I have the 16 rounds S&W magazines. They have the LEO, government, export note and observation opennings for the 16 rounds on the side. There is also a warning stating that they are limited for 15 rounds only. I tend to believe that originally they were designed for 16 rounds and later were limited to 15 due to problems, or maybe the 16th hole is for 15+1 in chamber.
Mine had no warnings about using only 15 rounds. It is marked LE only, and export markings and has the observation holes on the sides like yours but no warning about 15 rounds. Where is the 15 round warning for your magazines? Is it on the magazine itself?
Decided to check this issue and what I learned is that the 16 rounds mags are actually 15+1. The extra 1 is being used for loading the chamber if you carry your pistol chambered. Some of the old PPs had the same system, but the observation hole for the 9th round was smaller and positioned out of the row.
The way I understand it is that if you keep your mags empty and just load them when practicing it is not much of a problem. If you keep them loaded all the time then it is a problem. The solution is to replace the springs often enough to prevent problems. By the way, I don't see a real advantage in having 16 rnds instead of 15.
I'm new to Walthers...I'm considering one for my next purchase. One of the factors that I take into consideration is cost/availability of parts and accessories.
Where does everyone buy their 16-round P99 mags? I checked my "usual" sources (where I've gotten all my Sig, Glock and Ruger mags) and no one seems to carry the hi cap Walther mags. Are they hard to come by? What's a good price? (I'm used to getting my hi cap mags for around $19 each -- factory or Mec-Gar after market).
If you want the Walther, get it. Magazine availabilty isn't really an issue. You can get them from TpoGlock, CDNN Investments, TheGunSource.com & many others. But they are higher priced. They usually run about $37 or so. Avoid the cheaper Pro Mags, and avoid any mags that cost more than $40. The dealer is just being greedy. But Mec Gars are high quality and I've never had any problems with rust, feeding, etc. Common accessories like holsters and night sights are easy to find, Arizona Gun Runners sells night sights for under $70 and many companies make holsters for it. I'd reccomend a Fobus paddle/belt holster, which usually cost between $20-25 most places.
Thanks for the info! I have plenty of experience with Mec-Gars from my Sig and Ruger. I did find the factory mags at CDNN...they are under the "LEO marked, Civilian Legal" category instead of the Walther Hi Cap. I guess I can live with $40 each...just a couple of hundred rounds less of WWB for a while.
I'm definitely leaning toward the P99...looking at $507 NIB plus about $80 for a couple of more mags. The P99 AS's are getting a little hard to find, but I don't really like the lack of DA on the QA model. I'm really anxious to get one out on the range (preferably my own!)