Sunday, January 12, 2020

Silencers! Year One Lessons Learned

While technically I've owned a suppressor a year and 9 months, the Wolf-9SD / Wolfman has been in my possession for just over a year. During that time, I've learned a few things from tinkering with different guns and ammunition.

Silencers are NOT silent! This statement was even confirmed by the inventor of the firearm silencer.

My first experience with a suppressed 9mm pistol outdoors was disappointing. The report was disappointingly loud even with the Wolfman in the full size configuration. While I was using 124 grain NATO spec ammo from a 5 inch barrel, even subsonic ammunition has proved to be fairly loud. While neither tests left my ears ringing, the sound was no where near what I would call as quiet. It's not quiet enough that I could shoot in the back yard without the neighbors hearing it. Like I said, disappointing.

In an attempt to achieve the quietest possible shooting, I have resorted to testing the Wolfman on different weapons using different ammo. From longer 9mm barrels and heavy weight bullets up to 158 grain to 300 blk subsonic to bolt action rifles in 22 LR, I have found no configuration of ammo and weapon that really satisfied the idea of a powerful, silent weapon. This has everything to do with physics.

I've come to conclude that there are three factors to suppressed weapons; you can have a quiet gun, a powerful gun or a small gun but you cannot have all three.

Allow me elaborate. One of the quietest configurations I've been able to put together so far is my CZ 457 Scout with a suppressor and using Aguila Super Colibri 22 LR powder-less ammo. This weapon is the quietest to my ear so far. The 16 inch barrel of the rifle gives ample time for the extra primer in the case to burn off; there is no gun powder, only primer. The suppressor captures any excess gas exiting the barrel and the tiny, pointed, .22 caliber, 20 grain bullet moving around 600 fps makes very little noise while moving through the air. The whole event is probably about as loud as a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun but generates about the same kinetic energy as my break action pellet rifle. I calculate that the configuration only generates around 15 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. For comparison, a small, 3 inch barrel 9mm pistol should generate around 290 ft lbs of energy with normal pressure ammunition.

In this configuration, the gun is quiet but it's neither powerful or small enough to conceal. Not exactly the sneaky assassin's super silent pistol portrayed in movies now is it?


A weapon more congruent with James Bond's 'Hollywood' silent Walther PPK is my M&P Shield with the Wolfman in the short configuration, or K config. I think this gun and suppressor combo looks pretty sharp. This is the sort of setup that politicians are trying to scare people that thugs and assassins will be running around killing people with.

Even with the 158 grain PPU subsonic ammunition, my would be James Bond gun is still very loud. That's pretty disappointing because now we have a small concealable package and a fairly powerful weapon but it's not very quiet. The full size suppressor configuration isn't that much better.

Maybe that configuration is a little too powerful and therefore loud? Remember, the more gun powder you have, the louder the suppressed gun shot will be. Since the .22 was pretty quiet, what if we sacrifice power for a smaller different caliber than 9mm but put it in a smaller package than the rifle like above? Well, lets go back to the .22 idea. I have a Ruger MKIII with a 6 inch Pac-Lite upper. The Aguila Super Colibri rounds are pretty quiet but very weak. They also could never hope to have enough gas pressure to cycle a semi auto pistol. So lets try using CCI's new Quiet-22 Semi-Auto loading. This loading uses a 45 grain bullet loaded to a .22 LR case with enough gun powder to operate the action of a semi automatic pistol. The result is around 800 fps.

This configuration is a little better, not nearly as concealable as James Bond's suppressed Walther PPK but at least it's fairly quiet. Overall size is around 15 inches long. Okay, so maybe that isn't concealable. Is it powerful? Well, no. The muzzle energy calculator says we're looking at around 100 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. Those numbers start to drop very quickly once you start adding distance from the muzzle.

At this point, I've established that the quietest guns I've been able to try out so far are .22 caliber firearms that when combined with a silencer are just not what anyone would reasonably call convenient to carry and aren't very powerful.

We've also established that even when combined with ammunition that should be quiet, a reasonably powerful firearm is simply not silent. One simply should not expect to assassinate a dictator in their office without the guards outside not hearing it.

Let's move on a bit. Maybe there is a configuration that might work.

The above rifle is a Marlin 1894 CST chambered for 357 Magnum. I use this rifle to hunt deer in the brush of Georgia. It is my stalking or still hunting rifle. It's really only suitable up to, at most, 100 yards for hunting deer and should really be limited to under 75 yards.

