The Walther PPK is a German pistol issued to James Bond in the Ian Fleming novel, Dr. No. With the transition to the big screen, the PPK became Bond's primary weapon and was featured from 1962 (Dr. No) to 1997 (Tomorrow Never Dies). In the film Tomorrow Never Dies, the transition was made to the Walther P99, which would be used for the rest of Pierce Brosnan's tenure as Bond.
Although the promotional material for Casino Royale featured the PPK, it was only used during the pre-title fight sequence with Dryden's contact, Fisher. For the rest of the film, Bond would continue to rely on the P99. For 2008's Quantum of Solace, however, the Walther PPK made a welcome return as 007's main sidearm throughout the film. This trend continued in Skyfall (2012), where the spy was provided with a modified PPK/S.
The PPK makes it literary debut in Dr. No, the sixth book in the series. The reason for this change is found in the previous book, From Russia with Love where Bond's Beretta 418 sticks in his holster. Taking several months to recover from injuries sustained at the end of the earlier book, Bond has his new weapon forced upon him. Although he is initially reluctant to use the weapon, he soon comes to rely on it.
The introduction of the PPK as Bond's favoured weapon came about after a series of unfortunate errors contained in Ian Fleming's early Bond novels. Firearms expert Geoffrey Boothroyd fired off several helpful letters to Fleming correcting these errors and making helpful suggestions as to a suitable replacement for the "Beretta with the skeleton grip".
In one extensive letter to Fleming regarding the accuracy of Russian firearms Boothroyd suggested in passing that Bond should carry the German made 7.65mm Walther PPK (Polizei Pistolen Krimminal = CriminalPolice Pistol, designed for undercover detectives) as his chosen sidearm. Though not as accurate as some other pistols of the same era the PPK had the great advantage of using the 7.65mm calibre (0.32" cartridge) which was readily available all over the world, fitting in with Bonds Jet Set lifestyle perfectly. Thus the PPK entered into Bond folklore and into popular culture as the preferred weapon of the espionage operative.
What is less well known is that Fleming was so grateful for Geoffrey Boothroyds advice on firearms that he named the "Armourer" in Bond novels "Major Boothroyd" - now known as "Q". In the novel Dr No "M" introduces "Major Boothroyd" to 007 as the "greatest small arms expert in the world".
By the time John Gardner took over as Bond novelist, he had retired the PPK. However Raymond Benson reinstated the PPK in his first novel Zero Minus Ten, although it would be replaced in his novelisation of Tomorrow Never Dies by the P99. In the following novels Bond uses both guns: the PPK for undercover work as it is smaller and easier to conceal while he used the P99 for jobs that did not require concealment.
Despite the posters and promotional material for Casino Royale (2006) showing Bond with the PPK, it was only used during the pre-title fight sequence with Dryden's contact, Fisher. For the rest of the film, Bond would continue to rely on the P99. For 2008's Quantum of Solace, however, the Walther PPK made a welcome return as 007's main sidearm throughout the film. This trend continued in Skyfall (2012), where the spy is provided with a PPK/S, he first uses it in Istanbul to try and shoot Patrice but tosses it away when the gun ran out of ammo and after he returned, he was provided with another one with a custom grip. Like the signature gun from Licence to Kill, the weapon was coded through a microdermal sensor in the grip to Bond's palm print so that only he could fire it. He loses it in Macau when one of the goons wrestled him down a Komodo dragon pit and the goon picked it up and tried to shoot Bond with it, but the gun had read that he is not Bond and the Komodo dragons soon grabbed the goon to eat him, taking the gun with him in the process. He was given a regular one upon his return after arresting Silva and used it to help Eve and Mallory defend M when her inquiry was under attack. Bond gives M his PPK while at Skyfall Lodge, while he used his father's hunting rifle. M tries to shoot one of Silva's men, but gets hit by shrapnel from the shots and dropped the gun. The gun presumbably melted in the Lodge's explosion.
The Walther PPK can be unlocked through cheat codes or as a pre- order bonus in the game 007 legends.
- Not counting the films where Bond uses a more modern Walther P99, the only movies that do not feature 007 using and carrying a Walther PPK are the 1962 film Dr. No the 1979 film Moonraker, and the 1983 film Octopussy. In Dr. No, Bond's pistol, while identified on-screen as a PPK (and presumably intended as such), is in fact a slightly larger, but visually similar, Walther PP. In Moonraker, Bond is never seen to use a sidearm, although he is pictured with his usual PPK in artwork for the film, including various DVD covers.
- Throughout the entire film series, the PPK has appeared with its suppressor attached in only six films: From Russia with Love, Thunderball, The Living Daylights, Goldeneye , Tomorrow Never Dies and Spectre.
- It appears in the video game GoldenEye 007 in the beta version, but in the release version, the name was changed to the "Wolfram PP7" for trademark reasons, as with all guns in the game. Subsequent video games kept the tradition.