Boothroyd was a world-renowned gun expert who wrote hundreds of articles for gun magazines, including several specifically about James Bond’s guns. He first wrote to Ian Fleming in the mid-fifties to complain about the type of
gun that Bond used. According to Boothroyd, the Beretta (used by Bond in the first five novels) was more of a ladies’ gun, and not a very nice lady at that!
At Boothroyd’s suggestion, Fleming equipped Bond with the Walther PPK which has now become virtually synonymous with Bond. Fleming subsequently named his armourer Major Boothroyd of Q section, though the films have always referred to the character simply as Q (except for “The Spy Who Loved Me”, in which Anya addresses Q as Major Boothroyd).
The actual Walther PPK which Boothroyd loaned to Fleming, along with his highly modified Smith & Wesson revolver which appears on the first edition dust jacket of From Russia, With Love, were auctioned by Christie’s in September 1998, and are now the property of Ian Fleming Foundation member Brad Frank, who had corresponded with Boothroyd several times since the sale.
Boothroyd’s daughter Susan, who worked with her father over the last ten years, will be launching a new firearms research web page on March 25. The address is: www.firearmsresearch.co.uk.