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Help me out with a decision...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Moparmike, Jun 17, 2004.


What to do? Oh, what to do...

  1. Bersa first, 1911 later

    14 vote(s)
  2. PPK first, 1911 later

    4 vote(s)
  3. 1911 first, Bersa later

    18 vote(s)
  4. 1911 first, PPK later

    16 vote(s)
  1. Moparmike

    Moparmike Senior Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Oddly enough, a downwardly-plunging firey handbask
    Ok, after much contemplation, I have decided to fix the issues with my Witness 10mm, which some of you may have seen threads on. I have also been thinking about getting a 1911 for CCW, as well as a smaller CCW peice for when I am not wanting to carry something big.

    So, I seek the wise counsel of THR.

    Bersa or PPK? Both appear to be basically the same gun, and hopefully, use the same holsters. Can anyone point me in the direction of some good stuff for the Bersa? Which would be better in the long run?
  2. scubasteve

    scubasteve New Member

    Jun 14, 2004
    how much of an issue is $$$?

    That would make a difference in the Bersa/PPK issue, IMO.
  3. albanian

    albanian member

    Nov 27, 2003
    You will more likely carry a Bersa or a PPK than a 1911. Get the Bersa over the PPK because it is a better gun that cost half as much. It is not often that you find a deal like that! I have two Bersas and had one Walther PP, the Walther is a very well made gun but it had a stiffer trigger than my Bersas and the sights are not as good. Reliability was the same but my Bersas have a edge in accuracy because of the better trigger.

    Just to remind you, there ARE other .380s out there. Beretta and Sig make some very nice ones. I think the SIG 230 is the best .380 ever made even though I have never owned one.:D
  4. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Minnesota - nine months of ice and snow...three mo
    I voted Bersa first, but you do know that you NEED a 1911 when you can afford it. Right?
  5. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 3, 2003
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    I'm assuming here Bersa being .380 .. Thunder. I have yet to evaluate the Bersa .45.

    My Thunder in .380 is an excellent piece - even eats cheapo Russain ammo! ... tho I will be honest and admit I have little experience of Walther (other than match GSP in .22lr years ago!).

    Bersa is good value IMO ... get one and I doubt you'll be disappointed, at all..
  6. Josey

    Josey member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Catfish Co, KY
    You NEED a 1911. It's an unwritten rule. The same as all little boys MUST have a puppy. The Walther PPK is my first choice. (Not the S&W POJ) The Bersa Thunder is a nice plinker.
  7. horge

    horge Participating Member

    Aug 23, 2003
    The PPK has a bear of a triggerpull, and not everyone is fond of Euro-style grip-heel, mag-catches. The PPK supposedly slide-bites, whereas the BERSA Thunder won't (The Thunder 380 can safety-bite though, if you rack with the safety on) and costs significantly less. Still, the PPK is a handsome piece, is made of sturdier materials, and has better resale value.

    Now, as to whether you get the BERSA /PPK first or the 1911....
    Maybe it makes some sense to get the BERSA /PPK first, so that you have a reliable, CCW shooter from the git-go.

    The 1911 will still hold as much appeal, purchase-wise, after that.
    I'm thinking that customizing your 1911 is half the fun, and THOSE expenses can work to DELAY purchasing the BERSA/PPK, possibly indefinitely.

  8. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    How about "other".

    Granted - I like the 1911, easy to conceal with proper holster and belt. One can learn to be very good with one. Reliable if one does not muck it up with gobbly gook.

    Don't take offense, just some freindly advice that was passed to me as a wee brat, I was just raised a certain way and things were passed to folks who in turn passed to others.

    I gather from posts that shooting is relatively new to you. In my day kids grew up shooting , it is what you did, we shot at school and guns in vehicles and gun racks the norm.

    You need an affordable gun to allow you to shoot affordable ammo often to learn basic skills and to correctly practice these skills.

    I still feel the 22 lr revolver is the best way to learn the basics. Then move to a medium frame 38 spl. Again starting with a 22lr semi move to the 9mm.

    This is how I was taught and untold numbers of persons were taught. Granted the good used .22 revolvers are pricey - I know the finances are a concern.

    We DID NOT advise a student to buy a gun before they came to class. WE hated it when someone showed up because "daddy" or some family members bought one first. The worst thing was the student that bought what impiulse, emotion bought due to gun rags and internet.

    By having the student "try before they buy" various platforms, starting with the revolver, then transitioning to the semis a number of things came to light.

    MY critera for CCW /HD is simple:

    Gun must fit shooter in a platform that with reliable ammo affords quick accurate hits.

    If you can't hit squat with a .357 then don't use .357. Start with a mild .38spl load and work up through practice. One cannot buy skill and targets.

    The 9mm and .45 were the most chosen for CCW. Of couse the students went nuts over the BHP and 1911, great platforms, single actions are gonna make anyone shoot better. The .40 was the least favorite, to sharp of recoil and no - we didn't use the BHP in .40 - I / We biased was not made that way plus the .40 brass gets in the 9mm and .45 - it is just wrong :D

    Some students did not do well with DA/SA semis, all did better with SA like 1911 and BHP. DAO like platforms such as Glock 26 were another favorite - same trigger pull each time. Amazed a number of students the usefulness of a revolver in 38 spl. Smooth triggers, affordable ammo, no dependency or expense with mags or ammo feeding.

    9 mm is affordable to shoot a lot to become proffiencent and to maintain skills. Glock 26 has the same triger pull each time, same with the 17 or 19 .

