Many people, perhaps you are among them, are looking for a personal-protection firearm; a firearm you can depend on. You have most likely settled on buying a semiauto pistol in .380 ACP or 9mm.
As you already know, a firearm is just another tool, much like a hammer or screwdriver. But a firearm can be used for more than hunting and self-protection. So, if you are considering purchasing a personal-protection firearm, you must first identify what this tool is to be used for.
Are you going to keep it for home protection, protection while traveling or for everyday carry? Some other uses could be for backpacking, trail hiking or camping. If this firearm is going to be used to keep you and others safe, it should have sufficient power to get the job done.
THE RIGHT GUN FOR THE SITUATION
As a professional law enforcement officer who has served during challenging times in Kosovo and Iraq, I strongly suggest that you buy a 9mm caliber—at minimum. The .380 ACP is too small, in my opinion, for battling bad guys but better than going bare-knuckles. On the other hand, the .40 S&W caliber is a little too rambunctious for a lot of shooters.
For these reasons, I highly recommend a quality 9mm caliber semiauto pistol such as the Walther Creed.
Now, if you would like to be able to grab your CCW and walk out the door with it in your front jeans pocket, the Walther Creed is not for you. But if you would like to have a decent, full-sized semiauto with which you can shoot tin cans and plastic milk jugs but still serves as a serious defense tool, the Walther Creed is your pistol.
The Creed fit nicely in my average-sized hand. The ergonomic, reinforced polymer frame made holding and shooting this pistol enjoyable. The trigger design is such that you must pull through a little slack before you come to the firmness and then on to the point of no return. I did not feel this was a negative, because I personally like this feature. I can feel the trigger, then squeeze slightly, firing the weapon.
Walther describes the Creed as featuring a pre-cocked double- action trigger system. It sports a bobbed hammer, which might surprise some, because it isn’t visible from the side.When the trigger is pulled slowly, you can see the bobbed hammer emerge slight before falling and striking the firing pin.
All the metal components are treated with Tenifer coating, which is resistant to corrosion and abrasion. The Creed has ambidextrous magazine releases—good for left-handed shooters—and low-profile, steel, 3-dot sights.
Considering the Creed is designed as a fighting firearm, not a target pistol, I love the sights.
A HOLSTER FOR THE CREED
I carried a handgun every day for the better part of 45 years, so I recommend getting a good-quality Kydex or leather holster for the Creed. If you’re one of those people who think they don’t need a holster, and you like to “Hollywood carry” your CCW semiauto by shoving it down the back of your pants, don’t —unless you are carrying a 1911-style pistol with three safeties. Any of the pre-cocked, double-action semiautos such as the Creed and Glock are just that: pre-cocked. Unless it’s carried with the chamber empty (European style), then pre-cocked, double-action semiautos should never be carried in the waistband—front or back—without the support of a well designed holster.
TEST AND EVALUATION
To test my Walther Creed sample, I met good friend Dr. John Duncan at the Norman, Oklahoma, police range. Duncan is a retired chief agent of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, a professor at the University of Oklahoma and one of the top pistol shooters in the state. His opinion on firearms is highly regarded, and his law enforcement résumé would fill this article. Also present was Oklahoma Officer Daniel Pierce, who is a huge Walther fan. He assisted us throughout the Creed field test.
Test day was the last day of November. It was a sunny 51 degrees with a 15 mph breeze (yes, in Oklahoma we consider 15 mph wind to be a mere breeze). However, we were in a protected area of the firearms range, so the wind had little affect on our test. All in all, the conditions were about as close to perfect as they could get.
The Creed’s low-profile, 3-dot sights are decent for shooting distances between 5 and 15 yards. However, it was more challenging to shoot consistent groups out to 25 yards. We all agreed that if we had the time to get used to the Creed’s trigger pull and sights, we could tighten the groups we were experiencing by 1 or 1½ inches.
Nevertheless, within the 5- to 15-yard range on a B-27 sillouette, we accomplished great results with the Creed.
We broke down the Creed and applied a light dose of oil on the slide and four contact points, after which we began by shooting 50 rounds of American Eagle 9mm Luger 115-grain TSJ (total synthetic jacket) ammo. The soft lead bullet is totally coated in a bright-red polymer finish. The TSL target rounds were fired and cycled flawlessly. The polymer finish reduces wear and heat in the barrel. We got some excellent groupings out to 15 yards. The velocity at 10 feet from the muzzle, averaged from five shots, was 1,124 fps.
