An important artefact from The Modest Collection covered in a previous post : Back in 1997 the Bond armourers were tasked to create the greatest Bond gadget you "NEVER" saw for the Tomorrow Never Dies Arms Bazaar pre-titles sequence. On screen Pierce Brosnan's Bond is carrying out video surveillance identifying the greatest get together of the world's known terrorists. After the Admiralty "have seen enough!" they decide to launch a cruise missile however Bond spots some Soviet Nuclear torpedoes under the wings of an Albatros L39 jet fighter & realises there is about to be a bigger bang than anticipated? White Knight (007) launches into action "filthy habit!" carrying a carbine style unknown rifle however this is not how this sequence originally began.
Rubber stunt cast off SFX transforming rifle
In the original cut Bond takes what appears to be a 15" x 7" package from inside his jacket so not much bigger than his suppressed P99. A folded hollow pistol grip was released revealing a short magazine, he then presses down on the front of said package when what turned out to be a top folding stock flips open and locks into place. In the same action a short 10" barrel pops out much like the pop out barrel of a Gat air pistol which had been locked in place by a sprung butt plate. As the stock unfolded a sprung padded cheek rest had also been released. This 10 second "cutting room floor" sequence would have introduced movie audiences to the small but deadly Sterling Armaments based AR180 carbine. As the cutdown magazine could only hold 5 rounds (which would empty in one short burst) to spray the ensemble of arms dealers the Bond armourers changed the short clip for a standard 5.56mm Armalite 30 round. A rubber stunt weapon cast off the transforming weapon was also utilised. Additionally with a 30 round magazine fitted the pistol grip could not covertly unfold nor indeed could the weapon be produced from inside Pierce's jacket as originally intended & indeed originally shot!
Practical rifle fitted with 30 round 5.56mm magazine
When Pierce at Frogmore Hall Studios in Hertfordshire in the UK and his stunt double stand in, Douglas James in the French Pyrenees fire the weapon from the cockpit of the L39 Albatros a standard 10" barrel AR180 with the addition of the top folding stock, modified short cocking lever & cut down sights was utilised to greater match the appearance of the "Gadget Rifle" which had been cut from one of the greatest pre-titles sequences in a Bond or indeed any movie. Three different rifles, practical blank fire and SFX folding sharing two variant stocks and rubber stunts were utilised to complete the sequence on location and at the Frogmore Hall Studios backlot.
The transforming rifle was created by genius armourer C.S. who went on the create Colonel Moon's Tankbuster for 2002's Die Another Day. Just 18 years later C.S.'s apprentice would create Patrice's folding case rifle for 2012's Skyfall
Practical rifle fitted with 5.56mm 30 round magazine