View Full Version : Why did Bond do this?

The Scandinavian
November 21, 2000, 07:56 AM
Reading "Diamonds Are Forever" by Ian Fleming, I notice that reference is made to Bond spending hours filing the firing pin on his Beretta .25 to a point.

..er... Why? Of course this is a work of fiction, I was just wondering if there was any sense in this.

Cheers, TS.

November 21, 2000, 09:18 AM
I haven't read the book nor do I know anything about Mr. Fleming, but I suspect he was trying to make Bond look like a firearms expert by throwing some terms around that he learned at some point. Just like the Law & Order Special Victims Unit episode that had the 14 round 50 AE Desert Eagle magazines, which were the same size as the "standard" magazines and happened to be illegal in N.Y.C. Just MHO.

Mike Irwin
November 21, 2000, 03:35 PM
Filing it to a point?

About the only thing that would do is pierce the primer. Maybe not all that big a deal in a small, low intensity handgun, but it still can't be good for it.

November 21, 2000, 04:38 PM
I hate to admit this, but the late Ian Fleming was as anti-gun as they come. He probably knew less about firearms and gunsmithing than Robert Ludlum (shudder).


Will Beararms
November 21, 2000, 05:31 PM
Why did Bond do this? Because he was like most in Britain----------clueless about firearms and firearms ownership. Go rent Patriot tonight and you'll really be hacked off about all things British.

November 21, 2000, 06:48 PM
Ian Fleming knew absolutely nothing about firearms..

IIRC, in Dr. No (I think), `M' makes Bond throw out a Beretta for a Walther PPK which he claims has "delivery like a brick through a plate glass window"

November 21, 2000, 07:14 PM
Compared to the .25 Beretta it does!

George Hill
November 21, 2000, 07:36 PM
Good point.

I must note however - that Bond has left the PPK in favor of the P99. Then in the last movie - he left the P99 in favor of the 1911.

Bond has become better educated about guns.

November 21, 2000, 07:51 PM
There are some other points:

1. If Bond could have a wrist watch with a pretty powerful laser in it, why couldn't he jsut carry some sort of laser weapon? If a wrist watch laser can melt steel, imagine what could be done in something the size of a subcompact pistol!

2. Re "The Man with the Golden Gun" -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-?! Okay, so it was a singleshot, but still, GOLD?? that's pretty dern soft for a barrel material and pretty heavy for a handgun.... why not just make your gun out of LEAD? I'd think the firing mechanism would jsut simply bend, and running a cleaning rod through the thing would push away the rifling!!

Even if it was just gold-PLATED, why bother? extra mass, easier to see, and less funcitonal...

rant over.

November 21, 2000, 08:01 PM
1. If Bond could have a wrist watch with a pretty powerful laser in it, why couldn't he jsut carry some sort of laser weapon? If a wrist watch laser can melt steel, imagine what could be done in something the size of a subcompact pistol!Short range. Extremely limited charge.

2. Re "The Man with the Golden Gun" -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-?! Okay, so it was a singleshot, but still, GOLD?? that's pretty dern soft for a barrel material and pretty heavy for a handgun.... why not just make your gun out of LEAD? I'd think the firing mechanism would jsut simply bend, and running a cleaning rod through the thing would push away the rifling!!I don't think Scaramanga cared about that too much. Image is everything, you know.

November 21, 2000, 10:22 PM
Another big screw-up is putting a PPK in a Berns-Martin shoulder holster -- the only retention device in the B-M is the spring clam-shell that secures around the CYLINDER of the REVOLVER!! A semi- would fall out, since the whole rig is positioned "grip down".

November 21, 2000, 11:06 PM
Maybe to be used as a olive holder for those "shaken & not stirred" martinis! :cool:

November 21, 2000, 11:10 PM
Comments cancelled. Good thread though.

