The Umarex Walther CP99 Compact was launched in 2006 and is a replica of the Walther P99c. This was the second Umarex blowback BB gun, launched after the success of the Walther PPK/S (see review link at bottom of this post). These two pistols would certainly make an interesting addition to any collection as they perfectly illustrate advances in handgun design and technology. Both are blowback, BB shooting replicas of concealed-carry pistols produced by the same company, but designed more than seventy years apart.
Real steel background
The Walther P-99 is a short-recoil operated, locked breech, semi-automatic pistol manufactured by Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen in Ulm, Germany. It uses a glassfibre-reinforced polymer grip frame and steel slide. The P-99 was designed as a sidearm for law enforcement and security forces as well as for civilian use and was a direct replacement for the Walther P5 and P 88 pistols. It has an internal striker rather than the traditional hammer, and the striker tip protrudes from the back of the slide to indicate that the pistol is cocked. It has a 4″ barrel with an accessory rail beneath. It was launched in 1997 and is currently used by law enforcement and security forces in Europe, Asia and North America.
A concealed carry, compact version of the P99, the P99c was introduced in 2004. This version has a 3.5″ barrel and a 1″ shorter grip and is often used as a back-up weapon by special forces.
The Umarex Walther CP99 Compact
The CO2 powered CP99 Compact has a metal slide, polymer frame, blowback action and is single action only. It weighs 1.6 pounds, has a 3.25″ smoothbore barrel, fixed sights and a metal drop-out magazine that holds up to eighteen steel BBs. CO2 is stored inside the grip and accessed by removing the rear part of the grip. At some point after initial release the design of the CP99 Compact slide was modified by Umarex; initial models had moulded plastic over the slide ejection port while later models featured a fully cut-out ejection port. There are no other obvious visual differences between earlier and later models.
Early model CP99 Compact with covered slide ejection port (left) and late model with open ejection port (right)
Umarex also offer spare magazines and a laser sight specifically intended for this model.
Packaging and presentation 2.5/5
The CP99 Compact comes in a small and not especially impressive cardboard box containing the pistol, one magazine and a short user manual.
Visual accuracy 8/10
Visually, this is a pretty close. One of the most noticeable features of the real P99c is its shortened grip. However, the grip on the CP99 Compact has to be much longer to allow the CO2 cartridge to fit inside (the same thing applies to the Umarex Walther PPK/S, which also has a longer grip than the original). So, this replica is modelled on a P99c fitted with a grip extension – a commonly fitted optional extra which allows the real pistol to use full-size magazines.
Other visual differences include the lack of a de-cocker on top of the slide, non-adjustable rear sights and an external safety catch/decocker on the right side of the frame on the replica.
P99c with grip extension (left), CP99 Compact (right)
As noted earlier, later versions of the CP99 Compact have a fully cut-out slide ejection port, which I think looks better. However, the earlier models with the plastic covered ejection port are actually a closer match to the profile of the original weapon.
However, overall, this is a very good visual replica of the P99c which includes autherntic Walther markings.
Functional accuracy 12/15
This a blowback replica with a drop-out (though not full size) metal magazine. It operates in single action only and the slide locks back after the last round is fired. The slide catch and ambidextrous magazine release work as per the original weapon.
On the real P99c, a cocking indicator is provided in the form of the rear of the striker pin which projects through an aperture in the rear of the slide when the pistol is cocked. This functionality is replicated on the CP99 Compact by the appearance of a red dot in a cut-out at the rear of the slide to show that the pistol is cocked.
There are several variants of the real P99c which feature a number of safety configurations. None are accurately replicated on the CP99 Compact. The real weapon also features a decocking button set into the top of the slide (similar to the P99). Neither of these features are replicated here and instead, a rather odd combined safety catch/decocker lever/button is mounted on the right side of the frame, just below the slide.
The drop-out magazine isn’t full size and incorporates the lower front part of the grip. The main body of the magazine is made of metal, unlike the Umarex Walther PPK/S where the magazine is all plastic. The CP99 Compact cannot be field stripped.
CP99 Compact magazine
Up to eighteen BBs are loaded into the metal drop-out magazine. The magazine clicks positively into place and the bottom of the magazine incorporates the little finger part of the grip. CO2 is loaded by removing the rear part of the grip and inserting the CO2. Piercing is done by twisting the moveable bottom part of the grip. The gun feels well balanced and very pointable. The rear sight has a rather wide aperture, making lining up the sights a little imprecise.
There is a distinct first and second stage to the trigger pull, but both are light and precise. The gun fires with a sharp crack and the blowback is positive and strong. The strong blowback provides a distinct recoil effect, making it necessary to re-sight the gun after each shot. I was able to get more than 90 full power shots from a single CO2.
Eight shots, 6yds, freestanding
Power is reasonable at around 310 – 330 fps dependent on weather conditions (though I have seen other reviews quoting much higher fps, so it’s possible my CP99 Compact was underperforming). Accuracy is also fair for a steel BB shooter – I saw groups of around 2″ firing freestanding at 6yds. The rear sight opening is very wide, which does make lining up the sights a little more difficult.
This is a nice replica to shoot. Like the PPK/S, the strong blowback and loud bang make it feel more powerful than it is, but it is significantly more powerful and accurate than that pistol. It’s no target pistol, but this replica is accurate enough to be fun and challenging.
The only thing which lets down the shooting experience is the fiddly safety catch which also looks rather cheap and nasty. It’s a fingernail shredder, especially moving from “Fire” to “Safe” as this also decocks the gun.
Quality and reliability 13/15
I’m not aware of any known reliability issues with this pistol. Indeed, some owners have reported firing thousands of rounds through the CP99 Compact without any problems at all. That’s pretty outstanding for a fairly low cost BB shooter, but it won’t come as any surprise when you pick up this pistol – this gun has a very substantial feel to it. In fact the whole gun has that indefinable feeling of quality that is also found in the best of the other Umarex replicas.
It is finished in an attractive semi-matt finish and the paint on the metal slide precisely matches the finish on the polymer frame and grips, making both elements look as if they belong together. The slide racks, locks and releases with a precise and satisfying action and there are no rattles or looseness. Overall fit and finish are outstanding.
Overall Impression 14/15
I like the CP99 Compact. A lot. It feels good to handle and it’s just powerful and accurate enough to be fun to shoot. In this respect it’s notably better than the similar PPK/S. It’s also fairly frugal with CO2, makes a satisfying bang and the kick from the blow back is strong. The only think that lets it down is the fiddly safety catch/decocker.
Straight out of the box, the CP99 Compact feels well balanced and superbly finished and constructed. It isn’t outstandingly accurate, but then no short-barreled BB gun ever will be. It’s satisfying to shoot and this is enhanced by the strong blowback and light, smooth and consistent trigger pull.
This is a logical successor to the venerable Umarex Walther PPK/S, but in my opinion the CP99 Compact is a better made, more accurate and more powerful gun. Overall I’d recommend this without reservation to anyone looking for a well-made, durable and fun BB gun.
Total score: 79.5/100
You can buy the Umarex Walther CP99 Compact at Pyramid Air here.