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Old 09-20-2019, 01:31 PM   #1
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FirstandLast .22
P99 magazines

I have several different magazines that I bought at different times for my P99. Anybody care to point out the differences? Are they all suitable from Gen1 to GenX?

Top to down:
1. P99 2002 gen1 10rd
2. P99 LEO marked 16rd
3. P99 15rd
4. P99 20rd
6. P99AS 2014 15rd

Edit1: 1,2,4 do not have anti-tilt follower
Edit2: 1,2,4 also have shorter feed lips

Last edited by FirstandLast; 09-20-2019 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 03:56 PM   #2
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balance .22
The 10rd mags came with all P99 pistols that were sold outside of agencies in the US from the release of the P99 sometime around early 1997, until 2004 when the Assault Weapon Ban ended.

The 16rd mag was sold to law enforcement agencies, but was replaced with a 15rd mag a few years after the P99 was released. I've never heard a definitive reason why the change occured. I have heard from a member on another forum from Poland, where 99-series pistol use is prevalent, that the mag bodies would swell if kept loaded for a while and would then not drop free. I've never heard of anyone in the US having this, or any other issue with the 16rd mags though.

The 15rd mag differs from the 16rd mag in some areas. The feed lips were raised, and the left side feed lip has a relief cut to clear the ejector. The follower has "anti-tilt legs" that make it difficult for the rounds in the mag to nosedive as they are being fed up to the feedlips. There are ridges on the side of the mag body as well (possibly to stop swelling when fully loaded). Sometime after the release of the 15rd mag, there was also a "wall" put on the left side of the mag to keep the cartridges from being able to impact the slide release tab and locking the slide back with cartridges still in the mag. From what I've heard, this was only an issue with the .40S&W pistols with their stronger recoil impulse, but the change was made to the 9mm mags as well for good measure.

I don't have much experience with the 20rd P99 mags, but there have been a few revisions to these mags as well. Some have the lower feedlips, while others (I assume the later model) have the raised feedlips with the ejector cut.

The PPQ 17rd mag is a P99 15rd mag with the front of the mag body cut lower to clear the longer feedramp of the PPQ. It has a longer/stronger mag spring to help feed the two extra rounds, It has a different coating on the outside of the mag body, supposedly to create less friction or more corrosion resistance. The base plate is different to allow two extra rounds to fit in the mag.

The 15rd P99 mag may or may not have the lowered mag body to clear the longer feedramp of the PPQ. I've heard that the P99 barrel changed to match the PPQ barrel, but I'm not 100% certain of this.

Are they all suitable from Gen1 to GenX?
I'm not sure, because I'm not sure if Walther chose to have the P99 barrel mimic the PPQ barrel with the longer feedramp. If the P99 barrel and PPQ barrel are now identical, then the older P99 mags will not work on the newer P99 pistols. The older P99 mags with the higher front mag body will cause damage to the barrel if used on PPQ pistols. A good way to check this is to install the mag in a PPQ, lock the slide back, and see if the feedramp on the barrel can impact the front of the mag body. If it can, do not use those mags on that pistol.
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:56 AM   #3
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MGMike .38
It is not generally appreciated that the feeding reliability of a magazine is greatly influenced by the exact positioning of the cartridges below the one being fed. It is those cartridges that determine how and where upward pressure is applied to the top cartridge. This is particularly critical as the top cartridge moves forward and is released from the magazine lips. Nor does a static observation of the loaded magazine, either removed from the gun or with the slide open, necessarily disclose the actual relationship. This is because, with the slide closed, the cartridge column including the top cartridge is depressed by the feed rib of the slide, and must pop up into its highest position during the short time interval that the slide cycles and gets out of the way. How this occurs dynamically is more important than any static view, which is why some manufacturers resort to high-speed photography to analyze feeding malfunctions.

Frequently modifications are made not to the length or height of the lips or the distance between them, but subtle adjustments to the shape and/or location of the creases and indentations on the sidewalls of the magazine body.

For the same reasons it is very difficult to compare versions of magazines without reference to the blueprints, not only of the magazines but of successive versions of the gun. Surprising dimensional differences will be found between individual magazines even of the same version because no part is more difficult to make exactly to the drawings than a magazine.

For the ordinary user, the only sure-fire way to determine what magazine can be used in which pistol --and with what ammunition-- is by empirical testing on the range, with clear identification of each magazine and carefully keeping notes. There was a reason why, not so long ago, magazines were numbered to the gun.


Last edited by MGMike; 09-22-2019 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:06 PM   #4
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FirstandLast .22
Thanks Balance for the exact information I was looking for. Mike provided very experienced insight too.

It seems to me the 17rd PPQ M1 mag may be the best mag I want - anti-tilt, ridged sides, higher feed lips with rejector cut, and raised follower (even higher than my 2014 15rd) which I believe prevents nosedive feeding issues, and +2 of course.
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