And now for something old...

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And now for something old...

Post by Piero on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 1:30

Figured that wasn't a bad title considering the other really recent topic has been about futuristic weapons designs and this one is about a really old one. Razz

Anyhow, this topic is for the Beretta Model 1934, one of several pistols I've been considering for Miranda, a former Carabinieri undercover officer. I'd originally passed on the design because of the awkward to manipulate safety, but it's been growing on me. The Model 1934 and Model 1935 are basically the Italian counterparts to the Walther PP and PPK, although they're single action rather than double action. The Model 1934 is about the size of a PPK/S, packs a pretty good punch for such a tiny gun, reportedly points fairly well, and has a reputation for having very good reliability. It was the standard issue officer's weapon for the Italian Army from the Fascist Era up until the adoption of the Model 92 (which must have been quite a change considering that the two guns are on pretty much opposite ends of the pistol size spectrum). I would imagine they're decently common in Italy.

The one big stumbling block though is that damn awkward safety. It's mounted farther forward on the frame than is typical for a modern single action pistol and requires a 180 degree rotation to deactivate. Here's a picture of one with the safety on versus one with it off. Miranda doesn't have particularly small hands, but I question whether she could deactivate it without using both hands (if any one has any input on that point it would be much appreciated. I've never handled one). Apparently the Model 1934 has a half cock notch and can be carried with the hammer at half cock and the safety off, but I question how safe that would be.

On a more trivia related note, Kirika from the anime Noir used a Model 1934 as her main weapon in the series.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Alfisti on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 2:30

Well, apparently Chopper favored one (according to that oh-so-accurate source, wikipedia), so that's good enough for me

Jokes aside, my theory on weapons here is that if it suits the character, go for it (within reason of course). So if it fits Miranda then go for it and awkward safety be damned.

Besides, weird little quirks like that are what make people get attached to things in the first place...

...it's one of the reasons Monty refuses to give up her ancient PPK or for that matter, I imagine, Triela her M1897.

That said: if Miranda is the sort to get hung up on technical details rather than get randomly attached to stuff simply because she likes it, then it may not be the weapon for her.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Piero on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 2:49

Miranda once took on restoring a 1973 Alfa Spyder as a pet project, so I wouldn't say she's exactly hung up on sweating the little stuff a lot of the time. That being said there's a bit of a difference between a pet project and a gun you're trusting your life with.

The "I like it factor" is certainly prominent with Miranda, she honestly could get a more modern pistol than the Model 1934 if she wanted (at least once she switched careers). However a certain level of basic functionality is sort of required, which is why the question of the safety is such a big issue. It's fine if it just takes a lot of practice, but if she really can't bring this weapon into action without using both hands then it's a problem. (I imagine a lot of situations where a pocket pistol could be used might not give her the benefit of having both hands free.)

So basically the weapon is a practically perfect fit for her, but there's one uncertain factor that's a potential dealbreaker. Laughing

As another note, the gun Bond had to exchange for the PPK that was forced on him in the movie version of Doctor No was a Model 1934 (or possibly a Model 1935, which would be the same gun in a slightly weaker calibre). Only it was standing in for a smaller .25 acp Beretta that was in the novel so the dialogue about it (taken pretty much directly from the novel) was off base about it's characteristics.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Alfisti on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 4:15

Piero wrote: The "I like it factor" is certainly prominent with Miranda, she honestly could get a more modern pistol than the Model 1934 if she wanted (at least once she switched careers). However a certain level of basic functionality is sort of required, which is why the question of the safety is such a big issue. It's fine if it just takes a lot of practice, but if she really can't bring this weapon into action without using both hands then it's a problem. (I imagine a lot of situations where a pocket pistol could be used might not give her the benefit of having both hands free.)

