An epic run, for what proved to be an epic duty sidearm, is finally coming to an end. Walther Arms announced the Final Edition model of its seminal P99 pistol. The special-edition pistol marks the final variant, ceasing production of a model that began in 1997.
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Final Edition Marks End Run for Walther P99 Pistol
“After a quarter of a century of continuous production the time has come to say our final farewell,” stated a Walther Arms release. “This Final Edition P99 AS is chambered in 9mm and features the desirable OD Green frame with special “Final Edition” engraving on the slide. This pistol will come in a durable and equally as limited special edition custom fit weather-proof case and will include a challenge coin to commemorate the final edition.”
This final run for the P99 will no doubt create some serious buzz among Walther fans. For anyone wanting a solid duty-style or concealed carry blaster, the P99 remains a solid choice. With the “Final Edition” markings and OD green frame, this version stands apart.
The Final Edition Walther P99 will retail for $849.
On March 7, 2014, Tactical Life’s Leroy Thompson reported:
Although generally a weapon designated “P99” would indicate that 1999 was the year in which it began production, this is not true of the P99, which began development in 1994 and was in full production by 1997. Presumably, the “99” was to indicate that it was a weapon for the dawn of the new century. As the latest service pistol design of Carl Walther GmbH, the P99 had a distinguished heritage dating back to the P.38, the standard German sidearm during World War II.
Between the two pistols, Walther produced the P5, an updated P.38 designed to meet German police specifications, and the P88. The P88 retained many characteristics of the P.38 and P5 but incorporated a double-stack 15-round magazine. I owned a P88 and, like most owners, enjoyed its accuracy. However, the P99 replaced the P88 after only a few years, bringing a substantially different design.
Continue Reading: Walther P99 AS 9mm Pistol Gun Review
P99 On Duty
I heard from a friend in the Garda Siochana—the police force of Ireland—that they had adopted the P99. That is, indeed, the case, as the Special Detective Unit (Aonad Speisialta Bleachtaireachta in Gaelic) is using the P99C (Compact). That the SDU chose the P99 is impressive, since this is the armed police unit in Ireland that deals with a wide array of missions, including counterterrorism, armed response to incidents involving armed criminals, protection of large transportations of cash, VIP protection and witness security. SDU detectives also conduct surveillance on dangerous criminals and terrorists. Additionally, the Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is a subdivision of the SDU. The ERU functions much like the FBI HRT in dealing with barricaded suspects, hostage rescue and high-risk warrants. But I am not sure if the ERU carries the P99C or the full-sized version.
I had also heard from a friend who is an ex-Finnish police officer that the Finnish Defense Forces are using the P99 as the PIST 2003, and that Finnish police, customs and border guards are using the P99QA. I have not been able to find out if the Karhu Team (Bear Team), the Finnish police counterterrorist unit, has switched from the HK USP they were using to the P99.
Among other police agencies that use the P99 are the Montreal Police, various German police agencies, the Royal Malaysian Police and Dutch police. Various Portuguese police agencies also use the P99, but it is always difficult to be specific with these agencies, as they buy new pistols but keep older ones in service, so at any given time a large agency may have a dozen or more pistol types on the street.
Polish police are using a version of the P99—the RAD—produced by Lucznik Arms Factory. Over the last decade or so, there have been a few U.S. law enforcement agencies that allowed officers to carry the P99 and, I believe, a few smaller ones that issued it. As I remember, the New Jersey State Police adopted the SW99—the Smith & Wesson version of the pistol in a joint venture with Walther—in .40 S&W; however, they asked for a lot of alterations that adversely affected reliability and, thus, doomed the pistol with the agency.
Does MI6 use the P99? Indeed, in The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, and Casino Royale, the P99 is James Bond’s issued sidearm, and there was a P99 “Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service” commemorative edition. These commemoratives are quite hard to find due to a licensing disagreement that caused most of them to be withdrawn from sale. I can’t say definitively that MI6 has not used the P99, but I can state that normally when MI6 needs armed personnel, they use members of the SAS or SBS who are armed with the Sig Sauer P226 or P228. Now that British armed forces are switching to Glocks, they may have Glocks. That’s all I can say, as I don’t want 007 knocking on my door, with or without a P99!
I liked the Walther P99 when I first tried it 15 years ago or so, and I still like it today. It takes a while to get used to the AS system, but once you do, it works well and allows for very accurate shooting. I don’t know if I’ve talked those of you reading this into getting one, but I have talked myself into asking for an invoice to buy my test P99 gun. I got out the fiber hammer and the roll punch and switched out to the small grip—I’m fully committed!
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The post UPDATED: Final Edition Walther P99 Closes Out Model Run appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews.