Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Walther PPK: “A Real Stopping Gun”


It’s all Ian Fleming’s fault. In his sixth James Bond novel, Doctor No (1958), He replaced Bond’s beloved Beretta with a Walther PPK. The Beretta had jammed in the previous novel, From Russia With Love, and M felt it was time for a re-evaluation. “It’s a real stopping gun” Major Boothroyd tells M, and so the famous switch was made. The scene was realized on screen in the first Bond film almost exactly as it appeared in the book. The Walther PPK suddenly became an internationally famous firearm.

But what kind of gun is this and how does it handle?

There are several models of the Walther, the most common being the PPK – short for Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell or Police Detective model. It was manufactured by Carl Walther Sportwaffen in Germany and currently by Smith & Wesson in the United States, but under license from Walther. In Doctor No Bond is issued a Walther PPK 7.65 mm (about a .32 calibre). As Boothroyd explained: “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.” My Walther PPK is the version being distributed in the United States by Smith & Wesson and I chose the .380 ACP over the .32. The Walther PPK has a kick to it all right. Its flat frame and compact size make it the perfect concealed-carry gun. Bond used a shoulder holster but the Walther is just as easily concealed on a hip holster under a large shirt like a football jersey or, in some instances, a Hawaiian print shirt. I recommend a dark colored nylon sports undershirt rather than a white T-shirt which too easily outlines the Walther’s dark frame. There is virtually no bulge visible when the Walther is concealed. Of the automatics in my collection the Walther PPK, the 9 mm Beretta 92FS and the Colt. .45 ACP offer the fastest response. Of course, there’s nothing so pleasing than a Colt single-action revolver which Wyatt Earp and the boys used to good effect at the OK Corral, but that’s another story.

Fleming was right. The Walther is a real stopping gun and shooting enthusiasts interested in owning this historic firearm are encouraged to visit their local gun emporium. And if you haven’t read one of Ian Fleming’s masterful James Bond novels here’s the list below.

Follow the link HERE top the Walther website.

Casino Royale, (1953), Live and Let Die (1954), Moonraker (1955), Diamonds Are Forever (1956), From Russia with Love (1957), Doctor No (1958), Goldfinger (1959), Thunderball (1961), The Spy Who Loved Me (1962), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963), You Only Live Twice (1964), and The Man With the Golden Gun (1965).

And here are some inviolate rules of firearm safety: Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction; always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot; know your target and what is beyond; know how to use the gun properly; be aware that certain types of guns and shooting activities require additional safety precautions; there is no such thing as an unloaded gun; never aim the muzzle at anything unless you are willing to destroy it. And finally – never assume that your opponent is unarmed! 

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