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Walther PPQ/P99 Q CO2 pistol: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Announcement: Pyramyd Air has just introduced the Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. The rules are pretty simple (post a picture of yourself with an airgun or airsoft gun), and you’ll have a chance to win a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card.

I said last time that I would definitely talk about the trigger on this DAO Walther P99 Q air pistol and that time has come. When the pistol is functioning correctly, the trigger offers a smooth pull of about 12 lbs. However, the “functioning correctly” part can be a problem if you don’t load the clip the right way.

Don’t need no stinking manuals!
I began the test poorly, by assuming that I knew how the gun operates. Of course, I didn’t read the manual. And trouble came with the first clip. One good shot was all I got, followed by the remainder of the clip needing a trigger-pull in the neighborhood of 25-30 pounds. I opened the slide to see if something was jammed and there it was. One pellet had backed out of the clip and was now deformed from being dragged through the mechanism against its will. So, I loaded a second clip and started over.

Again the gun tied up after the first shot, so I went to Edith and complained. She told me she had read about the Walther Lever Action rifle when she put the description on the website and that the pellet clips were supposed to be loaded using a special tool. Well, I had no special tool, since the pistol didn’t come with one, but a few days later the Walther Lever Action rifle arrived and it did have a pellet-seating tool.

It works!
The special tool works as advertised — big surprise. All it is is a plastic pusher that forces each pellet into the clip deep enough that the ridges on the sides of each chamber bite into the thin lead skirts. That is enough to hold the pellets in place until, they’re fired.

The seater is just a piece of formed plastic. Notice that one pellet is seated deep while the other one is flush with the end of the clip. The flush one will probably back out and tie up the gun.

The manual also advises that the BBs have to be loaded into their black plastic clip from the front end of the clip — which is the side without the ratchet.

Gas use — I learned something important!
Let’s start the test. First, I seated 8 RWS Hobby pellets in the clip and chronographed them. They averaged 320 f.p.s. with a velocity spread from 301 to 338 f.p.s. But I also noticed two very important things when shooting these pellets. First, every velocity was lower than the one before it, even though I allowed the gun 10-20 seconds between shots to warm up. With CO2, if the gun gets too cold from shooting too fast, the velocity will drop off, but allowing 10-20 seconds between shot is more than enough recovery time, especially since I was shooting in a room at 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C).

The second thing I noticed was that, if I allowed a full minute between shots, the velocity would be back up where it was on the first shot. Let’s tuck away that information for a moment and move on to the next pellet — but we’ll come back to it.

The next pellet tested was the Beretta Target pellet that Pyramyd Air no longer carries. It is a 7.9-grain wadcutter made from pure lead. It shouldn’t be as fast as the 7-grain Hobby, but it was. These pellets averaged 318 f.p.s. with a spread from 309 to 326 f.p.s. Again, each shot was slower than the one before, unless the wait time was a minute or more.

That made me think of a day on the set of American Airgunner when we had a certain pistol that shot slower with each shot, but would restore full power after a minute or more in-between. The problem there and probably here as well was a cartridge that hadn’t been pierced as deeply as it should be. So, I backed off the piercing screw (used to tighten the cartridge against the piercing pin) about one-eighth of a turn until gas began to escape, then I tightened just a little to stop it. Now there was more room for the gas to flow if I was right about what was happening.

Next up were some old 7.5-grain Gamo Match pellets. They averaged 330 f.p.s. with the new CO2 cartridge arrangement and the spread went from 319 to 344 f.p.s. Clearly, the pistol was now shooting faster, so I re-tested the RWS Hobbys and they now averaged 330 f.p.s. with a spread from 320 to 343 f.p.s.

The lesson here is that CO2 is a very large molecule that needs lots of room to flow. The next time you pierce a cartridge, try to back off the screw a little, if that’s possible.

BBs are next
The P99 Q is also a BB pistol, so they got tested next. First up were some Crosman Copperhead BBs that averaged 330 f.p.s. The spread went from 319 to 344, so no advantage to the lighter weight of the BBs. The gas blowby in the bore must be offsetting any small gain.

