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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a P99c in 9mm which is absolutely reliable with my practice ammo, 9mm Winchester White Box and Federal EFMJ but very unreliable with my preferred carry ammo, DoubleTap 124gr GoldDots. I use it with the EFMJ for carry now but would prefer to have it working reliably with the 124gr GoldDots since I prefer their ballistics. The ammo is 100% reliable in my other carry guns and I'd rather stick to it if possible instead of stocking another load just for the Walther.

I really like the P99c and would like to get it up reliable enough to be a carry gun so I am willing to put some time and effort into getting it there. To get the most often quoted answer out of the picture I don't believe I'm limp wristing it since I do not have the same issues with my P99c in 40 S&W and I'd expect if I was, the issues would show up there first. Most of the failures I am seeing are the nose of the bullet riding up too high and jamming against the top of the barrel.

I am not the first owner and have had a suggestion that the previous owners might have tinkered with the springs. This seems possible so I'd like to start there. 2 mags came with the gun and I bought 4 more direct from Walther America. All 6 are about equally reliable or unreliable depending on your view point. I have probably not put even a thousand rounds through the gun since I've owned it so at least the mags I purchased should be under 20 cycles of ammo through them. I assume that these mag springs are in pretty good shape.

So my next thought would be the recoil spring. What's the hot setup for the recoil spring with hot ammo such as the DoubleTap? My first preference would be to have it work with anything but if I have to pick having either my carry or practice ammo reliable the choice is pretty obvious. Given my life may be riding on it, I'm relatively price insensitive. Is there anything else I should be looking at? Any other suggestions?
 

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Well I have a few P99s and they eat all I feed them...now I know that the P5 can be picky with HP ammo, usually a feed ramp problem. Some polishing may be in order...

Call WaltherAmerica and tell them you situation. They may just tell you to send in the gun. The are or at least were, two different recoil springs for the P99. A Red and a regular steel color spring. One is for heavier gr bullets. Ask a rep about this since they may not stock them anymore since this was a common issue for the early Walthers.

If nothing else call Earl...he may be able to help.
 

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I know you want you pistol functioning using what you have used in the past - but don't fall into the belief that the double-taps are the only way you can go. There are plenty of hollow point bullets out there that will do the job. I teach "Overwhelming Force" when reacting to a life and death situation - so the ballistics of "one" bullet is hardly important to my students. Hitting the target 6 times in under 2 seconds is what will save their life........... it would be nice to use the best hollow points available, but not all that important in the over all scheme of things. Shot placement IS and always will be the "king" ......... so using a bullet that you can control under rapid fire conditions is most important ! Being fast is also a big plus ....... but having the best expanding piece of lead in a gunfight, is not going to save your life unless you get Lucky.

There is really nothing you can do with your pistol at this point, except send it back to the experts to see if they can tune the gun to shoot the ammo you want. They may be able to accomplish this.......but many times they don't want to take the time required........
Give Wlather America a call like Jake suggested and see what they advise.

Good luck........

JF.
 

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Out of curiosity what is the jam like? Does it just need a nudge on the back of the slide to close it?

I do agree with call it in though. Warranty service through s&w is excellent, they'll pay shipping both ways and usually get stuff back to me in a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Out of curiosity what is the jam like? Does it just need a nudge on the back of the slide to close it?
No, it's jammed hard in between the breech face and the top of the barrel. It requires pulling back on the slide which allows the round to drop after which it will slide right in.

Thanks for the feedback folks. I'm thinking that before I get Walther USA involved I need to do some due diligence on my part. I can mentally picture that call if it were to take place now:
Me: "Hi, my gun doesn't feed ammo X correctly."
CS: "Have you tried it with other brands and is it limited to just one brand?"
Me: "Nope, haven't tried anything else."
CS: "Pardon me sir, but are you an idiot?"
Me: "Yup, pretty much!"

In this case, I'm thinking this means I should order in some other hollow points and test them to confirm whether or not they function correctly. If they do, it's the ammo. If not, then it's Walther America's problem.
 

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Try some mag tec, or TAP ammo and see if the problem persists.

Also, go to your local machine shop supply store. Ask for the 900 grit white sand stone stick (1/2" wide), some ultra fine diamond polish compound, and some cotton buffing pads that will fit your Dremel tool or the like.

Use the stone wet, with brake cleaner or mineral spirits and polish the feed ramp.

When the ramp appears to be "hazy" and the stone is "squeaking" clean all the grit from the ramp.

Next, apply a liberal amount of the diamond paste on the ramp, and start the dremel... S L O W L Y.

Work the paste into the ramp with the Dremel on slow. As the paste dissappears, you can speed up the dremel up.

When you're done, the ramp will look like a mirror!

HTH. :cool:
 

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If I might respectfully disagree

More pistols have been destroyed by a Dremel, than I care to count. It is a myth that your feed ramps need to look like mirrors in order for the pistol to function properly. If the dimensions for the frame and barrel feed ramps are correct, it will feed ammo just fine without being polished to a mirror finish. I would NEVER carry a gun that needed such treatment in order to work properly. Next time you shoot ------look at those mirror ramps after a few magazines :confused:
They will be black and dirty - no longer shiny smooth. If the gun won't feed ammo properly, probably needs the angle of the ramp changed "slightly" - and only an expert has the proper jigs to take care of that modification.

