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Posted: 5/1/2003 10:32:53 AM EDT
I bought a Walther P99 in Feb, orignially as a present for a buddy. But after a range session, I decided to buy him a 4" Smith .357 and keep the P99 myself.

I have fired over 1000 rounds through the gun now, and have a pretty good idea of its reliability.

1. Size and Weight: It is a compact, lightweight pistol that conceals very easily. You can carry it all day and hardly know it is there. I carry it as a backup to a Beretta 92 or a Les Baer 1911 sometimes, and this is perfectly comfortable for me. Even when driving long distances.

2. Grip and Feel: The grips are adjustable on the P99, supposedly to make it fit lots of different sized hands. I use the smallest grip panel because I want the better control that comes from the smaller grip, even though I have large hands. The grip feels good and does a good job of protecting the shooter from being bitten by the slide, no matter how agressively they grip the gun.

3. Trigger: The trigger setup looks complicated on paper, but spending 10 seconds with it will make you realize that it is exactly like a traditional DA/SA auto. The DA trigger is decent, with a tendancy to stack near the very end of the pull. The SA trigger is light, but has the same tendancy to stack, though not as noticable as the DA trigger. The pull is still much better than a Glock's pull, but not quite as good as the XD's pull.

I have only used the decocking button on the range, as I carry the pistol in the "cocked" condition all the time. There are several internal safeties in the gun so this can be done in perfect safety.

4. Sights: The sights are decent ones that line up quite well at speed. My gun's sights shot a tad high, but there are extra front sights included with the gun to adjust for this. Rear is adjustable for windage. Both sights appear quite sturdy and have not budged, even survivng the drop tests. (later...)

5. Accuracy: Accuracy improved with the pistol as it broke in because the trigger pull got better. The P99 shoots very well. Slow aimed fire is able to produce shots that touch each other. At the range the other night, I used the p99 to cut a 3" hole out of the center mass of the target I was using. Shooting 3" dots could be done quite easily from the draw at up to 15 yards. After that more precise aim was required on the black 3" circles. 8" circles were not a problem even out to 25 yards.

6. Speed: The P99 is a lightweight polymer gun, meaning it has more muzzle flip than something like a Beretta 92. But with proper grip and stance, this can be mitigated and I was able to fire multiple shots/multiple targets without "feeling" any slower than I was with the 92. A PACT timer would have probably shown a difference, but it was not noticable.

7. Safety: After doing drop tests and throw tests on concrete flooring, the P99 had no failures. Dropped on the muzzle or on the back of the gun, the primer was not dimpled. A NOOB shooter I was training dropped the pistol while it was loaded on the range, and it did not fire. I was mighty glad I did them drop tests then buddy...

8. Reliability: The gun did not jam of its own accord, even with dirty magazines and no cleaning. 5 bucks to the person who guesses how I did get it to jam:

That's right! Limp wristing. I did my famous 2 finger limp wrist test, and the gun DID manage to jam, but not from stovepipes. The only thing it would do is cram the nose of a round into the top of the chamber and stick there. This required dropping the mag and racking the slide to clear. A simple Tap Rack Bang would have resulted in a nasty jam indeed.

I hasten to point out that I fired over 100 rounds with just two fingers holding the gun (the thumb and trigger finger) and it only jammed 2 times. This is not a suprise, as compact polymer 9mm's seem especially prone to limp-wristing problems when using ball ammo. I could not make it jam with +P ammo. (I could barely hold on to the thing with 2 fingers using +P as well...) Just 2 jams out of 100 attempts while doing something that NOBODY would ever do in a firefight is pretty good performance.

I could not make a jam happen with all fingers on the grip, no matter how loosely I held the gun. I figured that after the 3 or 400 rounds I shot that day (with almost no lube) that the gun would choke, but it did not.

Gripes:

As well as the P99 performed, I do have a couple of gripes:

1. Mag follower: The mag follower for the P99 mags is just a tiny, thin piece of plastic. It appears to work, but it sucks to know that I am depending on THAT puny thing. I would love to know if there were improved followers out there for these mags. Also my mags only seem to hold 15 rounds, when they are supposed to hold 16. These appear to be Turkish contract mags, so I am not sure if they were designed to take a round less...Herr Walther, any ideas on this?

2. Grip surface: It is a little too slick if you ask me. I would prefer something more agressive, or maybe a coating of a squishier rubber on the grip to give it more bite and reduce muzzle flip.

