The Guns of James Bond: Roger Moore
Live and Let Die (‘73) • The Man With the Golden Gun (’74) • The Spy Who Loved Me (‘77) • Moonraker (’79) • For Your Eyes Only (‘81) • Octopussy (’83) • A View to Kill ('85)
Roger Moore is the second actor to star as 007 in more than one film, taking over the role after Sean Connery finally retired from the tuxedo after Diamonds Are Forever. Moore went on to star in seven Bond films, his run lasting well into the 1980s. The only other actor to play Bond as many times is Connery, but only if you count the one non-canon Bond film, but more on that later.
While many fans who grew up during the era regard Moore as the definitive Bond, who with his smooth demeanor and conventional good looks was less rough-and-tumble than Connery’s Bond, and far more suave. He also ushered in the era of Bond camp in the 1970s, often quipping his way through entire films. This colored the series for many years to come.
Live and Let Die (1973)
In his first appearance in the role of James Bond, Roger Moore continues using the Walther PPK as his sidearm, which was firmly established in the Sean Connery movies.
At one point, Bond’s Walther is taken from him and the barrel and slide are twisted out of shape by Tee-Hee (Julius Harris), destroying it. A prop pistol with a hollow slide and barrel made of thin metal was used for the shot.
Smith & Wesson Model 19 Snub
Rosie Carver (Gloria Hendry) carries a Smith & Wesson Model 19 snubby revolver with the serial number filed off, which is said to be “standard CIA issue” in the film.
When Bond disarms Rosie, he holds her own gun on her. When Bond examines the revolver he drops the CIA line and also says the serial number is gone after looking under the crane on the right side of the gun—but the serial number on the Model 19 is located on the butt plate.
Smith & Wesson Model 10
While several other characters in the movie use a S&W Model 10 revolver, a number of publicity photos were released like the one above showing Moore posing with the .38 Special revolver, though he never actually uses the gun in the movie.
Smith & Wesson Model 29
Bond rather briefly uses a nickel-plated Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver when rescuing Solitaire (Jane Seymour) from being sacrificed by voodoo priest Baron Samedi. He carries the .44 Magnum in a large tan shoulder holster, but he apparently didn’t think it was worthwhile to bring along any spare shells. He fires six shots from the gun, with very little visible recoil, and then tosses it away to get into a machete fight. One can’t help but wonder if this uncharacteristic gun for 007 was included in the movie because Dirty Harry came out earlier the same year, causing popularity of the Model 29 to skyrocket.
The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
In Moore’s second outing as 007, he again carries a Walther PPK, but this time is special, because it marks the first time he actually fires it on screen.
it gets some prominent screen time, especially during the duel between Bond and Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee).
The secret agent and a new villain, carrying the titular gold 4.2mm Colibri pistol, actually stand back-to-back and count paces with their respective pistols before facing off..all old school.
In this case, Bond would seem to have a slight advantage, as the Golden Gun is a single-shot pistol.
The odd-looking firearm is a completely fictional 4.2 mm single-shot handgun that owes its unique appearance to it’s function as a secret assassin’s firearm.
Scaramanga uses it to take out his marks—when it’s not in use, it breaks down into a series of everyday objects any man at the time might carry: a pen, a cuff link, a lighter, and a cigarette case. He carries spare, special golden bullets hidden in his belt buckle.
In the book, Scaramanga used a gold-plated Colt Single Action Army revolver, not a custom spy gun. In the movie, Scaramanga uses a nickel-plated SAA to shoot the cork off a bottle.
Custom Three-Fingered Assassin Rifle
The armorer Lazar (Marne Maitland) shows Bond a custom-built bolt-action rifle he built for a three-fingered hitman.
Bond later turns the gun, which is secured to a traversing mount on Lazar to get information from him. He fires a shot, confirming what Lazar said earlier about the sights being one inch off to “allow for the weight of only three fingers.”
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Bond returns again with his Walther PPK. Notably, we see him fire it into a gun tube twice, each time it experiences a stovepipe jam with a blank casing, neither of which are cleared and the gun keeps firing thanks to some movie magic.
Major Anya Amasova, AKA “Agent XXX” (Barbara Bach) is also seen using the Walther PPK in this one.
