Walther P99 frame crack


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Dudemeister
October 18, 2010, 01:01 AM
I was at the range this weekend shooting the P99. About 3 rounds into a clip, the gun fired and my hand stung like hell. It felt as if the blowback gases came out the ejection port instead of the barrel. I also noticed that the round did not eject completely.

I removed the magazine, cycled the slide to remove the shell and inspected the gun which looked OK. After that I fired about 50-60 more rounds before calling it a day.

When I was cleaning the gun later that day, I noticed what looked like a fine hairline crack on the inside of the frame. From the outside you can also see the crack. It's very small and the gun appeared to be OK afterward, but I'm wondering if the gun will be safe to shoot, or do I need to get the frame replaced.

http://digistealth.com/Public/Guns/P99/p99_Crack1.jpg

http://digistealth.com/Public/Guns/P99/p99_Crack2.jpg

Note: The crack line in the enlarged inset is exagerated/retouched just to show the actual length, it's not as apparently visible in reality.

Thanks.

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bds
October 18, 2010, 01:08 AM
I would not shoot the pistol anymore and contact the manufacturer's customer service as soon as I can.

PT1911
October 18, 2010, 01:10 AM
pretty sure I would not shoot that again... just sayin... call Walther and have it addressed.

General Geoff
October 18, 2010, 03:50 AM
I was at the range this weekend shooting the P99. About 3 rounds into a clip, the gun fired and my hand stung like hell. It felt as if the blowback gases came out the ejection port instead of the barrel. I also noticed that the round did not eject completely.

Sounds like you may have been the victim of a squib/stuck round in the barrel..

smartshot
October 18, 2010, 05:21 AM
its been my experience that manufacturers will make good for their work, so call them directly as the customer and ship through the distributor if you have to, do not call the distributors because they have nothing invested in that manufacturer and who knows what they will talk about on the phone.

Shipwreck
October 18, 2010, 07:23 AM
Yes, do not shoot it anymore.

What brand of ammo were you shooting? Was it reloads?

Dudemeister
October 18, 2010, 09:46 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys.

"Sounds like you may have been the victim of a squib/stuck round in the barrel."

What exactly is a "Squib" round?

I was shooting brand new American Eagle which is made by Federal. The stuff is labeled 124 grain FMJ.

Johngoboom
October 18, 2010, 09:51 AM
A squib load is an underpowered load that does not have enough energy to completely leave the barrel. This is not good as the next round doesn't have a clear path anymore. You probably would have noticed a squib load, as they will often have an off sound with very little recoil.

mbogo
October 18, 2010, 10:15 AM
Call Walther at 1-800-372-6454 and explain the problem. If asked, you were shooting factory ammunition and provide them with the lot number from the box.

They should send you a shipping tag with an RMA number for the handgun (you cannot send the ammunition in the same box; if they insist on you sending them the ammunition, they should send two shipping tags with the same RMA #).

Follow their instructions precisely, and chances are good that they will replace the firearm for you free of charge.

mbogo

Shipwreck
October 18, 2010, 10:23 AM
Yes, You may have to drag American Eagle into it too - so I hope you kept the box. But between the two of them, they will likely fix you up - it'll just take a while.

MrIzhevsk
October 18, 2010, 11:18 AM
Just curious, was this a 9mm or .40?

jakk280rem
October 18, 2010, 11:45 AM
from post #7.
The stuff is labeled 124 grain FMJ.

Sure sounds like 9mm.

let us know what happens. i've been lusting after a p99 40 as for a while now. it'll be interesting to see how s&w/walther handle this.

denfoote
October 18, 2010, 03:22 PM
Do all of the above.
Include your pictures in the communication with S&W.

Federal is usually pretty cooperative with ammunition issues.

GLOOB
October 18, 2010, 04:07 PM
If it was a squib, you might have a ring in the barrel. A squib round flattens out when the next bullet hits it from behind, which can put a ring-shaped dent inside the bore. In fact, there are sometimes two rings, if you look close. The second smaller ring is closer to the chamber, where the non-squib bullet got squashed. These are easy to see by looking down the bore, so long as you haven't cleaned it since the last shot was fired.

Dudemeister
October 18, 2010, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the input. I bought this 9mm used about 3 weeks ago, and took it to the range last weekend for the first time.

I'm not sure that Walther will do anything about it as I'm pretty sure it's out of warranty. According to the date code, it's a 2002 (AC) model. However, the gun store I bought it from did say they'll cover it for a year. We'll see...

