RARA-AVIS: Bond, Helm, Guns

Tue, 2 Feb 1999 12:27:05 EST First, Zackel/Duggan:

<< > But I do have a question. I believe Bond's personal choice of weapons
> a .28 caliber Beretta. My friend insists it was a .25 Beretta, that there
> never has been a .28 Beretta. Can anybody give me a definitive answer?

I don't know the answer Fred--the make sounds familiar--but surely
anything with that small a calibre is 'a woman's gun'? There is though
'a James Bond Book' in the local library--next time I'm in there I'll
try to remember to check it to see if the size of Bond's weapon is given
;-) >>

I don't know Fleming's books, but I think in Dr. No, at the start, Bond has to
turn his Beretta over to M for the new standard issue Walther PPK. Bond had
spent time in the hospital (or, to be idiomatic, I think, in hospital) because
his Beretta had jammed or some such. At the end of the meeting, Bond tries to
sneak out with the Beretta and M tells him to leave it. Incidentally, Beretta
has been manufacturing light arms since something like the 16th century. They
began as a crossbow maker in Renaissance Italy.

In The Wrecking Crew, Helm complains that Mac's outfit has become tainted by
peacetime bureaucracy because the agents now use .38s. Helm says he prefers
the smaller, but easier to handle and more accurate .22. A genre
marker--complaint about standard issue gun, with favor going to the smaller

I once handled but did not shoot a Walther PPK that had been owned by a
Vietnam vet who had supposedly used the gun for nefarious underworld action.
Surely an instance of life imitating art. I can't imagine his using the gun
without the example of Bond. There was also a very small Walther that looked
like the PPK but was the size of a saturday night special; it could be
concealed in the palm of one's hand.

More on Helm later.

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