I also tried the RWS BBs . They averaged 328 f.p.s. with a spread from 281 to 339. I cannot explain the lone reading of 281 except it was there. All these BBs fit the clip tighter than the Copperheads.

So far, this little pistol is doing fine. Just as long as the pellet seater is used and you load the BBs from the front, everything functions well. The trigger is heavy, but I should be able to get good accuracy if the pistol is capable of it.

Accuracy is next.

59 thoughts on “Walther PPQ/P99 Q CO2 pistol: Part 2”

  1. Been awhile but I’m still hanging about.

    “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

    Does this apply to what we learn and share here? 🙂 🙂

    rikib 🙂

  2. I’m being forced to learn about CO2. Interesting tid bit about backing out a cartridge. Neat little pistol.

    Speaking of pistols, I’m not a pistol guy but have been having a lot of fun lately with the ranchero since I took it out of its carbine stock and put it back in its pistol stock. I’m even thinking about tearing into the refinish I did and making the pistol stock fit me better. Had a lot of fun last summer with a ruger mkIII and looking forward to spending more time with it this summer. Even got some new walking targets for the rimfires.

    Unfortunately I shared my new pistol enthusiasm with a firearm buddy. He’s trying to convince me to take the plunge and get a 1911. He’s wearing me down since he knows I admire and appreciate models of guns that have withstood the test of time. Even with the little I know about the 1911 model I respect the timeless design.

    I know every gun manufacture around the world has their version of the 1911. I know that customized versions can cost more than my car and can then be reliable. My buddy is enthused about the new Ruger 1911. Any opinions?




    • Kevin,

      As you know from reading this blog, I’m a fan of the 1911. I just acquired an original military 1911 that was used in WW I. And you tried the triggers on both my Wilson Combat and my Taurus PT1911.

      Ruger is a world leader in investment casting, and they can make a fine pistol if they choose to. The question is, do they so choose? If Bill Ruger was still at the helm I’d say go for it, but I don’t know what direction the company is taking these days.,

      I do know that my Taurus, though seriously flawed when I got it, has become a favorite, now that it’s had some gunsmithing. The Ruger would probably be similar. And the price is low enough to find out.


        • Edith

          Do you like them better than the Wilson combat you strong-armed BB out of? I thought that was the dreamy 1911 you guys were in possession of.


          I would love to read a blog on your WWI .45
          Don’t feel bad about the Wilson, Mrs. Slinging Lead strong-armed me out of my car!

          • SL,

            Don’t believe everything you read! I didn’t strong-arm him out of anything.

            I made a comment that I liked the Wilson Combat. He asked if I’d like it in my nightstand. I said I would. Doesn’t exactly sound like I took it. He offered, I accepted.

            Prior to that incident, he got a Colt Gold Cup 1911 in a trade. He had no plans for it, but I liked it very much. He asked if I wanted it in my nightstand. I said I would…and then he sold it out from underneath me! I had no choice in the matter. So, I think it’s only fair that I get another 1911 in my nightstand.

            So, the truth is now out 🙂


            • Edith

              Females ‘strong arm’ differently than men. Its more about body language, voice inflection and most importantly steely-eyed looks. Your mention of the Colt Gold Cup assures me that BB knew he had previously found himself afoul of ‘the law’ by selling it. Amends had to be made.

              So to conclude, I love you like a sister but your case is falling on deaf ears. Everyone knows manipulation is carried on the X chromosome, and you girls have two of them!

              BTW: I hope the local criminals know your place is the wrong place to try and invade.

      • B.B.,

        The series and follow ups on the Taurus journey back when just reaffirmed my prejudice for the 1911. The feel of the wilson combat and the trigger renewed my interest. I shouldn’t have said anything to Robert about that. He’s been hounding me since.

        Ok, I hear you loud and clear. Be prepared for some work on the new Ruger since it’s a new introduction.

        Thanks again.


