Walther's CCP M2

A Retro Tech .380 ACP

If your dream concealed carry pistol is a slim, medium-compact, accurate, 8+1 shot .380 ACP autoloader, with an exceptionally easy-to-work slide, and considerably less recoil and muzzle flip than other guns of like caliber … Walther’s .380 CCP (Concealed Carry Pistol) is your waking reality.

There are smaller guns in this caliber that are easier to hide, and a few bigger ones like the Beretta 84, but none of them are as soft-shooting, with a slide this easy to rack, or quite so quick handling in rapid-fire as the CCP.

Note the tight barrel-to-slide fit. The lockup system prevents undue wear and
tear on the slide opening even without a bushing.

There are no traditional rails securing the slide to the frame on the CCP. Instead the
piston system up front and lollipop locking block in the rear secure the side.

Recoil Science

Walther did it by combining their legendary ergonomics with a gas-piston-retarded-blowback operation system that was first, and only, widely utilized by Heckler & Koch in their P-7 type “squeeze-cocker” pistols. In this delayed-blowback system, the resistance of the recoil spring and slide mass keeps the action closed while the bullet is traveling through the barrel, like a standard pistol. The recoil process is supplemented by a gas-charged brake in the form of a frame-mounted cylinder below the barrel, capped by a slide-mounted piston.

Gas from the fired cartridge, vented from the barrel through a small hole just in front of the chamber, fills the cylinder below and bears against the face of the piston, holding the slide closed. The moment the bullet leaves the barrel, the pressure against the piston face is relieved, eliminating the braking effect, and allowing the slide to move rearward against spring pressure as a simple blowback. Walther calls their version of this system SoftCoil, and its benefits are a lighter recoil spring and easier to rack slide. The company claims a 30 percent recoil reduction.

Note the lollipop locking block and cocking indicator.

Safety First

Safety features include a red cocking indicator protruding from the rear of the slide, a firing-pin blocking drop-safety preventing the release of the striker unless the trigger is pulled, a magazine safety disconnecting the trigger from the sear unless the magazine is fully inserted, a tiny loaded-chamber inspection window on top of the slide and a manual safety on the left rear of the frame. I found the manual safety perfectly placed and weighted for easy thumb manipulation on the draw with no need to alter my grip. It’s swept down to disengage in the usual American fashion.

Frank found the CCP field strips easily and without tools.

The CCP ships with three front sights allowing you to customize
point of impact for your preferred ammo.

Clever Engineering

The CCP is essentially a right handers’ gun since both slide release and manual safety are on the left side of the frame but the magazine release button can be flipped around for lefties. Southpaws need not sink into abject depression. The gun will shoot as well for them as it will for a righty, and they can disengage the slide-stop by pulling the slide back slightly and releasing it.

The CCP’s polymer three-dot sights aren’t designed to be snag free, but they are full size. The rear is adjustable for windage with a screwdriver. Elevation changes require selecting the best of three included front sights of differing heights and installing them with the included tiny Torx bit key.

The CCP is a high-quality pistol, entirely German made, with a polymer frame, aluminum slide, steel barrel and piston and steel inserts in both slide and frame to hold it all together. This doesn’t seem like a pistol you’re going to wear out easily. It has a steel insert in the rear of the slide comprising the bolt face, extractor and striker assembly housing and also engages a sliding, lollipop-shaped locking block, the latter mounted in a steel insert pinned into the rear of the polymer frame containing the sear, striker reset button, safety and ejector.

Instead of conventional, rectangular, frame-mounted slide rails, the CCP keeps slide and frame in alignment with a trio of cylindrical contact points, with two of the three (piston and “lollipop” locking block) having steel-to-steel contact. The barrel and piston hold the slide to the frame in the front. At the back of the frame, the lollipop-shaped, sliding locking block secures the rear of the slide to the frame. After a few hundred rounds there was minimal slide wear inside the barrel hole suggesting to me the SoftCoil piston was sharing the work of keeping the front of the slide correctly oriented, at least vertically, around the barrel. Since the slide has no barrel bushing, wear at this point was initially a concern for me.

