First gun: Walther P99, Sig 226, or HK USP?
Hi, I'm considering a first gun. It will be mainly a target and nightstand gun. I plan on shooting at least 1-2 times a week. I would like something quite nice as I don't plan on purchasing another gun for many years down the road. I like the looks of these 3 and I've heard great things about them all. I'll be testing them out at the range next month as the place I am currently at does not carry them for rent.
I'm still deciding between 9mm and 40 S&W, but for simplicity of the discussion let's just limit it to the 40 S&W versions of the guns.
Which would you choose and why?
Thanks for the help.
It's funny when people state that "this will be my only gun for a few years."
It's like saying, "this will be my only shot of heroin for a few years."
Be warned, you are starting down the road.
That being said, are you sure you want to spend the $ for a Sig or HK right off the bat? I have an HK USP .40, my third gun, and it is pretty sweet. But what was sweeter is that I knew enough about them to buy a high-quality used HK.
In the end, be comfortable with the grip! My first was a Glock 17. I never thought to compare it to the 19, which for my hands, is a lot more controllable.
I agree with Marduk13. My wife and I bought a P99 for range and nightstand duty 1 1/2 years ago and at last count we're up to 10 handguns between us. Not everyone gives in to an addiction quite that readily, but you see the point. I would think of this as your first handgun.
Originally Posted by Marduk13
As to your choice, I think the P99 is a good starter. It's very ergonomic and not so expensive it breaks the bank. Shipwreck will probably tell you that the P99 is lots better in 9mm than .40 S&W. It's certainly cheaper to shoot 9mm ammo.
My most recent purchase was a USPc .45 and I really like it. I may forget about 1911s because of it. But is was pricey. The Sig 226 is a little big for my hands, but a Sig is a really high quality gun - utterly dependable. A used one is more affordable.
Hope these comments help.
I like the H&K USP Compact in .40sw. I bought one and it's good to go.
Thanks for all the great comments. I really appreciate the time you have all taken to answer my questions.
How reliable is the P99? I've been reading various forums, and I've found a few instances of plastic cracks and magazine breakage. However, I haven't found any such thing with the USP or SIG. Are there any large issues I need to take into consideration?
Are all three going to fire with about the same accuracy out of the box?
The reason I'm going with relatively expensive handguns is that I know that I would want to upgrade but not all the way to the top based on my spending habits. With this in mind, I figured I would put a $800 cap on a hand gun.
I know this is a bad criteria, but I just simply don't like the looks of Glocks. I like the high-tech looks of the P99/USP/SIG/fiveseven.
i would say go to the store, and range, handle all of them, see which on u like the best after u have fired it and handled it. 9mm is going to be cheaper ammo than .40. I personaly(sp?) would go with the HK USP, either in compact or fullsize, i own 2 and i wouldnt trade them for anything. But if you dont want to spend the money on the first gun, I would look at XD(which i own) or glock(which i own), they are great beginers guns, and they are in the 450 to 550 range, plus u can get them in 3 different sizes, 5" 4" 3", and it comes in 40 and 9. I would look into a XD or glock also.
Let me chime in about the Walther P99:
1. Reliablility: In the years that I have owned my P99's, I have had one malfunction. That malfunction was ammo related, a cartridge with an extremely flared mouth, that failed to feed. I have a few rounds through mine:
Ammo Count: P99 9mm (12,000+ rds) - P99 QPQ (3,500+ rds) - P99 Ti Coated 40SW (6,500+ rds) - P99 Mi6 007 Edition 40SW (None Collectors Pistol)
2. Finish Durability: I have carried a P99 everyday for work for the past five years (a standard 9mm P99), with minimal wear on the finish. This past December I switched to a QPQ finished 9mm.
3. Material Durability: I have only seen one case of a so called "kaboom" (frame failure) and from the pictures I have seen, it was obviously intentional. There was a batch of weak magazine bases produced for a run of 10rd 40SW magazines and this only effected the 10rd mags. There was never a problem with 9mm bases, be them 10/15/16 rd magazines, or 12rd 40SW magazines. I have also seen a 9mm follower slightly melt, which seems to be a freak incident as a new incident has not been wrote about since.
4. Accuracy: The P99 has the best out of box accuracy that I have seen in any pistol I have owned. And I have owned a few (Beretta 92FS, Glock 19, Glock 30, CZ-75B, HK USP9, HK USP45, SIG P228, SIG P229, XD-40, Springfield 1911 Loaded).
5. Caliber: I own the P99 in 9mm and in 40SW. Both operate and function perfectly in the P99. Most that give the opinion that the 40SW P99 should be avoided are usually bias on the subject. Most of the time they have never shot the P99 in 40SW and give there evidence of how horrible it is by tell stories of what they read online. A few I know do not like the 40SW cartridge in general. 9mm is cheaper, but if you like 40SW, then have at it.
Hope this helps. JE
Last edited by jenglish; 04-02-2007 at 09:34 PM.
The P99 is out of the box as reliable as you can get nowadays. The same goes for HK and Sig.
The P99 frame cracks are kind of a shady topic. The only pictures I've seen didn't look like a fatigue issue, but a stress fracture that looked like the result of being torqued in a vice. A big no no with polymer frames. Still, a bad batch of plastic could result in frame cracks with any poly gun.
I'm not a big fan of the .40 S&W (too hard for me to hammer targets precisely) so my opinion may not mean much. The P99 is hands down my favorite pistol...in 9mm. I've never shot a .40 cal version. It's the best combination of ergonamics, accuracy, concealability, ease of maintenance, capacity, proper mag release, etc. etc. for me.
