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  1. #1
    SP3's Avatar
    SP3
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    Thunder 380 - finally arrived

    So I ordered a Bersa Thunder 380 kit from Bud's for the wife. It finally arrived Friday afternoon. Everything looked good so I finished the transaction and took it home.

    I gave it a full sprucing yesterday. I had expected a gooey mess from what many owners have described. Not so this one. It was plenty oily but not terribly so. Removed all of their oil, ran a brush with #9 through the bore, some dry patches, some oiled patches (Hoppe's again), wiped everything else down. It looks great and cycles (by hand) perfectly smooth though the safety is a bit stiff (semi-expected).

    A Zooms from ebay arrived today. I bought five brands of ammo last week (four FMJ round nose, one JHP) to try out. Hopefully, a trip to the range will happen in the next week or two.

    I'll post the findings and pics soon.

  2. #2
    mustang652's Avatar
    mustang652 is offline Junior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Congratulations on getting the Bersa. I got my first BT 380 seven years ago and after I "discovered" the DLX mags, it has been one of the best purchases I've made. Not every one has the same ammo break in, but I'd suggest that you stay away blunt nose FMJ, (Winchester) and JHP for the first 100 rounds.

  3. #3
    SP3's Avatar
    SP3
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    Yep, nothing but the round nose stuff for a while. I have a box each on hand of:

    Federal American Eagle 95gr
    CCI/Speer Blazer 95gr (brass cased and aluminum)
    Remington UMC 95gr
    Speer Gold Dot PP 90gr JHP (yes, kind of blunt nosed as well)

    If all (200 rounds) of the FMJ goes without a hitch, we'll try a magazine (box, hopefully) of the GD for the sake of science. Then it's another batch of different stuff to try and find ammo this particular gun doesn't like (hopefully none). Getting ahead of myself......

  4. #4
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    rexherring is offline Junior Member
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    Congrats, a great little gun.

  5. #5
    ldman is offline Junior Member
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    Congrats.... I love my new little Bersa 380. I have shot only Remington 95 gr FMJ and have had no issues. Be careful not to call your Magazine a "clip" around here,,, some are perfectionist....

  6. #6
    SP3's Avatar
    SP3
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    Well, day seven of my vacation and day seven of being sick. No time at the range for me (or anyone else). But, here are some pics of wifey's weapon:





    Went over the functions with her last night. The decock/safety is too notchy as is. If it doesn't free up pretty quickly, it'll get sent in. Other than that, everything cycles smoothly. Laser isn't as hokie as I thought it might be. Installs quickly and easily and adjusts even easier. Steady or flash and remembers its last setting. Isn't in the way of finger ingress to the trigger as it looks it might be. Hopefully, next week we can go out with it.

  7. #7
    berettatoter's Avatar
    berettatoter is offline Senior Member
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    SP3, nice pics and nice pistol! The Bersa will serve you guys well.

  8. #8
    MoMan's Avatar
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    I have the Bersa Thunder in both the .380 & .22 and love them both. I was lucky as mine didn't seem to have much of a break-in period.
    I'm sure this pistol will serve you well!

  9. #9
    BersaJohn is offline Junior Member
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    I bought the same 380 from Bud's. Received it last week. Haven't fired it yet but have joined this forum to do a lot of reading and asking. Glad to have found you guys.

  10. #10
    SP3's Avatar
    SP3
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    Well, here we are almost 6 months down the road. We finally got to take the Bersa to the range about three months ago. And I took it another time a month ago.

    It now has 216 rounds through it. One FTF with the wife (loose grip) using round nose Blazer (aluminum case). After 100 rounds of round nose, we tried eight defensive rounds and had one FTF (possibly loose grip again). This was with Federal Hydra-Shok JHP, 90 gr, low recoil stuff. Not totally sure if it was limp wrist as I always try to avoid that. Especially in this kind of situation where I'm testing different ammo. The Hydra's have a pretty aggressively formed nose which could have contributed. Won't use them for defense (yet). After another 100 round noses had gone through, I tried Speer Gold dots that worked fine (also just eight rounds). That's the 216.

    I picked up Hornady Critical Defense rounds today to try next time. Mainly for the next few trips it will be round nose just to put some more 'miles' on the workings. So far, the gun has worked extremely well. I do need to adjust the rear sight a scosh; shoots to the right about 3" @ 25' no matter the shooter, ammo, or grip.

    I like it a lot but, more importantly, the wife loves it and has learned its characteristics quickly. We decided that the magazine safety had to go, so I took care of that. Loctited the grips screws, too. One nearly ran away on the first range visit. We're very happy with it.

