Walther P99AS Gun Review
Walther P99AS Specifications
Gun Manufacturer: Walther
Barrel Length: 4.2”
Ammunition Capacity: 12+1
Walther P99AS Usage and Features
Are you right or left-handed?
What features does this gun have that appealed to you?
It is by far the lightest standard size semi-automatic I have ever carried. It also is double-action/single action, and though it is striker-fired it can be de-cocked using a thumb button on the top left rear of the slide. It has the three-position Anti Stress feature; when one loads a magazine with the slide locked back and drops the slide, the trigger will be all the way forward. The user can draw it back to the single-action setting where it will lock with an audible click. It, therefore, can be carried in single-action mode with trigger all the way forward. It has a positive striker block and trigger safety as well. Pull weight DA, 8 lb; SA 3.5 lb.
Tell us about shooting this gun.
It points naturally and is comfortable to hold. It’s a little snappy but not unmanageable.
Holster choices for the .40 have to be made with care as the .40 is .2 inches longer than the 9mm and slightly different at the muzzle; kydex holsters for the P99/9 will be very tight for the P99/40.
How would you describe the recoil, is it manageable?
Yes. It is a .40, so it kicks harder than 9mm and has three rounds less capacity. It is snappy at the muzzle when firing but not unmanageable.
How does it fit your hand, are the controls of this gun easy to use? (Safeties, slide pull, magazine release, trigger pull, etc.)
It comes with three backstrap choices that can be changed by drifting out a pin at the back of the grip and the middle one is installed from the factory. It is thinner than the later PPQ. Its magazine release is a dual paddle at the bottom of the trigger housing, similar to HK handguns but easier to manipulate. Slide pull is heavy. I can just manage it left-handed and am more comfortable changing hands to pull with my strong hand. It has three internal safeties, including a magazine disconnect, striker block, and trigger safety, plus the anti-stress trigger.
Do you like the sights on this gun?
Yes. It has three-dot polymer sights and comes with three different sizes for the front sight to adjust for elevation, and the rear sight is adjustable for windage, though it is very difficult to do as the rear sight covers a spring-loaded plunger. There are several aftermarket night sight options. I’d rather it have come with night sights, frankly.
How reliable is it?
It is as reliable as any Glock. Has a ramped barrel and will load commercial hollow points. I carry Hornady Critical Duty 175 grain, which has a solid kick and a tapered profile. It feeds well and I have had no issues with it.
Any problems with any type of ammunition?
None so far.
Was it easy to take down and clean?
It is as easy to take down as a P series SIG-Sauer or Beretta 92. No fiddling with the slide and buttons like with a Glock or pulling pins like a third-generation S&W or 1911. And you don’t have to pull the trigger to drop the striker. Simply drop the magazine, rack to eject the chambered round, hit the de-cocker button at the top left rear of the slide and drop the striker, then pull straight down on both takedown knobs that are situated right over the trigger on both sides of the frame, and when it clicks the slide will jump forward. Pull it straight off forward, then remove the captured recoil spring and barrel as with any Glock product.
Is there anything you dislike about shooting this gun?
The P99 is the direct ancestor of the PPQ. It is a completely right handed gun with controls on the left. Some variants have an ambi slide lock, mine is not one of them. Magazines are often difficult to load. You will want an Uplula magazine loader or spend $15 for Walther’s thumb saver, as for some reason the thumb saver is not included with the gun. It also only comes with two magazines. It is a .40 so recoil and blast are significant when compared to 9mm.
For someone considering this gun, what would you tell them?
If you have heard of the PPQ, this is the direct ancestor. Its grip profile is better for women than the PPQ as it is thinner and somewhat smaller. I like the AS trigger better for carry as it can be decocked. The .40 version has been discontinued so you have to search to find them, but Walther still makes limited quantities in 9mm. I like it better than the PPQ and bought mine new old stock after selling a .40 PPQ. I prefer the full-sized P99AS over the subcompact P99c AS in .40 for increased capacity, better grip profile, and less snap at the muzzle.
Would you recommend this gun? If no, do you have a preferred gun?
Yes, I would. It presently is the one I carry and the only conventional polymer semiauto I own. I bought it because I wanted a full-size semiauto to carry in my purse, and I have had recurring shoulder issues that make carrying a heavier revolver or 1911 problematic. The P99 is the lightest one in that category. I wanted a 9mm but they are impossible to find, and so when I lucked into a 4-year-old new old stock .40 I bought it. I owned a .40 PPQ and as they have the Quick Action trigger the striker always is cocked, which I do not like in a carry gun.