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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen:
After been absent for a long time, I come back with another question:
Has anyone seen the grip inserts starting to decay-disintegrate?
And I mean seeing them going from solid rubber to crumbs falling to the fllor at the touch of your fingers.
That's what happened to me and my friend's P99s. I have just one left in good conditions, he just lost his first.
Of course, I can buy another one from Earl's but... I assume they will volatilize in the same way one day or the next one.
I have seen rubber grips decay, as the Pachmayr I installed in my Colt 15 years ago, I have seen shotguns end up with a bare wood, but after years of hard work, not in parts that are stored in a drawer.
I am planning to get them done in 3D printing.
Any suggestion?
Much obliged.
 

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No problems with any of my P99 variants — P99c AS, MR9, or SW99. What are you using to clean the weapon?
 

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Me too.....no problems with any of my backstraps either. Heat is really hard on rubber....you don't store these in the attic, do you?
 

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If they're stored out of direct sunlight in a reasonable climate, as in not 125 degrees, and no caustics or solvents were used on them, they had ought to last as long as the gun itself.

Methinks harsh chemicals were used at some point and have altered the molecular structure of the backstraps..


And to that notion....it's a form of plastic. Does it really need a solvent on it? :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to everyone that took the time to answer my question.
First. I keep my gun parts in a closed drawer, with no chemicals, and in general good conditions. I have stored gun parts for more than 20 years (yes,I am that old) and when I gave them to someone, they were still like new. As I said, I have seen rubber deteriorating with age, but never before like these grip inserts. My pal bought his P99 at the same time and his inserts are in almost as bad condition as mines. He lives in an appartment, I live in a house, we both seldom use our P99s, and still they are basically unfit to shoot. And curiously, the worse inserts are those that have never been used (large size), and spent their (short) lifes in the drawer. The one that I put in the gun from day one is the only more or less intact.
Anyway, from your comments, I assume it may be some defect associated with this lot of guns and so I feel a little more hopeful to buy new inserts from Mr. Earl.
Many thanks again.
 

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Now I'm thinking it has something to do with the drawer in which they are stored. Some composite materials off-gas stuff such as formaldehyde, and it the enclosed space of a drawer those gases can reach pretty high levels.
 

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or wives/GFs that might hate guns? but why is just the backstrap affected?

weird.

UE might be on to something. ..but why just the backstrap?

a bad lot seem more likely (but my mother still has plastic toys I used to play with as a baby and those were really cheap plastic).
 

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UE is ine idea the other is what did you or do you clean it with? Aldo those silicone gun rags can react with the plastics. Call walther or magnum research and get a new insert, cheaper than earls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Again, thanks everyone for your fine ideas. You are very kind to give your time to think about my little problem.
Thanks heavens I don't have problems with the lady of the house, the best part of my guns came from her father and granddad, and they will stay in the family, so I hope.
I concur that something happened in storage, but most probably to these guns before they reach my pal's and my hands. My reason is the most damaged inserts are those which are not regularlly carried on the guns. Maybe the use, sweat, sun, oil or whatever, somehow cleaned the rubber, while those kept at home were subject to some slow damage.
My first idea was to reach Earl's, because I have got some parts for my GSP's in the past and in general terms the gentleman treated me well. Walther in Germany act as if my guns were the illegitimate bastards of the family and, while being quite polite, snuffed at every request.
Magnum research I have never heard of, but I'll check in a moment, and there is also S&W, which I have never tried, to be honest.
In the meantime, I picked a nice piece of soft wood and I am killing my time trying to carve myself a new insert. I hope to end up with 10 complete fingers...
Best regards to all
 
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I've had my oldest P99 since 2002 and the backstraps are like new. No problems.
 
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Something is definitely going wrong at the source. This clearly isn't an issue with the pistols as a whole. If cleaning isn't introducing the problem, then the environment in which the pistol is being stored is the most likely culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Universal Export:
Waltherarms can be a good idea, I can mail them mine, so they can check wat happened to them.
You know, in the past I used to send a letter (yes a letter in an envelope made of paper), to germany and they mailed it back with springs I needed to keep my match guns shooting. Typical German efficiency.
Well, those were the times that gone... when Walther was owned by... Walther, and in international matches.
Incidentally i searched Magnum Research but I could not find anything related or similar to a P99. S&W's site doesn't show anything close too.
I also watched the nice pictures of the inserts that gent made from figured wood. Honestly, I don't even dream of getting anythin close to that.
Thanks to everyone for his suggestions.
 

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Incidentally i searched Magnum Research but I could not find anything related or similar to a P99. S&W's site doesn't show anything close too.
The Magnum Research versions of the P99 are the MR9 and MR40. The Smith & Wesson version was the SW99, which came in 9mm, .40SW, and .45ACP. In both cases the frames were made by Walther, barrels and slides supplied by Magnum Research and Smith & Wesson.

My SW99 in .45ACP:

 

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Sorry but the only similar instance that springs to mind was in the movie "Andromeda Strain". Probably not helpful, unless you had satellites return to earth nearby. Still, might want to keep vigilant for unusual blood clotting also. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, I do remember the Anromeda Strain.
I'll check the neighborhood for suspicious impact craters...
At least I am still feeling well, giving my age.
But...
Wait...
Ouch!
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Andromeda Strain or not, I ordered a pair of backstraps from Earl's.
I'll keep you informed.
Your insights were much appreciated.
 

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I had the exact problem with my back straps. ALL of the three disintegrated. I have a 1998 (KI) P99. The medium size back strap is the one strapped on the gun while the two spares were tucked in the gun case. When the one strapped on the gun started to disintegrate I removed it and tried to install the large back strap. I was surprised that it just broke apart when I tried installing it. The same thing happened with the remaining strap. I was dumbfounded and couldn't believe what happened. I suspected that the Philippines' humid air and very hot summers caused this although I was pretty disappointed that mere weather conditions would do this to a part of a gun. All the rest of the P99 is fine and perfect until today. I fashioned a back strap using a kind of clay (maybe polymer clay) that a friend recommended. It has held fine so far.

Jun
 
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