“I think they sent the wrong gun.” Those were my first thoughts when I opened the case containing the Walther CCP. But for the large embossed letters CCP on the side of the slide, everything about this gun screams P22.
Look, I understand the economic and production advantages that come with taking one design and than simply creating variations on said design throughout the rest of the product lineup. All of the major gun manufacturers to some degree engage in this type of manufacturing alchemy, and who could blame them? Sometimes I just wish that gun manufacturers would design each gun in their lineup from the ground up as an original design so each gun would feel unique and not like a repackaged version of its old self. However, I’m sure the Porsche enthusiasts out there have no problem with redundant design. I digress.
Walther seems to believe that the CCP (Concealed Carry Pistol) is the ultimate carry gun. Those are big words considering the concealed carry pistol powerhouses that are currently in this class. You have the likes of the M&P Shield, Springfield XDM-S, Khar PM9 and SIG Sauer P938 all living in the same space as single stack 9mm with a 7-round capacity. Yet, Walther is certain the CCP is the ultimate concealed carry pistol.
Usually, this is the part in my initial impressions where I go into flowery prose about how the gun looks like light shining down on a white rose growing through a crack on a concrete street. Instead, I want to go straight to the grips. Yes, the grips, because my goodness are they good. The HK P30 is touted as having the best grip of just about any handgun, and on many occasions I have echoed this sentiment, but the grip on the CCP is simply sublime. It’s admittedly a bit on the small side, but the texture, the angle and finger groove (there’s just one finger groove) all feel amazing.
Whether you believe Walther is copying Heckler & Koch or HK is copying Walther, that doesn’t matter here. Because a bat can see that the CCP, PPQ, HK P30 and HK VP9 all look like they have different mothers but the same daddy. I don’t know what kind of design inbreeding Heckler & Koch and Walther have going on, but it’s kind of funny how alike they all look. That being said, if you think the P22 looks good, than you feel the same about the CCP. I’m a sucker for proportion, whether we’re talking cars, guns or women, and the CCP is well proportioned. It’s like you can draw a perfect square around the gun without that square looking more like a rectangle.
The safety on the CCP is very minimalist in design without being a jackass in function like the one on the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield. It is very easy to engage and disengage. I noticed that Walther opted for the traditional magazine release over the HK-style paddle release. Nonetheless, the release works really well, and is very positive and easy to engage. The sights on the CCP are better than the stock sights on Glocks, but trust me, that’s not saying much.
The way the CCP operates is what sets it apart from other guns in its class. Whether that’s a positive or negative is yet to be seen. They call it their SOFTCOIL technology, which is supposed to noticeably reduce recoil. In short, it’s a gas-delayed blowback system. Essentially, they siphon some of the gas from the round being fired to act as a temporary counter force against the slide recoiling back.
Oddly enough, the trigger is double-action only. At least I think it is, because there is no reset. It’s like the HK LEM trigger without the E and the M. The trigger pull is not heavy at all; about five pounds, but I don’t really know what the motivation behind making it double-action only was. The trigger is a little gritty, but I think it may smooth out after some breaking in.
So far, the CCP has done a lot to intrigue me. I really want to know how the SOFTCOIL technology will behave; I wonder how the trigger feels during live fire, and whether the safety is as intuitive as it seems. Again, the grips are almost worth the price of admission, especially considering the $460-$489 price point. I secretly want this gun to wow me, because there is something about it that I like. Walthers have always had this character about them, so I hope the CCP lives up to the character.