JF.
 

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I'm in big agreement... dremels and feedramps are a good way to screw up your gun. Ramp angles aren't just random - they're designed to feed from a specific height on a specific angle.

Unless your ramp looks like a freeway full of potholes in the middle of winter, you dont need to polish it. There's several pounds of force driving the round up the ramp - it doesnt have to be glass smooth to get where it's going.

As mentioned above - if your ramp needs worth, send it back to S&W / Walther or have a real (not kitchen) gunsmith look it over. I've seen a lot of pics of botched feedramps from bad dremel use.

thorn
 

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I agree with you guys - sort of.

If you can change the angle of the steel feed ramp with 900 grit sand stone and a buffing wheel with ultra fine diamond compound -

IN YOUR LIFE TIME I'd personally like to see it. :)


On the other hand - Dremels, feed ramps, and sanding wheels DO NOT MIX.
 

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jontheturboguy - Thorn and I are not trying to poke you in the eye :)

But you just reinforced our position ............ if you can't affect any change in the feed ramp angle with your diamond paste method .........then making it look shiny is probably not going to solve a major jamming issue.

Most guys are sold a bill of goods about having mirrored feeds ramps - quite often done by major high end custom gun makers. Truth be told - if the pistol was fitted properly, it will feed ammo with just a general smoothness to the ramps.

I decided to jump in with my post because I was afraid, as happens all the time, the reader doesn't take important note of the grit of the polishing compound you are recommending ........... and when using a high speed Dremel, it doesn't take much [ using the wrong grit ] to ruin a gun.

For an example: I don;t know how fimiliar you are with the 1911 design, but if you take a Dremel and just smooth over the top edge corners of the frame's feed ramp........you will most likely have ruined the pistol. Major work would need to be done to bring that sharp edge back into play......and then major work to the barrel's feed ramp would have to agree with the frames re-cut. While people [ using their Dremels] are smoothing that frame ramp, they often say "while I am here might as well make this sharp edge nice and smooth too" or they slip and hit this edge and then try to even it up. Sometimes all it takes is .002" to completely trash a pistol's reliability........to you and I that's a lot of steel ..............but to a whole bunch of guys, that just a qiuck wack with the old dremel ! :eek:

JF.
 

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I'd swear that I read on some other forum, a year or two ago, that the gold dots have some issues in some guns. That is all I can remember - and you'd have to go search at The Firing Line, THR and Glocktalk - but honestly - if the gun is 100% with every other ammo but that one, I wouldn't make a huge deal out of it.
 

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I can not offer a definitive answer, but can insert some info, in case it may end up being useful to you in working towards a solution. I previoulsy had a P99 AS that seemed to be a little fussy about type of ammo and i do recall one particular serious jam I had that took a gunsmith to unlock the action which coincidentally was a Speer hollowpoint. I purchased a 9mm P99C and have fed it many different types of ammo with never even a single jam. As I personally tend to favor the Corbon line of ammo I have run most of the various type sof Corbon plus P hollow points through it and some of those seem to have a short and flat front and all of those feed fine as well. I do not put a lot of the Plus Ps through it just a few boxes to ensure they feed reliably and are accurate.
I have noticed that the recoil spring assembly on the P99C seems substantially different from the p99 and have wondered if that may be part of the reason my P99C has fed such a variety of ammo more reliably.
And definitely concur with others recommending getting S&W involved and I would not hesitate to call them, they have been very helpful to me even when there was more checking or testing I could have done, they always seem to understand that many people view them as the experts and would rather they check it out. They have been just great to deal with in my experience and have always treated me right with regard to cost.
 

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jontheturboguy - Thorn and I are not trying to poke you in the eye :)

But you just reinforced our position ............ if you can't affect any change in the feed ramp angle with your diamond paste method .........then making it look shiny is probably not going to solve a major jamming issue.

Most guys are sold a bill of goods about having mirrored feeds ramps - quite often done by major high end custom gun makers. Truth be told - if the pistol was fitted properly, it will feed ammo with just a general smoothness to the ramps.

I decided to jump in with my post because I was afraid, as happens all the time, the reader doesn't take important note of the grit of the polishing compound you are recommending ........... and when using a high speed Dremel, it doesn't take much [ using the wrong grit ] to ruin a gun.

