I would like to draw your attention to a new pistol from Walther. It's been talked about for a couple of years but has only been on the market for a month or two. The gun is the Walther CCP, a concealable medium sized 9 mm auto. In the ongoing development of defensive automatic pistols, this one is a milestone in several ways.
For one thing, it is a pistol sporting a single-column magazine of eight rounds, which flies in the face of the established standard. Since the 1960s, 9 mm defensive pistols had to have at least 14- or 15-round magazines to be viable. In spite of the fact that the majority of close range attacks are resolved by two or three rounds, 9 mm pistols have many more—as many as 18. In doing so, the pistols have grown much thicker and much harder to use for shooters with smaller hands. It would seem that a single column gun with 8+1 capacity would be valuable. This reduction in capacity also permits a very slim and concealable pistol with a barrel nearly as long as the high capacity service guns. The new Walther CCP is a medium-sized auto with a decent capacity and first-rate ergonomics.
It's also offers an interesting solution to the breech locking requirement. 9 mm pistols are almost invariably recoil-operated, as breech pressure almost demand that the barrel and slide be mechanically locked together for the first bit of recoil travel. The CCP taps off a bit of the propellant gas to hold the slide closed and pressure drops. This gas-delayed blowback system works to perfection. There will be a detailed article on this unique new gun (and its slick brother, the PPQ) in a forthcoming issue of the American Rifleman.