Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Walther P99

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Walther P99

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Walther P99

Walther P99 Military, 9 mm version with green polymer frame
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin Flag of Germany Germany
Service history
Used by Polish police, Finnish Defence Forces, German police (partial), Montreal Police Service
Production history
Designer Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen
Designed 1993-1996
Manufacturer Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen
Produced 1996-present
Variants P99QPQ, P99 Military, P990 (P99DAO), P99QA, P99AS, P99C, P99C AS, P99C QA, P99C DAO, SW99
Weight 630 g (22.22 oz) (9x19mm Parabellum model)
655 g (23.1 oz) (.40 S&W model)
Length 180 mm (7.1 in) (9x19mm Parabellum)
184 mm (7.2 in) (.40 S&W)
Barrel length 102 mm (4 in) (9x19mm Parabellum)
106 mm (4.2 in) (.40 S&W)
Width 29 mm (1.1 in) (9x19mm Parabellum)
32 mm (1.3 in) (.40 S&W)
Height 135 mm (5.3 in)

Cartridge 9x19mm Parabellum
9x21mm IMI
.40 S&W
Action Short recoil operated, locked breech
Muzzle velocity 408 m/s (1,339 ft/s) (9x19mm Parabellum)
344 m/s (1,129 ft/s) (.40 S&W)
Feed system 16-round detachable box magazine (9x19mm Parabellum)
12-round box magazine (.40 S&W)
Sights Interchangeable 3-dot notch sight

The Walther P99 is a semi-automatic pistol made in Germany by Walther Sportwaffen.

The design of the P99 was initiated in 1994, and the handgun was presented in 1997. The main goal was to develop a new, modern-style police and self-defense handgun that incorporated all the latest developments and would cost less than its predecessor, the Walther P88, which did not achieve any significant commercial success. The pistol is used by the German Police of some federal states of Germany and the Finnish Army's special forces and military police, where it goes under the designation Pistooli 2003 (PIST 2003).

Design details

The P99 uses an internal striker as opposed to an external hammer, with a red-painted striker tip that protrudes from rear of the slide when the gun is cocked, as well as a chamber loaded indicator on the right side of the slide. It also features four internal safeties, a decocking button, sights adjustable for both windage and elevation, tool-less takedown, accessory rail, interchangeable grip backstraps of varying sizes for different users, and an ambidextrous magazine release incorporated into the trigger guard.


A redesigned P99 was presented in 2004, incorporating a modified trigger guard that eliminated the "ski hump", which is clearly visible in the accompanying images. This was done to address some users' comfort concerns regarding the previous style. Walther also took the opportunity to redesign the slide so the user could grip it more easily, and notably, change the proprietary accessory rail to a Weaver type. Some models built in 2005 and all later models received one more design change, an elongated magazine release.


P99AS (Anti-stress)

Single/Double action. Prior to 2004 there was no designation for the double action trigger which Walther now markets as the P99AS ("anti-stress") trigger. It is called anti-stress because the trigger pull is the same length for the first shot, regardless of single or double-action. In this way, the anti-stress trigger functions as a sort of two-stage trigger, and lessens the possibility of stress-induced negligent discharges.

P99DAO (Double-action only)

The P99DAO was previously produced as the P990.

P99QA (Quick-action)

Glock style action with preloaded striker (shorter, lighter pull). The P99QA was announced in 2000.

P99C (Compact)

Compact version of the P99 available in the 3 preceding action types.

Limited editions
The MI-6 Limited Edition

Walther has also created several limited production runs of the P99 including:

  • MI-6 (James Bond) a marketing tie-in with the new James Bond movies
  • La Chasse (hunting)
  • Year 2000 (Millennium)

Smith & Wesson SW99

Closely related to the P99, the Smith & Wesson SW99 is a joint venture between Walther, who produces a modified receiver in Germany, and Smith & Wesson, who fabricates the slides and barrels in the United States. Magazines can be interchanged between the two variants, but the pistols are considered to be two separate types, and are easily distinguished from each other by the trigger guard and slide design. The SW99 is also available in .45 ACP, while the P99 is not.

