.22-ing Around: Bersa/Firestorm .22


March 1, 2007, 11:47 AM
So, since someone pinched my Walther P22 that I got for a song some time ago ( :fire: ) I've been noodling about thinking about what I'm going to replace it with as a plinker.

Truth be told, I liked my P22 but didn't have a heck of a lot of confidence in it what with the cast zinc slide and all (actually, it's MIM, but that's an even dirtier word around here) and overall shoddy accuracy.

What I did like about it was its compact size, DA/SA operation, and the fact that it looked and handled like a Real Gun, not something Buck Rodgers would carry.

(Mark X's and Buckmarks annoy me. I dunno about you.)

So I looked at the Sig Mosquito and discovered that people like it because it's a Sig but hate it because it has many of the faults of the P22 (finicky, zinc slide and parts) and looked at the CZ Kadet and found that people hated it because it was bloody giant but still only held ten rounds...

Somewhere along the line I accidentally tripped over this review (http://www.gunblast.com/Firestorm.htm) of the Firestorm/Bersa .22, and thought it might have something to it.

What I want to know is if anyone out there owns one of these things, and if so how are they? The review covers a couple of main points, but I'm wondering if the Firestorm is more accurate than the P22 was (which isn't much of a stretch, to be honest) and if its decently reliable and halfway accurate over the P22 I'll probably buy one. Provided I can find one, anyway.

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March 1, 2007, 11:50 AM
Seems to be 100% reliable for me now. At the beginning, only Mini-mags, Stingers, and Aquila hyper-velocity rounds would cycle the gun properly.

After 5000 rounds, it started to eat the bulk stuff reliably.
It might have been fine after 2000, but I didn't try it then.

Very ergonomic for me. Fun gun to shoot. The trigger is really nice.

March 1, 2007, 01:03 PM
Good gun. You'll like it.

March 1, 2007, 01:30 PM

I've owned my FS22 for well over a year, and I think it's a fantastic little pistol.

My Firestorm FS22 is totally reliable with any modern high velocity ammo. I tried to run some old (real old) 22 rds thru it and it would balk, but anything of reasonable quality it feeds no problem.

I shoot the cheapest ww "value pack" of 550 rds for less than ten bucks when I'm out searching for aggressive feral coke cans, but when I'm walking my canine in the woods (in the summer) I like to keep CCI Stingers in it in case I accidently, (and you know the key word here is "accidentally") run up on the occasional rattlesnake.

I let my neighbors 22 year old daughter shoot it, and she wants one. I wish she'd get one, as she borrows mine all the time..

I have found the FS22 to be very accurate for me, and reliablity is simply not an issue. In a pinch the little "Walther PP/PPK" knock off would even do for cc.

I have four Walthers (P1/P5/P99c/AS/P99/AS) and I wanted a P22 just because I thought it would be neat to have a P99 rimfire "lookalike", but I kept reading horror stories about them so gave that idea up. I'll betcha the FS22 will do anything the little Walther can do for less money, with less problems, and it's even easy to clean.

I paid $228.00 otd for mine.

Excellent pistol for the money, getcha' one.

Best Wishes,

J. Pomeroy


P.S. My all time favorite 22cal plinker for decades has been the old Ruger 22 "Standard"... Not the fancy ones, just the old original. Only downsides to the Ruger over the Bersa it that (for me) cleaning the Ruger was no fun, and it's a bit too large to stick in the back pocket like I can the FS22.. Other than that the old Ruger 22 would be hard to beat..


March 1, 2007, 01:35 PM
I onced owned a P22. I have found that my Firestorm 22lr is better built, more accurate and more reliable.

March 1, 2007, 02:26 PM
I'm sold, then. I'll see if I can get my usual snooty retailer to order me one ("What do you mean it's not a Glock or M&P?!"). If not I'm off to Gunbroker.

March 1, 2007, 04:03 PM
I was looking at possibly getting one as well, haven't found any nearby, I don't feel like driving 180 miles to buy one and then two days later driving another 180 miles, that would add $60 in gas to the purchase price.

March 1, 2007, 04:36 PM
For the life of me I cannot understand why the "powers that be" do not market the Bersa/Firestorm pistols better in the U.S. Somebody is asleep at the wheel (IMO) in Argentina at the home office.

You never read anything bad about the line of Bersa/Firestorm line of pistols other than that extra magazines are pricy.. They are, TOO pricy. But that has nothing to do with the fact that the pistols themselves are amazing values in the firearms industry today. My Bersa Thunder 9/Ultra Compact, and my Firestorm FS22 have both been excellent.

The ONLY Bersa pistols I've ever heard complaints about was the Bersa 45cal/Llama made 1911 model, Apparently these Llamas made for Bersa in Spain were simply not up to snuff, and it's a shame Bersa had the reputation of it's pistols made in Argentina tarred with the same brush as the Spanish 45's.. Llama is out of business now, so it's my understanding that no more "Bersa 1911's" are being mfg, and if you stumble up on one of the originals remember that even tho it might have "Bersa" engraved on it, it's really a pos Llama knock off of the original model Coltlike1911's..