[Edited by Trevor on 11-25-2000 at 08:34 PM]

November 21, 2000, 11:46 PM
2. Re "The Man with the Golden Gun" -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-?! Okay, so it was a singleshot, but still, GOLD?? that's pretty dern soft for a barrel material and pretty heavy for a handgun.... why not just make your gun out of LEAD? I'd think the firing mechanism would jsut simply bend, and running a cleaning rod through the thing would push away the rifling!!

Taurus and magnum research make "Golden Guns" maybe it was coated with titanium nitride- harder than chrome, not sure about it's durability though. If it were made of solid gold, it would work better if thrown than if it were shot!

George Hill
November 22, 2000, 12:20 AM
So Bond went from a .25 to a .32? Q wasnt as clever as he seemed...
Why didn't Bond carry a lazer pistol?
Because Lazers are for Wuss Trekies not Real Men like Bond!

The Scandinavian
November 22, 2000, 02:33 AM
... further on in the same book is a reference to the Martini "shaken, not stirred". I had always assumed that this was something that they had got wrong in the films. Surely cocktails with gin in them should be stirred, and NOT shaken??!! Shaking with the ice dilutes the drink too much, and spoils the flavour.

Thanks for the input about the firing pin thing. It did sound wierd...

November 22, 2000, 03:26 AM
Actually, "brick through a plate glass window" isn't that inaccurate. I'm sure the ballistic profiles are similar.

November 22, 2000, 04:17 AM
Actually he never discarded the P99 in favor of the 1911. He lost the P99 (I don't recall how) and used the BGs 1911.

The Scandinavian
November 22, 2000, 05:30 AM
I've just done the ENERGY calculations...

One housebrick weighs approximately 61728 grains(!)
If we throw it through the window at about 30 fps, a fairly hefty throw, we get, using MVV/450800:
123 ft Lbs.

According to reloading data from http://www.vihtavuori.fi, a 71 grain 32ACP travels at about 1001 fps. This gives us, by the same calculation:
157 ft Lbs.

The 32ACP could be said, therefore, to have "delivery like a brick through a plate glass window"...

November 22, 2000, 10:12 AM
The paperback copies of Fleming's Bond books published in the late 60's had a picture of Fleming on the back with a cigarette in one hand and a pistol in the other. Guess which one killed him?

James K
November 22, 2000, 11:29 AM
Fleming was widely touted as having been in "British Intelligence" in WWII. I seem to recall it was a desk job. He supposedly had some firearms "expert" advise him, but either he completely ignored the guy or the "expert" was an idiot. Then the movie makers got things even more messed up (changing a Walther PPK to a Model 1922 Browning so a silencer could be put on, for example) and things went down hill from there.

If you like the Bond stuff, consider it a spoof on spy fiction and have fun, but don't try to figure out the gun garbage - you will go nuts.


Apple a Day
November 22, 2000, 05:32 PM
That line about a brick through a plate glass window reminded me of a "stupid criminal" caught-on-tape sort of thing. The security camera for a store caught a guy walking up to the plate glass window with a brick. The guy threw it, it bounced off the window and knocked the guy out.
Not much to recommend itself as a reference to power.

November 22, 2000, 06:25 PM
BOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!! thats all i need to say if you have seen the new Bond Movie thats how he lost his frist Walther P99-9mm but by the end of the Movie he had a new one:) and i'd say for a 9mm that the Walther P99-9mm is one of the best that Bond can carry:D

November 22, 2000, 06:45 PM
I'm working from my poor memory here, but here's what I think:

1) I tend to remember that the scene where Major Boothroyd, the armourer, is called in to M's office to officially replace Bond's .25 Beretta was in the book Dr. No. It might certainly have been in a different movie, however, as they were not done in order.

2) I could have sworn that I have seen a picture of a Berns-Martin (or is it Burns-Martin?) holster for semi-autos. But even if it wasn't really a Berns-Martin, there have been a number of spring-clip horizontal or upside-down holsters for small autos, I should think.

