Looking at .380's


December 28, 2003, 10:40 PM
Now that I have a Mak in 9x18, I'm in a minor caliber mood. Looking at .380's, the Beretta 85 FS Cheetah and the CZ 83 are in my sights. Any comments on these two, comments, criticisms, Pros vs Cons?? Any others on the CA approved list you guys like or prefer? TIA

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December 28, 2003, 10:54 PM
Can't comment on those two but (and sure CA legal) .... two words ...

Bersa Thunder. :)


December 29, 2003, 12:18 AM
i have the twin to the gun posted above.Light weight and reliable,and fits my hands.CW

December 29, 2003, 12:31 AM
You could get a Makarov in .380 ;)

December 29, 2003, 02:18 AM
My wife has a small .380 collection. Bersa Thunder, SIG P230, and Walther PPK/S-1, sorry, none that you asked about, but she does like the SIG and Bersa the most of the three.

December 29, 2003, 02:57 AM
The Bersa Thunders sure do tempt me as do the Mak's. But I see no point in getting either (for serious purposes) as long as Kahr makes the MK9.

Also the Kel-Tec P11 comes to mind, but I wouldn't want one for a serious CCW piece.

I'd consider a Bersa, Mak, or P11 as a nice cheap car gun at the right price.

December 29, 2003, 05:07 AM
one more vote for the bersa thunder

December 29, 2003, 06:50 AM
I understand that both the Beretta and the CZ are a bit heavy for their caliber. That might not be a factor in your choice, living in the Terminator's Leftest Empire, but if you were to somehow get a coveted carry licence there, weight would suddenly rear it's ugly head!!

I'd also go with the Bersa!!!

December 29, 2003, 08:49 AM
Well...lets break it down further. You can classify them all in cost/quality and other ways if you choose.

For the Cost/Quality you have the Mercedes........CZ83, Beretta, BDA and Sig. Some will scream "Walther" but Ill get into that later on.

All are first class guns that will give you light years of accurate and dependable service. All are extremely well made and you can tell when shooting and looking at them.
(The Walther fits this class in cost and quality of make..but are not in the general class of dependability as the others mentioned. Unless you are lucky! I grew up shooting one of these and have the scars to prove it..they bite!)
The Sig is equal to others in machining, trigger, finish and accuracy. Not in capacity and how heavily they are built. The CZ, BDA and Beretta are all very sturdy double stack guns and can hold up 15 rnds of +P .380 ammo. These guns are NOT much larger than the Sig...compare them first hand and youll see. The sights, triggers and ergonomics of these are first rate.......the CZ83 and BDA are what "ALL DA triggered guns" should feel like when you pull the trigger! :D The CZ83 is the best natural pointing gun Ive owned and Ive owned alot of guns.

Now you get into the Nicely made and priced guns, Bersa, FEG, Makarov etc.....the Bersa is a nice weapon for the money...no arguements. FEG's are cheaper, just as reliable and much heavier built than the Bersas.
But dont have the nice trigger and sights. I refer to the PMK/SMC series of FEGs...nice design and an all around nice gun. Its more elemental than the Bersa in its controls function and such. The Bersa is equal to the Sig for feel of the trigger pull, sights etc. The FEG's are not. Its a trade off. Personally, I love the little FEGs and if they came with better sights/triggers for another 50-75$ they would take over this market sect...IMO anyway. Makarovs .380's are the same as the FEGs but a more simple design. They can have very nice triggers with a little work. They are also as accurate and as reliable as ANY gun mentioned here regardless of price.

Ive owned most of them and have shot them all. For my money, which I spent as wisely as I can........It comes down to two guns for best out of the box...no work done to them! The CZ83 for the "best of the best"......regardless of price! And the Bersa if price becomes an issue

Shoot well........................:D

December 29, 2003, 10:08 AM
Thanks (especially to PCRCCW), lots more useful info than I expected. looks like I;ll need to take a close look at the Bersa and compare to the CZ.

Johnny Guest
December 29, 2003, 12:14 PM
I had my old 1966-vintage PPK out of the safe the other day. Trim, neat, fairly accurate, [mine is] reliable. And quite obsolescent, if not downright obsolete! It is HEAVY for its size and power. There are now 9x19 mm pistols which are equally compact, notably the Kahrs, and certainly lighter than the PPK. It requires a holster to carry it comfortably, and if I'm to go to that much trouble, I'll take something more powerful, thank you.

The double-column .380s are a concept I don't understand at all. The Browning and Beretta efforts come with nice wooden stocks, which make them thicker still, and, again, they are entirely too heavy and underpowered for the burden to me transported. The only excuse I can find for them is that some individuals simply will NOT practice enough to maintain any level of proficiency. Some accept the idea of firing a lot of low-power shots to attain a couple of hits, and hope to be lucky about this ending the threat.

This is one man's opinion. I will admit that I know two people who insist their double-stack "just feels good," and I cannot argue with such a subjective impression. One of those individuals, a female, is VERY proficient in hitting a target, given a little time to prepare. But I'm not sure she'd be any quicker into action with any other handgun.

