Wife's gun-- Bersa Thunder .22 vs. Beretta 21A .25 acp


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Guvnor
November 30, 2012, 12:27 AM
Hi folks,

Need to make a decision between these two. It will be serving as my wife's bedside gun. I have a 12 gauge coach gun under my side of the bed for this purpose, but i would feel better if she also had a gun she was willing to use and be confident with. i know .22 and .25 are both anemic calibers but she is tiny (5'1) and not really a "gun person" and gets easily turned off by recoil and muzzle blast. Basically its the only calibers she is willing to shoot. Had her try a .32 kel tec and a .38 snub with wadcutters and she hated both. But she shot a .25 baby browning and loved it. I would rather get her a gun that she is willing to practice with and learn to shoot well, than a gun that she would be scared to ever fire.

I have narrowed it down to these two guns. Ruled out considering a single action only pistol like the Mark III or Buckmark because she would have trouble racking the slide, and her small hands have trouble with most double action revovler triggers. Both the beretta and bersa i can leave the hammer down on a loaded chamber in double action mode.

I know .22 and .25 ballistics are about equal from short barrels. But im wondering if the reliabilty of the centerfire beretta .25 would give it the edge. But the bersa has a longer barrel and a couple extra rounds capacity. Basically what im trying to ask is...which is the more reliable pistol??

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hso
November 30, 2012, 12:55 AM
Your wife needs to be doing the picking based on what actually fits her and not us or you.

I've focused on teaching women to shoot the past several years. I start out finding out what fits the individual and not what someone has told them they should be shooting. By letting the new shooter pick through various types of handguns and finding out what fits them so they point it naturally we end up at the best fit for them. That may be a 1911 or a Glock or a S&W 686, but the final choice is based on the firearm pointing naturally for them in a proper grip. It takes time and a variety of handguns, but that time saves a lot of effort and time overcoming a less than ideal fit, unmanagable recoil, poor initial accuracy.

My wife points a CZ 75 naturally and shoots it in .45 with frightening accuracy and speed. A friend of our that is the size of your wife ended up with a P13 fitting her and she shoots it in .45 with speed and accuracy. Another shoots a Glock in .40. Yet another a 9mm 1911. Since the firearm was selected to fit them they manage greater recoil and are on target easier and therefore have more enjoyment of shooting and more willingness to practice. The lady that sounds like a match for your wife hated a 9mm CZ and Glock, liked the standard single stack 1911 well enough, but loved that larger double stack 1911 ergonomics and ate the center out of the target at 30-ft the first time she had it in her hand.

Let your wife pick what fits her and she'll be better off.

Guvnor
November 30, 2012, 01:31 AM
Thanks for the advice. Right now she seems pretty adamant about wanting one of these small autos. Im hoping that after she gets plenty of trigger time and training she might be confident enough to try moving up to a bigger gun.

TennJed
November 30, 2012, 01:38 AM
My wife has a Ruger LCR in 22 by the bedside. I also have a bobcat (22) and a few of the large frame 380s (beretta 84, cz 83, makarov) She likes the LCR the best. She doesn't like racking slides and honestly doens't train enough to be comfortable with clearing a jam in a semi.

an 8 shot snub revolver in 22lr is a great choice for her.

Guvnor
November 30, 2012, 01:48 AM
How is the trigger on the LCR .22? She tried my friends taurus .22 and also a ruger sp101 and she had trouble pulling the trigger in double action on them. She could do it but i dont see her being able to shoot one accurately. Heard the lcr was way lighter but havent had a chance to try one yet

weblance
November 30, 2012, 02:10 AM
The 21a has no extractor. If it jams, shes in trouble. You cant rack the slide to clear a misfire, all it will do is mash another cartridge into the one in the chamber. I have both the 21a and the Bersa 22. I think its a toss up, with the possible jam issue of the Beretta, and the reliability of rimfire ammo with the Bersa. Try to get her to consider a 22 revolver. If it misfires, you pull the trigger again, and the next round will light. If she insists on a tip-up barrel, consider the New Taurus POLY PT-22. Its a redesign of the older PT-22 and much better. Its $100 cheaper than the Beretta, carries an extra round over the Beretta, and in my experience, is much more reliable than the Beretta. Its available in .22 or .25ACP. I also have a wife who will shoot nothing but a 22. We have a Ruger LCR-22 with Crimson Trace by her bedside at night, loaded with CCI Stingers. I do like both my Bersa 22 and my 21a(.22)I would trust my Bersa more if it was a choice between the two. Better than a stick. Not by much though. Im surprised she didnt like the P32. Was it because it was so tiny? There are Bersa Thunders available in 32ACP, and many people like the Bersa Thunder 380. The recoil is snappy though with 380 in the Bersa. 32ACP is a good increase in performance over .22/.25, and the weight of the .32 Bersa will tame any recoil there is(almost none). Good luck.

