Friday, January 1, 2010


Note to self: next time there's a 2-part question, stick to the self-imposed original deadline. My apologies for the delay.
Moving on...

In the previous post, the question was posed as to which of the magazines in the image were factory/OEM magazines... and the answer is: only the 10rd mag, which is the horizontal one. The mag inserted in the gun, and the rest along the bottom row are all aftermarket products.

I haven't seen the first 2 in person, but based on the oval indent near the floor plate I believe those are made by National Magazines. The last 3 are clearly ProMag.

So the question becomes: without being able to examine them in person, or read the markings in an image (if there are any), how can one tell the difference? It isn't the side of the mag, as the 10, 15 and 16 capacity mags have different indents along the sides. The answer is: look at the floorplate.

OEM Walther magazines are nearly flat, as opposed to the wedge shape you'll see in the others. This is important, as it relates to how the mag will fit into bottom on the grip when inserted. While I have no personal experience with ProMags, I have read on several occasions that they don't fit very well into the P99. I suspect it's due to the fact that the floorplate is too high and binding against the bottom of the grip. This is likely to cause feeding problems.

OEM mags also have a more tapered front edge on the floorplate. Without personal inspection, I don't know if this is a factor. However, I suspect it cannot be a good thing to deviate that much from factory dimensions.

On a side note: the actual markings on an OEM mag will vary. Some will have a Walther banner, while others will say Mecgar, or perhaps nothing at all except "MADE IN ITALY". All 3 are true OEM products. Mecgar is the official mfg of P99 magazines. Though I've no idea why they've changed their markings several times over the years, it's not a factor to be concerned with.

If you own a P99, this is something you should be aware of. I've seen people on GunBroker (and other places) try to pass off a ProMag product as a "factory OEM mag". I've also seen online stores selling such mags with no distinction at all. Given the sketchy performance of aftermarket mags, it's important to know what you're buying.

For the record: the seller whose gun is pictured did not misrepresent the magazines as OEM. In addition, he was asking a very good price for the package - the aftermarket mags were practically thrown in at no cost. So his buyer got a very good deal.


Azul said...

Thanks for the good info. I've been thinking about getting a P99 QA. Handled one not too long ago, and I liked the ergos.

Chip said...

Good info. The only Walther mags I've used are 10-rounders. I own four Smith and Wesson SW99 16-round mags (fit and function fine) and four ProMags. The ProMags have also been flawless for me - feed well, fit well, and drop free well.

On your photo, I'm not convicned that the magazine just to the right of the grip is a P99 mag at all - the magazine catch notch is too low. Beretta 92 perhaps?

thorn said...

You're right - the mag notch isn't as high, is it?

I've read the 92 mags are sort of a cousin to P99; different notch and internals, but same sleeve dimensions. The theory is that with a new follower and spring, you can cut another notch in a 92 mag, and it will work in a P99.

I've not tried it, though.