3) Bond's signature martini was actually made with Vodka, I believe. It was in the first novel, Casino Royale, which has really never been made into a proper movie. He was going to name it after his love interest at the time, Vesper Lynd. It wasn't just a regular vodka martini, as it had one other liquor in it (not vermouth) but I forget exactly what that was.

4) IIRC, Scaramanga's "golden gun" was a gold plated Colt Peacemaker. I think he may have used gold bullets, though. In the movie, it was some absurd put-together device made by Colibri (the cigarette lighter company) for the film.

5) It is very true that Fleming did not really know very much about firearms, but he did ask for advice from time to time. There is a famous letter, supposedly where the advisor is telling Fleming that there is no such thing as a "28 calibre Biretta." Other notable firearms that appear in the novels include the S&W Centennial (6-inch barrel?), a .45 long barreled Colt revolver kept under the driver's seat of Bond's Bentley (I presume a WWII Colt or S&W), and a Savage 99 lever-action rifle in .250-3000.

Once I posted a link to a website where a dedicated Bond fan is speculating on what kind of handgun Bond should be carrying. If there is interest, I'll try and find it again.

the HumpMan

November 22, 2000, 08:06 PM
Also in "From Russia with Love" they gave him an AR-7 "sniper rifle".

November 22, 2000, 08:06 PM
Also in "From Russia with Love" they gave him an AR-7 "sniper rifle".

November 22, 2000, 08:32 PM
I was really disappointed with the new Walther P99 after I shot It, bad hybred between the Glock and HK.
In Bonds last film
he always seemed to drop the P99 and used the 1911
to finish the job...
He should have stuck with the PPK .32 which is
still superior to the "New Walther" IMO
After 70+ years the PPK is still a valid pistol..
Perfect for Bond....
The filing of the firing pin sounds like a bunch of
Hollywood mumbo jumbo....

tony stapleton
November 22, 2000, 10:20 PM
It was Dr. No. I just checked the movie out and yes, it was the Walther that replaced the berretta.

November 22, 2000, 11:46 PM
well DAKODAKID Bond did not drop the Walther P99 for the 1911, his Walther P99 had C4 in it and well? BOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!! and thats why he had to use the 1911 but by the end of the Movie he had got a new Walther P99:D

Oleg Volk
November 23, 2000, 12:07 AM
That one takes place in Japan (what's the title?)

The rocket launch sequence is in Russian and, if I recall correctly, translates as "3, 2, 1, start the damn car".

Mike Davies
November 23, 2000, 12:25 AM
Of course, what must be borne in mind, is that Bond was "Licensed to kill". He was first and foremost an assasin. Hence a small caliber handgun. Most shots would have been fired with the muzzle pressed to a temple..<g>

November 23, 2000, 12:55 AM
Oleg Volk....You Only Live Twice

November 24, 2000, 03:53 PM
Mack Bolan would kick his a$$!!!! :D Gotta love a guy with a High Power!!!

twin Sigs
April 20, 2001, 08:53 PM
he is bond, james bond...

April 20, 2001, 10:49 PM
Scand, I think diluting the drink by shaking it was deliberate. The idea being Bond would want to consume as little alcohol as possible to keep his edge, but still appear sociable.

At least, that's what my bartending instructor told me. (shrug)

April 20, 2001, 10:56 PM

I saw that show too and had to look up the capicity of the clips. Did you see tonights? They had ATF carring M1A/M-14's. I don't know much about ATF but I don't think assult forces would be breaking down doors with .308's.

Mark King
April 21, 2001, 06:29 AM
In the book,when Bond is ordered to turn in his .25 Beretta by "M", he is given the choice of the Walther PPK in .32ACP or a S&W chief's special in .38SPL. Bond chose the Walther because the S&W's fierce recoil.