3. Rail system: You can't put an M3 or it, or any of the other standard lights. What gives here Walther? Can't join the rest of the 21st century? Proprietary light setups SUCK. Make it so I can put my M3 on there.

4. Trigger guard: They made a nice big trigger guard on the gun, and then flubbed it up by putting this stupid hump halfway through the thing. When wearing thick gloves you can pull the trigger 1/2 way just fine, then you bind up on that hump. A dremmel tool could probably fix this.

Overall it is a very good handgun for anyone who wants a compact 9mm to carry. It is accurate enough to hit soda bottles at 100 yards. It is reliable even when dirty and hot, and even when fanning the trigger to achieve a rate of fire that is just totally impractical.

The gun points very well, speeding up target acquisition. It handles all the ammo I fed it superbly.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the ultimate blaster that never fails and hits 1" circles at 50 yards no matter how badly you abuse it, the Walther is a solid 7.5. This is a very good score considering that nobody makes a 10 or a 9, and the best custom guns can only be about an 8.5 in my opinion.

I would reccomend the P99 to anyone who is looking at a compact polymer pistol. The fit and finish is superb, the lockup is rock solid, the accuracy and reliability are impressive, and the whole package comes in at just about 25 bucks more than a Glock. (Glocks sold for 495 at my old store. This Walther sold for 520.)

A bargain in my book...
Link Posted: 5/1/2003 5:04:17 PM EDT
Good detailed review.

My first P99 wouldn't go bang in SA mode (4 in 300) so I sent it back an my dealer and he is providing a new one tomorrow. Hopefully better luck with this one as I really like the feel and accuracy. Hopefully my results will be as good as yours...
Link Posted: 5/1/2003 6:19:04 PM EDT
great review, i couldnt agree more the p99 is a hella slick pistol.
Link Posted: 5/1/2003 6:44:30 PM EDT
I have a 40 P99 and the only gripe I have is that the accuracy is not what I expected. It shoots around 8" groups at 25 yards. My wife loves this gun and has made it "hers".
Sleepy717
Link Posted: 5/2/2003 8:42:08 AM EDT
I have a 40 P99 and love it. No stoppages in over 500rds. My "pre-ban" mags get tough to load on the last 2 rounds but it is my only gripe. THe trigger is night and day better than the grock.

The trigger guard bump is not a problem for me as I tend to have smaller hands and wear tighter gloves for more dextarity.

Since 92 mags and P99 mags can be interchanged with just notches made, see if you can swap in the alloy 92 followers in GI mags. I like the orange followers in my mags, I can see the mag is empty from 25ft away if it is laying out.

Best gun purchase I made in along time.

SorryOciffer
Link Posted: 5/2/2003 10:40:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2003 10:42:53 AM EDT by Green0]
I regret having ever encouraged my brother to buy his P99 (he got the OD/black two tone gun in .40S&W)

The Gun looked awesome fit and finish were exceptional- the test target factory provided showed a 2inch 50meter group.

We took it to the range andit was there that we discovered it was DA only!

My brother was havinga hard time with it and it's 14lbs trigger pull.

I offered to check the accuracy of it.

Ilaid it on the bags andfired round #1 (bullseye) carefully and slowly squeezing the DA Monster I fired round #2 2 inches to theleft of round number 1; I thought all was well and carefully squeexed off #3 (5 inches to the right)- #4 round missed the paper.

The gun was probably the worst performer I ever worked with

The trigger was not user friendly and at the time(and probably still)their is no replacement SA/DA trigger mod.

We sold it.



Itlooked too good to be true and it was -- don't buy the P99 Military model it is cheap and it shoots like it.

I have heardthe P99's as described above are far better guns.
Link Posted: 5/2/2003 12:41:30 PM EDT
What loads are you guys shooting and having good accuracy with? Also, what do you consider acceptable accuracy?
Sleepy717
Link Posted: 5/2/2003 3:03:12 PM EDT
They make the P99 in several models with differant trigger options. Did you buy a DOA model? If so that would be the ticket.

SorryOciffer
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 6:26:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2003 6:29:12 AM EDT by extremist_59]

Originally Posted By Green0:
We took it to the range andit was there that we discovered it was DA only!

My brother was havinga hard time with it and it's 14lbs trigger pull.




If you bought a P99 and it was DAO, it's a P990 and should be clearly marked on the slide.

