by B.B. Pelletier
Today, we’ll begin our look at Walther’s P99 Q CO2 pistol. This is an Umarex pistol, and they’re one of the best-known names as far as realistic airguns are concerned. Their CP99 has long been a favorite of air pistol shooters, just as the P99 has been popular with European law enforcement agencies and, of course, James Bond. But the P99 Q adds something new to the mix. Because, besides shooting 8 pellets, it’s also a BB pistol that can hold and shoot 8 BBs just as easily.
The silver clip holds pellets, and the black plastic clip holds BBs. The owner’s manual states that you load the BBs from the side of the ratchets. This is incorrect, and Umarex is reprinting their manuals. Pyramyd Air’s product page also cites this correction to the manual.
The clips are the secret to the P99 Q’s operation. The pellet clip is a standard Umarex metal clip that fits inside the gun at the midpoint on the slide. But the BB clip is a black plastic clip that uses three raised plastic ribs inside each BB chamber to hold the steel BBs in place before the shot. The barrel is, indeed, rifled, so pellet accuracy should be good; but they designed this gun to shoot steel BBs, too, so you need not worry about damaging the barrel with them. Naturally, I’ll test accuracy with both types of ammunition.
The trigger is double-action only, which is pretty realistic because more and more law enforcement agencies are choosing it over single-action guns for the extra safety it affords. With DAO, the trigger is harder to pull and must be pulled intentionally, while a single-action trigger is light and can result in accidents if the shooter isn’t safety conscious at all times. As far as accuracy goes, Mac shot football-sized dirt clods at 50 yards yesterday with my Micro Desert Eagle .380 ACP which is not only DAO but also has a barrel length under three inches. So, if the trigger is good, the pistol can still be accurate.
This is a plastic pistol all over. Even the outside of the slide is plastic. So, the feel is warm, it’s lightweight and the finish is even. You will have to decide whether you like it or not, but the overall weight is reduced to just 1.37 lbs.
The pistol is mostly ambidextrous, except that the safety lever is only on the right side. In a strange twist of fate, left-handed shooters will have an easier time than righties. The thumb of the left hand goes right to the safety lever.
The grip is the most modern type of two-hand grip with a scalloped triggerguard for the left hand to grasp. There are subtle finger grooves on the front of the grip frame for the shooting hand. The overall grip has a very form-fitted feel, like a modern Luger.
Power and shot count
The rated velocity is 360 f.p.s. and there’s no blowback, so I would estimate an easy 80 shots per CO2 cartridge. I’ll test for that during the accuracy test, of course.
The rear sight is adjustable for windage only. It’s a huge notch that surrounds the square front post with plenty of room on all sides. It’s a tactical sight with one yellow dot in front and two in the back; but with proper range lighting, the dots can be made to diminish, if not disappear completely. Do that when you want precision sighting.
This pistol has a different kind of CO2 compartment. By swinging down what would be the magazine floorplate, the rear of the pistol grip kicks out and opens to reveal the CO2 compartment. This is the first time I’ve see one like this.
I can’t review this pistol without commenting on the price, for this is a P99 that costs way less than half what a traditional CP99 costs, and it’s even less than a CP99 Compact, the BB pistol version of the gun. Yet, this one shoots both pellets and BBs. So, it’s a great value that puts the comments about the use of plastic into context. Now, if it turns out to also be a great shooter, Umarex will have a world-beater on their hands.