Walther CCP: First Impressions

Walther CCP

The Walther CCP is a compact 9mm pistol that uses a gas delayed blowback system to operate the gun. The system, dubbed SOFTCOIL, offers two main benefits according to Walther: reduced muzzle rise during recoil and light resistance when manually manipulating the slide.

At the Industry Day at the Range event prior to the SHOT Show, I had a chance to shoot the CCP pistol. Additionally, I observed two others shoot the gun. Between us, we were only allowed to put 24 rounds down range. Hardly enough to be qualified as a test, but enough to give you my initial impression of the gun.

Walther CCP

First, the gun was reliable for the short time we had it. When I arrived at the Walther shooting lane, it was mid-morning. Based on the number of people who had been through the area, I suspect the gun had been shot quite a bit prior to my arrival, though I do not have any numbers on shooters or round count. It was obviously dirty, but ran fine for three 8-round magazines.

Second, the gun felt pretty good in the hand. It seemed to fit my small to medium sized hands fine. Trigger reach seemed very good and my entire hand fit onto the grip.

Lastly, recoil may be less than other small 9mm pistols, but the SOFTCOIL system is not a miracle product. Recoil and muzzle flip still existed. The above picture shows the CCP under recoil, and the muzzle flip is obvious.

The CCP is worth taking a look at if you are in the market for a compact 9mm pistol. Like any handgun, it is a balance of features and compromises. Only you can decide if it might make sense for your needs.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


  • Giolli Joker

    H&K P7 with the same system has lower muzzle flip thanks to the much lower bore axis.
    Actually on TTAG they compared the two.
    I definitely prefer the H&K.

    • David Knuth

      The problem with H&K is that their product designs tend to lag, and the price points tend to be well above what most are willing to pay.

      I have an HK45, for example. $1100 gun. The gun shoots well, and I definitely appreciate the ergonomic improvement over the USP, but the bore axis is high, and the way they mold the frame makes the gun sit even higher in the hand and leaves the safety lever hard to reach. Some sanding, filing, and shaping with a plastic molding tool and I fixed the grip height problem at least.

      • Dracon1201

        On paper it is not as good as I like. If I want the high bore axis, I will buy a Springfield, or a Sig for half the price.

      • Giolli Joker

        There are plenty of years between the period when the P7 was conceived and the time that your gun was designed… I wouldn’t use one to judge the other.
        The P7 has very low bore axis and its, afaik, the first pistol to use the system adopted by this Walther, hence my (well, TTAG’s) reference.
        That does not involve a comparison between manufacturers.

        • Tom

          The Steyr GB used a similar system which my gut is telling me was designed earlier – for whats worth I had a quick look on Wiki (yer I know) which shows as 1968 for the Steyr and 1976 for the HK.

          Its an interesting method of operating and has many ‘theoretical’ advantages over the conventional Browning swinging link but no one seems to want to take it seriously.

          • Giolli Joker

            Steyr used the same concept, gas delayed blowback, with a different mechanical setup. .. the CCP employs exactly the same configuration of the P7, only with less advantages.

    • 3XLwolfshirt

      Yeah, but in today’s market you could probably buy 3 brand-new CCPs for the price of a single 20-year-old P7.

      • Giolli Joker

        And I could probably buy several Toyota Corolla for the price of a single Ferrari 360… guess what I’d enjoy more…

        • billyoblivion

          I have a P7. It’s a *wonderful* firearm, and once it’s in the hand and spitting brass it’s great.

          For 9 rounds.

          But the design of the pistol makes it ride high in the holster making appendix carry difficult unless you’re a muscle and fitness magazine model, it’s ONLY got a 8 round magazine, and it’s a almost 40 year old design–meaning no rail for mounting a light etc.

          It’s also poorly supported by holster and gadget makers, and getting parts from HK is hit or miss, with my personal experience being mostly miss.

          Don’t get me wrong, I love it. It’s currently sitting (loaded) about 18 inches from my left hand, and while it’s not the best gun to wake up in the middle of a Belsan level problem with, given the paucity of those, it’s good enough.

          • Giolli Joker

            And now I’m envious. 🙂
            Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the P7.

