The Walther CCP: Cutting Edge Single Stack 9mm Ideal for Carry or Home Defense

If you appreciate accuracy, comfortable shooting and smooth operation, the CCP is well worth the money.

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Compact single stack semi-automatic 9mm and .40 caliber pistols are currently all the rage, and with good reason. They are easier to conceal, and much easier for the majority of shooters to literally "wrap their hands around". The latter factor alone is quite significant. It means less readjustment of the shooting grip between shots than you might experience with a larger double stack pistol frame. What single stacks give up in magazine capacity, they make up for in shooting accuracy, especially during rapid fire strings.

There are many new single stack designs to choose from. Truthfully, you can't go wrong with any of them. But if you want something just a bit different, and absolutely tops in the accuracy department, then take a look at the new Walther CCP (Concealed Carry Pistol).

The CCP, which is currently only available in 9mm, looks like a scaled down, single stack version of the Walther PPX or PPQ M2 but is vastly different inside. It uses a gas delayed blowback operating system that Walther calls SOFTCOIL. While nearly all other compact 9mm pistols use some variation of the Browning locked breech, tilting barrel recoil operated system, the SOFTCOIL system combines blowback operation, which is used in the PPK's operating system, with a gas driven piston system, which was last seen in the H&K P7 series or pistols. Walther SOFTCOIL gives the users some of the advantages of both operating systems, as we shall see momentarily.

The CCP is one of the most ergonomic single stack 9's out there. Its polymer frame quite literally melts into the hand when the CCP is picked up. This helps contribute to its shootability and accuracy. The CCP is one of the few compacts that carries a section of Picatinny rail on the frame for mounting lights or laser sights.

The CCP I tested came with a Cerakote black stainless steel slide, although a silver slide model is also available. There are front and rear slide serrations. Sights are three dot, white, and the rear is adjustable for windage. The magazine release and the slide release are both easily accessed and the magazine release is reversible.

The single action trigger pull has a reasonable amount of travel before the striker is released. The actual trigger engagement is very crisp. Again, a great aid to shooting accuracy. Since there is no trigger mounted safety system a frame mounted 1911 style thumb safety that can be engaged with or without cocking the gun is provided. I highly recommend using it since the trigger pull is relatively short and light. Just pretend you are carrying a 1911!

But the SOFTCOIL operating system is what makes the CCP a standout. The SOFTCOIL system, as claimed by Walther, does a couple of things that standard recoil operating systems can't or don't. First, it tends to push the recoil straight back towards the shooter, reducing muzzle climb. This fact I can verify from my testing. Second, Walther claims that the slide is easier to retract than a similar sized pistol with a recoil operated, locked breech operating system. I can't actually feel that much difference between the two types, although the slide moves very smoothly without the hitch of the breech being unlocked as the slide moves. But there is one more feature that puts the CCP at the top of the heap in the accuracy department.

Walther doesn't mention or focus on the fact that that the CCP's barrel, like the PPK's is fixed to the frame. It doesn't move like the tilting barrels of recoil operated guns. No matter how tight recoil operated guns lock up, there is still barrel during the firing cycle, as well as a small amount of play when the breech is closed and locked. The fixed barrel allowed me to place six of six rounds into a standard man-sized silhouette at 100 yards, fired two hand standing. You cannot ask for better accuracy than that. Overall operation of the CCP was very smooth. The 8 round magazines (two come with the CCP) insert easily and drop freely.

The CCP may be a bit higher priced than some competing models, but can be found for $485 or so. If you appreciate accuracy, comfortable shooting and smooth operation, the CCP is well worth the money.