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Let's hear from the Walther P99 owners......

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MIL-DOT, Jan 22, 2015.

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  1. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I had one about 10 years ago, chambered in .40, with the OD green frame, but traded it off after having fired it only once or twice.
    Well, I recently traded into a nearly NIB gen3 P99, and shot it yesterday for the first time, and was VERY pleased with it.
    I filled both mags with a mix of Federal aluminum, and some steel cased Russian stuff (woulda been Wolf or Brown Bear, I can't be sure, they were rolling around loose in a box in my trunk,LOL!))
    I put a cardboard sheet out about 12 yards, with several 8" outer circles drawn on it, and then a smaller silver dollar sized circles inside that (my usual MO) , and fired from a rest, just to see where it's really dialed in at, and everything I shot was just to the left of a tiny circle.Very close, but just a shade left.
    But then I fired another mag ,off-hand, and shot perfectly straight, several inside the little circle, and the rest just outside it, but a nice consistent,straight grouping, very evenly distributed.
    The trigger is vey light, resulting in one unintended double-tap,but even that one stayed inside the bigger circle. I'll surely get used to it, but regardless, it is light-years better than a Glock trigger (and I like Glocks).
    The medium sized backstrap came installed, and I have no urge to change to one of the other ones, nor to change to one of the other front sight posts. I thionk she's good to go,as is.
    So far, I'm reall happy with this thing, and I especially love having a decocker. It gives me much more peace of mind should I decide to carry it.
    I'd really like to hear from other P99 owners with their anecdotes, impressions, problems, warnings, recomendations, etc.etc.
     
  2. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    I have a P99AS in 9mm. It is a very fine pistol and has the best trigger feel of any striker-fired pistol ever produced (including the PPQ and HK VP9). Ergonomics are also among the best. Walther started the trend of well-designed and user-customizable grips on service pistols, an no one else has really ever caught up to them, IMHO (though HK and S&W come close). The paddle mag release (especially the long one on later P99s) is a brilliant design, and it's unfortunate that Walther has decided to revert to the old push-button release on the PPQ M2.

    Due to its insane reliability and the inherent safety of the Anti-Stress (AS) trigger design, my (2nd-gen) P99AS has served as my primary home-defense pistol for a good many years now.

    No real problems or warnings to note. Being in continuous production for about 18 years now, the P99 is one of the most proven of all polymer-framed pistols. Very small numbers of very early pistols had frame cracking issues, but this was quickly resolved. I would highly recommend 9mm over .40SW P99s. The .40SW is good, but a bit flippy (to my knowledge, the P99 is the lightest of all full-size polymer-framed double-stack pistols). The P99 really shines in 9mm, though. I believe it is easily among the very best 9mm double-stack DA/SA pistols ever designed.

    My P99AS has never had a malfunction in many thousands of rounds fired. I would rate reliability and durability on the whole to be slightly above the (also excellent) Glock pistols, mostly due to the fact that every revision to the P99 improves the pistols (not so much the case with Glock's generational changes). Ejection is more consistent, P99s are difficult to limp-wrist, kabooms are much more rarely reported (due to better chamber support in the .40SW pistols), and there is no problem shooting lead bullets. In fact, the general experience with the P99 is that they can eat just about any commonly-available 9mm ammo reliably.

    There are only 2 generations of P99 ever sold in the US (with other incremental improvements). Some folks like to refer to the limited "Night Defense" SKU P99s (which had an ambi-slide release similar to the PPQ) as a "3rd Generation" P99, but that was the only real difference, and normal P99s were sold alongside them (and are still the primary P99s you find for sell new). Also, later 2nd gen P99s have longer mag release levers than earlier ones - some call these "Gen 3" as well.

    The Europe-only P99Q and P99RAD could be called a "3rd gen P99", though they are essentially the same pistols sold here as the PPQ (with minor variations to the trigger system.)

    The single-action trigger pull of the P99AS is about 4.5 lbs. This, combined with the extremely short trigger reset - shared with the PPQ (though its trigger is a bit heavier at about 5.5 lbs) - means that unintended double-taps can happen with a loose grip and lax trigger manipulation (though you will adjust to it quickly). That is part of the brilliance of the AS trigger system. It gives you a very light, smooth, and crisp single-action trigger, but a longer pull on the first single-action shot to add a margin of safety in an emergency situation.


    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  3. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I don't have a "real" P99, but I've got a S&W SW99 in .40S&W which is nearly the same thing (P99 frame made by Walther with a S&W made upper).

