Friday, February 3, 2017

Walther Creed 9mm Pistol Review

Walther Creed 9mm Pistol Review

The new face of Walther has become far more that just a legacy of James Bond’s Walther PPK but a company offering real innovation. The company has lept into cutting edge designs which some gun buyers get right away like the fabulous little PPS M1 and M2. Other deisgns are a bit tougher to understand for the seasoned shooter... that is until they handle them.  The PPX was one of those guns which could not be fully appreciated until it was handled, gripped, shoot and then really drive the living crap out of it. The PPX was probably the best values on the market, but most shooters felt the blocky looking PPX was not a particularly pretty gun and visually it looked huge. The PPX worked awesome and felt great and was street priced under $400 but it needed a facelift to keep pace with shooter expectations. Walther heard the feedback and retooled the PPX into the Creed which is essentially a resurfaced and less expensive PPX with the pleasing look and feel of a PPQ. With a very well done remodel of the PPX into the new Creed, the Creed is likely to be a very hot selling gun for 2017 considering the PPX magazines are 100% compatible with the new Walther Creed.

When I interviewed the Walther team at the 2013 SHOT (Shooting Hunting & Outdoor Trade) show about why a sub $400 Walther was created and now competing amidst their own line of premium $600-$800 Walther firearms. The response was the same as this year regarding the Creed, Kevin Wilkerson Walther Marketing - “The PPX and Creed models were developed so we could provide a full length, full sized and fully featured Walther at a value price.  We really didn’t have a feature rich gun at a value price. The PPX did well in the market as will the Creed. We didn’t sacrifice quality in making the PPX or Creed just some of the features that add a lot of cost. With so many new shooters coming into the sport, we wanted those folks who were just learning to shoot to be able to have a quality firearm with a lot of features at a price they could live with.” After testing, it is now my perspective that this might be the best value in a home defense/full-sized handgun a first time buyer could reach for if price is a primary consideration. The Creed delivers top quality customer expect from Walther.

Like the PPX, the Creed has a few features which well seasoned shooters will appreciate but are useful for the newer or less practiced shooter. New shooters have a very hard time developing proper trigger control and pull. The Walther pre-cocked double action trigger helps easily develop and train good trigger habits with a clearly defined but very soft initial trigger pull take-up followed by a crisp second stage break. This trains new shooters to start thinking about proper trigger staging instead of trigger slapping. Many firearms have dubious feeling stacking trigger stages which can be tough for even great shooters to control. The trigger delivers confidence to a new shooter.

The overall design feels extremely comfortable in the hand, and the updated Creed design makes me think that I actually have a high end PPQ in my hands. I am a firm believer that a defensive firearm should not have any external safeties as I have seen shooters forget to disengage them or accidentally engage them during high stress drills.  The Creed design did it right and integrated the three safeties into the trigger actuated firing control. If you want a safe gun, leave the chamber empty and draw, charge, and fire, per the Israeli Mossad method.

This brings up another point; the Creed is super easy and smooth to charge due to the ergonomics and smooth action.  The simple but effective 3-dot sight system has become industry standard and provide the beginner the perfect sight system to learn by.  The gun is very accurate as well, however it is the maintenance which I think is targeted perfectly to the novice.

To disassemble the gun for routine cleaning, simply lock back the slide with an empty magazine in the gun and turn the take down lever and then hit the slide release and the slide will slip right off. Pull off the captured slide spring, lift out the barrel, and the parts are ready for cleaning. To reinstall the slide, simply reassemble the barrel, spring and hold down the slide release then slip on the slide, lock it back, and flip the takedown lever back. The new user does not have to deal with any three handed, align this slot with that pin or mark stuff, and then drive out a pin which is held in place by the force of God… just lock back the slide on the Creed and flip the take down lever. Everything about this gun screams “make it easy on the newbie” and give the pros an inexpensive gun to fall in love with and beat on for not a lot of money.

Side by side testing of a Creed and PPQ confirms there is only a slight difference in feel and fit between the notably different priced guns.  It still has all the super precise molding, highly detailed grip texturing, and the metal parts are all still finished with a durable Tenifer finish just like the rest of the higher and lineup.

