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The P99 was developed for law enforcement, security forces and the civilian shooting market as a replacement for the Walther P5 and the P88. It is a striker-fired pistol with a polymer frame and 'Tenifer' treated steel slide. The polymer grip has interchangeable palmswells. The striker-fired action is unique in that operates in a double-action (DA/AS) mode similar to that of hammer-fired pistols. Also unique to the P99 is a decocking button recessed into the top of the slide, rather than a conventional lever usually found on the side. Other features include an integrated accessory rail and both a loaded chamber and a cocked status indicator.
This cartridge was developed as a joint venture between Winchester and Smith & Wesson. It was an effort to to create a cartridge with the same power as the 10mm Norma round that the FBI had just started using, but in a shorter case. The shorter cartridge would facilitate accuracy and allow use of a smaller, more comfortable grip frame. The .40 S&W has become the cartridge of choice for many law enforcement agencies in the United States.
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