Power.

    I´m Pretty sure that David Morrell in his First Blood novel has Rambo carry a Browning Hi-Power.
    Yes, Fleming gave Bond what appeared to be a ".25 Beretta", heavily implied - but, not specified - to be a Beretta 418. An awfully ineffective pistol which Boothroyd rightfully criticized. The film adaptation portrays the weapon with a Beretta M1934, however. Then again, despite the subsequently given gun being addressed to as PPK, the seven-round .32 Walther PPK never appears in Dr. No. A PP rather appears instead.
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    @ClarkDevlin, thanks. I knew I'd probably gotten the name wrong but don't have the novel at hand at the minute. I think that I may have mixed it up with the ASP 9mm perhaps.

    Interesting too that Trevelyan uses a Browning. Was this in the novelisation or the film? Or perhaps it was used in both?
    No problem, @Dragonpol. FN Model 1903 is also known as Browning No. 2, so no, you're not wrong. :)

    And I believe Trevelyan uses Browning in both. Bond is issued with his ASP 9mm in the novelization, however.
  • Posts: 5,767
    @ClarkDevlin, the effectiveness depends on the use. A small caliber bullet into the heart or head is very effective. On greater distances it becomes of Course more difficult to hit a small target with a smaller gun, and calibers 9mm or bigger tend to have more stopping power also in other Areas of the Body. On the other Hand 9mm rounds have been known to pass clearly through an Opponent, thus threatening innocent bystanders.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    No arguments from me, @boldfinger. Even though, the .25 Beretta is a pocket pistol best carried in a lady's handbag. Though, not a very nice one at that. ;) Bond being an intelligence agent/officer should at least carry a 9mm that allows him to conceal a sidearm but also draw it with ease and create a spectacular effect from a fair distance. The PPK was clearly the best choice given. A Browning Hi-Power wouldn't conceal well as it's a large pistol best carried openly by an armed forces officer, not an investigating covert operative.
  • boldfinger wrote: »
    @ClarkDevlin, the effectiveness depends on the use. A small caliber bullet into the heart or head is very effective.
    IIRC, in his tome Cooper on Handguns, Jeff Cooper relates a case of a society woman who was having a dinner party and decided to off herself. She went upstairs to a bedroom, put a .25 acp to her temple and fired. Not feeling much worse for the wear, she used a kerchief to wipe away some slight blood and then rejoined the guests. I don't recall what happened after that.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Cooper

    One thing Boothroyd does not mention is that rimfires are notorious for misfiring and hang firing. That's why the .25 acp was made: to match the performance of the .22 in a centerfire cartridge. I wouldn't automatically prefer a .22 over the .25, especially in a semiautomatic handgun since reliable feeding might be an issue with the .22 as well.
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=VuO34MDezzU

  • edited October 2018 Posts: 21
    boldfinger wrote: »
    Bond in the first few novels is rather fond of his small Beretta. Presumably because it´s easy to conceal. If I remember my Fleming correctly, M and Q later on want him to have something bigger and thus give him the PPK. Still a rather small caliber, but still much easier to carry hidden than a Browning Hi-Power.
    Bond being an intelligence agent/officer should at least carry a 9mm that allows him to conceal a sidearm but also draw it with ease and create a spectacular effect from a fair distance. The PPK was clearly the best choice given. A Browning Hi-Power wouldn't conceal well as it's a large pistol best carried openly by an armed forces officer, not an investigating covert operative.

    I thought I had made it clear in the Opening Post that my suggestion of the Hi-Power was to replace Bond's 6" S&W .357 magnum, his "car gun" and as "supplemental" to his PPK. He would only carry it when he was literally "going commando" (or as I put it, "'went in' expecting trouble"). In the OP I also referred to his 7.65 PPK as "his low profile, "everyday carry" (EDC)" handgun.

    Hope this clears up any misunderstanding.

    Given Bond's preference for small, light concealable handguns like the 418, it is a pity Fleming died when he did. I would have liked him to allow OO7 to switch to the lighter weight, alloy framed PPK-L that came out about when he died. The PPK-L, IMO, would make the PPK a viable choice even for today, since one of its major disadvantages vis-a-vis current offerings (Kahr P380, Ruger LCP, Glock 42/43, etc), is its weight.

