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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.

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24 Responses to Gun Review: Walther CREED 9mm Pistol

  1. 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.

    • 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.

      • “…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.

  2. 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.

    • 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. 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.

  4. 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?

    • 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

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

    • 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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