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Discussion Starter #1
New guy here. I had a PPS for a while but decided that I really like the larger size of the P99. A local shop has a few used SW99s and P99s on their shelf for under $400. I like the decocker on the SW99 but prefer the trigger feel on the others. Can you guys point me in the right direction as to what to look for on either gun and any potential issues to look for when purchasing? Are there any known "never buy a model ****" they suck" type thing with these?

Thanks in advance.
 

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New guy here. I had a PPS for a while but decided that I really like the larger size of the P99. A local shop has a few used SW99s and P99s on their shelf for under $400. I like the decocker on the SW99 but prefer the trigger feel on the others. Can you guys point me in the right direction as to what to look for on either gun and any potential issues to look for when purchasing? Are there any known "never buy a model ****" they suck" type thing with these?

Thanks in advance.
Beyond issues with the Ti coated guns getting black pock marks in the finish there are not really any issues. Early guns had a hump in the trigger guard that bothers some and some steer away from early split trigger guns.

After that it is preference. To me, anyone in their right mind avoids the QA and .40 S&W models like the plague but some like them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Beyond issues with the Ti coated guns getting black pock marks in the finish there are not really any issues. Early guns had a hump in the trigger guard that bothers some and some steer away from early split trigger guns.

After that it is preference. To me, anyone in their right mind avoids the QA and .40 S&W models like the plague but some like them.
What specifically is wrong with the 40cal or QA models? Is this a preference thing or are there known/common issues?
 

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I'm not in my right mind. :D I own a P99QA .40 and I really like it. The QA trigger is more of a Glock style. The AS trigger is what the P99 was originally designed as. Some people say the polymer frame wasn't built to handle the .40 pressure. Do a search on frame cracks and you'll see. I don't think you'll be disappoineted with a P99 either way you go. I've never held a pistol that fit my hand better.
 

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Jesus, is it just me or are P99s getting like 50 dollars cheaper every single week ?! It would figure I bought mine new for almost 700 bucks right before they all the sudden completely like lost their value :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not in my right mind. :D I own a P99QA .40 and I really like it. The QA trigger is more of a Glock style. The AS trigger is what the P99 was originally designed as. Some people say the polymer frame wasn't built to handle the .40 pressure. Do a search on frame cracks and you'll see. I don't think you'll be disappoineted with a P99 either way you go. I've never held a pistol that fit my hand better.
Actually, I think that the fact that your gun is a QA & a .40 that they cancel each other out and you are technically back in your right mind again.
 

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Jesus, is it just me or are P99s getting like 50 dollars cheaper every single week ?! It would figure I bought mine new for almost 700 bucks right before they all the sudden completely like lost their value :D
HA I was thinking the same. I gave $685 or so total and thought that was good. I wish I had waited another 6 months. :(

Thanks Jbab! Seriously though if you get a chance to shoot both pistols that's the best way to go.
 

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What specifically is wrong with the 40cal or QA models? Is this a preference thing or are there known/common issues?
As I said, it is a preference thing. Because the P99 was designed/intended as a 9mm with a DA/SA action it is:

Not really optimized for the .40 S&W size wise as it holds 15-16 in 9mm mags but only 12 in .40 S&W. Compact is 10 vs. 8 and while this is good for a 9mm guy, most guns these days are built to run both and sized to keep capacity similar, it's not so good if you're a .40 lover. The slide on a .40 is also longer, non milled and a bit heavier. In some platforms the .40 is not a huge tradeoff because they basically built the gun as a .40 and then fit a 9mm (think the PPS) in it, in the P99 it is.

Because the QA was an after thought a few years after the original design to be eligible for some contracts without re-development cost, it similarly was packaged in the existing P99 frame. The QA was a trigger that few seem to be fond of and mods to use a Glock spring etc. are popular but sacrifice reliable ignition.
 

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Even if the P99 is practically new in the box with all its original trappings, you should at least field-strip it before purchase and examine it inside carefully. With today's hard finishes, a gun can see a lot of use without obviously showing it. The more edge wear or nicks and dings it shows, the more searching should be the internal examination.

If the pistol passes muster on mechanical condition, THEN go to cosmetic condition. I'm always amazed at the number of buyers who scrutinize for any scratch and nick in the finish, but just ASSUME the mechanical condition inside is commensurate. Bad practice.

The first condition issue is: Is the gun mechanically sound? Is anything broken, cracked, missing, or buggered up in some way? Look for signs of hard use, or abuse. Is there heavy peening or deformation of the surfaces that absorb recoil impact or stress with every firing cycle? Are any metal-to-metal contact surfaces flanged or excessively burred from wear? Inspect the rear vertical surface of the "chin" of the slide. Look for anomalies. Any obvious sign of alteration or kitchen table-gunsmithing (especially Dremeling) is, in my opinion, grounds for rejection.

