Bersa Thunder .380 Jamming Issue


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Zsnark
March 13, 2013, 08:23 PM
Hi Gunners!

I have question. Have Firestorm .380 which has performed flawlessly since the first two mags went through it. Got a Thunder .380 for my GF. Have a persistent jam which I'll describe.

Pistol ejects a round and the following cartridge goes too high (nose up); slide slams back of case, jamming the case into the magazine feed lips. Need to pry the cartridge tip down off the slide hood to allow the magazine release so I can clear the jam. Got about 200 rounds through gun. Happens about once a magazine. Looks to my inexpert old eyes to be that something is causing the cartridge tip to leap higher than it should when the slide is running home. Anyone had this problem and/or got any solutions.

The only decent gunsmith I know is a state away and is so overworked that he groaned when someone brought a piece in to him last time I was in his shop. I'd like to fix it myself if possible.

Thanks,

AAW

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Hunter991
March 13, 2013, 08:55 PM
Did you change ammo?

ChuckB
March 13, 2013, 10:33 PM
Is the gun under warranty? If it is, don't mess with it. Send it in for correction. Thet should pay shipping both ways.

Telekinesis
March 13, 2013, 10:47 PM
I had the same problem with my Bersa Thunder .380 (also had another problem where the hammer froze and wouldn't allow the gun to be fired or the slide to be retracted more than a quarter inch, but that's another story). I sent the gun back to the Bersa certified warranty repair center twice under their warranty program, and 3 months later STILL did not have a functioning gun. They basically replaced the entire top end and I still had problems.

When I got it back, I figured that it was the magazine (it was the only part that hadn't been replaced) but after spending so much time trying to fix it, I just decided to sell it with full disclosure to the buyer. I planned on using it as a carry gun, but after that many issues with it, I knew I would never trust it.

Try swapping out the mag. If it turns out to be that, its a relatively cheap fix. If not, at least you have another mag for your gun if you can get it working again.

The Lone Haranguer
March 13, 2013, 11:29 PM
The magazine is the first suspect in that kind of stoppage.

Zsnark
March 14, 2013, 12:33 AM
First, I've got three mags which feed the Firestorm .380 (it's brother) flawlessly.

Second, It's probably still under some kind of warranty but I have little faith in repair stations (experience!).

Third, I can't believe there is a major flaw here. It's gotta' be a minor problem (wishful thinking?).

But, thank you all fellow gunners for the quick reply. I put a similar message on the Bersa Forum and have yet to get a response.

Al W

Havok7416
March 14, 2013, 05:00 AM
My dad has had a similar problem in his Bersa .380 for some time now. I ordered a new magazine but it didn't fix the problem entirely. So far at least 7 different bullet combinations have been used.

GLOOB
March 14, 2013, 05:52 AM
Friend had one that jammed nonstop with S&B. Perfect with anything else.

hardluk1
March 14, 2013, 04:39 PM
It does allway help to have a better class of FMJ ammo to try!! Then if problems still happen with all mags avalible to try its time to check mag lips and start adjusting. Might try tighting the width between the feed lips at the front on a mag and see if it works . Might only take a couple th's. We have to of bersa's 380CC model in the family and both seem to not care what ammo is used but also don't buy steel cased ammo. Or other brands that cause trouble for many people.

MICHAEL T
March 14, 2013, 09:16 PM
You have a warrenty on pistol and mags . Use it The best Warranty center seems to be one in La.

Hokkmike
March 14, 2013, 11:52 PM
Try a simple fix first. (from experience) Make sure the magazine is seating properly.

Zsnark
March 20, 2013, 08:20 PM
My dad has had a similar problem in his Bersa .380 for some time now. I ordered a new magazine but it didn't fix the problem entirely. So far at least 7 different bullet combinations have been used.
Hey,

We are experiencing similar probs. I am going to clean the mags and pistols and maybe buff the feed lips on the mags and try again. As I mentioned before, I have it's brother back east (I am now a snowbird in AZ) and it has performed perfectly after the first 50 rounds or so.

I'll keep you updated and you can do the same for me. The prob occurs on all three mags, two of which functioned flawlessly through the Firestorm (maybe it's not a brother but a close cousin).

FYI I love your saying about out of fuel, you must have been USAF or such.

Al W

Havok7416
March 21, 2013, 01:43 PM
I cleaned all my dad's mags but I couldn't get the problem to go away completely. At the rate he fires his gun it may never get fixed. He only shoots when I am home which is fairly infrequently.