The CCP comes with two stainless-steel 8-shot magazines with eight bullet-shaped view slots stamped through one side taking the guess work out of determining how much ammo you have left. At 6.4" long and 5.1" tall, this pistol is bigger than many of its .380 ACP peers, but the grip is only 1.19" at its thickest swell. Fully loaded, with one extra in the chamber, it weighs 1.5 lbs.

Take down on this model is simple and requires no tools. That’s good because you’ll want to keep the gas piston gizmo clean. I’d expect a lot of shooting with lead bullets would start to deposit fouling inside it. It certainly collects carbon. Fortunately, Walther gives you a nice brass brush with the gun to get you started on the road to good firearm maintenance. I shot a few hundred rounds through my test gun with no problems or failures of any kind without cleaning, but why ask for trouble?

Frank appreciated the excellent ergonomics including palm swells and
elegant cocking serrations, front and back.

Did The CCP Perform?

Bench rested at seven yards, I shot strings of five-shot groups and discovered the striker-fired, 3.54″ barrel CCP was nearly as accurate as my SA PPK and Beretta 84. Fixed barrel guns like these generally have an accuracy edge over camming barrel guns and the CCP’s polygonal rifling is said to produce better accuracy through a snugger fit between bullet and bore with less deformation and more consistent velocities. How much any of this may, or may not, have affected how well this gun actually shot is beyond my ken to know.

The fact was the CCP’s great accuracy surprised me. During the course of my bench testing where I obsess over wringing every bit of accuracy from my test guns by careful and consistent bracing, breathing and squeezing to the point where shooting is no fun, I concluded the CCP had one of the creepiest, stop-and-go, halting trigger pulls I’ve ever encountered, I was sure I’d shot terribly until I examined my target. Winchester’s 95-gr. Train & Defend “D” JHP averaged 1″ groups. Browning’s BPT 95-gr. loads averaged 1.3″. HSM’s 100-gr. cast, RNFP averaged 1.45″. The CCP shot the solid copper, self-defense, Black Hills Ammunition HoneyBadger 60-gr. and Fort Scott Munitions 95-gr. TUI bullet better than my PPK or Beretta, with average groups of 1.59″ and an amazing 0.78″ respectively. I wonder if it’s the curving lands and grooves of the polygonal rifling?

Striker fired pistols aren’t known for smooth, crisp, breaking trigger pulls. Though the CCP’s trigger exceeds mere squishiness, perhaps the relative lightness of the pull at 5.5 lbs. compensates for it. In slow, aimed fire, it didn’t seem detrimental to accuracy in the way I’d expected. In rapid fire, standing, two-hand hold shooting, the trigger creep so appalling during my 200 rounds of bench rest testing was completely unnoticeable and my groups averaged just over 1.5″. By this time, I was accustomed to the CCP’s trigger and was shooting it to the best of my ability.

I also tried shooting it in panic mode, pointing without trying to use the sights, and firing a four-round string as fast as I could safely manage against an old T-shirt “assailant” seven yards away. The result was 3-4 chest hits on average. Compared against my PPK, SCCY, Keltec and Beretta, only the Beretta grouped its shots as closely as the CCP. I’ll bet this had a lot to do with the CCP’s grip fit and low recoil resulting from the SoftCoil delayed blowback system. The CCP had, hands down, the best grip. It’s ergonomic, aggressively stippled, has three distinct palm swells, a pinky rest magazine floor plate and front grip strap with diminishing finger grooves working together to provide me with a sure and consistent shooting grasp on the gun.

The SoftCoil piston system dampens recoil and allows use of a lighter,
and easier to rack, recoil spring (not shown).

If you’re going to make cutouts in the magazine, they might as well be cartridge-shaped.


The CCP is available in basic black, black frame and silver slide, and “Angel” blue frame and silver slide. MSRP is $467 but lowest online-retail, which, by the way, never includes shipping and transfer fees, was around $390. If I were going to conceal-carry a .380 ACP, this one would be a top contender.

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