Bersa Thunder .380 break-in period


November 23, 2008, 01:48 PM
Went to the range yesterday mostly so a buddy could check-out his new Bersa Thunder .380.

It was having feeding issues and would jam at least once per magazine.

He was pretty discouraged, but I tried to reassure him it was probably just needing to get past the break-in period.

Any other Thunder users out there experience this when theirs was new, and how long did it take before it was fine?

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November 23, 2008, 02:39 PM
I have one...haven't shot it much, but no problems with FTF/FTE's...

Most of the folk on the Bersa board say that around 200-rds of FMJ seems to be the minimum...before firing HP's...

Also, if he didn't...suggest a thorough cleaning to get rid of all the manufacturing lube...


November 23, 2008, 02:39 PM
The wife has a Thunder 380, I don't recall any initial problems with it..but I hope his breaks in and works fine. BTW I don't like the Thunder 380 but the wife loves it:rolleyes:

November 23, 2008, 10:17 PM
folk on the Bersa board say that around 200-rds of FMJ seems to be the minimum

Hmmm, that's not too promising then. He shot exactly 100 rds, so it should have started improving somewhat near the end, but it didn't.

I had told him probably around 500 rounds.

Good idea on the cleaning beforehand, I didn't even think to ask him if he did that.

At what point would you say that there is a definate problem that he should contact the mfg about getting it fixed?

November 23, 2008, 10:45 PM
The first handgun I ever owned was a Bersa .380 and regret selling it every time I think about it. No malfunctions, period! Sorry to hear of your friends misfortune.

Head over to Bersatalk and see if you/he can find some help info there.

November 23, 2008, 11:33 PM
After a thorough cleaning: First one I bought took about 50 rounds or so before it smoothed out. 1 malfunction per mag or so until then. Afterwards 100% and very accurate. Though the safety/decock lever is still very very stiff. The second one I bought used from a coworker (cheap) and it had a bad magazine (simply would not lock the slide back). Switched the mag out. It was reliable immediately...expect she fired maybe 1 box or so through it before she changed her mind about firearms. However, accuracy on the second one was all over the place at first...shooting 2 of them side by side with the same ammo so it wasn't me. After about 200 rounds the accuracy began to improve dramatically and it is now dead on. Not sure how or why but that one seemed to need an accuracy break in as opposed to a feed/reliability break in. The left hand grip screw on both will shoot loose.

November 24, 2008, 09:58 PM
One of my Bersa's required about 200 rounds before everything settled down. I had occasional FTFs that disappeared after that. The other worked flawlessly from the get go.

November 24, 2008, 10:41 PM
Thanks for the info.

I just talked to him, but should have read here first.

He said he did clean it, but he noted something that he didn't tell me when we were at the range, and I didn't notice it in my couple shootings of it.

It appears it is maybe the mag, and maybe the spring just needs to be worked in some.

He noted that when the mag was full, it would jam on either the first round or the second, but not after either of those two rounds. Finally near the end, he stopped loading the mag to max and didn't have a problem. At the end of the session he tried full mag again, and it again jammed.

I suggested he load/unload the mags a few times each day until we can get to the range again.

November 24, 2008, 10:48 PM
What kind of "jam" was it? One round not ejecting? Stove pipe? Ejecting spent, but not loading the empty? Was he using FMJ round nose ammo?

Sometimes the grip can cause james. NO kidding. Limp wristing some guns cause them to jam, others wouldn't have a problem, but to firm a grip causes the jam...

The break in period is as much for the shooter as the gun.

1.) Clean well
2.) Buy some new mags
3.) Shoot the gun using all mags, mark the mags that jam.
4.) ID the jam
5.) Check for burs in the ejection port and throat of the barrel.

November 25, 2008, 01:04 AM
Have him clean the mag. It comes apart easy I has the same protective gunk in it as the pistol.
Some dislike some brands of ammo early on The winchester being the worst. That blunt nose.

If you grip screws are coming loose a little drop of Blue loctight on threads will fix that. Careful to much and you will have other problems.
For all your Bersa needs , from mags to holsters we can help you find all. Warrenty smith member 10% discount on many Bersa items to members.
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November 25, 2008, 01:17 PM
I just got back from the range today with a friend who just purchased the Bersa .380. He put 100 rounds of WWB without any problems. He did say he gave it a good cleaning before he used it.

November 25, 2008, 03:45 PM
It was ejecting the spent but not loading the next round. It would halfway chamber.

Thanks guys, I'll forward the info on to him.

Claude Clay
November 25, 2008, 07:59 PM
needs oiling and/or limpwristing
grip screws work loose--yup
100% reliable out of the box and 2k+ rounds later

November 25, 2008, 10:28 PM
Tighten up your grip a little. I had a problem with mine when I first got it, and I hated the gun. Now I don't have it (not because of this problem) and I miss it. Try tightening your grip and that should help a little.

Also check the ejection port because I read an article once about the port not being cut to the right measurements.

November 27, 2008, 10:51 AM
Have two-One for my wife and one for myself. WE have not had any problems except for my wife limp wristing it at first. Love both of them.

November 27, 2008, 12:44 PM
I just bought a Bersa Thunder .380 for my wife. I went directly to the range after picking it up, no cleaning, no oil.

Shot 150 flawless rounds.

November 27, 2008, 01:49 PM
Will be hitting the range with him next week, so hopefully all the tips will work out to a better second outing.

Thanks everyone!

November 27, 2008, 04:52 PM
I had the same problem with my Bersa Thunder. One stovepipe every mag. Get out your Dremel and polish the throat. Less than 5 minutes and no more FTF's.

November 27, 2008, 08:42 PM
Do not polish the throat and never use a Dremel tool. It is alloy and you will polish off the protection and it will really mess it up then.

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