  11. #11
    SP3's Avatar
    SP3
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    another trip to the range on Friday, this time with a new factory magazine to try out. Happy to say that we have two perfectly functioning magazines now. Pistol is now up to 430 rounds. Issue I had (see my 'Light Strike' thread) seems to a thing of the past. Pull the trigger as quickly as I can and the gun functions without issue. Laser still holding its adjustment also. If wifey can adjust to the different grip it requires, it may stick around. Still haven't bothered adjusting the sights. From 20'-25', I can hit my 4" wide by 10" tall steel targets at will double tapping. Maybe when it warms up, I'll take my tool kit and dial it in.

  12. #12
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    qwiksdraw is offline Member
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    Good reports, glad to read the BT380 is keeper. Mine sure is.

    One other magazine option is the MecGar magazine for the BT380. For about $10 less you get a quality mag that will load one more round than factory mags.

  13. #13
    SP3's Avatar
    SP3
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    I had looked into aftermarket mags but was put off my their less than perfect reviews. In hindsight that could have mostly been directed at ProMag and not MecGar. I say this because you mention the extra round which I don't remember reading about. I got the new Bersa mag for $34 shipped so was happy enough with that. An extra round is always welcome, though.


  14. #14
    berettatoter's Avatar
    berettatoter is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds like your Bersa is running well for you. Knew it would. I have always had good luck with their guns.

  15. #15
    JettaRed is offline Junior Member
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    I've never had a problem with either ProMag or. Mec-Gar mags. For the de-cocker, you can remove it (search YouTube) and polish it a bit. Then lube the little detent and reassemble. That'll loosen and smooth the safety/decock. You can also work it 100 million times while watching tv.

  16. #16
    SP3's Avatar
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    safety has loosened up from use and cleaning/lubing. No worries now.

  17. #17
    SP3's Avatar
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    now up to 530 rounds. took the wife out for some needed trigger time. another full box of Blazer aluminum and a box of PMC Bronze (something new for this gun). all 100 down range perfectly. roughly evenly divided between both mags to prove out the new one. checked the laser's alignment again and it's staying put. still not convinced she likes the way it makes you grip the pistol though.

  18. #18
    wnppmy is offline Junior Member
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    Recently purchased the Combat version. Military dark green hand grips. Drawn in by it's low price.

    $299 with two factory magazines and plastic carrying case. Ordered lower cost extra magazine arrival first one worked great.

    First 33 rounds flawless, close 7 yard target able to group in smaller splatter target on the man size silhouette.

    Did shoot low, simply elevated and all rounds hit the smaller square target. Slight recoil but manageable for this compact gun.

    Only concern after a quick cleaning the last move on reassembly slide drops in place but refused to engage. Turns out its new, just required a pursuation push down. Refuse to tell you how long this ordeal took.

    Amazing quality product at an attractive price.

  19. #19
    wnppmy is offline Junior Member
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    Recently purchased the Combat version. Military dark green hand grips. Drawn in by it's low price.

    $299 with two factory magazines and plastic carrying case. Ordered lower cost extra magazine arrival first one worked great.

    First 33 rounds flawless, close 7 yard target able to group in smaller splatter target on the man size silhouette.

    Did shoot low, simply elevated and all rounds hit the smaller square target. Slight recoil but manageable for this compact gun.

    Only concern after a quick cleaning the last move on reassembly slide drops in place but refused to engage. Turns out its new, just required a pursuation push down. Refuse to tell you how long this ordeal took.

    Amazing quality product at an attractive price.

    I sold my compact 9mm beretta, hated its recoil. As a newer pistol shooter these smaller ones take acquired skills to shoot well.

    Is some kick even with this one, but definitely more manageable here for me.

    Feel in the hand is exceptional for this compact size, I'm more than pleased!

  20. #20
    GCBHM is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wnppmy View Post
    Recently purchased the Combat version. Military dark green hand grips. Drawn in by it's low price.

    $299 with two factory magazines and plastic carrying case. Ordered lower cost extra magazine arrival first one worked great.

    First 33 rounds flawless, close 7 yard target able to group in smaller splatter target on the man size silhouette.

    Did shoot low, simply elevated and all rounds hit the smaller square target. Slight recoil but manageable for this compact gun.

    Only concern after a quick cleaning the last move on reassembly slide drops in place but refused to engage. Turns out its new, just required a pursuation push down. Refuse to tell you how long this ordeal took.

    Amazing quality product at an attractive price.

    I sold my compact 9mm beretta, hated its recoil. As a newer pistol shooter these smaller ones take acquired skills to shoot well.

    Is some kick even with this one, but definitely more manageable here for me.

    Feel in the hand is exceptional for this compact size, I'm more than pleased!
    No doubt the smaller pistols require acquired skill to shoot well, but the Bersa Thunder is a great, inexpensive pistol. Honestly, I'm a bit surprised they haven't gone up b/c of the popularity, but the price has remained the same for quite a while. Ever since I came to know the pistol back in 1999. I love the look and feel. I will have to acquire one myself, but I just bought the Glock 42, and I'm having quite a love affair with it at the moment.

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