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It is interesting to hear that it is possible on the P99. But one instance, on a pistol not made by Walther, and only after what may be excessive dry firing, does not concern me very much. I wouldn't have an issue buying a Glock either.
Obviously a report, dated 2014, describing an isolated incident is no cause for concern. However, the caption in the Getty Images dates from January 2017 and raises some questions:

Quote:
After several serious accidents during training shootings, Interior deputy minister of Poland Jaroslaw Zielinski announced replacement defective Walther P99 firearms. Rupture of firing pin while shooting resulted in, among others, damage to the eye of one of the police officers.

Questions:
1) How many “serious accidents”?
2) Does the last sentence refer to the same incident from 2014 (the officer's eye was NOT damaged in that incident)?
3) Have the Polish Interior Ministry decided to replace ALL of their P99s, or only those found to be defective? The statement in the first sentence could be interpreted either way.

My searches turned up the following document, dated 28.12.2016 (so just before the Getty Images link). I have no knowledge of the Polish language, so am unable to translate, but it is obviously an official document from a Polish government department and it is signed by the same Jaroslav Zielinski named in the Getty Images link. The Walther P99 is mentioned several times in the document.

http://jaroslawzielinski.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/odp-na-interpelacj%C4%99-A.-M.-Siarkowska.pdf

This is an international forum and I'm sure we have members who are Polish speakers. I'm hoping that some of them can chime in and throw some light on this.

Balor
 

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Here's all I've got so far......what a PITA.

W odpowiedzi na interpelacje number 8061 Posta na Sejm RP Pani Anny Marii Siakowskiej w sparwie wypadkow uzytkowania broni prezez policjantow podczas szkolen nalezy wskazac, stosownie do informacji prezekazanych przez Komende Gtowna Policji (KGP), Ze Policja w 2016 roku odnotowata 2 incydenty zwiazqne z uzyciem broni typu Walther P99:

Translation:
In response to interpellations number 8061 Posta to the Sejm of the Republic of Poland Mrs. Maria Siakowska in the event of accidents of use of weapons policemen during training should be indicated, according to information provided by the Commander of the Gtowna Police (KGP), that the police in 2016 reported 2 incidents related to the use of weapons Walther P99 type:

1) W dniu 13 lipca 2016 roku, w trakcie kursu specjalistycznego w zakresie postugiwania sie bronia palna podczas realizacji strzelania na strzelincy Wyzszej Szkoly Policji w Szczytnie, uszkodzeniu ulegia bron stuzbowa Walther P-99 – zaslepka zamka oraz przycisk zwainiania iglicy. Czesci te wypadty z broni, a iglica uderzlya w twarz policjanta (underzenie spowodowato otarcie naskorka pod prawym okiem oraz uszkodzenie jednego z zebow).

Translation:
On 13 July 2016, during a specialized course in the field of prolonged use of firearms during the shooting at the Strzelecki Police High School in Szczytno, the Walther P-99 handgun is broken - the ending of the lock and the button of the spire. These parts fell out of the weapon, and the spear hit the policeman's face (undeing caused the abrasion of the under the right eye and damage to one of the teeth).

2) W dniu 22 wresnia 2016 roku, podczas szkolenia strzeleckiego policjantow z Komendy Miejskiej Policji w Zabrzu doszto do wypadju w momencie oddawania strzalu do tarczy z broni stuzbowej Walther P-99. Zdarzenie najprawdopodobniej mialo miejsce w wyniku uszkodzenia czotka zamka I underzenia iglicy w okulary ochronne z taka sila, ze ulegy one chwilowemu odksztaceniu powodujac zbicie szybki okularow korekcjnych, w wyniku czego policjant doznat obrazen lewego oka.

Translation:
On 22nd of September 2016, during the shooting training of policemen from the Municipal Police Headquarters in Zabrze, he was sent to leave during the firing of the shot with the Walther P-99 heavy weapon. The event most likely took place as a result of damage to the lock's needle I undermined the needles with safety glasses, so that they were momentarily deformed causing the glass to clasp the corrective eyeglasses, resulting in damage to the left eye of the policeman.
 

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Well done, Old Fart! So there's more to it than the 2014 incident. There were two further incidents in 2016.