I'm not sure that what I experienced was a "Squib". There was no previous misfire, nor was there a "weak" previous shot. It was more like a shot that backfired. The only time I experienced something like this was a year or so ago, when I shot 45LC reload out of my Ruger Vaquero, and the round split near the rim. This particular shot felt like that. I noticed the gun had only partially cycled, and when I pulled the slide back, the spent shell came out easily. I looked at it, but in the rather dim light I didn't see anything wrong so I tossed it.

I also shot another box worth of bullets after this happened (I didn't know there was a problem at the time). At home I took the gun apart, cleaned the barrel, etc. It was when I was oiling the inner workings that I noticed the crack.

So if there was any evidence of a defective round, it got lost during cleaning. I do however still have the original box the bullets came in, and there is a lot number on it.

I'll contact the gun shop tomorrow to see if they can do anything.

Here is a question though: This is an all German made gun, with the Tennifer slide, and the nice looking trigger guard. If S&W was to fix it, will I end up with the new version of the gun, or will they give me a original frame?

Shipwreck
October 19, 2010, 07:21 AM
Te new guns have tennifer on it as well.

However, they no longer make the old style frame. so, IF they did solve it for ya, you'd get a new frame and slide, likely.

Dudemeister
October 19, 2010, 03:21 PM
Well, I called S&W / Walther support today, and was told that the warranty from Walther only covers the original purchaser for 1 year. They could not give me an estimate without seeing the gun, but generally they don't replace the frame, because the serial numbers are matched to the slide and barrel. so usually they replace the entire gun, and destroy the defective one.

They did say that cases such as this they can give "a discount" toward the purchase of a new gun.

Obviously that doesn't make me feel any good. I may have just thrown $500+ away with this purchase. Now my only hope is the gun shop I bought it from. We'll see what they can do.

bds
October 19, 2010, 03:47 PM
If the gun shop can't help you and have to go the way of the "discount" I would recommend the M&P and the free 2 extra magazines or $50 rebate as new S&W firearms come with life-time product/service warranty.

Now we know why S&W decided to produce their own pistol lines. :rolleyes:

Shipwreck
October 19, 2010, 08:36 PM
I damaged a P99 a few years ago myself - and I called S&W. Their P99 discount at the time was $500. I ended up just selling it for cheap to someone as a beater gun (I had dropped it by accident and messed up 1 side where the front rail is). Then I used the $ to buy another P99.

In your case, you may be stuck, because you can't sell the frame.

WRGADog
October 20, 2010, 09:56 AM
at a discount, with a Springfield XD or XDm. They carry a lifetime warranty and perform superbly.

Dudemeister
October 20, 2010, 09:36 PM
I took the gun back to the dealer, and it's being sent back to S&W as we speak.

He (the shop owner) took a look at it, and believes the damage is due to a hot load, but feels that the frame must have been defective to crack the way it did, so he will demand that S&W fixes or replaces it.

At the same time he plans on sending Federal a nastygram about this and see what they have to say for themselves.

We'll see what develops.

Dudemeister
October 20, 2010, 09:47 PM
My suggestion is to persuade the gun shop to replace the gun, for free or
at a discount, with a Springfield XD or XDm. They carry a lifetime warranty and perform superbly.

To be honest, the only reason I bought this gun is because I like the way it looks, and because it's supposed to be a accurate pistol.

I primarily shoot revolvers, and a couple of target 22 autos (Buckmark and Neos), but I always liked the P99 and bought it for target plinking. If I can't get this one fixed or replaced, I'm not sure I'll get a different gun, I'm not a big fan of Glocks, XD or USP or anything like that.

Dudemeister
December 23, 2010, 12:27 PM
A couple of weeks ago I was in the gun shop, so I took the opportunity to ask what the status was on the P99 repair. The shop owner told me that he had talked to S&W after they got the gun, and they were going to scrap it and replace it with a new gun, but hadn't heard from them since.

He also said he was going to call them again to get an update. Yesterday, I called them back again, and they told me that they couldn't get a hold of S&W because they were closed for the holidays (huh, what??).

I thought that was strange, but kept my mouth shut, and called S&W support myself. After being on hold for about 8-10 minutes, I got a support guy who was very helpful. I gave him the gun serial number, and here is what I got back:

The P99 that was sent to them was indeed deemed defective and was scrapped on Nov. 11. An order for a brand new replacement was put in to Walther in Germany.

Great news, but where is it, it's been 6 weeks since Nov 11?

Well... here is the bad news, they are "backordered", and there are 21 other people in front of me waiting for theirs. The shipment with my gun, is expected on Feb 24.