Don't fret too much if the gun is dirty; actually it's easier to spot problems and wear patterns than if the gun were clean. A lack of cleaning does not necessarily reflect abuse, but copious scratching of the plastic on the left side of the frame (where it gets negligently tossed on a table), or burring up of the slide serrations shows a lack of care in how the gun was handled. Examine the plastic frame and subassemblies for cracks, especially inside the trigger guard, behind the trigger and adjacent to the locking block. Look carefully at the sliding sheet-metal parts of the trigger mechanism and the corresponding cam surfaces cut in the slide; the contact surfaces should be reasonably smooth, and bright; straight where they should be straight and curved where they should be curved. If you see signs of hand-filing or bending, or irregular wear, beware.

Is the bolt face in the slide smooth, without ringing or pitting, and without a puckered, oversized or ragged firing pin hole? With the firing pin safety block depressed, push in the rear end of the firing pin (noting if it moves smoothly against its spring) and examine the tip protruding from the bolt face. Is the tip of the firing pin smooth and hemispherical, or rough, pitted or undersized compared to the diameter of the hole? (And if you can't see the tip, it's broken off.) When you let up on the firing pin safety block, and release the firing pin, does the block positively re-engage? The pin should then be locked.

Is the extractor claw chipped? Does the extractor pivot freely under thumb pressure? Is either of the sights mashed? Are the slide stop engagement surfaces deformed?

Examine the feed rib on the underside of the slide; is it ragged or chewed up? Examine the sear surfaces of the striker mechanism: are they free of serious burrs?

Pull out the barrel for separate inspection. Is the chamber bright and shiny and without scoring, pitting or other visible defects? If it isn't you'll have extraction problems. Reject any gun with even a shadow of a ring in the bore. Look VERY carefully at the horizontal locking surfaces of the barrel and slide; they will likely be bright where they have seated and mate against each other, but neither should be deeply indented or burred. Wipe any oil or schmutz off the underlug cam surfaces of the barrel and the locking block. Examine them both under good light; if you see any cracks or serious upsetting of metal, or if the locking block is loose in the frame, pass.

Reassemble the gun and check for function. Let the slide snap forward and dry fire it a few times. Does the sear always engage, or does the striker follow the slide down? Pull the trigger to see. Will pulling the slide set the trigger into SA mode? Will it reset by itself after slowly releasing the trigger and retracting the slide? Does the decocker work?

At the same time you can check the trigger pull: reasonably smooth, or crusty and ragged? Dangerously light?

Are the magazines good, lips straight and unmangled? Look for cracks in the corners of the lips, especially at the top of the magazine's spine. If you find plier chew marks on the mag lips or dents in the sidewall or a heavily scuffed floorplate (from being repeatedly dropped), deduct the cost of a new magazine. Try both mags in the gun to make sure they fit and latch; pull back the slide and make sure the hold-open works.

Now for originality: Do the numbers match, especially the barrel, which is the most commonly replaced part? An un-numbered or mismatched barrel is a replacement.

Others may disagree, but I personally steer well away from any used gun of recent or current production, such as a P99, that has been refinished, modified, customized, or festooned with aftermarket parts, unless I know who did it, and WHY. There's too great a possibility of latent problems, which may explain why the gun is for sale.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for your very detailed and well thought out response. I am going to go have a look at them again today. I am hoping that they have some P99c's as well.
 

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Early .40 caliber P99 magazine floorplates had an issue with cracking. Check right at the interface with the metal mag body. Not a big deal, as Walther/Smith will provide new ones for free, but something to bargain with.
 

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Early .40 caliber P99 magazine floorplates had an issue with cracking. Check right at the interface with the metal mag body. Not a big deal, as Walther/Smith will provide new ones for free, but something to bargain with.
Right. Not a big deal, and certainly not a deal-breaker. There are other things far more important.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks. I stopped in today and looked. I liked the gun but those pricks will never get a dime from me. What a bunch of mall Ninjas. I'm looking at another shop next week.
 

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value

there was a fellow a couple of weeks ago who got $650 on gunbroker for a clean 1st gen p99 9mm all german ..........thats not exactly cheap

jjt
 

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Don't know about where you live but LGD around here give at least 30 day warranties on used guns. You get 30 days to shoot and live with it. If you have a problem they will get it fixed or give you credit on the money you spent for another of their guns. I haven't bought a new gun in 2 years and haven't had to take any of my "slightly used" back for repair.

Do I look them over real well before buying? You bet.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Don't know about where you live but LGD around here give at least 30 day warranties on used guns. You get 30 days to shoot and live with it. If you have a problem they will get it fixed or give you credit on the money you spent for another of their guns. I haven't bought a new gun in 2 years and haven't had to take any of my "slightly used" back for repair.

Do I look them over real well before buying? You bet.
I prefer to put it through a TSA scanner to look for any hairline cracks :)

 

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MGMike, thank you for the very structured and informative post on checking a used handgun. I have filed it away for future reference when teaching a class.
 
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