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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Brother and Sister P99 Shooters! I am new to this wonderful forum (and to Walther handguns) which you may have gleaned from other posts I've left already. I recently acquired my first Walther, a P99 AS in 9mm, and last evening it had it's coming out party. I'd like to share my experience with it, and hopefully elicit some coaching from this seasoned group. Before I do I'd like to give background as to "why a P99?"

I am a recreational shooter who doesn't (yet) CC, but keeps a handgun at-the-ready in the home for, God forbid, a situation where it is needed. I have been around firearms (mostly shotguns) since teenage, and I am in my early 50's now. About 15 years ago I acquired a Glock 17 which served for the above uses. However the handgun bug has bit me and in the last two years I've added several more to my collection. After shooting and comparing all of them it became obvious to me that I shoot the Glock more poorly than any of the others. I shoot my 1911s and Beretta M9 the best, as you might guess with their single actions systems. But while they are fun (and effective) at the silhouette range, I am reluctant to use them for home defense. I am not trained in combat and I predict that if ever the situation arises where I need to use a weapon in self defense, my nerves will be working against me. Assuming that will be the case, I'd like a weapon with as many rounds as possible (leaving the 1911 out of the mix), but one with a safe yet easy to shoot action (eliminating the M9 which while easy to shoot due to its light SA trigger, lacks a manual safety and seems dangerous to move through a home with). I'd also like one that I can shoot often so as to master it as much as possible. Enter the P99 in 9mm with its anti stress action.

Whew, if you're still with me, here's what I experienced last evening:

Simply put, I love the AS action (although I quickly learned to keep my finger out of the trigger guard when decocking it!) I shot the Glock side-by-side for comparison, and my group sizes were night and day apart. In my normal fashion, the Glock's were sprayed on the target, while the P99's more or less created one large hole. Now they landed in approximately the same place, that being high and left of the point of aim, which is because I believe I was anticipating recoil, which leads me to my first concern...

...I was surprised at the amount of felt recoil. It was sharp, compared to my other handguns, including an M&P 40 cal that I had for a while, and the Glock. I was shooting Winchester "White Box" in 124 grains as recommended by Earl's Repair Service during the recoil spring break-in period of about 300 rounds. For more info about this see this link:

http://www.praxagora.com/lunde/WaltherP99FAQ/X/1.html

I switched over to some 115 grain Remington UMC for a few rounds and it reduced the recoil more than I would have estimated a mere 9 grains would. But still it was less comfortable than the Glock. But still I shot the P99 better. However, after the first 100 rounds, I developed a pain in my right hand below the base of my thumb. Could it be the shape of the backstrap? I was using the one that came installed on it, the medium which has a rather pronounced bulge to it at just about the spot where my pain developed. While I have larger than average hands, I may try the small backstrap. Comments?

Once I began concentrating on eliminating the flinch, the groups got smaller and POI got closer to POA. But when I stopped flinching, I started noticing the gritty trigger that folks talk about. Once I eliminated the flinch, I felt my accuracy was then only limited by the trigger. I've read comments that the trigger gets real smooth after 500-1000 rounds. I've even heard it compared to a 1911 trigger. Do I indeed have this to look forward to? Any suggestions?

The only other concern worthy of mention was something troubling that happened about three times. While "cocking" the striker, I ejected a round. While I can do this operation flawlessly in my house while practicing with the gun unloaded, the stress on my hands/nerves after repeated firing made me less than nimble when cocking the gun. In fact once it caused a failure to feed the next round after the one that escaped. I had to clear that one to return to battery. Now the stress of a self defense situation will make the stress of repeated firing pale in comparison, so it tells me that I should keep the weapon at home either without a round in the chamber, and rack one when needed, or keep one in and the weapon cocked. Comments? Does the cocking operation "smooth out" as the gun breaks in?

OK, thanks for listening, and thanks for your advice. If I could get use to the recoil, I'm really going to like this gun!!!
 

