Bersa thunder .380 question


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Sobel
August 18, 2012, 03:35 PM
I keep reading reviews, I'm asking for one for my birthday. Some people have said the recoil is "snappy" is this because the guns too small for them or is it just the way it is for that gun? Many other people say it has little to no recoil compared to 9mm and up. I have a s&w9ve and im fine shooting that. I just don't want to ask for something like a gun for my birthday for it to be unpleasant to shoot. I have hopes of using it for my ccw when I get it.

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almherdfan
August 18, 2012, 03:43 PM
I found the BT .380 to be very pleasant to shoot. My BT was very accurate, reliable and fun. I carried it for over a year, but decided to switch to a Ruger SR9c.

Justaguy2025
August 18, 2012, 03:44 PM
The felt recoil is not bad at all. I have 2 Bersa Thunders and they shoot like a dream. I also have a S&W Bodyguard 380 and it is snappy.

rcmodel
August 18, 2012, 03:45 PM
The recoil is snappy because the gun is a straight blow-back design.

Your s&w9ve is a locked breech design.

rc

usp9
August 18, 2012, 03:46 PM
The recoil system is different than in your S&W and although the .380 is less powerful, it has about the same "feel" as the 9mm. If you shoot the 9mm OK then the Bersa will be fine as well.

If I were looking at the Bersa Thunder, I'd be inclined to go for the Plus, as it holds 15 rounds and feels better in the hand than a regular Thunder, IMHO.

Sobel
August 18, 2012, 03:48 PM
The recoil is snappy because the gun is a straight blow-back design.

Your s&w9ve is a locked breech design.

rc
I did have a cz-82 I found it less jarring than the 9mm but i suppose thats to be expected. Or is the cz not a blow back pistol?

Telekinesis
August 18, 2012, 03:50 PM
It is snappy because it uses a blowback operating system and not the browning type locking system (think Glock, Sig, or pretty much any other popular semi auto pistol). Basically, instead of having the bolt locked when the gun is fired, the only thing keeping the chamber closed is the spring tension and the inertia of the slide itself. That leads to a quicker recoil impulse which makes it "snappy".

That said, it is not the snappiest gun I've shot, but it is definitely worse than my full size and compact 9mms. Also something to keep in mind, if you have big hands, be careful about how you hold the gun. I have a nice little scar on the web of my hand from repeatedly getting bitten by the slide.

Sobel
August 18, 2012, 03:53 PM
It is snappy because it uses a blowback operating system and not the browning type locking system (think Glock, Sig, or pretty much any other popular semi auto pistol). Basically, instead of having the bolt locked when the gun is fired, the only thing keeping the chamber closed is the spring tension and the inertia of the slide itself. That leads to a quicker recoil impulse which makes it "snappy".

That said, it is not the snappiest gun I've shot, but it is definitely worse than my full size and compact 9mms. Also something to keep in mind, if you have big hands, be careful about how you hold the gun. I have a nice little scar on the web of my hand from repeatedly getting bitten by the slide.
Hmm Another question is I know itll probably have a 1000 answers but whats a good round to shoot from a .380?

Telekinesis
August 18, 2012, 04:17 PM
It depends on what you're wanting to do with the gun. From a pure plinking standpoint, pretty much any .380 FMJ will do fine. It gets a bit more confusing when you get to defensive uses though. It seems to be about a 50/50 split as far as using FMJ versus using HPs for defense. The FMJ side wants to sacrifice expansion to assure effective penetration and the HP side is ok with giving up a bit of penetration to have some expansion.

Personally I fall on the side of using hollow points. In my gun, I use Golden Saber HPs, but that decision was based on the fact that my LGS made a mistake on the price of several boxes and decided to honor it. If I hadn't gotten that price break, I would probably look at Golden Sabers, Gold Dots, or maybe even Hornady Critical Defense (to list a few) and choose which load best fit my needs and what cycled reliably in my gun.