So basically the weapon is a practically perfect fit for her, but there's one uncertain factor that's a potential dealbreaker. Laughing

As another note, the gun Bond had to exchange for the PPK that was forced on him in the movie version of Doctor No was a Model 1934 (or possibly a Model 1935, which would be the same gun in a slightly weaker calibre). Only it was standing in for a smaller .25 acp Beretta that was in the novel so the dialogue about it (taken pretty much directly from the novel) was off base about it's characteristics.
Well at the end of the day you know the character best. My preference would be to give her the 1934 if it's right. Besides, having her struggle to let the safety off in a hot situation could be a fun way to ramp up the drama. Now I've this mental image of a Dr. No style scene after that with Lorenzo telling her to trade the 1934 in for something more practical Razz

Speaking of... apparently the trade to the PPK was a result of a fan writing in essentially saying "Dear Mr. Flemming. I love everything about your James Bond character, except for his choice of firearms. The Beretta is fit only for a woman, and an ugly one at that." As a result of the ensuing discussion Mr. Bond got the PPK and "Major Boothroyd" was named for the fan =P

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 11:12

A gun should be as safe as one can make it. Taking shortcuts for an effective draw, switch to firing mode and start shooting caps will do nothing more than cause accidents and get somebody hurt or killed. I knew a stupid security guard who thought he knew his gun perfectly and walked around with it in an unsafe setting. One day he went to clean it out in the locker room with other guards getting ready for work or to go home. Though he removed the magazine, he did not check the chamber for a live round. Thus he shoved the cleaning brush into the barrel, and the bullet hit the firing pin. It went through his forehead and killed him. Because of his attitude, I say he deserved it.

If you, like I always have said, want a particular gun for various reasons, go get that gun and not some cheap knock off. If you want the PPK, get the PPK and not the Model 35. We are dealing with people who have access to guns, parts and ammo for these guns, and thus this should not be a problem. Whether the character is on the law enforcement side or on the criminal side, access to these things, once they obtain it these things are no longer an issue.

Also, a gun is an extension of the character's personality. You take Fernando's American Arms 1981/84 (1911 Variant), it has a 16 round capacity. What does it say? Its big, its loud, its says that its there for the business at hand. It is also very reliable even in the most extreme situations. It is best left alone or people are going to get hurt. But it is also Unique (American Arms has been defunct since the late 1980s) and few guns are totally compatible with it. These are also the same qualities that Fernando has within himself.

Of this, of all the GsG Characters in canon and I dare say even in Fanfiction, the best gun/character match was Pia. She had the Dessert Eagle .50 caliber (Olga uses the same gun but in .45 cal). What so odd about this? She is the smallest cyborg yet she carried the biggest gun of the group! In the game, she took on the rest of the girls and (unless you won the game) won. With Pia in action, "A lot more than feelings are gonna get hurt!" ROTFL

I would rethink your options, Piero. Dont over analyze everything like you usually do. Just think, what would work well with your character. If your character rebuilt her Alfa, then I would say the PPK would be for her because she wants something that has a little class, looks great and is very reliable. It also has a mystic about it. The PPK has this, the Model 34/35 does not. Its butt ugly. It does not have the "James Bond" gun appeal to it.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Alfisti on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 11:43

ElfenMagix wrote: If you, like I always have said, want a particular gun for various reasons, go get that gun and not some cheap knock off. If you want the PPK, get the PPK and not the Model 35. We are dealing with people who have access to guns, parts and ammo for these guns, and thus this should not be a problem. Whether the character is on the law enforcement side or on the criminal side, access to these things, once they obtain it these things are no longer an issue...

...I would rethink your options, Piero. Dont over analyze everything like you usually do. Just think, what would work well with your character. If your character rebuilt her Alfa, then I would say the PPK would be for her because she wants something that has a little class, looks great and is very reliable. It also has a mystic about it. The PPK has this, the Model 34/35 does not. Its butt ugly. It does not have the "James Bond" gun appeal to it.
I'm not sure if it's fair to call the 1934/35 a cheap knock off. From the little that I read the 34 was intended to compete with the PP when the Italian Army was looking around for a new sidearm.

That said, I'd agree the Beretta really isn't an attractive weapon. One of the things I'm glad of (though it didn't really factor into my thinking at the time) about Monty getting the PPK is that it is a good looking gun... and if I'm going to be drawing it over and over again I'd prefer to be drawing something I like. That and it does fit neatly into the sense of aesthetic appeal Monty developed. The runner up in that particular decision, Kel-tec's P-32, while not ugly doesn't really have much to distinguish it either. It wouldn't really have suited her character's style.

Oh, and I'd be dubious of putting the words "Alfa" and "reliable" in the same sentence (not entirely fair, mine's been pretty good... so far).

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by maverick375 on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 13:37

Inside the Noir dvd inserts was a discussion about the weapons chosen. The M1934 was chosen for Kirika based mostly on it's size (could be fired on-handed by such a small person), because the PPK had the James Bond image, and because it had a classical Euro image. One of the other options was the G26.

