Surplus CZ-82 vs. Brand new Bersa Thunder .380


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Guvnor
December 12, 2012, 01:47 PM
Both are around the same price range, with the CZ coming in slightly cheaper. I want a compact gun for backpacking trips or day hiking. Perhaps to concealed carry on occasion as well. I'm in the northeast so i don't need a bear gun or anything. The Bersa would have a factory warranty, and would be shiny new, but the CZ seems like a more solid gun. I can't stand the fact that while the Bersa is an all-metal gun, they put a plastic floorplate/finger rest on the magazines. If I'm not mistaken, there isn't a single piece of plastic anywhere on the CZ.

What are your thoughts?

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miles1
December 12, 2012, 01:57 PM
I have ZERO experience with either gun(Disclaimer).

Fell in love with a CZ75B and havent looked back at wanting anything else since then.My vote would of course be a CZ IMHO.

Rubber_Duck
December 12, 2012, 02:00 PM
My vote goes to the surplus CZ-82. 9x18 Makarov is a little hotter than .380 ACP. There is also the newer CZ-83 which is the same as the CZ-82 but hambered for .380 instead of 9x18.

MICHAEL T
December 12, 2012, 02:27 PM
I vote for the Bersa I have 2 of the 380's good trigger very accurate . Plastic floorplate/finger rest on the magazines ? Well so does my Walthers PPK/S, KelTec PF-9, even got a Beretta that way. No big deal. Buy a Thunder CC it has flat mag no finger rest also very slighty smaller
Factory says not to use CC mag in normal Thunder many of us do and it works fine.( It holds 1 more round)

mgmorden
December 12, 2012, 05:11 PM
CZ's grips are plastic, but that's probably the only thing :).

I've not shot the Bersa, but I do have a CZ-82 and do enjoy it. I think between the cartridges its a wash. 9mm Mak is a smidge more powerful than .380 on paper but for all practical purposes they're nearly the same. The CZ-82 is a double-stack though and has great ergonomics. With most surplus pistols there's usually some weird quirk to get over (no slide-release, euro-style mag release, single-stack, etc). The CZ-82 doesn't really have any quirks.

The only thing I will say is that the gun is disproportionately wide for its profile. It might be a little hard to conceal but other than that its a great value.

Rubber_Duck
December 12, 2012, 05:16 PM
Is the Bersa a locked-breech design? If so the recoil should be less snappy than the CZ-82 that is blowback operated.

Roadking Rider
December 12, 2012, 05:45 PM
Bersa thunder .380 is a straight blow back design, as is the CZ 82. Both have plastic grips from the factory.
I've owned both and still own the CZ82.There both good pistols but IMO the CZ wins hands down. The CZ82 after all was designed to be a duty pistol and is built accordingly. Plus it does not have all the rediculous safety features of the BT.380, but it does have the ambi external safety. I didn 't find much difference in recoil between the two because the CZ is a bit heaver do to being built like a tank and dual stack of 12 +1. It is by far the best $200 I ever spent on a pistol. I use the Hornady HP ln mine for SD. The BT.380 is a good gun though IMO.

lowercase
December 12, 2012, 07:34 PM
Don't have a Bersa, but I have a CZ-82 and it's a pretty darn good gun.

At the current prices, they're a great bargain.

BSA1
December 12, 2012, 09:15 PM
At $200.00 the value of CZ82's is going nowhere but up especially when the importation stops.

Girodin
December 12, 2012, 09:32 PM
I want a compact gun for backpacking trips or day hiking.

The CZ-82 is not really all that compact. Mine is about the same size in many key dimensions as my Glock 19. My G26 is a more compact gun.

Its been too long since I've had a Bersa in my hands to comment on it.

For $200 the CZ is a lot of gun. Great trigger pull in both SA and DA. Accurate and IMHO easy to shoot well. A gun that is definitely worth the asking price. However, unless money is the major factor there are a number of guns I'd prefer for a compact backpacking gun. I got mine for sub $200 OTD a couple years back. Despite its very well worn finish I think it was an incredible value. It is by far the best bang for the buck purchase I've found if I exclude a few rare too good to be true purchases I've lucked into over the years.

jmfc606
December 12, 2012, 09:35 PM
I've owned both guns. Both are good reliable guns. I would buy the Bersa and not look back. Your getting a brand new gun vs a surplus gun that you have no idea what shape it's in or how it was treated in it's past commie life.