      • Actually, my guess is that Ruger as a company is doing okay. Of course they can’t surpass Savage which to me seems like the most innovative company out there. There is a great article in some recent gun catalog about a writer following the production of his 10FP precision carbine at the Savage factory. He explains that between the floating bolt head, hand-fitted headspacing, personal straightening of the button-rifled barrels and some other things that you are basically getting a custom gun at bargain prices. That is why factory Savage rifles have won the World F-class championship and routinely outshoot custom rifles: they are custom. Only their price and their earlier reputation as a budget company seems to prevent people from seeing this.

        But to return to Ruger, their retooled Mini-14s seem to be pretty good and their AR-15 entrant, the SR556 is one of the best piston guns at a cheap price. I would have confidence in their products right now.


      • B.B.,
        Despite this being an airgun blog, you have taught me (and others, I am sure) an awful lot about firearms. I have to agree that the 1911 is a pretty amazing gun by the amazing Mr. Browning. I was looking at some animations of the 1911 on youtube and had not understood that the breech-end of the barrel actually drops down during loading. Very interesting.
        With so many variants of the 1911, and being a lover of the 1911 as you are, do you have a favorite … I guess you’d call it …reproduction? One that shoots accurately and reliably? And what caliber would it be?
        Thanks very much,

        • Practically all the semi-auto pistols of the “slide encases barrel” have barrels that drop down to unlock the action. The exceptions being straight blow-back (.22, maybe .25ACP mouse guns).

          The 1911 uses a toggle link (the take-down pin goes through it) to pull the rear down after a few millimeters of slide/barrel recoil. P99, and the derivatives of the S&W 39 (39, 59, 439, 459, 5906, 4006…) have ramps that pull the rear of the barrel down.

          Pulling the rear of the barrel down is what unlocks the barrel from the slide, letting the slide take the rest of the recoil.

            • Probably not — but only because there had been a precursor model of 1900 or something like that which was not accepted by the military. cf: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_M1900

              Had a link at both ends of the barrel, the 1911 only uses one link. The P.08 has some other lock-up mechanism on the side, and I don’t know if the Broomhandle was locked or just blow-back.

              Since Browning had sold the 1911 patents to Colt, he had to go out of his way in the design of the P.35/Hi-Power… It is one of those using a ramp to pull the barrel out of lock.

        • Lloyd,

          First things first. The only caliber worth mentioning for the 1911 is the .45 ACP. I say that because the way the 1911 mitigates the potential for recoil turns a big bore cartridge into a relative pussycat. And if you learn Bill Wilson’s way of holding the pistol, with the thumb of the shooting hand resting on top of the manual safety, the recoil becomes insignificant.

          That said, the Wilson Combat CQB is my choice for all 1911s. Number one, it doesn’t have the Colt Series 80m sellout trigger that added another safety, so the trigger is glorious. Number two, the parts are all so well made and fitted that these guns get hundreds of thousands of rounds on them before needing anything more than a recoil spring that they all need every so often. And finally, the painted finish on the CQB is so tough that it will outlast just about any weather or cleaning emergency. And it will do so with the gun running perfectly smooth.

          I used to build 1911s for target shooters, but I’m darned if I can hold a candle to the product that Wilson Combat puts out.

          That said, I have never tried a Kimber (not the type II that has the Series 80 trigger, but the older one with the good trigger), a Springfield an Ed Brown or some of the guns from the other top makers. They may be just as wonderful as the Wilson Combat, but i have no way of knowing. I do know for a fact that a Colt and a Detonics are not in the same league as the Wilson, and that includes the Colt National Match. It’s good, but after a Wilson it feels clunky.


          • B.B.,
            Thanks for the insight. It seems that the CQB has everything right and would make for an easy decision, despite all the competition on the market. It might be time for me to take a look, and try one . It’s quite amazing that this gun was designed a century ago.

    • Kevin, hold everything! Don’t overlook the Smith and Wesson 1911. I’ve heard it described as a custom gun at a non-custom price and my limited experience confirms it. Absolutely dead cold reliable with the Speer and Magtech factory ammo that I’ve used which isn’t super high quality. Great trigger and reviews say very accurate. I’m not really in a position to say myself. And there is the famous SW customer service that I’ve availed myself of. I don’t believe the Ruger would be a bad choice though. You know about Ruger as well as I do with your Mk III, and I can’t say that my Single Six is now one of my favorite guns. I just love annihilating the 25 yard target with it.


      • If you like .45’s, one often overlooked is the HK USP. It has a a bit of Glock and 1911 in it. Twelve round magazine, double or single action carry with a manual safety, ambi. mag. releases, front and rear sites adjust for windage. It is a big gun but that’s OK with hot ammo.


  3. Morning Kevin,

    I am shooting a box stock and love my, believe it or not, Norinco 1911A1. Number One Son is lusting after a Kimber and Number Two Son has a Springfield Armory. Each of us
    likes our choice. I am about ready to upgrade the sights on mine, but have not done so as yet.

    As you know Ruger’s guns are well made, etc and you can not go wrong with your choice of one. Me, I like the feel of the arched back strap in my hand and the look of the stock hammer and grip safety. Not much help hear. My gun is for purely social purposes and “plinking” as is Number Two’s. Number Ones will be his everyday carry piece.


    • Bruce,

      Thanks for that. Mine would not be for carry. I’d like a reliable 1911 that’s accurate. I’m not willing to spend a fortune so a highly customized version is off my list. Wow, I just realized how much I sound like newbie airgunner.


    • Slinging Lead,you could be my airgun “personal shopper” anyday! However,with either of us manning
      the helm,I am rapidly becoming a very well equipped homeless man…..I just made an insane deal
      on 2 more barrels for my Whiscombe.One in .177,and the one I really can’t wait to get,quarter bore!!!!
      (.25) which should be the experience of a lifetime.Both have the HOTS system,and are as rare to buy as rockinghorse poo.I went after the .25,but the .177 was offered in the pkg. at a price I simply couldn’t refuse.I’m not certain I can find a pellet in .177 that will stay subsonic with the JW80 platform.

  4. Slinging Lead,

    I shot 94 RWS Hobbys (12 clips) plus four early-on dry-fires in this test. I could have shot a lot more but as you will see accuracy was dropping fast.

    This first picture shows four targets. #1 was 25 shots, #2 was 16 shots, and #3 & #4 were 8 shots each. Indoor temp was 72F. I wrote the velocity ranges for the pellets on each matching target. Overall velocity range was 651fps down to 378fps.

    Targets #1 – #3 I shot as quickly as I could cock with a rest only long enough to insert the new clip. Target #4 I took 15 seconds between shots.


    This second picture I just slowed down but didn’t time the rests between shots. Target #5 was 13 shots and the rest were 8 shots each. Notice target #6. Best group of the session. Notice how targets #7 and #8 are dropping off.


    I hope this is what you were looking for. If not let me know and I’ll be glad to oblige.


  5. Slinging Lead,

    I screwed up and didn’t get the second photo in correctly. Here is the corrected version.

    Edith, if you ever get the time and inclination my previous comment on thic can be deleted.

    I shot 94 RWS Hobbys (12 clips) plus four early-on dry-fires in this test. I could have shot a lot more but as you will see accuracy was dropping fast.

    This first picture shows four targets. #1 was 25 shots, #2 was 16 shots, and #3 & #4 were 8 shots each. Indoor temp was 72F. I wrote the velocity ranges for the pellets on each matching target. Overall velocity range was 651fps down to 378fps.

    Targets #1 – #3 I shot as quickly as I could cock with a rest only long enough to insert the new clip. Target #4 I took 15 seconds between shots.


    This second picture I just slowed down but didn’t time the rests between shots. Target #5 was 13 shots and the rest were 8 shots each. Notice target #6. Best group of the session. Notice how targets #7 and #8 are dropping off.


    I hope this is what you were looking for. If not let me know and I’ll be glad to oblige.


    • Chuck

      Thanks for the research. That is exactly what I was looking for and more. You have my undying gratitude. Unfortunately, due to your efforts, I now want the WLE more, instead of less. Just like BB, you are a ruthless airgun enabler! But you are still OK in my book. 😛

      Thanks man!