So why is the gun less expensive if it looks and feels like Walther’s higher and models? Walther noted the pre-cocked double action trigger is less expensive to produce and assemble than the striker fired models. The absence of the interchangeable/adjustable grips and no ambidextrous controls greatly reduce manufacturing costs as well. Add in a stamped vs milled slide release and a few other polymer based internal parts and you have a $400 street priced gun that would seem to perform terrifically well all wrapped up in a very easy-to-use ergonomic format.

Though from a distance and pictures the Creed looks pretty much the same as the PPQ, but the Creed deceptively looks more like the larger heavier brother but it really is not. It is a little longer, heavier and taller. The visual bulkiness apparent on the PPX is concealed well on the Creed due to the overall re-design.

Where most manufactures have focused on exclusively standard striker fired designs, Walther has developed a “Pre-cocked double action” firing control system which blends the best of striker and hammer fired mechanism. Like nearly every striker fired system, the striker/hammer is partially pre-cocked by either manually cycling the pistol or automatically pre-cocking after a round is fired. In this case, the Creed has a small snag-free hammer which is partially pre-cocked just like a striker would be. As the trigger is depressed, the three internal safeties are disengaged, the hammer is pushed to a fully cocked state (extending only ¼” from the rear of the gun) and the hammer hits the firing pin to detonate the round. The end result is a handgun with an awesome trigger pull… probably the best of any striker fired or pre-cocked firearm I have handled. It has a definitive ½” of take-up and then a sharp crisp 6.1lb break.  Greatly improving the trigger feel was a primary reason Walther decided to move to this Pre-Cocked double action hammer fired design.

The features of the new Creed are impressive; steel three-dot steel sights, 16+1 round capacity, a 360 degree beveled chamber for reliability, 2-magazines are included with a hard TSA approved case, 1913 spec picatinny accessory rail, front and rear slide serrations, excellent grip texturing, and even a reversible magazine release for all the lefties out there.

Functionally the Creed shot and spit out over 400 rounds of my worst reloads. The Creed slipped into my Glock 19 Crossbreed Supertuck holster for testing just fine.

Federal and Hornady were nice enough to spare me a few rounds of really nice defensive ammo for accuracy testing after I burnt up 400 rounds.  The PPX is very accurate for a defensive semi-auto 9mm. With the Federal Guard Dog, and Standard Hollow points, and Hornady defensive rounds, I was able to consistently deliver 1.25” 25-yard groups off the sand bags. At defensive 7-yard distances, I was able to essentially deliver single ragged hole groups during slow controlled offhand shots. Definitely what sets this gun apart and enables the accuracy is that incredible trigger and firing control mechanism. Walther may have focused on developing a great defensive handgun, however I may have to hunt rabbits this year with this 9mm.

For under $400 the Creed is arguably one of the best gun values on the market. It delivers superb quality and features well above many standard firearms lines with proven Walther reliability and accuracy. Everything you would expect from Walther. The Creed was a significant make-over from the legacy PPX improving look and ergonomics while preserving all the great aspects of the original design.

Low profile three dot polymer combat sights - (Note mine were metal)
Rapid aiming and target acquisition. Rear sight drift adjustable for windage.

Tenifer™ coated slide and barrel - Resists corrosion
Loaded chamber viewport
Front and rear slide serrations
Hammer fired action
Slide locks back on empty. Slide stop is extended for easy gloved operation.
3 safeties - Two drop safeties and a firing pin block for safe carry.
Ergonomic Walther grip
Reversible push button thumb-operated magazine release
Constant 6.5 lb trigger pull
Mil-std-1913 Picatinny accessory mounting rail

Model:             2790025
Caliber: 9mm
Finish:            Black
Trigger Pull: 6.1 lbs
Barrel Length: 4"
Capacity: 16 rnds
Overall Length: 7.3"
Height:                 5.6"
Width: (B2 = Slide) 1.3" B2 = 1.14"
Sight Radius:   6.3"
Weight            1.7 lbs
MSRP             $399  
Street              $370


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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Purchased my Walther Creed from Kentucky Gun Co., last week. Paid $279 with free shipping. What a great deal. Took it to our local sportsmans club's Sunday morning plate shoot. I'm not a know it all handgun expert, but I love this gun! Trigger is amazing. Out of the box, the accuracy is right on. A couple of other shooters, with way more experience and expertise than I, tried the Creed, and all they could say was "wow". This gun gave me my best scores ever.