weblance
November 30, 2012, 02:17 AM
The LCR-22 trigger is heavier than the Centerfire LCR. Its certainly lighter than the Taurus 94, and a bit lighter than the SP101. The Taurus POLY PT-22 is DAO, and has a nice smooth trigger. Lighter than any revolver. Lighter than the Beretta in DA. How about a Ruger SR22P? Good reliability, heavY first shot DA trigger, but then SA trigger after that. Same for the Bersa. If she likes that Bersa, talk her into the 32ACP. Its a better choice.

Guvnor
November 30, 2012, 02:23 AM
The keltec .32 fit her hand well, but she complained about the recoil. I thought it was a little snappy myself since the gun was only like 8 or 9 ounces loaded. Good point about the lack of extractor on the 21a. That is why i would only consider the 21a if its chambered in .25 acp. I will definately try to find a LCR .22 for her to dry fire and see if the trigger is doable for her and ill take a look at the taurus poly as well. Thanks!

Shadow 7D
November 30, 2012, 04:00 AM
CORNEREDCAT.COM

her gun, she's the one who has to carry it, best she chose something she wants to pack every day.

That said, consider something larger?
a larger gun is often MUCH easier to shoot than specialist guns like super-lite (anybody offers her a .357 airweight, kick them, well, offer to have them shoot it first)
or POCKET gun, pocket gun compromises size for concealment, consider an older gun in steel? like a .32 (they were very popular prior to WWII for European police)

better to hit what you aim at.

JERRY
November 30, 2012, 05:18 AM
a .22 revolver would be my choice if i had to pick between it and a mini auto in .22lr or .25acp.

the revolver even a 2" will give slightly better ballistics, can stroke passed a dud round, is simple to operate, is not ammo sensitive.....the DAO lcr while not as good as a regular center fire J frame gun is better than most others of its type.

id recommend a non locked gun preferably a model 34.

center fire is more reliable than rim fire, revolver is not ammo sesitive like some semi-autos. your wife doesnt have many choices considering what she wants.

Guvnor
November 30, 2012, 09:39 AM
Thanks. The more i think about relying on .22 semi auto for defense the more it gives me the willies. I think i will have to go with the beretta in .25 acp, try to track down a .32 bersa thunder, or go with the LCR provided it fits her ok.

I am optimistic that once she has some training with a female instructor, and gets comfortable and confident with a small, unintimidating pistol...she'll be ready to move up in caliber someday. But for the forseeable future id rather her have a .22 or .25 than nothing.

MedWheeler
November 30, 2012, 12:41 PM
The issue with clearing a jam in an extractor-lacking pistol is a moot point when you're dealing with someone who cannot rack the slide on a Buckmark or Ruger .22 anyway.

Regarding trigger pull; leaving the hammer down on a live round will result in a trigger pull far closer to that on a revolver than that on the Baby Browning, which is a single-action pistol. Be sure she can handle that first-shot effort. If not, you may have to add some single-action guns to the consideration-list.

You're doing right in letting her "choose" to arm with what so many people consider to be an unsuitable round. Seriously, I bet she could live ten lifetimes without encountering the one guy each year who commits an attack he'd continue against a .22 or .25 defense, but would terminate if faced with a 9mm defense. Like others (and you) have pointed out, she may upgrade later. But why should she wait to be armed now, right? Countless bad guys have been captured, disabled, or driven off by some "lady and her little .22."
If you can swing it, get one of each. Pick up a secondhand Taurus PT-22 for training, and a similar-sized .25 (or .32) for the "real thing." After all, if one is gonna use one of these little calibers, training becomes even more crucial, and .25ACP ammo is neither plentiful nor cheap.