  6. Edith,
    I just noticed that my shot test for the Walther Lever Action rifle is on the blog article for the Walther PPQ pistol. I wouldn’t want people to get confused and think my test was for the PPQ pistol. I can resubmitt it and be more clear what rifle was used in the test if you wish. Maybe even put it on the new Walther LE blog article?


  7. Hi All,

    if you remember back several weeks, I had a buddy going to the UK and I had asked him to bring a tin or two of Eley Wasp pellets back with him. I saw him this Saturday and he disgustedly handed me a tin of .22 cal pointed Spitfires! The story went that he called a number of stores which failed to answer their phones and then he drove to several around Birmingham and found they were all closed. He finally found a store on-line and called and ordered the Wasps. He feels he made a mistake as he told them when he was leaving the UK and could they ship expedited so it got to him the day before he was scheduled to leave. The package he got had a billing label clearly marked Wasps and he was billed for them. What he got was the tin of pointed Spitfires that had already begun to tarnish.

    Last night I decided to see what type, if any, accuracy, they would produce. Using my RWS 46, the second pellet produced a loud detonation. Now this rifle hadn’t detonated ever. I looked through the pellets and found a true hollow point. That is, the pointed tip was missing and the pellet was hollow. You could see through it! The 5 pellets I shot, as expected, were all over the target at 28′. The pellet’s weight varies from 11 to 12 grains by the way with the Hollow Point weighing in at 10 gr. I guess I have another source of “cheap” pellets for velocity testing.

    I’ve asked him to provide the name of the store so I could advertise it on the Yellow as a place to beaware of when dealing with them.

    Fred PRoNJ

  8. Wow, you weren’t kidding about playing catch-up. Regarding the Walther post, how did you manage to scope the Winchester 94? I thought that was not possible with top ejection.

    Chuck, who is not statistically worthwhile? I didn’t follow your comment a couple posts ago.

    Herb, yes the statistics of group sizes are a puzzle. 🙂

    Duskwight thanks for the info on Enemy. I haven’t seen the film–only on YouTube. But the final scene with the German sniper standing in the open and getting shot did not make a lot of sense to me. The accounts I’ve heard had the German master sniper shooting through a slit in a sheet of tin. I’m glad to hear that some of the abuses of the Russian soldiers by their commanders was not true. But could some of that have been true earlier on when the Red Army was collapsing and the government instilled draconian measures as a matter of survival? There is a lengthy documentary on YouTube called War of the Century which purports to quote German and Russian veterans of the Eastern Front who both reported doing frightful things.

    That is funny about the cowboys eating hamburgers image of Americans. It is interesting to see an outside perspective on what we take for granted here. I heard a Canadian friend parody an American accent once and it sounded ridiculous with its exaggerated drawling. To paraphrase the great Russian linguist, Mikhail Bakhtin, “The style of a language can only be apprehended as a totality.”

    I was thinking that you would not want to mess with the Russian women snipers. Anyone who can take out a target at hundreds of yards would have no problem doing the same with someone who was assaulting them personally. It is one of the saddest things to read about sexual assault in military. I guess one can’t be too surprised since the army is not expected to improve the morality of the population at large and it does have the complicating factors of increased proximity between men and women and the command structure. But some of these things do come together in pretty strange ways. There was the case of one woman who was assaulted by her commander who was never charged. The woman gained weight as part of her traumatized response and was ordered to undergo a weight loss program. Who was in charge of this program but the guilty commander who evaluated her body every day! Here is where you want to dream of the Russian sniper women. In the book Enemy at the Gates, they were in some close quarters action in Stalingrad and certainly could take of themselves.

    Glad to hear that everything was above board in the Russian army, but I’m sure human nature asserted itself. In the Enemy book, there is the case of one Russian soldier carrying on with a nurse. After one action, he hears that she stepped on a land mine and lost her arms and legs. He’s so upset by this that he can’t see her and just ends the whole relationship right there?! But things work out for this nurse who goes on to marry and have six kids….?!


    • Matt,

      Almost anything is possible if you want it bad enough. You drill and tap holes in the left side of the receiver and install a scope that doesn’t sit above the bolt. When you sight in you have to align the vertical AND the horizontal axis of the reticle, so the scope can only be on at one range. It’s a terrible thing to do to a ’94, but plenty of them have it.


