July 06, 2020
By Jake Edmondson
Walther has a long history. Heck, the company has been churning out firearms since about 1886. Beginning in the early 1900s, the company began specializing in self-defense handguns. The small, compact PPK and the big P38 are just two examples of Walther pistols that have achieved iconic status. The company has gone through several changes in terms of distributors in the United States, but in 1994 Umarex Sportwaffen purchased Walther, and in 2012 it opened a distribution center in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Since then, Walther Arms has introduced a bunch of innovative, modern, and ergonomic pistols. Many have garnered a lot of praise within the gun industry. The newest offering from this great company is the CCP M2 chambered in .380 ACP. Shooting Times received one of the first .380 CCP M2s to roll off the production line.
Every serious gun enthusiast knows that John M. Browning was a genius at designing guns, but some may not realize that he also created a number of cartridges for rifles and pistols. One was the .380 ACP, a.k.a. 9mm Browning Short and 9mm Kurz. The chambering first appeared in 1908 in the Browning-designed Colt Model 1908 Pocket (a.k.a. Model M) semiautomatic pistol. It also popped up in Europe in 1912 in the FN Model 1910. The round pushes 80-, 90-, and 100-grain bullets at a muzzle velocity approaching 1,000 fps and generates muzzle energies of from 190 ft-lbs to 225 ft-lbs. It’s considered to be at the bottom of acceptable power for defensive applications, which is the intended purpose of most of the compact pistols chambered for it.
It is also offered in small-frame revolvers, such as those from Taurus, and I know of at least one carbine (the Hi-Point) that is also chambered for it. In addition to serving for personal protection, it can be effective for pest control and small-game hunting when loaded with an appropriate bullet. All major handgun makers offer .380 ACP pistols, and their wide popularity is no mystery. They are generally easy to conceal.
Of course, Walther has been chambering the .380 ACP in pistols since 1929 with the company’s classic PP and PPK, but the new CCP M2 is nothing like those pistols. The CCP M2 is a striker-fired, delayed-blowback design with a fixed barrel and a polymer frame. The company’s marketing slogan for the new CCP M2 is "Maximum efficiency. Minimal effort." By the way, CCP stands for Concealed Carry Pistol.
The new .380 CCP M2’s barrel length is 3.54 inches, and as I said, it’s fixed. That means it is stationary during cycling unlike a typical tilting-barrel mechanism, such as the classic Model 1911. The barrel is made of stainless steel, and the muzzle is not threaded but is precision crowned. The serial number is stamped on the barrel's chamber and is visible through the ejection port.
The CCP M2 utilizes a striker-firing mechanism and incorporates a manual thumb safety as well as a firing pin block drop safety that is deactivated when the trigger is squeezed. The pistol also has a magazine disconnect safety, meaning it will not fire unless the magazine is fully seated.
Speaking of magazines, the pistol comes with two. They are steel and are made in Germany. Each holds eight rounds. They have removable polymer basepads, uniquely shaped witness holes on one side, and flat metal followers. The magazine release is traditionally located where the trigger guard meets the grip, and it is reversible.
The CCP M2 does not have a safety-lever-type trigger. The trigger is solid but lightweight with a grooved finger piece. The trigger pull on my sample pistol was very consistent. Over a series of five measurements with an RCBS trigger pull scale, there were only 8 ounces of variation between pulls. The pull felt like the typical striker-fired trigger pull (it has the usual spongy feel), and it averaged 6 pounds, 2 ounces. Trigger travel is 0.27 inch, according to Walther.
The pistol has a loaded-chamber indicator in the form of a slot at the rear of the top of the ejection port and a cocking indicator in the form of a red dot on the end of the striker that protrudes out of the rear of the slide and is easily visible when the gun is cocked. And as I stated earlier, the pistol has a manual thumb safety. It’s positioned in the typical location on the left side of the frame. Up is the “safe” position; down is the "fire" position.
