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Hey all,

This is my first post here. The first time I became aware of these pistols was last week when my CCW instructor (also a LEO) had one of the compacts in class and let us handle it. I left the class and went to the local shop and talked with them about it. They told me that since the CCW law had passed they had sold a LOT of the compact models. I asked to see one. Now I am interested.
I looked at the S&W catalog and then came to the web and looked at the Walther page to check out what was available. From what I can tell there is very little difference between the 2. Other than color options and a slightly different profile, they look to be almsot the same. Am I right or are there differences between the 2 brands? Is one made better than the other? Is one more accurate than the other? Basically I am trying to find out if there is a justification for the added price that Walther commands. I also understand that Walther will be coming out with a compact this year too, anyone know when it will be out?
If you can break it down for me, I would love to read it. Let me know what your experiences with them are and what you think about them.

Thanks
Nala
 

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Wecome to the board,
  There are a few differences between the Walther and S&W but they are not major differences.

1)  Walther slides, barrels, frames are made in Germany (with the exception of a few older .40 cals).  S&W slides and barrels are all made in the US, frames are made in Germany.

2)  Walther costs a bit more than S&W by about $100 or so.

3)  In range tests, Walther P99 was slightly more accurate.  I forget what publication had these results, but it is available on the web.  Hopefully someone will post a link to it.

4)  The SW99 is available in 9mm, .40, and .45.  The P99 is available in 9mm and .40.  Barrels to convert a P99 .40 to .357 Sig are available.

Thats about all I can think of off the top of my head.  I personally prefer the aesthetic appearance of the Walther to the S&W.  I never really liked American handguns.  European design and build quality always seemed better to me.
 

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Some of the differences of the two include:
Overall Measurements
P99 7”
SW99 7.125”

Weight
P99 25.0 oz.
SW99 25.4 oz.

Slide Material
P99 Tenifer treated hardened steel
SW99 Melonite treated stainless steel


The main difference in my opinion is the quality of the P99 vs. the SW99. The P99 is considered by many to be of superior quality to the SW99. Personally, I think the Walther is made to last and give great performance. I trusted the fact that Walther designed the gun, therefore I wanted one that was completely designed by them. I know that sometimes taking a product designed by one company and letting another company do some of the finishing touches on it (slide design) can cause some problems. I am sure the SW99 is a fine gun, just not up to the quality that I wanted and expected from my new handgun. - Skister
 

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On the full size 99s the S & Ws have an more universal rail for attachment of lights and or lasers. The Walthers have their own rail and thus a more expensive and limited selection of lights/lasers. The S&W trigger guards are rounded.

To quote Lunde's FAQs: The shape and composition of the SW99's slide is also different. The slide and barrel of the SW99 are stainless steel and melonite-finished. The slide and barrel of the P99 are steel and tennifer-treated.
 

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I find some of what is typed here to be more elitist than factual. As for not liking American firearms, the only reason we are free to sit here and discuss this is because of American firearms, certainly not German firearms. As to actual differences I like the way my P99 handles in 9mm. As to .40 caliber the S&W is much better. The grip tang of the S&W is not curved down as much as the Walther and it is much more comfortable to shoot.
 

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I believe that most current foreign products (not just firearms) are generally made better than their domestic counterparts.

Personal belief and bias. Some people will argue both ways on this. For handguns, I feel that foreign designs are just plain better. They feel better in your hand, they feel rock solid and there is attention to detail. Pick up an American 9mm autoloader (especially a S&W) and it feels like a clunky brick to me. Ever tried to disassemble a Sigma? It is obvious that no thought was put into that process.

American rifles are a different story - they seem to have those made well
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (tech99 @ April 01 2004,12:24)]I find some of what is typed here to be more elitist than factual.  As for not liking American firearms, the only reason we are free to sit here and discuss this is because of American firearms, certainly not German firearms.  As to actual differences I like the way my P99 handles in 9mm.  As to .40 caliber the S&W is much better.  The grip tang of the S&W is not curved down as much as the Walther and it is much more comfortable to shoot.
I understand the sentiment but I think it is misplaced.  Trying to reconcile differing German aims in the two World Wars and how they relate to American liberties is considerably more complex than what your comment suggests. -If you want to go back through the wars and salute American firearms, you might want to salute the men who fought those wars.  Among them was Baron Fredrick William Augustus von Steuben.  He was a Prussian who served as an American General during our revolution.  The American military owes a lot of its success to him for turning it into a professional fighting force.

As for Yoshi's comment, he was merely expressing a preference.  The Germans make some of the finest firearms on the market.  If a person prefers them over American firearms, so what?  That's just the individual's taste.  

It's no different than you expressing your preference for S&W's version of the P99 in .40S&W.  I've handled both and I don't find S&W's version more comfortable.  Does that mean you're an elitist for supporting S&W?  No, it doesn't.  It's just your opinion.  