The problem of the small caliber and lack of stopping power was addressed by the fact that Kirika's character was an incredible shot, and that most of the series shoot-outs were in close quarters. The 380Auto is considered the lowest practical defensive caliber due to its limited penetration and relatively low velocity. Heavy clothing such as jean or leather can drastically reduce it's penetration (esp. HP's) so many people choose to use ball ammo for their 380 carry pieces. These are the main reasons I went with the Walther PPS in 9x19 instead of a Beretta.

An alternative to the M1934 would be the Beretta Cheetah 84fs, which is also in 380Auto, but has a Browning style safety just under the thumb. If you're not worried about time continuity, the PX4 subcompact is about the same general size as the M1934, but has a thicker grip due to its 13rnd capacity.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by windfish55 on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 15:45

I believe Bond's Beretta was the 418.

Of course, his had a skeleton grip for improved concealment!

More relevant to the discussion at hand, perhaps you should look into the Beretta M 1951. It has a larger ammo capacity, and I think it's also a better looking gun.


Last edited by windfish55 on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 15:45; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : punctuation)

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Piero on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 15:59

Alfisti wrote:Oh, and I'd be dubious of putting the words "Alfa" and "reliable" in the same sentence (not entirely fair, mine's been pretty good... so far).

You'll notice I didn't do that. Razz

As far as looks go, that's partly a matter of personal taste. Plus the condition of individual examples is a factor. Take a look at this Model 1935 or this "stainless" Model 1934 if you want to see some that are in fairly nice shape.

As for quality, the Model 1934/1935 is definitely not a cheap Walther knock off. In fact, the two traits they seem to get a lot of praise for are their build quality and reliability. The main reason I made the comparison is because the Model 1934/1935 was Beretta's response to the PP series and is very similar in size.

*This paragraph deleted because my next post more or less covers it fairly well while also addressing other points.*


Maverick:
Spoiler:
I'd considered the Model 85, but it's bigger than the old Model 1934 (ditto the Model 70S from what little I've been able to find on it). The PX4 Subcompact is out of the picture based on both it's greater thickness and the fact that Miranda wouldn't carry a plastic framed gun. Laughing

As for the 9x17mm calibre, I'm aware it's kind of weak but it was still one of the most powerful calibres available for pocket automatics for many years. It wasn't until very recently that small automatics in 9x19mm and .40 S&W started to become widely available, and those newer pocket automatics aren't always reliable either.

Windfish:
Spoiler:
Yes, Bond's original gun in the novels was a Beretta 418 in .25 acp, since Fleming had actually carried a Beretta 418. However a Model 1934 or 1935 was used as a substitute in the film version of Dr. No for whatever reason (likely prop availability). This is ironic because Bond's Beretta was criticised for lacking power and reliability, and the Model 1934 is superior to a .32 PPK in the first of those categories for sure and is probably better in the second category as well.

Maybe they should have changed the dialogue so that his problem on his previous mission had been that he had problems getting the safety off quickly. Razz

The Model 1951 is a full size service pistol, not a small pistol like the Model 1934 (which for whatever reason was used as a service pistol in spite of essentially being a pocket pistol in terms of size).


Last edited by Piero on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 18:07; edited 1 time in total

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Piero on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 18:01

Actually one quick point I should add here -I actually had Miranda equipped with a PPK for a while. I didn't like it for her. Specifically, I didn't like it because PPKs are very German (yes, even though most of the post WWII PPKs made in Europe were actually made in France). Miranda is very Italian. For some of my characters that wouldn't matter but in her case it does. The Model 1934 is directly comparable to the PP/PPK series in terms of size and firepower and likely better in reliability if the comments of people who have used them is any indication. So the question really does become simply "is it possible for her to get that safety off quickly when she needs to if she only has one hand free?"

Basically, I made this thread for two reasons -one, I like the Model 1934, and two, I wanted to see if anyone could answer that particular question since I've never handled one and don't have enough experience with other pistols to make a well educated guess either.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by maverick375 on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 18:07

There is also the Walther P5compact. It's probably more of a mid-size at 170mm (6.7") and 32mm wide (1.3"). 8 round mag for 9x19. Has a short recoil/tilt-lock barrel for great accuracy, fashioned after the P38 and a push-down safety/decocker just forward of the grip, left side.

info here

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by windfish55 on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 18:58

Piero wrote:The Model 1951 is a full size service pistol, not a small pistol like the Model 1934.