    It actually serves as my nightstand gun. Its ergonomic & very reliable. I'm not a fan of the paddle mag release but it still doesn't slow me down THAT much on that gun. I do REALLY like the AS trigger for carry/defensive use.
     
  4. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    My dad has one. Every time I shoot it I want it.
     
  5. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I shot a few rounds with it again this afternoon. I shot one mag exclusively on double-action, and that was the best group I shot. I absolutely love this thing !!
     
  6. CNobbe

    CNobbe Member

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    P99AS 9mm, absolute favorite polymer. I've been debating getting the compact version, love the DA/SA striker design.
     
  7. rhinoh

    rhinoh Member

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    2 P99AS here, one in 9 one in 40.
    Really like both of them, never had any problems whatsoever.
    I'd love for them to bring them out in 45, then I'd have 3:D
     
  8. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    Smith & Wesson sold an SW99 in .45 ACP for a few years before they killed it so as not to compete with their M&P line. As mentioned before, the SW99 was a licensed copy of the P99 (with the barrel & slide may by S&W and the frame made by Walther in Germany).

    http://www.gunblast.com/SW99.htm

    I don't see Walther ever introducing a P99 in .45 ACP, as it is, first and foremost, their primary pistol for European LE and military contracts, and there is practically zero interest in .45ACP among those clients.
     
  9. ThePenguinKnight

    ThePenguinKnight Member

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    I have owned a SW99AS, the original licensed copy of the p99AS, in 9mm since 2008, which I picked up from the LGS used as a police trade-in. I have personally fired a hair less than 10k rounds through the pistol with exactly 0 (zero) malfunctions of any kind. No failures to feed from any of my three factory magazines or the crappy 30rd aftermarket mag I bought on a lark; no failures to eject or extract with any of the myriad of practice and defense rounds I've put through it. After about 4500 rounds, the plastic on the trigger cracked a little, and I replaced it after about another 500 rounds (it was still completely functional) as well as the recoil spring.

    Except for my first attempt at cast lead bullet reloads shooting low (and they shot low in three other guns also), every type of ammo I've shot through that pistol has shot to POA without adjusting the sights from how they came to me.

    Mine isn't as pretty or desirable as the regular p99s, and it has many scratches and a bunch of holster and finish wear, but I can't argue with its reliability or accuracy, and it is by far my favorite pistol. I'm sure your p99 will serve similarly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  10. ExTank

    ExTank Member

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    My P99AS isn't necessarily the last 9mm I will ever buy, but it is certainly the last 9mm I need to buy; I have not found its equal out-of-box.
     
  11. wally

    wally Member

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    Being a fan of the .45ACP I was thrilled to find a S&W P99 in .45ACP. Great shooter, I love the M&P45 too, but at the end of the day the 1911 is still my girl!
     
  12. golden

    golden Member

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    I really like the p99

    I have a P99AS model and I think it is one of the best 9m.m. pistols made. I really like it. I find the grip shape and trigger to be excellent and it shoots very well for me.
    Although I usually avoid the traditional double action/single designs, the WALTHER P99 is one that I have no qualms about.

    Jim
     
  13. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    P99 in .40S&W was the first firearm I ever bought on my 21st birthday. It is one of the two firearms I would never sell. I plan to spend a small fortune in parts to make it a conversion to 9mm.
     
  14. rhinoh

    rhinoh Member

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    Yep, I'm aware of it, the frame though is quite different than a P99.

    But I'd still like Walther to make a real P99 in 45! Why I don't know as I'm very happy with my polymer FN FNX-45.
    My other 4 45's are metal framed.
     
  15. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I don't really consider the SW99 to be a copy of the P99AS, even though I know the history behind it. For some reason or another the SW99 feels so much more different in my hand even though it logically shouldn't. Almost as if the grip angle was changed a few degrees. When I bought my P99 almost 6 years ago, I considered the SW99 as it was the "same gun" on paper and was $125 cheaper than the Walther. After feeling both it was no question I wanted the Walther instead.
     
  16. ScottyB

    ScottyB Member

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    My P99AS 9mm is great. It is probably my favorite handgun because it does everything really well. And it was my first gun. :)
     
  17. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    The frame is the same. It's literally made by Walther with a S&W logo on the side and has an identical grip angle.

    The slide could be perceived to be a little different since S&W made them and they're a little changed (IIRC the S&W .40's are a tad heavier than the P99's due to S&W's slide having a bit more mass in certain areas).

    Given that there were multiples sizes of backstraps the only thing I think you may have experienced is that possibly the P99 and SW99 that you compared had different ones installed, but that's an adjustable aspect of either.
     
