Bersa, Thunder .380 Question


December 3, 2007, 05:54 PM
My wife is transitioning her carry weapon from a .38 Special to a brand new Bersa, My wife is also transitioning her carry weapon from a .38 Special to a brand new Bersa, Thunder .380. She didn't want to spend a lot of money so close to Christmas so a trusted gun dealer assured me it was a good quality weapon well suited to concealed carry. After the range visit I think I feel pretty good. We ran about 400 rounds through it. It was lots of fun to shoot and never malfunctioned. Can anyone comment on the brand? Can I trust it as my wife's carry weapon??? The trigger pull was very smooth and the model we purchased has the poly grips made to fit your hand. Accuracy was excellent for such a short barrel.

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December 3, 2007, 06:02 PM
The .380 is kind of a step down from a .38 Special.
What was wrong with it?

December 3, 2007, 06:14 PM
I own the duo-tone model. Awesome little gun. Though not as powerful as the .38spl, I do on occasion carry it. Though mostly in in BUGout bag as a backup. I typically carry a j-frame size .38 or a full size .40 as a primary. Some times a K-frame .357mag.

But the Bersa is a good little gun, excellent accuracy, and a very good feel in the hand.

December 3, 2007, 06:17 PM
I bought one a few months the itch, and academy happened to have one for under $250 OTD.

Ive taken it to the range twice and put maybe 150 rounds through malfunctions of any kind. Feels nice in my hand and the trigger is smooth, as you said. I'm not particularly accurate with it, is my only complaint...

It currents rides around in my truck, in case I happen to not be carrying anything else. I figure, for $250, I won't have to mourn too long if something terrible happens to it.

December 3, 2007, 06:38 PM
The only thing I can tell you about it is that it is a good, accurate, fun to shoot gun. My best friend has one and we shot the snot out of it one afternoon and it never hiccuped. The price was great and it was easy to shoot.

December 3, 2007, 08:13 PM
I've got the Duotone and have never had any problems.

I'd say it's the best NEW gun at the $200 mark.
Definately good quality.

The .380 is kind of a step down from a .38 Special.
What was wrong with it?
The 38 Spcl is a better round. Maybe they just like the platform more.
I shoot my Bersa much better than any snub nose.

December 3, 2007, 10:37 PM
i love my bersa .380. I'm confident at self defense ranges that my shot placement with that accurate little beast will make up for any shortcomings people (not me) may have about the round (and the 6 subsequent ones to follow).

December 3, 2007, 10:40 PM
I have one and typically use it as my carry gun. I've had no issues with it.

December 3, 2007, 11:00 PM
I used to have the concealed carry model. I put about 5-600 rounds through it of several different manufacturers. It ran without a glitch. As I recall, it grouped S&B FMJ the best.
I only sold it because I'm not that big a handgunner, and it was an impulse buy. Probably should have kept it and put it in the wife's glove compartment in case of emergency.

December 4, 2007, 12:02 AM
I have had my BT 380 in basic black for over a year and have put over 800 rounds of about everything 380 downrange with zero, I say zero defects.

Although I found it too heavy for pocket carry, my main MO it spends most of its time as my truck gun. I like the 9+1 mag and carry a couple spares. I keep it primed with Golden Saber 102 gr.
It shoots nicely and has never let me down.

There is a great BERSA Forum website if you are seeking like and kind afficianados, of which there are many. BERSA is a great value.

Here's mine.

December 4, 2007, 12:07 AM
I've fired one a few times. Nice little gun. Great for the ladies. If only they came in lefty and external safety, my friend's wife would probably have gotten one.

December 4, 2007, 09:00 AM
I actually just went to the range and shot 150 rounds through my friends Bersa thunder and I thought it was a pretty good shooting gun, though it is picky about its ammo. The best ammo I used for it so far independance 90 grain fjp. Not one problem out of 100 rounds with those, the other cartridges were american eagles or something like at 95 grain and every mag would jam, horrible ammo for that gun

December 4, 2007, 09:44 AM
My wife carries one and loves it. I bought her a J frame that she didn't like and would not carry. So as the saying goes a Bersa in the purse is better than a J frame in the safe. We have put several hundreds of rounds through it with no malfunctions and the recoil is soooo light that follow up shots are very easy.

December 4, 2007, 10:20 AM
My wife bought a Thunder .380 as her first gun.
While we never had any issues or functioning problems, it was punishing on both our hands.
It kept biting in to the web of our shooting hands where the thumb joins the body of our hands.
Biting may be the wrong word... no lost skin, but the blow back / recoil in to the web area was uncomfortable.

She sold/traded it for a .38SP S&W 642

And as others have said, the .38SP is a better round than .380 for personal defence.



December 4, 2007, 10:30 AM
I have the Bersa Thunder .380 in nickel. There are no issues what-so-ever. No malfunstions, no recoil problem, no take down and reassembly difficulties.

