Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Phoenix 22 or Bersa 380

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by rvenneman, Apr 21, 2017 at 12:25 AM.

  1. rvenneman

    rvenneman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    My wife's hands are not as good as they use to be. I need something with very light recoil. The Phoenix has a light recoil but we can get our hands on a Bersa Thunder 380 to feel the recoil.
    Has anyone felt the recoil on the BT?
     
  2. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Flathead Valley, MT
    I am a big guy that likes heavy recoil, I shoot 44 mag like most shoot 45acp, but I hate the Bersa Thunder. Its not that it has a lot of recoil, don't get me wrong, but the recoil it does have, in my opinion, sucks. It is snappy and every once and a while bites my hand, I would rather shoot my Keltec PTA3 than it and I hate shooting that gun.

    I have not personally shot the Phoenix but it will definitely have less recoil. However, I know people with both guns and have never heard of a problem with the Bersa, I have heard several accounts of broken parts in the Phoenixs. But, the Phoenix is cheaper and the parts are dirt cheap.

    For me, in a fun gun role, it would be the Phoenix hands down.
    Cons: perceived unreliability, awkward safeties and a non-standard manual of arms.
    Pros: light recoil, cheap gun, cheap parts, extra barrels are cool.

    For a carry gun, its a toss up, the extra power of the Bersa is a huge plus but I would not enjoy practicing as much and therefor would not as much, it is also bigger and heavier.
     
    rvenneman likes this.
  3. rvenneman

    rvenneman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    She held the Phoenix today and it is a good feeling pistol. I like the weight of it. I gotta see if I can get my hands on Thunder..
     
  4. toivo

    toivo Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,429
    Location:
    New York State
    Monac and chicharrones like this.
  5. rvenneman

    rvenneman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    I have been trying to find one. I guess they are discontinued from Bersa. Maybe I will look used.
    Thanks.
     
  6. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    8,076
    Location:
    Greeley, CO
    I would be pretty skeptical of the Phoenix personally. Not a real quality pistol in my experience. The idea of a small .22 is a good one though. I would be much, much less skeptical of Bersa quality. I like Bersa guns as a rule. No experience with their .22, but my gut reaction says it is likely the better gun. What about something like the Ruger SR22? I don't like the pistol personally, but my wife loves it, and to be fair it has been nothing but reliable.

    My take on the .380 in general is that it all depends on her. I think recoil is light enough, but I don't know if she would agree. Obviously, it is the better defense caliber of the two, but if she can't shoot it, what's the point?

    Also, I am assuming carry. Is that correct?
     
  7. rvenneman

    rvenneman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    They are not discontinued but every site I looked at has them on backorder.
     
  8. rvenneman

    rvenneman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    I really need to go to the range and rent a BT 380.
     
  9. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Bersa thunder 380 is a an excellent firearm. The weight of the steel frame and slide help to soak up the recoil not than say, an lcp. A 22 will have less recoil, but id stay away from Phoenix. Remember, bersa has a .22 version of the thunder as well
     
  10. Alte Schule

    Alte Schule Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Brazos County, Texas
    My wife is 63. Last year she decided she wanted a License To Carry,.Over several months, except for large frame revolvers, magnums and automatics, she tried every handgun I had from .22 Mag to 9mm/.38 Special. I even rented a few. Surprisingly, to me anyway, she shot her best groups with a Bersa Thunder I got in a trade some years back and brought to the range that day as I hadn't shot it in a couple of years. I bought her a new one with Duo Tone finish. Out the door for less than $300.
    I have owned 3-4 Bersa Thunder's over the years. They are excellent handguns.
     
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    13,570
    rvenneman

    Something like the Colt Mustang or SIG P238 would have less felt recoil than a Bersa .380 because they use a delayed blowback design versus the straight blowback operation of the Bersa. One of the lightest recoiling medium frame size pistols I have is a .22LR Beretta Model 70S.
     
  12. usp9

    usp9 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,666
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Va
    If you are seeking an easy to use .22 then the Ruger SR22 is an excellent option. It has many features that make it a good choice for people getting on in age. The slide is easy to rack, the mags are the easiest to load of any .22 I own, the sights are good, it's DA/SA with a hammer, takedown is simple (easier than a BT 380 or 22), mag release is nice. It's priced well too. Worth looking at if a .22 is considered.
     
  13. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,595
    Location:
    Arizona
    I am one of the "getting on in age people" in addition to my health rapidly heading south, so I have pretty much gone over to low recoiling 380 pistols.

    The softest recoiling 380 pistols I own in order of lowest felt recoil are Browning 1911 380 (by far the best shooting 380 I have ever shot), Glock G42, (just a good and reliable all around good shooter) and a Sig P238.
     
  14. doubleh

    doubleh Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    976
    Location:
    NM-south of I-40
    I seriously doubt you are going to find any .380 that has light recoil when you compare it with any 22 rimfire.

    The Ruger SR22 was mentioned and I've owned one for several years. It's been trouble free but I can't shoot the thing worth a hoot. Not even off a rest. I'm using it to teach a great grand daughter pistol shooting and she embarresses grandpa because she is a much better shot with it than me.

    On to the Phoenix. My LGS sells a lot of them and I recently traded an old 22 rifle that I hadn't shot in years to him for one of the Phoenix pistol kits just to play with. I found I am a much better shot with the Phoenix than the Ruger. I doubt I'll shoot it enough to wear it out or break it but if I do it carries a lifetime warranty and it only has to travel to California to be repaired or replaced. One thing to mention is that it's designed to only shoot standard velocity ammo. That helps a little in the recoil department too.
     