We discus this rifle because it plays a unique roll in my collection. This is the only rifle that is chambered in a center-fire cartridge that can be either supersonic or subsonic velocities and be easily suppressed. Everything else is have is technically a pistol.

When combined with standard 357 magnum loads, this rifle is capable of driving a bullet at around 1000 ft-lbs of energy. When combined with properly configured ammo (Buffalo Bore 180 grain) we can achieve around 1200 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. More than sufficient for hunting deer at shorter ranges.

This rifle, however, may be loaded with much weaker ammunition to bring those velocities down and eliminate the supersonic crack. 38 Special is typically subsonic but again, even from this rifle, the report is still quiet loud just as it was with the 9mm pistol. More than enough for the neighbors to hear it when in the back yard.

What I have found to be particularly interesting is that there are cartridges that pre-date 38 Special that 38 Special is based on. Specifically, the 38 Colt family of cartridges from the mid 1800's. These would be colloquially known as .38 Long Colt and .38 Short Colt. .38 Long Colt can be found fairly easily on the Internet. I picked up a 50 round box of Black Hills 158 grain for testing. Shooting these in an outdoor setting from this rifle has proven to be fun but they just simply are not as quiet as I want them to be. The neighbors would still definitely hear the silenced report.

I don't know what the velocity from my rifle is but the advertised velocity is around 650 feet per second. This puts our muzzle energy around 148 ft-lbs which isn't that much more than the 22 rifle.

It appears that we've gone backwards now. This configuration is none of what we're looking for. It's not concealable, it's not quiet and it's not that powerful. What good is it? It's fun. I simply love shooting this rifle and taking it to the range for people to enjoy.

Wait a minute, you said you tried another caliber. What is that 300 blk?

You're right, I did say that.

300 AAC Blackout is a cartridge designed to be used in a wide variety of applications. It's main claim to fame is that it can be loaded quite heavily (around 220 grain bullets typically) for suppressed use and that can be used in bolt action or semi-auto platforms that also run .223 Remington with a barrel change.

As a person who likes to tinker with different calibers, an easy switch from a .223 Remington upper on an inexpensive AR pistol lower I have for experimenting to an inexpensive .300 blk upper allowed me to experiment with this newer, popular cartridge.

Again, while I find this combination of 220 grain, subsonic ammunition to be lots of fun at the indoor range and is significantly quieter than that of the unsuppressed configuration of that AR pistol, this weapon is again simply just not quiet like James Bond's movie gun. It's again, not very concealable but at least it has some energy to it. This configuration should generate around 400 ft-lbs of muzzle energy.

I'm at point where I could continue to throw money into projects to find a potential sweet spot of power, size and quietness but I don't see where I would be able to do so with a commercially available, off the shelf type platform.

A single shot firearm with a custom made suppressor in a small caliber such as .32 ACP might just be what we are looking for since 9mm seems to be too big and 22 too weak. Maybe Q was on to something when they issued Bond a PPK in 32 ACP.

Introducing the iconic WWII assassin's pistol, the Welrod. This 32 ACP single shot pistol is quite unique in that it may be the closest thing that we will ever get to as a true James Bond, assassin's pistol. While the math shows that this firearm is neither particularly power (maybe 120 ft-lbs) or it's specifications making it particularly concealable (12 inches long), it is quiet. Reports of this firearm being testing resulted in around 73 dB but I have no idea to what standards those tests were completed and with what equipment they used. Welrods are not available to the public and I would have absolutely no way to validate such a claim. The pistol had a 3.25 inch ported barrel with a huge suppressor. It had a very limited range and very limited application.

To clarify, 73 dB is louder than people talking and your neighbor would definitely hear it.

In final, to much of my dismay, I have so far been unsuccessful in locating a combination of firearm, ammunition and silencer that results in a combination that would be 'Hollywood" or James Bond quiet that I could conceal. When running through the thought experiments associated with this concept, I do not believe that such a thing can exist where a firearm can be as powerful as a concealable 9mm pistol, quieter than a normal conversation and as concealable as needed to conveniently hide under Mr. Bond's dinner jacket.

I have, however, learned that suppressors have significant utility. A suppressed firearm may be the difference between blown out ear drums during a violent confrontation in the tight confines of your home's hallways or while hiding in a closet from an intruder.

It will definitely help hunters in the field who almost never wear ear protection so they can hear what's around them. I noticed an immediate impact in hearing loss from my first times out hunting before and after in my left ear as I had a plug in my right ear at the time I shot.

Suppressors would also help cut down on noise pollution from public shooting ranges. This is a common complaint from residence and shops nearby.

