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Guns of the Silver Screen: V21N8

By Kyle Shea

My Name is PPK ... Walther PPK: James Bond’s Favorite Gun

From “Dr. No” to “You Only Live Twice,” the first man to portray James Bond in films was Sean Connery. He was so popular as the character that he returned twice to play him after the last group of movies; first in “Diamonds Are Forever” then again in “Never Say Never Again.” In total, Sean Connery starred in seven Bond movies, the same number that Roger Moore starred in as Bond. Roger Moore played Bond after “Diamonds Are Forever,” and returned to play Bond from “Live and Let Die” to “A View to a Kill.” Both actors have their fans who say they are the best Bond, and many of their movies are fan favorites.

In almost all the Sean Connery and Roger Moore Bond movies, the same type of gun was used. The Walther PPK is as iconic to Bond as a “Martini, shaken, not stirred.” Developed by Walther in 1931, the PPK was one of a few variants of the Walther PP pistol. It was designed for concealment, making it ideal for spies and assassins. In fact, this gun has a very interesting history. Adolf Hitler used the same model to kill himself in a bunker just as the Soviets were closing in. Elvis Presley had a PPK that was silver-finished, with the inscription “TCB” (Taking Care of Business) engraved in the handle. Park Chung-hee, president and military general who seized control of South Korea by a coup, was killed by an assassin using the PPK. It saw service in World War II, being used by the German army and the police.

The PPK actually stands for “Polizei Pistole Kurz” (Police Pistol Short). It is a very popular gun with police forces around the world and is popular with civilians as well (along with Bond fans). It uses a 9-round magazine that usually holds 7.65x17mm (.32 acp) ammunition, though there are some variants that use 9x17mm Short (.380 acp) and .22LR. It is a small gun, with the length being about 6.1 inches...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N8 (October 2017)
and was posted online on August 18, 2017

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