I'm waiting for my ccw permit, so I'm starting to think about what I might want to carry. The local gun dealer looked at me like I was crazy for thinking about carrying my Ruger P89 in South Texas Heat. So I asked for a recommendation, and he pulled out a Bersa 380.
I've not heard of the brand, and see it hasn't rated its own forum here. Any opinions about:
a) carrying a 380
b) Bersa as a manufacturer of guns
Normally, I never buy brands that aren't super mainstream. But, the Bersa caught my eye. I was actually doing the paperwork on 1 last Nov at a gunshow, but when I asked them to cut the plastic tie on it, so I could try out the trigger, the trigger wasn't very good on that particular gun.
The other 2 they had were kinda scratched up, so I just cancelled the deal. I have heard nothing but good things about the Bersa 380, and I've since been told that my experience is very unusual.
I think it is a very nice gun. That being said, I already have several 9mm guns, including a couple of compacts. If I got the 380, it would be to have an extra gun. If I were U, I'd try to find a compact 9mm.
BY the way - where is Coastal Bend? I am in College Station.
Thanks for the info. Maybe I do need to take a look at a mini 9.
Actually, I'm in Rockport, just north of Corpus Christi. My son and daughter-in-law live, work and go to school in College Station. I love that little community.
Oh, ok. If you were closer, I'd let ya try out my compact P99 :)
Had a Glock 26 for 8 years, but got rid of it last year because I prefer the trigger on the P99.
Anyway, glock 26 isn't a bad gun either. Also, the S&W 3913 is a nice little 9mm - metal and single stack. Not too fond of Kahr handguns. They make a lot of small 9mm and 40's, but I keep reading too many neg things about quality control issues. While it is true that U will see more complaints than pos statements, because people tend toc omplain more. I've seen an above avg # of neg posts on that brand, compared to other brands.
Also, check out the P2000 HK or the P2000SK HK (the SK is a bit smaller).
Absolutely wonderful for a .380, better than a Walther PPKS because it doesn't bite your hand, very concealable, accurate and reliable, I have ~ 600 rounds thru one I bought for my wife for personal protection when she worked night shifts mostly by herself on a not great side of town with no parking lot guard at a business that attracted crazy people, she wasn't really interested in it so, she went with Pepper Spray instead, oh well, I have a light clothing summer carry piece. I had a couple of jams when I was breaking it in, but none in the last few hundered rounds of all types, FMJ's JHP's +P's CorBon's etc. I really like the trigger on mine. .380 is about the minimum I would carry and I'm still looking for some CorBon DPX's loads for it.
Here's some review links:
Only .380 I ever shot very much was my nephew's Colt Govt. .380. Just like the big .45 1911 but about 1/2 the size. It shot great and was very accurate. The downside is they don't make them anymore and those I have seen for sale (very few these days) are quite expensive. Went to the gunshow today in Austin and fondled some Kel-Tec .32's and .380's. If you want a very "little" gun, you can't beat the little .380. Don't know much about reliability or anything else about the Kel-Tec but they were cheap (little over $200) and very, very small! You could carry in your pocket and not even notice it or use one of their little "clips" and hang it on your belt, pants, or pocket. Maybe others could comment on their experiences shooting one.
I plan to get one of those Keltecs myself - probably a 380 version. The 32 ans 380 are so close to the same size. They are tiny...
My Bersa Thunder 380
I've had words about my Bersa Thunder 380 in here before, but it needs to be said again.
- the gun is very light weight
- it is great during hot weather
- it is incredibly accurate
- it doesn't seem to be picky about ammo
- it really does have more kick than some would give it credit for, but it isn't an arm breaker by any means
- there are three safeties on it, which leads me to think the maker is paranoid
- It is cheap because it was cheaply made
- My main issue was the magazine disconnect safety
Unfortunetly, that last con sort of killed my trust in the little thing. I was shown this Bersa after spending many moons trying to get a decent concealed holster for my Sig P226. I thought it was a steal, as I'd heard about the brand. I did not, however, research it as well as I had my other two guns. That magazine disconnect safety appeared to be just a pain in the butt/something silly added that no one liked.
My magazine disconnect safety malfunctioned after 30 rounds and made the gun think the magazine was not there when it was. So it locked up on me and refused to fire. It went that day to a gun smith who ended up disconnecting the safety and replacing a bunch of stuff inside the gun itself.
