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Discussion Starter #1
My first priority after breaking in my P99 was night sights. After reading Jim's review, I took a trip to Earl's with my P99 ready to shell out the big bucks for a set of his sights. Just for reference, my P99 is a 9mm DA/SA with the Smith and Wesson import stamp (feels like a monkey carved it in my slide). Well, after about 15 minutes George, (Earl was at the SHOT show) declared my slide to be a new design that wouldn't fit Earl's night sights  
 He then proceeded to whip out one of their special "All german" P99's on which the rear sight didn't fit either. Ok. He said come back in a week and it would be all straightened out. Meanwhile, the front sight had already been installed. Looking like quite a majestic sail of a sight on my slide, I asked if it would be compatible in height to the rear. He said of course and, while doubting, I figured what the heck, paid for the front only and left.

Well, of course the front sight didn't work out. The #4 came on my P99 from the factory and it was perfect. The front from Earl's (trijicon) is higher than even a #6! The gun shot about .5" low when holding dead-on instead of the previous perfect 6 o'clock hold. Midway into my third magazine my P99 came back down to target with nothing but a smooth expanse of serrations in my rear sight notch ending nicely at the horizon of the end of my slide. Forget loctite, George didn't even screw the thing down properly. Fortunately, it was just me at the range so finding the front sight I launched didn't take too long. Did I mention that the front sight tube was way dimmer than the trijicon tubes on my P7? Not a little dimmer, significantly dimmer.

I returned to Earl's the next day to return the front sights but apparently he decided to close shop early, really early, like 4 in the afternoon early.

Meprolights came next. The only night sights I owned up till now have been trijicons so the meprolights were a surprise. Unlike the trjicons which are tubes recesssed into the sights with white paint around the recess, the meprolights go a step further and put a drop of some sort of clear epoxy/resin over the recess. This, they advertise, is great since it protects the white outline from being dissolved/removed or yellowing over time due to oxidation. What they don't tell you is that the epoxy/resin actually bubbles out from the sights creating a round, polished surface to catch all sorts of glare. Backlighting turns those nice white circles into distorted lights, especially annoying if you catch the rears pulling your attention away from the front. That said, the meprolight tubes are bigger than the trijicons, just as bright (intensity, brighter if you include intensity over area) and the white outlines certainly are whiter than used trijicons. The front and rear dots line up nice and even and one might argue that the meprolights have a better (blacker) finish than the trijicons. The sights shot about .5" higher than the plastic set, still not perfect but acceptable. The front sight tube is almost too big resulting in not much black left on the sides for contrast. Of course, I saved the best for last... the meprolight front sight was not square! the top edge was machined at a slight angle giving me a subtly crooked sight picture. Meprolight customer service has yet to return my calls for replacement. The meprolight sight measures about in between the #5 and #6 sights so I might have a smith machine the top of the front sight lower (and flat) and switch to a euro plastic rear.

Back to Earl's. This time I got Earl himself who gave my (his) front sight quite the evil eye as I requested a return. What really cracked me up was that the paint around the front had been imperfect when I bought it (slight over paint) which I was going to rememdy with a pick at home but when I returned it to Earl, he kept looking at that imperfection before agreeing to the refund as if perhaps I had done it... but maybe I'm just paranoid. He started talking about how trijicon was the best in the industry, etc, etc, when I told him I bought meprolights instead that were brighter.  


Anyway, I did ask about the rear sights and apparently he is making no effort to correct their machining to fit the "new" P99's. He stated that S&W is illegally copying his design for sights and thus changed the rear sight notch in order to prevent people from buying his sights and making the S&W design legal (not an exact copy). I stated that I hadn't seen that in an attempt to fish for information where I might get a set of the S&W/Earl's night sights but no luck. He also then went on to tell me that S&W is making all the slides and barrels now and that the german marks on current imports are fake!  
 Then of course he pulled one of his from the case to show me. He did have me going for a while there since the "P99" on my own pistol is in fact not roll stamped but carved in a rough manner very very similar to the way "Smith and Wesson" was carved into my slide but I'm not ready to believe that the german mark on the slide and barrel are fake. Then he started talking about the label on the box and how his labels were diferent (german) etc. etc. Whew

I'm done ranting...

All I can say is that I really wish that Novaks had done a P99 sight...
 

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From the number of unsatisfied customers Earl is racking up......... I think his days are getting numbered.
 

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In a lot of ways I'm not surprised by Earl's actions. He got screwed by Walther and S&W. First he made a big order of P99's and then the next month they lowered the price. Then the month after that Walther announced that S&W would be the sole imported of Walther products. So if I were in his shoes, I'd be bitter too. Although I think it's sad that he is treating people this way! As for me, I probably won't do buisness with him any more, but I'm starting to doubt if I'll even buy any Walther's any more. It seems to me that Walther just doesn't care about the American consumer any more. If what Earl is saying about S&W making the P99's is true, than obviously Walther is deceiving us. It kind of leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. And also the German stance on the Iraq situation doesn't help either. It makes me wonder if their goverments stance is rubbing off on Walther or Umarex.
 

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P88,

You know you may have something here. I compared my latest P99 with my earlier one and noticed some definite QC issues with the newest one. So much so that I returned it to Walther / S&W for a full refund. The slide looked to be shaped different. It had different angle cuts. It still had the German Proof marks but quality was poor. My KI 9mm is by far the nicest of the bunch.

I think Earl is fazing himself out of the Walther business.

