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View Full Version : M&P vs. P99 -- M&P lost



radon
09-06-09, 22:05
For whoever cares. I'm not an expert, but I'm forever in search of the perfect do it all gun.

Picked up a new M&P 9L a few days ago and brought along my Walther p99 AS in .40 (a relatively new acquisition I have not shot much) to see how they would compare at the range. Both guns were cleaned before the range trip, and both were shot using FMJ from Walmart with brass cases (Federal and Winchester). Put about 200 rounds through each. Observations:

M&P had 4 FTE at various times using the 2 mags supplied with gun. :mad: The p99 was perfect using 5 different mags (4 from S&W and 1 from Walther). Win for the p99.

Ejection from p99 was consistent and strong, but not too strong--about 4 ft every time. Ejection from M&P was very weak--brass would typically only go about 1 ft., and sometimes straight back and hit my eye, or sometimes would just fall out of the gun (barely). Win for the p99.

M&P trigger was heavy/gritty--pull weight about 9-10 lbs before breaking. Reset was shorter and more positive than I'd been led to expect but not as short/positive as p99 or glock. P99 trigger is about perfect for me out of the box. Break from either the long or short single action mode is about 5 lbs., and reset is incredibly short and positive. Some people don't understand the p99 manual of arms (you can carry the AS version of the gun in 3 modes: long pull single action, short pull single action, or decocked for double action trigger pull on first shot). I think its a great solution, as different circumstances call for different carry modes. Win for the p99.

M&P was not particularly accurate for me at 25 yards offhand. 5-7" in groups. p99was consistently better by about 1/3. Win for the p99.

Recoil from the 5" barrel was not .22 like as some have suggested, but the gun was pretty easy to hang onto during recoil (but not noticeably better than other full size 9mms I've used, such as glock, CZ, p99, etc). Recoil from p99 in .40 was snappy--much more so than I recall the p99 I have in 9mm being (not a big surprise considering the more powerful cartridge). It was definitely much harder to shoot the p99 faster due to the somewhat slippery grip and snappy recoil. I will stick with my p99 in 9mm for defense purposes. I would say this is a draw between the 2 pistols in 9mm, but a win for the M&P if you have to use the p99 in .40.

I have a large palm size but short fingers. Neither the M&P small nor the medium backstrap felt perfect--the small felt better though. Using the small backstrap, it was hard for me to get a significant amount of my palm from the weak hand on the grip to better control recoil. The p99 felt better using the small size backstrap, and I can get more of my weak side hand on the grip. However, the M&P grip was "stickier", and thus somewhat easier to hold onto than the p99 during recoil. This was a tie for me.

Other observations: The p99 is of a higher level of fit and finish than the M&P, but then again it usually goes for about $200 more. Both guns are thicker than they need to be. The rear sights are weak points on both guns (the p99 has a very poor design, as it's too easy to get the sight off, and I don't trust a set screw holding the rear sight on the M&P). Neither gun has a .22 conversion kit, which is just stupid marketing on the part of both companies, especially in this day of ammo shortages. The M&P has a too long and thus ugly beavertail--at least it seems easy to file off. The M&P plastic seems "grippier" than the p99 plastic, which can be slippery. I've heard the M&P trigger can be made much better for not a lot of money, but no need for any trigger work on the p99.

I was hoping the M&P would be a replacement for my p99, as I'm uncomfortable about the lack of spare parts available for it (its hard to even get a recoil spring for crying out loud, and genuine mags in 9mm cost almost 3 times as much as the M&P mags in 9mm). However, it does not appear to be in the cards. I guess I'll have to get 2 more P99s in 9mm in case one goes down, so I can canabalize parts.

I will send the M&P back to S&W to see what they can do about the FTEs, but it will be very hard to trust this gun going forward, since even if they do fix it in the short run I've read about too many people who have M&Ps run fine for a few thousand shots and then suddenly start having FTEs. I didn't want to believe this, but now I feel I've been warned by experience it would be dumb for me to ignore that.

S&W almost got it right with the M&P, but almost doesn't cut it for me. YMMV :(

Steve
09-06-09, 22:34
I gun is not a test case,

Myself and many others here have several as in over 20k rounds through our MP's

I haveone that has 60k in it and it shows...

Because you had one that was finicky to ammo as it was brand new gun... so what my 9L had the same issue i sent it back and had a rough spot in chamber 1 week later back in hand better than new


Fit and finish:rolleyes: now that cracks me up....so stick to your p99

radon
09-06-09, 22:44
Relax chief--sorry you did not like how the comparison turned out. I didn't like how it turned out either. And good for you and your gun. Finally, some of us happen to like mechanical things that not only work, but look and feel good. If that isn't important to you, good for you again. I guess you drive a dodge... :)

NCPatrolAR
09-06-09, 23:05
While I haven't shot a P99, I did carry a SW99 for 2 years. The SW99 was a steaming POS. After a host of problems we ditched the 99 and went to the M&P. In 2 years of use, we've only had to replace a front sight. Not bad considering we are fielding over 1,000 M&Ps

radon
09-06-09, 23:15
SW99 does not equal Walther p99, any more than Taurus Model 66 equals S&W Model 66. I'm well aware of the problems of the SW99--S&W tried to change the design of the p99 to fit the perceived needs of some of their customers, and they screwed it up.