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Yes the trigger will get much better.... if you want to get there faster, get some snapcaps and just keep pulling the trigger in DA mode till your finger hurts :D
If you did get the P99/AS there is no need cock the pistol........
you load your mag.. let the slide fall and decock it.... the P99 is in DA mode ready to shoot.... if you ever should have to use the gun in a defensive situation in your home... train to shoot it in DA mode first shot... you will not notice the DA trigger at all in a situation like that... (there recently was a post on here by a member confirming this... you will be too stressed to even notice the heavy longer pull)

If your hands are above average size (big) why don't you try the big backstrap. It might be better for you with the added material by your hands webb... and it is a softer material too.....

enjoy your P99.... :D
 

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However, after the first 100 rounds, I developed a pain in my right hand below the base of my thumb. Could it be the shape of the backstrap? I was using the one that came installed on it, the medium which has a rather pronounced bulge to it at just about the spot where my pain developed. While I have larger than average hands, I may try the small backstrap. Comments?

I've read comments that the trigger gets real smooth after 500-1000 rounds. I've even heard it compared to a 1911 trigger. Do I indeed have this to look forward to? Any suggestions?

The only other concern worthy of mention was something troubling that happened about three times. While "cocking" the striker, I ejected a round. While I can do this operation flawlessly in my house while practicing with the gun unloaded, the stress on my hands/nerves after repeated firing made me less than nimble when cocking the gun. In fact once it caused a failure to feed the next round after the one that escaped. I had to clear that one to return to battery. Now the stress of a self defense situation will make the stress of repeated firing pale in comparison, so it tells me that I should keep the weapon at home either without a round in the chamber, and rack one when needed, or keep one in and the weapon cocked. Comments? Does the cocking operation "smooth out" as the gun breaks in?
FWIW:

Here's my perspective on your three concerns with your new P99/AS. Keep in mind I am relatively "new" to the Walther P99 world, but have owned other Walthers in the past (PP/P1/P5) and a whole other pile of pistols and revolvers over my 50+ years of firearms ownership.

I do own a P99c/AS, and a P99/AS, so I am quite familiar with the pistol and I think I can offer my opinion on your concerns.

1. Try another grip backstrap. Your full-size P99 should have come with two additonal backstrap sizes.. I recommend you try them both and I think one or the other will solve your problem. I use the smallest backstrap on both of my P99's, but I have relatively small hands.

2. The trigger/strikers on both of my P99's came out of the box very smooth. If they get better in a few hundred rounds that will be icing on the cake, but I'll completely satisfied now. The threads I've read on this subject say it can take around 500 rds before it smooths out completely.

3. If you are ejecting the round when you pull back the slide to get into the AS trigger mode then I respectfully suggest you are pulling the slide back too far. I just don't know how it could be anything else. You only have to pull the slide back a very small distance.. You might practice and see what I mean.

4. I've been keeping a loaded firearm of some description in my home for decades, and there always has been, and always will be a round in the chamber, or all of the cylinders are loaded. My revolvers all (unless you cock the hammer) are fired first round da, and the da trigger pull is substantial, and I use that fact for my safety factor.. A heavy da trigger pull accompanied with keeping my trigger finger OFF the trigger until I intend to shoot something. My pistols are the same way. I keep my P99's always loaded, with one in the chamber. I always fire my first round DA (8.8lbs in the Walther P99c/AS, I forget if it's the same in the full size P99, but it is at least 8.8lbs).. I do not leave any pistol "cocked", nor in the P99's do I leave either of them in "cocked" or AS mode.. Strictly DA for the first round.

Having said that, if time and circumstances allowed in a crisis I would certainly take advantage of the AS option by indeed pulling back the slide slightly to get that trigger/striker action.. BUT, I have never had the problem you described about "ejecting" the round in the chamber. So, if you aren't 100% confident that you can move into the AS mode without possibly ejecting the round in the chamber just don't do it. Shooting DA first round is not a big deal anyway, as the adrenlin rush will overcompensate for the additional several pounds of trigger/striker pull required.. After that you are back to the SA (4.4lbs) for the remaining rounds.

Actually shooting the first round DA shouldn't be too upsetting, you still have 15 or 16 rounds left to correct any impact error..:D

Everything in life is a compromise, so having to shoot a first round DA because you enjoy the inherent safety of having a loaded gun firing a first round da is prudent and wise, imo.

If you are out plinking at the range, and you desire "prettier groups", then you can indeed use the "Anti-stress" trigger mode. But for me I always practice using a DA first round, and even with the heavier trigger/striker weight I still manage to hit pretty much center mass at self defense range.

