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.380 Bersa Thunder - Range Report

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by sniper350, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. sniper350

    sniper350 Well-Known Member

    380 Thunder Range report:*UPDATED*

    First examination shows a well made weapon. Fit and finish is as good as any of the top three handgun makers. The model I was testing was the brushed Nickel finish …….. and the finish was uniform throughout the gun. The black controls and hammer made for a nice contrast. The frame of the Thunder is alloy Aluminum ……..and overall the weapon is light weight but well balanced when fully loaded.

    The testing was done with moderately “hot” ammo ….CCI Blazer [AL] Hardball and Remington Golden Saber Hollow Points. The hollow points were chosen to test the reliability of the feed ramps.

    First thing I noticed was how nice the trigger pull was on the Thunder right out of the box. The DA pull was smooth without signs of much stacking and the SA pull was surprisingly light with the tiniest bit of creep. The SA pull was between 3 and 4 lbs…..closer to 3 lbs and that’s not bad for a mass produced factory trigger. This fact added much to the outstanding accuracy that this little gun was able to produce.

    Accuracy was exceptional !! Even with the very tiny sight radius the shooter is forced to deal with. I was able to shoot one ragged hole at a target 10 yds away free standing. The “fixed” barrel on these small guns help quite a bit in the accuracy department. You need only hold the gun steady and squeeze off a good trigger pull. The 3 lb. trigger helps keep the shooter on the straight and narrow. The magazine extension on the 7 round magazine is a must for the average sized hand and allows for a good grip of this tiny handgun. I found the hard plastic grips acceptable but not fantastic. The only thing I didn’t like about the handgun’s grip and feel during firing was the slight movement of the finger extension magazine during recoil. I am not use to feeling movement under my grip while shooting.

    Functioning was flawless during the entire testing. At the start, ejection of the spent casings were coming straight back striking me in the head ………… but after some break-in period the extractor started throwing the shells more to the side & back. So with some use, the extractor seemed to work itself out. The little handgun handled rapid firing with no problems ….spitting out the empties as fast as I could pull the trigger. I was very pleased at how smooth the gun functioned, with very little felt recoil. The only problem I encountered with this Thunder was the Grip screws loosened during testing. A little blue loctite should solve that problem on future outings.

    After testing, I took the weapon apart for cleaning and close examination of the internals. I am not very keen on alloy framed guns and always keep a close eye on things for signs of wear or worse. The only thing I made note of, was signs of some “hammer rebound” on the firing Pin Stop. It has begun leaving a noticeable dent in the FPS and will warrant some close watch in the future. Everything else cleaned up like new.

    Overall, I was very impressed with this .380 automatic…….even though I don’t generally recommend them for primary self defense. They are perfect as a B.U.G. and this little Thunder sure packs a lot of value in a small package. I think I am going to love this little noise maker …….as it appears to be a very reliable and accurate weapon. I would recommend this model to anyone needing a small pocket pistol that is light weight and reliable.

    UPDATE: After a couple more hundred rounds of CCI hardball ammo through the Thunder, it continues to function flawlessly BUT

    As expected the alloy frame is showing some battering of the feed ramp. I was told that with a Bersa the feeding is almost straight into the chamber from the factory magazine and feed ramp problems were not a major issue. I can see the top half of the frame's feed ramp showing signs of peening caused by the hardball ammo striking it. It's by no means severe, but I am wondering what will happen to reliability after the 500 round count ?? On the other hand, the feed ramp may take its set ........... and not continue to deform with use ........ only time will tell. I am guessing the feed ramp is needed or it wouldn't be there, so stories of straight in feeding from the magazine are not exactly accurate.

    Any one else notice this happening with their Bersa Thunder ???

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2007

    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    Very nice review Now come join the over 2000 Bersa members at
    http://bersatalk.com you might even win something when we play Bersa Karma.

    REPOMAN Well-Known Member


    Thanks for the report........:)
  4. JERRY

    JERRY Well-Known Member

    the Bersa .380acps tend to be a best buy in a small self defensive gun.....

    i had one of the old styles back in the earily 90's i think it was a model 383....

    not much has changed since then except they now have a built in lock, but the quality is still top grade in my book.
  5. sniper350

    sniper350 Well-Known Member

    Check out the update ............ does anyone else see this happening to their Thunder ???
  6. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Well-Known Member

    Took a close look at my Thunder 380 Concealed Carry model. No indication of the peening problem you mention. Can you post a picture?
  7. sniper350

    sniper350 Well-Known Member

    Give me a day or two .....and I'll try to get some decent photos,

    Thanks for checking !!

  8. GaryArkansas

    GaryArkansas Well-Known Member

    Haven't noticed any peening in mine. Shoots like a champ - every time. Glock-like reliability.
  9. scurtis_34471

    scurtis_34471 Well-Known Member

    I've got 1500 rounds through my T380 CC and it still feeds flawlessly, although wear on the slide and frame is not quite visible. It has a lifetime warranty. They'll replace the parts that wear out.
  10. bestseller92

    bestseller92 Well-Known Member

    I like my Bersa 380.

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