  15. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Messages:
    268
    Location:
    Tonica, IL
    Another option to consider is the S&W M&P 22 Compact. Not much more than the Bersa, and light years ahead of the Phoenix in quality. I bought one for cheap practice and to teach new shooters. Everyone has loved it.
     
  16. CZ9shooter

    CZ9shooter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    885
    I once owned a BT380. Probably for much the same reasons as the OP. I wanted something tame for the wife to shoot but not one if these ultra compact pocket guns that the gun shop shelves are full of these days.

    Turns out though, that the Bersa has a pretty mean recoil if you ask me. It's not heavy, but fast and sharp. The straight blowback action makes for a stinging whack as the slide hits the rear of it's travel. Idk though, it must be subjective because some people claim that the recoil very light. Maybe they've never actually shot one?? And the wife didn't seem to mind it, but she also says she cant detect a difference in double and single action triggers.

    Anhow, she eventually got bored with that and now we have a G42. MUCH softer shooting gun. Yeah, it is smaller, but even with less to hang onto it is way more comfortable to shoot that the Bersa. It's amazing how much difference a locked breech can make, even with this small cartridge.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017 at 8:22 AM
    chicharrones likes this.
  17. earplug

    earplug Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,671
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Blowback firearms have stout recoil springs. This makes slide manipulation harder.
    Try and find a locked breech model that she enjoys.
     
    chicharrones likes this.
  18. chicharrones
    • Contributing Member

    chicharrones needs more ammo

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,128
    Location:
    Galveston Bay is an Hour Away ©
    If you can find a Bersa or Firestorm .22LR pistol, it is a pretty sweet shooter. I have the Firestorm version and like it for what it is. Which is a small old school styled self defense practice and plinking pistol.

    I've fired the Bersa in .380 and it's like many blowback .380 guns with metal frames. If it fits your hand well and you are used to shooting guns with some recoil, it will present no real problem. However, if it doesn't fit your hand well, the blowback action will amplify felt recoil. For instance, my CZ75 PCR in 9mm feels softer to shoot than a Bersa .380.

    The other point brought up about the recoil spring in a blowback .380 is a valid concern as well. Racking the slide on a stiffly sprung .380 with a small slide on it, can be difficult for some people.

    What I personally think would be worth consideration in the small .380 pistol market would be a locked breach .380 such as the 85% scale Browning 1911-380 or the Walther PK380.

    Of course, those aren't in the same price range of the Phoenix or the Bersa, so I'm back to the Bersa .22LR if one can be found. :cool:
     
    rvenneman likes this.
  19. rvenneman

    rvenneman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    Love you pic... "the shitters full". Ha ha
     
    chicharrones likes this.
  20. toivo

    toivo Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,429
    Location:
    New York State
    chicharrones and rvenneman like this.
  21. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    5,018
    Location:
    SouthEastern FL
    The Phoenix is a surprisingly-dandy pistol at the range, but it is heavy, sharp-edged, and complicated by something like 64 safety features. One of these is that it cannot be cleared without an empty magazine in place.

    The Bersa is a solid, reliable shooter but, being a blowback, would probably have a little more snap than a similarly-balanced gun with a recoil-operated design. I don't find it unpleasant at all, but others may.

    The Ruger SR-22 runs a similar price to the Bersa and has the same manual-of-arms. Either can be stowed with the hammer at rest, negating the need for using the manual safety lever (actually a decocker that, if left down, functions as a safety.)

    I own the Phoenix and the Bersa, and I'd like a Thunder 22, too.
     
  22. chicharrones
    • Contributing Member

    chicharrones needs more ammo

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,128
    Location:
    Galveston Bay is an Hour Away ©
    True. Many pocket pistols are, including my RM380.

    I didn't know if the OP was considering pocket pistols or just compact sized pistols.

    EDIT: I forgot the Phoenix HP22 is a pocket sized pistol. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017 at 1:11 PM
  23. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    156
    I'm also a Bersa fan and Thunder owner. Their dead nutz reliable, surprisingly accurate & one of the best bang for the buck handguns I've found yet.

    70172-461bf7d851e3ad66016ddc2e4122873c.jpg

    It has some great features like 3 dot sights, da/sa w/ a decocker / safety, nice beavertail which eliminates slide bite & a pretty nice trigger right out of the box.

    As it's already been mentioned, the 380 recoil can't really be compared to a 22 rimfire, but the 380 is obviously a much better choice for self-defense & edc. Recoil can be a little Snappy especially if you're shooting hot 95, 100, 102 grain +p rounds. However if your shooting 88 & 90 grain loads I think you'll find it far more manageable and pleasant to shoot. With the lighter loads the steel frame does a really good job at soaking up the recoil compared to alloy or polymer frame blowback 380's.
     
  24. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    1,406
    Location:
    Frisco, TX
    I would have no concern about getting a Phoenix 22. I know going in that it is an inexpensive pistol made from zinc alloy and frames reportedly start to crack somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 rounds. The LGS sells them for $145 so its easy to buy and when the frame does crack, not particularly painful to the wallet to replace with a new one.
     
  25. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,368
    Location:
    NC
    or have the factory replace it for the cost of a transfer...
    I love my HP22a. It's a fun range gun. Minimum recoil. The silly mag safety is a 5 minute, easy modification. Change the recoil spring every 500-800 rounds and you are good to go. The springs are under $3 each
    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page