  18. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    This I know. Have never been able to put my finger on why I didn't like the SW99. The grip inserts are a maybe. I have tried all three grips in my Walther and like them all, like the small one the best, which is how I carry it. I might try finding the SW99 in 45 since Walther never made one, and I have been wanting a new 45 for the safe.
     
  19. rhinoh

    rhinoh Member

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    No dispute Walther made both frames but they are not the same.

    For one major difference look at the trigger guards- rounded on the S&W and squared off on the P99. Another difference is the grip, the relief area for the thumb is markedly different. Another difference is the rail.

    https://www.firearmsforum.com/Firearms/ImageAlbum/2/11145
     
  20. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    I own a S&W 990 compact in 9mm and its my EDC. Wonderful little pistol that is easy to carry but shoots like a duty sized firearm. Like many of you, I have been on the lookout for a SW99 in 45...I guess the hunt is half the fun;)
     
  21. BluesDancer

    BluesDancer Member

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    +1
    The P99AS is the only polymer framed pistol I own and I don't see that changing very soon. IMO It's like the PPQ, but better. The Anti-Stress trigger system is awesome! Compared to the later-introduced PPQ came out with "improvements" which are not really that significant in my opinion.

    #1 - PPQ has an "improved" grip texture ==> True, but the P99's grip texture is half-way decent to begin with
    #2 - PPQ has front side serrations, P99 doesn't ==> if you slingshot to charge the weapon I can't see where front side serrations make a difference
    #3 - PPQ has ambi slide stop lever, P99 doesn't ==> Could be an improvement, but IMO if you slingshot to charge the weapon this makes no difference. Releasing the slide stop in a dangerous situation is just one more fine motor control action that could be eliminated. Better to slingshot the slide because it is more of a gross motor control action. Sure, pulling the trigger is a fine motor control action, but why add more?
     
  22. Storm

    Storm Member

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    I own a second gen P99 AS 9mm and a P99 QA 9mm. Of guns that I shoot regularly and depend upon they are sure keepers. The full size 99 is pretty doggone small and would avail itself to concealed carry. The Compact is just about perfect although I think they could have squeezed in another round or two capacity, but ten will do. For carry I prefer the QA trigger. Swapping the stock striker spring with a stock Glock spring does wonders. I bought the 99C with the QA trigger because that was all that was available at the time, but, to do it over with a choice between AS and QA I would again go with QA. Either way, a great gun. Finding a compact can be fairly difficult either way.

    My first P99 was a first gen .40 with an ID frame. While I shot the gun well my distinct preference for the 9mm only became apparent once I shot them side by side. I would still like to acquire a first gen in 9mm.

    I have absolutely no need for the newer Walthers. I was really disappointed to see them abandon the paddle safety on the newer models. And, front slide serrations, blech. Just a personal preference. I've always seen Walther as a leader rather than a follower.
     
  23. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I grip textured my own 2nd Gen P99AS. Based on what the grip looks like, most think it is a PPQ. But I like the AS trigger. I also cut another slot in the rail to better fit a laser I carry. Starting with the P99QA and both generations of the PPQ, Walther was following Glock a bit too much for my taste.
     
  24. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    I don't find the silly PPQ paisleys to provide any more traction than the well-designed P99 grip. Most of these silly textures (Glock's RTF, for example), are crutches to provide good grip to compensate for poor ergonomic design. The shape of the P99 grip was right to begin with (correct heel shape and finger grooves that actually work), and that's why it works so well to hold the gun in place in your hand.


    9mm P99s have an angled indentation at the front of the slide that serves the exact same purpose as front slide serrations, but is neither as ugly or obtrusive, and aid, rather than hinder, holstering (.40SW P99s have this area filled in to provide more slide mass).

    It's elegant touches like this that are missing from the later Walther pistol designs.


    P99s with the "Defense Kit" SKU have/had the same ambi release as the PPQ. Frankly, I prefer the lower-profile original slide release. You are much less likely to accidentally interfere with it while firing and possibly initiate a malfunction.


    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  25. BluesDancer

    BluesDancer Member

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    Yep, they nailed the grip shape for sure. Agreed - I don't think grip texture is nearly as important as people let on if the ergonomics are right in the first place.

    True, however good luck finding this Defense Kit even if you wanted it. I see new P99s for sale these days and all I see are the standard models. Which, by the way, is absolutely fine with me. Standard model is awesome. I suspect Walther is busy with the other product lines?...
     
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