Yeah, you're right. My bad. I should do more research before I shoot (no pun intended) my mouth off.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Piero on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 19:22

Don't worry about it.

The line gets kind of weird too when you consider the fact that the Model 1934 was a general issue service pistol, it was just a pocket pistol sized general issue service pistol. (As where the Model 1951 was more of a standard size service pistol.)

Also, your pointing it out did make me go read up on something out of curiosity, and because of that I learned that while the Italian Army in general went straight from the Model 1934 to the Model 92, the Carabinieri did make use of the Model 1951.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by windfish55 on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 20:03

Piero wrote:...the Carabinieri did make use of the Model 1951.
So maybe I wasn't totally wrong to suggest it ( ).

What I really wanna say is I watched some video of the M1934 on Youtube, and it looks like a right-handed person could switch the safety relatively easily with their thumb. Is Miranda right- or left-handed? If the former, I say go with the M1934.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Piero on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 20:11

Do you have a link for it? I tried searching youtube for a video of a Model 1934 that had a good view of the safety mechanism in action but had trouble finding one.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by windfish55 on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 23:42

No, I didn't actually see the safety being used, but I saw some people shooting the gun and holding it. Maybe I was overenthusiastic. I was speculating about the safety based on what I saw. I may have jumped the gun (ha ha), but take a look at this and see what you think:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2yW1oLI4_g

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Alfisti on Tue 27 Jul 2010 - 7:36

Good vid, this may be helpful as well (1935 but meh):



Honestly, looking at the size of the hands of the blokes in both videos, I doubt they'd be able to fully actuate the safety single handed. Halfway yeah, but not the full 180 degrees.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Piero on Tue 27 Jul 2010 - 15:47

Actually, I only realised it this morning when I rewatched the video (I actually found it myself last night) but the guy actually does deactivate the safety one handed just after the 5:50 mark. Probably did it earlier after the 3:00 mark as well, we just couldn't see it that time.

So I guess Miranda should be fine as long as her hands aren't too much smaller than this guys (which is admittedly something of an if).

Although there must be something awkward about the safety for it to get that many negative comments. There's actually one blogger who owns a Model 1934 who seems to favor carrying his safety off with the hammer at half cock (not something I think I'd want to try doing with a seventy year old pistol).

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Nachtsider on Tue 27 Jul 2010 - 19:05

What if the M1934 she's using isn't a vintage piece, but a modern reproduction?

You know. Something like this:

http://www.fg42.us/company.html

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by maverick375 on Tue 27 Jul 2010 - 19:19

I know that quality means price, and kudos to them for going through the trouble of the design and ATF clearance, but damn... My balls are breaking just looking at the price.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Nachtsider on Tue 27 Jul 2010 - 19:22



B-but it's an honest-to-goodness FG42 that really fires

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Piero on Tue 27 Jul 2010 - 19:53

Nachtsider wrote:What if the M1934 she's using isn't a vintage piece, but a modern reproduction?

You know. Something like this:

http://www.fg42.us/company.html

Truth be told, the Model 1934 was in production up until 1980 with an additional batch assembled out of spare parts around 1991. So not all of them are necessarily anywhere near as old as the WWII trophy that one guy bought. That being said, I'm not overly keen on relying too heavily on a weapon's half cock notch -half cock mechanisms seem to have a reputation for eventually failing.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by maverick375 on Tue 27 Jul 2010 - 20:58

I never understood why, after the problems in SA revolvers of the half-cock pin being easily damaged and allowing accidents to happen, that it was even continued in pistols and rifles. Likely because it was just the way they knew how to make hammers function.

Additional:

I never understood why, after the problems of the trigger lock letting loose and jamming the gun in ways that can't be fixed, that S&W keeps putting the damn things in their revolvers.


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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Alfisti on Wed 28 Jul 2010 - 0:22

Piero wrote:Actually, I only realised it this morning when I rewatched the video (I actually found it myself last night) but the guy actually does deactivate the safety one handed just after the 5:50 mark. Probably did it earlier after the 3:00 mark as well, we just couldn't see it that time.

So I guess Miranda should be fine as long as her hands aren't too much smaller than this guys (which is admittedly something of an if).

