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Discussion Starter #1
I've been wondering about this lately.

I see most here on the Walther Forum make disparaging remarks about the SW99. It's not the "real thing", it's just a "clone". Personally, I just don't get it. Is a Dell computer just an IBM clone? Is a Les Baer, or Wilson, or Kimber 1911 just a Colt "clone"? I don't think so, although technically they all are. Calling Dell just an IBM clone is ridiculous. It's also ridiculous to call a Les Baer just a Colt clone.

I own two SW99's, a .40 & a .45, both full size. I also own a P99c 9mm. All 3 are AS's, all 3 have been 100% reliable, all 3 are very accurate, all 3 are ergonomic, all 3 are great guns, and I love all 3 of them.

Maybe I'm missing something? Just what is it that makes the P99 a great gun, while the SW99 sucks?

The SW99 is a great gun, regardless of the brand or manufacturer(s) name on it. S&W fans at the S&W Forum shun the SW99 because it is not a "real" Smith. The Walther people shun it because it's not a "real" Walther. What a shame.

If both Walther AND Smith fans dismiss the SW99, is it any wonder Smith dropped the SW99? I think it's tragic that a great gun manufactured by two of the greatest gun manufacturers of all time was a failure.

Does it REALLY matter if your magazines say Walther or Smith on them? It doesn't matter to me or my guns, as my Smith magazines have been just as reliable as my Walther magazines. To me it just doesn't make sense to pay more for the same product just because of the name brand on it. The first time I charged my P99c with a S&W magazine, I half expected the Walther to expel the intruder, coughing & gagging. But, amazingly, the ammo nor the gun seemed to mind.

I know I'm not endearing myself to the Walther crowd here, but that's just me. I call-em like I see-em. I believe in calling a spade a spade, and could care less about political correctness.

I wonder what impact this forum has had on the SW99, and even on Walther? When new members or visitors here see the negative comments about the SW99 do you think they run out and buy a SW99? If no one buys a SW99 and they are discontinued, does anyone think this helps Walther? If consumers can't buy a P99 because they are scarce, and can't buy a SW99 because they are discontinued, what will they buy? Well, I'll tell you. The consumer will buy a Smith M&P, or a Sig, or a Glock, or a Beretta, or an XD, or a .......

The BEST thing this forum could have done for Walther in general, and the P99 in particular, was to give the SW99 the props it deserved. If the SW99 had been as successful as I believe it could have been, the P99 and Walther would also be more successful.

Sorry If I offended, but I think it's a shame a gun as great as the SW99 has been discontinued.

Now excuse me while I go put on my flame suit.
 

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This forum honestly had nothing to do with the sw99 being discontinued. SW wanted their own gun and now that they have it with the m&p there is no reason to spend money marketing something that I seriously doubt is as profitable to them.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the s&w gun at all, but I also didn't see a compelling reason to buy it over the walther. If walther can make the frame, I might as well buy the whole gun from them. Was there a compelling reason to buy the s&w version? You get stainless steel for your slide instead of carbon steel, big whoop. You get a gun that is probably even harder to find holsters for. I've never seen a compelling reason to go with it over the p99.
 

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SW wanted their own gun and now that they have it with the m&p there is no reason to spend money marketing something that I seriously doubt is as profitable to them.
Bingo! Give that man a ceegar!:D

As per Walther vs Smith with mags...well maybe it is my OCPD that wants everything to match...or since I have bought and sold my share of guns, I know how buyers feel. When they buy a brand specific gun they like brand specific items. Plain and simple. As per shooter, SW or Walter mags don't make a bit of difference...

Did you move you mags yet?
 

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I don't call it crap. You are right - it always bugged me a bit when some guys didn't call it the real deal. I have both the SW99 and a P(9, however. In fact, I did made a post this morning comparing the 2 a bit - and proclaiming my preference for the Walther. But, the SW99 is still a good gun.
 

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Well 1st off plenty of manufacturers discontinue gun models for all types of different reasons,, I dont thin S&w discontinued the sw99 for any of the conflicting reasons that you are speaking of,, I think the M&P is just taking over and Smith and wesson is moving on just like some other people should. I mean look at all the models smith has over walther, it is not a bad firearm, I have shot plenty of sw99s and they are great pistols. I think u will also see walther discontinue the P99 in the near future. Its just part of the evolution of firearms, theres nothing to be upset about that. Whos design was the P99 and the sw99 anyway lol was it walther
 

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My preference for Walther over the S&W was for a couple of reasons, and neither really has to do with brand preference.