Finally, what I've written was intended to provide my personal experience and what I hope is at least somewhat useful information for others looking for a pistol platform to start and stick with--not to be a stick in the eye to the Ford vs. Chevy types who feel their manhood threatened when someone has less than a perfect experience with their platform of choice. I'm well aware that many/most or even the vast majority of M&Ps work well. But a material percentage don't work well out of the box, and that story needs to be told so a) S&W does a better job, and b) some newbie does not buy one of these and puts it in his nightstand, and expects it to perform 100% without verifying it for himself. In short, the M&P ain't no 9mm Glock (and I dislike Glocks because I can't shoot them well).

Steve
09-06-09, 23:29
I am very relaxed my name is Steve not Chief :rolleyes:
Your comparrison lacks, as i stated I have had an issue with 1 of my 7 Mp handguns and I see an average of 6 of them per class I teach of late. up to10 per class in some case and more with certian Depts local to my area. so I document this stuff,

The gun I had the issue with is no my daily carry gun.
someof my Mp's have completed some of the most intense high round count multi day classes out there..

as for fit an finish ...I laugh at that, I own several highend guns cupcake not just poly ones, p99 isnt in that colum of fit and finsh.

What I drive is of no importance to you or your life. or this topic.

if you cant shoot a glock well, you have bigger issues,. nothing in my manhood is threatened by drivel.

radon
09-06-09, 23:35
My name is Radon, not Cupcake..:p

And I worship your mastery of all things related to handguns (and probably everthing else in your own eyes...)

Now run along and start your own thread about how great M&Ps are...:rolleyes:

NCPatrolAR
09-06-09, 23:40
Let's go ahead and stop the personal attacks and can the righteous agendas

ColdDeadHands
09-06-09, 23:45
P99's are excellent Guns! Enjoy it!

radon
09-07-09, 00:10
I do like the P99s CDH. But I worry about parts availability and accessory costs, and there are no "torture tests" or at least very long term usage reports to back up durability claims. I do note that the only guns I've used that have never jammed thus far are p99s and 9mm and .40 CZs. The full size CZs are too heavy for what they shoot, though.

87GN
09-07-09, 03:06
Yeah, but the M&P probably didn't have a serial number that started with FAG - unlike 95% of the P99s I've seen (about 25).

Business_Casual
09-07-09, 08:25
... but I'm forever in search of the perfect do it all gun.


Credibility: Zero.

M_P

ColdDeadHands
09-07-09, 09:16
Did I miss something here? Is this a secret M&P Koolaid board? I personally never owned one and never will. There are so many great guns out there...I don't understand why you guys bash Radon for liking his P99 more then the M&P!?
Personally, I favor H&K's but feel no need to talk down to guys who like something else better...

WhoUtink
09-07-09, 09:31
So is my m&p that is in my night stand going to fail? It has never failed while I was shooting it, so why would it fail when I take it out to shoot it and put it away dirty again?

It has however failed to eject and stove pipe and shot brass directly back when someone else was shooting it. My girlfriend has had those issues with it, but she has very bad technique, tiny little wrists, and no desire to do it right.

With the 10 pound trigger this must be a California model, because my six year old daughter can pull the trigger in my fs 9mm.

radon
09-07-09, 09:43
If you bet your life on a gun that requires "good technique" to reliably fire and extract, well I have nothing to add to that...

ralph
09-07-09, 09:46
Well, I see a couple of things wrong with this "test"...I'd suggest getting the M&P back from S&W and shooting about 4-500 rnds through it to break it in, By that time you'll notice that the trigger will have smoothed up considerably, I'd also try different backstraps I have a Midsized.45 M&P and found that the large backstrap worked the best, even though the Medium felt a little better. The M&P is also very unforgiving of poor trigger control these pistols are very accurate, so, if you're not shooting well with it it's probably you, and not the pistol. It took me awhile to learn that lesson.... The 9mm M&P's seem to have some trouble with the chambers, most seem to run after a trip back to S&W, My.45 dosen't have these problems..so far, 1800 rnds through it and NO failures...Fit and finish are subjective....The M&P wasn't designed to be put on display, it was designed to be used...hard. The finish they use is up to the job...You want to see a lousy finish, go look at a CZ with a polymer finish...the one I had looked like it was painted on by a 12yr old... Seriously, Run some rounds through the M&P, and retest..you might be suprised...

WhoUtink
09-07-09, 09:49
Holding a gun with enough force to to let the slide do is its job is the only good technique needed. She can't do that and obviously you can't either. I'm not a strong guy but I can fire my m&p with one hand strong and weak and still have no problems.
I trust my gun because it WORKS.

