TFB FIELD STRIP: Walther P99 and Licensed Copies

    Walther P99… I always wondered why this weapon wasn’t more popular back in the day. This pistol was used by James Bond (who apparently has the worst trigger discipline in history) and other movie characters. It came from a reputable manufacturer, was light and reasonably priced, received some favorable reviews, but never achieved the cult status many H&K pistols have in the US.

    In fact, P99 came to the market even before H&K USP compact, P30 or P2000, and had very similar features: polymer frame, paddle mag release, weird and interesting trigger – H&K had LEM, Walther had AntiStress (AS), both triggers had roughly the same concept. With LEM or AS, your first trigger pull is long but very light, and subsequent shots have the same trigger weight, but much shorter trigger travel.

    Also, with most versions of an AS trigger, you can decock it to make trigger travel not only longer but heavier. Sounds confusing? It actually is. But other than that, the overall concept of P99 made perfect sense – P99 was small enough for concealed carry, just slightly bigger than everyone’s favorite Glock 19.

    First generation P99 and third generation Glock 19.

    First generation P99 and third generation Glock 19.

    Few people now that P99 pistols were also produced in Poland at Fabryka Broni in the city of Radom under the license from Walther. Today, we are going to field strip one of those Polish pistols, since I found no significant difference between German and Polish made P99s.

    BEFORE YOU FIELD STRIP ANY WEAPON, REMEMBER the four rules of gun safety:

    1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

    Step 1. Point the pistol in a safe direction. Make sure your finger is off the trigger and out of the trigger guard. Depress the magazine release and remove the magazine. With the muzzle pointing in a safe direction, and with your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard, grasp the serrated sides of the slide from the rear with the thumb and fingers, and briskly draw the slide fully rearward in order to extract any cartridge from the barrel chamber and clear it from the pistol.

    Step 2. Pull the slide slightly to the rear. Slowly release the slide, allowing it to return to the forward position. P99 can be field-stripped only after de-cocking: Press the Decocker (on P99 AS) or Field-Stripping Aid (on P99 QA) downwards into the slide until the striker is audibly de-cocked.

    Step 3. Grip the takedown catch from above on both sides and pull downwards.

    Move the slide forward, and remove it from the frame.

    Step 4.  Remove the recoil guide rod assembly from below the barrel while taking up the spring pressure.

    Step 5. Remove the barrel from the slide.

    If you would like to know more, you can download Walther P99 manual here.

    Vladimir Onokoy is a Russian defense industry specialist and firearms instructor. Over the years he worked in 15 different countries as a security contractor, armorer, firearms industry sales representative, product manager, and consultant.

    His articles were published in the Recoil magazine, Small Arms Review, Small Arms Defence Journal, and Silah Report, he also created several video series such as “Gun myths”, “Kalashnikov: around the world”, “Larry Vickers in Russia” and “Kalashnikov: evolution” that are available on YouTube.
    ► Email: machaksilver at gmail dot com.
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