I'm an old fart, shaky hands, declining vision. I only practice from self defense distance (5-7 yards). I see no advantage, other than "feeling good" in shooting further out. Legally, imo you will be "more likely" subject to possible legal consequences it you shoot someone in self defence and they are 15-25 yards away.. If you can't hit a man-size target from 10 yards or less, DA,SA, or AS-SA you might be in the market for a 12ga. pump shotgun. (Yep, I've got one of those too..) :D

When you can go to the Walther P99 FAQ website, and lots of your questions will be answered there.

Keep your booger digger off the trigger, ALWAYS, until you are ready to send a round downrange.

Hope this helps, and any information I gave you that is wrong will be correctly shortly by some other Walther fan smarter in this regard than myself.

Congratulations on getting what imo is a fantastic firearm.

Best Wishes,

J. Pomeroy
 

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I suggest that you should change your back-strap to the larger size. It will aid in reducing felt recoil.
 

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To help keep from ejecting a round I would suggest that you cock the striker with a press check instead of a sling shot.

I realize that may not make sense.

Rear of slide techniques for racking the slide.
A sling shot is where (assume you are right handed) you grab the back of the slide with your tumb and fore finger and pull back. This lacks a certain degree of fine motor control.

The other option for grabbing the back of the slide is were you grab the slide over the rear sight kind of like you are holding a chin up bar and pull back. Both of these techniques are great for racking the slide or releasing this slide on a magazine change

A press check on the other hand is completely different.

In a press check you reach under the slide with you left hand and pinch the slide between your first two fingers and your thumb. THen gently you pull back this allows you to do 2 things. First you can positively check to see that their is a cartridge in the chamber and second it will cock the striker.
 

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Guess the method I instinctively use for pulling back the slide to get into AS mode would be a "quasi-modified" press check..

I'm a lefty, and when I want to transition from da to sa/as I "tilt" the pistol approximately 90 degrees to the right, grasp the top of the slide with both hands slightly in front of the ejector area and just retract the slide just enough to hear it go into long sa mode.

I don't retract the slide enough, and the position of my right palm actually covers the ejector area that I even see the round in the chamber.. I don't know that is a good thing as seeing the actual round in the chamber would be comforting, but I ALWAYS have a round in the chamber if I'll carrying, so I just don't think about the possibility it might not be.

Two of my favorite features with my P99's are the red "cocked" indicator, and the red "chamber loaded" indicator. Everytime I cc I always check these both carefully before I holster the pistol, as I prefer to cc in da mode, and I want to make sure I haven't screwed up somehow and have the pistol cocked..

I feel completely safe carrying my P99's da, knowing that all rounds thereafter will be fired at the nice 4.4lb single action striker mode.

At one time I had Glock 26's, and beyond the blocky feel of the grips I just never felt comfortable with the "always lite" Glock trigger/striker setup. It's nice to have confidence in my Walther P99's in that I know they will be: 1. Always reliable, 2. Amazingly accurate, 3. I have to overcome a trigger/striker weight of almost 9lbs before the first round is fired.. Anyone having an ad/nd by pulling the trigger/striker enough to overcome 9lbs shouldn't be allowed out of the house alone, much less armed.

IMO the Walther P99/AS is about as "user friendly" and safe to carry loaded as any firearm I've ever owned.

Best Wishes,

J. Pomeroy
 

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A good post here...only thing I might add is that when racking the slide becareful if you cover the ejection port with your hand as if you were trying to catch a live round without it hitting the deck. There have been cases where someone tried this and the extractor made contact with the primer and it lead to a messy situation. While it may be rare it can happen so just beware...FWIW
 

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Cocking of the P-99 into SA mode..........has been covered here before and you should be able to read some more info in the archives.

I will re post a shorten version of the one I posted many months ago.

The re-cocking should be accomplished with "one hand" and it is realtively easy to do so. So while holding open a door with my weak hand or whatever, I can cock my p-99 into SA with my strong hand and than flip it up into a ready fire position.

This is how it is done:

It's all in how you "grasp" the weapon. With your strong hand .........grasp the pistol placing all four fingers over top of the slide near the rear. Your "Thumb" will go under and around the backstrap as if you were trying to touch the slide release button on the other side of the slide. Now the simple part. Just squeeze your grip !! and magically the slide will re-tract about 1/2 inch -- just enough to cock the weapon, but not enough to accidentally eject a round. Now, just a matter of a simple flip of the pistol to bring it into your hand for firing.

This is a fool proof method of cocking this gun .....very simple and very fast.
I hope the above description has enough detail to visualize what needs to be done.......the older version I wrote has more verbiage.