Another firearms company that seems to completely ignore the American firearms buyer is Walther. I have several Walthers and they are all fantastic pistols, but you seldom hear a word about them. I've never had a pistol, as a package, better than my Walther P99c/AS and the slightly larger P99/AS.

As I mentioned in my earlier post I have NOT heard good things about the Walther P22's.. Perhaps the latest batch has the problems fixed, but from all I read on various firearm forums the early pistols came with a series of warts that I don't need to have to think about.

If Bersa/Firestorm and Walther would spend 1/10th the time and money as Glock does to advertise and market their line of firearms they could sell a pile of pistols to U.S. customers.

As for finding a Firestorm FS22.. They are rarer than a hounds tooth, but all I did is call my local FFL dealer, and he ordered one from his distributor, no problem. You will never find one on the shelves at a gun store, trust me.

Best Wishes,

J. Pomeroy

March 1, 2007, 04:36 PM
60 dollars in gas! What do you drive, a tank? I could go 360 miles in my plastic beater car and only piss away fifteen or twenty bucks...

P. Plainsman
March 1, 2007, 05:16 PM
and looked at the CZ Kadet and found that people hated it because it was bloody giant but still only held ten rounds...
I dunno where you got that "hate" from. I sure haven't seen that. Feedback on Kadets around here seems to be extremely positive -- totally different from the mixed reviews of the other two pistols you mentioned (P22 and Mosquito).

But if you aren't looking for a .22 the same size as an ordinary service pistol (it's not "giant" -- have you seen one? And .22 conversion kits for 1911s are plenty popular as well), that's fine.

I agree that the little Bersa/Firestorm .22 is intriguing. I think I'd like one. I have a Thunder .380 and it's a neat gun, with a much better trigger than one would expect for a $250 pistol.

If only spare Bersa/FS mags were easier to find. As I've said before, I wonder if there's a cultural gap at work here -- the Argentinians not realizing that U.S. gun owners like to shoot their guns, a lot. So we want spare magazines.

March 1, 2007, 05:39 PM
Only downside is finding extra mag's:D .

March 1, 2007, 06:20 PM
Eagle (American dist) or yourgunparts should have or be able to get. Warning their not cheap. Same as 380 mag

March 1, 2007, 06:25 PM
60 dollars in gas! What do you drive, a tank? I could go 360 miles in my plastic beater car and only piss away fifteen or twenty bucks...

From my place to Spokane is 90 miles each way, Wonder if they would ship to Colfax or Clarkston??

Trip 1, drive to dealer, do the paper work, pay for the pistol, drive home.
Trip 2, drive back to the dealer, pick up pistol, drive home.

2x90 + 2x90 = 360 miles

25MPG.. 360/25 = 14.4

Gas is ~ $2.40/gallon 2.4x14.4 = $34.65

So $60 was a bit high...

How about $34.65 ;)

PS, would probably have to add in for lunch too!

March 1, 2007, 08:16 PM
I am so glad to see such good things about this gun. I have been wanting one for years now but no one in my area has them. Ordering them sucks cause then its price plus shipping plus transfer fees. I keep searching the local gun show when I can but never see them. I own a Bersa Thunder 380 and its one of the best guns I own. I am sure the 22 would be the same and with the price of ammo this 22 is looking better everyday. I guess I just need to suck it up and pay the extra for shipping and all.


March 1, 2007, 09:42 PM
When I use Aquila super hyper extra velocity rounds in my Firestorm, they keyhole and punch large, sharp holes in the paper that you'd swear were caused by a .38 wadcutter.

It's pretty cool.

March 1, 2007, 10:10 PM
I've been intrigued by these for a while. What are the frame, and more importantly, the slide, made out of?

P. Plainsman
March 1, 2007, 10:35 PM
If they're like the Thunder .380s, they will have a steel slide and aluminum alloy frame.

I remember a recent article in Guns or Am. Handgunner by John Taffin (Mr. Sixgun!) where he said that he had adopted a Firestorm .22 semi-auto as his regular rimfire "kit gun." Pretty high praise.

March 1, 2007, 11:26 PM
No zinc slides like some of the lesser quality offerings from Walther and SIG:neener: :evil: :D . Steel slide and aluminum frame.

March 1, 2007, 11:34 PM
The only complaints I have with Bersa pistols is that they can be a real pain in the patootee to repair.
Since they don't often break this isn't a concern for the consumer and only affects the gunsmith who may have one cross his/her bench.
The second complaint is the pistols do not come from the distributors with a spare magazine included and spares are quite overpriced.
A spare magazine is a necessary component of any semi-automatic pistol and I personally keep at least five spares on hand for any semi-auto.
At $30.00 or more per magazine this can put the Bersa in the same price range as comparable pistols when the cost of spares is factored in.

Still, Bersa pistols are one of the "Best Buy" firearms on the market right now.