However, I hear a lot of really good things, and since this issue was fixed I haven't had a problem with it. It has been a good gun, I am just trying to build up my trust in it again (it is going to the range soon to do its first rapid fire test, I'll keep you posted).
I reccomend paying a visit to the folks at http://www.bersatalk.com They'll tell you all you need to know.
I got one for my sister for a carry weapon. The gun shoots very well and functions perfectly. The trigger is nothing short of awesome! Feels like my HK Match Trigger if not better. The .380 is a good defense round. Not the best but it will serve its purpose. I say go for it. Price is right
I have had nothing but good luck with my Bersa pistols. My Bersa Thunder 380 is a jewel and I carry it on weekends instead of my Walther PP or Sig P230. My constant companion is my Bersa Thunder 45; I use it for car/carry. People that know me realize I have other, more expensive, options yet I choose the Bersas. Regards, Richard :D
Thanks. Sounds like I need to test fire some guns. That's half the fun of buying a new gun, isn't it? :)
I anticipate a lengthy research phase. Shipwreck, I do sometimes get up to College Station to see my son. Maybe I'll take you up on your offer if I'm still doing my research next time I'm up your way.
Trying guns out before you buy is always a good idea if you can find a friend with one or a range that rents what you are considering. As for the Bersa thunder .380 I have had two and loved them both. They were inexpensive and both were 100% reliable with all types of ammo. They both became causalities of my insane love to buy and trade guns, but a few months ago I decided I needed a small single stack, pocket rocket, to compliment my current collection. I was about to buy another Bersa when I came across a p64 (A.K.A) Polish Makarov, very similar to a Walther PPk/S for $169 at a local shop, so far it has been 100% reliable and is more accurate than the two Bersa's I owned, and the 9x18 Makarov packs a little more punch. The down side is it is heavy for it's size, piss poor sights, no slide release, and the mag must be released from the bottom, but I don't find that a con just different. The Bersa is a fine gun especially for the price but do a little research here and other sites you will find a lot about small autos.
Good thread. I've been thinking about buying a Bersa 380 too for pocket carry. I'm not too worried about its ergonomics since it will be a carry pistol, not a plinker. I won't be running 5,000 rounds through it in three months like I do with my XD9. Being pocket sized is what I like about it.
How do you guys carry it? One in the chamber and decocked? Is that first shot DA and the rest SA thing weird?
I kinda laugh at this - when I got into semi-autos, almost all guns were DA/SA - Yes, 1st shot will be DA - all others are SA - If U legitimately have time, I suppose you could cock the gun before the 1st shot.
That DA shot is not much fun at the range, but w/ practice, U can learn to do alright w/ it. But, it is useful in that if U were startled, U wouldn't accidentally shoot the gun (although, always keep the finger off the trigger until ready to fire).
Only way U can carry it cocked safetly is if the DA/SA has a frame mouned saftey - like a USP.
I WOULD NOT carry it cocked and locked, actually, I don't even think it's possible because when the safety is engaged it decocks the gun automatically...so the safety is about useless and it isn't the slickest, mine is so tight it almost binds...as a matter of fact I don't even use it at all, I carry one in the chamber, decocked...I'm pretty comfortable shooting DA/SA. I just carry it in a pocket, I bought one of those pocket grabber holster thing-a-jigs from DeSantis but I think it actually makes the print of the gun look bigger...I also have an Uncle Mike's size 1 IWB for times when a pocket just won't work.
By the way, the ergonomics fit my hands really nicely :)
 Yep I checked it's not even possible to cock and lock.
I saw several at the gun show for $190-$200 for the two tone.
The 1 and only bersa 380 I owned had a decocker that also blocked the hammer as a safety after decocking so if they STILL do that yes you coud carry it 1in chamber and decocked,If the hammer ISNT blocked or the decocker returns to the up position by itself after decocking I wouldnt do it.
I think the 380 round is good for backup only. The least I would carry is the 9mm and I require a large mag for that round. I perfer the S&W40 or the 45 ACP.
Bersa Is a Good Gun...
My Bresa T380 is a great little pistol. I used it to qualify for my CHL and carry it often. Now that it's broken in, it's very dependable. Put 100 or so rounds through it until it's broken in before using it as a CCW.
I'll soon buy either a S & W M & P 40 caliber compact, if they come out in the next month or so, or a Walther P99c 40 caliber. I would prefer to have a little more fire power for a CCW than 380. That said, you wont regret owning a Bersa Thunder 380, if for nothing else, just as a back up.:smt068