First, is the appearance. I have no idea why S&W chose to change the grip and the trigger guard, but IMO they weren't good changes. I will admit, i've never held the SW99, but when i was comparing pics of both it looked like S&W had taken away some of the "grippiness" features to make it look more streamlined.

I dont like the trigger guard change. The original straight edge flowing with the P99 slide lines looks nice; the SW99's curvy, revolver-like guard just ruins the design appearance for me.

Maybe those are silly reasons to prefer the Walther, but when i'm spending $600 i'll go with what i prefer.

The other reason - when faced with buying an original, or a clone/licensed version - i'd rather have the original, unless the clone has been improved and/or is far superior. I'm that way with many other things; i buy Sony monitors, not licensed Trinitron monitors, for example.

I dont look down on SW99 owners whatsoever. I think it's an equally quality gun, believe me. It's just not the one i preferred for personal reasons, not quality reasons.

thorn
 

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don't forget the .45

I own all walthers, but do give SW praise for scaling the design up to the .45. In a way, they tried harder to expand the x99 family than Walther.

In the context of the whole industry, the P99 was not overly successfuly itself. We all love them, but they weren't the hot sellers of others out there. (No, I don't have sales figures, this is a generally agreed perception.)

Thanks should also go to SW for pricing magazines better than Walther. I would have fewer mags in the safe if I paid all walther prices.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, first off let me clarify a few things.

I never said I liked the SW99 better than the P99.

I never said the SW99 was superior to the P99.

I never said the Walther Forum caused the demise of the SW99. Further, I don't believe that. What I said was that I believed that this forum in particular, and Walther fans in general did Walther a disservice by dismissing the SW99 as a "clone" or a "fake", and in general belittling it. I believe the failure of the SW99 to be bad for Walther & the P99. Do you believe otherwise?

Now when I say this Forum and Walther fans, I am making a generalization. Not everyone did so. I too am a member of this forum and a Walther fan. I read the new posts on this forum nearly every day and have learned alot from this forum. But unlike some, I found it very easy to be a P99 fan AND a SW99 fan. My first 99 series purchase was the Walther. I loved the design and functionality so much that I purchased 2 SW99's in two different calibers, and a P22. I thought it made sense to buy more of something that I liked. It didn't occur to me to dismiss the SW99 as a clone.

Gun makers, not unlike politicians, need the support of their base. When a gun manufacturer introduces a new model, it needs the support of its current customer base, and some new converts, to be successful. When Smith fans dismissed the SW99 as not being a "real" Smith, and Walther fans dismissed the SW99 as just a clone, the SW99 lost its base of support and was doomed to failure. The lack of support, and thus sales, caused Smith to discontinue the SW99. If the SW99 had enjoyed the success and support that I think it deserved, Smith would still be making them. To say that Smith dropped the SW99 because they introduced the M&P is disingenuous.

Furthermore, dismissing the SW99 because part of the gun was made by someone else is RIDICULOUS. Are some people so naive to believe that the gun maker named on the side of their gun manufactured every component of that gun? If you could keep only the guns that had no outsourced parts, your gun safes would be very empty indeed.
 

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What I said was that I believed that this forum in particular, and Walther fans in general did Walther a disservice by dismissing the SW99 as a "clone" or a "fake", and in general belittling it. I believe the failure of the SW99 to be bad for Walther & the P99. Do you believe otherwise?
Yes, I believe otherwise. Ultimately, Walther fans did not not like some of the changes S&W made to the gun and believed the gun to be missing some of the fit and finish of the Walther version. It's fair for people to express that opinion. I don't think it hurt Walther if a person who refused to buy a SW99 went out and bought a P99 instead.

Gun makers, not unlike politicians, need the support of their base. When a gun manufacturer introduces a new model, it needs the support of its current customer base, and some new converts, to be successful.
I agree, but this is where S&W made a huge mistake. I don't know if you remember it but, during the AWB, S&W cut an anti-gun rights deal with the Clinton Justice Dept. that enraged shooters. Many shooters dumped and refused to purchase any S&W product. S&W was nearly pushed out of the gun business and had to be sold by its British owners to Americans who walked away from the Clinton Justice Dept. deal.

