Gun Review: Walther CREED 9mm Pistol

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All the major handgun manufacturers make at least one full-size polymer semi-automatic pistol. Most have two. Many have more. Looking at Walther’s product catalogue, you’ll find no less than four 9mm polymer pistols with the same general weight, barrel length, height, finish and capacity. In fact, the CREED is the exact same weight, same barrel and overall length as the PPX. It also has the same finish, capacity, caliber, trigger and almost the exact same shape. So why the CREED? What’s the point?

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The point is price. The Walther CREED MSRP’s at $399. It can be found all over the web for an affordable $350. Let’s look at that in context . . .

Walther made a big splash in the polymer handgun field with the $699 MSRP PPQ. It’s reliable and accurate — as you’d expect from a modern polymer piece. The ergos are outstanding. But it’s the PPQ’s bangswitch that really sets it apart; it’s generally acknowledged to be the best stock trigger on a striker-fired handgun.

Advertised as a “pre-cocked double action trigger system with a bobbed hammer,” the CREED has the same bang-switch found on the PPX ($499 MSRP). Like the PPX, the CREED’s trigger feel is similar, but not quite up to the same high standard, as the PPQ.

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In slow fire you’ll feel some rough spots prior to a sharp stack and break. The reset is long, about a third of an inch, and starts at the same point as the stack did on the first pull. Total trigger travel is about half an inch, but it’s only a 6.5.lb pull. Although you’ll feel all this in slow fire, you won’t notice much of it at all when the speed picks up. It’s not restrike capable.

Although the CREED’s bore axis is on the high side (equal to the Springfield XD series), its size, weight, and grip angle made for relatively little recoil. The grip itself is long and narrow, with a good amount of palm swell. I could wrap my size large paw around it until my middle finger touched the first joint of my thumb. The rear of the CREED’s frame is also large and curved and provides a lot of real estate to the web of your firing hand, further reducing felt recoil. The easy-to-reach magazine release relief is cut well into the handle. There’s no external safety.

Despite that high bore axis, the gun is pretty fast. The great grip probably has a lot to do with it. I used this review as a chance to work on my Mozambique Drill [not shown], burning almost 500 rounds for this review that way (I still suck at it). I finished with the Bill Wilson 5X5 Skill Test, scoring a 30.91 time. Although far from my best time, that’s not bad at all given the CREED’s price point.

As far as style goes, I find all striker-fired guns on the homely side. A flat black Tenifer coating covers all the CREED’s metal parts. The polymer portions are flat black with the grip moderately stippled and the CREED logo cut just above the magwell opening. There are uglier guns out there. Somewhere. But what may be less than pleasing to the eye can feel very good in the hand, and the CREED is proof of that.

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The trigger guard is smooth and curved. If you’re one of those odd ducks who likes to put your support hand in front of the trigger guard for leverage, this gun won’t work for you. While well positioned, the slide lock is cut almost flush against the slide and frame. I missed a few times trying to use it as a slide release in fast mag changes (and every time I tried it in gloves). Then again, that’s a technique that I continue to try, and continue to discard, reverting to the more reliable slingshot method.

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The simple white, large 3-dot sights are set up for fast target acquisition over bull’s-eye accuracy. There’s a good amount of space on either side of the front sight when viewed through the rear. On a pistol like this, set up for personal and home defense, that makes a lot of sense as you can see a lot of your target through the sights.

Obviously, the tradeoff is wiggle room at longer ranges. The rear sight is ramped and smooth, so I can’t use it to rack the slide, and neither sight is tritium. At this price point though, I wouldn’t expect them to be. The rear sight is drift adjustable for windage. Also, curiously, the rear sight is marked with the number ‘2’ and the front sight is marked with the number ‘4’. I have no idea why.

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Takedown and reassembly is the same as it is on so many other pistols on the market. Lock the slide back, turn down the take down lever, pull slide forward and off the frame. And no, you don’t have to pull the trigger. Reassembly is the reverse.

