Walther CCP Review
Bring on the…gas…?
Some habits die hard, for the Germans, that habit is using gas to get the job do… ahem, so. Yes, the Walther CCP. It’s a gun that I’ve been admiring from afar for quite some time now for one reason. It uses the same-ish piston system that the HK P7 did way back when BUT, BUT, it doesn’t cost you your first born + your liver when accounting for inflation (P.S. Walther doesn’t hate you like HK does).
Now, thanks to Walther, I was able to review one with the possibility of buying it for myself. So… is TacCat going to buy it? Is it a good gun? Well, before we get to that let’s go over the specs like normal.
Frame Material: Polymer
Flush Capacity: 8
Overall Length: 6.41 inches
Barrel Length: 3.54 inches
Width: 1.18 inches
Height: 5.12 inches
Weight: 20 ounces
In the box with the CCP you’re getting some pretty standard stuff. You get 2-8rd magazines, cleaning utensils (including a piston chamber brass brush), your typical paperwork, a chamber flag, complimentary lock, and…oddly 2 additional front sights to play around with.
The Walther CCP got some hate initially when the M1 variant dropped. It’s takedown required a proprietary tool, which with all the latest and greatest striker fired guns taking mere seconds to take down, sparked some intense hatred. Walther went back to the drawing board and came out with the M2 variant which requires no tools, which is the CCP you see above.
Walther got a lot of things right with this gun. It holds 8 rounds, it has a light rail that can work with the Streamlight TLR-7A/TLR-9, and it arguably has some of the best stock texturing to date (Yes, it feels drastically different than the PPS/PPQ) that I’ve felt. Now, if you’re looking for a CCP vs PPS comparison, that will be coming later; I promise.
The CCP M1 gained the CCP a bad reputation all around. People were complaining about the quality of the metal used for the slide, the barrel, reliability, and the fact that it required a proprietary tool in order to field-strip. So, holding back nothing, I’m going to go over the quality issues that I’ve found while going through the review process of this pistol.
Inside of the slide you’re going to see that a finish wasn’t applied throughout and with mine at least, there’s machining marks on the bottom part towards the rear. Fortunately there aren’t any hot spots to speak of that could potentially cause issues. The ejection port is fairly sharp on the edge, but that shouldn’t be a major point of concern.
The next area is the barrel metal. It’s a stainless steel but you’re going to want to clean it immediately after shooting the gun. After the second range trip I let it sit for a day before cleaning (it was still lubed) and the weird build-up that you see below came; I’ve hit it with steel wool, a brass brush, and a steel brush with no luck of getting it off. I also experienced some surface rust towards the front of the barrel after cleaning and lubricating it, that came off with some steel wool, however, the metal is stained from it…oddly. The crown/end of the barrel also doesn’t look the cleanest, perhaps its because of the rifling but the crown just looks lopsided to me.
The last issue to note is the rear sight. It has a little bit of side-to-side wiggle going on with it. Whether or not it’s lose, I don’t know as I haven’t dived in to find out yet, but it wiggles. As of now I wouldn’t say it’s an immediate concern if you buy one, but I would get some metal irons ready to be put on just in case.
Other than those issues, I haven’t seen anything that stands out as being bad. I will say though that for the VIP price ($320) I was expecting more than what I got with the PPS M2 ($260 through a shop).
Ergonomically the CCP M2 handles like a larger pistol. With the grip length and large sized hands I’m able to get a full finger grip, albeit a crowded one, without needing to utilize the lip provided by the magazine. It also has a fantastic undercut on the trigger guard that rivals the PPQ and CZ P-07’s in terms of comfort.
The texturing, as I previously eluded to, is fantastic. It’s nice and grippy with wet hands, but it’s not abrasive against the skin while carrying it…which is odd. Typically you would expect an aggressive texture while gripping a gun would correlate to it being abrasive when you were carrying it. Slide serrations on the rear are great to use and easy to manipulate; what you would expect from Walther’s flagship line-up. The front serrations, however, have the Walther logo engraved on both sides. That engraving definitely affects how easy it is to pull off press checks but not by much.
Moving on to the controls, I hate manual safeties. I wish Walther would offer this gun with a trigger similar to the PPS’ or PPQ’s trigger, but what they offer is what they offer… and what they offer has a manual safety. It’s audible, it’s click-y, and from the engaged position it doesn’t take a lot of effort to flick it off. Whereas I despise it’s existence down to the pit of my stomach… I can work with it.
The slide release isn’t as recessed as it is on the PPS and it’s easy to actuate. Oddly enough, even with it not being as recessed or guarded as the PPS’, I’m experiencing fewer instances where the gun fails to lock back (due to my thumb smacking it).
Moving on to reliability…well. It’s not been perfect. During the first range trip I put about 150 rounds through the CCP M2, 100 being 124gr Geco (equivalent to the Winchester NATO stuff, maybe a little warmer), and 50 being Magtech 115gr. It cycled the Geco perfectly, but it wasn’t cycling the 115gr Magtech all that well.
Normally if it’s within the first 100-200 rounds if there’s any issues I disregard them for the full review if I’m not seeing them at higher round counts with a variety of ammunition. With the CCP only holding 8 rounds in a magazine and the most common 9mm ammunition being 115gr, I decided it would be worthwhile to mention.
