After hearing all the good things many shooters have to say about the Walther P99 (9mm) I decided to get one. The pistol is a normal DA/SA, German made (yes, I see the eagle over the N).
Price was $508. Fit and finish are much better than Glock and a little better than H&K USPs.
Plastic moldings were just perfect without any blemishes. The frame is way more rigid than both Glock and H&K. Metal parts, barrel, slide etc are finished in a dull black "tenifer" that makes the pistol look all business. Slide to frame fit was surprisingly tight for a polymer pistol. Inside and out there weren't detectable signs of machining marks.
Ergonomics are superb and the pistol points very naturally (one of my main concerns when selecting a handgun, second only to reliability). This weapon looks like a prime example of fine German engineering and has nothing to envy Sig-Sauers.
Range impressions: Took my new German girlfriend (Elke, my P99) to our local range to see if she dances as she looks... With me I carried a little something for her to eat: 50 rds Win 127gr. plus+plus ammo, 200 rds GECO 124gr. FMJ (excellent stuff), 50 rds Win 147gr. Ranger SXT (RA9SXT) and 100 rds of American Eagle 124gr. (dirty ammo with lots of muzzle flash).
Results after 400 rds: FTF - Zero, FTE - Zero, any malfunctions - Zero! This girl just kept dancing no matter what music I played!!! Break-in period??? That is like cheap shoes, fine Italian shoes don’t need to be broken-in like old cowboy boots, they feel and fit good from the first time!!! The same goes for a pistol of this “caliber”.
100% reliability from the get-go, she just hit the ground running! I am happy; my number one requirement on a combat “piece” was fulfilled.
Ammo impressions: The most accurate ammo was Win 147gr. Ranger SXT. Feeding and ejection were very smooth with this ammo and recoil very pleasant. This might be the result of a smoother, less aggressive recoil and a heavier bullet. Win 127gr plus P plus was accurate but cases were ejected violently and target engagement slowed down during follow-up shots and double taps. I will stay with the Ranger SXT 147gr as carry ammo since I can engage targets quicker and accurately.
Weapon handling and trigger: Easy and fast sight alignment, contrary to other shooter’s impression the wider space on the rear sight wakes for a “clearer” view; Magazine release and tactical reloads were nice and fast (like my USP). D/A trigger is relatively long and heavier than what I normally like (yes, liability issues...) but way better than a USP. S/A trigger was very, very good; crisp and certain with a "reset" so short that firing double taps was precise and lighting fast. Better than Glock. Slide release is well placed and activation positive. Accuracy: I place the P-99 slightly above H&K USP, better than Glock but less than my Sig 226. Sorry, but after all, this is not a target pistol. Bottom line: more than accurate for any CQB scenario, including "tight" Mozambique drills.
Take down and detail cleaning: Take down lever was easy to activate and the captive recoil spring makes for a fast and tidy disassemble procedure. Slide/barrel contact marks/abrasions were very few. This shows a sound mechanical design and smooth cycling. Taking the striker assy was exceedingly simple (read the owner’s manual) and if you decide to disassemble the firing/striker pin safety and to remove the extractor read this: see the little pinhole just behind the pin safety? Well, using a 1/16 pin punch, press on it while pushing the extractor against the slide.
The retaining pin is spring-loaded and will recede, allowing the extractor and firing pin to be easily removed for cleaning. This, my friends is real user-friendliness!
Conclusion: Pretty is as pretty does and for that matter Walther P99 is one of the best (if not the best for me) COMBAT pistol money can buy regardless of price. I am so happy with this design that I purchased another P99 9mm, this time the Military version.
P99 is a class act!