    • The other option is to use an extended eye-relief (pistol) scope, and mount it forward of the ejection port.

      Mounting scopes on the pellet guns is easy, in relation — though unrealistic in positioning option.

    • Matt,

      Order 227 “Not a step back!” was signed just before beginning of the battle Stalingrad, on July 28, after the failure of Kharkov offensive operation of summer 1942. It was a harsh child of a harsh time.
      It actually didn’t touch common soldiers much. It stated that no commander had the right to retreat without an order. Anyone who did so was subject to a military tribunal of the corresponding seniority level. The order also directed that each army must create “blocking squads” which would shoot deserters and panic-mongers at the rear line and penal troops for soldiers who commited crimes or tried to desert to be used on most dangerous part of front line.

      Funny, but that order was almost a word-to-word copy of a German order of winter 1941. All the measures mentioned there were used by Germans during their winter retreat.

      Funniest thing of al is that by October 1942 the idea of regular blocking units was in fact quietly dropped. They existed on paper, but their effectiveness was marginal at best so they were just not functioning until November 1944, when that state of things was officially put on paper and they were disbanded. So, again – no comissars with machineguns 🙂

      I think that the best morale booster for Soviets were, in fact, Germans. Before 1942 Soviets were doubtful if life under Hitler was better, as Germans promised them land, private property and so on. But when they dropped their initial false promises and started their campaign of terror agains Slavs, Jews, Gypsies – well, any population they met on occupied territory – and declared that all who survive would be slaves to German masters – that was Germany’s doomsday. When people realise – there is no future for them except the future they shape with lead and cold steel – they become mad, cool and determined.


  9. BB,I just read your reply in regards to the P1 blog.What an amazing coincidence that you’re working on one for tomorrow.I was thrilled to find a reasonably priced Beeman stock in mint condition &
    a Blue Ribbon pistol scope to boot! Everything I know about the pistol came from you,and the P1
    is definitely a lifetime family heirloom quality airgun.Thankfully mine predates the fiberoptic version,
    but I’m sure it is nice too.

  10. In regards to scoping 94 Winchesters, it can be done easily. For older guns, side mounts are available that use existing holes on the left side of the receiver. The scope is side mounted so ejection will still work. This actually works well but it does take away from the grace of the rifle. Many use this arrangement for deer hunting. It works. Newer rifles are “Side Eject” and can have the scope mounted over the action as is normally done with bolt action rifles. I have used a scope on my 94 this way but currently have a receiver sight on it.


  11. duskwight, thanks for the information about Russia during WWII. Very interesting, my dad was a vet. With Germany facing Russia and USA/Britain, their chances of winning were less than “0”.


    • Mike,

      I think different. If Hiltler was more prudent and less stubborn – he would have won. He forgot the golden rule – Never bite more than you can chew and swallow. Luckily he wasn’t 🙂


      • He did make a lot of mistakes, however, once he invaded Russia, he had no chance in the long run. Russia’s population is much larger and the land is so vast. Perhaps if he had waited until the jet aircraft and A bomb were his it then could have been different. Also, numbers were against him. His Panther tank was better that the US Sherman. But, one of them wasn’t better than 30 Shermans. It’s good he didn’t wait.


      • The National Building Museum in Washington once had a show on construction during WW2. The most convincing exhibit was the opening photo when you walked in: it was taken at a dock and showed 2 or 3 Liberty ships in the foreground, and then lined up on the dock ready for loading, as far as the eye could see, hundreds upon hundreds of jeeps, trucks and tanks. Supplies in such quantities as no other country could match. In the end, Eastern Front or not, Germany could not prevail over the long haul.

        There is an old joke in which Herr Oberst (colonel) of the Wehrmacht is in his suite entertaining a lovely blonde. He pulls out a map of the coming invasion of the USSR and shows it to the girl. She looks at it, gets big eyes and asks if the Fuehrer has seen the map. When told he has she remarks, “but darling, Germany is so small and Russia is so big.” Size mattered too.

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