CZ-82 vs. Bersa Thunder


March 8, 2008, 03:34 AM
So I was in the local Gander Mtn the other day & noticed a Bersa Thunder
.380 for $249 and also a CZ-82 in 9x18 Makarov for $249. I'm looking at this gun as a home defense gun for my girlfriend, as she likes semi-autos & isn't comfortable with my SP101. Note: We both have 9mm's, but those stay in the safe.

What are the pro's and con's of each pistol?


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March 8, 2008, 03:40 AM
My wife's Bersa Thunder is totally reliable. I've never shot or handled a cz.

March 8, 2008, 03:53 AM
The 82's a fine weapon but .380, in my experience, is easier to find in practice and defensive ammo.

March 8, 2008, 06:33 AM
Centerfire Systems sells CZ 82s for $159 & 9X18 trumps a .380, power-wise. The CZ is a great weapon.

March 8, 2008, 11:37 AM
CZ by far.

March 8, 2008, 11:41 AM
never shot a cz but my bersa thunder .380 has worked without a hiccup and is a nice shooter. i can't recommend one or the other because i've only used the latter, but just my experience.

March 8, 2008, 11:45 AM
I have owned the CZ82 for several months. Purchased from AIM Surplus. $220 including extra $10 for hand pick. Appeared in NEW condition without holster wear, smudges etc. A truly great buy. A very shooter. 9x18 Makarov ammo not hard to find if you know where to look - online stores, Sportco etc for $8.50 - $9.50/box of 50. Walmart and the smaller shops in my area do not carry it.
Clean thoroughly between shootings or it may FTE/FTF. I had that problem my first time. Cleaned it good and the problem solved. No regrets what so ever.
Bersa has great reviews here and elsewhere so I am sure you will be happy with either.

March 8, 2008, 11:47 AM
Both are good guns. Neither is a bad purchase.

How about letting her decide which one she likes better?

March 8, 2008, 12:15 PM
Both are good, but I really like my two CZ82's, and the 9x18 is a tad more powerful. I bought a case of Silver Bear HP's, so ammo won't be a problem for a while.

March 8, 2008, 12:26 PM
The CZ-82 is a tad on the heavy side, so she might not like the weight.
Bersa .380 seems to be much lighter?
Basically, why don't you let her decide on what she wants?

March 8, 2008, 12:42 PM
I really like the 9x18 round and the CZ is a very nice platform for it!

March 8, 2008, 01:38 PM
I have no experience with the CZ, but I just bought a Bersa Thunder .380. I've put over 400 rounds through it (262 on the first outing, five different brands) without a hiccup. Something to consider is warranty. By all accounts the CZ is a great pistol, but you will be buying it used, as-is, with no warranty. Should a problem arise with the Bersa, it has a lifetime warranty to the original owner. Lurk a bit on the Bersa Talk forum ( and see what owners have to say.

March 8, 2008, 01:42 PM
Bersa lighter,better trigger , about 50fps difference between calibers. I would perfer the Bersa as 380 ammo has better selection. over 2500 members and growing daily

March 8, 2008, 02:21 PM
I am letting her decide, I just wantted to hear what peoples experiences are with both of these pistols.

Ohen Cepel
March 8, 2008, 02:29 PM
My 82 is great. Very accurate and a SA trigger that would be extremely hard to beat.

Don't have a Bersa so can't comment on it.

Which has a larger magazine? Not a real issue in my mind but I'm curious.

March 8, 2008, 09:29 PM
I had the Thunder 380 and have a CZ83 in .380 ( no real difference between the 83 and 82, except for my choice of the .380 ). Both are great pistols. If she wants a carrier the Bersa is lighter and easier. For the home, the CZ will have more rounds. Less recoil with the CZ due to slightly heavier weight of the steel frame.

