The Walther CCP, an unconventional single-stack 9mm pistol for concealed-carry, is now available in stores everywhere. Announced last year, the CCP was a bright star at the Walther booth at the 2015 SHOT Show, the world’s largest firearms expo.
What sets the CCP apart from the scores of other single-stack nines on the market is the unusual action — the CCP is gas-delayed blowback-operated, meaning that the gun uses gas pressure from each shot fired to slow down the recoil.
After a shot is fired, a small amount of gas is let into a chamber underneath the barrel. As long as the chamber is under pressure, the gas piston acts as a brake on the slide. Once the bullet leaves the barrel, the system depressurizes and the slide cycles normally, loading the next round.
Because each shot’s own gasses are what slow down the recoil impulse, the result is a balanced system — high pressure loads have high pressure braking, and low pressure loads have low pressure braking — and the energy from each shot isn’t absorbed by the recoil spring.
This makes shooting the CCP very easy. For a small gun it doesn’t have a lot of recoil, and because the recoil spring doesn’t have to be very heavy, it’s even easier to rack the slide.
In other words, this is a small gun for people who can’t or simply don’t like shooting small guns. With the CCP shooters don’t have to step down from 9mm and have a gun that’s easy to rack and soft shooting.
Racking the CCP’s slide is downright effortless, and that combined with the light recoil, is its main appeal.
It’s not just the gas piston system that keeps the felt recoil down, it’s also the grip shape and texture. The CCP draws on the modern ergonomics of Walther’s flagship pistol, the PPQ. The grip has subtle fingergrooves and a slight palmswell that fills the hand neatly; it’s a very organic shape.
On top of that the grip texture ensures that every part of your hand that’s on the grip is going to have solid traction, which spreads the recoil across your entire hand, not just straight back into the web of your thumb.
And one last advantage of the recoil system is that it means the CCP has a fixed barrel. This inherently makes the CCP mechanically accurate, which is a nice bonus for this self-defense pistol.
There are some trade-off with the design people need to be aware of. The barrel assembly and gas chamber take up a lot of space internally, and for that reason the gun doesn’t use a passive trigger safety. Instead, the CCP has a manual thumb safety.
Most modern schools of thought dictate that concealed-carry pistols should only have passive safeties and that’s not possible with the CCP design. It should be mentioned that the gun has a long double action only-style trigger, so with a molded holster, it is possible to carry it with the manual safety disengaged.
The CCP also has a somewhat complicated field stripping procedure that requires the use of tools, a flat-head screwdriver or included take-down tool. Those are the drawbacks of the unconventional design.
For people who have trouble racking slides or are recoil-sensitive, though, those are non-issues. The CCP handles and shoots like a full-size handgun, but it conceals like any other 8+1 single-stack 9mm pistol.
The CCP can be found for under $500, making it competitive in the field of single-stack nines. For more details and specifications visit the CCP product page.