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P99 History

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Was the P99 a joint project between Walther and S&W ? or did Walther start it and run into money problems and than joined in with smith? I have noticed that in some cases S&W makes the slide and or barrel for some Walther P99's but was it a joint development from the outset.

I don't live far from the S&W factory in Springfield, MA. and I must say the quality has gotten quite a bit better than in the past I have quite a few of there pistols.
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The P99 was Walther's design from the get go. S&W has had a partnership with Walther's parent company Umarex for a long time. Umarex's main product line was air guns. During the development of the P99, one of the VP's from S&W was in Germany looking at future purchases of air gun products. He was taken to the R&D part and shown the P99. The VP of S&W saw the potential of the P99, but at the time no deal for the SW99 was set. Fast forward to 1995 and 1996. The P99 is released to the public and starts selling like gang busters. At the time Interarms was the main importer of Walther products. Then the owner of Interarms dies and his company basically desolves. S&W was then contacted by Walther to help import their product line.

As S&W starts to take over importation of the Walther brand, S&W was in the process of figuring out how to fix their terrible Sigma line of pistols. Someone came up with the idea of partnering with Walther. And thus the SW99 was born.

Now, S&W has never really made a P99. There was a brief period of time when the Walther factory was so overloaded with orders from Spain and Portugal, that they could not keep up with the demand from the United States for .40 caliber pistols. So S&W made around 3000 slides and barrels for the Walther P99. The current production P99's are all made in Germany.

The SW99 is made in both Germany and the United States. The frame in Germany and the slide, barrel, etc, in the U.S. at S&W.
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