    Bottom line: if Fleming had given Bond a .32 PPK-L and Hi-Power, those would still have been good choices at least through 2000, and valid choices, albeit heavy (non-polymer) even today.
  • edited October 2018 Posts: 21
    Yes, Fleming gave Bond what appeared to be a ".25 Beretta", heavily implied - but, not specified - to be a Beretta 418. An awfully ineffective pistol which Boothroyd rightfully criticized. The film adaptation portrays the weapon with a Beretta M1934, however. Then again, despite the subsequently given gun being addressed to as PPK, the seven-round .32 Walther PPK never appears in Dr. No. A PP rather appears instead.

    If you look carefully you can see it's a Model 1934 (or 1935) in the beginning of Dr. No. But it is obvious in the 5 minute "The Guns of James Bond" BBC clip produced at the time of the filming of Goldfinger at 1 min 15 sec in at: https://youtube.com/watch?v=VuO34MDezzU

    The 418 is tiny in comparison.
    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_418
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    edited October 2018 Posts: 15,423
    You clearly said the same things that I did.

    And the Beretta 418 is the literary Bond’s “suspected” pistol. Not the film Bond. Since it’s not specified by Fleming which model exactly is that “.25 Beretta” he constantly mentioned in his first six novels, by many scholars and experts alike it was unearthed as the model 418.

    The film used a Beretta, but not the 418. The M1934, or rather the Model 1934, even though the 950 Jetfire would’ve made more sense for them to use in the place of the presumed 418, the M1934 is the better choice. More convincing in a holster than the other two pocket pistols.
  • edited October 2018 Posts: 21
    You clearly said the same things that I did.
    I added 3 things: (1) a link to the Youtube of "The Guns of Bond" by the BBC; (2) the fact that the Beretta is more clearly shown in that video; (3) that video was from years later, during the production of Goldfinger, yet they still weren't using a .25 acp Beretta.

    I was not correcting or conflicting with what you wrote.
    And the Beretta 418 is the literary Bond’s “suspected” pistol. Not the film Bond.
    If literary Bond and film Bond have distinct canons, the M34 might be canon for the film Bond since that is what was shown.

  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    Yes, precisely.

    The literary Bond and film Bond do have their own distinct canons with the elements you specified. True they didn’t use a .25 in the film adaptation since it wouldn’t have made sense to give an agent a small pocket pistol of that caliber in the first place. Glad they went with the M34, as I deem it the Beretta 92F of its time before Cheetah model took its place in the 70s.

    Regarding the Browning pistols, I was referring to the John Gardner continuation novels where he was hellbent on replacing his PPK with another gun, and constantly tried to give Bond different selection of sidearms before settling on ASP 9mm. Not a bad gun, per say, but not very practical either. That’s why I said earlier that Browning wouldn’t have gone well with Bond to use as his full time weapon unless going full commando. Didn’t contradict or misunderstand the original post. Sorry for any miscommunication.

    Then along came the Raymond Benson novels where Bond reverted back to the PPK as his concealed weapon, and used the Walther P99 for open carry, as in going full commando with it.

    All in all, I rather like the Browning Hi-Power. Didn’t know it was the standard issue for the SAS, however. But, if I were to deduce, not based on any research, since Bond used to be with the naval intelligence he’d use the sidearm the SBS officers were issued with as it would make more sense for him to lean to his naval background rather than use the military portion of it. Could’ve been the same sidearm for all I know.
  • edited October 2018 Posts: 5,767
    John_Bryce wrote: »
    boldfinger wrote: »
    @ClarkDevlin, the effectiveness depends on the use. A small caliber bullet into the heart or head is very effective.
    IIRC, in his tome Cooper on Handguns, Jeff Cooper relates a case of a society woman who was having a dinner party and decided to off herself. She went upstairs to a bedroom, put a .25 acp to her temple and fired. Not feeling much worse for the wear, she used a kerchief to wipe away some slight blood and then rejoined the guests. I don't recall what happened after that.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Cooper
    Funny anecdote. I wonder how many Kids died trying to Scratch their head like that. ;-).