MedWheeler
December 13, 2012, 12:31 AM
I have the Thunder. It was my EDC from 2008 (I got it used that year) until it was replaced in that duty two years later (Kel-Tec PF9.) It's a rock-solid, reliable performer, and not at all unpleasant to shoot. Plastic magazine floorplates are not unique to Bersa guns; they're practically a standard anymore with carry pieces (the grip panels are plastic, too.)

usp9
December 13, 2012, 08:22 AM
I've owned both, in fact several of both, in several calibers. If the main use is to use while hiking and backpacking, then the lighter Bersa is the logical choice. You may even want to look at the 15+1 round Bersa Plus model. Same gun but with a double stack mag like the CZ.

The CZ82 is all steel, but it comes with built in weaknesses. It is a complicated pistol with many parts and not all of them are wear well. They are used to an unknown extent, so that is a risk as well. No warranty unless you opt for a new CZ83.

Neither of these ever became a favorite of mine, fun range toy, yes. CCW? No. If weight is a real concern and you want a quality CCW, then the alloy Sig P232 is a good choice.

DAP90
December 13, 2012, 10:39 AM
I dropped a full Bersa 380 magazine once and the floor plate/finger rest broke and spilled the rounds out of the bottom of the mag. I replaced all my floor plates with an aftermarket version that was supposed to be able to handle drops without breaking. I never tested them. Supposedly thereís a metal plate available as well.

The Bersa was an OK gun but I ended up getting rid of it. I didnít like the slide mounted safety and there was so much of a difference between the DA and SA trigger pulls I basically had to reposition my hand when going from one to the other.

Iíve never tried a CZ-82.

morcey2
December 13, 2012, 01:15 PM
My CZ-82 is my EDC gun. They're very well made, extremely reliable, and very accurate. Best $200 I've spent in a long time. I've never shot a Bersa 380, but I've held one and it didn't fit my hands well. I've heard very good things about them, though.

If you do get a CZ-82, you may want to change the recoil spring. The recoil with the stock spring was very, very snappy and somewhat painful. I was surprised, especially for an a relatively heavy all-steel gun (except the grips as already noted.) I swapped it out for a 16 lb spring from Wolff and it feels like a different gun. I believe that the stock spring is 14 lbs.

Matt

Ignition Override
December 13, 2012, 04:23 PM
The CZ's double stack magazine could make it harder to conceal than the Bersa.

After seeing dimensions of the Bersa, Sig 232, Maks, P-64 and FEG PA-63, the P-64 has the narrowest width among this group (PPK styles).

All of them appear to be thinner than the CZ. If width is not a factor, the CZ would probably be my choice (but haven't handled one),
and Not just because I'm a lefty.

Girodin
December 13, 2012, 04:31 PM
If weight is a real concern and you want a quality CCW, then the alloy Sig P232 is a good choice.

If one is going to spend what a Sig 232 commands why not simply buy something that makes a lot more sense as a carry gun? This is even more true if weight is a real concern. The Sig 232 depending on model weighs between 18.5 and 22.5 OZ and gives you 8 rounds of 380. A glock 19 is weighs 21 Oz and holds 16 rounds of 9x19, doesn't have heel mag release, is a gun I would rather take out to the woods for a variety of reasons. A G26 is slightly lighter still. One could also have a P9/CW9 that gives 8 rounds of 9x19 is substantial similar in size to the sig 232 and weighs less. The Sig 232 is one of the best looking guns around but if the OP is going to spend that kind of money there are more practical options IMHO.

Girodin
December 13, 2012, 04:50 PM
After seeing dimensions of the Bersa, Sig 232, Maks, P-64 and FEG PA-63, the P-64 has the narrowest width among this group (PPK styles).

All of them appear to be thinner than the CZ. If width is not a factor, the CZ would probably be my choice
(but haven't handled one), and Not just because I'm a lefty.

The CZ is not thin through the grips. Of course unlike the others mentioned it is a double stack and also has a higher magazine capacity. I've long lamented that there is not a real good thing grip option for the CZ 82. Some thin aluminium grips would be nice. They'd also cost half of what I paid for the gun.

The P64 is a nice size. It has one of the worst D/A trigger pulls I've have every felt on a gun. It is absurdly heavy. I was going to buy one once until I pulled the trigger. Some report that new springs and polishing can greatly improve it. I've not pulled one of these worked on triggers but it would have to be dramatically different for me to have much interest. You compare that to the CZ 82 that honestly has a better trigger than most of the handguns I have (the exceptions would be some 1911s and target 22 LRs). The pull in both D/A and S/A is very good. I prefer it to my Sigs. The P64 also has stout recoil for the caliber.