1) On 13.July 2016 “the ending of the lock” (probably: part of the breech-face) and the “button of the spire” (possibly: the slide end-plate) fell out of the weapon and the “spear” (striker) hit the policeman's face. The officer concerned seems to have come off with a black eye and a broken tooth.

2) On 22. September 2016 damage to “the lock's needle” (striker) caused an impact on the officer's eye protection which seems to have compressed on his correction eyeglasses, causing injury to his left eye.

In all three incidents the policemen were spared more serious injury due to their eye protection, which police officers would not be wearing in a real-life shooting situation.

Also, all three incidents took place in training institutions. It is not clear if the trainees were using their own duty weapons or the (heavily used) pistols of the institution.

Balor
 

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There were two further incidents in 2016.
I would assume that all three were made at the same factory in Poland. I have yet to hear of this being an issue on any 99-series pistol made in Ulm.

I'm very interested to hear the reasons as to why this happened, but the P99 has been out for over two decades now, with multiple manufacturers making their own copies of it. My biggest question at this point is, are the pistols made in Ulm, and the pistols made in Poland, made using the same materials and with the same methods? Have there been any reports of this outside of Poland?

I've spoken to people, in person, who have put tens of thousands of rounds through both P99 and SW99 pistols, with some of the SW99 pistols being issued agency pistols. I've spoken to people on the internet who have stated that they've put over a hundred thousand rounds through these pistols. This is the first I've heard of this.

There is a member on M4Carbine.net who goes by the name "montrala", who is an active member there, who is from Poland. He has put out information on Walther pistols, and the pistols made in Poland that mimic the design. Maybe I'll send him a PM and ask for more information.
 

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I'm very interested to hear the reasons as to why this happened
The Polish investigators came to this conclusion (my bold):

The analysis showed that every time when the chamber does not contain a cartridge (or shell casing), the released tip of firing pin hits the inner surface of the breech face. This results in mechanical stresses in the point where the firing pin chamber of the breech meets with the inner surface of the breech face. These stresses are caused by the formation of microcracks in the material of the breech face, which can result in damaging it. The WALTHER P99 construction does not allow for dry fires, e.g. without cartridge (shell casing) n the chamber. It has turned out that the police officers often take shots without ammunition, for example during shooting trainings. When using WALTHER P99 pistol (especially in the police training centres such as the Police Training Centre in Legionowo), thousands of shots are fired with and without cartridges (shell casings) in the chamber. So that, it is possible that in the course of using this handgun, there could be more similar cases of WALTHER P99 pistol damages.

....and made these recommendations:

The above presented case of weapon damage leads to the conclusion that the WALTHER P99 pistol users should be categorically banned from dry firing, when the chamber is empty. Dry firing with WALTHER P99 pistol is possible if there is a cartridge (shell casing) with an ignited primer placed in the chamber. In such a case, the firing pin stops at the moment of hitting the primer and there is no impact to the inner surface of the breech face. The above information should be included in the WALTHER P99 pistol manual.

In order to eliminate the described defect of WALTHER P99 pistol, the construction of this handgun should be redesigned as soon as possible to exclude the possibility of formation of the abovementioned damage to its breech face.


Note that they specifically blame dry-firing for the defects, and not a high round-count. By “a cartridge (shell casing) with an ignited primer placed in the chamber” they obviously mean a spent shell (ignited primer) - so either that or a snap-cap.

I always dry-fire the P99c with a Laser Ammo training cartridge or a snap-cap in the chamber. After a live-fire training I use the de-cocker rather than pull the trigger - better to err on the side of safety.

Balor (of the evil eye)
 

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I've rummaged around a bit more and found the original Polish-language version of the PDF. It contains pictures which are referred to, but not shown, in the English translation.

There's not much to see, but picture #5 shows the broken slide back-plate and picture #6 shows the “damaged” striker alongside an undamaged one. The only damage to the striker appears to be that the little extension tab at the back seems to have broken off, presumably on impact with the back-plate or the safety glasses worn by the officer. There appears to be no damage to the “business end” of the striker.