    You really need to beg , borrow or steal a 22lr to practice. One gets in a slump, flat broke - whatever - that 22 lr will teach, get you back on track, and the ammo allows one to at least shoot 50 rds when the stomach is growling and the car needs gas.

    Used police trade ins of Model 10, 6 shot revolvers made when guns were made right can be had for $200 and up with many only needing a cleaning and new grips. Ammo is affordable, get a friend to reload. No mags to worry with.

    Find and older Buckmark or Ruger MK I or II. The plain Jane basic model with fixed sights, get an extra mag and BA/UU/R.

    I think one student had $600 tied up in two guns like this, a Ruger MKI and a Model 10 snubby, ammo, holster for CCW and even bought a reactive spinner target for 22lr with 3 different size plates , and a set of used stocks that fit her hand better.

    She saves her brass, a friend reloads , and as a single mom returning to college she can afford to shoot - lot ...and her shooting proves it!

    Another broke college student bought a Glock 26, he buys Value Pks and is very good. When he gets out of school he can upgrade . Actually he wants to build a basic Gov't model using Caspian Frame and slide. First priority is school. He has a old Duramtic .22 lr semi for the really lean weeks to shoot.

    Just a friendly suggestion.
  9. Moparmike

    Moparmike Senior Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Oddly enough, a downwardly-plunging firey handbask
    You're right Steve. I should have gotten a .22, but I put the carts before the horse and got all excited about getting the caliber I had been looking forward to for quite some time, the 10mm. Live and learn.

    Now I want something I can carry and practice with fairly easily. .380 is fairly cheap, and I wont be afraid of it. A .22 conversion kit for the 1911 or a .22 target pistol is on my list of guns to get soon though.
  10. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Mike, I didn't mean to offend, I'm glad you took my post with the good intentions from which I posted it. I just have this bit about folks getting started out right is all.

    Personally - I never warmed up to the conversion kits. For the price of a kit, one can buy a gun. Marbles conversion seem to work better , still one has the expense of those 22 magazines to consider, if one decides the centerfire is not for them, needs to sell, it needs repair, ...etc., there goes goes the .22 plinking learning tool. I'd rather have two separate guns not dependent on each other.

    Later , out of school, then buy a conversion with the disposable income.

    .380 guns "can" have a sharp / snappy recoil. It comes back to weight to horsepower. The size ,weight, platform firing a said cartridges characteristics. .380 can be pricey and the availabilty can be a problem as well depending on area. Everybody, it seems has "something" if not a selection of 9mm. I don't do Wally World, but they have value pks cheap. Recently Academy Sports had 100 rd value paks for $ 9.50 . Academy Sports had the white box JHP for 50 rds for $ 9.99 - many folks use this for defense, at that price one can test to see how it does in their gun - and afford to practice with carry ammo.

    I and others suggest testing carry ammo at least 200 rds before one carries it. Testing more than one selection is good to know reliability, POA/POI, and to have more than one "known"choice to buy.

    If I were to buy a .380...I have always wanted the Colt .380. Looks like a mini 1911. All the ones I have shot are reliable and feel good to shoot. They are pricey.

    Go to our own Stephen Camp's website and read his gun and ammo evaluations. He has the Bersa ( which I have not shot) and Markarov's - along with many others.

    Mr. Camp has BTDT so when he evaluates, gives insights - pay attention. The man knows from experience.

    :D Hey we just want you to be safe and comfortable with your choices - I know how foul the air can get in and around the "Brickyard" - that smog has been known to affect one's thinking. :D

    MICHAEL T Mentor

    Feb 3, 2004
    outback Kentucky
    Get the Bersa first . Then the 1911. Ive carred my Bersa and PPK/S alot more in the last year than my 45s . The Bersa is a fine pistol good trigger and will feed any 380 made. My PPK/S has had trigger work among other things and now has a trigger as good as the Bersa and will handal HP with no problem Everything the$ 200 Bersa did out of the box. Go to S. Camp web site and read his test of the Bersa. Ive not heard anything good about the S&W PPK mine is a old Interarms type some people don t like those either.Also the PPK doesn t have the heel mag release. Bersa will not fit most PPK holsters because of squared off trigger guard Bersa holsters are avaliable from most companys.
  12. denfoote

    denfoote Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Near the border of occupied Azlan and Mexico.
    I'm a big fan of the PPK and there isn't anything wrong with the S&W made versions either,!! I have one and it has digested several hundred rounds without a hitch. In fact, it is my computer desk gun!!
    You can get a 1911 if you want, but know this. In order to master the 1911 properly, it takes a lot of practice and I'm not talking about shooting at the range. What I am referring to is disengaging that safety under stress!!! It would be mighty embarrassing to point the big bad 1911 at the menacing bad guy only to find out that it did not fire because you forgot to click off the safety!!! That is why I would get the PPK/S first and then worry about the 1911 later!!

    I suppose the Bersa's are a thoroughly decent gun. A lot of people here swear by them, I don't. I'm a traditionalist, I suppose!!! Grew up on all those Bond flicks!!! :D
  13. wally

    wally Elder

    Jan 2, 2004
    Houston, Tx
    For .380 both the PPK and Bersa are rather large by today's standards.

    For a gun to carry when you can't carry a real gun, get a Kel-Tec P3AT.

    Won't break the bank at <$250. I wish their quality control was better, but they do stand behind their product and will make it right. Mine needed a trip home, but has been fine since.

    Definitely get the 1911 first.


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