Bersa Thunder 380 Plus


October 14, 2010, 06:24 PM
Anyo9ne have experience with this pistol. My Daughter has decided she really likes the feel and size of this gun. She is looking for a replacement for her S&W 36 and wants a 380 auto. She is very small with small hands and somewhat recoil sensitive so we have been looking at full sized 380 pistols (PK380, Sig P230, PPK). The low price tag doesn't hurt either.

Any double stack mag gun is going to be too big


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October 14, 2010, 07:11 PM
They are very accurate and reliable pistols. Both my wife and I have the regular Bersa 380. Mine only has 1500 rounds or so thru it while the wife is well over 2500. The finish may not be as nice a some to the more expensive but the Bersa is an exceptional value. Also you get a lifetime warrantee for the original owner that actually works. You can go to for a lot more information. My wife loves her bersa and often puts 250 rounds thru it at a time. As for being small, she is 5'1"and is also recoil sensitive. Got to love reloading.

October 14, 2010, 08:08 PM
I have a Bersa 380, I have had it for about 6 years and never had a problem. Very comfortable to shoot and reliable.

October 14, 2010, 09:01 PM
Great Gun, shoots better then my way more expensive guns

October 15, 2010, 12:15 AM
The PLUS is the double stack model So make sure your talking about the Bersa Thunder or the CC as they are the single stack.
Their a great little pistol. I bought mine to use on range instead of my PPK/S . The PPK/S hurt my hand by 30 or so rounds .Bersa became my 380 carry very quickly.
I then helped start BersaTalk 1 which crashed a year ago. Then did BTII for a time. Left and started So the Bersa has changed my life . Come visit and ask the owners of the 380 Thunder. This best place to get information

October 15, 2010, 02:20 AM
Fantastic gun - accurate, easy to shoot, FUN to shoot, and reliable as can be. As has already been said, the "Plus" is a double stack version of the Thunder 380, so she may want to stick to the regular or CC versions.

October 15, 2010, 02:45 AM
I have the regular Bersa thunder, not the plus. My feelings on it are and have always been mixed. I WANT to like it, always did.. but it's got issues. Mine has always been very finicky about ammo, usually works with the kinds it likes, but occasionally chokes on just about anything. Ok for the range, but I don't trust it for self defense purposes. And that sort of ruins its purpose to me, as I have many better range gun options. The lighter colored finish on my duo-tone model has worn and looks kind of ugly, which I would understand if the pistol had been used and carried a lot, but it hasn't. The metal on both my slide and barrel seems to be particularly prone to rusting, much more so anyway than any other gun I own. I love the feel of the gun, I like the looks, and the price was great.. so as I said I'd really like to like it.. but I really can't recommend a Bersa from my personal experience with it.

October 15, 2010, 03:20 AM
hexidismal, sorry to hear about your troubles. I think your case is the rare exception, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating or disappointing for you. Your Bersa has a lifetime guarantee, so it might be worth your while to send it in for service.

October 15, 2010, 09:00 AM
Thanks all. I assumed it was a plus based on the photo, but the gun in question is the single stack. At $250 I think I'll buy it and shoot a few hundred round to see how it holds up. At that price it seem hard to pass up based on the mostly positive reviews. Will report back.

October 15, 2010, 02:22 PM
Not only will it hold up you will probably find it hard to hand over to your daughter.

I wish I had bought a dozen of them. Every last person who had ever shot mine has loved it and wanted it.

I'd be rich...

October 15, 2010, 08:00 PM
Well, we looked at the Walther PK380 and can't decide between the two. It's easier to work the slide on the Walther, but it's an extra $100. I'm also not keen on the idea that you need a tool to strip the PK380.

On the other hand, I'm a bit concerned over all the posts about the Bersa and the breaking disconnector spring.

Anyone want to weigh in on PK380 vs. Bersa Thunder?

October 15, 2010, 08:39 PM
Only 1500 rounds through mine over the years but never a hicup. Spare mags seem pricey compaired to the original price of the gun.

I got the duo tone with the hooked trigger guard, if I would do it again I would try for the rounded trigger guard and all black finish usually sold under the Firestorm name.

Nice gun for the money.


harmon rabb
October 16, 2010, 09:36 AM
Anyone want to weigh in on PK380 vs. Bersa Thunder?

I own both (ostensibly for my wife's use), so I'll chime in. Between the two, the Bersa has a nicer trigger, but the slide is more difficult to rack, and the PK380 soaks up recoil better. Neither have ever malfunctioned on me, and both have been tested with a variety of ammo, so I give them equal scores in terms of reliability.

Personally, I just like the PK380 better. It feels better in my hand and I'm a better shot with it. If I'm going to take one of them to the range for some fun, 90% of the time I pick the PK380. If I was going to carry one of them, it would be the PK380 for the extra capacity and because I shoot it better.

All this said, I'll be damned, but my wife shoots the Bersa significantly better than the does the PK380. I have no idea why; neither does she. But the difference is great enough that I know which I'd want her armed with, and it sure as hell isn't the PK380. She is able to work the slide on both fine, although the uses the technique on the Bersa that she uses for heavier slides (bent left arm holding slide, push gun forward with right arm), and just slingshots the PK380. I can slingshot both. Neither have malfunctioned on her either, btw.

