Packing Heat Like An MI6 Agent

Walther’s PPK/S Meets
Galco — And The Real World

Will Dabbs, MD
Photos By Sarah Dabbs

Lieutenant Commander Ian Fleming came from a wealthy English family and served in covert operations throughout the Second World War. James Bond, the fictitious character he created based upon his own wartime experiences, starred in 14 different books which have inspired 26 movies over 55 years. Interestingly, Fleming penned the children’s book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as well. Bet you didn’t know that one.

Fleming’s iconic MI6 agent 007 personifies cool, calculating, lethal, class. Ironically, the fact Fleming died at 56 suffering from venereal disease, alcoholism and emphysema speaks volumes to the deleterious effects of Bond’s womanizing, heavy drinking and cigarettes out here in the real world.

Fleming’s Bond is known for his killer close combat skills, debonair social comportment, clever spy gadgets and iconic handgun. While a .25 caliber Beretta, 9mm P99 and even a S&W .44 Magnum revolver have filled Bond’s holsters on occasion, it’s the Walther PPK which is best associated with 007. For the most part, no matter whether Bond is racing after a terrorist in Tangiers, covertly reconnoitering a secret Spectre gathering in Turin, or playing tonsil hockey with the latest hot Bond Girl most anyplace, a PPK rides discreetly in a shoulder holster. As a guy who carries a gun every time I am not asleep or in the shower, I thought it might make an interesting exercise to see what it was really like to pack heat — like 007.

PACK-4

Compact and light for a steel gun, the DA/SA operation and
slide-mounted safety were both ground-breaking in their day.
In .380 ACP, a PP-series pistol can still hold its own if
necessary. Besides … they’re fun.

The Gun

The Walther PPK/S is the ultimate iteration of the Walther PP series pistols produced by Carl Walther Waffenfabrik and introduced in 1929. The Polizeipistole has been chambered for .22 LR, .25 ACP, .32 ACP, .38 ACP and 9x18mm Ultra. The action is straight blowback and the shortened PPK (Polizeipistole Kurz) version is the most iconic variant. The PPK/S sports the same abbreviated slide of the PPK along with a slightly lengthened frame holding an extra round for 7+1 in the .380 version. The PPK/S was originally designed to give the gun a little additional weight so it could pass the import restrictions imposed by the 1968 Gun Control Act.

The Double-Action/Single-Action trigger pioneered in the Walther PP series guns set a standard for generations of military, law enforcement and defensive pistols. The PP guns incorporate built-in internal safety mechanisms as well as a long, heavy first round double-action trigger pull for safety. Subsequent rounds are fired with a much shorter, lighter pull. All the PP guns include a manual safety on the slide safely dropping the hammer. There’s also a mechanical loaded chamber indicator.

The slide locks to the rear on the last round fired and magazines drop away freely via a thumb-accessible release button. To recharge the gun slap in a fresh magazine, retract the slide slightly to close the action on a fresh round and resume saving the world. Recoil in the .380 version is surprisingly snappy given the diminutive nature of the cartridge. Sights are machined into the slide and the top of the slide is given a wavy line treatment to cut down on glare.

PACK-3

Even if your most exotic trip is to the local gas station, the classic
Walther PP series and Galco’s shoulder rig can help keep the “Evil
Empire” at bay.

Carry Gear

Richard Gallagher founded Galco gunleather in 1969 as a small family business. Galco has since evolved into one of the world’s most esteemed suppliers of gunleather and professional carry equipment. Galco packs heat for countless military, law enforcement and civilian defensive users around the globe.

Galco offers carry gear for literally any application. Crossdraw, ankle rigs, IWB (Inside the Waistband) gear, shoulder holsters and specialty products in both conventional and exotic materials can be had for literally hundreds of guns. Their products are innovative and their reputation for quality is indisputable. Their minimalist Half Harness is a modular carry system packing the gun so it’s readily accessible with the strong hand while securing to the user’s belt via a single elastic band. The resulting rig keeps the gun comfortable and secure with minimal restriction and hardware. The Galco holster sports a snap-action thumb break for extra security and seemed the perfect holster to replicate 007’s classic setup.

PACK-1

Mr. Bond or Mr. Bubble? We think it might be the latter. Will reminds us
drawing from a shoulder rig means making sure to keep arms and hands out
of the way so you don’t cross them with the muzzle.

PACK-2

If you listen closely, you can almost hear the theme music. Almost.
Dr. Dabbs shows us re-holstering with a shoulder rig means two hands
involved, even for James Bond. Watch that muzzle and finger off the
trigger, please?

Practical Tactical

Even with a small-framed gun like a Walther PPK/S, packing a gun discreetly in a shoulder rig is tougher than you might think. The holster is indeed exceptionally comfortable and I could tote the piece all day long without feeling put upon or encumbered. However, a suit coat is intentionally tailored to ride your curves a bit and the gun can bulge if you aren’t attentive.

Under a light jacket or bulky windbreaker the gun is literally invisible and packing the same rig over a T-shirt but underneath a generously untucked Hawaiian shirt is comparably effective. Accessing the gun from this position is arguably faster than any other conceivable carry system. So arranged, the Galco shoulder rig is comfortable while driving and secure during fairly vigorous movement. With a smooth half-century under my belt, I am sadly unable to comment on its effectiveness while scuba diving, motorcycle chasing, parachute jumping, shark wrangling or supermodel smooching. Fret not, if I find myself doing any of those things in the future I shall most assuredly write about it.

PACK-5

This original WW II-era PPK shows the gun’s timeless lines. The modern PPK/S
has a longer grip, while the early PP has a longer slide. All are still highly
functional and simply enjoyable to shoot and own.

Philosophical Musings

I have not been mistaken for young or handsome for some decades now but I do keep fit and am invariably armed. While there are countless lighter, more powerful handguns on the market today making more effective tactical tools in a real world gunfight, none carry the iconic gravitas of the Walther PPK/S.

When packing my PPK/S nestled within a quality piece of Galco carry gear I do feel like I am almost nearly cool, no matter how vociferous my kids’ commentary might assert otherwise. If your job is such you wear a suit jacket or loose shirt to work or if you just want to pack heat like an MI6 agent on weekends and holidays — Walther and Galco can get you there. After all, it’s okay to have a bit of fun too, right?

For more info: https://americanhandgunner.com/company/walther-arms-inc/

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