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Bersa Thunder vs. Walther PPK?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by heypete, Sep 15, 2005.

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  1. heypete

    heypete Member

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    Greetings all,

    I'm looking for a small concealed-carry/back-up gun, and the PPK/Thunder seems to fit the bill exactly.

    They both look to be the exact same pistol, and indeed, share magazines. The Thunder has a small advantage of having an actual slide release, while the PPK does not. Not really a big deal, I suppose, but something to keep in mind.

    Any real-world experiences with either/both the Thunder or the PPK? The Thunder's about half the price of the PPK, but fits exactly the same (quite comfortably, that is) in my hand. None of the ranges around here rend them, so I can't try it out before I buy. I realize that a .380 in such a small-frame pistol will be pretty snappy, but that's not a problem.

    How's the workmanship on both pistols? Does one have any particular problems with longevity, wear, or other issues related to frequent firing?

    I'm looking to get a good pistol, of course, but at a modest price. I'm not sure which worries me more: the Bersa being half the price of the PPK (thus suggesting less quality), or the PPK being twice the price of the Bersa (suggesting over-pricing based on brand recognition).

    Comments?
     
  2. popaye85

    popaye85 Member

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    I had the Bersa...Loved it.

    I had the thuunder 390. I eventually traded it for a 9mm Bersa.

    The 380 shoots wonderfully. It is simple to operate and clean. It is a perfect pocket or purse gun..

    g
     
  3. atek3

    atek3 Member

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    I shot a PPK a lot as a youth and having shot other better auto pistols, I'm kinda...eh... on the PPK. If money is tight, you could do worse than a Bersa, but if you are picking a handgun on price you might as well stop beating around the bush and get a nice Makarov. If other things are more important than price, you open up your options quite a bit. Kahr's are nice (although I personally can't stand that trigger). Glocks 26, 27, 36, and 39, are great subcompacts. XD9 subcompact is blocky but good. Some of the ultra compact 45's are good.

    Edited:
    doing a bit of profile stalking I noticed you already have a 26, implying you want something even smaller... hmmm. pocket carry of a P32 is inconspicous, so is an IWB makarov.

    atek3
     
  4. heypete

    heypete Member

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    Atek: You're right, I already have a G26. Small though it is, it's pretty blocky and thick.

    I'm looking for something even smaller, semi-auto (not a big fan of revolvers), etc. Oddly enough, every gun shop here (City Arms, Tabor's, and Imbert & Smithers) are out of Makarovs or have them prices obscenely high (>$250 at Tabor's for a Bulgarian). Must be panic-buying in preparation for "the big one" -- the earthquake that'll wipe SF and LA off the map, I guess. Seems to be consistent with what the shopkeepers are saying.

    While this might be an ankle gun, it might also be a shoulder-holster gun (ala James Bond), IWB, or other type of carry. Surprisingly, the Bersa/PPK fit my hand a lot better than the G26, with the little pinkie-hook off the magazine. Now I just need to find ~$250 for it, a couple boxes of ammo, and the $40 or so for DROS, registration :barf:, and so forth.
     
  5. 106rr

    106rr Member

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    I have tried both and strongly prefer the Bersa. It has a reliability level that PPK owners can only dream about. The sights are very good and the ergos are spot on for most people. The Mak has terrible sights that are expensive to fix, but it's a good cheap weapon. If the price is the same as a Mak, get the Bersa. I currently have a CZ 83 to fill the 380 ACP niche in my small collection. It is uber reliable and accurate but a little harder to conceal than the Bersa. As the Dollar is devalued against the Euro prices are going to go up and up so get your import while you can. I bought the CZ for $299 on sale 18 months ago, but the new sale price is $374, list is $422!
     
  6. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    Tried the Walther and the Bersa.

    Bought the Bersa.

    Never regretted it.

    I'm a man of few words today. :neener:
     
  7. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

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    The Bersa is a very good gun. The Walther is BEAUTIFULL. Since S&W started making the Walthers they have extended the beavertail, good thind. Improved the trigger, good thing.They also now cut the feed ramp AFTER the barrel is in place, good thing. The Bersa is good, the Walther is GREAT.


    Kevin
     
  8. dk-corriveau

    dk-corriveau Member

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    You can't go wrong with a SIG 232. Sexy as hell and a damn fine gun from a functionality/accuracy point of view as well. :D
     
  9. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    I've never tried a Bersa. I have a Walther PPK/s. It's pretty, but I hate the trigger. The DA pull is obscenely heavy.
     
  10. bulbboy

    bulbboy Member

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    Just picked up a PPK/S last week. First time shooting with it was yesterday! Even with new design it chewed my skin up! But it shot great! I put 500 rounds through it so I expected some of it. Close range shooting excellent - longer range - not so good - but what do you expect from a small handgun. Its just better looking also!!
     

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  11. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    I own and have carried both. I just tried to swap mags they will not interchange. So if that's a important forget it. Now the bersa is slightly larger. Enough that I can't pocket carry My PPK/S rides in a Don Home holster in my pocket very easy For the money the Bersa has a better out of box trigger and are 99% relieable from factory. The PPK/s has a harder trigger on DA but still liveable Try a Baretta tomcat and the PPK will feel light.
    They are both good pistols and very accurate I choose to carry the PPK more as it fits my pocket better. If Iam going IWB I'll use a 45. So to me depends on how you want to carry I would check out both and then decided. Bersa cost 1/2 of a PPK/S but is not a junk pistol.
    Check us out athttp://bersatalk.com
     
  12. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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  13. triggertime

    triggertime Member

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    I've had a Walther PPKS, which jammed on everything and cut the hell out of my hand, a Sig P230 which rusted inside and out from daily IWB carry, and a Bersa Thunder .380 which had a better trigger than the Sig.

    Nothing bad to say about the Bersa...my mom liked it so much it became hers.
    I'd buy another, they're extremely reliable.

    edit: typo corrected
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2005
  14. heypete

    heypete Member

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    Excellent, thanks for all the replies folks.

    I purchased the Bersa today for $225 + DROS + tax + HSC[1], which worked out to be about $294. Ten days from now, it'll be fine.

    Any recommended hollowpoints in .380 that work well? I've had good experience with Speer Gold Dots in 9mm Luger, and would be tempted to buy them in .380 as well.

    [1] Stupid California. :fire:
     
  15. horge

    horge Member

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    Remington Golden Saber 102gr JHP serves me pretty well.
    Gold Dots get pretty good feedbck too.
    (BERSA Thunder 380's tend to be indiscriminate, and voracious feeders)

    Congratulations on your new purchase!
    If you haven't yet read Steve Camp's articles, DO!
    :)


    horge
     
  16. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    heypete ... what's the "HSC[1]" fee? When I lived down there, it was just the DOJ registration fee ($14) and sales tax ...

    Our local Sportsman's Warehouse recently had a shipment of Bersas, sold 'em for $199.00 (they sold all eight of 'em within two days). A buddy picked one up, got the 5% military discount, paid the 8.25% WA sales tax and was out the door with his for just a few bucks over 200 smackers ... I got a chance to closely examine it and shoot it last weekend ... I must say, I was most favorably impressed. The darn thing (two-tone version, quite nice) was not only a good looking, well-made little piece, it was very accurate.

    I have both Maks and PPKs, but the next shipment of Bersas our SW gets, I'll pick one up (and hope it's as accurate as my buddy's).
     
  17. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    I know I'm late to the party, but IMO, the Bersa's a fantastic value for the money, and I deem its trigger to be superior to the Walther.
     
  18. heypete

    heypete Member

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    "Handgun Safety Certificate". Essentially it's a license-to-purchase that's required in California. Fortunately, one just gets the paperwork at the dealer, takes an idioticly-stupid test (I, being smarter than a trout, passed it 100%), then gets a stupid little card.