The down side to suppressors is that they will get hot fast and can burn you if you are not careful. They are trapping burning gases after all.

Also, one last tidbit I never heard from anyone; debris blowback when shooting suppressed pistols. I knew that shooting guns can be dirty. I knew that there will always be fragments from bullets and partially burnt powder but I had never experienced that being blown onto my face.

Suppressor blowback is very real and is very apparent when shooting a standard pistol that eye protection is a REQUIREMENT. You WILL get hit in the face with bits and it will NOT be pleasant. You should be wearing eye protection anyway but it's very apparent why you need it when you shoot suppressed pistols. This isn't something you see in the movies.

Is it worth going through the pain in the ass process to acquire a suppressor? That's up to you but I can say that I love having suppressors for my 22 caliber firearms, hunting rifles and ProjectPDW.  I like them but I hate the wait times and tax stamp. It sucks that the NFA exists because I would love to have seen what sort of innovations we would have had had the consumer market been able to help drive that innovation. Weapons such as the SilencerCo Maxim9 look to push the envelope in the right direction.

Monday, December 16, 2019

22 LR Galore - So Many Options or A Cartridge for Every Need

22 Long Rifle has a very long history going back to the late 1800's and roots with the earliest cartridges when self contained metallic cartridges were first being developed. 22 Long Rifle stands out for being accurate, capable and cheap to shoot. I would wager that 22 LR is the most prevalent cartridge in the civilized world and here in the U.S., the cartridge comes in a variety of configurations from bulk box high velocity to high quality target to no-powder, extra quiet loads.

Like many Americans, I learned basic firearms handling with a 22 rimfire rifle. In my case it was a Winchester 90 in .22 Short followed by my first rifle a Stevens 62 in 22 Long Rifle. Back then, I didn't much care about what ammunition I used. A Wal-Mart, $25 500 round bulk box of high velocity was more than enough to keep me happy.

It wasn't until this year I really started to put a lot more consideration into my rimfire ammo choices when I started playing with suppressors. Sure, when I was trying different rounds for the Ruger American Rimfire back in 2014, I was looking for the best rounds for that rifle but I hadn't considered everything. In this case, I refer to velocity specifically.

My first foray into quieter shooting started back in 2018 when I took my Henry H001 with 18 inch barrel out to WV and tried shooting the CCI CB Short 22's along with a few boxes of the Aguila Super Colibri 22 Long Rifle no-powder rounds. The CB Shorts would work in the Henry's lever action and fire just fine with much less noise. I had thought I would keep these handy since they were easier to find in stores compared to the Aguila options but the Aguila worked great. On that same trip to WV, I had purchased a 500 round case of Super Colibri's off the internet for playing with later on. I later found that the CCI CB Shorts don't seal well in my CZ 457 Scout (probably since the rifle is chambered for 22 LR instead of 22 Short) and like to gas me in the face prompting me to focus more on the Super Colibri's. When I want to shoot as quiet as possible, I go for the Aguila Super Colibri.

Once I had the tax stamp for the Dead Air Wolfman and later picked up the CZ 457 Scout, I started tinkering more with different ammunition. It became immediately obvious that the high velocity bulk box ammo was louder than what I wanted. I played with both the Gemtech subsonic ammo and the CCI Standard Velocity loading and found that the CCI was the better option simply for its cost and availability. Both of these are labeled as mid 1000 fps and are fairly quiet with the high volume suppressor and 16 inch barrel. The bullets hitting steel spinning targets is significantly louder than the suppressed gun shot. It should be noted that sealed suppressors and exposed lead bullets don't go well together over a long period of time. Exposed lead will leave bits of lead in the baffles and sealed cans can't be taken apart. This is why most manufactures don't include .22 on their supported list and that .22 cans are usually serviceable meaning you can take the baffles part. Also, .22 is crazy dirty.

The no-powder rounds such as the Super Colibri's are very quiet and ultimately the quietest you'll ever realistically get to, though they are about as powerful as a .177 caliber air rifle (I can prove it mathematically) and should not be shot from longer barrel lengths since they might get stuck. I haven't tried anything longer than 18 inches yet.

