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Topic: Scaramanga's Golden Gun/Bullets and Ballistics?

We all know about Francisco Scaramanga's golden gun and golden bullets from Ian Fleming's last Bond novel and the ninth film in the series The Man with the Golden Gun. It is an iconic weapon from the James Bond universe. In the novel, it was a revolver whereas in the film version it was a gun that could be concealed (for air travel etc.) by breaking it down into rather harmless looking everyday items that made up its constituent parts. What is less well known, perhaps, is whether such a gun, made of gold and its golden bullets would have worked very well in real life. The James Bond novels and films are a fantasy of course, though also often grounded in fact. In the factual realm then, it is well known that such notorious figures as Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering and Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gadaffi all owned ornate golden guns. Perhaps the guns owned by Hitler and Goering even inspired Fleming to give such a gun to his final Bond villain, Scaramanga.

The idea for this thread came to me when I was reading an old issue of the American short story magazine Argosy ("The No. 1 Men's Service Magazine") (March 1966/Volume 362, Number 3, p. 85) which on its cover advertised a short article inside about "Hitler's Solid Gold Pistol". The short one-page article inside the magazine entitled simply 'Hitler's Golden Gun' describes how the golden gun was made for Hitler:

"Surely the most successful souvenir hunter of World War II is the fellow, identity unknown, who copped Adolf Hitler's solid-gold 7.65-mm Walther automatic, shown on our cover, and brought it back to the States. The gun is one that was presented to Hitler by the Walther Company on his fiftieth birthday - April 20, 1939 - and which he wore as his personal sidearm from then on. Hitler was a nut for uniforms, and having his sold-gold, ivory-handled monogrammed pistol strapped to his side must have added a little extra bounce to that famous strut of his."

As you can see from the quote directly above the golden gun was the same model as Bond's own signature gun - the Walther PPK 7.65 mm. There's more on Hitler's golden gun here:

https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/20 … n_gun.html

The Argosy article continues (and this is the most interesting bit pertinent to this thread topic):

"It is possible that this weapon is the one with which he ended his life. [Edit: This theory has since been disproven. SM.] The usual story of Hitler's death is that he shot himself in his bombproof bunker. Subsequently, the bunker was blown up, along with Hitler's body. The gold Walther is undamaged, however, though a laboratory check has revealed traces of human blood under the ivory hand grips. We understand that when the gun was first found, it had a clip of silver bullets, only one of which had been fired. Since the weapon is made of gold, only a few rounds could ever be fired from it without ruining it." [My emphasis.]

So, from reading this, are we to assume that such a golden gun as used by Scaramanga in the novel and film versions of The Man with the Golden Gun would be similarly ruined or damaged by such heavy use as he obviously subjects it to? In the novel towards the end, Scaramanga tells Bond that he was to be his 50th victim, for example. I know that the weapon in the novel and film may have been an amalgam of metals and was merely gold plated and that Hitler's gun was solid-gold. In the novel, for instance, we know from the British Secret Service dossier on Scaramanga that his gun is described as "the gold-plated long-barreled, single action Colt .45." However, it has got me wondering about the real-world viability of such a golden gun and its bullets from a ballistical point of view.

Any help from resident gun experts or anyone else would be greatly appreciated! ajb007/smile

Last edited by Silhouette Man (30th Sep 2018 18:03)

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
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"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Scaramanga's Golden Gun/Bullets and Ballistics?

I have always assumed those weapons were gilded, not golden. In other words covered with gold, not made entirely of gold. A professional hitman's weapon made entirely by a soft metal is riddicolous, I can't imagine that was what Fleming intended.
If Hitler and the other dictators' weapons were really made of gold they must have been cermonial or decorative, and not ment for firing.

Last edited by Number24 (30th Sep 2018 17:43)

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Re: Scaramanga's Golden Gun/Bullets and Ballistics?

Number24 wrote:

I have always assumed those weapons were gilded, not golden. In other words covered with gold, not made entirely of gold. A professional hitman's weapon made entirely by a soft metal is riddicolous, I can't imagine that was what Fleming intended.
If Hitler and the other dictators' weapons were really made of gold they must have been cermonial or decorative, and not ment for firing.

Yes, you're quite right and I think you've hit the nail firmly on the head there, Number24. I think the golden guns in both the novel and film versions of TMWTGG were merely gilded or gold plated and not made of solid gold like, for instance, Hitler's pistol was. I think that I kind of alluded to that at the end of my OP. Even the bullets were merely gold-jacketed with a silver core in the novel version of TMWTGG, IIRC. As you say, gold is much too soft a metal to be of any use as a practical firearm or projectile.

I take it that that is the difference then, and why Scaramanga's weapon would have worked continuously without any damage, whereas Hitler's would not have. Hitler's solid-gold pistiol was, as you say, ceremonial only; just for show and not for practical everyday firing.  ajb007/martini

Last edited by Silhouette Man (30th Sep 2018 19:33)

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Scaramanga's Golden Gun/Bullets and Ballistics?

A working gun of any calibre can’t be made of solid gold as it would explode.  Gold is soft and just sitting on a long barrel would bend it. I hate to think what a bullet would do.  Hitlers gun was gold plated, as was Scaramangas.

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: Scaramanga's Golden Gun/Bullets and Ballistics?

Asp9mm wrote:

A working gun of any calibre can’t be made of solid gold as it would explode.  Gold is soft and just sitting on a long barrel would bend it. I hate to think what a bullet would do.  Hitlers gun was gold plated, as was Scaramangas.

Thanks for that, Asp9mm. It's what I suspected. The only thing I don't get is the part about firing Hitler's gun ruining it after a few rounds as it suggests it was more solid-gold in composition than Scaramanga's was.

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Scaramanga's Golden Gun/Bullets and Ballistics?

Silhouette Man wrote:
Asp9mm wrote:

A working gun of any calibre can’t be made of solid gold as it would explode.  Gold is soft and just sitting on a long barrel would bend it. I hate to think what a bullet would do.  Hitlers gun was gold plated, as was Scaramangas.

Thanks for that, Asp9mm. It's what I suspected. The only thing I don't get is the part about firing Hitler's gun ruining it after a few rounds as it suggests it was more solid-gold in composition than Scaramanga's was.

No, it won’t have any gold components.  After firing a number of rounds through a fully gold plated pistol, you would ruin the finish permanently.  The only parts you can put on a real Zella PPK that could be solid gold are the grips and grip screws.

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: Scaramanga's Golden Gun/Bullets and Ballistics?

th caliber is matching the movie round.
Based from the lenght I decided to choose a .30 otal caliber so it's quite exactly what you are talking about.
The sleeve is slightly bottleneck, the bullet could be gold sleeved.
For my golden gun project, one version is seemed to be woking I bought some .30 otan caliber barrel, and made a different design with gold or meant to be gold outer, and titanium or other strong material inner.
The main issue is bullet loading and hammer.

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Re: Scaramanga's Golden Gun/Bullets and Ballistics?

"Do you know a lot about guns, Mr Barbel?"

https://i.postimg.cc/RqFVCbnL/007.jpg

Not a damn thing.  Forgive me this off-topic post, please, but I've always thought that Fleming was inspired by the title of the 1949 novel The Man With The Golden Arm (subsequently filmed starring Frank Sinatra). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_w … rm_(novel)
The story and characters have nothing whatsoever to do with Fleming's book, but I believe the title stuck with him (much as Carson McCullers' Reflections In A Golden Eye did https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflectio … ye_(novel)
and he filed it away for later use, adapting it into Bond's world.