The Guns of James Bond - New Project from Commando Bond & Headstamp Publishing

Hello all!

Long time reader, first time round putting a post together! I wanted to publish a post announcing a project I have been working on as of late with the amazing team at Headstamp Publishing, the folks behind the Vickers Guide series among other firearms industry leading reference books and coffee table publications, regarding the guns of James Bond, spanning his entire history - all novels Fleming or otherwise, and every screen treatment of the character.

This volume will celebrate not only the tools, but their real world history, utilization, and impact. In addition, the publication will feature interviews with operators from the CIA, DSS, SAS, and more as we analyze and celebrate the real heroes who have used these tools, and often, whose use of them impacted the world of Bond, or in other cases, the reverse.

Primary source documents gathered from manufacturers will be shared here as well, as well as in-depth, detailed photography of the firearms - roll marks, sight pictures, grips, finishes, and so much more, in addition to a variety of editorial, lifestyle imagery built to bring 007's world to life.

A full synopsis and discussion of the volume can be found here in our announcement post: http://commandobond.com/the-guns-of-james-bond/

A teaser article of a vignette from the book surrounding the Omega watches of Bond & sharing some of our photography work can be found here: https://www.watchesofespionage.com/blogs/woe-dispatch/bond-a-case-for-omega

In addition, I am writing with the hopes of connecting with and learning from those of you who have worked as archivists and researchers in this vein over the years! With EON's unwillingness to provide licensing to any stills etc, any and all help and assets would be greatly appreciated! Thus far we have traveled to two of the most exclusive firearms collections in the United States to capture some of these firearms, with more on the way!

Thank you all for your consideration on this, and I look forward to providing additional updates as this progresses!


Best,

Caleb

(@commandobond)

Comments

  • CommandoBondCommandoBond Posts: 18MI6 Agent
    edited May 2023

    Some examples of the profile and lifestyle photography!

  • DinwoodieDinwoodie Posts: 5MI6 Agent

    My highly customised CS9. Better than the A.S.P.

  • CajunCajun Posts: 483MI6 Agent
    edited June 2023

    Sounds like a fun and interesting project; I have no doubt everyone's anxious to see the final product. The layouts alone look really nice.

    You'll have to forgive the perception by some that the guide has the potential to simply be more influencer marketing given the nature of the business of "created digital content." It's been my experience that influencers aren't nearly as interested in the input from real-world "good guy" gear users unless those users also have an online presence that can reciprocate the exposure.

    I edit, therefore I am.
  • CommandoBondCommandoBond Posts: 18MI6 Agent

    I appreciate your excitement here, it's been something I've been so keen on putting together for a number of years, and finally have the capacity to tackle.

    I entirely respect and understand the concerns respecting the "influencer" culture that fails frequently in understanding that digital content is simply a means of contact and communication, a place for experiences to be shared, but not the end all be all of things.


    People matter, as do their stories, and regardless of "clout" that may be present online. Most often it is those who rarely share that have the most important things to tell, so I do hope that this volume accomplishes its goals of sharing these stories. It's the celebration of them and their tools that most excites me about this endeavor. The bulk of the firearms we have captured thus far have come from some incredible private collections, and from people who expressly have requested to remain unnamed. This did not prevent us from working with them, far from it. So I hope the carried notion does not find its way here.


    For those skeptical or with questions, I am happy to discuss this project at further length. Cheers - Caleb!

  • CommandoBondCommandoBond Posts: 18MI6 Agent

    007’s Shoulder Holster.

    The Berns-Martin Triple-Draw Shoulder Holster, as issued to James Bond in the novel Doctor No in 1958.

    Fleming made a number of errors throughout his novels in respect to firearms, but his pairing of a Berns-Martin holster & a Walther PPK was one that drew a good amount of ire from his firearm-fluent fan base, as the holster is specifically made for revolvers, making the pairing impossible.

    The holster was recommended to Fleming by Geoffrey Boothroyd during their correspondence that led to the evolution of Bond’s weaponry, but to be paired with a Smith & Wesson Centennial Airweight (shown here in the holster), Boothroyd’s preferred replacement sidearm.