While there are several options for subsonic 22 LR on the market, once I found out how well the CCI Standard Velocity rounds worked and how quiet they are, I stocked up when Brownell's had a great deal for under $0.05 per round. They are fairly quiet and have no sonic crack from my CZ 457 Scout. They mostly work in my Ruger MKIII 22/45 with the Tactical Solutions Paclite barrel and other semi auto and manually operating rimfire guns with little fuss. I have noticed that they don't always burn all the powder so I have to clean the suppressor and gun regularly. CCI also makes what they call the Clean-22 Subsonic which is subsonic loading with a polymer coated, 40grain bullets. I may switch to those when I use the Wolfman. Then again, using the Wolfman was only supposed to happen until my next tax stamp came in.

Between bulk box high velocity rounds, the CCI Standard Velocity and the Aguila Super Colibri, I feel that I have enough variety for everything that I want to do. But since there is always something new coming out I felt like I'd keep looking.

CCI released a new version of their Quiet-22 called Quiet-22 Semi Auto. The idea is similar in that the bullets are moving well under 1000 fps (835 fps according to the box) which should keep the noise to a minimum. What makes the new ammo great is they should operate the action of semi-auto firearms unlike the original CCI Quiet-22 load operating at a claimed 710 fps. The Aguila Super Colibri's claim around 590 fps making me wonder if the CCI load actually has a small amount of powder since it has a higher velocity and heavier bullet.

These new Quiet-22 Semi Auto rounds seemed like they could be a very good option as a plinking round to keep on hand as they might be the quietest ammunition that would cycle a semi auto firearm. I ordered several boxes for testing though I don't have any semi auto rifles that can support a suppressor at the moment. So far those rounds have worked well in my Ruger MkIII 22/45 with PacLite 6 inch barrel and are quiet.

I'll need to pick a few boxes of the Clean-22 Subsonic for use with the Wolfman. When I get a chance I will swing over by the gun shop that has my 22 suppressor to see how the Quiet-22's work with the Walther P-22 I have.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Introducing Project ArgentVaquero - A Suppressed Lever Action Rifle and Your Ambassador to the Wold of Guns

In my pursuit of happiness, I came to conclude that I enjoy both short, handy lever action rifles and shooting with a silencer. The quieter the shot taken, the more fun it is. I have been aware of people converting lever action rifles to have a threaded barrel but this usually takes some effort since you have to trim back a few other things. The only factory rifles to have threaded barrels are Marlin's Dark Series and Henry's 24 inch barrel Frontier model. Neither of these rifles are what I'm looking for.

To be fair, Marlin did release their 1894 in a version they called the CST before they released the Dark Series but this model was stainless steel with black wood furniture. I was looking for blued steel and brown wood. After looking around, I finally came to conclude that, unless I build what I want (costly) that the Marlin 1894 CST was going to be the closest to what I want with minimal fuss. I later realized that the stainless steel would be more resilient to use and abuse more than the blued steel would be. That makes for a better hard-use rifle in the humid summers of Georgia.

During the research phase, I had come across several high profile YouTubers running similar rifles. Chris at Lucky Gunner has a modified 1894 that was cut back while GarandThumb has the CST with a Midwest Industries handgaurd. I like both of their rifles but neither were quite was I was looking for with my rifle though Chris' rifle was very close to what I had originally envisioned.

The Marlin 1894 CST comes with the XS ghost ring sights pre-installed but doesn't have the scout rail usually associated with XS and lever guns. Something I feel it doesn't need. From the factory the rifle comes with an enlarged lever, nice rubber stock pad and threaded barrel in the 1/2x28 pattern. This rifle was pretty much everything I'm looking for with the exception of the blued steel and brown wood.

After mulling over the options, I settled on my preferred setup for a lever action rifle with a leather stock cuff to hold cartridges, leather lever wrap and leather sling. These would need to be black. A way to mount a red dot sight; nothing too big or clunky. To finish off the build, I would use my Dead Air Wolfman suppressor with a fixed mount.

I ended up using a Mason Leather cartridge cuff in Coal Black, a BrassStacker lever wrap and an El Cheapo sling off of Amazon. These work pretty well with the rifle though I wish the cuff and wrap were darker. They came out more of a brown than black.

To mount a red dot, I chose to use a Burris FastFire III. While it would have been easier to use the XS Scout rail, I wanted a cleaner look than what the chunky picatinny rail offered. I had a little trouble with my first attempt using a two piece rail but thankfully, Burris offers a mount for the Marlin 336 and 1895 rifles that uses the same screw hole pattern the 1894 does. This meant a direct mount for the red dot instead of adding an extra layer of unnecessary height with the picatinny mount. Not only does it help with the aesthetics of the weapon but one won't need to have an odd cheek weld to see the dot.

After putting everything together and sowing on the lever wrap, I was willing to call the project complete. I've been able to take the rifle out a few times before it was all put together and try different loads.

