Guns of the Silver Screen: V22N9

By Kyle Shea

Handgun from the Orient Express

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is often considered the greatest detective writer of all time, but there are countless contenders for that title. One of those great writers is Agatha Christie, creator of the characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Her most famous story is without doubt Murder on the Orient Express, a story that has been adapted more than a few times to film and television. The first was in 1974 in a film starring Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall and Albert Finney as Detective Hercule Poirot. The story was readapted in 2001 for a television-made movie, then again as part of a television show featuring Detective Poirot and then again in 2015 by Japanese television. In 2017, Kenneth Branagh directed and starred in a new reboot with an all-star cast, including Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley and Johnny Depp.

In the film, Johnny Depp’s character carries a semi-automatic Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless. It was later used by Dr. Arbuthnot, who was played by Leslie Odom, Jr., and again by Poirot’s close friend Buoc, played by Tom Bateman. It is a great gun that was designed by John Browning and produced by Colt. It shoots .32 ACP from an 8-round magazine, though a later model shoots .380 ACP. The gun actually does have hammer internally, but it is called hammerless because there is no hammer on the outside.

The gun used in the movie is in good shape. On the handle on both sides you can see the word “Colt” on the wood. Beneath the word is the Colt horse rearing upward. On one side of the slide on top is the date the gun was made, the name of the company that made it and the town, the state and the country it was made in. At the back of the slide is a colt rearing up. Beneath the slide is the serial number of the gun. On the other side are the words “Automatic Colt Calibre 32 Rimless Smokeless.”

Over 500,000 of these pistols were made between...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N9 (November 2018)
and was posted online on September 21, 2018


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