Regardless, his way of business, well, frankly just sucks. After charging me $85.00 for a trigger return spring he bills as an "action job" and a few other incidents I frankly don't care what happens to ERS. Maybe some of these unsatisfied customers of his made calls to the motherland about his "business practices." I wonder if that has something to do with his Walther status?

Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The one thing that's been nagging me about all this is that I'm really starting to wonder whether there's some truth to his claims about Smith & Wesson manufacturing the P99 top ends. Given S&W's history so far, it's not entirely unlikely, but Earl's credibility isn't so hot either. My P99 logo is not stamped nearly as cleanly as I've seen in many pictures on the web of older Walther imports and of course on Earl's samples and my Walther logo is lasered... poorly. Maybe its because my P99 has been worn in already, or maybe because I just have a cruddy sample, but Earl's P99 certainly seemed to be ever so slightly better finished. Then again, maybe it was just the glow of that big price tag


Anyway, I still think the P99 is a steal at around $500 but while I was looking forward to a second one, it looks like I'm going to have to wait to get to the bottom of all this before my next purchase. I wonder if there's away to test whether the slide is indeed tenifer finished or not....
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (CKW @ Mar. 03 2003,11:48)]Maybe some of these unsatisfied customers of his made calls to the motherland about his "business practices."  I wonder if that has something to do with his Walther status?
Maybe some calls are being made to Germany, however I think his "bad attitude" started after S&W got the sole importer status. He was extremely pleasant to me when I was having a problem with service from S&W a couple of years ago. Apparently Germany found out what had happened to me and called Earl to see if he could help me. When he called me the first words out of his mouth were "Walther Germany is very sorry for the way you have been treated and would like me to help you if you so desire".

He was very helpful and got me what I needed. He also gave me great service on a couple of other orders I made through him.

It makes me sad to see him acting the way he is. And I would hate to see him go out of the Walther business or gun business entirely, because to me that's just another win for the anti-gunners when a gun business closes up. But like I said in some ways it doesn't surprise me to see this given the treatment he has been given from Walther/Umarex.

I would definately like to see one of these new P99's. You could definately tell when S&W was making the batch of .40's a while back. They weren't very nice looking.
 

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P88,

Unfortunately It's more than just "bad attitude."

I agree, I hate to see any business' go under but I think when your in the position Earl is in with Walther, that’s the time to really step up to the plate, offer service that S&W just can't.

Maybe have satisfied customer’s direct correspondence to Germany about Earls exemplary customer service, brand loyalty and overall product knowledge. We all know S&W really knows jack squat about the P99.

I know if I was in Germany and learned of Earl's practices I would have no problem cutting him from dealer status.

I guess what I'm saying is that Earl is digging his own grave with Walther regardless of how Walther is treating him.
 

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CKW,

I agree with you fully! And personally I would hope that if I were put in that situation, that I would step up to the plate and provide better service than S&W and try to win Walther import status back. However, it seems that the natural man has taken over Earl's concious and he is acting like most humans would when confronted this way.

Before he was taken off of Walther's import list, he was very pleasureable to do business with. At least with me he was. And his prices at the time were in line with what S&W was doing.

I'd really like to see how he treats his Korth customers. I wonder if they are treated better than his Walther customers.
 

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I ordered a 9mm p99 with 2 16 round mags from him. he told me how he bought out all of the high cap mags from the factory before the ban. (wasnt the p99 introduced in 96?)
but besides little doubts like that, i have received too service from him. i had some problem with the way the back straps where fitting my p99 and he sent me another free of charge , but unfortunatly that one didnt fit right either, so he said just send it to him and hed fix it. i opted to fix it myself, but he was still very helpful about it.
i just recently ordered 3 high cap LEO 9mm p99 mags from him, and again he was very kind and called me by first name. I only deal with Earl. there is anotehr guy that works for him, that is less than courteous, i always ask to speak to earl.

So he lost the import licence? when did this happen? what does that mean?
and tell me what is the deal with this preban mags.........i mean ill buy um, but the ban was in 94 and wasnt the p99 introduced in 96? even if their where prototypes around in 94 why would Walther make that many mags for a gun that wasnt even in production? are they prehaps GI bringbacks?
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]i mean ill buy um, but the ban was in 94 and wasnt the p99 introduced in 96? even if their where prototypes around in 94 why would Walther make that many mags for a gun that wasnt even in production? are they prehaps GI bringbacks?
The story is, that the Walther HLP (Hammerless Pistol) prototypes were manufactured in '93/'94, and MecGar made prototype magazines of course for testing. Those are the ones Earl says he got the import permit for.

How many? Only he knows, and I don't think he's telling.

Where are the others coming from? Don't know, don't care, don't ask, don't tell...


James
 

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and the HLP mags are EXACTLY like the p99s? hmmmmm fishy............but still..........you get what u pay for i suppose...........oh well i just ordered 3 LEO mags.......no need to spend 125
 

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Hi!
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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]and the HLP mags are EXACTLY like the p99s?
Yes.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]hmmmmm fishy............but still..........you get what u pay for i suppose...........
Not really, but yes, you do get what you pay for.


James
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes it did come with a test target and everything looks quite legit. My only concern was the poor stampings on my slide and some poor machining by the ejection port. That aside, I think the P99 is great. The barrel lock up is amazingly tight, no discernable play at all at either the ejection port or the muzzle end of the barrel like a tuned 1911. Even the frame slide fit is pretty tight as polymer guns go. I think part of what allowed Walther to create such a good trigger is the close tolerances they were able to keep to reduce vertical play between the frame and the slide and thus between the trigger and striker. Some of the glock guys have been bending their rails to tighten the frame/slide fit for better triggers...
 
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