Bersa Thunder 9 report


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#shooter
May 25, 2008, 04:24 PM
History.
I just purchased a Bersa Thunder 9 which is a full size hi-cap 9mm pistol. I have an XD45 that I enjoy and carry but it can get heavy. I don’t think I am too recoil sensitive but my hand does get tired faster than I like when on the range with the .45 and my accuracy goes to pot soon after. I then got a Kel-tec P3AT to carry for warm days but I do not enjoy shooting this pistol as it has too much recoil, smacks my trigger finger, has a creepy trigger, and every second or third shot I manage to eject the magazine by accident. All of which is a shame as the Kel-tec is surprisingly accurate given its size. I like that my XD holds 14 rounds and that the Kel-tec is small and light therefore I was looking for a lighter, less recoil, full size carry pistol, that is reliable, accurate, inexpensive, and semi-auto. Am I asking for too much? I figure I would split the difference between the .380 and .45 and get a 9mm, which led me to the Bersa. Bersa makes an Ultra Carry Thunder 9 (13 for most of us & 10 for the poor souls on the coasts) and the hi-cap. I decided that the Ultra Carry may be too light and small for my requirements, plus my shop didn’t have any.
The gun.
The fit and finish (blue) was as good as any other carry pistol I have handled (XD, Glock, & Browning). The feel of the pistol felt more balanced in my hand (empty), unlike my XD which feels top-heavy to me. The magazine holds 17 rounds and loading the magazines by hand became tough after about round 12. Luckily I keep the speed loader that came with my XD in my range bag; this made loading the magazines much easier. The gun came with two magazines but I wanted one or two more and the shop had them for $55. The cheapest I found them for on the internet was for $40. I’ll pass on additional magazines for now until I can find them cheaper or make them myself. The Bersa had a good amount of oil on it out of the box and required a little wipe down to clean it up a bit (foreshadowing).
Getting ready.
The Thunder 9 is a DA/SA pistol with a safety/decocker (same lever). I have never used a pistol with both these features and was curious how they worked. It is easy for me to take the pistol off of safe with my thumb (push down) but I need to practice putting it into safe with just my thumb as it requires more force to push up (remember the safety is the decocker as well). After a while I think I will get the hang of it the more I use it. The slide release lever is easy to get to and was stiff at first. After a few rounds of loading it loosened a bit and was easier to operate. Both magazines fit fine and seated well, when released the magazines fell out easily.
Shoot already.
I bought 200 rounds of Winchester white box 115gr FMJ just to put through and loosen the gun up a little. The Thunder 9 gobbled it all up no problem and was thirsty for more. Everything worked fine no hiccups, misfires, or duds. At first all the shots were landing to the 8-12 inches right at 13 yrds which had me concerned as the sights are fixed. I am not sure why this was happening but I think it may have had to do with the excess oil in the gun. After a magazines worth of shooting my groups were tightening up and hitting where I was aiming. I am used to the DA/SA of revolvers so the trigger pull was fine. Not too much creep and a very clean break. Once I got used to where the break was and how hard to pull the trigger, especially in SA, I was rocking. By my 3rd target I was completely in the black with a few bullseyes and a gapping hole just beneath the center ring and my 4th target had almost no red left in the center. I then decided to do some rapid fire and it was on all the paper. Not bad for a first day with a new pistol.
Conclusion.
Shooting the Bersa was enjoyable and fun. I brought my XD to compare the recoil of both guns. The 9mm was indeed less than the .45, but not by as much as I thought it would be. The 9mm was snappy and I was able to get in a few good double taps to my satisfaction, something I had difficulty doing with my XD. I was also able to shoot 200 rounds and my hand didn’t get tired or started limp wristing. The Bersa has met all my criteria thus far as it is inexpensive, accurate, and lighter than my .45.
The main problem to me was the excess oil. Once I started firing I would wipe the gun after every magazine. I do not know why the shots were far right at first, it could be because of me, gun stiffness, or the oil. I did run a ptach through twice before shooting. Either way it worked out in the end. Next time I would disassemble the gun and wipe it down before shooting it the first time, which I usually do but was being lazy today.
What’s next? I would like to test the Bersa with other brands of FMJ practice ammo such as Blazer. I plan on doing some tests with different bullet weights and shooting at farther distances. Lastly, I need to test the gun with some quality self defense JHP and higher pressure ammo (which I will not use but wan to test anyway). One bonus feature, 9mm is much cheaper than .380 and .45 ammo. I am very pleased with the Thunder 9 and look forward to shooting it again and eventually carry it.

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RustyShackelford
May 25, 2008, 06:32 PM
As a left-handed American, I saw a few nickeled Bersa 9mmNATO models I considered for duty use/second guns. Or to use on $%^& details or jobs in bad weather, ;).

They are low cost and the nickeled models look like they can wear well/take harsh treatment.

My main concern is that they work 100% and are long lasting...

Rusty S

#shooter
May 25, 2008, 09:21 PM
Unfortunatly I have read on other boards that the nickel peels on some of them. This was an older posting, so it may be resolved now or not.

MICHAEL T
May 26, 2008, 01:25 AM
First take the Bersa apart and clean it That isn't just oil.
2nd You should carry with the Safety /Decocker off. A good holster and the DA trigger is the safety.
3rd Use only Bersa mags. THey make their own mags. No pro mags We have found then to be nothing but trouble.
4th If you join http://bersatalk.com you will find we have the #1 warrenty shop in our tec section . That many Bersa items mags holsters ect, are given a way . Tonight a custom leather http://ubgholster.com for Bersa of winner choice was given away .
Also links to Bersa suppliers.
If it a Bersa we support them, Talk about them ,and shoot them
Thats http://bersatalk.com

jlpskydive
May 26, 2008, 11:15 PM
My wife carries one and we have alot of rounds through it with no problems. Like her old .380 it's a great gun.

#shooter
June 4, 2008, 10:34 AM
Addendum:
I put another 100 rounds of 115gr WWB without a problem. The gun is very accurate at 7, 15 and 25 yrds with WWB, probably more accurate than me. I also put through 2 boxes of 147gr Rem Golden Saber. No problems what so ever and accurate at 7, 15 and 25yrds. The recoil with the 147 felt less to me as well. Less muzzle flip and right on target. Thus far I really enjoy this pistol.

amprecon
June 4, 2008, 11:42 AM
I have the UC9 and it has functioned flawlessly, a great bargain.

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