            (personally I’d actually look for a P7M13, to solve the “only 8 rounds” issue)

          • billyoblivion

            It doesn’t feel as good in the hand (a buddy hand one).

    • RBR

      An updated P7 at a more realistic price point would be an instant hit.

  • Ethan

    You forgot one of the main benefits of the system – a fixed barrel. This would imply that you could use a suppressor without a Neilson booster on this pistol, enabling it to be shorter, lighter, and theoretically cheaper.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Yea, good luck getting that from Walther. Maybe they will import 10 of them in 2016.

      • This is where I’m confused, I’ve never had issues getting Walther weapons, I got a CCP at the end of December locally without pre ordering or anything

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Cool, call them up and ask for a barrel for it. Maybe see how many places for PPQ 5″ models around?

          Occasionally they are fine, but if you want something between the couple of times a year they have it, you’ll wait months for the next shipment from Germany to come it.

          They just aren’t serious about supplying the US market imo.

          • I’m not disagreeing, but maybe I’m just lucky and live in an area where no one likes walther but me so my gun store has never sold the ones they had.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            And I’m not arguing.

            But try and think bigger. If no police, only a handful of competition, and a small cult following of ordinary shooters are using it, it’s long term survival is probably poor.

            Luckily, 10-8 makes some excellent sights, and the guns don’t typically “need” much. In my case, I’ve outgrown the PPQ and since no one has parts to change what I don’t like, I’ve got to go to something else.

          • Dan Atwater

            What was it that you don’t like?

          • JumpIf NotZero

            About the PPQ? The slide release lever is far to large, I’ve seen many shooters lock it up or down accidentally. The gun is a little wonky suppressed, this actually has to do with the lever some. The grip is great but the finger numbs should be toned down a bit. It’s a higher bore axis gun which is fine and not really an issue but the grip could be a tad higher than it was when it was a paddle mag release gun. The trigger while reported to be excellent is imo too light IF you are staging the take up for a difficult or moving shot, it’s a dangerous gun to stage if you are used to doing that, and by this I mean under serious stress / low light / competition, not just at the bench. I have got a few light strikes when the gun is seriously dirty, mainly in the striker channel, probably 1-2k rounds, my glocks have never had this issue. This is all on the M2, I sold my M1s after seeing how poorly the paddle mag works when using the middle finger to release.

            Nothing is a deal breaker, it’s just a little tough say it’s the only handgun you would ever need. Imo it makes a great non-service handgun, but it’s not a replacment for a Glock or M&P, just a compliment.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Walther was by far the biggest disappointment for me at SHOT. When asked about their frequent product availability, where they may import twice a year of certain products, even hot (or what would be hot) products like the PPQ Navy and PPQ 5″, they simply said they didn’t think anything was wrong with that… Also that you don’t need small parts availability because no one needs those parts. Ok Walther.

    My nothing held back impressions of the CCP since I don’t have to be nice to them…

    One of the worst triggers at SHOT. Insanely gritty, long take up, long reset. I have a hard time believing this was the same company that made the P99/PPQ. I felt multiple examples to be sure it wasn’t just one bad one. The only worse triggers were the R51, and the Robach or whatever that almost bullpup handgun is, which would have been fine without double resets.

    I wouldn’t call them grooves, but the finger bumps surely did not work for me. Odd because I have PPQs, had P99, PPS, Glocks and revolvers with grooves and they all fit fine for me. This gun did not. Which brings me to…

    this seems to be overly marketed to women. But not in a good way. The FIRST AND LAST point any of the reps made in person or in videos they were filming was “HOW EASY IT IS TO RACK!”. That seems to have been the chief design aspect. With it they are targeting people who mistakenly beleive they can not rack a 9mm. This is a training issue of course although there may be someone out there with extreme issues.

    in order to be easy to rack the spring pressure is minimal, and this gives the gun a VERY cheap feel. I have racked toy guns that were far more sturdy feeling. The slide feels light and the spring is weak. I’m not at all surprised it recoils as it does. But hey, remeber Ladies; “it’s easy to rack with your small pathetic weak arms!” :/

    imo the CCP is a joke compared to the Shield, G42 (esp when it comes in 9mm) and maybe even the XDS (ewww). This is a gun that won’t even see PPS levels of acceptance. And the PPS only got as much play as it did because of when it came out. I sold my P99c for a PPS, the PPS for a Shield and never looked back.