I found that the rifle is hearing safe with full power 357 magnum hunting ammunition and does fine with 38 Special. The suppressor performance is good with the 38 Special 158 gr loads but is fun with the more obscure 38 Long Colt loads from Black Hills Ammunition. I'm trying to source a box of 38 Short Colt just to try out. I have reloading dies and am considering putting together some subsonic heavy weight 357 mag loads for accurate, quiet shooting.

I haven't had much time to try everything out that I would like but I am so far very happy with the way this project has turned out.

The idea of a handy, short carbine in a hard hitting cartridge that can be used to hunt deer with then loaded with subsonic factory ammunition for suppressed fun in a weapon and is easy to use. A lever action rifle doesn't have the intimidation factor that an AR-15 can have on an inexperienced shooter which makes Project ArgentVaquero the perfect candidate for an Ambassador gun. This is the type of weapon that you can take to the range with someone who's never shot a gun before as a way to break the ice. It doesn't really look like an evil assault weapon and is just as fun to shoot.

I'm happy with the way this turned out.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Proposed Bond Gun - A Fun Idea of What Gun Could Replace James Bond's Walther PPK

The more casual James Bond fan will know that the iconic Walther PPK in .32 ACP has been Mr. Bond's issued pistol since nearly the beginning. The more observant fan of the series would note that the PPK is not the only gun Bond was issued. Someone beyond that may be able to name all the guns used by Bond in every book and movie. I can't do that. What I am aware of is a few of the guns that Bond carried in some of the books and some of the movies that aren't the PPK and at least a few from the books. The rest can be found in wikis throughout the internet if you are interested.

I grew up on four Bond movies, each having an interesting selection of firearms being featured. License to Kill, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies and For Your Eyes Only. Each movie interesting and fun in their own ways. Whoever chose these movies I need to thank, since the more gritty movies of License to Kill and Tomorrow Never Dies are amongst my favorites with Goldeneye being my top choice until the new Daniel Craig movies came out. While I now own every Bond movie and have seen each several times, I don't have every gun memorized.

The Walther PPK is the iconic Bond gun used in most of the older movies and while there are times when Bond's main gun isn't the PPK, it's the one most known. Starting in The World is Not Enough, the Walther P99 is the main choice though one could argue that the P99's appearance in Tomorrow Never Dies is the start of that. Bond though had not received the P99 from Q but from his counter part, Wai Lin. This is where I know Bond to willingly deviate from the PPK as his primary sidearm in the movies. The P99 in the Benson books starts with Tomorrow Never Dies as a main part of Bond's personal rotation as opposed to his go to side arm. The P99 for more strenuous work and the PPK for when he needs something easier to conceal.

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In the books, long before the P99, James Bond was issued a pistol to replace the PPK known as the ASP after the PPK was withdrawn from service. The ASP is a particularly interesting firearm as the weapon was designed as a very heavy modification of the Smith and Wesson Model 39 as a purpose built concealed carry/more clandestine gun long before the civilian market of today was doing things. The ASP was produced in small numbers until the 80's.

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Not all that long ago, I got to pondering what gun would MI6 issue to James Bond if they were to modernize? The discussion is a fun exercise and I thought I'd write it up.

Since the concealed carry specific firearms market in the US has exploded with options over the last 15 years or so, the choices are plentiful for someone looking for a new piece. What sort of options would MI6 look for? The gun must be easy to conceal since the agent will need to carry the firearm in all manner of situations and dress styles. They must be able to conceal it in non-permissive environments and not raise suspicion. The weapon must also be reliable. MI6 replaced the PPK in one of the books with the ASP after an issued weapon jammed during a gun fight while protecting a VIP. The result was the death of that VIP. Clearly MI6 takes reliability seriously.  There are NUMEROUS options on the modern market that meet those requirements.

Another requirement that I would list is the need for a clandestine firearm to be in a caliber that is widely available where you will be operating or at least easy to acquire through both legal and illicit means. I don't know about Europe but I know 9x19 is going to be in literally every gun shop in the US. .380 ACP is also a very common caliber. The ammo selection isn't as wide as 9mm but most gun shops will have some kind of .380 ACP or 9x17 even if it's just FMJs. .22 would also be available but we're looking for a more substantial caliber. You may need to scavenge or steal ammunition for your mission. I would say that 9x19 is abundant through out the world enough to merit selecting a firearm in that caliber.

So let's begin.

