Thursday, February 05, 2015
The much awaited 9mm Walther CCP has finally arrived on dealer's shelves and I couldn't wait to get my hands on one. I'll cut right to the chase and tell you that the pistol is accurate and completely reliable however, there are a few irritations with the design and I'll address those in short order.
First of all let's start with the operating platform of the pistol. It is a gas delayed blowback pistol with a fixed barrel. The slide rides on top of the frame without any rails on either the slide or frame. Fixed barreled blowback pistols generate a lot of recoil, which is why you don't normally see them chambered for anything hotter than the .380 ACP or the 9X18 Makarov. The most popular way to make a fixed barrel blowback work with the 9X19 Luger cartridge is to employ a gas delay system by putting a small port in the bottom of the barrel that bleeds some of the gasses into a frame mounted under barrel cylinder. As the gasses fill the cylinder they slow a slide mounted piston as it enters the cylinder thereby dissipating the recoil. This is the same operation used by the excellent HK P7 and the short-lived Wilson Combat Advanced Defense Pistol (ADP). Walther calls this operation their "Softcoil" system and yes, it does dampen the recoil but let me put that in perspective so that the proper expectation is set. It lessens the recoil compared to similar sized pistols. It does not have less recoil than a larger, heavier pistol such as the Beretta 92. The end result is that because of the gas delayed blowback system the CCP does not need a complicated recoil spring system and because of the fixed barrel design the CCP does not need a guide rod either. This allows for one large recoil spring to be used which rides around the barrel. This makes the slide very easy to rack. Those with hand injuries, arthritis or other ailments will probably find this slide action much to their liking.
As to other specifications: the CCP is 6.41 inches in length with a 3.54 inch barrel. It is 5.12 inches high, with a width of 1.18 inches and a weight of 23.5 ounces. There is a safety mounted on the left side of the frame. You push the safety up to engage it and down for disengagement. There is also an accessory rail beneath the forward frame should you wish to mount a light or laser and the sights are of the three dot variety.
The rear low-profile sight is adjustable for windage and the pistol comes with two additional front sights. One is shorter in case the pistol shoots low for you and the other one is taller so that you can make an adjustment if the pistol is shooting too high.
One of the true design highlights are the pistol's ergonomics.
The underside of the trigger guard is generously undercut to allow you to get your entire hand on the grip with the highest hold possible. The shape and texture of the grip is near perfect for helping you attain a firm grasp that keeps the pistol from shifting in your hand during recoil. It does this without employing an aggressive waffle pattern that is seen on the grips of some of the other sub-compact handguns on today's market. All of the controls: magazine release, slide release and safety are in easy reach of your right thumb.
When Walther first announced this pistol about a year ago many shooters, myself included, thought that this would be a smaller, single stack version of Walther PPQ M2. While that is certainly what the appearance of the CCP conjures up there are vast differences. The PPQ is not a piston driven gas delayed blowback operated pistol, there are slide and frame rails, and the PPQ does not have a safety. There is also one additional profound difference: the CCP does not share the same light, smooth trigger pull and quick reset of the PPQ. The trigger pull on the CCP has a weight of 5.5 pounds which is fine for a self defense pistol but it comes out of the box with a long, gritty pull and the trigger must but let out to its original position in order for it to reset. There is some good news however; after firing a little over 200 rounds through the pistol the trigger pull has smoothed out considerable. This will probably continue to get smoother but it will likely not improve the lack of any type of an enhanced reset.
Disassembling and reassembling the pistol is also slightly disconcerting at first. To field strip the pistol you must first remove the magazine and triple check to make sure there no live round lingering in the chamber. At this point you need to locate the supplied take-down tool.
1. You then push the this tool in toward the metal tab at the top of the circle on the rear of the slide.
2. When the tab is depressed you push the entire tool into the rear of the frame as far as it will go.
3. Keeping the tool depressed in the slide you then retract the slide about a quarter inch, pull the rear of the slide up until it clears the fixed barrel and then push the slide off of the barrel.
4. Pull the recoil spring off the front of the barrel and you are ready to clean the pistol.
Here is the pistol disassembled for cleaning:
Reassembly is completed by merely reversing this process except you must align the piston, mounted inside the front of the frame, with the gas cylinder under the barrel.
The assembly/disassembly process takes a little time to master but once you have the knack you can do it pretty quickly.
The pistol is also accurate as shown by the targets below:
The first four targets were all shot with American Eagle 115 grain FMJ ammo at the distances noted on the targets. The last three targets were shot at 21 feet with the defensive ammo noted on the image.
Upon my first encounter with the CCP the trigger pull and disassembly/reassembly process gathered worried me. I am glad to say that I am now an expert with the disassembly and reassembly process and the trigger pull has smoothed out nicely. Add to that the excellent ergonomics and great accuracy and I give this pistol a thumbs up.
Posted by Average Joe's Handgun Reviews at 12:24 PM