Bersa Thunder .380


April 24, 2008, 09:12 AM
These seem to sell for about $225 new. Is that money badly spent? Wouldn't be much of a bargain if it failed right when you needed it. One thing I notice though, I never see a used one for sale. Doesn't that suggest that those who have them like them and keep them?

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April 24, 2008, 09:33 AM
I've never heard a bad thing said about them online. I've shot one and like it a lot... it is a very solid little pistol and is a great deal IMO. Hers is still breaking in, and had one or two bobbles, but that was w/ Wolf ammo and it hadn't been cleaned after a few range trips, so I give it a pass on problems since.

Sato Ord
April 24, 2008, 10:04 AM
I bought one for my wife. The first box of ammo I fired had about three misfires. Second box she fired and had two. Took it out and fired a bunch of quality reloads Sunday without a hitch. I think the misfires were more the result of the cheap range ammo I bought than a problem with the weapon.

The gun shoots fine and the only possible problem I've heard about was someone told me that it takes about 250 rounds to break it in. I haven't noticed that it takes that much. It fired fine, except, as I said, for what I think was inferior ammo.

I have no problem with either feeding or accuracy. I fire it spot on at 11 yards, and my wife put every one of her rounds in the kill zone; so did my son.

I bought hers slightly used for $200 (it had two mags of ammo fired through it before I bought it).

There is a woman who owns one who shops at the same gun shop as I, and she fires nearly every day (hope nobody messes with that lady, she can knock a gnat off a fly's back at fifty feet). After over a year of firing thousands of rounds she managed to wear the frame noticeably. It was sent back to Bersa and they replaced the frame with no problems. The life time warranty goes with the gun, not the owner if you ever want to sell it.

I'd say it is money well spent.

April 24, 2008, 10:18 AM
Great pistols. Checkout for more information.

April 24, 2008, 10:20 AM
I've never heard a bad thing said about them online.

Not everyone likes the Bersa Thunder. It's popularity springs from the low price, not the gun's high quality, which IMO it lacks. I sold mine.

April 24, 2008, 10:42 AM
The one I have is not bad. Its finish is uneven and wears to a glint on contact points, and when you hold it and work the safety you can feel it's clearly not a $500 product.

But it's really not bad. It's accurate and reliable if you use good ammo. Never had a malfunction when using Golden Sabers. If I'm using cheap ammo I start to get FTFs after a few mags due to gunk buildup.

I rarely carry it, but I'm starting to carry it more often because it's so light and slim for when I need to be sure I won't print. For the money, I'd say it's a pretty decent purchase. I'd buy one over a Taurus any day. And I did.

April 24, 2008, 10:42 AM
Only reason I sold it was I got a really good deal on a Sig 232 SL. Good guns. I found mine to be reasonably accurate ( they're not exactly target guns, and aren't meant to be). Never had any issues in all the rounds I put through it. It became a locker queen after I got the Sig.

April 24, 2008, 11:37 AM
Next to my XD it's my favorite weapon. It's great to carry but at the same time it's a fun gun to take to the range and run a couple hundred rounds through.

I've never had a problem, never had a hiccup and reliability-wise is just as boring as my XD. It goes bang ever time. It's accurate despite it's small sights and short sight radius. It's easy to take apart and clean.

Just stay away from non-factory mags. NOBODY has made aftermarket mags that work well with the Bersa.

April 24, 2008, 12:37 PM
$225 is a great price. May I ask who sells at this price?

For the money, you can do a lot worse than a Bersa Thunder 380. However, for a few more dollars, you can go with 9mm and not have to go bigger.

Since I already have a small 9mm (M&Pc), a pocket 380 (LCP/p3at) is next on my list. The Bersa 380 would be a "tweener" that I just don't need -- but it's fun pistol to shoot. I've shot a new Bersa 380 which needed about 200 rounds to break-in and afterward, ran fine.

One thing to consider with the Bersa 380 as a carry pistol, is that I feel it should be carried with safety ON. Understand that this also decocks the hammer, so when drawn, the safety would need to be flipped off and the trigger would be DA for the first shot. Try this for yourself, if you haven't already, and be sure you are comfortable with it. If carried with the safety OFF, there is a chance that the hammer could inadvertently cock by snagging on something (it HAS happened before) and this makes the pistol ready to fire with a light SA trigger. FWIW.

April 24, 2008, 02:46 PM
First, if you search it on gunbroker you will find quite a few buy it nows for $225 and I think even one for $220. I found one close enough to me that I could drive and save shipping and ffl (and pay for gas). The only semi auto pistol with a hammer I've owned was a Browning hi power which you had to manually cock first round. Can you do that with the bersa or does the trigger have to be double actioned?

April 24, 2008, 03:37 PM
woof, it's a standard DA/SA. Slide rack will result in cocked hammer, which can be decocked by actuating the safety. You can either DA the first round or manually cock the hammer if you prefer.

April 24, 2008, 05:02 PM
Over 2700 members and more joining every day

April 24, 2008, 05:54 PM
Bersa guns are fine and very affordable. They are bound to go up in price once word about their quality gets out. Buy one while they are cheap.

April 24, 2008, 05:56 PM
I got mine new last July for $219. Nice little shooter.

April 24, 2008, 06:00 PM
We love ours. My wifes grand-dad left her his carrying rig. 2 Bersa 380's in double shoulder rig. Mags are so small that he had 2 on each shoulder strap. 44 rounds of 380 in 2 pistols. Man I miss that old guy.

oh yeah, ours don't like cheap ammo either.

April 24, 2008, 06:36 PM
i carry mine everyday. over 2500 rds thru it and not one failure. and for a little gun, it's amazingly accurate. (minute of pop can at 20 yds.)

April 24, 2008, 07:10 PM
I don't think it's possible to buy a better new handgun for the price of a new Bersa 380.

April 24, 2008, 07:17 PM
First day on the range I ran over 250 rounds through mine without a hiccup, several different ammo brands. I'm now at 640 rounds and the only ammo that's given me stovepipes is the Blazer aluminum crap. Head over to BERSA Talk ( and see what owners have to say. Nobody I'm aware of carries with the safety on. Uncocked it's a DA, same as a revolver, and you don't see safeties on those.

April 25, 2008, 01:15 AM
I bought a Thunder 380 DLX just because it was a good deal. My girlfriend liked it so well I had to get her one. Neither of them has over 100 rounds through it yet. Only problem I have had is the last round in a mag has an occasional FTF. I had read several places that it would take 2oo rounds to break it in so I'm not discouraged yet. Won't use it as a carry piece untill it proves 100% reliable. Will see how it goes after a couple hundred more rounds.

April 25, 2008, 01:46 AM
I have +/- a thousand rounds thru mine and its perfect. (I had a problem with the slide stop not holding the slide open on last round...I had my thumb on it...) remember i said "IT" was perfect.

April 25, 2008, 08:55 AM
Threads like this are encouraging. :)

Went out to Gander the other day to check one out, since I'd read good things about them, they're 'reasonably' priced for folks like me with lower incomes....and Gander is the only place local that carries them that I've found.
Checked out new, was $299 for the duo-tone and that was the cheapest, also had a special package for $350 that was same gun, but came with extra mag, spare wood grips, holster, case. Then walked to the used cabinets and checked for deals there, sometimes they happen and hey, there was one! Thunder .380 duo-tone, seemed like new in function, fit and finish(so far as I could tell) and was $180. Loved the way it handled, so it's now on layaway. I are a happy boy.

April 25, 2008, 12:07 PM
They remind me of my Makarov East German made pistols. Solid reliable and well made pistols.

I have four of the Makarovs I bought quite a few years ago, have converted one to .32NAA, and bought a Bersa to add .380 and compare the shooting from similar feeling pistols

Buy some Bersa's for range shooting but if you want to carry .380 buy the Keltec - can't beat it for littleness, and littleness is good in the summertime.

April 25, 2008, 01:40 PM
I don't own any of the Bersa offerings, but I have shot a couple of them...a .380 Thunder and a .45 (don't remember which model).

Decent auto-loaders at a reasonable price point...accurate, too. Kept them in the black @7Yds...pretty good for me, as me-n-mouse-guns don't play well together.

April 25, 2008, 01:54 PM
Have one and don't really care for it.
Admittedly, a most of my distaste is due to a lot of problems right out of the box. After only 200 rd's you couldn't fire it double action.
The smith where I bought it took care of it, but I have a real hard time trusting it. These days it's a range toy only.
To be fair, the only problems I've had since getting it back, are the grip screws backing out, and the slide closing when you insert a full magazine.
As I understand it, both are common issues, and not really a big deal, just annoying.

April 25, 2008, 02:26 PM
To be fair, the only problems I've had since getting it back, are the grip screws backing out, and the slide closing when you insert a full magazine.
As I understand it, both are common issues, and not really a big deal, just annoying.

The slide is supposed to "close" when you insert a full mag.

April 25, 2008, 03:27 PM
The slide is supposed to "close" when you insert a full mag.

Really? I don't think it's supposed to. My T380CC does the same thing, I thought due to the very light construction of the gun. No matter how gently I try to seat the new magazine with the slide locked back, it almost always jars the slide loose and it slams into battery. I don't mind it TOO much, I guess, since there is the chamber loaded indicator I can glance at to verify it did properly take the top round out of the magazine.