The pistol is seen in the hands of Major Anya Amasova, aka “Agent XXX”
Sterling L2A3 Submachine Gun
During the gun battle on board the Liparus, Bond leads the raid consisting of British, Soviet, and American submarine officers and crewmen into Stromberg’s armory, where they arm themselves with Sterling L2A3 submachine guns in 9mm.
The sub gun is also used by many of Stromberg’s henchmen, as it seems he bought a bunch of them in bulk, which isn’t so far fetched, as they often turned up in the 1970s as lots of surplus guns.
Walther PPK (sort of)
Bond doesn’t use his Walther PPK at all in Moonraker, nor is he even shown holding or carrying it. Partially set in outer space, the film begins with the theft of a space shuttle by Hugo Drax, the owner of the shuttle’s manufacturing firm. Then Bond heads to Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon rainforest tracking down a plot to wipe out the world population and re-create humanity with a master race.
The action, of course, ends up in space. The producers chose this title out of Fleming’s novels to make in 1979 in the wake of the insane popularity of Star Wars.
Roger Moore shot some publicity photos, like the one above, with Bond’s signature Walther PPK, but he’s never seen even carrying it in this film. Some posters depicted Moore with the Walther LP-53 air pistol held by Sean Connery in some of his early promotional photos as Bond.
Overall, Moonraker had a lighter, more buoyant feel than previous Bond movies, which translates to a lot of jokes and 70’s camp.
Holland & Holland Royal
While visiting the Drax residence in California, Bond gets involved in a pheasant hunt with Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale). He is given a Holland & Holland Royal double-barreled shotgun to use, which matches the shotgun used by Drax.
During the hunt, Bond nonchalantly uses the shotgun to take out a sniper hiding in a nearby tree. That’s pretty much the only shot he fires in the whole movie.
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
The first 007 movie of the ’80s was light in terms of firearms.
Bond returns for the 12th film, notable for its poster, which has since been often imitated, both sincerely and comically. The secret agent again carries a Walther PPK as his go-to sidearm.
In one scene, Gonzales (Stefan Kalipha) examines Bond’s gun, ejecting the magazine saying, “A Walther PPK…Standard-issue, British Secret Service.”
Beyond that, Bond doesn’t use any other firearms in the film.
For the first time in 13 years, James Bond carries something other than a Walther PPK or PP. In Octopussy, Agent 007 carries the brand new Walther P5 at the insistance of the gunmaker, which wanted to push it’s new pistol.
In the film, Bond tells Q that he “mislaid my PPK.”
What’s really interesting is that it seems Walther was playing both sides, also getting the P5 into the hands of the other Bond to grace theaters that year.
Sean Connery stepped back into the role of James Bond in the non-canon, non-EON production of Never Say Never Again, which also came out in 1983.
As the result of a dispute over the film rights to the Ian Fleming Bond book “Thunderball,” another production company was able to make the non-canon film, based the book. Yes, Connery starred in the original adaptation of “Thunderball” as well during his main run as Bond.
Octopussy also marks one of the earliest appearances of the Steyr AUG rifle, which would go on to be included in a whole lot of action movie through the 80s and 90s.
Samopal vz. 58 Výsadkový
At one point, Bond kills one of Kamal Khan’s guards who is carrying an Sa vz. 58 V, which is an AK-47 clone. Bond takes the gun and uses it, most notably firing it while sliding down a banister, in true Bond fashion.
After pulling the soldiers’ parachute ripcords causing them to be pulled up and out of a speeding topless jeep, Bond grabs one of their rifles, which is a blank-firing, full-auto AR-15/SP1 rifle.
He uses the rifle to shoot out the truck’s left front tire, causing it to crash.
A View to Kill (1985)
In Roger Moore’s final appearance as James Bond, he cashes in the P5 from the previous film and again carries the Bond staple Walther PPK pistol as his personal sidearm.
Remington Model 31 Shotgun
Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts) threatens Bond with a Remington Model 31 Field Model pump action shotgun. Bond later uses the shotgun, which he discovers is loaded with non-lethal rock salt rounds.
At one point, after he runs outside, the shotgun seems to briefly change to a Winchester Model 12 field gun, distinguished easily by the large magazine tube cap.