PK380 worth the $100 difference? For my wife, hell no. For me, yes. So I guess there's no real way to know unless your daughter can handle both. If the slide on the Bersa is an issue for her, then I guess the choice between the two is settled right there, though.

I'll just note that I personally enjoy shooting the PK380 so much, that I buy mail order .380 in bulk (since it's now the price of 9mm finally) just to plink with. I think the PK380 is pretty much the ultimate full-size "chick" .380, but your daughter's mileage may vary, as my wife's has.

October 16, 2010, 07:50 PM
Hey Gun Tech (and all others),

I've got two Bersa 380's, the standard BT380 and the more compact BT380CC. I love them both. I don't have the BT380 Plus but I can pass along some information to help you out.

The disconnector spring issue on Bersas does not apply to the Plus model. The design for this doublestack is different from the single stack models. My standard BT380 did have the disconnector spring issue but it was rapidly and permanently fixed under warranty.

If you go with the BT380 Plus you won't have to worry about the disconnector spring issue.

Good Luck.


October 17, 2010, 01:39 AM
Thanks, Dan. Unfortunately, we are looking at the single stack since Kate has small hands.

October 17, 2010, 01:51 AM
You might also check out a Hungarian PA-63. It's very similar to the Bersa, but, in my opinion, has a better trigger and is an overall much better gun. A quick and totally painless spring job gives it a 13-pound trigger pull in double action. With the strongest recoil spring, it's also pleasant to shoot.

October 17, 2010, 06:21 PM
I bought a Bersa Thunder 380 Plus early this year and love it I have smaller hands and it fits well, My wife likes to shoot it as well has a great feel, I have not had problems with ammo I do reload for it and never had no problem. This is my carry wepon. my only problem is the price of extra clips can not find them for much under $40 a magazine

harmon rabb
October 17, 2010, 06:26 PM

October 18, 2010, 10:30 AM
Finally traded my Thunder Deluxe .380 because I seldom got through all rounds in the mag without a jam no matter which mag or round I used. I'd get as far as the last 2 rounds. I will say that I do not believe this is the norm because I know several Bersa owners that have had no issues with them. But personally, I wouldn't trust my life with it.

October 18, 2010, 04:20 PM
I believe you. My friend's Bersa did the exact same thing, albeit it only happened with S&B ammo. It jammed on almost every mag on the second to last shot - factory and aftermarket mags, alike. With 2 other brands it was 99.9% reliable. It was something to do with the magazines and/or the ammo, and not the gun. You couldn't even thumb those rounds in/out without a jam.

The ammo measured fine on my calipers. And it shot fine in a Ruger LCP. I disassembled, cleaned, and even lightly lubed the mags and followers, with no change. So the mystery remains unsolved, but it does seem to be mag-related. One of the theories on the Bersa forums was that some mags might not handle blunt FMJ. The S&B's were noticeably rounder, looking like my mak ammo; whereas, the other brands that worked ok were more of a pointy ogive, looking slightly more like luger ball. Hollow points seemed to work fine, too.

October 18, 2010, 07:06 PM
S&B tends to be the problem child with the BT380 - not everyone has problems with it, but enough do that it's wise just to avoid it altogether.

When there's an FTE or FTF issue with a Bersa 380, 90% of the time it comes down to:

1. Ammo (almost always S&B)
2. Limp wristing
3. Aftermarket (Mag Tec) magazines, Counterfeit Bersa mags, or burrs in the OEM mag.

Correcting any or all of these issues usually results in flawless performance from a previously troublesome gun.

October 18, 2010, 10:13 PM
For me the real problem ammo in the Bersa was the far more common Federal American Eagle 95 Grain FMJ. Great ammo, works in everything else, but my Bersa thunder will choke on about every second round with it. I've never been able to figure out why exactly. Only thing I could even guess at is that it may be just slightly hotter than the normal ammo I use (usually Remington green box) the Bersa seems to like better.

October 19, 2010, 12:59 AM
I never have like the deluxe 9 round mag I think they cause the most trouble. Use the 7 round Bersa mag . Remember the CC must for relieability use the CC mag and the Thunder the 7 or 9 round Thunder mag Factory says not to interchange between CC and Thunder.
I shoot S&B in my Thunder and never been a problem I know some owners report it doesn't work same with the winchester flat nose junk .

Come visit us at home of Bersa and now the American Classic 1911 has joined the ranks.

October 20, 2010, 09:20 AM
I did have better luck with the 7 round mag. but still had jams. I kept it for a while because I really liked it and wanted to get the bugs worked out. It was fun to shoot and I was surprised by the accuracy. I would not have traded it if I could have worked out the mag problem.

October 20, 2010, 10:48 AM
My dad has a Bersa Thunder .380. The only thing I have shot through it personally is the "Cabela's exclusive" .380 Hornady TAP FPD. The gun cycled fine and the trigger felt great.

The gun has done a 300 round marathon session with absolutley no cleaning. It has fired everything fed through it. Fiochi, Winchester (WB, Super X, and Winclean), Hornady, Federal American Eagle, and a couple of other brands fed without failure.

The slide did wear the finish off of the frame in one small spot after 800 rounds. My dad sent it off to be refinished and there hasn't been another issue since.

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