Your getting a brand new gun vs a surplus gun that you have no idea what shape it's in or how it was treated in it's past commie life.

This assumes that one cannot inspect it before purchase. The CZ is a stout Czech military piece versus a Brazilian commercial gun. I've never seen anyone complain about getting a lemon of a CZ 82. Some do have pretty hammered finishes though. I've not seen many complaints about the Bersa either. They are both cheap enough that even if you resold at some loss you'd be out very little.

If width is not a factor, the CZ would probably be my choice
(but haven't handled one), and Not just because I'm a lefty.

I've very confused by this statement. What does being a lefty have to do with not handling the CZ-82? It is fully ambi. It has an ambi mag release and an ambi safety. It really is a very feature laden gun for its time and is a very feature laden gun today for its price.

il.bill
December 13, 2012, 04:52 PM
I really know nothing about the Bersa, other than looking at one in a LGS display this morning by coincidence. I have several surplus CZ82's, and I like them a lot. Otrhers have pretty well covered their strengths and weaknesses above.

I can only add that they are accurate and reliable pistols. Mine have DA trigger pulls that rival a S&W Model 10 revolver. The 9x18mm Makarov ammo is less expensive than .380 ACP, albeit harder to find. I usually stock up on Brown or Silver Bear at local gun shows; they have chewed through every type of ammo I have fed them. The CZ82 field strips easily and the polygonal rifling is a breeze to keep clean. A complete detail strip gets fairly involved, but it is not all that hard to do. Parts and springs are reasonably priced (they share almost all parts, including magazines, with the CZ83) and are readily available if any are needed for your surplus pistol. The 9x18mm ammo has a surprising kick and a new recoil spring is often a good addition.

usp9
December 13, 2012, 06:17 PM
I've never seen anyone complain about getting a lemon of a CZ 82.

Now you have. I bought two that were pure neglected, shot-to-ruin crap. They were after all, used guns. Some used harder than others. My third was OK, but suffered a worn mag release, as is common to the design. Worn sears and missing slide release springs are two other common ailments of the CZ82.

If one is going to spend what a Sig 232 commands...

I confess this is sort of true. My comment was tainted by the price I paid for my P232s. The alloy model came to me for a paltry $315. Well worth the money and compared to the CZ82s and Bersas I purchased, the Sig was the prize.

mr.trooper
December 13, 2012, 06:43 PM
9x19 is a lot cheaper ... and mags for The CZ aren't the most common thing either ...

SARCO has Bulgarian ARCUS pistols for $175, and Daewoo DP51s for $225. The ARCUS takes Browning Hi-Power mags, and the Daewoo takes S&W 59xx mags.

IF I can scrape together $400 after Christmas, I'll buy both.

rikman
December 13, 2012, 07:42 PM
CZ 82 is my choice. Czechs make great weapons.


Sent from my iPhone 4s using Tapatalk

Buck13
December 13, 2012, 07:44 PM
There are people who are very enthused about the CZ82. I dry-fired both side-by-side in a shop, and thought the Bersa had a much nicer trigger. Maybe that CZ was not one of the best, but I think I would rather shoot the Bersa.

BSA1
December 13, 2012, 08:47 PM
Dang usp9. If it wasn't for bad luck you would have no luck at all.

Contrary to your statement that "a worn mag release, as is common to the design. Worn sears and missing slide release springs are two other common ailments of the CZ82" the several I have purchased have been in excellent condition mechanically. Nor have I read about the problems you described as being common.

These guns and magazines can benefit from a through cleaning. One of the magazines was not feeding correctly which I traced to the inside of mag being dirty and greasy (cosmoline probably). Since cleaning the inside of the mag., the follower and spring it has functioned flawlessly.

Ammunition is readily avaliable for around $10.00 box of 50.

The only thing I have done on my CZ82's is replace the recoil spring with a new one from Wolff.

http://www.gunsprings.com/Semi-Auto%20Pistols/CZ/82%20%26%2083/cID1/mID16/dID92

As long as you buy from a reputable dealer like J&G Sales I don't believe you will get a lemon.

Paladin7
December 13, 2012, 09:29 PM
Here's my 2 cents...

I have a CZ82 and a Makarov in 9x18 Makarov... The CZ is a lot of gun for the price, but I'd go with a Makarov over a .380 Bersa.

Reason, I look not only at the reliability, function, but also to the design and for me, I much prefer simple designs. The CZ82 is anything but simple, especially if your are out in the backwoods...just look at the parts diagram vs the Makarov.

