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Firestorm .380 vs Bersa Thunder .380

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by dbshabo, Jan 14, 2004.

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  1. dbshabo

    dbshabo Member

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    Looking to get one of these two pistols for my wife to use as a purse gun when she travels for business. I have read here that these two guns are made in the same factory by the same people. I have looked at the website and the cosmetic differences are obvious. Are there internal differences between these two? If so what are they and which one is considered the better choice? Thanks in advance for any and all help and opinions.

    Shabo
     
  2. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    I don't believe there are internal differences between the two. The differences are all in the grips, sights, and trigger guard. Maybe someone else can speak to the internal lock system and when that went on each line. Other than that I know of no difference.
     
  3. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Not qualified to draw a comparison but I am thinking differences are more cosmetic tho than major mechanical .... I am sure others will appear with much more complete info for you.

    Only chipped in because my Thunder is an A1 great lil gun ... and I am impressed ... so I'd imagine a Thunder would most probably also please you greatly. I cannot really fault it.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Count me out too, as being a qualified candidate to
    compare the two; but I really like the Bersa Thunder
    .380. People show up at the range with these little
    unsung gems; fire off their box of 50 or so rounds
    without a hitch, and are on their way. I guess you
    could say, they are satisfied customers? :D

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  5. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    Yup I agree w/ others in that I dont think there are any internal differences between the two guns.

    External appearance though, the firestorm has the fingergrooves, different trigger guard, and different sights. Maybe more but I dont remember.
     
  6. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    I too have a Bersa .380 that has been great.

    From what I've read, the Firestorm might give you more holster options (they can fit in most PPK holsters IIRC, whereas the Bersa will not).

    That's about the only real difference that I know of.
     
  7. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    My daughter purchased a Firestorm. The choice was a Firestorm or Bersa.

    Chief differences pertained to the grip, sights and trigger guard.

    She chose the Firestorm because the sights were easier to see in low light. FS grips feature finger grooves and rubber panels.

    IIRC the Bersa uses hard plastic panels and no grooves.

    Trigger guard is problematic when finding a holster. One of the two (I forget which) is patterned more after the Walther PPKS. That one will have better holster options.

    . . . . .unless you go to a custom house like Wild Bill's Holsters where everything is custom to th gun.

    Either gun is a find. Best bang for buck out there in .380.
     
  8. otomik

    otomik Member

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    The Firestorm has comfy rubber wrap-around grips with finger grooves, the Bersa has Plastic grips. The Firestorm is available in .22lr while the Bersa is available only in .380ACP. The available finishes are different as well. I have a Firestorm .22lr which i think will serve as a good trainer if i choose to pick up the .380 later (doubt it). The Firestorm can use most PPK leather or better yet SIG P-230/232 leather, the Bersa can use Beretta 84 leather and not much else.

    IMHO the firestorm is better-looking but less practical and the bersa is just the opposite. however if this is a serious defensive gun about this size you should save up and buy a compact 9mm. you don't have to settle for .380 in a gun this size anymore. if it's meant as a fun gun then go for the Firestorm .22lr.
     
  9. DougB

    DougB Member

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    I recently bought the Bersa in nickel. I like it a lot. I've put about 75 rounds through it without a hitch so far. I picked the Bersa over the Firestorm versions for two reasons:

    1) I can get the nickel Bersa in California (the Firestorm is only approved in Blue). This is only an issue for Californians.

    2) I wanted the adjustable rear sight. This turned out to be worthwhile - after putting a couple of magazines through it, it was apparent that it was grouping somewhat to the left for me. A few turns of the screw, and I had it grouping right where I aimed it. I think with the Firestorm, I'd have either lived with the gun shooting a bit to the left, or had to bang on it with a brass rod and mallet. Neither option is particularly appealing. I find the Bersa's sights fine - about perfect for this type of pistol.

    I would have slightly preferred the rounded trigger guard of the Firestorm (for easier holster options), and the finger groove grips, but I find the Bersa comfortable to hold, and I think (but am not sure) that I could install Firestorm grips if this were a big issue for me. All-in-all, I'm very happy with the purchase and would get the same model again.

    Doug
     
  10. 71Commander

    71Commander Member

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    To Otomik

    Please explain: >>IMHO the firestorm is better-looking but less practical <<
     
  11. dbshabo

    dbshabo Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. Sounds like the Firestorm is the gun I want. For no other reason than the wider variety of holster opions available. I do like finger grooves on my guns and having to use a drift punch to adjust a sight doesn't bother me at all. I'm gonna try and find one locally and let the wife handle it and see what she thinks. Even if she doesn't like it I think I'm gonna buy one for myself.

    Shabo
     
  12. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    The Bersa is also available in .22lr, feel free to search this site for range reports about them.
     
  13. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    Does anyone know for sure if the Firestorm grips will fit the Bersa Thunder?
     
  14. otomik

    otomik Member

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    absolutely

    the rubber grips of the firestorm are more comfortable but will likely slow down draw time, they are also the thickest part of the gun. the bersa grips are plastic and just about as thick. the grips for each are interchangable, in fact my .22lr firestorm came with an order form to buy various accessories including polymer grips. if this is a serious CCW i think you might want to invest in some slimmer grips. http://members.aol.com/jonbenjon/customgrips.htm
    also i find the classic rounded trigger guard of the firestorm to be a lot more elegant, yet someone that has this same gun in .380 might like the added control of the bersa's combat style recurve trigger guard. you'll notice that most smaller pistols don't have combat style trigger gaurds and i think it's because it's a bad idea to make a habit of putting your fingers near the muzzle, especially on a smaller gun.

    i don't think so, i got my range report up. i hear about the Bersa 23 .22lr sometimes but they aren't currently importing that or any other .22lr. it is very confusing because firestorm is just another marking name for another importer of bersas and llamas.

    P.S. Doug B, i don't know what you're talking about, my firestorm's rear sights are adjustable.
     
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