An interesting question appeared on Quora the other day (at least one which is interesting for fans of James Bond), Is 007’s Favourite Sidearm the Best Gun for Conceal Carry? or did Ian Fleming simply choose the most commercially viable gun for his titular character?
007 Sidearm Best for Conceal Carry? Maybe Not.
According to Tom Kehoe, Lifelong shooter, firearms instructor and maker of fine leather holsters, a popular responder in Concealed Carry Laws on the site, he says, “no.” Let Kehoe tell you why 007’s iconic Walther PPK might not be the most suitable conceal carry sidearm through a breakdown of real life stopping power and functionality:
Ian Fleming created an iconic character in James Bond, but didn’t seem to know a whole lot about firearms.
In the first Bond story, the secret agent uses a Beretta 418, a tiny .25-caliber pistol. Fleming himself had carried one during his stint in intelligence, and thought it a good gun for a secret agent.
But after the success of Casino Royale, Fleming began corresponding with a fan named Maj. Geoffrey Boothroyd, who felt that no self-respecting secret agent would carry such a mouse gun. Boothroyd suggested a hammerless S&W revolver, but Flemming thought Bond had to have an auto. Boothroyd suggested the PPK in .32 ACP, and the rest is history. Well, at least film history. Fleming actually has a character named Boothroyd suggest the Walther to Bond in “Dr. No.”
Now, is this really the best carry gun out there? Emphatically not. The .32 is terribly underpowered for a defensive gun, and the Walther is far outclassed by numerous other guns today. SIG’s excellent little P938 is smaller, has better sights, a better trigger, and a much more powerful cartridge — the 9mm Parabellum.
The Glock G-43 is another ultra compact pistol chambered for a full-sized cartridge — the 9mm.
These sell like hotcakes because they’re flat, easy to shoot and have enough of a handle to get a decent grip on.
Ruger’s revamped LC9s is a value-point pistol in the same footprint that has a better trigger and a manual safety for a good bit less.
These are three of the best choices for folks looking for a very concealable pistol that still packs reasonable punch.
EDIT: As others have pointed out, I answered this in the context of good choices for civilian CCW today. But what if we were outfitting Mr. Bond to be the super-secret agent of the current millenium? He’d want a compact, lightweight high-capacity pistol that can be fitted with a suppressor, and will drop into his ever-fashionable shoulder holster. And, of course, it has to look good, to boot.
Ultimately, the most appropriate conceal carry 007 sidearm is…
If Q had any fashion sense, he’d arm Bond with a classic Beretta 84, a miniaturized version of the Beretta 92. This .380 pistol can be loaded with 14 rounds of ammo, which is important because Bond never seems to reload. And it accessorizes perfectly with the tux and Omega watch.
Incidentally, his one of eight Prototype Omega Seamaster 300 wristwatches, worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond has just been auctioned for USD132,090.