Although there must be something awkward about the safety for it to get that many negative comments. There's actually one blogger who owns a Model 1934 who seems to favor carrying his safety off with the hammer at half cock (not something I think I'd want to try doing with a seventy year old pistol).

Ok, I totally missed those two parts...

Still, look at it this way: Beretta sold over a million of the things (if I'm reading Wiki correctly), so there must be enough good points to out-weigh the difficult safety operation for many people.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Piero on Wed 28 Jul 2010 - 14:25

Well aside from the awkward to manipulate safety it was a very good design for a pocket pistol -small, lightweight, easy to maintain, highly reliable, and chambered in a fairly powerful round for a pistol of it's size. Combine that with it being a recognisable product from Italy's most well known firearms company and it was pretty much a shoe-in for Miranda except for the uncertainty surrounding whether it could be brought into action quickly without using both hands. Now that that's solved, it seems like a pretty good fit. Although apparently myself and some of the rest of you have a disagreement about the weapon's aesthetics. Razz

Speaking of the safety, I actually wonder if it may have been a deliberate design choice. I've heard stories about safeties on guns coming off and I imagine it would be pretty difficult to accidentally disengage a safety that required a full 180 degree rotation.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by windfish55 on Wed 28 Jul 2010 - 16:36

Piero wrote:...apparently myself and some of the rest of you have a disagreement about the weapon's aesthetics.
I think it's a pretty good-looking gun.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Alfisti on Wed 28 Jul 2010 - 21:11

Piero wrote:Although apparently myself and some of the rest of you have a disagreement about the weapon's aesthetics. Razz

Speaking of the safety, I actually wonder if it may have been a deliberate design choice. I've heard stories about safeties on guns coming off and I imagine it would be pretty difficult to accidentally disengage a safety that required a full 180 degree rotation.
I dunno, there's just something about the size of the grip vs. the size of the slide and barrel that bugs me. That said, I like it better now than when the thread first started.

You could be onto something with the intentionally difficult to use safety. I believe that pistols at the time were just as much a rank symbol as being intended as a combat weapon. ie. only officers had pistols. If that's the case, then making it safe in its holster may well have had more bearing on the design at the expense of being able to bring the weapon to action quickly.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Piero on Thu 29 Jul 2010 - 20:24

Well the Modello 1934 is a very short pistol. It's actually about a quarter inch shorter than a PPK in length, but is roughly equivalent to a "full size" PP in height (I put "full size" in quotations becuas the PP itself is a fairly small pistol, just not as small as the PPK is). Plus they were usually issued with magazines that had a curved finger extension which would add even more height to them (I think Miranda would forgo the finger extension and use flat base magazines, since she's using hers as a concealed carry weapon).

I guess one of the thing I personally really like about the Modello 1934/1935 is that they are very distinctively Berettas. You can stick one next to a Beretta 92 and tell that the two pistols are relatives even though the 92 is a lot bigger and sleeker than the 1934/1935 is.

Oh, as one interesting note on the Modello 1934's subbing in for the original novel's Beretta 418 in the movie version of Doctor No, I actually stumbled across as picture of a Modello 1935 and a Beretta 418 next to each other, and you can really tell the size difference between the two from it.
http://warrelics.eu/forum/military_photos/firearms-ordnance/41208d1244459963t-beretta-418-pistol-35-418-d.jpg

Edit: Actually, here are some potentially even better comparisons of the Modello 1934/1935 and the 418:
http://www.exordinanza.net/foto/ber418/Ber418_su35.jpg
http://www.exordinanza.net/foto/ber418/Ber418_35-2.jpg

Although people may have jumped the gun naming the Beretta in the novels a 418 to begin with... the 418 was the last of a particular line of small Berettas and the characteristics described in the novel could also have refered to one of it's predecessors.

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Re: And now for something old...

Post by Alfisti on Sun 19 Sep 2010 - 10:21

You know... I went back to take a look at this thing today, and it's growing on me. It's not likely to ever replace Monty's PPK but it does have a sort of utilitarian cool to it.

Piero wrote:Although people may have jumped the gun naming the Beretta in thenovels a 418 to begin with... the 418 was the last of a particular lineof small Berettas and the characteristics described in the novel couldalso have refered to one of it's predecessors.
I take it then that no-one's gotten bored enough to track it down properly like they did with Bond's Rolex (the book one, not the Subby).

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