    John_Bryce wrote: »
    boldfinger wrote: »
    Bond in the first few novels is rather fond of his small Beretta. Presumably because it´s easy to conceal. If I remember my Fleming correctly, M and Q later on want him to have something bigger and thus give him the PPK. Still a rather small caliber, but still much easier to carry hidden than a Browning Hi-Power.
    Bond being an intelligence agent/officer should at least carry a 9mm that allows him to conceal a sidearm but also draw it with ease and create a spectacular effect from a fair distance. The PPK was clearly the best choice given. A Browning Hi-Power wouldn't conceal well as it's a large pistol best carried openly by an armed forces officer, not an investigating covert operative.

    I thought I had made it clear in the Opening Post that my suggestion of the Hi-Power was to replace Bond's 6" S&W .357 magnum, his "car gun" and as "supplemental" to his PPK. He would only carry it when he was literally "going commando" (or as I put it, "'went in' expecting trouble"). In the OP I also referred to his 7.65 PPK as "his low profile, "everyday carry" (EDC)" handgun.

    Hope this clears up any misunderstanding.
    Yes, this clears up the misunderstanding ;-). Sorry I mixed it up.

  • The literary Bond and film Bond do have their own distinct canons with the elements you specified.
    I guess there should be a 3rd canon re. guns: What Fleming meant Bond to use as a car gun (i.e., the .357 6" S&W revolver vs the 2" .38 spl S&W Centennial Airweight. That's not to even mention of using a Berns-Martin Triple Draw holster, which is designed to carry revolvers, to carry the PPK. Fleming admits those 2 mistakes in the last paragraph of:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20120829033035/http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1073622/9/index.htm

    Perhaps that's why in the film, Dr. No, they don't even mention his holster (and it's not a BM Triple Draw).

    If there are any real OO7 fanatics, please compare the shoulder harness and holster used by OO7 in Dr. No to the one used in OHMSS. See Bond's first night with Tracy scene.
    True they didn’t use a .25 in the film adaptation since it wouldn’t have made sense to give an agent a small pocket pistol of that caliber in the first place. Glad they went with the M34, as I deem it the Beretta 92F of its time before Cheetah model took its place in the 70s.
    Good point. But it removes an increase in "stopping power" as a reason for the change to the 7.65 PPK. The 7.65 PPK is actually a step down in power from the 9mmK M34. Or you're saying when the film has Major Boothroyd say it has "no stopping power" vis-a-vis the 7.65 PPK was a mistake of the script writer, the actor in saying his line or the character of Boothroyd is mistaken.

    I guess we could be left with the more powerful M34 (or the less powerful .25 acp version of a M34) jamming as being the sole reason for the change to the PPK.

    This brings up an interesting question: is the Bond film canon what they used in the film (a .380 acp/9mm Kurz Model 34), or what they said they used (a .25 acp version of the M34)? If the former, you then have a mistake in what Major Boothroyd said.
    Regarding the Browning pistols, I was referring to the John Gardner continuation novels where he was hellbent on replacing his PPK with another gun, and constantly tried to give Bond different selection of sidearms before settling on ASP 9mm. Not a bad gun, per say, but not very practical either. That’s why I said earlier that Browning wouldn’t have gone well with Bond to use as his full time weapon unless going full commando. Didn’t contradict or misunderstand the original post. Sorry for any miscommunication.
    Ah. Got it.
    Then along came the Raymond Benson novels where Bond reverted back to the PPK as his concealed weapon, and used the Walther P99 for open carry, as in going full commando with it.

    All in all, I rather like the Browning Hi-Power. Didn’t know it was the standard issue for the SAS, however. But, if I were to deduce, not based on any research, since Bond used to be with the naval intelligence he’d use the sidearm the SBS officers were issued with as it would make more sense for him to lean to his naval background rather than use the military portion of it. Could’ve been the same sidearm for all I know.
    Yes, the SBS also used the Hi-Power. See this link from the OP:
    http://www.eliteukforces.info/special-air-service/weapons/browning-high-power.php