Next, we broke out the Hornady Critical Duty 9mm +P 135-grain FlexLock. Among the three of us, we burned through two 25-round boxes of this bad-boy ammo. The Creed and Critical Duty performed without a hitch once again. Out to 15 yards, the Critical Duty was excellent. This ammo has a red core plug and crimped, full copper jacket. Hornady designed it to keep the entire projectile locked together after impact, thereby allowing the expansion process to take place with the maximum amount of kinetic energy transferred. This means that if you are compelled to use deadly force on an armed, determined dirtbag, the Hornady Critical Defense round will do the job. Velocity averaged 1,083 fps. The velocities did not vary more than 7 fps.
Moving on to another great duty round, we fired a box of 50 Federal Premium 9mm Luger +P 124-grain HST. The Creed devoured this ammo as fast as we could pull its trigger. This 9mm full-jacketed hollow point has been designed in such a way as to lock the copper jacket to the lead core. As a result, when the 9mm HST is fired at a target wearing two or three layers of clothing, the round will punch on through and start its expansion, at which point it will perform as a hollow point should. As with the previous two ammo offerings, the 124-grain HST functioned flawlessly in the Creed. Once again, we got excellent groupings out to 15 yards. The average velocity of the Federal Premium HST was 1,192 fps.
An excellent company out of Cedar City, Utah, is DoubleTap Ammunition. We tested its 9mm +P 124-grain Controlled Expansion Hollow-Point. I fired 50 rounds of the DoubleTap without a break—except to reload in an attempt to cause the Creed to heat up and malfunction. There were no malfunctions through the 50 rounds. It had excellent groups, as did the other three ammo samples. DoubleTap manufactures its ammo with great care, hand inspecting each and every round produced. The 9mm +P Controlled Expansion Hollow-Point is designed to have a low flash, good penetration and nearperfect expansion. The five-shot average velocity at 10 feet from the muzzle was 1,284 fps.
We fired a total of 450 rounds through the Walther Creed. After the initial 50 rounds of DoubleTap ammo were fired and the five-shot group testing had begun, the Creed began to malfunction: It would feed the round, but not completely. I was focused on the sights, so I did not notice the open battery.
I squeezed the pre-cocked, double-action trigger, and the hammer fell, but the round did not fire. Upon inspection, I saw that the slide had not closed completely—it was approximately 1/16 inch out of battery. After two more such malfunctions, I remedied this by field-stripping the Creed and placing a single drop of oil on the four metal prongs the slide rides on. I then finished testing the DoubleTap ammo … no more problems.
I would recommend that if you are going to shoot the Creed prior to duty or conceal carry, you should field-strip this weapon and clean and oil it before any serious use.
In the final evaluation, I believe the Creed would make an excellent, inexpensive duty weapon for law enforcement officers, as well as a CCW for citizens who intend to carry their weapons in a holster designed for it. (In my professional opinion, the Creed should not be carried inside a belt without the proper professionally made holster.)
All ammo fired in this testing is quality, dependable and lethal. The American Eagle 9mm 115-grain TSJ has been designed as target ammo and should be used for this purpose. The Hornady, Federal Premium and DoubleTap are all excellent for duty and self-defense use.
With a street price as low as $355, I would certainly recommend the Walther Creed to anyone looking for a large-framed 9mm semiauto priced under $400.
- MAKE: Walther
- MODEL: Creed
- ACTION: Pre-cocked DA, hammer fired, semiauto
- CALIBER: 9mm Luger
- CAPACITY: 16 +1 rounds
- BARREL LENGTH: 4 inches
- OVERALL LENGTH: 7.3 inches
- HEIGHT: 5.6 inches
- WIDTH: 1.3 inches
- TRIGGER PULL: 7.2 pounds (average)
- TRIGGER TRAVEL: 0.3 inch
- WEIGHT: 26.6 ounces (unloaded)
- SAFETY: Three internal safeties; no manual thumb safety
- FRAME: Modern polymer frame
- SLIDE: Tenifer, black
WALTHER ARMS, INC.
These results are of the best five-shot group. The ammo grouping was fairly consistent among all four types of ammo. All test ammo was fired from a bench rest at 25 yards.
|American Eagle TSJ 9mm, 115-grain FMJ||6.5||1124|
|Hornady Critical Duty 9mm, 135 grains||4||1083|
|Federal Premium 9mm Luger +P, 124-grain HP||4||1192|
|DoubleTap 9mm +P, 124-grain HP||6||1284|
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the March 2017 print issue of Gun World Magazine.