Buck13
November 30, 2012, 01:17 PM
If it's only for home use, why does it have to be a snubbie?

An 8-shot .22LR revolver with a 4 or 5" barrel would still be light enough for her to use, and would be a nice range toy, too. She may not be willing to practice very much, but even so, do you want to pay extra for the .25ACP ammo?

This looks pretty sweet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU2x7-ypzi8

I don't know about the SP101, but in a high-adrenaline situation, I have trouble imagining that anyone with the strength to pick up a bag of groceries would not be able to handle the DA trigger pull on my K22! Has she shot a revolver with small grips and a decent trigger?

Edit: What the... Just checked the S&W website, and they don't make a J-frame in >3" barrel any more??? :banghead:

aarondhgraham
November 30, 2012, 01:17 PM
If she likes the Bersa at all,,,
It's DA/SA trigger gives her "second strike" capability on a .22 cartridge.

I own the Bersa Thunder 22 and the gun is reliable,,,
Mine has performed perfectly with CCI Mini Mags.

I can't choose for you/her,,,
But my Bersa has never failed to fire with CCI ammo.

Aarond

.

krupparms
November 30, 2012, 02:19 PM
I have shot both of these handguns & I found that as long as the Bersa is reliable & accurate, I would go with it. The price of ammo means she can shoot it enough to be good with it. Some of the new ammo is not bad for S.D. ! I know some will disagree with that but I have seen alot of people killed w / it over the years. With ammo going up, not down, I would stick with the Bersa .22lr. &get her to shoot often. JMO . Good luck, have fun, stay safe! And happy holidays! :)

Guvnor
November 30, 2012, 02:35 PM
Good advice all around...I appreciate it. We will be checking out local shops this weekend and hopefully make a decision.

JERRY
November 30, 2012, 04:41 PM
wait, waht? cant rack the slide on a ruger mark II? my God, she has a serious debilitating condition.

i hope for the best for her, really, i dont know what else can be recommended for her condition.

Guvnor
November 30, 2012, 04:53 PM
I never said she couldn't Jer, but I'm just predicting that she might. Like i said she isn't a "gun person" and I wouldn't want her fumbling with a slide to charge a magazine or a looking for a safety in the dark. Especially on a gun like the Mark III with just a little knob to grab onto with 2 fingers. She's 5'1 and barely 110 pounds, she ain't Rosie the Riveter. No need for wisecracks.

JERRY
November 30, 2012, 05:32 PM
oh ok, so its a concern about doing so under stress.....

if thats the case i say look for a non locked S&W or Colt .22lr revolver.....www.gunbroker.com has plenty. http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=318445800

they even have a light weight non locked modern S&W 8 shot snubbie model 43....

Guvnor
November 30, 2012, 06:20 PM
Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is a non-locked s&w? Do they put lock mechanisms on them now or something??

Hit_Factor
November 30, 2012, 06:24 PM
Ask her not us.

toivo
November 30, 2012, 07:06 PM
Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is a non-locked s&w? Do they put lock mechanisms on them now or something??

Sadly, yes they do. But you can order non-lock versions. I did when I bought my 642.

Back to the OP -- Bud's has the Thunder .32 in stock:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/76786/Bersa+T32DT+Thunder+32+32+ACP+3.5%22+10%2B1+Polymer+Grips+Dual-Top://

If cash isn't an issue, get that along with a Thunder .22 as a practice drone and plinker fun gun. Controls and frame size are identical.

Another option would be a CZ-83 in .32 ACP, if you can find one. Very little felt recoil from a mid-size all-steel pistol in that caliber. A big plus is 15+1 capacity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU0979I4jmc

If you go with any .32, I recommend using FMJ ammo for reliable feeding. Hollowpoints in that caliber don't expand so well anyway.

I would stay away from the pocket-size pistols if this is going to be a nightstand gun. You lose controllability and gain nothing.

danez71
November 30, 2012, 09:39 PM
If she likes the Bersa at all,,,
It's DA/SA trigger gives her "second strike" capability on a .22 cartridge.

I own the Bersa Thunder 22 and the gun is reliable,,,
Mine has performed perfectly with CCI Mini Mags.