    For SAS, scroll down about 2/3rds the way to see a large image and discussion of the Hi-Power: https://www.forces.net/news/day-sas-became-famous-operation-nimrod-and-iranian-embassy
    FWIW, it's also here: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/62/c9/b8/62c9b8a57539ee5b49321a1ddb202670---iranian.jpg
    And item #40 here: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/84/fb/2c/84fb2c12dcaede3dd36410552f3e1d2c.jpg

    That's what made me wonder why, if the SAS and SBS were both using the Hi-Power, did Fleming (and Boothroyd), go with a 6" .357 mag S&W as his car gun? They both must have know about the Hi-Power. Like I said earlier, looking back from our vantage point of today, at least IMO, the best it would have been the better choice, other than for longer-range shooting with a handgun. (Along with a later switch to a PPK-L, if Fleming were still alive.) Unfortunately, in their correspondence, the Hi-Power is not even mentioned. I wonder if Fleming no longer had any contacts in British intelligence circles, or if he did not reach out to them re. guns, but since Boothroyd did reach out to Fleming and knew about guns, Fleming relied solely upon him and didn't bother to check with commandos/special operation forces to see what they actually used.

    Speaking of OO7 fanatics, IIRC, in one or more of the early Fleming books, it mentions Bond wrapping tape around the skeletonized grips. If someone can post where that is stated with quotes, the would be most appreciated.
  • edited October 2018 Posts: 5,767
    This is from CR, which I read recently. Page 59of the 2006 Penguin Edition:
    "After pocketing the thin sheaf of ten-mille notes, he opened a drwaer and took out a light chamois leather Holster and slipped it over his left shoulder so that it hung About thee Inches below his arm-pit. He then took from under his Shirts in another drawer a very flat .25 Beretta automatic with a Skeleton grip, extracted the Clip and the single round in the Barrel and whipped the Action to and fro several times, finally pulling the trigger on the empty chamber."
    A few lines on, "He verified in the Mirror that there was absolutely no sign of the flat gun under his left arm", indicating the importance of the gun being hidden.
    I´m currently in the process of reading LALD and don´t recall any Mention of the grip of the gun being wrapped with tape.


    Re SAS and SBS both using the Hi-Power, couldn´t it be that those Services used that gun due to Government contracts, and that Fleming wanted to emphasize how Special the 00 section is by having them have guns not according to standart contracts?
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 10,251
    For the taped skeleton grip, I remember the words. The book mentions are pretty spare, actually, and not in Casino Royale like I thought.

    Diamonds Are Forever, Ian Fleming, 1956.
    Chapter 6 - In Transit

    ...
    Bond shrugged his shoulders. He glanced at his watch. 6.25. He looked round the room. Everything was ready. On an impulse, he put his right hand under his coat and drew the .25 Beretta automatic with the skeleton grip out of the chamois leather holster that hung just below his left armpit. It was the new gun M had given him 'as a memento' after his last assignment, with a note in M's green ink that had said, You may need this.

    Bond walked over to the bed, snapped out the magazine, and pumped the single round in the chamber out on to the bedspread. He worked the action several times and sensed the tension on the trigger spring as he squeezed and fired the empty gun. He pulled back the breech and verified that there was no dust round the pin which he had spent so many hours filing to a point, and he ran his hand down the blue barrel from the tip of which he had personally sawn the blunt foresight. Then he snapped the spare round back into the magazine, and the magazine into the taped butt of the thin gun, pumped the action for a last time, put up the safe and slipped the gun back under his coat.

    The telephone rang. "Your car's here, Sir."
    From Russia With Love, Ian Fleming, 1957.
    Chapter Twenty-Eight - La Tricoteuse


    ...
    The lift door clanged behind him. Bond walked softly down the corridor, looking at the numbers.

    204. Bond put his right hand inside his coat and on to the taped butt of the Beretta. It was tucked into the waistband of his trousers. He could feel the metal of the silencer warm across his stomach.
    Dr. No, Ian Fleming, 1958.
    Chapter II - Choice of Weapons


    ...
    Bond stood up and faced the other man. There was no warmth in the two pairs of eyes. Bond's showed irritation. Major Boothroyd's were indifferent, clinical. He walked round Bond. He said "Excuse me" and felt Bond's biceps and forearms. He came back in front of him and said, "Might I see your gun?"