All in a just a great underappreciate little gun.

Very accurate to boot!

December 4, 2007, 11:23 AM
Don't own one, but have shot a few different Bersas (Thanks to the guys in my informal group, The Cheap Galoots).

Very good firearm at a reasonable price...accurate, well-made, inexpensive, goes Bang! every time

December 4, 2007, 11:58 AM
All my comments are here: Range Report - Bersa T380CC (

December 4, 2007, 02:41 PM
Friend of mine has had several problems with his, which were quality control issues (hammer catching on the slide on it's return trip, causing it not to go fully into battery for one), but Bersa had no problem repairing it for him every time. Good customer service.

December 4, 2007, 06:09 PM
I have 2, one which is with me all the time (the other is about 5 feet away). Never had an issue with either. The wife and I requalified for our CHL 5 years ago with the Thunder 380's. I figured we should qualify with our carry pieces and we both did fine. About the best investment in a pistol I have made. When my daughter moves to her new place, she will take a Thunder along with her S&W Modle 10.

December 5, 2007, 02:10 AM
Oh and before I forget, a good leather holster for a 3" 1911 (single stack) style works great for the Bersa 380 and 380 Concealed carry.

December 5, 2007, 05:40 AM
After 45 years of carrying weapons professionaly, I have collected a few of what I consider the cream of premuim handguns and long guns. This of course includes a few 380s, really good ones(Walther, Browning, Colt, Mauser, Beretta et al.).
I have to admit that my Bersa, the cheapest of them all, is the equal of them all, and better than some. Accuracy, reliability, power(if 380 and power can be used in the same sentence). It shoots the stoutest 380 rounds I can find with no problem, has never jammed, and fits my hands nicely. Only downside is it is not as handy to conceal as say a Colt Govt. 380(it is a holster gun, not a pocket gun).
I originally got it so if I lost it I would not cry too much, still won't, but I will go out and get another one. Best bang for the 380 buck ever, IMHO.

Ala Dan
December 5, 2007, 06:06 AM
Being in the firearms business myself and after reading all of the good reviews,
I bought a NIB duo-tone model Bersa .380 myself; to see what all the fuss was
about~! Too my surprise, this little gun performed flawlessly; and certainly
passed all of the test for a carry gun. I gave it to my son in-law, as his CCW
piece; but he was too lazy to learn the safety aspects of handling firearms,
so I confiscated it and it now resides in my safe. ;)

BTW, I sell 'em NIB everyday for $229.88~! :cool:

December 12, 2007, 04:30 PM
Thanks for all the feedback! My wife and I have been to the range a couple more times... No malfunctions or problems. To answer your questions about the switch from .38 Special to .380... My wife is small and has small wrists. The recoil of the .38 Special was wearing on her after a while. She feels much more proficient and confident with the lighter recoil. She is also much more accurate with the new weapon. In addition the .380 gives her a few more rounds to work with in an emergency.

December 12, 2007, 05:41 PM
RTFM ----- Your description of the web of your hand and thumb getting punished is very accurate. This could have been solved with a little more up sweep to the hammer guard area. With my gun, the thumb's last knuckle would get rubbed raw when shooting a lot [ over 200 rds. ] of hot ammo.

I have ,however, found a solution to this problem ........ but it makes the rather "Large framed" 380 a little "less" concealable. And that is to add the Hogue "SLIP-ON" rubber grip to the plastic grips. You will of course need to trim the slip on a lot ............but it works quite well !! It adds a nice "Palm swell" to the grips in addition to the finger grooves.

When using the pistol in this fashion .......... the thumb rubbing action stopped. The gun was much easier to hold in a POSITIVE manner.

Drawbacks : This addition to the grips makes the pistol a little harder to "slip" from a pocket. It also increases the over all size a little ..........and that can be a big difference when starting with a rather large framed gun.

On the caliber ....... For the most part -forget the hollow points ......... with these small guns what you want and need is PENETRATION. 12" is the minimum. Because this caliber has very little "striking" power.......... you will need to rely on the bullets ability to strike deep enough to hit vitals. Just because this small bullet can be made to expand to some degree, doesn't make it hit any harder. I have read many examples of people getting hit with this caliber and not even knowing they were struck by a bullet. They reported just some stinging sensations ........ especially when under extreme stress of an attack. There are some ammo makers that sell a reliable expanding .380 bullet [ like Golden Saber ] but my research shows many don't penetrate very deep ....some only 4" !!

Double-Tap and some others are making a more powerful bullet in this caliber ........ I would need to see their penetration statistics before loading up with them.


December 12, 2007, 05:42 PM
I've had several BT380's, wish I hadn't traded or sold them. I still own a full size BT 9mm. A little more snap than the 380 but not to bad. If she wants to move up let her try the BT 9mm concealed carry. Not much bigger than the 380 but a little more power.

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