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The CREED’s reliability was a mixed bag. Over three days, I put 630 rounds of various flavors of 9mm through the gun. At no point did I clean or lube the weapon, other than running a bore snake trough the barrel and spraying a little Rouge American Apparel’s Diamondback Gun Oil through it prior to shooting. I had one strange failure to return to battery with a 115gr Blazer FMJ canting diagonally and getting stuck prior to entering the breech.

I also had two failures to completely return to battery with 124gr Blazer FMJs. In both cases a quick push with my firing thumb drove them home. Three malfs in 630 rounds ain’t bad. But that’s two different types of malfunction with two different rounds using factory magazines, so we aren’t looking at perfection. The gun didn’t malfunction with any of the 90, 115, and 124gr hollow points I ran through it.

As far as accuracy is concerned, the Walther CREED is an average performer.

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Three different shooters shot four-inch five-round groups off a bag at 25 yards. I was getting 2.5-inch groups from the kneel at 15 yards.

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I was hoping for better, but even before I got to the bench I knew that’s where it would end up. My standing firing drills at 25 yards were getting me pretty wide groups, and my 50-yard standing shots on half-size silhouette just weren’t happening at all. I tested for accuracy after 500 rounds of shooting, without cleaning the gun.

Some will wonder why this pistol exists when there are already so many similar product out there. The reason is simple: the CREED is inexpensive, shoots minute of bad guy and feels good in the hand. For the vast majority of people looking for an affordable home defense pistol, the CREED is just about as good as anything they’ll be comparing it against for $50 to $100 less. That’s a recipe for success.

Specifications: Walther CREED

Caliber: 9mm
Barrel: 4″
Overall length: 7.3″
Capacity: 16 (15+1, ships with 2 magazines)
Height: 5.6″
Width: 1.3″
Weight: 27oz
Finish: Flat Black Tenifer
MSRP: $399 (found online easily for $350)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style * *
The CREED isn’t a looker. And it doesn’t hide the fact.

Customization * * *
You could replace the rear sight and you can hang accessories from its rail. The front sight is fixed, the controls aren’t ambidextrous, and the palm swell is what you get. You like black? It comes in black.

Reliability * * *
A few problems with two different grain FMJs using factory mags. Nothing catastrophic, and they all happened in the first 300 rounds.

Accuracy * * *
The CREED turned out four-inch five-round groups at 25 yards. That’s (just) acceptable range for a 9mm pistol of this size.

Overall * * *
The Walther CREED offers good ergonomics, an OK trigger, OK sights, OK reliability and OK accuracy — at well under $400. It’s not the new Wonder Nine you have to have, but it’s a good gun at a great price. Perfect for the budget conscious new shooter looking for a more-than-merely-adequate home defense pistol.

comments

  1. avatar Ralph says:

    It looks like the bastard son of a Hi-Point. But for a pistol that’s not a Hi-Point, it seems that the price is right.

    1. avatar bLoving says:

      No, no, no, no…
      The PPX was the Hi-Point lovechild, go look it up.
      This appears to be a redesign of the same gun to try to get away from the hideousness that was the PPX.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        “…to try to get away from the hideousness that was the PPX”

        If that was the goal, then it’s a swing-and-a-miss. It’s still dog-ass ugly.

        1. avatar len mattsen says:

          If it saves an innocent person’s life even once, it is a beautiful pistol.

    2. avatar Mike Stone says:

      Who cares what it looks like? Do you plan to shoot it, or take it on a date?

  2. avatar Warren says:

    Ralph beat me to the Hi-Point comment. I guess my question is, if it already has so much in common with other Walther polymers, is the main selling point of this one just the price point? In an already oversaturated polymer strikefire market, I’m not seeing anything that makes this gun stand out. Unless you really like the looks of Hi-Points.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Ralph beat me to it as well.

      Maybe Walther is hoping to steal sales from customers who mistakenly think the Creed is a Hi-Point???