    Bond's hand went slowly into his coat. He handed over the taped Beretta with the sawn barrel. Boothroyd examined the gun and weighed it in his hand. He put it down on the desk. "And your holster?"
    Bond took off his coat and slipped off the chamois leather holster and harness. He put his coat on again.

    With a glance at the lips of the holster, perhaps to see if they showed traces of snagging. Boothroyd tossed the holster down beside the gun with a motion that sneered. He looked across at M. "I think we can do better than this, sir." It was the sort of voice Bond's first expensive tailor had used.

    Bond sat down. He just stopped himself gazing rudely at the ceiling. Instead he looked impassively across at M.

    "Well, Armourer, what do you recommend?"

    Major Boothroyd put on the expert's voice. "As a matter of fact, sir," he said modestly, "I've just been testing most of the small automatics. Five thousand rounds each at twenty-five yards. Of all of them, I'd choose the Walther PPK 7.65 mm. It only came fourth after the Japanese M-14, the Russian Tokarev and the Sauer M-38. But I like its light trigger pull and the extension spur of the magazine gives a grip that should suit 007. It's a real stopping gun. Of course it's about a .32 calibre as compared with the Beretta's .25, but I wouldn't recommend anything lighter. And you can get ammunition for the Walther anywhere in the world. That gives it an edge on the Japanese and the Russian guns." M turned to Bond. "Any comments?"

    "It's a good gun, sir," Bond admitted. "Bit more bulky than the Beretta. How does the Armourer suggest I carry it?"

    "Berns Martin Triple-draw holster," said Major Boothroyd succinctly. "Best worn inside the trouser band to the left. But it's all right below the shoulder. Stiff saddle leather. Holds the gun in with a spring. Should make for a quicker draw than that," he gestured towards the desk. "Three-fifths of a second to hit a man at twenty feet would be about right."

    "That's settled then." M's voice was final. "And what about something bigger?"

    "There's only one gun for that, sir," said Major Boothroyd stolidly. "Smith & Wesson Centennial Airweight. Revolver. •38 calibre. Hammerless, so it won't catch in clothing. Overall length of six and a half inches and it only weighs thirteen ounces. To keep down the weight, the cylinder holds only five cartridges. But by the time they're gone," Major Boothroyd allowed himself a wintry smile, "somebody's been killed. Fires the -38 S & W Special. Very accurate cartridge indeed. With standard loading it has a .muzzle velocity of eight hundred and sixty feet per second and muzzle energy of two hundred and sixty foot-pounds. There are various barrel lengths, three and a half inch, five inch..."

    "All right, all right." M's voice was testy. "Take it as read. If you say it's the best I'll believe you. So it's the Walther and the Smith & -Wesson. Send up one of each to 007. With the harness. And arrange for him to fire them in. Starting today. He's got to be expert in a week. All right? Then thank you very much, Armourer. I won't detain you."

    "Thank you, sir," said Major Boothroyd. He turned and marched stiffly out of the room.
    e3UnHJ4.jpg


  • edited October 2018 Posts: 21
    boldfinger wrote: »
    Re SAS and SBS both using the Hi-Power, couldn´t it be that those Services used that gun due to Government contracts, and that Fleming wanted to emphasize how Special the 00 section is by having them have guns not according to standart contracts?
    It's possible. But Boothroyd brought it up using "So much for his personal gun. Now he must have a real man-stopper to carry in the car." and closing using "With these two guns Bond would be able to cope with really quick-draw work and long-range effective shooting." Thus, I believe the reason for the .357 was high power for long-range shooting (out to 300 yards, acc to Boothroyd). Frankly, IMO, Bond would have a trunk rifle (carbine) for such needs. Sniping with a revolver is best left to the metallic silhouette crowd, not a serious spy/intel operative.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20121106023506/http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1073622/1/index.htm

    I had really wanted to hear why the Hi-Power was dismissed. Turns out, because Boothroyd wanted Bond's car handgun to be a powerful, long range weapon (so he considered it and ruled it out before even corresponding w/Fleming???). And because Fleming did not bring it up.
  • edited October 2018 Posts: 21
    Diamonds Are Forever, Ian Fleming, 1956.
    Chapter 6 - In Transit


    Bond shrugged his shoulders. He glanced at his watch. 6.25. He looked round the room. Everything was ready. On an impulse, he put his right hand under his coat and drew the .25 Beretta automatic with the skeleton grip out of the chamois leather holster that hung just below his left armpit. It was the new gun M had given him 'as a memento' after his last assignment, with a note in M's green ink that had said, You may need this.