WhoUtink
09-07-09, 09:52
Well, I see a couple of things wrong with this "test"...I'd suggest getting the M&P back from S&W and shooting about 4-500 rnds through it to break it in, By that time you'll notice that the trigger will have smoothed up considerably, I'd also try different backstraps I have a Midsized.45 M&P and found that the large backstrap worked the best, even though the Medium felt a little better. .
^This. I have also read that the large back strap works best for people even though they think they need the small or medium, because they shoot better with it.

radon
09-07-09, 10:03
So, the 20 or so other handguns I've owned over the years that did not have consistent FTE problems didn't mind how I gripped them, but the M&P does? And you think this is a good/normal/acceptable thing for the M&P? Evidently you missed the part about me shooting another lightweight semi at the same time that had no FTE problems.

Guns that require "technique" to be reliable are worthless, IMO, as it's quite possible someone in the family besides you will need to fire it to protect their life someday. Not that I think you have the slightest idea what you are talking about when it comes to the M&P, as I have not heard anyone else who thinks the M&P is susceptable to limp wristing.

And besides, the M&Ps have well documented FTE problems--guess you need to go tell those guys on Enos' forums to stop limp wrisitng their guns.

It's amazing how the fanboys come out of the woodwork when their pet gun of the day doesn't get rave reviews by everyone, and the personal attacks fly. Your M&P is not an infallable platform---get over it.

BTW, you wouldn't by chance be related to Steve? :p

radon
09-07-09, 10:09
Ralph, thanks for the constructive input. I will give it one more chance after I send it to S&W--but only one.

Of course its possible I just got a lemon, but its distressing that a significant percentage of these guns do not seem to work well out of the box. In this day and age of QC, there is no reason for that.

John_Wayne777
09-07-09, 10:25
So, the 20 or so other handguns I've owned over the years that did not have consistent FTE problems didn't mind how I gripped them, but the M&P does? And you think this is a good/normal/acceptable thing for the M&P? Evidently you missed the part about me shooting another lightweight semi at the same time that had no FTE problems.

Guns that require "technique" to be reliable are worthless, IMO, as it's quite possible someone in the family besides you will need to fire it to protect their life someday. Not that I think you have the slightest idea what you are talking about when it comes to the M&P, as I have not heard anyone else who thinks the M&P is susceptable to limp wristing.

And besides, the M&Ps have well documented FTE problems--guess you need to go tell those guys on Enos' forums to stop limp wrisitng their guns.


I owned a 9mm P99 and it was a good little handgun. I eventually got rid of it because it wasn't as good of an overall package as the M&P in my opinion.

SOME M&P's have had feed issues out of the box...issues that S&W is usually able to clear up. The cause is not limp wristing.

When you purchase *any* mass produced item there is a risk that the particular specimen you actually buy will have a problem. The M&P's don't have any more of a problem in aggregate than any other service grade handgun...in fact, it can be argued that they have considerably fewer issues than a number of other popular handguns on the market.

Those of us who have been using handguns for serious social purposes for a while have learned that NO ONE is immune from producing a particular specimen that has problems, and that it's generally best to take ANY firearm you intend to use to save your bacon and run at least 500 rounds (including carry ammo) through the weapon to ensure that it functions properly.

If you encounter a problem, get in touch with the factory and get it resolved. Smith & Wesson has excellent customer service as a rule.



It's amazing how the fanboys come out of the woodwork when their pet gun of the day doesn't get rave reviews by everyone, and the personal attacks fly. Your M&P is not an infallable platform---get over it.


No one has ever claimed them to be infallible.

If you'll go back and read the M4Carbine.net rules you'll see this:



4) Contact The Manufacturer or Dealer First – Internet forums have a large global audience and unsubstantiated or ill-informed comments will affect the livelihoods of a lot of hard working people in the industry. If you have an issue with a manufacturer or dealer that you would like to resolve, we ask that your first contact them to resolve it.


This rule exists for a reason. As those who have taken classes in statistics and research will tell you, samples of 1 are not reliable enough to draw useful information from. Many on this board have considerably more experience with the M&P than you do and as such it would be better to solicit advice from them than to make broad assertions about the platform with limited experience and only internet grumblings as a justification.

For the future I would strongly suggest working on your people skills and being much more hesitant to throw terms like "fanboy" at other posters.

NCPatrolAR
09-07-09, 10:49
Of course its possible I just got a lemon, but its distressing that a significant percentage of these guns do not seem to work well out of the box. In this day and age of QC, there is no reason for that.


Significant percentage of M&Ps have QC issues? Are you just pulling this stuff out of your 4th point of contact? There have been some issues with the longslide 9mms but the rest of the product line is solid in my experience. Of course I've only been shooting them for about 3 years and been issued one for 2. My agency currently has approximately 1400 M&Ps on the street and we have yet to encounter any of these wide spread QC issues. There are no QC issues with my 4 personal M&Ps either. My experience with them must be a fluke. :rolleyes: