Bersa Thunder?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Panzerschwein, Sep 6, 2015.

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  1. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Just bought a Bersa Thunder 380, nickel finish, the original model not the CC.

    Pretty inexpensive gun. How do they rate? How is .380 stopping power with modern bullets? I'll probably carry this as my primary CCW, with my current NAA mini .22 LR as backup. Is the Bersa enough gun for primary carry? I see there are 8 shot mags out for them, I'll probably get some and a hybrid style IWB holster. Might also get night sights.

    So how are these little guns? Decent? I more or less bought it on whim, so am looking for any feedback both positive and negative. Thanks!
     
  2. TruthTellers

    TruthTellers member

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    If I was buying one and it wasn't the CC version, it would have been the Plus model with 15 round capacity. They're decent guns.

    As for .380, it's not the best, but you can get some decent ammo for it. I'm not gonna rattle off all the .380 hollow points, but by far the best for a non +P rated .380, it's Fiocchi Extrema. Not much expansion, but enough penetration to get where it needs to be effective. Pretty inexpensive round too.
     
  3. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    I bought a few .380's for my wife to try so I could get my cz82 back from her. She chose the Bersa Thunder .380 over pistols costing twice as much. It's accurate, simple to operate and easy on the hands, all the things she wanted. It's had a few FtF, but it's new and we are shooting flat point bullets. She's off camping with it now. It makes my list of "best bang for the buck".

    Here's a link to penetration tests for the .380.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=penetration+test+.380+auto
     
  4. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Never heard anything that would dissuade me from a Bersa. Inexpensive, comfortable, and nice trigger for what they are.
    .380 is toward the bottom end of what I would consider a 'primary round' but it's a good deal better than a sharp stick and I personally don't believe as strongly in the FBI requirements for penetration as some.
    For what that's worth, Cor-Bon DPX was considered the height of defensive rounds in a few circles when I was shopping for one.
     
  5. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Any gun is enough for primary carry, until it isn't. The odds, assuming you're not running a high-risk lifestyle, of it not being enough are just above non-existent, and just below those of you ever even needing a gun in the first place.

    That being said, I carried a Bersa Thunder for a couple of years, only replacing it with a Kel-Tec PF9 I found for a price I couldn't pass on. I still have the Bersa, though, and have never been as impressed with any other gun-for-the-value as I have with it. Of course, it's far more pleasant to shoot than is the PF9.

    I also have no qualms with carrying a gun chambered in .380, especially one as easy to handle as the Bersa.
     
  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I think Bersas are decent reliable guns for the money. Relatively compact with a proven DA/SA design, they're fairly well constructed and finished. Have been thinking about getting the Plus model as the Beretta Model 84 is a bit out of my price range.
     
  7. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    I had one (a CC). It is a fine, inexpensive, accurate 380 shooter. Sold it because it had little advantage over the Beretta '84's and '85's I owned. One of the only guns I've sold. I don't regret selling it....much.
     
  8. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Member

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    Bought the Thunder 380. Liked it enough that I sold it and bought the 380CC version for my daily carry. Found a second one for a pittance. Now have two of the 380CC pistols. Put about 200 rounds through each to break it in and gain condfidence in the pistol. I can't remember a single jam. Not fancy, but the CC version sure is more comfortable and easier to make a carry piece. Furncliff is right. Best bang for the buck I have found. Regardless of price, it just works!
     
  9. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    I often carry a Beretta 85FS, so I am OK with modern .380's. I'd recommend the Hornady Critical Duty ammo. The Bersa is a good gun, and will serve you well.
     
  10. Dino

    Dino Member

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    I just purchased a pair of rubber wraparound grips for my Bersa Thunder 380 and it feels MUCH better than the stock plastic grips.

    I'm not a big fan of 380's but this is a nice gun for the money.

    IMG_1058_zpsha1peak6.jpg
     
  11. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I have a BT380 and like it a lot. My biggest complaint is that magazines for them are outrageous! I'd like to have some extras but they're too much for my blood. But it functions flawlessly. I had to drift the rear sight over just a tad, but now it's very accurate.
     
  12. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    I have a couple and can't say anything bad about them.
     
  13. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator In Memoriam

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    Got one my pocket right now. great carry piece, reliable and accurate.
     
  14. Ruger Redhawk

    Ruger Redhawk Member

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    I have no personal experience with any of the Bersa's.
    Some years back my dealer back home told me he couldn't get enough of them they were selling so fast. He told me that he hasn't gotten any that he sold back because of problems.
    I have a email buddy and he swears by his Bersa Thunders. He had one stolen and he bought a replacement. A couple years later the one stolen was recovered. I'm not big on carrying a 380 . I put a 9mm as a minimum for a carry guns.


    That's like the SCCY guns. I have no experience with them other than looking at one. They supposedly are a decent gun and don't break the bank buying them.
     
  15. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    http://bersachat.com

    All you need to know is right their .Plus members can give you some tips on keeping your Bersa trouble free .

    Bersa also has a couple great 9mm . One double stack and one single stack


    Come visit and join.
     
  16. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Thanks Michael! I just joined Bersa Chat last night. :D
     
  17. DougW

    DougW Member

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    Had my Thunder .380 for about 14 years I think. Always reliable, carry it all the time, never feel under gunned with it.
     
  18. steveracer

    steveracer Member

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    I carry one from time to time. I tested it on some serious hand loads and LOTS of range fodder, and the only issue I ever had with mine after 8500 rounds was one mag had a weak spring, and the slide went home on an empty chamber with one round still in the mag.
    Replaced the spring (from Bersa for $3) and it was back to business.
    I prefer it to the PPK because it's lighter, easier to shoot well, and you can lock the slide to the rear without an empty magazine should the need arise. (great at the range where you have to show clear)
    The CC mags have the same follower and magically hold one more round of .380. Those are the ones I use, and I have never had an issue with them.
     
  19. Scarpia

    Scarpia Member

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    I have the older version of the "Thunder", the model 85, all steel frame from the 80-90's. I modified a Thunder magazine to work in the '85 and carry it with 15 ready to go. The '85/Thunder is an excellent 380 by any measure.

    Carrying a piece is all about capacity...to me...so having 15 is a big plus. I also have in the rotation the Beretta 84BB, Browning BDA 380 and a Sig P238. The P238 is dedicated to CCW while riding my motorcycle due to its small size. The Bersa being slightly smaller in OAL and weight versus the Beretta or Browning plus having a few more rounds, makes it my first choice in 380's to carry.
     
  20. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I remember a former member here, some yahoo from Alaska I think, that used to run down Bersa's every chance he could. Anytime the name was mentioned, you could count on him jumping in to blather his opinions of how worthless they are. Funny I can't recall him giving any reasons or evidence to back his biased opinions. Think he got banned, don't miss him.
     
  21. stompah

    stompah Member

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    My local range has a thunder 380 in their rental inventory. We rented it several times and it was always tight. Very much unlike the sigma I rented that was a rattle trap.

    We eventually bought one. I will say would I trust it with my life except for the .380 round.

    I think versa makes a slightly bigger 9mm version. apparently they do.
     
  22. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I'm not interested in a this vs that debate:banghead: the Bersa 83a is damn fine pistol. Are there better options? Likely.
     
  23. CZ9shooter

    CZ9shooter Member

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    I have one for my wife to shoot at the range. A standard model. I have the wrap-around finger grooves grips on it. She likes it because it is more "full sized" than most 380s. It even feels pretty good in my largish hands. It jams every few hundred rounds or so with standard FMJ type ammo. The kind with a big round almost hemispherical profile. With my handloaded XTPs it has been 100%.

    If I were to carry it, XTP topped ammo would be my choice anyhow. It most, if not all, calibers they are an excellent comprimise between expansion and penetration. That sounds pretty good in a relatively low powered cartridge like the 380.
     
  24. alexander45

    alexander45 Member

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    Been looking at getting one in 22lr so iv held a few around town they are really quite nice and fit my hand fairly well the finish was really nice and they don't have the frame cracking problems of other 22s in that size and price range
     
  25. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    I bought my pair on a whim,,,

    I bought my pair on a whim about 4-5 years ago,,,
    They were "cute" and I had a windfall of cash.

    bersas-lr.jpg

    Both of mine have been extremely reliable,,,
    The 22 has trained at least a half-dozen new shooters.

    The 380 has fed, fired, and ejected everything I have fed it,,,
    The .22 does well on pretty much everything as well.

    Last year I purchased the Thunder 9 UC mentioned in a previous post,,,
    It too has been an extremely reliable range gun.

    140724-UC9-09-Boxed-LR.jpg

    Based solely on my experience,,,
    I recommend Bersa as a brand to at least look at.

    So far, nobody who has taken my advice and purchased one has had any problems at all.

    Aarond

    .
     
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