  3. avatar Locke_n_Load says:

    Stamped with “Warning–Read Safety Manual”
    Not cool.

  4. avatar pwrserge says:

    I think this is a fairly cool idea. A quality, low cost, handgun definitely has a niche in the market for lower income gun owners. When you consider that it’s MSRP is $150 less than a Glock, that’s saying something.

  5. avatar Aven says:

    It’s more expensive and not nearly as attractive as my S&W SD9VE. I paid just under $300 for my SD9VE and it had no malfunctions in the first 600 rounds (or ever). Why would one buy this gun over it?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      That S&W budget plastic pistol is very much a bargain for the price. I would rather have a sigma/sd than a hi point, kel tec or any of the other budget guns I can think of.

      I still take my sigma to the range on occasion and still have not had a malfunction that wasn’t ammo related. I even have some non lead ammo for it so I can carry it on the hunt. I still prefer my revolvers but the sigma works, which is what’s needed.

    2. avatar Pete says:

      No offense, but my experiences with the SD9VE was a love-hate-love-hate situation as I had twice bought it because I loved how it felt as being a natural pointer but absolutely hated the horrible trigger – which is the reason why I bought and sold it on two separate occasions. I even got the Apex trigger kit for the 2nd iteration and the trigger still sucked.

      I had a similar situation with the PPX but for different reasons. I loved the price (got both for $279), the feel, the ease of racking and disassembly and the minimized recoil.

      But, I sold them because I had to drop the mag, eject the round in the chamber and dry fire the trigger every time I wanted to store the gun safely. Meaning that, in a home defense scenario, I’d have to slap a mag in and rack the slide before I could stop one or more intruders.

  6. avatar Crowbar says:

    JWT, could you answer something for me please. I keep reading that the Creed is the cheaper, in price not quality, version of the PPQ at a street price of around $350. I bought my PPX from CDNN for $259. I bought it just to beat the hell out of it for my own review and then sell it. I am Glock guy diehard. This was purely for my own satisfaction to see what $259 could get you. I was very impressed. Good trigger, ate 6 different brands of ammo, jhp and fmj, around 1500-2000 rounds no failures of any kind. So isn’the this gun a more expensive PPX instead of cheaper PPQ? Great review by the way.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      No sir. It bears much less in common with the more expensive PPQ, and is almost the same as the slightly more expensive PPX. Thats going off the MSRP, and online stores like Cabella’s, Bud’s, ans Gun Broker. If you got thr PPX for $259 you got a great deal, with an MSRP $200 above that.

      1. avatar Crowbar says:

        Thank you for your response. I was just on CDNN’s website. They still have the PPX in 40 cal for $249 and the 9mm in stainless for $289. If anyone is looking for a reliable (albeit ugly) home defense gun cheap, here it is.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Wow, you’re right. The 40 cal is $200 cheaper then the 9 millimeter on the same site. Maybe there is something to that argument that the 40 cal is dead. No matter what, that is a fantastic deal.

  7. avatar gargoil says:

    im sorry but that things looks like a Hi-Point Gen3.

  8. avatar Joemomma says:

    The ppx has been discontinued. This is the replacement. Slightly less ugly but the same underneath. Even uses the ppx magazines

    1. avatar Fred Frendly says:

      Correctamundo. Leftover PPXs can still be had for around 250.00 brand new, and there are no real diffs between the two except the goofy new name.

  9. avatar Mr. AR says:

    Interesting name. Maybe the “Religion” is next; or “Nickelback”

  10. avatar Rick says:

    Please, never, ever, ever, like seriously ever say “Bang Switch” again. Like “Old School” time has long past to just put a bullet in it…using your trigger. From you Gat.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      What else can you call the thing you put your booger hook on? Huh?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Go lever?

  11. avatar Fred Frendly says:

    Hmm. For all intents and purposes a slightly different version of the low cost PPX. Seeing as how the PPX is selling for 250.00 brand new theres nothing to justify this pistol at one dollar more. The PPX is a great deal for a cheapo reliable full sized gun, so the obvious next offspring should have been a compact version, not another full size.

