The design of the P99 was initiated in 1994 however a suitable model was not presented until 1996. The main goal was to develop new, modern style police and self-defense handgun that incorporates all latest developments and will cost less than its predecessor - Walther P88, that did not achieve any significant commercial success, mainly due to high prices. Walther P99 is a recoil operated, locked breech gun, that used modified Browning style locking via extraction port in the slide. It is striker fired, and has no manual safeties and three automatic safeties: striker safety, trigger safety and out of battery safety. Also, it has manual de-cocking button in the rear upper part of the slide.