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bersa .380 range trip report

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MJRW, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. MJRW

    MJRW Participating Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    The best place to begin would be the beginning. I had been eyeing a Bersa .380 for some time. It would be my second .380, the first being a S&W Sigma .380 which also happened to be my first firearm. After eyeing it forever and unable to make a decision and never having seen one used at the shop I go to, I was about to table the idea. One of the guys there offered to give me a call if one comes in. That was the day before they closed for two days for inventory. The day they reopened, I stopped in. David looked relieved as he saw me and told me he had just called me at work and was really glad that I came in. He did a solid jog to the used display to show me the Bersa in Satin Nickel finish. It was the right price and in immaculate condition. I would esimate 200 rounds or less out of it based on the wear of hammer and so forth. But I wasn't sure what my fund situation was (paycheck was late due to holidays). They held it until monday when I picked it up. After using gift certificate and a little bit of gift cash, it ended up putting me out of pocket less than 100$.

    I ended up at the range tonight with a short period of time to kill and decided to put the reliability laudations to test and asked for four boxes of cheap ammo. All were 95 grains and of the following brands: UMC, Winchester white box, American Eagle, and house ammo. All ammo that I have had problems with in the past in a semi-auto. Rapid fire, limp wristing, it didn't matter. It fed flawlessly through every single round.

    I figured I had 7 magazines for each box so I used the magazines as follows for each brand:

    1 practice
    1 rapid fire
    2 @ 21 feet
    2 @ 30 feet
    1 @ 50 feet

    At 21 feet, I managed single jagged holes with the occasional stray. Each stray I knew I had done something wrong.

    At 30 feet, I managed about a sub 2" group with the same disclaimer as above.

    At 50 feet, I managed a 3" group with but 1 stray.

    What makes this more amazing is that I don't shoot this well with anything. The gun pointed very naturally and was simple to hold sights on target. Trigger was extremely smooth in DA, and more than acceptable in SA. It didn't quite have that breaking glass feel like my Baby Eagle or Ruger, and it had a good deal of creep, but it is still a fine trigger. It doesn't seem to stage in DA either. I would venture to say that the DA trigger is as it should be with no change desired. I will have to work with it more in SA to get a better idea of what I might want to change. It is by no means unpleasant.

    Speaking of unpleasant, I expected significantly more bite out of it than I got. My experience with all .380s I have shot have been a significant level of bite. This had a minor bite that is completely ignorable.

    All functions of the gun work from well to exceptionally well. Takedown is simple and quick using only a single lever accessible by the trigger finger and bringing the slide all the way back and up. The decocker/safety may find itself resting in between S and F if one isn't careful putting it to S. I believe this may work itself out with time, but it is worth noting. Mag release and slide release are all very accessible with the thumb, but are out of the way when shooting. It is worth noting that the Safety is slide mounted and is down for safe which I have heard numerous people complain about down-for-safe. It is also worth noting that this firearm does have a magazine disconnect which I would be more inclined to do without, but don't see it interfering. With the exception of the Safety position, everything operated smoothly without any feel of "grit."

    All in all, I feel this rapidly becoming one of my favorite pistols for the range and carry. I already have a strong faith in its reliability and accuracy. It is overall very pleasant to shoot (magazines also load without significant effort). The Bersa would be a worth the money at twice as much standard NIB pricing. It is unquestionably worth the sub 200$ price that is often being asked and could probably find a place in most gun collections. This may be the first firearm that I decide to have two of.
  2. Kahr carrier

    Kahr carrier Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Nice range report ,sounds like you got a good one.:)
  3. New_comer

    New_comer Active Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Manila, Phils.
    Thanks for the report! :D

    It confirms what other Bersa owners had been proclaiming all along: it's a very underrated gun, and a LOT of bang for the buck!

    The Thunder 380 is high in my "to acquire" list! ;)
  4. gbelleh

    gbelleh Participating Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Congratulations on your find :D

    Nice, methodical report!

    My Bersa .380 is also extremely accurate and has been flawless so far. They are great little guns!
  5. JeepDriver

    JeepDriver Active Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    White Marsh, Maryland
    Yet another Happy Bersa owner!!!

    They are a really good little pocket gun or a CCW piece.

    I've shot over 1,000 rounds through mine in the past year without a problem. I almost chose the Sig 232, I sorta wish I had but the Bersa was a great second choice. No real regrets on choosing the Bersa. I'm just not crazy over the 380.
  6. bestseller92

    bestseller92 Participating Member

    Nov 7, 2005
    I have a Bersa Thunder380 Duo Tone and it's a very nice little gun. Very accurate and shoots to point of aim.
  7. obxned

    obxned Participating Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    OBX, NC
    Very good, thoughtful report!! I wish the professional gun writers could do as well!
  8. Iggy

    Iggy Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    January 10th, 2003, 12:21:D
  9. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

    Jun 26, 2005
    Planet Earth
    Bersa is not unlike CZ. Not really popular, but for the price, and reliability, they really can't be beat.
  10. MichaelJ07

    MichaelJ07 New Member

    Oct 3, 2007
    Adrian, Michigan
    Nice report, MJRW! Looking forward to my purchase of a Bersa Thunder 9mm in December. Thanks again for the nice report!

    Tell me, though, is there anything I should do to a new gun before shooting it? I mean is there any place to add a dab of oil or run a piece of emery cloth? Kinda new to handguns and NEW guns for that matter.

  11. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    Sullivan County PA
    Well done MJRW, you are a true asset to the THR boards!

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