Skyfall, 007 and the 9mm Short

James Bond

My wife and I were able to get out of the house for a little while last night and see the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall.  We both really enjoyed the movie, and if you like action movies you’ll enjoy this.  There are some great throwback references as the movie goes along, and the show ends with me wanting more.


Why is Bond still carrying a .380 ACP pistol?

Yes, I know a hit with a .380 is better than a miss with a .44 Magnum.  But, Bond is a supposed master of all firearms.  So, why is he, and seemingly every agent of MI6, tethered to a Walther with dinky sights, limited ammo and a sub-standard caliber.

His enemies are running around with double-stack Glocks and a variety of full auto rifles.  Why can’t he be issued something with a little more oomph?

Sure, a Colt Delta Elite may not fit easily under a tailored tux, but he isn’t always wearing such clothing.

They make a big production of issuing Bond a Walther in the front half of the movie, and all I can think is I’d want more firepower if I was going up against an army of trained killers.  At least step up to a Glock 19 or something.

About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.

  • Brice

    Just think of the Walther as a gun to get a better gun….

  • Michael

    The Walther PPK is a british issue sidearm, or was in my day.
    I wish he carried a 455 Webley, “The Gun that won the rest”

    • JonMac

      Not for some time now. SIG P229 would have been a much better choice.

      • Michael

        Sigs and Glocks, have replaced the Walther, the High Power and the Ruger that were issued. But they were not around inI an Flemmings day.
        How about giving him a Webley Fosbery revolver, how British is that?
        How about a modern gun chambered in 455?

        • JonMac

          You’d have to invent one first! .455 is also rather low powered. A Victorian version of Bond might be fun though.

  • Jake

    He carried a P99 starting in Tomorrow Never Dies (Brosnan), but I bet they switched him back to the PPK because it was “Bond” and not a “plain black handgun.”

    He actually started carrying the PPK again in Quantum of Solace.

  • mblakely

    Thank you if you knew you were going to be in harms way why would you choose a .380?

    In the first scene he goes up against a Glock 18 with beta mag and depleted uranium bullets! Talk about expensive cost per round and a very high cyclic rate‎. What should James Bond carry? A 5.7 FN or an I-phone with a fleet of drones on control.

    • Richard

      A 5.7 could make a lot of sense. Something lightweight, with a decent mag capacity and the ability to defeat soft body armor with the right ammo selection. Not a bad suggestion…

      • JonMac

        It needs to be concealable – he’s meant to be a spy after all.

  • Vaughan Pederson

    I think the point is the PPK is iconically identified with Bond. Anyone can pack a larger calibre sidearm, however because of his superior intellect, ability and instincts he excels with the .380 Walther. He is no doubt amused that he can overcome extreme circumstances with a semi automatic others think inadequate.

    • JonMac

      Absolutely. So why arm the whole of MI6 with them? I can understand Bond being attached to a particular weapon, and single-stack small form-factor makes a certain amount of sense. But as standard issue sidearm? No.

  • Brice

    Recommend reading this article.

    The real reason? Flemming wasn’t a gun nerd.

  • Pierangelo Tendas

    Like others said, Walther firearms are a 007 icon, so James Bond is bound to use Walthers… yet, Walther itself offers a wide array of better alternatives to the PPK right now. Although the Brosnan-era P99 is definitely unfit for Bond due to its excessive dimensions, they may want to go for the PPS, that’s slim enough for ultra-concealed carry but still packs 9mm firepower, or at least for a P99c, featuring Glock firepower in a discreetly compact size…

  • David

    I think everyone is missing the obvious. It would have been an insane opportunity to market the PPQ (or that really ugly PPX) by Walther. But alas, they had to keep it with the throwback and stick with the PPK.

    • JonMac

      Yes, it had occurred to me as I’d seen the PPX hype before I saw the movie. You’re right – I wonder if Walther actively tried to engage the production company.

      • JonMac

        In fact, the PPS would be an even better fit. I really think it’s the classic lines of the PPK that keep them coming back to it, despite the lack of practicality. Just like the DB5 – they don’t make ’em like they used to!