Regarding my signature, it's actually a quote from the penguins in Madagascar 2. I am in aviation but not military and I fly a lot in the cockpit so I find the line very funny.

mcdonl
March 21, 2013, 01:57 PM
I know that the bersa is not as small as the p3at or the LCP but it is still subject to limp wristing. Just something to consider.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Havok7416
March 21, 2013, 02:00 PM
mcdonl, I do not usually limp-wrist but I realize it's completely possible to do it with any pistol. The problem is that my jamming issues as well as several others apparently are not totally explained by limp-wristing. It seems to have more to do with the magazines than anything else (in my case).

mcdonl
March 21, 2013, 03:36 PM
I only mention it because small frames guns are just more susceptible in my opinion.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Robert101
March 22, 2013, 04:10 PM
The jam might be caused from the round not getting under the extractor and fitting flush with the breech face. Clean the breech face and extractor completely. Maybe a little lube at the extractor area will help too - work it a little to see if it loosens up.

280shooter
March 23, 2013, 12:32 AM
i bet its clip problem..the clip sits to high,

Zsnark
March 27, 2013, 02:40 PM
You have a warrenty on pistol and mags . Use it The best Warranty center seems to be one in La.
Michael T,

La. Do you mean Los Angeles or Louisiana? And, please be more specific. My good friend Ray dealt with a center in L.A., CA and did not get his problem remedied. The Bersa chat site has yielded zero results. I've got a similar query there. THR seems like the numero uno.

Al W

Zsnark
March 27, 2013, 02:49 PM
The jam might be caused from the round not getting under the extractor and fitting flush with the breech face. Clean the breech face and extractor completely. Maybe a little lube at the extractor area will help too - work it a little to see if it loosens up.
Robert101,

By breech face, I assume you mean the feed ramp and the barrel throat. I checked that area out. It's not as smooth as it is on my Browning HP. It's also permanently mounted on the frame. I'd try polishing that area if I could get at and not change the geometry and maybe screw it up further. Any suggestions on how I can polish the area. I have Chinese "Dremel Tool". That's the only thing I can think of to use. I will clean the hell out of the extractor area but it already looks spic and span to me.

Al W

Zsnark
March 27, 2013, 02:52 PM
i bet its clip problem..the clip sits to high,
280Shooter,

Three different clips which work fine in another Bersa .380 cause the problem. Do you think the frame is out of spec?

Hurryin' Hoosier
March 28, 2013, 04:56 PM
Ditch it and buy a Makarov.

WardenWolf
March 28, 2013, 05:05 PM
Ditch it and buy a Makarov.
I'd get her a FEG PA-63. It's lightweight and has a decent trigger once you replace the mainspring with a 13-pounder. It's a military surplus pistol, so it's very reliable, and accurate to boot. I researched all the commercial .380's and determined they all had frequent problems, and decided my best option was a milsurp.

Hurryin' Hoosier
March 28, 2013, 05:12 PM
I'd get her a FEG PA-63. It's lightweight and has a decent trigger once you replace the mainspring with a 13-pounder. It's a military surplus pistol, so it's very reliable, and accurate to boot. I researched all the commercial .380's and determined they all had frequent problems, and decided my best option was a milsurp.
No argument that they're nice, but I'm in love with the original - the authentic - Pistolet Makarova (Russian, Bulgarian, East German, or Chinese) in 9x18mm Makarov. I wouldn't trade any of my "Mak"s for any Bersa or Walther I've ever seen.

WardenWolf
March 28, 2013, 05:18 PM
I have a Makarov, P-64, and PA-63. For a woman, the PA-63 would be the best choice. Though the Makarov itself is very nice.

Zsnark
March 30, 2013, 08:18 PM
Hey all of my supporters,

Got a bunch great info. Some of which I can't try at present. Like, I can't find any .380 of any brand. Been shooting S&B, but I've got two boxes of PMC which I will try ASAP. Another brand will have to wait until this panic buying goes away; which hopefully it will and supplies will loosen up.

Anyway, I will keep you all updated on the ongoing saga of "How the Bersa Jams".

AAW

P.S. Silly me, I have the same gun in .22LR. I am having similar and worse problems there as well but I have a lot of ammo of different brands to try before I complain about it.

DanTheFarmer
March 30, 2013, 08:26 PM
Good Luck Zsnark!

My Bersa's loved PMC and hated S&B. Each pistol is its own "person" and will decide if it is picky or not but PMC often works well (cross referencing from other's experiences discussed on BersaChat).

I don't have a 22lr version but they are reputed to work well stouter 22 (Mini-Mag for example) and not digest the weak stuff very well. Again each pistol in an individual.

Dan

Bill4282
March 30, 2013, 08:57 PM
Try hosing it completely down with gun blaster (safe for polymer kind), use a stiff bristle tooth brush to scrub the bore face and breech face, lube slide generously with CLP. If you've removed the grips and then over tighten them when reinstalling it can affect the operation (speak from personal experience) load up with round ball and try it.

Zsnark
March 30, 2013, 09:26 PM
Good Luck Zsnark!

My Bersa's loved PMC and hated S&B. Each pistol is its own "person" and will decide if it is picky or not but PMC often works well (cross referencing from other's experiences discussed on BersaChat).

I don't have a 22lr version but they are reputed to work well stouter 22 (Mini-Mag for example) and not digest the weak stuff very well. Again each pistol in an individual.

Dan
DTF,

I'll continue to try different brands when they come available again. I do believe I've got 50 0r so mini mags from the last century.

Thanks,

AAW

Zsnark
March 30, 2013, 09:48 PM
Good Luck Zsnark!

My Bersa's loved PMC and hated S&B. Each pistol is its own "person" and will decide if it is picky or not but PMC often works well (cross referencing from other's experiences discussed on BersaChat).

I don't have a 22lr version but they are reputed to work well stouter 22 (Mini-Mag for example) and not digest the weak stuff very well. Again each pistol in an individual.

Dan
Hey,

How about standard cartridge dimension. A .380 should do right with anything that is around; unless, of course, if the ammo is out of spec.

This is more of a question than a comment. But suppose I was someplace where the military used 9mm K. Should I worry about it functioning in my piece? I mean, like .380's been around since 1908, at least.

I'd appreciate feedback about this. I like autos, .45s and 9mms have been relatively easy with new guns. What's this stuff with .380.

AAW

Jonah71
April 2, 2013, 12:15 PM
I did have those problems with a Bersa Thunder .380 deluxe. Finally resolved after mag replacement.

Havok7416
April 3, 2013, 01:44 AM
I did have those problems with a Bersa Thunder .380 deluxe. Finally resolved after mag replacement.
I know MY problems started WITH mag replacement! Oh Bersa, where does it end?

Seven High
April 3, 2013, 10:15 PM
Is there a possibility that the recoil spring was put in backwards?

Havok7416
April 4, 2013, 01:18 AM
It's possible. I will have to check the next time I'm home (which could be a long time).

Bill4282
April 11, 2013, 01:12 AM
BINGO! Although it appears the same on both ends, the recoil spring is wider on one end. That end should be at the muzzle, allowing the slide to freely reciprocate. If not, blowback may fail to overcome the restriction of the spring.

GLOOB
April 11, 2013, 02:13 PM
S&B 380 choked my friend's Bersa. I measured the OAL, and it was fine. The cartridges fit in the chamber, fine. The only thing I noticed was the bullets were fat/round like 9mm mak bullets. The exposed part of the bullet looked more like a hemisphere. Not as pointed as other brands of 380 FMJ. I don't recall exactly how they jammed, anymore, other than they required dropping the mag to clear. And they happened several times per mag. IOW, they really sucked. I think the fatter nose profile could have made the bullets hang up in the mag. Like maybe they needed to be seated a little shorter than SAAMI spec in order to feed in the Bersa.

Gun never jammed with any of the other ammo put through it. And the same S&B ammo worked fine in an LCP. Something about the combination of ammo and gun just didn't work.

Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 07:17 PM
I have made sure the recoil springs are in the correct position on both Bersas (.22 and .380). Next time I can find ammo, I'll check your recommendation.

Thanks,

AAW

Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 07:21 PM
Ammo is unavailable at present but I will check out your recommendation re S&B. I do believe my other Bersa .380 functioned flawlessly with S&B; so, I am a little "unconfident".

Thanks,

AAW

Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 07:23 PM
Isn't your Bersa a 380? Mini Mags are 22.
Also it is good not to be married to your pistol, in a matter of speaking. Especially with the ammo shortage, there is a point where further testing and searching becomes more expensive than the gun's worth. How do I know? Trust me on this one.
Got one each....22lr and .380.

AAW

Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 07:24 PM
S&B 380 choked my friend's Bersa. I measured the OAL, and it was fine. The cartridges fit in the chamber, fine. The only thing I noticed was the bullets were fat/round like 9mm mak bullets. The exposed part of the bullet looked more like a hemisphere. Not as pointed as other brands of 380 FMJ. I don't recall exactly how they jammed, anymore, other than they required dropping the mag to clear. And they happened several times per mag. IOW, they really sucked. I think the fatter nose profile could have made the bullets hang up in the mag. Like maybe they needed to be seated a little shorter than SAAMI spec in order to feed in the Bersa.

Gun never jammed with any of the other ammo put through it. And the same S&B ammo worked fine in an LCP. Something about the combination of ammo and gun just didn't work.
Ammo is unavailable at present but I will check out your recommendation re S&B. I do believe my other Bersa .380 functioned flawlessly with S&B; so, I am a little "unconfident".

Thanks,

AAW

GLOOB
April 16, 2013, 03:19 PM
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?176901-S-amp-B-brand-primers-BIG-DISAPPOINTMENT!!!
This link is discussing S&B primers. But I came across this bit, which I thought you might be interested to read. It sounds like the same batch of S&B ammo that I came across:

My best shooting bud however had problems with reliability with S&B 380 in his Bersa. Shooting ammo from the same box he had problems with. The S&B ammo worked perfectly in my Makarov and Gamba HSC. My shooting bud's Bersa worked just fine on the same outing with my handloads and some other factory ammo but I just can't recall the brand.

MICHAEL T
April 16, 2013, 08:06 PM
S&B did something to their ammo in last year . I have saw many complaints from people who have used their ammo for years All of sudden start having trouble.

SilentScream
April 16, 2013, 09:08 PM
Sounds as though you've got out of spec magazine feed lips. One thing you haven't mentioned is WHERE in the magazine is the jam occurring? (first rounds?, middle of the magazine? last rounds in the mag?)

Zsnark
April 19, 2013, 11:44 PM
Hi again, gunners;

I tried to pin point who the individuals were who put me on the right track. It was a number of you. So this is a shotgun Thanks to all.

I switched ammo on my Bersa .380 from S&B to PMC. Today, I shot three separate mags of PMC w/o a hitch. Ammo availability being the way it is. That's all I could do. But, the point is, apparently S&B doesn't cut it!

Also, in my Bersa .22lr, I tried some minimags from the last century (I'm old) which did very well, not perfect, but well. Tried some Mexican hot rod .22lrs which did even better. But, again, ammo availability restrained my testing.

Many thanks to you all for your suggestions. THR is hot!

AAW

Zsnark
April 21, 2013, 09:43 PM
S&B 380 choked my friend's Bersa. I measured the OAL, and it was fine. The cartridges fit in the chamber, fine. The only thing I noticed was the bullets were fat/round like 9mm mak bullets. The exposed part of the bullet looked more like a hemisphere. Not as pointed as other brands of 380 FMJ. I don't recall exactly how they jammed, anymore, other than they required dropping the mag to clear. And they happened several times per mag. IOW, they really sucked. I think the fatter nose profile could have made the bullets hang up in the mag. Like maybe they needed to be seated a little shorter than SAAMI spec in order to feed in the Bersa.

Gun never jammed with any of the other ammo put through it. And the same S&B ammo worked fine in an LCP. Something about the combination of ammo and gun just didn't work.
G,

I think you put me in the right direction. PMC has gone through w/o a hitch. Can't do much testing until ammo gets more available.

Thanks,

AAW

Zsnark
May 19, 2013, 08:36 PM
Sounds as though you've got out of spec magazine feed lips. One thing you haven't mentioned is WHERE in the magazine is the jam occurring? (first rounds?, middle of the magazine? last rounds in the mag?)
In my original message I am quite specific about when and how the jams happened.

Havok7416
May 20, 2013, 03:23 AM
As a follow-up on my end, my dad came by for a visit and no more jams all of a sudden. We changed exactly.... nothing. This one is a mystery to me.

Zsnark
May 21, 2013, 07:26 PM
As a follow-up on my end, my dad came by for a visit and no more jams all of a sudden. We changed exactly.... nothing. This one is a mystery to me.
I am amazed! A guy from S&B contacted me for specifics about what my problem is/was. Talk about keeping your customers opinions in front of your company. I never ever made an attempt to contact S&B.

I am astounded that they must be monitoring THR. Have not responded yet because my KB skills suck but will give him detailed info on my/our probs with there ammo. Anything you'd like to add will be included.

AAW

Havok7416
May 22, 2013, 01:03 PM
That's awesome. I don't see what they could change but it's nice of them to contact you.

cemjr
May 22, 2013, 03:21 PM
Friend had one that jammed nonstop with S&B. Perfect with anything else.
My wife's Bersa CC 380 wouldn't chamber S&B ammo either. No problems with other ammo.

Zsnark
May 23, 2013, 09:39 PM
That's awesome. I don't see what they could change but it's nice of them to contact you.
Just sent off my description on the prob. I'll keep all respondents updated on what i'm told. I am overwhelmed about someone at S&B checking my problem out w/o my contacting them. Love it!

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