The Walther P99 AS .40 Caliber Pistol  » Other  »
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  • Recently I decided to create a list of Things To Have If The **** Hits The Fan
  • On this list were several items, but to date the most interesting has been the pistol
  • I settled on three calibers to consider for home defense, the 9mm,.40 and
  • I rented a Glock in each of the three calibers, and of the three, I found
  • Avoid these guns and get a German made P99 instead

    • by catlord17

      all reviews
      Recently I decided to create a list of Things To Have If The **** Hits The Fan. On this list were several items, but to date the most interesting has been the pistol. I figure that if anything hits the fan, I may need to protect myself from people trying to invade my home and/or steal from me. If not, I can use a pistol for standard home defense and target practice fun.

      I did a great deal of research into which pistol to buy. It is very confusing for someone new to firearms to choose a first handgun. I settled on three calibers to consider for home defense, the 9mm, .40 and .45 calibers. These three are generally considered the upper end of “stopping power” in pistols.

      Being a small framed man, I am not exceptionally strong, and I was worried about firing the .40 and .45 caliber pistols available for rent at the gun range. I rented a Glock in each of the three calibers, and of the three, I found .40 caliber was the hardest to control, with the greatest “kick”.

      Glocks are a decent gun, lots of options for parts, etc. However, they trade increased magazine capacity for failing to fit small hands well, and I definitely have small hands. Increased magazine capacity doesn’t mean much if the weapon doesn’t fit your grip well.

      At a gun show, I happened to come across the Walther P99. This gun has three different size grips that are interchangeable. (Glock is now coming out with this feature on their 4th generation models, but still has rather overly large grips.) Large and Medium were too big, but Small fits my hand just right on the P99.

      The Walther P99 also has a great aesthetic to it, and looks very nice. It comes in 9mm and .40 caliber. Magazine capacity is very good, with 15 9mm rounds and 12 rounds of .40 caliber, although this is not quite as good as the Glock magazine capacity. However, the reduced round count

      allows for thinner grips, which allow me to handle the weapon much better, resulting in much better accuracy.

      I considered Glock, the Walther P99, Sig Sauer and a few other brands, and narrowed my choice down to Glock or Walther based on reliability. When I researched reliability, the two seem to beat out everyone else, and appear to be about identically reliable, with one exception: Glocks tend to jam when you don’t support the recoil with enough wrist resistance (”limp wristing”, which the Wather P99 does not have a problem with.) Being new to handguns, I found that this caused me no less than 7 jams in 50 rounds with a .40 caliber Glock the first time I shot it, although it stopped doing this when I stiffened my wrists. The P99 has never had a problem with this no matter how relaxed my wrists were while shooting.

      I consulted a friend in law enforcement who suggested that the .40 or .357 calibers would be best for me. So I settled on the P99 in .40 caliber, as it seemed the best combination of all options. To date I have 200 rounds through my pistol at the range, and it has not malfunctioned once. The recoil is considerable, although this seems to be true of all .40 caliber pistols, but it is not unmanageable.

      The P99 is a polymer gun, making it relatively light compared to all metal guns, and has a 4 inch barrel, but these two factors make the recoil a little stronger. However, with proper technique, I can put all of my rounds where I want them, and hitting dead center bullseye at 7 yards is becoming increasingly common for me. This gun is extremely accurate when handled properly.

      The P99 is also very easy to take down, clean and reassemble once you know how to use the release clips. This procedure is almost identical to a Glock.

      The P99 is famous for its wonderful grip that feels very natural. In a self defense situation, the anti-stress ...

      • trigger option will prevent accidental discharges. This feature acts as a safety, by allowing you to load the gun, and then de-cock it. The result is a trigger pull that is very heavy for the first round, as it must cock and release the internal striker which fires the bullet. After the first round has been fired, the trigger pull is light and smooth for the rest of the rounds in the gun until you unload or de-cock it again.

        I chose the anti-stress feature because the gun has no other external safeties, which makes it very quick and virtually foolproof in an actual self defense situation, but also means that if you pull the trigger the gun will fire when loaded. With a heavy trigger pull for the first round, it becomes very difficult to accidentally fire the gun, making it safe to carry concealed while loaded and ready to fire as long as you take reasonable precautions, such as the standard “keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready and intending to shoot”, and using a holster that covers the trigger guard.

        This gun is a “full size” pistol, and there is a compact version which is smaller, but it is about the same size as a compact model Glock. This means that even in its “full size” variant, the gun makes a very good concealed carry option. The Compact version of the P99 is about the same size as the “sub-compact” versions of the Glock line.

        It is well balanced when loaded, and handles very nicely. The magazine release is ambidextrous and located on the bottom of the trigger guard, which is somewhat awkward for me to manipulate, given my small hands. That’s about the only thing I don’t much care for on this gun.

        While not as popular as some other makes or brands of handgun, the P99 AS gets very high marks from almost everyone who I have read about or talked to who owns one.

        I am very pleased with my purchase.

        Yes, .40 caliber is somewhat less easy to control than say 9mm, or even .45 caliber, but the ammunition is less expensive than .45 caliber and has more stopping power than 9mm. It is a good balance, and I know that if I am ever forced to use the weapon to defend my life or the lives of my family members or friends, I will very likely only have to fire one round to stop any threat, whereas I might need two or three rounds to do the job with a smaller caliber.

        After paying for the gun, fees and taxes, it came to just under $700.

        I give this gun an 9/10 because the the magazine release is a bit awkward to use. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of learning how to handle the recoil, which I knew would be the case when I chose .40 caliber. This is an excellent weapon. I plan to get the 9mm version as well.

        Keep in mind that all P99s are made in Germany and imported by Smith & Wesson, who stamp them with their name as an import mark. S&W also produced a similar gun for a while, the SW99, which was available in 9mm, .40 and .45 calibers, but was very unpopular because S&W did a poor job with quality control. Avoid these guns and get a German made P99 instead. The P99 is much better, and much more reliable. You’ll know it’s all German made because the slide, barrel and frame will all have the “Eagle over N” markings that the company uses to denote that the weapon has been tested with live ammunition.

        All in all, you pretty much can’t go wrong getting a P99 with an anti-stress trigger. If you like more bullets and/or less recoil, get one in 9mm. If you prefer more stopping power, get the .40 caliber version. In either case, if you’re looking for a great choice in reliable, high quality self defense semi-automatic handguns, this should be at the top of your list of considerations.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2011. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1228071516050431/k2311a0728/7.28.11
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