The SW99 had a hard time getting its early legs in the market because of this. Additionally, the poor start was further complicated by the problem that S&W did not know where the gun fit in its product line or how to market it. They started selling the SW99 to LE agencies (as an alternative to the Glock) and stressed the gun's decocker as a necessary safety feature which the Glock was lacking. And then S&W came out with the SW99OL which is essentially a QA version of the SW99. The SW99OL came out without a decocker and the sales staff at S&W nearly had a stroke. For several years, they were pushing the SW99 over the Glock due to its enhanced safety features and now the decocker was gone. It totally undermined their sales pitch. When I spoke to S&W sales people at the SHOT Show they were very annoyed with their company because they felt they were now in an impossible position.


When Smith fans dismissed the SW99 as not being a "real" Smith, and Walther fans dismissed the SW99 as just a clone, the SW99 lost its base of support and was doomed to failure.
Regarding the bias of brand loyalty purists, you have to keep in mind that you are dealing with fans and "fan" is short for fanatic. Brand specific forums are full of people who will be dedicated to that brand. Although they will discuss the pros and cons, they are likely to support only what their brand has created. It is unlikely that either you or I can change the mind of a "true believer."
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, I believe otherwise. Ultimately, Walther fans did not not like some of the changes S&W made to the gun and believed the gun to be missing some of the fit and finish of the Walther version. It's fair for people to express that opinion. I don't think it hurt Walther if a person who refused to buy a SW99 went out and bought a P99 instead. "
Well, the problem is not that simple. You make it sound like anyone can just walk in any gun store, and walk out with the P99 of their choice, in whatever size, caliber, color, & trigger action they choose. Please post what gun store you shop at. Many on this board, including me, would like to know. The problem I am trying to address is this: A gun purchaser goes to his gun store. He finds NEITHER the SW99 nor the P99, so he buys something else. I never stated that it was bad for Walther for a consumer to buy a P99 INSTEAD of a SW99. The problem is that the consumer if finding NEITHER, and thus buying NEITHER. So explain to me how this could be good for Walther?


I agree, but this is where S&W made a huge mistake. I don't know if you remember it but, during the AWB, S&W cut an anti-gun rights deal with the Clinton Justice Dept. that enraged shooters. Many shooters dumped and refused to purchase any S&W product. S&W was nearly pushed out of the gun business and had to be sold by its British owners to Americans who walked away from the Clinton Justice Dept. deal. "
I guess I don't understand what the previous owners of S&W back in the 90's has to do with it. I don't think this has anything to do with the lack of support Walther fans of today have for the SW99. Or why the S&W Forum people look down at the SW99. Should we also hold it against Walther that they once made weapons for Nazi Germany?


As Smith sold fewer and fewer 99's, Walther had to drop/decrease production. In my opinion, this is a primary reason why P99's are so scarce. I believe there would be more P99's at gun stores if the SW99 was still in production and had been a success. Success breeds success. The more SW99's sold and in inventory, the more sales and inventory for the P99.

In short, I believe it to be counterproductive for Walther fans to make derogatory comments about the SW99. I found it very easy to be a P99 fan and and a SW99 fan. At the very least, couldn't a P99 fan be neutral towards the SW99, instead of negative? I don't have a problem with members here being fanatics about their P99's - I too am a P99 fanatic. I just don't share -nor understand- their need to belittle the SW99.
 

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You make it sound like anyone can just walk in any gun store, and walk out with the P99 of their choice, in whatever size, caliber, color, & trigger action they choose. Please post what gun store you shop at. Many on this board, including me, would like to know.
I doubt that many on this board want to know where I shop for firearms. I understand you are excited about this and possibly a troll for this issue but here it is: I have the same options most others have. When I became interested in the P99, I looked around for them. I saw a few at the gun shows. I researched the gun and its variants online and then found a range an hour away (2 hour round trip) that had one for rent. I went there specifically to shoot the gun and see what I thought about it. After I decided I liked it, I went to the online auction websites to locate and buy one. -It was not very difficult. It just involved the investment of some time and effort.