Mark / FL

April 21, 2001, 09:14 AM
BTW "Bonds" in real life are local bozos who are easy to forget after operation. Hi rank officers doesn´t make sense to put critical situations. Bozos need good killing machines (some times) officers needs guns for defence (like we all) not offence.
In Bonds Beretta also grips were taken away and there was tape on those plases. Almost as clever as making holes to shells. There are moving parts under grips in Beretta so it was double-deactivated.......
British Secret Service has used both Beretta 6,35 and PPK .32. Those were (are) good guns to everyday carry for spys who in real life works in office. I can understand Bonds choice between PPK and S&W Airweigth. PPK is much easier to carry and shoot. I was in similar situation and I traded from S&W (Bodyguard with modern Berns Martin so. Bianchi Agent) to PPK .380. I think that Fleming copied that happening from real life (it was suggestion from one gun writer).
Finally to you "big americans" ;-)
.25 or .32 is much better than .45 in home.
One hit from .25 is much better than miss with .45
One .25 in brain is as good as .45.
Good shooter can live even with .25 bad needs .45......

From Europe with Love

Blue Duck357
April 21, 2001, 10:59 AM
You always get into this... "A hit with a 25 is better than a miss with a 45"/ "one 25 in the brain.." Like somehow carrying a small caliber weapon makes you more skilled.

fnwalther, heres a plan to prove your hypothosis. Round up a thousand guys at random carrying a 45 auto and another thousand at random carrying 25 autos Have a contest (including the vaunted head shots) and see which group does the best, I know who my moneys on :D

From America with no particular emotion towards Europe in general.-Blue Duck

April 21, 2001, 02:57 PM
I dont care what kind of gun the schmoe carries. I want the Car!!! He's always got great cars! noone but Batman has a better car than Bond.

P.S. Walther my good man I wouldn't give my wife a .25 to use. If you're truly a good shot you should be able to handle the recoil and hit your target with a .45!

April 21, 2001, 04:59 PM
One thing for sure- Walther has sold a whole lot of PPK's they would not have sold if it weren't for Ian Fleming.

Hmm, maybe Ernest Emerson and HK have done well off Dick Marcinko, too, come to think of it :)

Seriously, though, it is a bit scary how many people select tooks like pistols as a result of how they react to the output from fiction writer's pens.

April 21, 2001, 08:10 PM
Fleming was no expert for sure, but remember the .25 and .22 were used, and are still used as assasin's weapons. Israel's Mossad agents use these small caliber's silenced and yes, they sneak up behind you and "wack". I think the Beretta .25 Jetfire was what they used. The best .25 there is by the way. Very small and reliable and 8+1 shots. I have one and really like it, for what it is.

I think this is probably the reason the .25 Beretta was chosen. By the way the .25 used in the books was not the Jetfire but a rather odd little gun with a hidden hammer as the Jetfire was not avaliable in the timetable of the books.

The reasoning behind switching to the .32 PPK was pretty obvious as that is what most plain clothes police outside of Britain were using. I wish I had one just for fun. Maybe someday. Of course this became the "icon" and the Walther name became synonymous with the Bond of the movies. You will see the Jetfire on occasion in the films (Carry Lowell has one in her adorable little garter holster in "License to Kill" in nickel plate).

April 21, 2001, 08:49 PM
If you sharpened the firing pin then you'd get pierced primers and loss of velocity. Also, sharp firing pins could cause "slam fires". I've heard that's one reason why titanium firing pins are not durable because they wear to a fine sharp point and cause these problems in some weapons. :)