Dealer should have told you that. Sorry you had that problem, but the dealer should have taken it back and replaced it.

As for the military models being "cheap and shooting like that", your experience is not typical. P99s are overwhelmingly thought of as great even exceptional pistols.

Come see the Walther P99 FAQ: www.gunfaqs.org/p99.htm

Regards,
James
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 12:21:26 PM EDT
i have a p99 .40 with the "silver" slide. My only complaint was the finish on the slide was horrible. According to walther it was supposed to be tennifer or something similar. After 2 days of carry i could see surface rust appearing in splotches on the slide.

Walther told me to mail the gun to their S&W service center and they would replace the slide. Would take 6-8 weeks. Instead i bought some black duracoat and had a buddy refinish it with that. Problem solved and it looks better with a black slide anyway.

mike
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 5:31:01 PM EDT
The gun may very well have been decently accurate but in 150rds niether of us were able to wring a decent group out of it.

The trigger pull was terrible.

My 1911's normally shoot under 5-7inches at 25yds standing offhand and my glock 19 will easilly do better than that. So I don't think it was me.

My brother went to a gunshow and sold it in 20minutes (the Bond movie had just come out and they were in demand).
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 9:12:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Green0:
I regret having ever encouraged my brother to buy his P99 (he got the OD/black two tone gun in .40S&W)

The Gun looked awesome fit and finish were exceptional- the test target factory provided showed a 2inch 50meter group.

We took it to the range andit was there that we discovered it was DA only!

My brother was havinga hard time with it and it's 14lbs trigger pull.

I offered to check the accuracy of it.

Ilaid it on the bags andfired round #1 (bullseye) carefully and slowly squeezing the DA Monster I fired round #2 2 inches to theleft of round number 1; I thought all was well and carefully squeexed off #3 (5 inches to the right)- #4 round missed the paper.

The gun was probably the worst performer I ever worked with

The trigger was not user friendly and at the time(and probably still)their is no replacement SA/DA trigger mod.

We sold it.



Itlooked too good to be true and it was -- don't buy the P99 Military model it is cheap and it shoots like it.

I have heardthe P99's as described above are far better guns.




You can get the Military model in any configuration that they sell. You must have gotten a DAO. Didn't you notice it before you bought it?

THE NORMAL DA/SA IS A SUPURB HANDGUN.

Cheap? I dont know about ya'll but I bought mine when they first came out-almost $700. Have not regreted it.
We did severe durability and reliablity tests on several "popular" handguns and it just so happens that the P99 Military .40sw really shined. One of the best we tested. Several foreign Elite units have adoted the P99 Military, albit in 9mike-mike form.
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 9:50:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2003 9:51:16 AM EDT by extremist_59]
Actually, you can't get a Military model with the Titanium coated slide, nor can you get the QA model with the Military frame. There were never any QPQ (silver) slide models with OD Military frames either.

But there were P990s and there currently are P99s with OD Military Green frames, and Black slides.

Regards,
James
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 6:12:17 PM EDT
One model I havn't seen mentioned is the P99QA. What does the "QA" mean?
Sleepy717
Link Posted: 5/5/2003 9:59:37 PM EDT
"QA" means quik action
The P99 QA is a P99 with a new quick action trigger. This trigger system required by some law enforcement agencies ensures constant trigger performance from the first to the last shot. The P99 QA is ready to fire immediatly after retraction of the slide although four independently operating safeties guarantee maximum safety for the user.
With the QA trigger, the striker is in a precocked position (approx. 0,24") and further pulling of the trigger results in additional cocking of approx. 1/8" before discharge. Trigger travel is approx. 0,24" with trigger pull of approx. 6.5lbs.
The always safe but short trigger travel guarantees the shooter immediate and precise firing, tipping the scales in critical defense situations.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 7:36:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By brewsky101:
"QA" means quik action
The P99 QA is a P99 with a new quick action trigger. This trigger system required by some law enforcement agencies ensures constant trigger performance from the first to the last shot. The P99 QA is ready to fire immediatly after retraction of the slide although four independently operating safeties guarantee maximum safety for the user.
With the QA trigger, the striker is in a precocked position (approx. 0,24") and further pulling of the trigger results in additional cocking of approx. 1/8" before discharge. Trigger travel is approx. 0,24" with trigger pull of approx. 6.5lbs.
The always safe but short trigger travel guarantees the shooter immediate and precise firing, tipping the scales in critical defense situations.



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