Dr_B
August 18, 2012, 04:18 PM
Bersa .380s are reliable and easy to maintain. Get one if you can find one. They aren't all that snappy.

murf
August 18, 2012, 04:33 PM
most any cartridge that feeds reliably will do you good.

murf

Sobel
August 18, 2012, 04:38 PM
It depends on what you're wanting to do with the gun. From a pure plinking standpoint, pretty much any .380 FMJ will do fine. It gets a bit more confusing when you get to defensive uses though. It seems to be about a 50/50 split as far as using FMJ versus using HPs for defense. The FMJ side wants to sacrifice expansion to assure effective penetration and the HP side is ok with giving up a bit of penetration to have some expansion.

Personally I fall on the side of using hollow points. In my gun, I use Golden Saber HPs, but that decision was based on the fact that my LGS made a mistake on the price of several boxes and decided to honor it. If I hadn't gotten that price break, I would probably look at Golden Sabers, Gold Dots, or maybe even Hornady Critical Defense (to list a few) and choose which load best fit my needs and what cycled reliably in my gun.
I'm in the same boat as far as thinking , I'd rather have expansion over penetration. I don't want the bullet to pass completely through them seems like having to open someone up and dig lead out of them will cause more "lets think about why I was shot" pain so they wont do it again. When I lived in NY we couldn't carry knives longer than 4 inches. It seems like 5-6 inches is enough to get to the goodies within, So I'm not entirely sure why people need 12 or more inches of penetration.

DanTheFarmer
August 18, 2012, 09:46 PM
Good Evening,

There a few different Bersa 380 models. The most common model is the BT380. There is also the slightly smaller BT380cc and the 15 round BT380 Plus. I have the BT380 and BT380cc. The recoil for the BT380 is just about the same for me as my 9mm pistols. The cc model, due the combination of its smaller size and differently shaped grips definitely jumps more in my hand. If I'm shooting 50 rounds in sub-freezing weather I will feel it at the end of the session. The regular BT380 has never been a problem for me. The cc is easier to put in a pocket though.

I don't have and haven't shot the Plus model but can only guess that it would be the same or have even less recoil than the standard model.

Good Luck.

Dan

Telekinesis
August 18, 2012, 11:08 PM
It seems like 5-6 inches is enough to get to the goodies within, So I'm not entirely sure why people need 12 or more inches of penetration.

Something to always remember when looking at penetration/expansion tests is that you are shooting into a media that behaves differently than a human body. They try their best when formulating the gel, but at best it is a method of comparing bullet performance to other bullets tested using the same method.

What the 12" standard is really saying is that "12 inches of penetration in this known material will equate to adequate penetration in a human body". It does not mean that it will be a perfect 12" to 12" ratio between ballistics gel and human torsos. In real shootings, you must also deal with punching through fabrics, bones and other types of tissues (usually denser organs) which will effect a bullet differently than standard ballistics gel.

Another consideration is that in a defensive use of a firearm you may need to shoot through something to hit the target. For example, if the target is leaning around a corner in your home, you can shoot through the drywall to hit him in the chest. Or if someone is trying to break into your car (while you are inside and can not otherwise get away) you may need to shoot through the windows/windshield or sheet metal (shooting in a car will be VERY loud though). Having a round that can penetrate those materials and still maintain enough energy to stop an opponent is very advantageous.



All this to say... The .380 is on the edge of just a little less penetration than would be optimal (when used with hollow points) so it pays to assess what your most likely scenario would be and tailor your ammo choice to that need.

Sobel
August 18, 2012, 11:41 PM
Something to always remember when looking at penetration/expansion tests is that you are shooting into a media that behaves differently than a human body. They try their best when formulating the gel, but at best it is a method of comparing bullet performance to other bullets tested using the same method.

What the 12" standard is really saying is that "12 inches of penetration in this known material will equate to adequate penetration in a human body". It does not mean that it will be a perfect 12" to 12" ratio between ballistics gel and human torsos. In real shootings, you must also deal with punching through fabrics, bones and other types of tissues (usually denser organs) which will effect a bullet differently than standard ballistics gel.