March 8, 2008, 11:30 PM
I test fired both on the same day. Both in .380. The Bersa was the most comfortable to hold and despite it's lighter weight recoil seemed lighter than the CZ.
The CZ was by far the most reliable with the Hornady hollow points I used for the test. I couldn't get the Bersa to go for more than four shots without a jam. The CZ had no failures at all.
The CZ shot groups twice as small as the Bersa, but the Bersa had acceptable seven yard accuracy.
The CZ had a much better trigger than the Bersa in both SA and DA. It also had crisper sights.
Since these guns are for up close and personal self defense I could have gone either way but for the Bersa's unreliability. There's a good chance that my Bersa was a bad sample.
I bought the CZ and still have had no failures.
I think the chances of getting a bad Bersa are much higher than getting a bad CZ.
Whatever your choice I hope you get a good one!

March 9, 2008, 01:50 AM
My wife carries a CZ 82 the ammunition is a minor issue 3 shops in town carry it JHPs are a little hard to come by though. totally reliable ( it is CZ after all)
I would buy it again in a heart beat.
Can't comment on the Bersa never touched one

March 9, 2008, 01:54 AM
My Bersa is totally reliable and way more accurate than you should expect from a pistol with a barrel that short. Super value on these guns. Worth every penny and more. I don't think I have heard any bad things about Bersa either.

Ed Ames
March 9, 2008, 10:54 AM
Just to be on topic: The '82 would be my vote but you can find them for less $$$. She should pick whichever she likes better.

To be slightly off topic... from what I've heard (and in my limited experience) many '82s had a weak/worn recoil spring by the time they were surplussed off. That results in sharper perceived recoil because the slide strikes the frame at a higher speed. Recoil springs aren't in aftermarket production yet (wolf doesn't make them) but CZ sells original springs for the '83 that work. You can also cut down aftermarket Makarov springs but that's a PITA.

I made two changes to mine. A heavier recoil spring (cut down mak spring) and meprolight tritium sights. The result is a great utility pistol.

March 9, 2008, 11:40 AM
My Bersa Thunder went south on me after about 400 rds. Took it in to the gunsmith - he "fixed" it and then wouldn't fire again after about 50 rounds. Tossed it in the safe (almost tossed it in the garbage) bought a Bulgy Makarov for $ 200 and never looked back.

If the CZ is as reliable/accurate as my Mak, go for the CZ.

March 9, 2008, 02:37 PM
The Bersa is a decent gun. I've owned a couple and one had some feeding issues, but the other ran like a clock. But I never felt very confident in the build. Both had at least one breakage, a safety lever and extractor, so I ended up ditching them.
Now the CZ-82.... Well, it's a CZ. Mine is very solid and well built and has been utterly flawless. It is a little heavier than a Bersa, but in either 380 or 9x18 that helps with recoil, and it's still a bit snappy. If you really want the 380, I'd also look at the CZ-83.

A used Beretta 380 might be a choice as well.

March 9, 2008, 03:18 PM
Here's a good review of the Bersa Thunder .380 here

I have had nothing but good experiences with mine which is depicted here:

I have also fired the CZ-83 and thought it was a well made and accurate gun. I felt the Bersa is just as well made only with an alloy frame which makes it lighter than the all-steel CZ-83 and it is less expensive. I had a few problems initially that were magazine related, but after fixing that it's been trouble-free and a hoot to shoot.

March 9, 2008, 03:23 PM
I own a cz-82 and have shot a friends Bersa Thunder.

They both are nice guns, the recoil is sharper in the cz-82 but the cz-82 seemed to be a better made gun in fit and finish. Go with the one you like the best, you'll be happy.

ice monkey
March 9, 2008, 03:49 PM
I have had two brand new Bersa's in the time span of about a week - both fell apart on me.:banghead: I know this is ... well odd, as Bersa's seem to have a good rep, but I tell you what ... it happened to me lol.

I have a Sig p232 on order. It'll cost more ... it doesn't have some of the features the Bursa has ... but hopefully, it will not fall apart in my hands either :what:.

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