I thanked the man, and hung up. I then did a quick count: S&W gets they shipment on 2/24, a few days later they send it to the dealer, who then calls me to come fill out the new paper work. I then have to wait the 10 days to pick up the gun. So if I'm lucky, I will only have been waiting for about 5 months.

Hmmm... How would you guys feel about that? Yes, I'm getting a new gun out of this deal, but 5 MONTHS ???

Shipwreck
December 23, 2010, 12:41 PM
Considering that you bought the gun used, and it's an old 1st gen... And the 1 year warranty is way expired, I would be happy that they are doing what they are ... I know the waiting sucks, but you really can't complain too much under the circumstances.

SharpsDressedMan
December 23, 2010, 04:07 PM
I would have bought another early P99, and kept the damaged one as spare parts. I, too, like the orignal better than the new P99's. But that's just me................

W.E.G.
December 23, 2010, 04:31 PM
I think that is a sweet deal that the manufacturer is replacing your blown-up USED GUN with a new gun.

Chill out, and wait for them to send you your NEW GUN.

Mike J
December 23, 2010, 04:44 PM
I know it is a pain to be without your pistol for so long but I believe you should grin & bear it as you are getting a new firearm out of the deal. If you bought a used vehicle that was out of warranty & found a manufacturing problem with it I can't think of an automaker that would give you a new car in exchange. Every once in a while I read a bad report but for the most part the firearms industry in this country really does give good service.

Dudemeister
December 23, 2010, 05:32 PM
Don't get me wrong, I like the idea that I'm getting a new gun,and I'm grateful that they are indeed taking care of it, but 5 months is a long wait.

W.E.G.
December 23, 2010, 05:38 PM
Long wait.

Right.

Sounds like a good reason to buy another gun to keep you company while you wait.

SharpsDressedMan
December 23, 2010, 06:52 PM
W.E.G., I like the way you think!

Jaywalker
December 24, 2010, 09:23 AM
I'd be interested in knowing whether the 21 people in front of you are there because their pistols were scrapped, too.

Shipwreck
December 25, 2010, 09:43 AM
I'd be interested in knowing whether the 21 people in front of you are there because their pistols were scrapped, too


One possibility for those 21... A few years ago, I dropped a brand new P99 and damaged the frame near the front rail. It was my fav and most accurate gun at the time, and just irritated me to no end... I called S&W and asked about buying a new frame. I was told that they could not provide me with a frame, but they WOULD sell me a P99 at a discount if I sent in my damaged one (which still worked).

I was told it would be $500, however - AND I'd have to send them my damaged gun. I decided to just sell my damaged P99 to someone to be used as a beater gun, and then take that money and just buy a new P99. That was a better deal financially than sending them in my gun AND paying $500...

If they are hard pressed for P99s in between shipments... I could have been 1 of the guys on that list... So, a reasonable explanation with no conspiracy added...

SwampWolf
December 25, 2010, 09:53 AM
Considering that you bought the gun used, and it's an old 1st gen... And the 1 year warranty is way expired, I would be happy that they are doing what they are ... I know the waiting sucks, but you really can't complain too much under the circumstances.

I have to agree with this assessment. I only wish car manufacturers and toaster makers would be as fair. :D

Jaywalker
December 25, 2010, 06:33 PM
Shipwreck: If they are hard pressed for P99s in between shipments... I could have been 1 of the guys on that list...Well, yours would have been scrapped, too, under that scenario. I wonder if special orders are mixed in with the scrapped pieces in that 21 number; otherwise, 21 seems like rather a lot of defective/scrapped frames.

SharpsDressedMan
December 25, 2010, 07:21 PM
Hmmmm. 21 guns mentioned/known/documented at this moment in time. These guns have been around now 13-14 years at the longest. Most police departments do not keep weapons that long, changing them out for newer models, rather than maintaining guns for long periods of time. I, too, have purchased and shoot a 1st Gen P99, and mine was shot very little, as far as I could tell. I could see how a used gun, with unknown rounds fired, over a 5-10 year period, could start to get weary. Thrown in some kind of ammunition failure or "kaboom", and any gun, whether it be steel frame, aluminum alloy, or plastic, might have a crack result. High number? Depends on the number produced, the collective wear and tear, and what other factors induced the faulure or cracks. Many, many factors. If there are 50-100 thousand guns in use for an average of 7 years, and even 100 guns develope cracks, is that a lot?

Jaywalker
December 25, 2010, 08:03 PM
Good point - we can't know how many frames are actually out there, but 21 bad ones at a time seems like a lot.