    First day of SHOT they had maybe 16 of these on the wall, and no PPQs. Second day I passed by they had a couple PPQs put up but still a ton off CCP and all the marketing was for CCPs, again primary point being easy to rack.

    S&W was a joke this year, Glock was as usual not giving people what they want. But Walther was most disappointing. SIG on the other hand, killed it, I’d probably take the small threaded SIGs (938?) over the CCP after feeling both within minutes.

    Fwiw, Walther USA or Germany seems to have no commitment to the PPQ other than making it a cult classic. It’s a very good fun but still needs some work. Probably selling one of mine (if not both) and trying the P320 or a customized glock instead. Something the company making them is more committed to.

    • James

      I get the impression time and time again that Walther is both very small and very conservatively managed. They have their way of doing things and they stick with it. It seems like they have never really been all that committed to marketing their products, which is sad, because they have come out with some really great stuff over the years (barring the P99QA and it’s 11 lb trigger and the Uramex pot metal P22, of course). I view them as more of a boutique manufacturer akin to a custom 1911 shop than an actual serious player in the US gun market.

      • Dracon1201

        Yeah, their tactics have certainly shown me. Such a pity. They have a lot of potential.

        • Gadfly

          I co-hosted a gun talk radio program for several years. At the NRA convention in Houston a couple of years ago, my co-host and I attempted to interview the director of marketing for Walther. He wanted to see documentation of our ratings, and demographics for our station. We told him the ratings were 10k to 15k listeners per week.

          He said we were not big enough to be worth doing an interview with. He actually politely said it would not be worth their time to schedule an interview. So 10,000 firearms enthusiast were not good enough to talk to? Screw Walther.

          I should point out we interviewed the VP of Magpul, the marketing directors of SIG and Glock, AAC’s Mike Mers, S&Ws factory rep, and many, many more were all willing to sit down and do 5 to 15 min interviews to talk about their product. That is why they are in business. The Walther rep was quite dismissive of AM radio, even though the demographic that buys guns listens to a lot of AM talk radio!

          • Riot

            Maybe he didn’t understand that it was a gun only talk programme?

          • Gadfly

            He understood we were gun talk only, and still did not care. And he was not busy with other interviews. As we walked around during the day, the guy was just standing around the booth.

          • Riot

            Then hes thick

          • Dan

            walther is thick. he’s just following official corporate policy.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        You’re correct, they aren’t and do not seem to WANT to be a serious player in the US market.

        Unfortunately, I would consider myself a serious shooter, so it makes justifying the Walthers I have tougher to do. I like the PPQ a LOT, but it’s not nearly as solid as it could be. I’ll keep one for now, but my spare is getting sold asap.

    • RealitiCzech

      Bullpup handgun? More information please.

      • Annika R

        I have to imagine jumplf was talking about the Boberg pistol- it strips rounds backwards out of the magazine in order to feed them into the barrel which hangs way back over the magazine, making standard vertical feeding impossible.

        • RealitiCzech

          Thanks! I was thinking (even hoping) a new take on the Bushmaster Armpistol had surfaced.

    • Justin Tenzler

      Do you have your own blog somewhere that I don’t know about? I’d like to read your thoughts an opinions on other firearms.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Heh, no, maybe I should tho 😉 I have a job that keeps me plenty busy.

        On gun stuff, I did some work in the industry and would like to think my background in design and engineering lets me cut through the crap faster than most.

        Ask me anything you like tho, my name here @gmail

  • tony

    Like the HK p7, the uniqueness of having gas delayed blowback, it is worth buying.

    • Burst

      I’d love an updated P7, but this ain’t it.

      Lack of a grip safety, or any external safety at all. Let alone one that doubles as a slide release. Despite Walther sometimes using USP-style mag release, this gun DOESN’T.

      But hey, they added forward serrations and two-tone finish. 21st century, woo.