I can't choose for you/her,,,
But my Bersa has never failed to fire with CCI ammo.

Aarond

.

Thats been my experience as well.

Mines also been 100% with CCI Blazers too.


If she has trouble with the DA 1st shot, dont decock it and leave it in the holster.

Guvnor
November 30, 2012, 10:15 PM
We stopped by a couple local shops earlier...she actually loved the LCR. DA trigger is really smooth and was no problem for her. But she really liked the Bersas also. Decided against getting the Beretta due to its very small size. Ill be letting her make the final decision at this point as both seem like fine guns. Thanks for all the good advice.

toivo
November 30, 2012, 10:45 PM
Thats been my experience as well.

Mines also been 100% with CCI Blazers too.


If she has trouble with the DA 1st shot, dont decock it and leave it in the holster.
Mine too -- and also with Federal AutoMatch.

But I wouldn't recommended having an inexperienced shooter draw a cocked, unlocked handgun from a holster. Just my opinion.

Shadow 7D
December 1, 2012, 10:06 PM
Take her to a womens gun class, I happen to despise gender bias crap, except there is place for these, where they are taught alternative techniques and are not afraid to appear weak or like they don't know.


there are MANY techniques to rack a slide, quite a few that DON'T use grip strength
so, assume, well break the word down (***-U-Me)
it's a LACK of training, unless you have something physically wrong/disablity

Second, my Cougar 8040 is SOFTER than some of my .22's
due to the fact that it uses a LOCKED recoil method, the spring just has to return the slide, a blowback (many small caliber guns, and ALL semi auto .22's) use the springs to HOLD the slide closed long enough for pressure to drop. Which requires vastly more 'spring power' than simply returning the slide.

So
Range time to try out guns
Read http://www.corneredcat.com/
Send her to 'girls gun school' or what every your local trainers/range offers

bill123
December 3, 2012, 05:31 AM
You may want to expand the search to th M&P 22. I found it easy to rack, 12 shot capacity, and you can always get a 9mm companion in the same size.
I have or had most of the others. Wife usually prefers to shoot the Ruger MK2's (she has not tried the S&W). At various times she has laid claim to my M&P9c with full size mag and the Glock 19. Your wife can shoot the .22 and keep the 9 for the house. Can come with thumb safety
Or how bout the S&W 686-7 with 38 special ?
My Bersa is reliable with Blazers, but I would use Stingers for reliability

Taurus 617 CCW
December 3, 2012, 09:45 AM
I use a S&W M&P22 pistol for helping new shooters get started. After its broken in the slide has the easiest cocking effort of any gun I have tried. You can literally pull it with your thumb and pinky. Recoil is negligible and you get 12 rounds in the mag (if legal in your state).

You may want to take a look at the Walther PK380 as well. My mom started with a Ruger LCP and hated it. I bought a PK380 for her after she said it fit her hand like a glove and she is happy with it to this day. It does have more recoil than a .22 but is very controllable. It will be louder if you have to shoot indoors compared to a .22.

aarondhgraham
December 3, 2012, 12:56 PM
Oops,,,

wrong forum.

Aarond

.

bill123
December 3, 2012, 02:09 PM
Beretta has a tip up barrel in .380 also. What she likes to shoot at the range and what can be pressed into service at home can be different.

Biometric
December 6, 2012, 11:37 PM
I have a Beretta 21a 22lr (since 1993.) Using the pop up barrel to chamber your load eliminates any need to rack the slide. There is never a need to wonder "is it chambered"? Just pop up the barrel and look- no muss, no fuss. If you want to eject a round, just pop up the barrel and easily remove it. CCI mini mags have given me flawless performance.

You might ask her to consider a S&W hammer-less J-frame chambered in 22lr. But how she feels about it is whats really important.

toivo
December 7, 2012, 12:36 AM
You might ask her to consider a S&W hammer-less J-frame chambered in 22lr.
I didn't know they made one. In 22LR I've only ever seen DA/SA models. I think I have a new "want"!

Biometric
December 7, 2012, 02:00 PM
Toivo S&W Hammerless Model 41C / 22lr / 8rds and Model 351C / 22 Magnum / 7 Rds

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