SharpsDressedMan
December 25, 2010, 08:54 PM
21 seems like a lot, except for the fact that Walther service seems to let them stack up, and then does not have replacement guns sitting there waiting to be shipped out, SO....they have to process the the paperwork, maybe even notify BATF, and get guns shipped from Germany (?), etc. These 21, how long did it take to "accumulate" that number? We are not going to know. Now if broken guns are starting to come in at 21 a day, or 21 a week, etc, then I might start being concerned. 21 over a couple months, at a time in the lifeline of P99 production and use where guns START to break down, well, that may be a reasonably expected number.

SharpsDressedMan
December 25, 2010, 08:58 PM
I might even concede that unless Glock or a similar polymer frame gun sees the same number of guns come back for normal wear and tear stress frame cracks, then the type of plastic, and/or the weapon design might cause Walther P99's to crack more frequently. But who would ever have a database to confirm or deny this? I don't think we'll ever know.

fastbolt
December 25, 2010, 09:39 PM
I'd be pleased that S&W was able to get Walther to agree to replace the gun at no cost. Be patient.

I've known of 2 SW99's and a P99 which experienced some ammunition-related problems.

1 SW999 (9mm) had a case head failure/blowout which not only cracked the frame but blew out the right side above the shooter's hand. They examined the gun and replaced the frame under warranty (the slide & barrel weren't found to be damaged).

A LE SW9940 experienced what was determined to be a squib load which was unnoticed by the shooter during training. An obstructed bore resulted in an unnoticed crack in the frame. The crack was eventually discovered because the frame flexed under recoil and kept pinching the shooter's hand. S&W replaced the frame under warranty.

A P99 (forget the caliber) experienced a squib load and a "ringed" barrel. No damage to the frame or slide. S&W replaced the barrel.

Another P99 (9MM?) owner had his slide break off at a corner of the rear dovetail (the rear of the slide separating from the rest of the slide, as it was described to me). The gun had reportedly been fired for several thousand rounds over the course of several years. Walther declined replacing the slide due to the gun being out of warranty and apparently did not consider the slide to be defective. S&W offered the owner a new P99 titanium nitride treated slide they had on hand (for whatever reason) in the repair center at no charge and the owner agreed. He was pleased with S&W's response and good will gesture last I heard from him.

Now, the guy who had his SW999 frame damaged by the casehead blowout? He told me he's since fired approx 55K+ rounds through the gun since then. He has a SW9940 through which he's also fired more than 55K rounds. I had to replace a sear housing block because of a broken ejector in the gun at over 50K rounds ... and since it was a SW99, S&W covered the replacement block and sent it to me (as an armorer) under their lifetime warranty, even though it was a Walther part (and has a retail cost of about $100, BTW). Last I heard he's still firing a LOT of rounds through his SW99's ... and I just keep him recoil spring assemblies, mag springs and I recently replaced his striker springs.

Back before the M&P pistol series was released, and the SW99/990L's were still being produced and sold, I was told that S&W kept a SW9940 at their training academy which was used for testing & as an in-house loaner. I was told at that time that it had been logged as having fired more than 75K rounds, and since it was essentially kept as a test gun it had received no cleaning or other maintenance in all the time it had been in use. Yes, that's intentionally abusive, but the fellow who told me about it said they were interested in seeing how it withstood the extended shooting under lack of proper maintenance/abuse. As an armorer I'd not subject a gun to those conditions ... and especially not one dedicated to defensive use.

Now, I've fired several thousands of rounds spread among a number of SW9940's, since I carried an issued one for a few years, helped maintain over 50 others during that time and own one of my own. I've had to replace a few of the Walther parts, some of which seemed to be caused by user abuse and damage. I did have to replace a couple or three sear housing blocks for broken ejectors.

I've fired more than 10,000 rounds through a personally-owned SW999c. It had an occasional light strike issue on the DA trigger stroke when new, but after consulting with a tech at Walther America who said he had occasionally seen it happen in the P99 line, I was able to correct the problem. That was several thousand rounds ago and the problem has never reoccurred. BTW, I really like my SW999c. :D

I think the 99 series is a fine design which never really received the attention it deserved. I've always wondered why Walther never seemed to demonstrate much interest in really promoting & advertising the line in this country, although I've been told they've focused a lot of attention on promoting the 99 series to LE/Gov outside this country.