April 22, 2001, 04:48 AM
I have Beretta M318 (like James Bond hidden striker etc) but I prefer FN Baby in .25 caliber class. My Beretta is not so trusty but it is about 60 years old already.
The .45 is of course better than .25. And .357 is better than .45. But .308 or 12 Gauge is also much better than .357.
Also it is very true that carrying .25 doesn´t make any one more skilled (like alcohol doesn´t make more wise) but some peoples are able to handle .25 and alcohol better than others. I hope not in the same time of course they don´t fit.
First rule is: Have a gun. Bigger is better but anything is better than nothing.
The guestion is that in many places .45 is more difficult to carry than .25. Some places impossible. Then you must compromise. It is much easier to say "I can carry .45 in anywhere" than really to do so especially in countries where carrying is not allowed. If you have a .45 in casino ;-) then your taxido didn´t fit well and you must all the time guard that no one feels your gun in rush.
To "real life agents" gun is not tool number one or even number ten (well maybe to Mossad hit teams who used to use Beretta M70 .22 caliber mostly without silencer).
Personally I prefer to carry my Glock 9mm with +P+ HiShocks like primary ONE HAND weapon and my PPK .380 as back up BUT if that kind situation happens where I really need to use a gun then my REAL primary weapon is full auto FAL, AK47 or MP5 depending the situation.
And yes I have those all......

April 22, 2001, 03:32 PM
Okay, getting back to the original question, my guess for why Ian thought this was a really cool idea was that somebody probably told him that it would make the firing pin lighter, reducing inertia and lock times (similar to the philosophy behind skeletonizing the hammer). That way Bond would have that crucial .001 second advantage in a firefight.

It's a dumb thing to do to a firing pin, but that's absolutely the only "reasoning" I can think of for doing something like this.

April 23, 2001, 10:06 AM
Mark, i believe the choice that he was given was the Walther or a desk <turning in his LTK>. but i haven't read the books in about 15 years, mebbe it's time to do so again.

April 23, 2001, 10:59 AM
Bond's martinis are indeed vodka martinis, not gin. Gin martinis are stirred, supposedly to avoid 'bruising the gin' (whatever that means...any alcohol experts* here?). Vodka martinis do not require such delicate handling, and thus James prefers them shaken, to better mix the ingredients. So say my sources, FWIW, YMMV and all that.

Remember, its all about image and style. We fret about James filing the firing pin on his sidearm and ignore the fact that most elements of the typical Bond plotline is so far off-the-wall its laughable. ;)


* as differentiated from 'alcoholics.' ;)

April 23, 2001, 03:34 PM
not to mention that the way the charactor of bond as written was a cold hearted killer, the way he was portrayed in the movies he was a ladies man.


April 23, 2001, 04:08 PM
Some Bonds notes:

(Ok I am admitting myself to be a geek here)

Fleming chose the Beretta becasue it 'sounded good' and the charactare Major Boothroyd (Q) is based on a real expert who pointed out that the most likely weapons for a spy would be the PPK or the SW hammerless revolver. Both were in use by the CIA and by MI-6 and MI 5. The ppk was taken out of service sometime in the 70's by MI-5. Boothroyd notes the beretta is a "ladies gun" and Bonds was heavily modified with skeleton grips(and in one story no trigger guard, the 'firing pin work" is probably more of the same drivel) Behind the iron curtain, you'd be packing a makarov if anything at all.

"Man with the Golden Gun" was an unfinished manuscript when Fleming died but was written expressly for Christopher Lee to play Scaramanga.

As to what part Fleming played in the intelligence service its anyones guess. He was a journalist prior to the war so likely he was an analyist, and he spoke no german so its unlikely he was a filed agent. (tho there was an interesting film called the secret life of ian Fleming that was very entertaining.. if pure fiction)

The "Vesper " is made from equal parts vodka and gin and a splash of french 'dry" vermouth. In the books after Vesper dies James never again drinks martinis.

On shaking, shaking a gin martini 'bruises" the gin what this means is while it does water it down slightly it also makes the gin more aromatic, it smells stronger. Shaking also makes it colder. Don't kid yourselves guys a martini is all booze, nothing watered down about it. In the movies Bond drinks Vodka martinis shaken not stirred with a twist of lemon peel.

Bond also smokes like a chimney and is far more ruthless in the books than the movies. Dunhills with three gold bands if i recall specially made for him.

Bond has used weapons from all over the world in the books and movies so his familiarity with them should not suprise you.

This and more useless Bond knowledge is available from me at anytime.