Gas delayed blowback pistols aren’t exactly common as you can imagine. The Desert Eagle, FK BRNO, and Laugo Alien are three others that are being currently being produced. The Heckler & Koch P7, however, is the one that shares the most with the Walther CCP. As you can imagine the amount of information existing in general for gas delayed blowback pistols is limited… so I had to turn to my friend Nelson Gunsmithing for some insight on this one and we now have a few hypotheses:
- 115gr 9mm doesn’t offer enough dwell time for the piston system to work properly out of the box
- 115gr 9mm creates a higher peak chamber pressure that negates the slide from moving rearward entirely
- (Very Unlikely due to ejection pattern) Ejector/Extractor being bad in some way (spring, shape, alignment)
- (Very Unlikely) recoil spring is too stiff from the factory.
During the second range session I decided I’d test out my theory on whether or not the piston system needed a break-in period. To test it I put 150 more rounds of Geco 124gr through it and then decided to try shooting 115gr Magtech and 115gr reloads exclusively through it. After that additional 150 rounds of 124gr 9mm the CCP was cycling reloads and Magtech 115gr with ease. Unfortunately the only modern firearm we can compare the CCP to is the Heckler & Koch P7…and if unfired new in box ones exist, they probably cost as much as a nice used car.
I’d rate the reliability of the CCP M2 at a 8/10 right now, which is subject to change. It cycled an assortment of 115gr hollow points fine after the second range trip and 124gr HSTs fine. Once the ammo shortages end I will be very interested in trying some 147gr HSTs through it to see if it’ll function those fine as well. Either way, expect this portion to get updates once that happens.
Side note for the reloaders out there, the CCP does bulge the casings by .005″ near the neck of the case. This was seen with factory new ammunition, as well as reloaded brass casings. Where it’s at shouldn’t affect reloading the cases shot by the gun since it’s above where the sizing die goes, but it’s still something to be aware of; especially since this is the first time I’ve experienced this with a handgun.
Now for how it shoots…well, it feels like nothing else I’ve ever shot before. It has a fixed barrel and a piston system which means the recoil spring doesn’t have to be as strong. When shooting the CCP M2 all I could really feel was the slide moving backwards like someone else was racking it for me really rough. There was muzzle rise that wasn’t dramatic, don’t get me wrong…but it shot a lot softer than I thought it would when accounting for its size.
If you’re a person who has troubles controlling the recoil of guns like the Glock 43, the CCP is without a doubt a good option for you based purely off of my experience so far with this one. It’s recoil impulse isn’t too much different than a full sized 9mm polymer handgun, but it stills feels weird… So weird. But a good weird.
While we’re on the topic of how it shoots, the trigger is…well. It’s not as bad shooting the gun as it is dry firing it. My best analogy for the trigger is this: It’s like you’re walking around in wet socks, then you find dry ground, and you take them off. It has some (but not a lot) really mushy take-up, it stacks evenly, you hit a wall, and then it breaks. The reset is all the way back at the starting line and it doesn’t reset with short stroking the slide like other pistols.
Out on the range though, you don’t really notice a lot of these details, and the reset definitely doesn’t seem as bad. That said, without a doubt it isn’t as nice as the PPS’ trigger or the PPQ’s trigger. Walther, if you ever read this, please consider trying to implement the PPQ trigger into this gun. If you did that and made an optics ready model, it would sell like hot cakes at a fat kid convention.
Unfortunately, aside from tucking it into my waistline without a holster to test the texturing out against my skin, I haven’t really gotten any experience with carrying the CCP M2… which leads to answering the question. “Did TacCat end up buying the CCP M2?”
Before answering that, let me explain. A lot of companies have test & eval programs where reviewers like myself can borrow a gun to review with the possibility to buy it; no money exchanges hands to get it sent. With that little bit of clarity… I did buy the CCP M2. The piston system alone intrigues me a lot and I want to see how it holds up over time, especially with how well it shoots.
But beyond that the CCP M2 has other things going for it that I liked. The 1913 rail can accept the Streamlight TLR-7 and TLR-9 which is something nothing else in this size range does; it’s unique. It’s a very easy gun to manipulate all around and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to shoot it well even at 25 yards; again surprising for the size of the gun. And the cherry on top is the grip texturing; it’s the best factory texture I’ve handled. It’s not uberly aggressive like the CZ P-10c and it’s not, well, non-existent like on a lot of polymer framed pistols.
Beyond the teething issues with reliability with lighter weight 9mm and looking past the few issues with quality, I think the CCP M2 has a lot going for it. It’s definitely the ultimate small pistol for those that have weaker hands, but more so, I think it hits a particular niche market that doesn’t get a lot of attention. That market is the market of people who want one gun for personal defense and home defense.
Whereas a handgun is less than ideal for home defense for obvious reasons, the CCP is small enough for nearly everyone to be able to carry, it’s easy to control, it’s easy to maintain, and it can utilize the Streamlight TLR-7A and TLR-9 which are adequate for home defense purposes. The only thing missing is light bearing holster support for this gun.
All of that said, I’d really, really like to see an optics ready model of this pistol, as well as a finish being applied to the barrel. Those two things would push the Walther CCP M2 into being a major contender in the small conceal carry pistol market.
If you have any questions or concerns about the Walther CCP, be sure to shoot me a message on social media, primarily Facebook (I usually respond within a couple of hours).
And for those that want to see it being taken apart without the tool, here you go: