Apples and oranges. A Sigma 9 and Bersa Thunder 380 are significantly different handguns.
FAQ for New Shooters
I have never owned a gun and just want to get one for protection and probably will get a license to carry it too.
I got two locals selling a Smith & Wesson Sigma 9 (still waiting for owner to verify is its the VE series or the older one) for $250 and a Bersa Thunder 380 Duo-Tone for $240 (new...he has a small store).
I need a quick recommendation on which one to get...thanks!
By asking folks for their recommendations between 2 highly different guns, the responses you will get will be answers to "of the 2 guns, which is your favorite." Rather than which gun will work best for you.
As a new shooter, again I highly recommend you follow the link to the FAQ as it covers what new shooters should know about selecting guns as the more objective responses you will get will be the same as found there.
FAQ for New Shooters
If these were the last two guns available on Earth I would choose the Sigma 9 although I know very little about it I would much rather have a 9mm for self defense.
If this is your only weapon I would recommend the Sig 9. It has more stopping power. On the other hand you mentioned getting a ccw permit in which case if you decide to carry the weapon frequently the 380 will be easier to conceal
I am trying to spend no more than $250 and those were the ones I found locally for that price.
I didnt know there was a sustantial size difference though...I thought bought were good to carry around.
shaolin95, I have both and they are totally different guns. The Bersa would be much easier to conceal and it holds 7 rounds of .380 in the magazine. The pistol comes with one magazine. The first trigger pull is double action and is stiff, but very managable. Subsequent shots are single action and the trigger pull is very light compared to first. Mine has been very dependable with all types and brands of ammo. Very easy to take down for cleaning, also. The .380 ammo is considerably more expensive than 9mm.
The Sigma is a larger pistol but is still very concealable with the proper holster. The Sigma also holds 16 rounds in the magazine versus 7 for the Bersa. New ones come with two magazines. The trigger on the Sigma is long and fairly stiff, but gets better with use and is certainly not as bad as some folks would lead you to believe. Mine is the VE version and has been totally reliable without a single failure with any ammo I have ever used, both FMJ and HP. There were some problems with the earlier versions that gave them a bad name, but the VE version has them fixed. It is not a target pistol, but accuracy is good once you get the feel for the trigger. Take down is even easier than the Bersa. If I could only have one and had your budget, I would take the Sigma.
Try to test them both to see which fits you best, but I don't think either is a mistake. Let us know what you decide.
Also consider that 9mm ammo is A LOT cheaper than .380 ammo. At least it's that way around here...