The steel slide has cocking grooves at the rear and up front. The slide has a sort of triangular profile, being narrower at the top. The top is flat and smooth.
The low-profile polymer sights consist of a two-dot, adjustable rear and a single-dot post front. The dots are white, and the front sight is not dovetailed into the slide. Sight radius is 5.43 inches.
The polymer frame is ergonomically contoured with shallow finger grooves and palmswells, and the grip area is textured. The grip circumference straight across from just below the trigger guard is 5.25 inches. The trigger guard is large, with a square, grooved front. The frame has an integral mil-std 1913 Picatinny accessory rail with three cross-slots.
The pistol is 6.41 inches long, 1.18 inches thick, and 5.12 inches tall. Unloaded, it weighs 19.4 ounces.
Because Walther makes a point of the CCP M2’s ease of disassembly, I’ll walk you through the steps. It takes longer to write about it than it does to actually take it apart, and no tools are required.
Make sure the gun is completely unloaded, point the muzzle in a safe direction, and squeeze the trigger to decock the striker. Push the locking block located on the rear of the slide surrounding the striker/cocking indicator into the slide and slide the locking block retainer located below the locking block to the right. Note: The locking block cannot be pushed into the slide if the striker is cocked.
Allow the locking block to slip out of the slide and then glide the spring cover up the ramp of the locking block and out of the slide. Retract the slide and as soon as the external extractor is free of the extractor notch, pull up the rear of the slide and move it forward.
With slide off the frame and turned upside down, push the firing pin safety into the slide and remove the striker assembly. Remove the recoil spring.
I fired the new CCP M2 with eight .380 ACP factory loads ranging in bullet weight from 80 to 100 grains. The pistol functioned perfectly with all loads. Overall average accuracy for three, five-shot groups with each load (a total of 24 five-shot groups) at 25 yards was 2.17 inches. The tightest single 25-yard five-shot group I produced measured 0.68 inch, and it came with the Federal 99-grain HST ammunition.
Unlike with other small .380 ACP pistols I’ve fired before, none of the loads were snappy in terms of felt recoil. All were very comfortable to shoot. In this 19.4-ounce pistol, the .380 ACP generates 4 ft-lbs to 5 ft-lbs of recoil, which is approximately 50 percent of the 9mm Luger’s recoil in a similar-weight pistol. Of course, the 9mm is quite a bit more powerful than the .380. This CCP M2 is the first Walther polymer-frame pistol to use what the company calls "SoftCoil" technology, and it is noticeably softer shooting than other .380 pistols. Walther says the SoftCoil system also helps make racking the slide easier. I have no way to measure the force required to rack the slide, but I can say it did not seem difficult to rack in the least.
Obviously, Walther's new CCP M2 has many fine features, and it performed admirably in my shooting session. It is ergonomic. It is easy to disassemble for regular cleaning and periodic maintenance. And it is quite accurate. If you aren’t convinced that .380 ACP is the self-defense cartridge for you, don’t fret. Walther has also announced the CCP M2 will be chambered for 9mm Luger. But I like the .380 version just fine. My pistol is extremely accurate, very comfortable to shoot, and feels great in my hand. And as my friend and handgun expert the late Frank James told me many times, even a face full of .32 ACP roundnose bullets will make an up-close attacker reconsider his attempted assault. (Frank had a much more colorful way of saying that!) In my opinion, the .380 CCP M2 would be an even better persuader.
Walther CCP M2
- Type: Striker-fired autoloader
- Caliber .380 ACP
- Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds
- Barrel: 3.54 in.
- Overall Length: 6.41 in.
- Width: 1.18 in.
- Height: 5.12 in.
- Weight, Empty: 19.4 oz.
- Grips: Integral to polymer frame
- Finish: Matte black
- Sights: Adjustable white-dot rear, white-dot post front
- Trigger: 6.13-lb. pull (as tested)
- Safety: Manual thumb safety, firing pin block, magazine disconnect
- MSRP: $469
- Manufacturer: Walther Arms, waltherarms.com