    Bond walked over to the bed, snapped out the magazine, and pumped the single round in the chamber out on to the bedspread. He worked the action several times and sensed the tension on the trigger spring as he squeezed and fired the empty gun. He pulled back the breech and verified that there was no dust round the pin which he had spent so many hours filing to a point, and he ran his hand down the blue barrel from the tip of which he had personally sawn the blunt foresight. Then he snapped the spare round back into the magazine, and the magazine into the taped butt of the thin gun, pumped the action for a last time, put up the safe and slipped the gun back under his coat.
    It's funny the things you notice as an adult and not as a teen. M gave Bond the .25 Beretta. Never forget that.

    In the image of a Beretta 418 and at the link below, they only have about 1/8" of barrel beyond the slide. Not much to run your hand down!
    http://www.berettaweb.com/418/Beretta 418.htm

    Plus, the front sight is on the front of the slide, not on the "tip" of the barrel. But it says Bond "sawn" the blunt foresight off of the "tip" of the blued barrel.

    Last, filing a firing pin down to a point is foolish unless you want to run the risk of puncturing the primer and getting hot gases blown back into your face upon ignition.
    From Russia With Love, Ian Fleming, 1957.
    Chapter Twenty-Eight - La Tricoteuse

    ...

    204. Bond put his right hand inside his coat and on to the taped butt of the Beretta. It was tucked into the waistband of his trousers. He could feel the metal of the silencer warm across his stomach.
    How does Bond screw a silencer onto that tiny bit of barrel protruding beyond the slide??? I doubt it's much more than 1/8". But it gets worse.
    Dr. No, Ian Fleming, 1958.
    Chapter II - Choice of Weapons

    ...

    Bond's hand went slowly into his coat. He handed over the taped Beretta with the sawn barrel. Boothroyd examined the gun and weighed it in his hand. He put it down on the desk. "And your holster?"
    That's right: what little barrel does protrude, Bond apparently saw fit to saw it off! First off, why??? As you can see at this linked page, the 418 like its ancestors, didn't have much of a barrel to begin with. Second, assuming it was sawn flush with the front of the slide, there was NOTHING to screw a silencer onto. Some of these claims sound like the "shaken, not stirred" BS. Something just to make Bond seem so superior to the rest of us that he has to customize things.
    http://www.berettaweb.com/418/Beretta 418.htm
    Major Boothroyd put on the expert's voice. "As a matter of fact, sir," he said modestly, "I've just been testing most of the small automatics. Five thousand rounds each at twenty-five yards. Of all of them, I'd choose the Walther PPK 7.65 mm. It only came fourth after the Japanese M-14, the Russian Tokarev and the Sauer M-38. But I like its light trigger pull and the extension spur of the magazine gives a grip that should suit 007. It's a real stopping gun. Of course it's about a .32 calibre as compared with the Beretta's .25, but I wouldn't recommend anything lighter. And you can get ammunition for the Walther anywhere in the world. That gives it an edge on the Japanese and the Russian guns." M turned to Bond. "Any comments?"

    "It's a good gun, sir," Bond admitted. "Bit more bulky than the Beretta. How does the Armourer suggest I carry it?"
    e3UnHJ4.jpg
    A few comments here. The Armourer's criticisms about the .25 vis-a-vis the .32/7.65 is criticism of M's choice in guns since, per DAF quote, M gave Bond the Beretta.

    I edited out both of Fleming's mistakes (mixing up the .38 Centennial with the .357 6"; using the BM Triple Draw with a semiauto).

