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My cousin just bought a Bersa .380 Thunder. He hasn't shot it yet. Is there anything we should know before going to the range? Any problems to be aware of ... before they happen? Any prefference for the ammo type? Gimme the Good, the Bad, and the UGLY.
 

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I had one and it was a great pistol. It had excellent mags with which it fed, fired, and ejected everything. I should have held on to the thing but I sold it like a fool. It was very accurate for such a small pistol. Although its not the smallest .380, I think its just about the perfect platform due to its slightly larger than micro pistol size with the added grip and control. What I would do with it if I were you is plan on buying a bunch of .380 ammo because your going to shoot the crap out of that thing! It really is a blast to shoot.
 

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well, it's a large, heavy, 380 blowback, which means it doesn't have much power, and there's 9mm's that are smaller, lighter and cost very little more. The pocket 9's offer 2x as much power, and a 9mm is feeble enough, if you really have to stop some body.
 

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well, it's a large, heavy, 380 blowback, which means it doesn't have much power, and there's 9mm's that are smaller, lighter and cost very little more. The pocket 9's offer 2x as much power, and a 9mm is feeble enough, if you really have to stop some body.
Believe it or not there are some people for whom the micro-sized .380s and mini-9s present too much of a recoil challenge. The PP-sized Bersa is small enough for easy carry, big enough for easy controllability, ultra-reliable and usually very accurate. And while I'd never deny the 9mm is more potent, if you've ever actually chronographed the 9mm out of a mini-sized pistol and compared it to the .380 out of the Bersa or a Walther PP, as I have, you'll find that the difference is not all that huge. A 147 gr. 9mm load won't break 1000 fps, and a 115 gr. typically won't make 1100, while a good 95 gr. .380 load out of the Bersa will be right at 1000.
 

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What reliable "pocket" 9mms are available for $250.00 ? I want one. No reason to debate the power difference with .380/9mm - the 9mm is the clear winner but if you are like me and want two holes the "power" difference is irrelevant as the bullets are the same size and for feeding purposes the meplats will be the same size. The Buffalo Bore standard pressure 100 grain hard cast FP will go around 1,000 fps out of the Bersa and will shoot through any bad guy. That works for me. The Bersa has a reputation for reliability and ultimate simplicity. I have read that some the of the newer "obama" models (guns cranked out from 1/2008 to about 1/2010 in a panic) had some minor issues but as a general matter the Bersa is "bet your life reliable." I am in the process of ordering one and some of the Buffalo Bore 100 grain hard cast, some Penn Bullets 100 grain hard cast TCBB (too bad Beaartooth does not make a 100 grain .355 +/- bullet) and some of the Winchester FMJ TC which works real good - Here is PDF from Brassfetcher by John Ervin dated 2-28-2010 covering most of the available .380 ammunition and the test gun was Kel-Tec with 2.75" barrel and has the Winchester 95 grain FMJ TC going 794 fps and penetrating almost two feet of ballistic gelatin. http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP ammunition performance in ballistic gelatin.pdf The Bersa with a 3.5 inch barrel will do even better and the standard pressure Buffalo Bore at at 1,000 fps will penetrate well over two feet of ballistic gelatin. For me the .380 is "enough gun" and the Bersa is right on price and reliability.
 

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+ 1 for jmortimer. I originally bought one for myself. After my wife shot it, I no longer had it. Her's now has over 2500 trouble free rounds through it. With the Bersa, she enjoys shooting it and had become very proficient with it. It is what she wants to carry and does carry. It is much more controllable for her than the 9. Well I got a second (only 1500 or so in mine) so that I could carry it. It is just what I wanted, reliable to the extreme, accurate, and very concealable. With 6 kids, how can you go wrong with it for $250. I had the rear sight fall of because of me adjusting it wrong and one call to the repair center and I had a new one within a week. You get a good lifetime warrantee. Go to http://www.bersachat.com/forums/forum.php in the ammo section to see some more ammo test. With Buffalo Bore or CorBon DPX, you have a very good round.

Just recently, I picked up a Bersa 45UC Pro. They are multiplying. Bersa makes very good reliable pistols which they stand behind. The only complaint I have heard which has some validity, is that the finish is not as nice as the high priced pistols. I got mine to carry and use. The finish is more than adequate and I am extremely pleased with them.
 

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Bersa is one gun that has been a stand-out in performance and reliability since my first, back in the late 80's, I think. I've owned a couple of them and consider the Bersa, my tuxedo gun. Sound funny? Well, there's a Bersa under the cumberbun in this suit:

 

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Great pistol, trouble free, easy to breakdown to clean, accurate and I can shoot lead through it making rounds less expensive. I load for around 6 bucks a box of 50 (my reloading time I throw in for free).
 

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Wish they made a DAO version w/o a safety, but then it might not have enough points to get imported, but I do like my Bersa a lot.

I can sometimes get the slide to close while inserting a magazine with some "force". Other than that it is quite accurate, and I haven't had any jams, misfeeds, FTF, or FTE.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for all your replies. I found them very helpful and will pass the information along to my cousin. I use a .38 Special Smith J frame and I like that but if I ever find the necessity of getting another handgun then I'm convinced the Bersa Thunder would be in the running. :D
 

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I had one in satin finish was a very nice pistol. I'd still have it but came apon a Kahr PM9 and that pretty much put the Bersa in the safe. A friend offered to trade me a Marlin 30/30 for it. I made the trade only because it was to good to pass up. It really was a great little pistol though and so is the Marlin. He's happy and I'm happy.
 
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