For an example: I don;t know how fimiliar you are with the 1911 design, but if you take a Dremel and just smooth over the top edge corners of the frame's feed ramp........you will most likely have ruined the pistol. Major work would need to be done to bring that sharp edge back into play......and then major work to the barrel's feed ramp would have to agree with the frames re-cut. While people [ using their Dremels] are smoothing that frame ramp, they often say "while I am here might as well make this sharp edge nice and smooth too" or they slip and hit this edge and then try to even it up. Sometimes all it takes is .002" to completely trash a pistol's reliability........to you and I that's a lot of steel ..............but to a whole bunch of guys, that just a qiuck wack with the old dremel ! :eek:

JF.
Cherio! If you were local Id buy you a beer. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I talked to them today. The CS Rep couldn't even give me any suggestions for things to check before sending it in. I did get the "haven't you tried more ammo" approach as expected. I already ordered some Remington Golden Sabre 124 gr, in regular and +P along with some 147 gr Golden Sabres to see what they'll do. I'm also going to get my order in this week for some nice Speer GoldDots though I don't expect the experience to vary much from that I had with the DoubleTaps since they are very similar ballistically.
 

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I carry the Golden Saber "Bonded" . If you can buy that version of the bullet then I would highly recommend them. Jacket retention is extremely high with the bonded bullets ......... so they keep their weight when traveling through and inside the target.

This cartridge also has a "flash" suppressant added to the powder to aid in night time firing.

If these bullets will work well in your gun .............. I wouldn't look any further for a cure!

JF.
 

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all I would like to add is that my P99 feeds ammo that previous guns would FTE. These were fmj so I can`t say for sure about any hollow points. I hope you get it sorted soon, I cannot praise my P99 enough:)
 

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If you expect S&W to fix it under warranty, DON'T GO COBBLING ON IT!

Once you start grinding on the frame, it's your problem, no longer theirs, and S&W would be fully justified in telling you so. I'd send it back to them, AS IS, dirt and all in the feedway (easier to diagnose when it's dirty), with a box of your ammo. (Don't expect them to run out and find Double-Tap just for you.)

If you really want to perform due diligence, try this: make up some dummy cartridges, both WWB and your DT. (FIRE the primers; don't rely on WD40, etc. to kill them) Remove the recoil spring from the pistol. Put a few dummy cartridges in the magazine, insert the mag and work the slide slowly and carefully by hand to observe the presentation of the top cartridge vis-a-vis the chamber mouth. There may be a significant difference between the two types in how high up the c/l of the bullet goes, or how far into the chamber mouth it goes, before the cartridge pops free from the mag lips. If there is a difference, the source might be the bullet shape (or something as subtle as the extractor groove) and be aware that it might be the cartridge below the one being fed that causes a different presentation. Once you have ruled out presentation, it might well be the load, affecting the timing. I know nothing about the existence of two different recoil spring assemblies, but it seems to me that an easier course is simply to switch to some other ammo instead of being wedded to DT. The 9mm Para is in my view a marginal caliber anyway; how much practical difference can there be between DT and Silvertips or Hyra-Shok? if you want .45 ballistics, buy a .45.

That's my two pfennigs. M
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you expect S&W to fix it under warranty, DON'T GO COBBLING ON IT!
Not even thinking of that approach, for me it is non destructive changes all the way, i.e. try a new recoil spring that can be removed to return the gun to as new condition.

If you really want to perform due diligence, try this: make up some dummy cartridges, both WWB and your DT. (FIRE the primers; don't rely on WD40, etc. to kill them)
Why do the rounds need to be inert?


I know nothing about the existence of two different recoil spring assemblies, but it seems to me that an easier course is simply to switch to some other ammo instead of being wedded to DT. The 9mm Para is in my view a marginal caliber anyway; how much practical difference can there be between DT and Silvertips or Hyra-Shok? if you want .45 ballistics, buy a .45.
I have three other 9mm's that function flawlessly with the DoubleTaps and I hate having to stock multiple ammos for them. I'd rather keep one brand that works reliably for all. You can flush a lot of money trying different brands of ammo to try to come up with one that works for all 4 of them. As it is with the 250 rounds I have coming in for each of the styles of Golden Sabers, I have almost $400.00 in ammo just to see what this weapon likes.
 

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Quote: "Why do the rounds need to be inert?"

Because live ammo is NEVER used to simulate functioning on a workbench. It's one of the elementary rules of gunsmithing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I got a chance to do some trials. Unfortunately not as much as I would like but... I retried the DoubleTap 124 gr GoldDots. Jams were intermittant, I had some trials that went well and others that flunked badly. Only thing of interest here is that it turns out my memory was faulty. Every round that jammed did so by not coming up out of the magazine but instead wedging in between the slide and the breech face. There didn't seem to be any real consistency as to where in the mag it jammed.

I also got to try the Remington Golden Saber 147 grains. I absolutely loved this load. Very fast to shoot and POI was dead on the POA. Heh, I had shooters edging over from the other booths just to see what I was shooting! I had two jams out of the first 180 or so rounds, and wound up with 250 down the pipe with only the 2 jams. These two jams were likewise ones which didn't rise high enough to enter the chamber. I need to dig up some jello data on this round, I could see falling madly in love with it other than the whole jamming thing... :mad:

I also got to try some of the 124 grain Remington Golden Sabers before they kicked me out of the range. Nice round, I've gotten to 120 rounds without any jamming so far, it'll be interesting next weekend when I get to shoot the rest of the 250. And then we have the standard pressure 124 gr to try after that.

Does the fact that the rounds are not rising high enough give me any other approaches I should check out?
 
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