    Fleming instead selected the PPK, in part thanks to a 1952 article written on the small automatics of WWII sent to him by Boothroyd, and paired it with the prescribed holster. The Smith & Wesson does make an appearance in Doctor No, as Bond’s heavier duty pistol, and is utilized at the end of the novel, never to be seen again.

    In any case, I am thankful to have both pieces captured to celebrate in the upcoming book on the Guns of James Bond with Headstamp Publishing. My thanks to https://vintagegunleathertoday.com/ for loaning 3 beautiful examples of this holster, in addition to a number of other Bond rigs for us to capture.

    The split front holster is a fascinating design which, especially paired with the inverted way it carries the handgun, produces a very unique drawstroke for the user. More to come on this one in the upcoming book! Incredibly excited to share it with you all!

  • CommandoBondCommandoBond Posts: 18MI6 Agent

    The Guttersnipe Sight.


    One of the most unique sighting systems devised, and one that gets a great amount of love and description in the Gardner novels, particularly in its debut in "Role of Honor."

  • CommandoBondCommandoBond Posts: 18MI6 Agent

    One of the things I am most thrilled about with this project are the editorial, lifestyle assets we have put together to help bring Bond's aesthetics to life on the page. With EON/DANJAQ's lack of enthusiasm about any firearm related project, photography like this will invoke the moments that make Bond and his tools shine, and in the case of the literary Bond, provide unique assets that provide a glimpse into the world imagined by Fleming and other authors.


    This is a BTS shot from one of the most recent photoshoots at a private collection with myself and the team at Headstamp Publishing! Sincerely excited to continue sharing as we progress further!


    Again -  I am writing with the hopes of connecting with and learning from those of you who have worked as archivists and researchers in this vein over the years! With EON's unwillingness to provide licensing to any stills etc, any and all help and assets would be greatly appreciated! Thus far we have traveled to two of the most exclusive firearms collections in the United States to capture some of these firearms, with more on the way!

    Thank you all for your consideration on this, and I look forward to providing additional updates as this progresses!


    Best,

    Caleb

    (@commandobond)

  • CommandoBondCommandoBond Posts: 18MI6 Agent

    I recently had the privilege to travel out to Arnsberg & Ulm to visit Umarex and Carl Walther GmbH. In my days there, I spent a great deal of time with Mr. Pflaumer, the owner of the firm and a passionate Bond fan himself. Famously, he purchased this Walther WA2000 at auction, the screen used BAPTY Archive weapon from "The Living Daylights." It was the privilege of a lifetime to learn at his side the history of the last 25 years of Walther, as Pflaumer purchased the firm in 1993. His purchase of the company led to the design of the P99, and Pflaumer hand delivered the pistol famously to the set of "Tomorrow Never Dies."


    So many brilliant firearms were captured from his collection and the Walther archive for the book!

  • Quentin QuigleyQuentin Quigley Terminal One, Hamburg AirportPosts: 1,187MI6 Agent

    Wow, so envious of the WA2000, I have to make do with the 1:6 scale toy! Great photos there.

    @CommandoBond Did you say you were on the Walther forum? What is the verdict over there on Paloma's Walther? PPK or PPK/S? Always thought it was a PPK/S frame with PPK slide, but I am saying this as an enthusiast, not an expert. Definitely PPK/S grips though, right?

    Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,499MI6 Agent
    edited June 8

    You can’t put PPK/S (PP) grips on a PPK frame. A PPK/S uses a PP frame with PPK slide.

    Paloma uses the S&W PPK with contrasting stainless slide.

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  • Quentin QuigleyQuentin Quigley Terminal One, Hamburg AirportPosts: 1,187MI6 Agent
    edited June 9

    @Asp9mm Mate, can we get an example image of Paloma's gun? I am aware the PP / PPK/S has longer grips than the PPK. Paloma's gun features PP / PPK/S *style* grips where the knurling extends up to the top edge and the screw surrounding connects to the back edge border. That's mainly what's bugging me, but to me, the grip looks a bit longer too. I'm not aware if PPK grips do come in this PP / PPK/S design. Are we looking at custom grips made specially for that movie?

    Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
  • CommandoBondCommandoBond Posts: 18MI6 Agent

    LICENSED TROUBLESHOOTER - The Guns of James Bond - Cover Reveal.

