On the .44 Magnum: “Makes a jolly good can opener, but not practical for Bond”

In this highly entertaining clip from a BBC documentary, Sean Connery and Geoffrey Boothroyd, a English firearms expert, explain (and demonstrate) why the .25 Beretta was a poor choice of weapon for James Bond.

Kids, please don’t try what you see in the video at home!

I remember reading Casino Royale for the first time and wondering why James Bond would choose such low powered weapon. If my memory serves me correctly, he used .38 Special revolver in next book after Casino Royale.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Jim

    That was amazing. Imagine if Scots were still able to get and carry guns today.

    • JonMac

      They are. Just not legally 🙂

      • TATim

        As a Scot living in Scotland holding a valid FAC I can tell you both I own a gun and legally at that.

    • Seamus

      i would imagine broadsword violence would drop slightly

  • Houston

    This video was a good laugh. ^_^

  • Alex Vostox

    Mr. Geoffrey Boothroyd is some kind of legend.
    From what I read he directly suggested Ian Fleming that .22 Beretta Jetfire is a bad choice for James Bond. Firstly he suggested S&W snub-nosed revolver with Bens-Martin holster. After several discussion (And argument how the martini should be served with) and the ‘From Russia, with love’ release , Mr. Boothroyd and Fleming agree that Walther PPK is the best pistol for James Bond.

  • David

    It might be interesting to note that (despite what it may say on wikipedia) Boothroyd was actually Scottish, not English as he was born on Glasglow.

    That’s OK though, many people confuse Scotland and England 😉

  • Woodroez

    That quote used for the title of the blog post is magical. I wish the folks across the pond could share in this hobby as we do.

  • Arrkhal

    What I loved about the .25 Beretta in Casino Royale, had a “sawn barrel,” and also a silencer. So, Bond somehow took a 2″ barrel, cut it shorter, then threaded what was left for a suppressor? Geeze, how little about guns is it physically possible to know?

    I like to think the gun would have looked like this, plus the suppressor.


    Yes, I know it’s a Browning. I’m recycling an old photoshop.

  • SpudGun

    That was awesome. Bizarrely enough, Bond did carry a .44 Magnum at the end of Live and Let Die.

    • Jack Luz

      It was Roger Moore as James Bond, not Sean Connery.

  • rayman

    “A PROPER REVOLVER” Bond used a S&W model 29 in one of his movies set in NOLA, I’m pretty sure…

  • Billy Bones

    That looks like a Beretta 34 in the video.
    Was that ever made in .25? I don’t think so.

  • Sean Connery is a staunch supporter of Victim Disarmament and he has contributed time and money to gun control groups. I wouldn’t give him the time of day.

    • Seamus

      im pretty sure this is not a political blog

  • Joe Hooker

    In FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE Bond has his beloved Beretta confiscated by M, who makes him leave it on his desk and gives him a Walther PPK “in 7.65mm calibre.” That’s .32 ACP for us. I believe later this gets upped to .380 and somewhat later he ends up (in the books) with a highly modified S&W 39 in 9mm.

    • Jack Luz

      CORRECTION: It was the movie Dr. No.

  • JC

    Interesting video – but I doubt we’ll be seeing another BBC special about guns anytime soon.

  • My favourite story about Sean Connery and guns – and one which shows why Scots don’t need to carry guns – was his meeting with American would-be Mafioso Johnny Stompanato.

    Connery had – according to gossip – ‘pulled’ actress Lana Turner while she was in England filming a movie. Stompanato caught wind of the alleged affair and one day burst onto the set where Turner and Connery were filming. He unwisely waved a gun in Connery’s face (having previously threatened to kill both Turner and any lover) at which point Connery wrestled the gun from him and then laid Stompanato out cold with a right hook!

    You see, it’s not the gun, but the man behind the gun that’s important!

  • Joe Hooker

    Ooops, looks like Bond got his PPK in Dr. No.

    Anyway for those interested Wikipedia has a complete list of Bond guns, including the fabled ASP.


  • Maxpwr

    I wonder if the guns in his collection were melted down for manhole covers or dumped in the English Channel.

    • As far as I know they are probably part of one of the wonderful collections we have in the UK in museums. I live – proudly – within distance of the fantastic Imperial War Museum (North) in Leeds, known aptly as the ‘Leeds Armoury’.

      Here they can be cared for properly, displayed and demonstrated within proper historical context by world class experts and armourers and enjoyed by a huge number of visitors.

      • JonMac

        Er, no. The ‘Leeds Armoury’ is the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. IWM North is in Manchester and run by, well, the Imperial War Museum.

      • How’d all that proper weapon preservation work out for citizens during the riots?

        But seriously – no one cares for relics better than their owners who have had them passed down for generations. The number of beautiful antique revolvers I began seeing in pawn shops after the recession started is testament to that.

  • howlingcoyote

    England-the nanny state gone mad!

  • ted

    Great video, but connery.holds up a beretta 1935, but bond had a 418… lol ohhh well.

  • AJ187

    The real bond would of served more of a assassins role so a small, compact gun with a reliable center fire ignition system probably would of been up the agents alley.

  • Flashman

    Excellent video clip. A sad reminder of what Britain used to be like.

    In mitigation, you have to remember that back in the day when Fleming was writing his novels, small caliber pocket pistols were considered to be perfectly acceptable self-defence tools by those of British nationality and extraction. For example, a 25 Browning or 32 Webley [complete with single magazine] were common for concealed carry and household protection in places like Kenya, Cyprus and Rhodesia – and their owners didn’t consider themselves under-armed.

    Or perhaps they were just incredibly lucky these death rays were never put to the test!

  • Laftrick

    The reason you didnt need a big gun in third world nations for self defense is that almost any hole poked in his gut will kill an enemy. If they don’t have good hospitals and antibiotics a gut wound is a horrible way to go and the locals know it.

    And quite frankly, a gun you bother to have with you is ALWAYS better than a hand cannon left at home.