Regarding the debate between S&W's version and Walther's, it depends what you are looking for.  If you're going to decide it on American manufacture vs. German manufacture, you don't need us commenting.

If you're looking at features, I think Walther still outclasses the S&W's version of the gun.  The new versions of the P99 will have an universal accessory rail so that argument for the SW99 is gone.  Tennifer is one of the toughest, most durable finishes on the market and I believe it outperforms Melonite.  Additionally, there are more action choices for Walther's version of the P99 (if you want something other than DA/SA).  On a final note, I think S&W's quality has gone significantly downhill after it was forced to close plants in the wake of the consumer boycott.  -It has with their revolvers and those are the company's mainstay.  

The way I look at it is why go with a copy when you can get the original.  Would you get a Sigma over a Glock?  In neither case was the copy superior to the original.

Good luck
 

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I prefer the SW99's. I like the stainless slide and barrel for CCW. The SW99's have received some reliability improvements that Walther has yet to implement, including relieving the underside of the barrels to prevent friction with the recoil spring. My SW99's work every time. My friend bought the P99 in .40 the same week. He has at least one problem, usually multiples, with the slide returning to full battery every trip we make to the range.

I was able to buy a .40 Compact last February and I wanted a .45...there was only one choice.

Most of the bigotry you hear here is a result of some folks wanting to rationalize the extra $100 they spent on a name or the James Bond image, IMO.

Flame away...
 

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Oh Brother................

To think that I like my P99 because of James Bond. Your making a pretty broad statement for not knowing any of us.

Personally I've seen just the opposite of what you are stating. My P99's have functioned flawlessly, and the SW99's I've seen have problems.

The SW99's I've shot and played with are gritty in the slide, the Melonite finish flakes off, the trigger is also gritty and the grip is slicker than snot on a glass door knob.
 

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By the way....if you guys like the SW99 so much, what are you doing on a P99 board, slamming the P99?

If it wasn't for the P99, the sub-standard SW99 would not even exist. And I dare say that Smith and Wesson as a company probably would not exist any more, if it wasn't for Walther. Don't get me wrong, I love S&W revolvers, I have many of them, but S&W just can not make a decent semi-auto IMO.
 

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SPRNTR, that was what I was referring to as well. Of the 6 99 series I own, the only ones that I ever had any problems with were a P99 9mm that would never feed (thankfully the dealer exchanged for me, and also it was when the model was new) and a current P99 9mm two tone (what they call titanium coated). But I shall keep them all. I still like the looks of the 2 tone. But of all of them the S&W99's are the only ones that have not failed.
 

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Oh by the way P88, the only reason we are talking about the S&W series of this pistol is because the original poster asked a simple question about the two different models. Ok with you if we give an opinion you might be uncomfortable with?
 

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All the shops around my area have seen more SW99's return than P99's. And no I didn't spend anywhere near an extra $100 for my gun. A bit closer to $40.
 

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Tech99,

No need to get all upset. I'm not. And I'm not uncomfortable at all with this topic. I've seen the same as ASCI White, more SW99's returned than P99's.

And like I said, with out the P99, your beloved SW99 would not exist. Although I'm not sure why anyone would want a pistol that is a copy of someone elses with a crappy finish and other sub-standard features. This is my opinion and yes this is what the topic is about.
 

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...and if it wasn't for S&W, your .40 P99's would still be locking the slide back with rounds in the magazine.

S&W redesigned the magazine and follower, Walther later adopted it.

S&W had a different slide stop spring than Walther, but Walther later adopted it.

The S&W/Walther relationship is a partnership.  Technology goes both ways.  If it weren't for S&W, the P99 wouldn't be the pistol it is today.

...and S&W doesn't require the P99/SW99 arrangement to survive.  It's a tiny portion of their sales. Your negative comments are more of a reflection of yourself than they are of S&W.
 

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gmchenry,

Your making assuming statements. And where's the proof that S&W redesigned all this stuff? Who's to say Walther would not have redesigned the follower and slide spring? Also, the P99 isn't the pistol it was 10 years ago. They've totally redesigned it. Perhaps with S&W's help.

Also, when S&W signed on with Clinton, if it wasn't for Walther, S&W would probably have folded. They weren't selling anything at that time, except for Walther's. You are probably right, that now it's just a drop in the bucket.

I've stated that I don't like the SW99 on this a Walther P99 discussion board, and you guys with SW99's are getting all bent out of shape. Perhaps an SW99 discussion board should be made.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (tech99 @ April 01 2004,12:24)]As for not liking American firearms, the only reason we are free to sit here and discuss this is because of American firearms, certainly not German firearms.
Why is it then when you ask the Vet's who were in Germany at the time (one of them being my Grandfather) that they were all ditching their 1911's and carrying Lugers and P.38's that they took off the dead Germans?

(Answer: Reliability)
 
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