    My military ID expired a few months after I left the service, so I'm no longer exempt from the HSC-requirement. It all came about in mid-2003. Still hasn't stopped any criminals, though.

    Great! Exactly what I'm looking to hear, considering I just forked over a fair bit of cash for it today. :/

    This, coming from someone I've read many postings from and whom I trust in regards to firearms, is high praise indeed.

    I must say, I was somewhat concerned about the "cheap" name. Everybody's heard of a Walther PPK, but not many people have heard of a Bersa. I certainly don't want my guns to be associated with Lorcin, HiPoint, or other cheap, pot-metal guns. Still, it seems as though people have had nothing but favorable things to say about them here, which is very good.

    It'll be mine on the 26th, and probably will be my "trunk gun" (California doesn't allow the carry of handguns, even locked, unloaded, and cased, in the passenger compartment of a vehicle with a trunk) next to my folded-up Kel-Tec in the trunk. When traveling in areas where I can legally carry (with a WA and NH CCW), then I most certainly will be carrying at least this gun, most likely as a backup to my G19/G26, or by itself in more discreet situations.
     
  19. LightningJoe

    LightningJoe Member

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    The Bersa is a decent gun but undistinguished. It's only flaw is its caliber, but there is nothing about it that is particularly praise-worthy. You can get a Kel-Tec P-11 for about the same price and it is both smaller and more powerful. It's not a status symbol, but neither is the Bersa.

    Fictional spies prefer the PPK. There is nothing about it to cause it to be preferred over the Bersa--although it is slightly smaller.
     
  20. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

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    My dad has a Interarms PPK/S, and like was said above, the DA pull is atrocious. The sights are tiny, but fitting of a small gun. The PPK/S is also heavy for its size.

    I came pretty close to buying a Bersa/Firestorm, and I pretty much conquer with the gunblast.com review that says " I wish that some of the high-dollar European manufacturers could produce a pistol with a trigger pull as smooth and light as this Bersa. The feel is absolutely butter-smooth with a constant force of about seven pounds. Also, the single-action pull breaks cleanly with just a bit of over travel, at around three pounds. "

    http://www.gunblast.com/Bersa_Thunder380.htm

    I think you made the right choice.
     
  21. gunfan

    gunfan Member

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    Get the Bersa!

    My Bersa is a purchase that I have NOT regretted to this very day! Uber-reliable, ergonomically superb, accurate to a fault and a damned fine value for the money!

    Did I forget to tell you to buy the Bersa??? :D ;)

    Scott
     
  22. rgoudy1975

    rgoudy1975 Member

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    I'm getting one Saturday for $190 straight up. But I have to drive 40 miles to get it, so that's like what...$80 in gas???
     
  23. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

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    only if you drive a Hummer, or some 8mpg european exotic sports car :p
     
  24. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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  25. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Member

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    I've handled a couple of Bersa Thunder .380s. Seemed like solid guns. Both DA and SA triggers were quite good.

    I was impressed enough that I thought seriously about buying one just on general principles, even though I'm a revolver guy. You know, reward companies' behavior that you approve of (here, offering a decent handgun with a nice factory trigger for not much $$$) so that you'll get more of that behavior.

    I don't understand the appeal of the PPK at all. I mean, crappy trigger, sometimes iffy reliability, and the gun bites your hand? :scrutiny: Why not get a Bersa or a SIG P232? Or for that matter, get a J-frame revolver!

    The ballistic step down from the 158 gr .38 Special +P lead hollowpoint to .380 ACP defense ammo is significant. If I'm packing a defense gun chambered in a mild cartridge like the .380, it should be because the gun is ultra-teeny (Kel-Tec P3AT), and/or lightweight (SIG P232), or offers shooting comfort (Bersa). The PPK doesn't seem to shine in any of these respects.

    The Walther is smaller than the Bersa, though.
     
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