Walther CP99 Compact – Blowback Action Semi-Auto Part 1

Walther CP99 Compact  – Blowback Action Semi-Auto Part 1

Walther’s Concealed Carry P99 model on Air

By Dennis Adler 

The Umarex Walther CP99 models are blowback action versions of the 9mm and .40 S&W Walther P99 Compact and come in all black or bi-tone finishes. Authentic in all the essential details, the .177 caliber air pistols have a dustcover accessory rail suitable for compact lights and lasers. (Shown with a LaserMax Spartan green laser)

The Umarex Walther CP99 models are blowback action versions of the 9mm and .40 S&W Walther P99 Compact and come in all black or bi-tone finishes. Authentic in all the essential details, the .177 caliber air pistols have a dustcover accessory rail suitable for compact lights and lasers. (Shown with a LaserMax Spartan green laser)

When Carl Walter GmbH introduced the .177 caliber CP99 air pistol some 15 years ago, it was a bold new design that helped launch the current generation of air pistols based on real, cartridge-firing semi-autos. Today, that same model is still among the most popular of all Umarex Walther CO2 models, but the original CP99 lacked one essential feature that really sells semi-auto air pistols today, a blowback action.

Blowback action gives the Walther CP99 Compact air pistols a realistic shooting experience. The airguns require racking the slide to cock the action and chamber the first BB.

Blowback action gives the Walther CP99 Compact air pistols a realistic shooting experience. The slide has to be racked to cock the action and chamber the first BB.

At the forefront today is a new Walther air pistol, the CP99 Compact, which duplicates the size and basic operating features of the 9mm and .40 S&W compact Walther models. The CP99 Compact is a very realistic looking airgun, at least from one side (the right side of the gun has a manual thumb safety not found on the cartridge-firing models). The CP99 Compact, does, however, have that all-essential blowback action that cycles the slide and chambers the next BB from a magazine contained in the grip. This latest model is actually a better training gun than the original CP99 pellet model, and is another officially branded Walther product.

Blowing back in the wind

Like a cartridge-firing P99 Compact, the slide on the airgun locks back and after the least round is fired. The slide release duplicates the size and shape of those on the 9mm and .40 S&W models and is just as easy to operate. The airguns use a 3.25 inch smoothbore barrel.

Like a cartridge-firing P99 Compact, the slide locks back after the last round is fired. The slide release duplicates the size and shape of the 9mm and .40 S&W model’s and is just as easy to operate. The airguns have a 3.25 inch, smoothbore barrel.

When Walther began development of the CP99 blowback action model the decision had been made that the new air pistol would not be another full sized version, but rather the Compact variant which was gaining popularity in the law enforcement and civilian marketplace for concealed carry use. As a CO2 variation, the CP99 Compact would also be an ideal choice for firearms training, as had been the original pellet-firing CP99. Even though the airgun is not an exact copy of the 9mm and .40 S&W Compact models, it shares the same frame, slide and standard grip dimensions, same trigger design, and integrated ambidextrous triggerguard magazine releases.

The Umarex uses an 18 round stick magazine with a full-sized floor plate to give the gun proper lines. The quick load design uses a locking follower (shown locked at the bottom of the magazine) and a loading port (with BB showing) that allows you to virtually put 18 BBs into the magazine.

The Umarex uses an 18-round stick magazine with a full-sized floor plate to give the gun proper lines. The quick load design uses a locking follower (shown locked at the bottom of the magazine) and a loading port (with BB showing) that allows you to virtually pour 18 BBs into the magazine.

Where the airgun significanlty differs in handling (and for use in training) is with the design of the magazine. The BB magazine and CO2 capsules are not contained within a single magazine as they are with a number of current Umarex semi-auto designs like the Beretta 92 A1 and Colt Model 1911. The BB magazine for the CP99 Compact still loads into the grip, but it is a thin, stick-type with a grip-sized floor plate, while the CO2 capsule is inserted into the grip frame by removing the backstrap panel. The tensioning screw is also built into the base of the CO2 chamber.

The CO2 loads into the gripstrap by removing the backstrap panel. The tensioning screw in built in. To load the CO2 you turn the base plate three-quarters of a turn clockwise (as shown) to lower the tensioning screw…

The CO2 loads into the grip frame by removing the backstrap. To seat the CO2 turn the base plate three-quarters of a turn clockwise (as shown) to lower the built-in tensioning screw…

…once the CO2 cartridge is inserted the tensioning screw in turn up until tight and the base plate turned back to its original position which pierces the CO2 cartridge. Replace the backstrap, place the gun on safe and its ready to load.

…once the CO2 is inserted, the tensioning screw is turned until tight. Then rotate the base plate to its original position, which pierces the CO2 cartridge. Replace the backstrap, set the gun on safe, and it’s ready to load.

Aside from the airgun’s necessary concessions, the overall handling of the air pistol is nearly identical, including the dustcover accessory rail, triggerguard configuration, grip contour and texturing, once again making the CP99 Compact a great and very affordable training aid for learning holstering, drawing, and carry techniques without involving a live firearm. The accurate features reproduced on the CP99 Compact also allow practice in slide operation, magazine release, target sighting and sight reacquisition, since the slide is moving. All that’s missing is recoil.

With a weight, balance and trigger equivalent to the cartridge-firing Walther P99 Compact models the Umarex CP99 Compact makes an excellent training gun as well as an accurate .177 caliber semi-auto air pistol at 21 feet. In Part two the Umarex proves itself on paper.

With a weight, balance and trigger equivalent to the cartridge-firing Walther P99 Compact models, the Umarex CP99 Compact makes an excellent training gun as well as an accurate .177 caliber semi-auto air pistol. In Part two the Umarex proves itself on paper.

In terms of weight, balance, and trigger pull, the air pistol is a little heavier at 27 ounces; the actual P99 Compact weighs 20 ounces (empty), trigger pull is a light 3 pounds, 15 ounces average, with 0.75 inches of travel, and nearly a full release to reset. The airgun has the same balance in the hand as a cartridge-firing model, and when you pull the trigger on the CP99 Compact and that slide comes back, there’s a sense of authenticity that makes firing this air pistol a true learning experience, even if your only goal is to perfect shooting paper targets at 21 feet.

In Part 2 the CP99 puts steel downrange

A word about safety

Blowback action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, blowback action models more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

3 thoughts on “Walther CP99 Compact – Blowback Action Semi-Auto Part 1

  1. Hello Dennis,
    Just wanted to say I am enjoying your posts. I had a bearcat finally getting registered into your site. Did not realize you had to completely re-register. I really enjoy your excellent photographs . As a relatively new airgunner, about 3 years have quite a collection of pistols. I enjoy the blow back models, having a Colt Commander, Sig Sauer P-226 X5 open , 2 Tanfoglio Limited Customs, one the gold model. Also have the little Walther PPS. Also have several pellet pistols, my favorite being the Webley Tempest Thanks again.
    Harvey


  2. Well Harvey, you have really good taste in air pistols. Not a one in your collection that isn’t top rated. If I had to pick my favorite, I’d have to go with Tanfoglio Gold Custom, if for nothing else than the excellent trigger. You might also want to check out the new Umarex Beretta 92 A1. This is one of the best blowback action air pistols I have tested thus far, and it has that great selective fire option, too. If you like the Sig P-226 X5, you’ll love the Beretta 92 A1

    Glad you’re enjoying the posts.

    Dennis



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