Thunder 9UC - Long term review

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    1. #1
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Jun 2009

      Thunder 9UC - Long term review

      I am reading some of the threads here after singing up and haven't really found any long term reviews of anyone shooting their thunder 9 much over 1000 rounds. So, I figured I'd post up my review on my Thunder 9UC after over a years worth of training and practice.

      I have a round count of roughly 7000 rounds through my 9UC. I went from day 1 of barely being able to hit a target at 10 yards with a pistol as I started my first real pistol shooting for my CCW to grouping shots 1 inch at 20 yards today. All of this done with my 9UC, shooting what averages out to be once a week at the range, more when i was first learning and a little less now.

      My impressions of the 9UC have been stellar compared to other pistols I have shot in that same time. I have found this pistol to be the least picky with ammo of any model I have owned or shot so far, and as reliable as anything that is higher or lower in value. Remington, Winchester, Blazer, Wolf, Ultramax, Federal... Shoots them all with ease.

      The internals of the pistol still look just about like the day I bought the gun. there is obvious wear in the finish of the slide, but it wasn't perfect to begin with. The barrel threads seem to be just as solid, and I don't see any excess wear on the trigger assembly, hammer, or really anywhere on the gun. I clean it roughly once every two trips.

      The magazine springs seem to be holding up well, but I do have one extra magazine I purchased separate with a small hole on the round holder that will cause the slide not to stay back every now and then. Not a big deal, doesn't effect the performance of the gun, only happens on that mag, and I use it for the range since it already has that issue with it and they aren't cheap to replace. My carry mag spring is holding up very well.

      For all the times I have shot the 9UC, I have had roughly 5-7 FTE, and one Stove Pipe. I have placed the blame on the ammo for those problems as they were extremely random, and one round I had simply would not chamber for some reason. You get those from time to time I guess.

      I have carried this pistol for a year now, and have had no issues in doing so. A little heavy if you are smaller like me (5'7 165lbs.) but not anything worth fusing over. Sits in my car during the work day in the heat and the cold, and hasn't made a difference.

      When I first found this Bersa model, before the inevitable gun fairy hooked me for life, the only pistol i had owned, operated, and knew anything about was a Beretta 92fs. When i chose the Bersa 9UC, I did so because it felt good in my hand and disassembled in basically the same way the 92 did. Big bonus to the bersa? The locking block on the barrel is a molded part of the barrel instead of floating. Makes it so much easier to clean and deal with when putting the pistol back together, and to me seems like a smart idea that beretta should adopt someday.

      While not the worlds perfect handgun, I must say for the money ($300 when i got mine new) it's hard to beat this little pistol. It's extremely reliable, very accurate even by full size pistol standards, and built like an old bronco. It may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but it will get the job done every time and laugh at those trying to keep their $600 safe queens clean while you watch your finish rub away shooting another 7000 rounds. When I hit 14000 I'll post again we'll see if it ever has any trouble.

    2. #2
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      May 2009
      can't argue with you on this gun! I'm up past a thousand rounds now and it shoots straighter and straighter, with zero problems. FTE stovepiped once on first day, sloppy limpwrist grip did that.. I practice with cheap ammo (MFS from Hungary, FMJ) and even so, I"ve had maybe two feed failures and one fire failure in all that time. I used those events for fast-clearing practice. Haven't shot a large amount of top grade ammo yet, just practicing, holding the good stuff for SD loads.

      This gun has the slide release and the safety on both sides, which is the primary reason I bought it, since I shoot lefty. The decocker safety is great, as I can rack a load, decock it and carry it on safe with one in the chamber. I can't pull the trigger until I firmly drop the safety to fire that first round DA. It's about the safest config I can think of for carrying with chambered round. Chambered, but not cocked.

      It's clunky metal, but the parts are solid and the whole is very efficient and smooth in operation. Cleaning yields no signs of actual wear on anything beyond the classic 'I can see it's been used' kind of sheen.

      A totally reliable, nicely concealable (for me, big dave gun, holds 13+1, got a spare mag in the original gun box, all for $350 or so.... can't imagine a better 9mm experience for this kind of money, or any kind really.

    3. #3
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      May 2007
      Have to agree with you about the Bersa. I have a Thunder 9 with about 1400 rounds through it with no problems. The grip is a bit large for me, but I make do. Thinking about a 9UC!!!

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    5. #4
      Join Date
      Apr 2007
      Hmmm -- there's never a "this thread is useless without pictures!" thingy when you need it......

    6. #5
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Jul 2009

      Smile Bersa Long-term performance - I need feedback

      Greetings Gunners!

      I have been researching handguns for my first CCW, and firing a few as well.

      Bersa Thunder 9's - both UC and full-size get great ratings. Recently, Bersa Thunder 9 HC was rated as one of the top 25 9mm pistols under $500 (it came in at #19). The UC 9 was also listed in its category as being #15.

      Personally, the weight and balance of the UC feels better in my hand than the full-size. I know the great price stems from the fact that Argentina's economy is in the toilet, and every review seems to say great things about the Bersa Thunder in comparison to other major brands.

      Several weeks ago, I took my wife down to shoot some guns at a friend's house in spite of her anxiety over it. We shot a Bersa 380, a makarov 9mm, S&W 38 Special 2", and then most fun of all a S&W model 1911.

      Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a Thunder UC to shoot. I was gonna' rent one at a local range, but by the time I would be done with all costs, I was looking at over $60. I didn't feel like spending 20% of the cost of a Bersa to check it out.

      Can you Bersa 9mm owners respond to me and give me some feedback. I am leaning to the UC because of its potential for a CCW, but I may buy a second gun for that.

      I am looking at a North American Arms, Guardian model that shoots a 32 caliber slug necked down from a 380 shell. I think I am much more likely to get in a jam away from home where the element of surpirse that a powerful pocket pistol would provide would serve me better at close range.

      Thanks for listening to me ramble.


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