The problem I am trying to address is this: A gun purchaser goes to his gun store. He finds NEITHER the SW99 nor the P99, so he buys something else. {SNIP} So explain to me how this could be good for Walther?
Obviously, Walther wants people to buy Walther products or Walther related products. However, even gun stores with extensive inventories have their limits. Whether the SW99 is or is not on the market does not mean a gun store will carry it. You are assuming that if the SW99 is available a gun store will order it and stock it as regular inventory. That is a massive assumption. Gun stores are expressions of the bias, preference, and business sense of their owners. I bought my P99 online because my local gun shops did not carry either the P99 or the SW99 and, at the time, the next gun show was over a month away. Even the range that had a P99 for rent did not have one for sale.

I guess I don't understand what the previous owners of S&W back in the 90's has to do with it. I don't think this has anything to do with the lack of support Walther fans of today have for the SW99. Or why the S&W Forum people look down at the SW99. Should we also hold it against Walther that they once made weapons for Nazi Germany?
I don't know how else to explain it other than a lot of shooters (not just Walther fans) felt like they had been sold out by S&W's deal with Clinton's Justice Dept. It went way beyond your narrow focus of Walther fans vs. S&W fans. Many shooters refused to buy any S&W product. Some gun stores refused to carry any S&W product. It was a massive problem for S&W. Now imagine trying to push a new model in a market that is hostile to your brand and your entire line... I do not mean to imply that this is still the atmosphere, but it did hinder the SW99 getting its early legs in the marketplace. -And while you may not understand it, when people feel wronged by an organization or a group they may hold a grudge. There are people today who still hold Germany's Nazi past against it. Mercedes (among other companies) made some of the furnaces at the concentration camps and I have met some Jews who refuse to buy a Mercedes because of it. You can dismiss it as emotional or irrational, but grudges do exist and they can have an effect on the bottom line.

As Smith sold fewer and fewer 99's, Walther had to drop/decrease production. In my opinion, this is a primary reason why P99's are so scarce. I believe there would be more P99's at gun stores if the SW99 was still in production and had been a success. Success breeds success. The more SW99's sold and in inventory, the more sales and inventory for the P99.
Absolutely not. The P99's and SW99's were going after the same market niche and they were eating into each other's sales. It's like when you have a chain of stores or restaurants and they are placed too close to each other. What will happen is that Store B will cost Store A sales. -Believe me, Les Baer is not helping Wilson Combat's sales at all. The 1911 is a successful platform in spite of the competition, not because of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What was the list price of the SW99, compared to the P99... or if it's more accurate, what did each sell for new?

(I really don't know, that's why i ask)

thorn
Don't know about list prices, but here's what I paid for the SW99's.

I bought the .40 last December from Sports Authority NIB for $425.00 + tax. They were dropping handguns so they had everything marked down. It only came with 10 round mags, but for the price I could live with that.

I bought the .45 a few months ago from a local FFL I have done business with before. It was NIB and marked $625.00. When I saw it, I made the comment that he must have had it in inventory a long time. He said yes, too long. I told him if we could work on the price, I would make it disappear. So $465.00 + tax later he had cleared out old inventory and I had a new .45.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I doubt that many on this board want to know where I shop for firearms. I understand you are excited about this and possibly a troll for this issue but here it is:....
No BreakerDave, I am not a troll. In all honesty, I could care less where you do your shopping.

But one of the most asked questions I see on this board is membership asking where to find P99's. In the market place you describe, they're falling form the sky and you have to beat them off with a stick. In the market place I and others see, they're almost non existent. Some people are not comfortable buying at auctions or over the Internet. So instead, they go to their local stores and but other brands.

I just thought you might like to enlighten the membership with your magical gun shop.
 

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Being a Porsche guy (which has really opened my eyes to the next statement) and SW99 owner, I can tell you exactly why some people look down on the SW99. With nearly anything on the planet that has a fan-based following, usually there are at least a few individuals (and sometimes a lot of individuals) who jump on the Pretentious Bandwagon. ;) I think we all like to be proud of what we have, it's just that some people can take it too far to the point where they have to prove that the other guy's stuff is inferior. That's just human nature. Being an automotive enthusiast, I've had to listen to the same types of arguments in plenty of car circles, and it gets old real fast. IMHO, just be happy with what it is that you like and don't give too much thought to any nay-sayers that don't offer up facts to back up their statements.

