Is it normal for the recoil rod to protrude from the slide?

Yes, it is normal for the recoil rod to protrude from the slide of 9mm P99s. Some will protrude slightly, and some won't. The .40 Auto is slightly longer, and thus does not allow the recoil rod to protrude. Here is a photo showing the extent to which the recoil rod protrudes from the slide of a 9mm P99:

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