There are a couple of .380s which are small enough, light enough, or both, to justify their niche. I am fascinated with the Kel Tec P3AT - - It simply MUST be better than the P32, and I kinda like the latter, for a mouse gun. :p


December 29, 2003, 01:11 PM
Unfortunately, Kel Tec is a no-show on the CA certified handgun list.

December 29, 2003, 02:40 PM
Wife just bought the Bersa 380 at a local gun show for 199.00. She loves it!!

December 29, 2003, 06:45 PM
If it's in your price range, Sig Sauer makes a nice .380. Bersas, however, are accurate, reliable, and much less expensive. I really liked my Beretta .380, but it was probably a smidge too big and heavy for a serious .380 ccw pistol.

December 29, 2003, 07:31 PM
The Browning BDA is very nice but a bit big. They are getting hard to find.I have one and it shoots very good. Byron

Black Majik
December 29, 2003, 07:52 PM
In my opinion the Sig P232 is the most fun .380 I've shot. Plus its not so small that its difficult to grip, and the gun cycles so smoothly.

Sig! http://socalsportbikes.com/xmb/images/smilies/thumb.gif

chuck pullen
December 29, 2003, 08:07 PM
Got to add my vote for the BERSA Thuder 380. A heck of a gun. I'm sure the Sig is nice too, but the BERSA costs $199 plus tax. Can't be beat.

December 29, 2003, 08:56 PM
I have a Bersa Thunder 380 and a Makarov 9x18M and like both; however, the Bersa is the most accurate auto that I have ever shot and it has been absolutely reliable. It had great single and double action trigger pulls right out the box that are probably 1/2 that of the US made Walthers.

December 29, 2003, 09:30 PM
How about a NAA Guardian.

December 29, 2003, 10:12 PM
I have had a NAA Guardian for over two years. It is all stainless steel and other than being a little heavy, it is a great little pocket gun. It is a DAO.

Alan Fud
December 29, 2003, 10:32 PM
Browning BDA380 ...
... fourteen rounds of .380ACP made by Beretta for Browning. Posted by Johnny Guest: ... The double-column .380s are a concept I don't understand at all. The Browning and Beretta efforts come with nice wooden stocks, which make them thicker still, and, again, they are entirely too heavy and underpowered for the burden to me transported ... My wife is recoil sensative but due to the relatively full-size of the gun, she is able to get as a good grip on it and it kicks like a .22! My wife can hit the X-ring at 75 feet as opposed to scoring 7's & 8's at 7 yards with some of my 9mm's.

I think that she'll do more damage by putting fourteen .380ACP rounds where she wants them than scattering 9mm rounds all over the place.

December 29, 2003, 11:34 PM
Hi Chris,

I'll see your Bersa Thunder picture (which I copied on occasion before I got my own Bersa :D ), and raise you another!

Oh, what I meant was ... here's another vote for the Bersa. Excellent gun!



December 29, 2003, 11:47 PM
I'll see your Bersa Thunder picture (which I copied on occasion before I got my own Bersa ), and raise you another! hahaha! Done Sir!! Mind you .... yours was (is) the better pic in truth ... darn sight more creative than my ''profile mug-shot'' :p

So .. have you any explanation for turning up so late to a .380 thread then?! Huh?! Not sure we can let you off ya know! :D

Happy New Year dude. :)

December 30, 2003, 01:32 PM
Well Chris, if my picture is truly better than yours then it's due entirely to dumb luck I asssure you! My approach to picture taking is, "Take 100 pictures and you're likely to get one you like." And that's exactly how I got a decent picture of each of my guns! :rolleyes:

For me, the most important thing to getting a decent handgun pic is to have LOTS of light with minimal shadows. After that I haven't got a clue. I am anxiuosly awaiting your primer on how to do this right!!

No good excuse for being the late comer. You guys had it handled!

Happy New Year to you, too! Be careful out there.


December 30, 2003, 02:07 PM
Go to 1911Forum (http://www.1911forum.com/forums/) and check out the photos from DHart. They ran a thread there on taking close-up gun photos (http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=65588) which may be of interest.

Gary in Pennsylvania
December 30, 2003, 02:38 PM






Link to ZVI KEVIN (http://www.zvi.cz/kevina.htm)

But . . . . . . not available here.

Sigh. :rolleyes:

Badger Arms
December 30, 2003, 03:04 PM

That was low, really low.:banghead:

December 30, 2003, 04:09 PM
I so AGREE with Badger............LOW LOW LOW! :cuss:

I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Czech Republic has some cool stuff........DAMN!

Shoot well.............

December 30, 2003, 06:08 PM
WOW! Nice photos, Gary. I'm drooling over the guns, too. :D


December 31, 2003, 06:46 PM
Hey, Bersa owners, I posted a link in the accessories section for a pair of wood grips for the Thunder. I have a Firestorm Can't use them.

It's not my auction. I just ran accross it looking for mags. Hope it helps someone

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