The translation refers to the back-plate as having been made from plastic and this aroused my curiosity. We had a thread recently in the PPQ section of the forum where there was a link to a YouTuber who compared the slides of the “standard” PPQ to the new PPQ SC. He claimed that the back-plate of the new pistol was made of metal, whereas the plate of the standard PPQ was of plastic. I examined my own PPQ (date code BF) and found that the plate was made of ferrous metal so, skeptic as I am, I had to look at the back-plate of the P99c as well. I found that the central part of the plate did not react to the magnet at all, but the sides which fit into the slots on the slide did stick very weakly to the magnet. This seems to suggest that there are metal particles mixed in with the plastic moulded back-plate. I've not come across this before, but someone with a knowledge of engineering might be familiar with it. The YouTuber might have been right about the plastic back-plate on the PPQ.

Below is the Polish PDF:

Balor
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Interesting, gang.

So it seems this gun should never be dry fired without a snap cap. Also one member has described his new P99 breaking a MIM part... I'll have to watch out for that.
 

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I believe all of the metal parts in the sear housing are MIM. The PPS sights are MIM. I believe the extractor and striker have been MIM parts from the beginning. The ambidextrous slide release levers used since 2002 are MIM as well.

Every polymer pistol manufacturer I know of uses MIM parts in their pistols. As much as I'd prefer milled steel, with the durability that some of these pistols are capable of, there really isn't a reason not to use MIM, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I don't recall any MIM parts in the P99 series. Perhaps Walther has changed something.
I see. NOT good at all.

Has Walther quality plummeted as of late? Has their build materials taken a dump? I am no fan of MIM, and if the new Walther has been switched to MIM, that is not good.
 

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MIM when properly done, and used in appropriate areas seems to work just fine, and gives very long service life, hence the numbers of P99s with tens of thousands of rounds through them without anything but an occasional spring change.

There isn't one manufacturer out there than has not had issues from time to time. Thankfully the P99 seems to be one of the least problematic pistols that I am aware of.

Frankly I find it amazing, with the large numbers of arms being produced over all that the numbers of real, documented problems are as low as they are.
 

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I see. NOT good at all.

Has Walther quality plummeted as of late? Has their build materials taken a dump? I am no fan of MIM, and if the new Walther has been switched to MIM, that is not good.
Dude, just an observation. You haven’t even taken delivery of your P99 yet right? And you’re already psyching yourself out for disappointment where there’s absolutely no basis for it. Why not wait until you have the gun in hand, especially if you’ve already spent your money. Then, you can see if it’s a piece of crap.

P99s are fantastic, otherwise they wouldn’t have the following and reputation they do. I agree completely with Blitz, the problems are surprisingly few and far between. This must mean the MIM is adequate for the job in the P99. If you don’t like MIM, you’ll have to pay A LOT more, and move to a different price point of firearms.

Is that worth it to you?
 

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Very Interesting. I've seen the report about the Glock issue as well. I certainly wouldn't consider it cause for concern, but it does add credence to the idea that snap caps are cheap insurance for extensive dry firing. It also illustrates the relative danger of firearms, that they should be afforded every respect possible, and inspected regularly.
 

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Let's be clear, MIM is not necessarily bad. However, if a gun with a 20+ year track record of reliability is changed that does bring an opportunity for the change to cause an issue. I personally don't want to have changes done unless I KNOW they've changed the parts because part of buying a long standing design is you're buying the track record. I do not know if Walther has changed the P99 to include MIM parts or anything else. To my understanding the last P99AS changes were the long paddles in 2006. If that is not the case, I would like to know.
 

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Guys what is the service life of the Walther P99AS in terms of ammunition fired? How many rounds before parts breakages? Are there parts that are prone to failure on these? Any parts I should stock up for?

Basically wanting to know of any problems to look out for on a high round count pistol.

Thanks!

Spunk
The P99AS is a strong and tested weapon, designed at least partly by Horst Wesp, who had been one of Gaston Glock’s engineers.

Your pocket book will break before your pistol.:D

https://patents.justia.com/inventor/horst-wesp
 

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This sounds typical of junk MIM cast parts. If the firing pin is now made of junk MIM then not only dry firing but the constant use of the decock button may also be causing the firing pin to fracture and then blow out the back of the gun. With junk MIM cast parts its not a question of "if" it will break rather its a question of "how soon" it will break.
 
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