I did learn of a revision to the Walther frames at one point when I found a replacement sear block wouldn't fit in an older SW99 frame unless I switched a housing pin from the old block to the new one. The housing blocks appeared different in dimension, too. When I called and asked S&W about the difference between the blocks they confirmed I could replace the bottom pin to make the new housing fit in the old-style 99 frame, but they said they couldn't tell me why Walther had made the change in the frame. FWIW, the sear housing block is located to the rear of the magazine well, unlike where the crack is displayed in the OP's 99 frame. It might be fair to remember that firearm manufacturers are often making revisions to things for reasons which make sense to them.

Sorry to hear you're having to wait quite a while, but enjoy the new P99 when it finally arrives. Fine pistol in my humble opinion. ;)

Dudemeister
December 26, 2010, 09:57 PM
I'd like to remind everyone that, when I called them directly, S&W did not want to do anything for me, other than offer me a discount toward another gun.

It was my local gunshop owner/dealer that got them to replace the gun. Obviously I, as an end user, don't have any clout with their company, but a gun dealer, who buys perhaps 10ths of thousands of dollars from them anually, does.

So before everyone gives S&W or Carl Walther props about what great companies they are to deal with and how they're replacing this out of warranty gun out of the goodness of their heart, it my pay to look at it from this other perspective, one of keeping a good business relationship with a valued dealer, rather than a single customer.

I am pretty sure that nothing I could have said or done on my own would have gotten the same results that the dealer did.

fastbolt
December 26, 2010, 10:32 PM
It also depends with whom your dealer spoke, too.

I've talked a fair number of ordinary customers who received exactly what they needed the first time, and some who needed to speak to more than one person about their problem before their problem was resolved to their satisfaction. (Then again, there's always going to be that small percentage of folks who have somewhat unrealistic expectations in the first place.)

Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks who answer the customer service phones at S&W. A lot.

I gave a name to the fellow with the broken slide on the P99 that was long out of warranty and the company provided him with that new, but left over, slide for his pistol at no charge. That was the S&W part of the company, too, not the Walther America part of the business.

Considering it was a used P99, and the Walther model, at that (and not a SW99 that had a lifetime warranty on the whole pistol for the original owner), I'd count your blessings and be patient. ;)

Dudemeister
February 19, 2011, 10:18 PM
Finally !

After 4 months and 2 days, I picked up my P99 replacement from the shop. ********** being the paranoid state that it is, made me do a whole new DROS/DOJ, AND pay another $25 filing fee, AND wait the 10 days. But hey, I got my gun today.

To be frank, I'm not a big fan of the new and improved trigger guard and elongated slide ejectors, I really liked the original design better, BUT I am very happy to have a brand new pistol.:D:D

I can't wait to take it to the range next weekend and put a few of boxes of ammo through it.

Weevil
February 19, 2011, 10:53 PM
Great!


If it was me I'd buy that dealer a steak dinner. ;)

FCastle88
February 19, 2011, 11:01 PM
Manufacturers can ship a replacement firearm directly to you, unless California has a specific law against this.

Dudemeister
February 19, 2011, 11:36 PM
Manufacturers can ship a replacement firearm directly to you, unless California has a specific law against this.
Not in California. If it's got a new serial number, it's treated like a new transfer/sale.

If it's a repair that does not change the receiver serial number in anyway, then it can be sent back directly to the user.

Shipwreck
February 20, 2011, 09:11 AM
Finally !

After 4 months and 2 days, I picked up my P99 replacement from the shop. ********** being the paranoid state that it is, made me do a whole new DROS/DOJ, AND pay another $25 filing fee, AND wait the 10 days. But hey, I got my gun today.

To be frank, I'm not a big fan of the new and improved trigger guard and elongated slide ejectors, I really liked the original design better, BUT I am very happy to have a brand new pistol.

I can't wait to take it to the range next weekend and put a few of boxes of ammo through it.

Congrats...

Decided if you still want to keep it before you shoot it. You could always resell it as new if you don't like the new style.

Personally, I like the new style over the old.

Dudemeister
February 20, 2011, 12:31 PM
Nah, I'll keep it, and learn to love it, like an ugly step child...

...then I'll take it out back and shoot it... I mean shoot the hell out of it.

:D:D:D

http://digistealth.com/Public/Guns/P99/New_p99_1sm.jpg (http://digistealth.com/Public/Guns/P99/New_p99_1.jpg)
http://digistealth.com/Public/Guns/P99/New_p99_2sm.jpg (http://digistealth.com/Public/Guns/P99/New_p99_2.jpg)

click thumbnails to enlarge

Shipwreck
February 20, 2011, 01:20 PM
Well, enjoy it :)

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