  • CommandoBondCommandoBond Posts: 18MI6 Agent

    Sign up for the newsletter to stay informed as we continue to get closer to our launch! So very excited to see this all come together.

    https://www.headstamppublishing.com/licensed-troubleshooter

  • CommandoBondCommandoBond Posts: 18MI6 Agent

    Licensed Troubleshooter: The Guns of James Bond is a celebration of the most fascinating small arms wielded by one of the world’s most acclaimed action heroes, 007. This in-depth analysis spans the entire collection of Bond films and the novels that inspired them, including those authored by Ian Fleming and also those of the continuation authors. This visual history thoroughly examines the design and implementation of Bond’s tools, and of course, their impact on 007.

     Beyond simply paying tribute to the fictional hero of James Bond, Licensed Troubleshooter shines a spotlight on the real-world operators employing the same firearms, featuring interviews with current and former military and intelligence personnel from agencies in the United Kingdom and the United States, including the CIA, MACV-SOG, U.S. Navy SEALs, DSS, and more. These interviews, combined with substantive historical research, provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the often incredible history of these firearms, including their use in combat and clandestine services. Be prepared to see Bond’s guns in a way you’ve never seen them before.

    Bond’s replacement Beretta and Colt, given to him with a letter from M at the conclusion of Ian Fleming's 1955 novel “Moonraker”.


    Notable firearms featured in this book include:

    • Walther PPK compact pistol
    • Analysis of Ian Fleming’s “skeleton gripped .25 Beretta”
    • An exploration and identification of Ian Fleming’s “long-barrelled .45 Colt Army Special”
    • ASP 9 mm pistol
    • Walther WA2000 precision rifle
    • Scaramanga’s famous “Golden Gun”
    • Heckler & Koch P7 with squeeze cocker and piston-delayed operation
    • Walther P99 polymer-framed pistol
    • SVD Dragunov, sniper rifle of the Iron Curtain
    • MBA Gyrojet firing rocket-propelled projectiles
    • and much more!


    Though this book provides significant written analysis and commentary, it is also presented in part as a pictorial study in order to best highlight the varied and unique details of the noteworthy firearms used by Bond. The masterful photography of James Rupley jumps off the page, often exhibiting these small arms at larger-than-life scale. Intended for both the firearms collector and Bond aficionado, Licensed Troubleshooter serves as the first book to celebrate the small arms of both the literary and cinematic Bond in this comprehensive manner.

  • XandoXando Posts: 22MI6 Agent

    I am definitely looking forward to this book and already admire the beautiful guns.

    As to the Berns Martin Holster- I thought there was a PPK Berns Martin Holster produced. Not the Triple Draw though. Anybody seen a picture of that one?

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,499MI6 Agent

    Yes, you could buy a BM for the PPK. But as you say, not the triple draw.

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  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,499MI6 Agent

    As for the picture above with the Beretta 418 and a Colt 1911. Fleming never said Bond used a 1911 in Moonraker. In fact he clearly states it was a long barrelled Colt Army Special. Which is a revolver. I hope the rest of the book is better researched and not just a collection of pretty pictures.

    Colt Army Special..


    Colt Army Special with a long barrel…



    ..................Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............
  • CommandoBondCommandoBond Posts: 18MI6 Agent
    edited July 12

    I appreciate your input, and the army special is included, though it was never chambered for .45, (closest round in number would be the .41) which adds to the mystery and vagueness, just as Fleming never specifically mentions the correct model or nomenclature for the Beretta in use by Bond.

    A significant portion of the early Fleming section of the book is dedicated to the in depth discussion of what he could have meant by his vague terms, including an exploration of a number of models that could fit the description, citing examples and language spanning the entire Fleming canon.

    As you may have gleaned from my example photography, I make the case for the 1911, and I do believe my research backs up such a claim, and the evidence can be found within the manuscript.

    Research and in depth analysis are two things I greatly pride myself upon, so if that’s your cup of tea, I do believe LICENSED TROUBLESHOOTER will be an interesting read. You may not agree with all conclusions drawn, but each will be well backed by the research, and the case will be made. Cheers!

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