I know it has been a while since No Time To Die came out, but I have been considering a clone build of Bond’s Mk18 setup for a while. I decided to take a closer look at some screen captures of Bond with his Mk18 to really get a good look at the setup that was chosen for the film. In doing so I noticed some very interesting things. If you haven’t seen the movie yet (for some unexplainable reason), this is your spoiler warning.

Since Bond is coming out of retirement for one last fight in this film, his weapon platform reflects a bygone era a little bit. The Mk18 that Bond is carrying is an early model platform reflective of the era when I was still in active service. That would be the Mk18 MOD 0 that was in use in the early to late 2000s before the upgrade to the Daniel Defense RIS rail. I enjoy this particularly because Spectre was released in 2015 and Skyfall in 2012, so it could be a weapon that Bond had acquired while he was on active service because it was being decommissioned from field use.

Along with the rifle itself being an older weapon platform, it is mounted with an Eotech model 511. This is a tactical model that is now discontinued, replaced by the XPS and EXPS models. I feel this is also an appropriate node to that era of now relic weaponry that was common place in the late 2000s but has now been rendered obsolete.

When I first saw the movie the iron sight setup bothered me. Both of the offset iron sights, something that was not really common place in the era I mentioned previously, are mounted to the handguard top rail. I looked really close at the pictures I was able to find and discovered that the Eotech 511 was mounted so far back that there wasn’t enough room to properly mount a rear sight on the upper. Because of that, there is no co-witness sight mounted behind the optic for use with the fixed front sight post. With that space unavailable for the offset rear sight, I still found it baffling that the sight would be mounted so far forward. Then I recalled that the Mk18 version of the Knight’s Armament rail was not designed to lock to the delta ring the way the M4 model was. That meant that the handguard could potentially shift. With a front offset sight mounted to that rail, if it should shift, the zero would be off. The only way to maintain anything remotely close to a proper zero would be to have both sights mounted to the same rail so that if they were to shift, they would shift together. Ultimately, the best option would be to forego the the offset sights all together, shift the Eotech forward, and mount a co-witness flip up iron sight on the rear of the receiver to work with the fixed front sight post. If one wanted to use offset sights, the Knight’s Armament RAS M4 rail would be the best way to properly utilize offset sights mounted in their proper position. Really though, properly mounted vertical sights are a perfectly viable option with this setup since the weapon is using an open window Eotech and not an LPVO.

I don’t know why the production company chose to do any of these things, but if the rifle choice was intended to be a nod to the “golden era” of Daniel Craig’s Bond, then they made a great decision. I personally love the Mk18 platform and was happy to see it in use by one of my favorite movie characters. There’s a pretty good chance I will either build a full replica of the weapon from the movie or I will build an upper to use on one of my registered lowers. Either way, there may be a feature on the setup with first hand experience operating the system as Bond had it in the future.

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