I don't think you would go wrong with the CZ but I really like the Makarov, less rounds but very reliable, very simple design and shoots everything I feed it accurately.

YMMV...

Jaymo
December 13, 2012, 09:53 PM
I'd go with the CZ or the Makarov. I've owned both, and a Bersa 383. IMO, the 383 was the best Bersa .380 ever built. Wood grips and steel frame.
Never liked the Walther style safety on the Bersa, though.

I, for one, don't plan on detail stripping ANY or my guns out in the wild.

Keeterbird
December 14, 2012, 12:02 AM
Like Paladin7, I have a Mak and 3 CZ82s. I prefer the Mak, but still shoot the the CZ82 a lot. Mine is dead accurate, and it cleans up well with the polygon barrel- and all three of mine are accurate to the utmost.

I have never had a problem and all of them have 1,500 at least through them.

Girodin
December 14, 2012, 12:26 AM
and mags for The CZ aren't the most common thing either ..


The are the same mags as the CZ 83 a current production pistol and can be found online pretty easily. Furthermore Keepshooting.com makes mags for them now and that has led to greater availability and lower prices.

bigdogpete
December 14, 2012, 12:29 AM
I have both. The Bersa is a little easier to conceal but if I have to choose one over the other. CZ 82 for me. CZ was a lot cheaper using my C and R.

Furncliff
December 14, 2012, 12:52 AM
It's all been said, so I'll just just add that I have had experience with the gunsmiths at CZUSA who worked on my CZ82 and those guys provide excellent CS should you need it. Since having it worked on, my surplus 82 is the most reliable handgun I own, it has an excellent trigger, and shoots surprisingly tight groups with cheap Wolf ammo. I've shot the Bersa and liked it, but I have large hands and the CZ 82 fits me better.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8054/8123703203_039aa42a50.jpg

Ignition Override
December 14, 2012, 01:58 AM
Girodin:
Since my first interest in handguns began just weeks ago, no CZ-82s have been spotted in this area.
Three gun friends or buddies carry the P-64, but none seem to have a CZ. These guys don't mind the heavy DA pull of the P-64.

Two of them have each built two experimental airplanes, and don't mind stiff tools.

Anyway, guys who always wear shirt tails out or live in cool climates have so many more choices for a potential carry gun.

hardluk1
December 14, 2012, 04:17 PM
I have shot both and I like the bersa line better along with my youngest daughter haveing the smaller light 16oz 8 shot bersa CC 380 and being able to also buy a single or double stack bersa thunder its an easy pick.

leadcounsel
December 14, 2012, 06:20 PM
I have both. Both are fine weapons.

The Bersa is slimmer and lighter.

The CZ fires the 9x18, which is more potent and often less expensive. Nice condition CZ82s are getting harder to find.

mr.trooper
December 15, 2012, 12:36 AM
The are the same mags as the CZ 83 a current production pistol and can be found online pretty easily.
Furthermore Keepshooting.com makes mags for them now and that has led to greater availability and
lower prices.

The CZ 83 is probably the least popular, lowest sale volume pistol in their catalogue.

Comblock surplus 82/83 mags run $30...

Argentine hi power mags? $20

MecGar S&W 59xx mags? $25

Pro Mags for either? $17.

Its silly to pretend that CZ 83 mags are somehow cheaper or more common than those for major 9MM service pistols.

Girodin
December 15, 2012, 01:20 AM
Its silly to pretend that CZ 83 mags are somehow cheaper or more common than those for major 9MM service pistols.

Who said they were cheaper or more common? The original statement was that they are hard to find. My statement was that they are still produced "and can be found online pretty easily." That is true. Don't read more into what was said than was there. My point is they are not particularly scarce and are still being made even. If you have an internet connection you can find decent mags for around $25, or roughly the price of glock mags.

Pro Mags for either? $17.

FWIW, I would skip the promags.

usp9
December 15, 2012, 08:47 AM
My point is they are not particularly scarce and are still being made even.

CZ has discontinued the 83 model, have they not?

Girodin
December 15, 2012, 10:10 AM
Its still on their website, but only the .32 Cal model.

http://cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-83/

I do not know for certain if that model uses the same magazines. I do not believe the magazines are the same. At any rate the mags advertised as 32 ACP mags I've seen are more expensive than what I see the .380/9x18 mags going for.