    Color me confused.

  12. avatar junkman says:

    Got a Ruger 9E on sale for $285–beats the hell out of this ugly European thing–the 9E does not/has not had any malfunctions with anything I feed it–love how my Rugers are not one bit ammo picky–guns being ammo picky and/or unreliable has led me to sell off a bunch of nice guns of several different brands that should have worked better–by the way, the 9E is totally accurate with a superb trigger

  13. avatar TommyJay says:

    I’m guessing that the #4 on the front sight is the same as the P22 and P99. Those guns come with 3 or 4 numbered front sight inserts, each with a slightly different height.

    While I agree that the Hi-Point is ugly, I think this one much better. Personally I’d spend more, but some want or need to save the $$.

    Thanks to the reviewer for taking the accuracy issue seriously. Most reviewers don’t.

  14. avatar Bunk says:

    Lots of comments, no experience. I own around 50 handguns, most of which are Glocks, Sigs and HK but I do like less expensive handguns that perform well. As far as Walther products, I own a PPQ Navy, PPS M2 but also the Walther PPX M1 SD and now the Creed. I do agree with the conclusions of this review though my new Creed has around 500 rounds through it with no problems and I have shot a greater variety of ammo than the author. However, not all guns perform the same out of the box and three malfunctions out of 300 is not a show stopper.

    I generally don’t buy guns based on looks, though if a Hi-Point performed like the PPX, I still wouldn’t buy it. With that said, the PPX is a good performer with an excellent out of the box trigger and any resemblance to a Hi-Point ends there. My Creed trigger is heavier on the break than my PPX and though it might be due to its newness, the break on my PPX measured 5.2lbs out of the box, the Creed, over 6lbs. For me, the trigger is what makes these guns and that is enough to make a gun fun to shoot as long as it doesn’t have issues. The trigger reminds me of the LEM triggers on my HK’s (I love the LEM) but lighter in break.

    The way I look at the Creed and PPX are this, entry level guns, certainly good for someone who may not have or wants to spend money on a new handgun or like me, simply likes different guns and enjoys certain inexpensive but quality guns. My PPX doesn’t like steel cased ammo and I’m sure the Creed is no different so I stick to brass and thus I believe these guns make good range or home defense guns if you keep them clean, use good ammo. A combat gun it is not IMO.

    1. avatar Andrew says:

      Hey Bunk. Curious to know if the PPX or Creed trigger feels as light on the take up as the HK light LEM, which I found a little too light for comfort. Love my PPS classic and might add one of these because I prefer hammer to striker. Thanks in advance.

  15. avatar QDRO says:

    Well written. This is an honest and professional review. Something rare among gun reviews. Was thinking of this weapon, but with this tepid review, I think i will spend a few more $$ and buy a VP 9.

  16. avatar John King says:

    You know I am not crazy about large caliber pistols for home defense due to over penetration. I have a shotgun for home defense. With the Creed I could get a regular size 9MM and compact 9MM (Glock?) for the same price as one Sig. If you have $1200 to spend would you rather have one full size pistol or a full size and a concealed carry size pistol. Are we talking about the Hollywood Shoot-Out or just firing at the range and rare situation where you need a pistol either at home or on the street. Every once in a while a home owner has to shoot a home invader or road rage situation devolves to gun play. I am thinking I would not mind paying $350 for a decent full size 9MM and even a little bit more for a light weight concealed carry pistol since I have a permit to carry this being Florida where we have “Stand your ground” law where every shooting now is claimed to be self defense.

  17. avatar Mike Stone says:

    Picked one up today, and have to reserve judgement until I get it to the range, but so far I’m very impressed. I’ve just never been fond of striker fired guns. They’ve made some with good triggers, but non which approach the clean, crisp feel of a single action. This gives you a single action, hammer fired gun, with the safety of a double action, and no need for a manual safety.

