Sometimes fame comes calling from the oddest directions. For the Walther PPK, fame arrived in the form of a letter to author Ian Fleming, praising his swashbuckling character James Bond. But, suggesting to Fleming’s choice of firearm for his hero, the Beretta 418, was utterly useless, as well as being a “lady’s gun.” Enter James Bond’s new handgun, the Walther PPK. By the time James Bond holstered his PPK in the 1958 novel, Dr. No, it was already a hugely successful firearm. The PPK, Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell, or police pistol detective model, had been used extensively in World War II, and was in use across Europe as a preeminent law enforcement handgun.
During World War II, PPKs were issued to the German police, the Luftwaffe, and ranking members of the Nazi Party. German Führer, Adolf Hitler, committed suicide with a PPK on April 30, 1945, as Russian troops poured into Berlin.
Post-war PPs were manufactured by Manurhin in France, and later in the United States. The PPK failed to meet the import standards of the 1968 Gun Control Act, and so, Walther matched the shorter PPK slide to the longer PP frame, creating a PPK/S to meet U.S. standards.
Originally posted on Guns and Ammo