I would suggest that we look at newer weapons since we want a modern solution. The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield has been a proven and reliable along with a very accessible price, the Shield has become a market success to the tune of 3 million units sold since 2012. That is very successful. The wide open aftermarket support means that Q branch would not need to rely solely on their ingenuity but could use COTS support for threaded barrels, accessories, holsters, etc. The ASP was a custom job but you can build out a Shield with threaded barrel and other parts by just ordering them online and having them delivered to your door. Love that free market. With the right parts, Bond can easily support the use of a silencer for his clandestine operations though he may be very disappointed with the level of suppression since even my Shield with the Dead Air Wolfman is still quiet loud. I would definitely not be able to dispatch a guard dog or assassinate a dictator in his office without the guards knowing what just happened.

While the Shield isn't as small as the PPK, it would be a perfect direct replacement for the ASP. Both the Shield and ASP have similar round counts (depending on the magazine and if an extension is used). Additionally, the Guttersnipe sights on the ASP have a sort of analog in the form of the Meprolight FT Bullseye sight that can be fitted on most popular handguns. This creates a low profile sight set without the need of an exposed front sight making for a since snag free setup. Interestingly, Robar and RECOIL magazine created a custom modification of the Shield to give it all the same or updated features of the ASP but using the Shield as the basis and not the Model 39. That version is likely the best replacement for the ASP.

The Shield is a choice weapon for other spies as well. Jack Ryan Jr carries one on his missions for The Campus but are there other options? Well, yes. Glock released the Glock 42 and 43 which both have significant aftermarket support and are direct competitors with the Shield. Mr. Bond would  be well served by either of the Austrian offerings. The 43X may be a bit too long in the grip to compare but the standard 43 is quiet short though it does lose a round. A good magazine extension can remedy that quickly.

Not to be left out, Walther still plays in the carry gun game. Interestingly, the PPS has been around since 2007 beating both Smith and Wesson and Glock in the single stack 9mm carry gun by a wide margin but in 2016 started a new version called the M2 that uses the grip styling found on the PPQ. Again, a direct competitor with the Shield and 43, the PPS has all the same factory features as the others but was the only gun to offer a red dot sight until the Shield Performance Center Edition came out in 2019. Threaded barrels are not readily available but certain companies do offer a service to extend and thread the barrel allowing the use of a suppressor. This would let MI6 stay with Walther while being able to modernize their agent's standard issue pistol.

The issue with all of these single stack 9mm pistols like the Shield, 43 and PPS and the numerous I hadn't mentioned is that they are limited to around 6 to 8 rounds in their magazine capacity without use of an extension. Then SIG came along with their P365 which offered 10 rounds in the same size package as these guns in the 6 and 7 round configuration. The 12 round P365 magazine is about the same length as the Shield's 8 round magazine. That is not an insignificant improvement. The P365 has all the same aftermarket support that the Shield and 43 have. SIG, though, has been releasing new versions of the P365 fairly steadily since 2017. First with the manual safety version but then the XL model with the 3.7 inch barrel and longer grip. In September 2019 they announced that they had given the P365 the SIG Anti Snag treatment they had given model like the P229 to make the firearm much more carry friendly. What is immediately noticeable about the P365 SAS is the distinct rear sight and the total lack of a front sight.

The P365 SAS slide has been cut in such as way as to create a recces where they have installed Meprolight FT Bullseye sights. This is as close as we'll probably get to a mass produced ASP. 

The P365 is probably one of the best concealed carry guns on the market and according the Gun Genius 2018 report, the P365 was the top selling handgun with the Shield at number 5 and the 43 at 6. The reality of the discussion is that there are so many different concealed carry focused guns on the market that Bond could pick any one of them and end up with a decently functional firearm.

While is read didn't go into to much depth and offered little more than anecdotal concepts I do hope it sparks some idea in your head about what gun James Bond might upgrade to. Personally, I would like to see him upgrade to the PPS M2 for brand loyalty but staying with the PPK is the Bond way.

Officially, Bond carries the Walther PPK/S in .380 ACP as of the Skyfall movie. This makes things convenient for the collector such as myself since Walther no longer offers the PPK in .32 ACP. While there are Walther PPK pistols in 32 ACP in the US, finding a non-WW2, Nazi marked PPK in .32 ACP is expensive and finding a non-S model in 380 made entirely by Walther is very difficult. Thankfully, Walther recently decided to produce and sell US made PPK models that are NOT /S versions. This is about as close as you will ever get to a copy of Bond's iconic pistol even if they are stainless and not blued.