April 23, 2001, 04:54 PM
Yes, Dunhill's, but also Chesterfield Kings. Both have probably killed more people than all our handguns - but, I can remember running ten miles, and to catch my breath, lighting up a Chesterfield. (Of course, i quit about 18 years ago.)

April 23, 2001, 09:35 PM
Thank you.

I just knew we'd have an alcohol expert on staff. :)

(Someone call DiFi! They're talking about guns and alcohol on the same forum. That HAS to violate some law...)


April 24, 2001, 10:51 AM
I have never read the books (kant read u know) seen the movies a bunch. LOTS of errors. Visa Vis the shaken not stirred, in Dr. No ,a waiter brings Bond a martini as says " Stirred not shaken, that is correct?" or words to that effect. Then it's reversed in all the other movies.

Gun errors all over the place. How many times does Bond say "That's a Smith & Wesson .45...." when it ain't? Live and Let Die ,Quarrel says "you might have even killed me if you had taken the safety catch off" off a Smith and Wesson revolver? For a trained assasin, Bond sure drops his gun a lot.Most of the gadgety stuff would never work. But hey, they are fun movies to watch.

Mike P. Wagner
April 24, 2001, 12:21 PM
Have any of you looked at Ian Fleming's biography? I did a long time ago, and as I remember, he had a pretty active life in one of the British intelligence units, and had some decorations for various actions. Of course, he can't possibly know as much about firearms as the experts on TFL...


Mike P. Wagner

April 24, 2001, 03:09 PM
I thought James graduated from a .25 auto to a .380? A proper Martini is usually made of gin and vermouth -- the less vermouth, the "dryer" the drink. It may be garnished with a lemon twist, onion, olive, etc. A Martini may be made with any clear liquor, thus James likes his with vodka. Shaking versus stirring is legit and results in small particles of ice in the drink which yield a much colder drink than one merely stirred (the degree of "watering down" the drink is negligible).

April 26, 2001, 08:59 AM
Fleming was agent by himself BUT real agents are far from Bond. More far what you think because Bond wasn´t gay like majority of MI5/6 seems to be (no offence,nothing against gays but Bond is macho-hetero).
REAL agents ("officers") don´t usually even use firearms they only carry for POSSIBLE SD-situation because:
1. Their work is investigate not to travel to "action" places for fighting.
2. Fast killings are easier to handle by using lowest level "workers" like x-military or even local bozos.
Also there are much better ways to neutralize targets with out too much publicity. Dropping from window, car accident, poison.....
Bond changed from .25 to .32 (in Europe .32 is and especially it was much common than .380).
In movie Dr. No gun change happens but there is wrong kind of Beretta (.32 caliber M35 or .380 M34) so same size and same caliber gun like PPK in that movie.
OTOH in that movie Bond takes his PPK and silencer and puts those together. Next picture: Browning Mle1910 with silencer........
BTW: Usually Bond drinks VODKAmartini....

From Europe with......

May 10, 2001, 10:13 PM
Martini purists know.

The classic Bond martini is called the Vesper after the poor lovely double agent spy lady in Casino Royale who committed suicide. Poor thing. Bond attends her grave as he does his beloved wife, Tracy (OHMS). Bond of the books has a heart.

The Vesper:

2 ounces Gordon's gin, one ounce good vodka, one ounce Lillet, a French flavoured wine. Shake on ice until oh so cold. Then serve strained in a tall champaign glass, garnished with a lemon peel. Read the books guys. Kick ass.

Gunner's mate
June 8, 2001, 10:35 AM
In the movie "The Survivors" Jerry Reed(the bad guy) is seen holding a BHP. In different camera angles during the same scene, the gun magically switches between a 1911 and the BHP. Unless you have a director like John Milius, guns in movies are often portrayed incorrectly. I especially dislike the hypocrisy of the Brits. In WW2 they begged the American people to send them any kind of small arm to defend their island. And, of course, we did.