The USPc is my second favorite pistol. I have shot it in .40, and like the G23 and XD 40 wasn't bad, but with a 9mm I'm way faster.
I'm not gonna try and sell you on a certain caliber. I am gonna give you my 2 cents on personal protection. They all put holes in fleshy bad guys, right? More holes is better, right? More holes faster is WAY better. Carry what you can shoot accurately AND fast. I can shoot like a champ inside 15 yards with 9mm and .45 (I just can't afford to shoot .45 or own the one I want).
You put 3 or 4 rounds center mass on a target in 1 second with any of the above, his blood pressure is gonna drop fast, he's already dieing, you just need to survive long enough for him to cease being a threat. If your assailant doesn't drop right there, follow with a head shot if possible, or another barrage to the pelvic area to stop his mobility and run for police. I just don't buy into the whole one shot stop concept. If they're dangerous enough to shoot once, they're dangerous enough to shoot until you're sure.
Learning to shoot accurately and fast can be expensive. I spent about $3k in the last 2 years on 9mm ammo and classes. Money well spent, as I trust my life to that P99.
If you can shoot a .40 fast (and accurately, this is of utmost importance), or are willing to spend the money to get fast with it, get a .40. If you're not already there, think about this. My $3K investment in 9mm ammo and classes, would have been about $4250 shooting a .40 or $5500 shooting a .45.
My 2 cents
Thanks for the great advice! I am leaning more towards the P99 9mm as that lets me practice more for the money. The above 2 posts really allayed my concerns over the durability of the P99 after I had read posts about cracking and whatnot. I suppose there is a back story to every story. I can't wait until I visit the range in a few weeks.
Time to start looking at the various P99 models.
Keep the comments coming! Many thanks in advance!
i have a sig 226 in 9mm as my nightstand gun and i love it. the extra weight eats up and kind of recoil, and since i'm not carrying it, i don't mind the extra bulk. it feels substantial and reliable, and the ammo is cheap. most importantly, after putting about 700-800 of my own rounds through it (i bought it used), i have supreme confidence in it. i love it.
My Sig P226 is 18 years old and has never miss fired.....on it's 17th birthday i gave it new springs .....nitron finish and night sights....it will be here longer then i am.
You've come to the right place for P99 endorsements.
I've had my P99 in .40 for just under a year now and positively love it. The only problem I've had out of around 2000 rounds is a failure to feed which I attribute to a new magazine.
I've shot a USP and liked it, but wouldn't trade my Walther for it. No experience with Sigs.
I would say that a nice, used HK USP40 would be the way to go.
(see classified forum)
I've owned a P99 and a Sig226 both in .40 both of them are good pistols.
From my experience, any gun you buy will eventually be carried. I would buy the pistol that will be the easiest to carry. IMO that is the p99.
I was like you and considered all those guns, and for my first gun, I went with a M&P .40. I really like the gun, and totally recommend it.
check out www.mp-pistol.com to learn more.
The truth of the matter is that they are ALL good reputable guns. It's going to boil down to What feels best in your hand. Believe me, this will affect your choice more than anything. Then, you'll shoot them. If the one that feels best in your hand points and shoots well, that is the one you're going to buy in less it's out of your budget.
You'll hear stories about "kabooms" on just about every handgun ever made. The three names you mentioned all have those stories, but they are few and far between.
I love Sigs, I'm drooling for a Walther P99, but HK USPs don't feel right in MY hand. None of that should mean a darn thing to you. I hate Glocks with a passion, but I get out shot by a Glock user every time I compete.
IF this is to be a mostly target/nightstand gun, get it in 9mm and save money on ammo. I used to own all 9MM, and I've switched to .40 S&W to stop bad dreams. Whatever you use, train, train, train. If you shoot enough and practice enough you can become skilled with a .44 magnum.
The one bit of advice I WILL give you that I think does matter a great deal is, get a full sized model. For your use, you don't need a compact.
The biggest difference will be in the manual of arms and materials. The USP and the P99 have a polymer frame, while the Sig P 226 is alloy. By the way, check out the P229 also for comparison; it's a little more concealable.
Originally Posted by rb67
The USP and the Sig P226 are most commonly seen in the conventional double action configuration, so you've got an external hammer, heavier / longer first trigger pull, light single action subsequent pulls. This is considered a very safe and shootable configuration for a lot of people.
In contrast, P99's are striker fired and have a different trigger.
Try them all.
The P99 AS has virtually the same tigger as the USP and P226. The only difference is there is no hammer and you can carry with the trigger forward and still be in single action.
Originally Posted by kenjihara
I own a P99 and have for years. Excellent handgun. My Sig 229 is better built, but much different in style and weight. I have another suggestion for you, try the XD9. Reliable, styled more along the line of a 1911 and doesn't cost as much as the Walther or SigSauer. I can't comment on any H&K models.
Thank you all for the excellent responses. They have certainly cleared many things up and have put added two more handguns into consideration! There are so many excellent handguns out there. It looks like I'll be spending lots of time at the range next month. (darn )
I've been pouring over reading about triggers. From what I understand DA is where the first pull, assuming an uncocked gun, is long and hard where all the following are short. With exception to DAO, is this the safest?
Also, I notice on some handguns, there is a lever where the web on your hand between your thumb and index finger would press. Am I correctly assuming that this is a safety?
In your opinions, which handgun has the best (smoothest/lightest) trigger pull?
Is there any reason to avoid compact versions of the USP, M&P, or 229? If I don't plan on carrying, are there performance costs with compact versions? I am assuming that you take a hit on accuracy.
Last edited by rb67; 04-06-2007 at 12:59 PM.
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