I like my T380CC ok. It was my first CCW piece and I still keep it around as a backup to a backup gun. Mine's reliability is only "ok". Not due to feeding or jamming issues, which it doesn't have, but rather the light-duty (imo) construction of the fire control group. Unpredictably, if the gun's loaded and I flip the safety from "safe" to "fire", the trigger sear doesn't engage, resulting in sqeezing the trigger and nothing happens. Rapping the pistol with the non-firing hand is usually enough to fix it, but that does kind of concern me. On the occasions when I do carry it, with a chambered round, I'll decock it and then flip the safety back to fire, and make sure by feel that the trigger sear is engaged. I attribute this to light duty construction. Still not a bad little gun, though.

April 25, 2008, 04:32 PM
Really? I don't think it's supposed to. My T380CC does the same thing, I thought due to the very light construction of the gun. No matter how gently I try to seat the new magazine with the slide locked back, it almost always jars the slide loose and it slams into battery.

There was a discussion of this feature on the Bersa Talk forum some time ago. If you insert the mag with enthusiasm, it's made to release the slide so you don't have to rack it. If yours is doing it even with gentle seating there may be an issue. Bersas come with a lifetime warranty, and unlike some manufacturers, they actually honor it. Contact Royce at Colorado Gun Works ( - CGS is the authorized Bersa warranty station.

April 25, 2008, 06:22 PM
Is this one Spray painted??? I know that it's NOT the plastic bag cause the tag goes beyone the bags boarder.

April 25, 2008, 06:27 PM
I'm trading mine but only because I got a great deal on a sig p232 and I don't need two .380s. It was a great gun but I just didn't shoot it much after I got the P232.

April 25, 2008, 06:29 PM
That one on gunbroker looks kinda like how mine was out of the box, covered with a light oil. It cleaned up just fine though.

April 25, 2008, 06:45 PM
First thing you do when you buy a Bersa is hose it off. I got mine home and stripped it to clean it up, but I think my dealer got there first, 'cause it was pretty clean. Others have said theirs were full of rust-preventive grease when they opened the box. That pic looks scary, but they clean up real nice. :D

M47 Dragon
April 25, 2008, 09:00 PM
I was visiting Arizona three or so weeks ago for the AZ State IDPA match... spent some time at the Cabela's in Glendale, AZ (suburb of Phoenix) and they had the Bersa Thunder .380 going for $209.

April 27, 2008, 04:42 PM
My fiance and I took mine/hers to the range yesterday and put 50 cheap WWB through it, flawless operation. BTW, it's the DLX model.

One time she slapped the new mag in, the slide closed on its own. First time I saw that happen but that's fine with me. When cleaning I did notice the grip panel is slightly loose from the grip screw loosening, but that took me about 4 seconds to fix with a flathead screwdriver.

50 more flawless rounds through, confidence in the gun goes up another notch.

April 27, 2008, 05:00 PM
I bought one for the wife. For the price tag, it is a great little pistol. However, I would not pay $300 for one if that was the going rate for them. The quality isn't that great but if kept clean it is definitely worth its $200 price tag and I would trust it to carry. I start getting malfunctions around 200 rounds without a cleaning before the Bersa starts acting up.

Flopsy - In my experience nearly every semi-automatic handgun I've ever handled will go into battery if the magazine is slapped in hard enough. I have also noticed that pointing the pistol slightly upwards tends to make this easier.

April 27, 2008, 06:58 PM
I'm pretty fond of my Bersa .380, it can't hide like a Kel-Tek, but it's a whole lot easier to shoot well. It also has an adjustable rear sight, and when was the last time you saw one of those on a pocket gun? Mine is totally reliable as long as I keep it clean and lubed, after 100 rounds of WWB it starts getting fussy. Accuracy is as good as I can hold, and as well as I can see, which ain't so great. No soda can is safe at under 20 yards or better.

My Bersa was the gun that saved my bacon in an attempted carjacking, another pound or two of pressure on the trigger and the BG would have been breathing out that ugly hole in his forehead. When I thunked the muzzle between his eyebrows he suddenly heard his mother calling him, and had to leave on short notice.

A week later I added a Bersa "Ultra-Compact" 45ACP, and have carried it daily since. I've had offers to sell the .380, but I have a kind of sentimental attachment to it now. ;) BTW, I paid $175 for mine, it was the first used one I'd ever seen, it looked unfired, and I pounced on it.

And yes, new Bersas are shipped with a quart of machine oil all over them. Mine took an hour to clean up. :cuss: Aside from that I love them. And the .45 isn't much bigger than the .380!


April 27, 2008, 07:30 PM
......when you put the second mag in and drive it home, the slide is supposed to go forward and reload. It was designed that way for faster reloads. That was another thing I liked about the one I had. I'm just waiting for them to make one with a stainless slide and internals. For the time of year that I want to wear it, the sweat factor comes into play.

April 27, 2008, 08:08 PM
My Bersa has been flawless from day one. A great little gun for the money. It has a better trigger than some of my bigger guns.

April 27, 2008, 08:11 PM
I have had 2 Thunder .380's for over 8 years now. One is always with me. The only bad experience I have ever had was with some Wolf ammo years ago. Niether pistol has ever malfunctioned as far as I can remember. Wife and I used them about 5 years ago for our renewal CHL class, and both worked fine.

I recently was on a business trip in West Texas when my primary Glock 26 assumed room temperature. The Bersa that I keep in my truck became my primary concealed carry pistol for 2 days until I get back to the compound. Glad I had my Bersa with me. Did not feel under gunned at all.

April 27, 2008, 10:20 PM
......when you put the second mag in and drive it home, the slide is supposed to go forward and reload.

In that case I guess mine is ok then. Neat little gun regardless, it's just that if possible now 9mm is as "low" as I'll go with self-defense calibers. But I like the little 380 and take it out to the range every now and then for fun, and I am glad it's there in my safe as a backup to the backup.

April 27, 2008, 10:32 PM
My Bersa has been flawless from day one. A great little gun for the money. It has a better trigger than some of my bigger guns.

Mine too,have a Bersa 380 and a 380 CC...never a fail to feed and easy to clean up afterwards...I think Bersa will someday become a 'major player' in the gun market.

April 28, 2008, 03:20 AM
The Bersa, like all the other James Bond like pistols i.e. PPK, sound like great lil CCW type pistols. I have been looking into the, not to derail this thread, Sig P232 and I think that it just might be the next Firearm purchase that I make.

I have heard in my thread that I should go with the Bersa thunder insted of the SIG P232 cause the pull back of the slide is much easier, when in Double Action, on the bersa than on the P232. Haven't had a chance to prove this theory for the fact that I have only touched the 232 and not the Thunder. I guess when I finally get a chance to go down to the range or local fierams dealers I will definitely try them both on for size. I will also take the wife because the pistol is actually going to be for her.

I can't believe that the Bersa is only $200-$250 and the 232 is $629-$858.

Well I guess you can't please them all. *SIGH*


May 1, 2008, 01:05 AM
My Bersa Thunder 40 is my trusty CCW and nightstand piece.
Extremely reliable (I shoot with it almost every week-end at the range) and accurate.
You cannot beat it in price/quality ratio, solidly built, great trigger and all the features and more of a SIG in the same class at less than half the price...on top of that, IMHO, is the best looking full size .40 in the market.
Only real downside the cost of extra mags....but they do have stainless steel follower, rare nowdays.
A minor flaw is that the finishing is somewhat a bit uneven and bluing is not top notch.
Few things to mention about Bersa....several gun shops told me that they fly off the shelves and they constantly have to back-order them (especially the Thunder full size)...I haven't seen many in the used market..a good hint about their quality.
Guns publications reviewed Bersa products and they always got top scores.
The company does not spend literally a penny on advertisement.

I was in he market for a .40 full size and I was pretty much settled on getting a Beretta 96 or a SIG so money was not an issue. Then I run into this gem at a gun shop, great looking, unbelievable light and compact for being a full size piece and I could not believe the price ($320 + tax).
I did not buy it immediately and I researched the brand and the reviews.
After few days I went back and I bought it...the best 300+ bucks I ever spent on a gun.
Now I'm seriously considering buying the little Thunder 380 for pocket carry.

I already mentioned this, I did let try my Thunder 40 at the range to a friend of mine, a SIG lover....I had hard time to get it back :D:D:D:D and he offered to buy it...

B yond
May 2, 2008, 10:03 PM
I just had one follow me home yesterday. Picked her up from the LGS, took it across the street to the indoor range, ran one patch down the barrel and across the face, fired a 50 round ccw qualification with a perfect score and no malfunctions.

Having never fired a 380 before I was surprised with the flash, recoil, and noise. I noticed later that the web between my thumb and trigger finger was sore, which suprised me since I shoot my .45 a LOT (ruger p345) with no soreness.

Also, my Bersa's decocker doesn't decock, which might be a bonus. I'm assuming this is due to a burr somewhere in the linkage that will work itself out as the gun breaks-in. I haven't decided if I want to detail strip it to polish that out or not.

So far I'm very satisfied. I just ordered a few hundred rounds and some reloading dies so we'll see if I'm still in love after some more range time.

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