I bought my SW99 because at the time I was impatient, looking for instant gratification, and I couldn't find any P99's in several shops here but there was a SW99 .40cal. I suppose I probably could have looked a bit harder, I certainly could have more easily located one online, etc however I'm a bit more of an impulsive individual and like to see things in person first. I like the finer things in life and plan on buying at least one 9mm P99, however I've been very happy with my SW99. In the past month I've put 1000rds of CCI Independence cheap range ammo through my SW99, and I haven't had a single FTF or FTE, or any malfunction whatsoever. The gun is also incredibly accurate. All in all, while having never shot a P99, the SW99 is an excellent quality gun and I feel while it's likely that the P99 is just a "bit" better, the SW99 probably offers you about 95-98% of what you get with the P99. I personally kind of like the SW99's trigger guard, however I also like the P99's as well. They're both quality guns, and IMO the differences between them are really a matter of personal preference rather than some kind of mechanical inferiority.
 

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Please post what gun store you shop at. Many on this board, including me, would like to know.
In all honesty, I could care less where you do your shopping.
I just thought you might like to enlighten the membership with your magical gun shop.
Hmmm- You want to know. You don't want to know. You suspect magic is involved and I want to discuss my sorcerer's ways... Let me assure you, and others, that there was no wizardry or conjuring used in the location and procurement of the firearm.

I didn't think I had to state the obvious, but one person has demonstrated the need for hand-holding so here we go... If your local shop does not have the firearm you want and cannot order it through its distributor(s), you need to look elsewhere. This can include the internet. Show some initiative, put in some effort, and improve your position.
 

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Sorry, I only have the one P99 and no SW99's, but I'll weigh in here with my thoughts.

Neither Walther nor S&W spent a lot of effort and money on marketing for the P99/SW99.

Marketing does help drive the marketplace.

Joe Schmuckatelly goes into Ben's Gun and Tackle Shop looking for a new pistol.

Joe sees lots of Glocks, Springfields, Colts, and S&Ws (but no SW99's or P99's).

Joe's never seen an SW99 or P99 in a magazine, even an ad.

So he buys a Glock Blastomatic.

I did a bunch of research, and the P99 was on my short list when I went to the gun show.

I spotted the CZ P40 that was on my short list also, then went further and found a lightly used P99 in .40 S&W. I didn't speak up fast enough and someone bought that out from under me, but that same dealer had a new P99.

So I went home with a P99.

But I only did that because I already knew about it, and had done research.

Joe (from the example above) doesn't even know the SW99/P99 exists.

If I hadn't had a local gun shop order it, I wouldn't have my new CZ P01, because none of the 7 gun shops in 30 miles had one in their inventory. I drove to them all to check.

Joe (from the example above) wouldn't even know to order the SW99/P99, because he doesn't know it exists...

That's why the SW99 is discontinued. As well as S&W now has their own 'tactical tupperware' that they don't have to buy half of from another manufacturer, or pay royalties to that manufacturer.

The P99 isn't discontinued, and Walther will probably be making them for several more years.

But they've been selling them since 1996, and can you tell me just how many ads you've seen for them? Probably not many...
 

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Just to say...I had to have one of my local shops order a p99. I checked 9 in the area and nobody had them in stock and 7 of 9 couldn't even order them.
 

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I had no trouble ordering a P99 in 9mm from my local gun shop. I ordered it on a Friday and I picked it up on the next business day, Monday.

I don't see much point in the original post except to cause controversy. Obviously the marketplace did not have room for the SW99. I don't think it is a reflection on this forum or it's members.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't call it crap. You are right - it always bugged me a bit when some guys didn't call it the real deal. I have both the SW99 and a P(9, however. In fact, I did made a post this morning comparing the 2 a bit - and proclaiming my preference for the Walther. But, the SW99 is still a good gun.
You're right Ship, the SW99 is a good gun. I've read many of your posts on several forums, and knew you to be a P99 and a SW99 fan. In fact, I consider you to be the premiere unofficial 99 series ambassador. You've done more to promote them than anyone I know.:cool: I don't think there's anything wrong with preferring one over the other - that's human nature. But, the 2 guns are so similar, I never understood how some could brag on one and belittle the other.

Maybe some people just don't like a Lifetime Warranty?
 
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