A quick google search had a list of guns that were supposedly discontinued for 2013. The list included various CZ 83 models. It may be that it is being discontinued for the coming year. It appears the announcement was made about 2 months ago. As such, I stand corrected about it being a current production gun (or at least being so in the near future). New production mags from 3rd party manufactures should still be available.

I'm not surprised that the commercial 83s were not big sellers. Between it being a very large .380 and the availability of cheap CZ 82s (with ammo that is both cheaper and more powerful) I'd imagine there was a limited market.

North Bender
December 15, 2012, 11:21 AM
"Its silly to pretend that CZ 83 mags are somehow cheaper or more common than those for major 9MM service pistols."

CZ82 Pistol magazines @ Allan's Armory (http://www.allans-armory.com/aaresult.php?PageId=50):

Condition 95% or better. Thin or thick milled base, your choice.
$30 each for 1 mag
$25 each for 2 mags
$20 each for 3 or more
Shipping via USPS Priority: $6 for 1-10 mags

And .32 mags are different size than .380/9x18 mags

chicharrones
December 15, 2012, 12:56 PM
What are your thoughts?

For the price range of those two guns, I'd go with a well inspected and well tested CZ82.

I have a CZ82 and the Bersa in the .22LR version. I like both, but I like frame mounted safety levers much more than slide mounted safeties.

Yet, as much as I like both guns I would actually try and get something else.

Stepping up to a locked breech 9mm would be cheaper to fire than something in 9mm Mak* and in my experience has less felt recoil (in the right gun) over the CZ82. In my hands, the CZ82 is one of those rare guns that makes me drop the shot a few inches below point of aim with regularity. This is a problem I don't have with many other handguns.

*Not all shooting ranges allow shooting the cheap steel cased ammo which requires getting more expensive brass cased ammo. Brass 9mm is almost always cheaper than brass 9mm Mak in my area.

m2steven
December 15, 2012, 07:46 PM
I have Both the Bersa and CZ52. I also have a really nice 9x18 Makarov.
I've shot several thousand rounds through the Bersa. It's dead reliable and quite accurate. My CZ52 came in almost unused condition. It's a great pistol but every now and then it will stovepipe. Not a killer, very easy to clear.

The surprise was the Makarov. It's a fantastic pistol, never fails, really nice predictable trigger. And as another poster stated, the 9x18 is a bit stouter than the 380.

I don't think you can go wrong with a Bersa Thunder or Bulgarian/Hungarian Makarov.

Ignition Override
December 15, 2012, 10:35 PM
m2stephen:
That's a good suggestion about considering an actual Makarov, or its cousins.
You might realize that the Hungarian FEG PA-63 isn't a true Makarov, which is also true for the Polish P-64. Parts can not be interchanged.

The only drawbacks I've read and heard first-hand about the FEG is that being lighter than than these other guns which use Mak ammo, the FEG's recoil is stouter.

mojo357
December 19, 2012, 02:40 PM
I own a CZ-82, a P-64 and a FEG 9mm Mak. I'm not particularly recoil sensitive, but am aware of guns that have snappier recoil. I don't find the FEG harsh at all. It has less felt recoil than a stainless Walther PPK .380 I recently shot. I already owned a similar FEG in .32acp and I think they're some of the best buys out there. They are very well-balanced and well-made. One of the most unfairly underrated pistols.

I also love the CZ-82. If you have big hands and like high quality steel guns that shoot smooth and straight, I can't see you not loving this gun. I have a lot of good dependable pistols and this is the only one that has NEVER had any kind of failure, even when shooting several magazines in one session.

The P-64 is a very heavy gun for its size. It's also very iffy as to reliability. I love shooting mine despite the intense recoil because it's incredibly accurate, but wouldn't trust it for carry.

I don't know about the Bersas but they seem to have plenty of fans. But I'd also consider a Beretta 84. They're excellent reliable straight-shooting guns, and used ones are a bargain. They're very smooth shooters and like the CZ-82 they hold a lot of rounds.

_____________________________________________

https://www.createspace.com/4094773

WardenWolf
December 19, 2012, 04:53 PM
CZ-82. The Bersa has a horrible trigger. I've fired both. I overall find the 9x18 guns to be much more reliable and better-made than their commercial .380 equivalents. You can count on a gun that's been designed and approved for military service far more than one that's only designed for light civilian carry.

stonecutter2
December 20, 2012, 10:25 AM
CZ-82. Build quality is great, but since it's surplus be prepared to fix it up a little if needed - parts available through CZ USA.

Roadking Rider
December 20, 2012, 07:16 PM
Hands down the CZ82.
176396

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