The Walther P99 is a German original that is still running strong in the German police forces after 20 years. The pistol came into being in the early 1990s and still holds it’s own against other big manufacturers. The P99, in my opinion, is a supreme example of high quality German production that will last for decades and even long after we are gone.


Walther has been around since 1886 when Carl Walther started the company making rifles. The company started making pistols in 1908, and started getting a name for itself when their Walther Model 1 Pistols became popular in WW1. These little pocket pistols were striker fired and chambered in 6.35 MM, and were apparently very commonly found in the pockets of German Officers. In 1929, the ever popular PP(Police Pistol) model was developed. Soon after in 1931, the PPK(Police Pistol Detective) models were released. The PPK was offered in a variety of calibers to include .22 LR, .380 ACP, .25 ACP, and .32 ACP. It wasn’t until 1938 that Walther got their first big contract through the Third Reich to make the P-38 to replace the P-08 Luger. After WW2, Walther was all but shattered until Fritz Walther, Carl Walther’s son, started the company back up in 1953. The company resumed production of the P-38 for the new West German Army in 1957. It wasn’t until 2004 that all the P-38’s were phased out of the German army in favor of the P8, which is similar to the H&K USP9.

The Walther P99 was released in 1996 with the standard P99 AS model, which was the main model that Magnum Research used to produce licensed copies of the pistol for import into the US. S&W imported the frames from Walther and was licensed to make slide assemblies in order to produce their own version of the pistol, the SW99. S&W even made a .45 ACP version of the pistol for a time. The Walther P99 saw a generation upgrade in 2004, which brought it to the version I am reviewing, with a great many upgrades that improve the comfort of running the pistol. There are a total of 4 variants of the P99 out there that Walther produces. They make the standard AS model, standing for Anti-stress, and it uses a double action striker fired trigger system. Then there is the DAO which has, as the name implies, a double action only trigger that was made to decrease the likelihood of a negligent discharge by an officer. Then there is the Q, displayed below, which replaced the RAD/QA model in 2011 and retains the appearance of the AS/DAO models. You will notice that it resembles the PPQ, yet retains the P99 marking on the grip, and the P99 trigger and paddle release. The PPQ is a variant of the P99, but the name was just changed to PPQ when imported for US sales.



The Walther P99 grip is a unique one to say the least. It can feel awkward and slippery at first, but it still seems to work when you get used to it. The pistol comes with three backstraps and the size differences are enough to fit most sizes of hands.