  • Those prices are stupid high, i got mine for 390

    • Ethan

      Agreed, though they’re not Keltec RFB high (180% of MSRP).

  • gunsandrockets

    Several questions jump out to me because this pistol is gas-delayed blowback.

    1)A light recoil spring? Well if they say so. But I thought delayed blowback pistols tended to have heavier recoil springs than recoil operated pistols. So how did Walter manage that?

    which brings me to

    2)What about the heating? From my experience and what I have read of p7, gas-delayed blowbacks tend to dump a lot of heat into the frame area. Did any shooter notice an uncomfortable heat build up in the Walter?

    and finally

    3)What about frame warping? Even recoil operated pistols with polymer frames have very generous clearances to account for the frame expanding under heat, a phenomenon that would be even worse for a gas-delayed blowback. The p7 didn’t have this issue since it had a metal frame, but I had a gas-delayed blowback polymer pistol that would inevitably lock-up from frame expansion because it had a close frame to slide fit. How generous is the clearance with the Walter? It is impossible to tell from the provided photo.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      1. It has an exceptionally light spring. See my post in the comments.
      2. They claim it has a heat shield and doesn’t get hot.
      3. I honestly don’t think anyone that buys this is going to shoot enough to have to worry about potential warping issues. This is a purse gun for a first time gun owner that blindly listens to the person behind the counter.

      In that last regard, I suppose there are worse guns. But the insane length and grit of the trigger should turn anyone away instantly. Richard unknowingly, or at best politically stated this in the article with “It was obviously dirty”… Maybe, but I think that’s just how terrible the trigger is.

      • gunsandrockets

        Look at any polymer pistol from the side, and you can look right through the gap between the frame and the slide to the other side of the pistol. And that’s not because of firing magazine after magazine, as I discovered the hard way.

        I had a cool little 10 shot compact 9mm polymer frame gas-delayed blowback pistol. After firing the first ten rounds fairly quickly, I discovered the slide had locked up and wouldn’t close. Huh?

        Close inspection revealed the slide binding against the frame. I deduced this was from the frame warping under the heat from the gas-delayed blowback. Sure enough the slide freed up as the pistol cooled down, more than 30 minutes later.

        The second time I fired the pistol, I fired fairly slowly and more deliberately. The slide once again locked up after the 5th shot and failed to extract. Again the culprit was the slide binding with the frame.

        It was then I realized why my Glock had that glaring gap between the frame and slide, very unlike the jamamatic I had the misfortune to be holding.

  • Wingbert

    All of Walters offerings after the PPQ was a huge disappointment. I’ll stick with my Shield

  • ColaBox

    This is somewhat aggravating. I love the P22 and have been searching for a nice 9mm for a long time. Screw it I said, ill buy a .45. Well three months later we have this. Dammit Walther.

  • Ton

    I think it’s strange that Americans always refer to the 9×19 mm, 9 mm Para or 9 mm Luger (all the same caliber) as just “9 mm”. You can see this in the websites of almost every American manufacturer and in many publications. That sounds strange to us, Europeans, because we know there are very many “9 mm” calibers around in Europe. For instance the 9 mm Short (or 9×17 mm) which is called the .380 ACP in North America. But we also have the 9 mm Makarov, 9 mm Ultra (sometimes called 9 mm Police).
    I know the Walther CCP is made in 9×19 mm. It would be evenly strange to refer to all 308/30-06/etc as just “.30 “.
    But if you are all happy this way: just keep it up.

  • Aaron E

    Being the shooter in the photograph, I’ll have to admit that I was a little surprised at the snappy recoil, especially considering the Walther advertising. I chalked it up to being a compact pistol rather than full-size, but still … its only 9mm!

    I have limited experience shooting Walther pistols, but I loved shooting the PPQ. The grip of the CCP and PPQ may be similar, but the action during firing is night and day. Though I could just get all of my medium-sized shooting hand on the CCP grip, the recoil reminded me of shooting a sub-compact Glock, where my pinky is off the grip, and my ring finger is holding on for dear life.

  • Dan Atwater

    S&W never owned Walther.