Although some Walther P99s carry the proof mark "SMITH & WESSON Springfield, MA" this only denotes importation by Smith & Wesson (currently the official importer) and not that it was manufactured by them. An "eagle over N" proofmark on the frame, barrel and slide is present on all German made P99s.


See also


External links

Press Release: SpaceX Completes Qualification Testing of Merlin Regeneratively Cooled Engine for Falcon 1 Rocket

Final Production Design Cleared for Next Falcon 1 Flight in Spring 2008

Hawthorne CA – February 27, 2008 – Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) announced today that it has completed the qualification testing program of its Merlin 1C next generation liquid fueled rocket booster engine for use in the Falcon 1 rocket.

Tests were conducted at the SpaceX Texas Test Facility near Waco, TX, on a Merlin 1C configured for powering the first stage of a Falcon 1 rocket. After completing development testing in November of 2007, the qualification program began to verify the final design features on an actual production engine, clearing the way for full-scale manufacturing.

“Our propulsion and test teams finished the qualification program with a record-breaking day that included four full mission duration firings on the engine,” said Tom Mueller, Vice President of Propulsion for SpaceX. “This marathon run brought the total operating time on a single engine to over 27 minutes, which is more than ten complete flights. The engine meets or exceeds all requirements for thrust, performance and durability.”

“This was the final development milestone required for the next Falcon 1 flight,” said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. “In the coming weeks we’ll begin qualifying Merlin for the higher thrust and performance levels required by our Falcon 9 rocket, keeping us on track for delivering the first Falcon 9 vehicle to Cape Canaveral by year end.”

The single Merlin 1C will power SpaceX’s next Falcon 1 mission, scheduled to lift off in Spring of 2008 from the SpaceX launch complex in the Central Pacific atoll of Kwajalein. The far larger Falcon 9 uses nine Merlins on the first stage, and a single Merlin in vacuum configuration powers the Falcon 9 second stage.

The Merlin 1C is an improved version of the Merlin 1A ablatively cooled engine, which lofted the Falcon 1 on its first flight in March 2006 and second flight in March 2007. The regeneratively cooled Merlin 1C uses rocket propellant grade kerosene (RP-1), a refined form of jet fuel, to first cool the combustion chamber and nozzle before being combined with the liquid oxygen to create thrust. This cooling allows for higher performance without significantly increasing engine mass.

In its Falcon 1 configuration, Merlin 1C has a thrust at sea level of 78,000 lbs, a vacuum thrust of 90,000 pounds and a vacuum specific impulse of 301 seconds. In generating this thrust, Merlin consumes 300 lbs/second of propellant and the chamber and nozzle, cooled by 90 lbs/sec of kerosene, are capable of absorbing 10 MW of heat energy.

The Merlin engine is the first new American booster engine in ten years and only the second in over a quarter century. The prior two American engines were the RS-68 developed in the late nineties by Pratt & Whitney’s RocketDyne division, used in the Boeing Delta IV launch vehicle, and the Space Shuttle Main Engine developed in the late seventies, also by RocketDyne. With a production rate of one engine per week by late 2008, SpaceX will produce more rocket booster engines than the rest of US production combined and more than any country except Russia.

About SpaceX

SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of both manned and unmanned space transportation ultimately by a factor of ten. With its Falcon line of launch vehicles, powered by Merlin engines, SpaceX is able to offer light, medium and heavy lift capabilities to deliver spacecraft into any inclination and altitude, from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit to planetary missions.

As winner of the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services competition, SpaceX will conduct three flights of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft for NASA. This will culminate in Dragon berthing with the International Space Station and returning safely to Earth. When the Shuttle retires in 2010, Falcon 9 / Dragon will have the opportunity to replace the Shuttle in servicing the Space Station.

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SpaceX Merlin 1C engine

A Merlin 1C engine on Vertical Test Stand 1 at the SpaceX test facility in McGregor, Texas. The Merlin 1C engine will power the next Falcon 1 flight, scheduled for Spring 2008. Photo credit: SpaceX. Additional photos and videos available from