Another consideration is that in a defensive use of a firearm you may need to shoot through something to hit the target. For example, if the target is leaning around a corner in your home, you can shoot through the drywall to hit him in the chest. Or if someone is trying to break into your car (while you are inside and can not otherwise get away) you may need to shoot through the windows/windshield or sheet metal (shooting in a car will be VERY loud though). Having a round that can penetrate those materials and still maintain enough energy to stop an opponent is very advantageous.



All this to say... The .380 is on the edge of just a little less penetration than would be optimal (when used with hollow points) so it pays to assess what your most likely scenario would be and tailor your ammo choice to that need.
I figured the gelatin and flesh were almost the same, has anyone tested it on I don't know for lack of a better example a pig carcass? I've seen people shoot beef on youtube but I don't know how I feel about that.

EddieG54
August 18, 2012, 11:44 PM
Have carried a Bersa 380 for the last year or so and do not think you will have any issue with the recoil. The Bersa is a little heavier than some of the smaller/lighter 380's and the ability to get back on target is better IMO.

Sobel
August 18, 2012, 11:59 PM
Have carried a Bersa 380 for the last year or so and do not think you will have any issue with the recoil. The Bersa is a little heavier than some of the smaller/lighter 380's and the ability to get back on target is better IMO.
I had a cz-82 i sold it and a 91/30 for a s&w9ve and i regretted it for a long time I just hate plastic the sad thing is it took me almost 7 months after i got the s&w before i realized it. Now I have to wait till October before I get the tiny aluminum bersa

rondog
August 19, 2012, 12:33 AM
My BT 380 is a nice little pistol, and not unpleasant to shoot at all. Now, the PA-63 above it, which is 9x18 Makarov, that little mother is "snappy"! Lot of power and the aluminum frame doesn't absorb much of it.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/my%20handguns/pockets01.jpg

jackblack86
August 19, 2012, 09:13 AM
I own a bersa 380 and the sigma the only thing you wont like compared to the sigma is the price of 380 vs 9mm ammo. You will also find the trigger a little/lot nicer to shoot. Recoil to me seems about the same.

Sobel
August 19, 2012, 02:33 PM
I own a bersa 380 and the sigma the only thing you wont like compared to the sigma is the price of 380 vs 9mm ammo. You will also find the trigger a little/lot nicer to shoot. Recoil to me seems about the same.
I was gonna get the 9mm ruger I can't for the life of me remember what it was called. But, then I ended up goin with the s&w and i regret it. Something about the heavy pull every time you pull the trigger I wish I could go back in time.

Green Lantern
August 19, 2012, 03:35 PM
I like my Bersa a lot.

You know - IMO, I think a lot of recoil is relative to the shooter. I don't have very strong hands, and they really weren't strong way back when I first got it, but I never had any problems with recoil. It's not a tiny gun, and the grips are nice and comfy (albeit a bit thick, if you're trying pocket carry). Now, a Kel-Tec P3AT on the other hand...!!!

Just one word of advice, the only functioning problems I had with mine were with Wolf ammo...

ETA: Haven't CCWed it in a while, but when I did it was loaded with hollowpoints, Remington 88-grain. Not very fancy, but something I can actually afford to "proof test" my guns with!

MedWheeler
August 19, 2012, 08:37 PM
I love mine. If .380 ammunition were as readily available and affordable as .22LR, it would be my favorite gun, of those I actually own, to shoot. It is a blowback design, which makes it a little more durable, and a little more "snappy" than a recoil-operated gun of the same size and weight might be. Mine runs anything I feed it, including mixed-ammo mags containing rounds 20 years apart in age and from all brands I've tried. I carried it as an EDC for a year or so, until I switched to a lighter, more-powerful, and less-pleasant Kel-Tec PF9. Green Lantern (post above) and I use the same ammo, and for the same reason.
The Bersa is a fine gun, and can well-serve any capable member of your household in a defensive role.

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