Hope this helps ........ one handed is the way to go when ever possible -- you never know when or what you might need the other hand for.


JF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Neat trick! Not sure I could pull it off under stress without dropping the weapon, but a little practice won't hurt. Thanks.
 

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It's all in how you "grasp" the weapon. With your strong hand .........grasp the pistol placing all four fingers over top of the slide near the rear. Your "Thumb" will go under and around the backstrap as if you were trying to touch the slide release button on the other side of the slide. Now the simple part. Just squeeze your grip !! and magically the slide will re-tract about 1/2 inch -- just enough to cock the weapon, but not enough to accidentally eject a round. Now, just a matter of a simple flip of the pistol to bring it into your hand for firing.

JF.
Although that is a clever way to cock your striker I guess for me I would rather maintain a grip were the weapon is in a ready to fire position at all times. The idea of having to switch grips to regain a grip that allows for the immdiate firing of the weapon seems less then ideal to me.

The method you describe works very well. However I believe in stressful situations you do as you have practiced.

Press check works for me because I normally shoot from a two hand position and to do the press check all I have to do is slide my off hand slightly forward. If I I need to fire as I bring the weapon up and aquire the target my hands are already in the correct position to fire.

I am not a LEO or any other "professional" so take whatever I have to say with a grain of salt.
 

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Hand pain

I'm a new P99 owner too. And I have had the same problem with pain at the base of my thumb from using the "medium" backstrap after 300 rounds in two weeks, although the backstrap felt OK otherwise. I have a large hand, in glove size anyway, and I'm going to try the large backstrap to see if it makes a difference. I think it might because it doesn't have that bulge that you pointed out. I'll let you know, and please let me know if you figure anything out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm a new P99 owner too. And I have had the same problem with pain at the base of my thumb from using the "medium" backstrap after 300 rounds in two weeks, although the backstrap felt OK otherwise. I have a large hand, in glove size anyway, and I'm going to try the large backstrap to see if it makes a difference. I think it might because it doesn't have that bulge that you pointed out. I'll let you know, and please let me know if you figure anything out.
Well, I have a theory and thanks for giving me the opportunity to opine!;)

Back by the fireplace the evening after the first range session, I spent a lot of time gripping the P99, studying recommended pistol gripping techniques, etc. I had already replaced the medium backstrap with the large, based on the recommendation of some fine folks who've been coaching me within this thread; after all, I did say that I have larger than average sized hands. However, I was not at all comfortable with the large backstrap, in fact it made the pistol feel more to me like an HK or SIG with those big slabs of grips they have. And with the large strap on, my finger could barely reach the trigger. I realized that while the pads of my hands are large, my fingers are not pianist length!!

I further noticed that in trying to make my finger reach the trigger, the gun would cant in my hand (forcing the muzzle to the right), and causing the rear (under the slide where the pistol is gripped) to cant to the left smack dab against the spot where my hand developed pain! Ha ha! Perhaps the medium grip is also too large for a proper finger reach and caused the same canting of the pistol making it jam back into this spot on my hand instead straight back of into the web of my hand :confused:

So I removed the large backstrap and installed the small (the head of the roll pin has no bluing left at this point!:mad: ) Lo and behold, the pad of my finger reaches the trigger now (in DA position), and I can prevent the gun from canting, keeping the grip in the web.:D

Tonight I try out the theory. Me, P and 250 rounds of break-in ammo are packed and ready to hit the range. Look for a report later!!
 

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Hand pain

I also don't like the feel of the large backstrap, it's clunky and like you I guess, I have largish hands but not long fingers. I tried the small backstrap and it feels good, but I haven't shot with it yet. The small one does have that bulge though. I look forward to your findings!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not sure if the small strap did the trick or concentrating on a better grip. But shot two hundred rounds this evening and no pain in the thumb whatsoever. This baby is accurate. Still, the recoil is sharp and I don't know if I'll get used to it.:(
 

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Recoil

2barrels: I got a Sprinco "recoil management system" guide rod and spring made for the P99 (it's $80 at their website) and it reduced "felt recoil" for me by about a quarter. I don't know what conclusions to draw from your grip experience. The mechanics of the thing would suggest that the larger grip would reduce felt recoil as well, but you seemed to do better with the small grip. I bet when I was 30 or even 40 none of this would have bothered me!
 
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