March 1, 2007, 11:44 PM
Thanks for the info on the materials. Sounds like a great pistol.

March 2, 2007, 03:41 AM
Ummmm..... Bersa = Firestorm , NO?? Bersa manufacturers Firestorm products in the Bersa factory.

Only downside is finding extra mag's :D .
Most Bersa Mags fit Firestorm pistols.
LOOK HERE: http://www.ammoclip.com/F/firestorm.htm

March 2, 2007, 09:20 AM
Actually most Bersa magazines do not fit Firestorm pistols.
Early Bersa pistols use a different magazine lock dimension and they will not latch up properly in a Firestorm pistol.
It is better to use the magazine designated by the Model number of your Bersa or Firestorm pistol.

March 2, 2007, 09:58 AM
Thanks for the link. The mag does look similar, I will have to check into it.


March 2, 2007, 11:48 AM
Two just showed up at my local pawn shop last week (this shop seems to have more new than used, and are enthusiastic Bersa boosters), but they want $300 NIB. :eek: It was a treat to finally handle one, though.

March 3, 2007, 04:59 AM
What other options are there for non-Buck Rogers .22 pistols besides the Mosquito, FS22, and the P22?

What have you guys heard about the Taurus PT22 or the Berretta Bobcat?

March 3, 2007, 05:26 AM
There are about 6 on gunbroker right now. Blued, duo-tone and one with a 6" barrel. Prices are a little high, but not bad considering how much you'll save on ammo.

Oh great, now I want one. I do like the comment on how 22s have always looked odd in pistol form. I like how this is like a normal gun and could be used for cheap CCW draw practice at the range.

March 3, 2007, 05:56 AM
save up and get a Beretta 87, in some ways I regret getting the Bersa.

-the mags are damn expensive.
-the MIM parts and overall finish feels cheap (not not horribly ugly though)
-the when you rack the slide it sounds like a zipper because of the poor finish on the barrel, I actually polished and buffed the barrel to a shine because I got sick of having a gun that looked and sounded cheap.
-the spring that came with it is overly strong, I might have to buy another spring just so I can cut coils off and get the slide to cycle regular ammo reliably. for a cheap gun, it sure is a connoisseur of rimfire ammo
-.22 rimfire often has problems in autoloaders, it's a lot to do with mag design, they try some interesting tricks to get a 10 round capacity but it doesn't always work and results in nosedrives. I could show you the problem and their solution if I get around to taking some pictures of my expensive rimfire in my expensive bersa magazines.
-chamber isn't long enough for .22 Stingers (so I use velociters instead, no biggy but I know some people really love the .22 stingers)
-pinned barrel (like a makarov) means threading the barrel to make it suppressor ready and oh so tacticool is pretty much out of the question.

it was my first pistol, I could have done much worse, but I know I'll eventually get a Beretta 87 and keep the bersa as a sentimental tacklebox gun.

March 3, 2007, 07:02 PM
I like my Firestorm FS-22 better than any Ruger 22 lr handgun I have ever owned. They just fit my hand better. They are very accurate but harder to shoot accurately due to it being a light pistol. Mine is a keeper.....

March 5, 2007, 12:42 PM
I don't get how most of the above arguments don't also apply to the Beretta...

MIM I can live with in some cases, where MIM parts were designed from the ground up to be MIM. Come on, I drive a Saturn: I am well versed in the world of mechanical parts being made out of odd materials. (And to top it off, the P22 has a MIM slide!)

Anyway, I went to my snooty local gun store (where everything is a Glock or M&P) and asked to order a Firestorm. The guy behind the counter, unexpectedly, had nothing but glowing recommendations for it! Turns out he bought one when they were cheap on a lark a few years ago... Turned out to be so godawful that his wife bought one, and he bought one for his kid, too. Even though the only .22's they had in store were P22's... I asked him why they didn't carry the Firestorm in stock and he shrugged and said for some damn reason people don't want them. Maybe they aren't tacticool enough, I guess.

I dunno. I've heard almost nothing but good about it, anyway, so we'll see in about a week.

April 4, 2007, 01:53 PM
So how do you like it ZERO?
The pic above shows a nickel slide. The BT380 Duotone has a blue slide and nickel frame. strange:confused:

August 6, 2009, 12:10 AM
This seems to be a frequent problem with the Bersa Firestorm 22 - hard to find. But they can be found, at least in the western states. I went to one of the local gun stores about a year ago, checking for one, they had one under the glass and then announced a second one, "in the back", I quickly bought both ! I think for $325 each. I bought the expensive extra magazines, had to go directly to Eagle Arms (or Eagle Imports?) to get them, bought 2. Whenever I drop into that dealer I always check for a Firestorm 22 and if they ever have any again, I'll buy whatever they have. I've only put about 150 rounds through one of those I bought a year ago. Never a jam. Easy to breakdown for cleaning. I use CCI Velocitors or CCI mini-mags. I see a steady stream of Bersa .380's for private and FFL dealer sale, never a Firestorm22. I figure, good investment if it comes to that.

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