  18. avatar John King says:

    I ended up get a Remington 45 for about $700 from Gallery of Guns . I might still get that Creed. I got a Beretta Pico as a pocket pistol.

  19. avatar Tony Massucci says:

    I purchased the Creed about a month ago as a 2nd back up gun to my PPQ. For under $400, why not give it a go. I an very surprised. I put 700+ rounds through it without any malfunctions & I’ve used good & not so good ammo (115 gr). I like the grip better than my PPQ. The recoil is about the same & I really do not notice the trigger difference. The only sad part, it did not make me a better shooter, but from 3, 5, 7 10 & 15 yards, my groupings were within a 4″ radius, the sights needed a slight adjustment, or maybe it’s my eyes. Shooters, for $350 or less at some On-line stores, you can’t really go wrong as a back-up piece, or for someone just starting off & not sure if they like shooting (what’s not to like?) & wants a dependable, but inexpensive gun. It has it’s flaws, but anyone can find a flaw in any gun, no matter the cost.

  20. avatar Andy K says:

    I picked up a Creed about a month ago and, so far, I’m impressed, especially given the $350 I paid for it (from Bud’s). Is it as nice as any of my Glock’s? No, it’s not. However, it’s reliability taken all the various 9mm ammo I ran through it and isn’t an bad shooter overall. Would I use it for daily carry or CCW? No, but, personally, I don’t really think that’s what it’s designed for. For me, it makes a great truck gun. I’m not super concerned about the finish or keeping it pristine, or babying it like some of my more expensive pistols.

    Finding a holster for it was more of a PIA than I thought it would be as there isn’t really all much on the market holster-wise for the Creed yet. I ended getting a decent clip-on IWB holster that my Creed rides in in the truck console (got it here: http://www.gunnersalley.com/walther-creed-holsters/), and couldn’t be happier. Overall, I’d say it was money well spent on the pistol.

  21. avatar lee penlack says:

    this gun is a long way from being a hipoint, germans make excellent guns.the numbers on the gun 2 & 4 might be a way to grade the sights. I know I had a walther p1 and that was true of that pistol. it may not be abeauty queen but it will get the job done with a bad guy.

  22. avatar Allen Seaman says:

    I recently bought a brand new Creed from a gun dealer I trust he brought the gun to me I ran One Clip through it and pay him his money I’ve been shooting automatic pistols 27 years this gun was awesome later on 3 weeks later I shot two more Clips to it totally awesome loved it a week later I shot another full clip through it awesome gun tonight I put a full clip in he’s in the same shells federals 9mm the gun fired one time then the hammer inverted in the slide making it a bit difficult to get the slide off I registered this gun in my name the gun dealer I used to purchase this brand new gun came and got it he’s going to have it looked at cuz it’s brand new I’m really disappointed cuz I registered in my name I really miss my 9mm Ruger at this point cuz I sold it to get this one I have a concealed license and if something really bad in this happened it could be a bad thing at this point I want to know what happened to the gun and why and when I get it back I’m probably going to sell it

  23. avatar Allen Seaman says:

    Once again before you buy Creed which I’ve had a bad experience with a brand new gun always remember about dependability when you do buy a gun that is new that sounds good and shoots really good for the first 4 clips you think this is it be sure and write 150 rounds through each pistol you buy because I’m really not impressed with this gun anymore even after it’s fixed it’s going to go away I’m going to get me a Smith & Wesson or something else that I know is going to fire every time I always depend on the penta bility of my gun I own 27 pistol 15 rifles 8 black powder rifle and they would never give me any trouble this might just be a fluke on this gun maybe not I don’t know my gun dealer will let me know what happened I don’t believe I’ll be buying any more of these guns I’m not putting them down maybe I just got a bad one I just don’t want this to happen while I’m shooting I don’t know how the warranty is on these guns but I would like to have a new one and take it out and shoot totally 250 rounds out of it Non-Stop

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