    The photo of the Bond gun gives cause for pause: those open sides to the grip are just asking for something worse than lint to get in there during a struggle/fight and jam up the mechanism at the worst possible time. Plus the underside of the electrical tape is a magnet for dust and dirt. Bond should have had a Q Branch machinist manufacture flat metal panels to cover the works while still being very thin. Again, I take this to be a case of Fleming wanting Bond to customize his tools, even if what Fleming proposes is foolish. I could see disabling the grip safety with electrical tape, but under grip panels. But even here, Bond could just have Q Branch pin the grip safety down to disable it.

    Last, how does one thread a silencer onto the muzzle of a PPK: it's barrel is also flush against the front of it's slide.

    ETA: If Fleming had gone with a Hi-Power, it would have given Bond a chance to customize it by deactiving the magazine disconnect that prevents a round in the chamber from being fired if a magazine is not in place. This not only allows such emergency firing, but also lightens the Hi-Power's otherwise heavy and rough standard trigger pull (and was commonly done by serious users of the Hi-Power).
  • John_Bryce wrote: »
    If there are any real OO7 fanatics, please compare the shoulder harness and holster used by OO7 in Dr. No to the one used in OHMSS. See Bond's first night with Tracy scene.
    I can't recall if there are scenes in other Connery era films where you can clearly see the type of shoulder harness and holster used. What I'm wondering is whether it is a stiff, stout leather holster as recommended by Boothroyd in his letters to Fleming or the soft, chamois type Fleming originally specified in the Bond novels.

    This question applies to the other films where OO7 carries the PPK. If someone has them on DVD, a reply would be most appreciated. No hurry.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=VuO34MDezzU

  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    From what I was reading online a couple of days ago, coincidentally regarding on Connery's holster, it was custom-made by a tailor. Apparently. It wasn't getting positive reviews from gun experts who criticized the holster for nothing being leather-bound.
  • From what I was reading online a couple of days ago, coincidentally regarding on Connery's holster, it was custom-made by a tailor. Apparently. It wasn't getting positive reviews from gun experts who criticized the holster for nothing being leather-bound.
    I could see the harness being made of some sort of stretchy material, but the holster itself wasn't leather, not even chamois?

  • edited November 2018 Posts: 21
    Dr. No

    <snip>

    From Russia With Love

    <snip>

    Goldfinger

    <snip>

    On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    <snip>
    Dude! That's awesome! Thanks.

    I pretty much stopped watching from Moore until Craig. Anyone during that period use a PPK or PPK/S? If so, what were their PPK holsters like?

    Dittos with the Craig era.

    In exchange I offer you and the rest 2 excellent videos in case you haven't come across them before. Both are in regards to literary Bond. The first about his Beretta. (I can't see how Bond carried that with a silencer stuffed down his pants with the barrel going across his stomach.) And the second is about his PPK.

    Enjoy!

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=g5BcvbSzCzI

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=SimIUgsMQQk
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 15,481
    FN Model 1903, to be more precise, @Dragonpol. I believe even in the novel Bond acknowledged that it was a very old gun. But, yes, a Browning all the same. He did give Bond a variant of Browning Hi-Power later on, however.

    Alec Trevelyan uses a Browning BDA and a BDM in GoldenEye as a reference to the Gardner novels, the latter of the two which Bond was briefly armed with during the climactic finale.

    As a replacement or a placeholder for the Walther PPK (a role filled with the PP in other scenes for the most part), Bond uses a newer FN Browning, the Model 1910, to fit with a suppressor and take out Professor Dent in Dr. No.

    It would be very nice to think that the filmmakers did use the Browning as a reference to the Gardner Bond novels in GoldenEye, as you say @ClarkDevlin.
  • edited November 2018 Posts: 21
    RTB, interesting in that TLD holster carries the PPK with barrel horizontally whereas the LTK obviously carries it vertically w/muzzle upwards (opposite of original DN holster). Any change such as that requires a slightly different draw stroke, something to be changed only for good cause since during a gunfight you might reflexively go back to your previous drawstroke and fumble the draw.

    Any Craig pics?

    FWIW, a few weeks ago before posting this thread, I came across an article that said Fleming carried a Browning .25 acp during the war. That might be why he had Bond originally carry a .25 acp -- Fleming often had Bond use or do things that he did. But I don't know why Fleming had Bond use a Beretta.
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