Guilty Pleasure: a 1-week concealed carry review for Bersa and Comp-Tac

This is a discussion on Guilty Pleasure: a 1-week concealed carry review for Bersa and Comp-Tac within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So, immediately after receiving JD's advice to send my 1911 slide to Springfield Armory, it dawned on me that I would be without a carry ...

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Thread: Guilty Pleasure: a 1-week concealed carry review for Bersa and Comp-Tac

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BAC's Avatar
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    Guilty Pleasure: a 1-week concealed carry review for Bersa and Comp-Tac

    So, immediately after receiving JD's advice to send my 1911 slide to Springfield Armory, it dawned on me that I would be without a carry gun for a while. My Mil Spec is my only handgun. I bugged my dad a bit, but since he doesn't carry much and has two guns and two holsters, I was finally given the go to 'steal' the Bersa 380 and corresponding Comp-Tac Minotaur to carry it in. Slide gets packaged up, I spend the evening disassembling, reassembling, and dry-firing the Bersa to make sure I had a good feel for it.

    Previously, my carry experience was exclusively limited to a government-sized 1911 in a Milt Sparks Versa Max II holster, right about 0430. I like it, but I don't have a lot to compare it to. 'Comfortable' it really wasn't, no matter how much I tried to convince myself it was. The reasons for this are many: I don't have an effective method to carry spare mags on my support side, I'm still too new to carrying to have found that sweet spot for the holster to sit, and I do a lot of driving and an IWB hoslter at 0430 is not conducive to extended periods of time sitting down. Also, the holster rode fairly high (though I now recognize it as a 'mid-' and not 'high-rise' holster). Probably my biggest concern is that if the holster is not against bare skin, it lifts too easily along with the gun unless I synch my belt uncomfortably tight. The short and sweet of it is I haven't got it down to an art yet.

    Enter dear ol' Dad's little Bersa. I've crapped on this gun before; it's dirty, it's picky with bulk ammo (but fine with stouter loads), it's double-action trigger pull is obnoxious, and someone decided flipping a safety selector UP was a bright idea (). However, it was also extremely inexpensive; finding them for less than $350 should not be a problem. This one's only got about 500 rounds through it, but despite its failures on weak ammo has proven itself to be surprisingly accurate and easy to shoot. I'd rather have an accurate one-shot pistol than not have one at all, so onward with the experiment.

    The Comp-Tac was ordered about when the gun was, and if I'm not mistaken beat the gun to the doorstep. Honestly, first impressions didn't really endear me to the concept; I figured that leather and kydex wouldn't be appreciably more effective than an all-kydex or all-leather holster, and it didn't particularly look good. Shallow? Yup. As it stood before this last week, the holster hasn't seen a whole lot of action.


    On week later

    The above Bersa/Minotaur combo has been worn a lot in the last week, to the order of all the time I was not in school, averaging a good fourteen-hours per day for now six days. These have consisted of carrying it tucked, untucked, around busy shopping centers, around friends with whom hugs are common, around the house, driving a lot, blah blah blah. As I write this, it's still glued to my hip. I've gotten to know this combo pretty well, you could say.

    The verdict?

    I really, really like this gun and holster.

    First, the good points: this holster is amazing. It is comfortable, holds the gun well, and offers a consistently faster and smoother draw than I have with the 1911 from the VM II. Reholstering is just as easy. Retention is admirable - it stays in place when I run, and even when I take a good hard tumble (black dog + stairway + night = ...). The Bersa, though small, fits well in the hand as I said earlier is more than accurate enough to put holes where I want it to. Put together, the weight of a fully loaded gun is negligible, and damn does this gun disappear! On a scale of 1 to 10 for overall concealed-carry purposes, I'd feel I was lying if I rated this combo less than an 8.

    Why is it a guilty pleasure, then? I'm glad you asked! While carrying I'm cognizant that I'm not packing a whole lot of gun - I have a 9-round spare on me whenever the gun is, tucked into a back pocket or wherever it can be conveniently reached if it's needed. I'm aware that the gun has not yet proven itself to be the most reliable handgun in the world - I'm practicing more malfunction drills than I was earlier as a result of it. The gun itself has shown a tendency to tear holsters up with two sharp corners at the bottom/front of the slide; a file had to be taken to them and a couple other blade-like corners, but they were gently and efficiently removed as problems.


    Conclusion

    If it's still not clear yet, I think that 'living' with this gun and holster has done a lot of good for me carrying in general. It's instilled some better habits and reinforced the need to only make modifications to the gun that are necessary to make.

    Am I will to abandon my 1911 for a Bersa in .380? Nah. I'm still much more comfortable using a 1911 than I am the Bersa, and I have a lot more faith in it to perform as intended than I do the Bersa. With a couple modifications (which the 1911 lends itself quite well to) I'm sure that even a government sized 1911 can be made to be quite subtle under the shirt. I am, however, thankful that I could 'steal' this gun and holster long enough to wear it often as I have in this last week. It's helped me refine what I want in a carry gun, especially a smaller and more concealable 'date' gun, as well as try a type of holster I haven't previously.

    For anyone interested in the Bersa handgun, MTAC holster, or my chosen EDC belt, I provided links below to each. If anyone's interested in a completely-concealed, very comfortable, and very fast concealed-carry system, the Bersa/MTAC/Liger with Federal 90-gr Hydra-Shok or Cor-Bon 90 gr. JHP and carry with confidence.


    Belt: EdgyGear Liger Gun Belt
    Gun: Bersa Thunder .380
    Holster: Comp-Tac Minotaur MTAC Hoslter

    Ammo: .380 Auto Cor-Bon 90-gr JHP, .380 Auto Federal 90-gr Hydra-Shok JHP



    -B
    RIP, Jeff Dorr: 1964 - July 17, 2009. You will be missed.


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  3. #2
    Member Array Munsterman's Avatar
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    Thanks a bunch - great "review" . I've been thinking of the Bersa or the Ruger LCP as a BUG. I'll have to take a more serious look at the Bersa.

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    A thorough review...
    Thanks!
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    Member Array drs1457's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munsterman View Post
    Thanks a bunch - great "review" . I've been thinking of the Bersa or the Ruger LCP as a BUG. I'll have to take a more serious look at the Bersa.
    From the research I have done, the Bersa Thunder would be far superior to the LCP. And I am a Ruger guy.
    NRA, IDPA, GSSF & GSSA member
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    Great post. Thanks!
    Randy
    "The only purpose for a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should have never laid down". -unknown

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    VIP Member Array AllAmerican's Avatar
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    Informative and thorough. Good stuff!

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    Member Array alaskazimm's Avatar
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    I've got a Comp-Tac Spartan holster and it is a very comfortable carry. I haven't been able to feel the exposed T-nuts on the back even when making a test wear "commando" style (it's usually against boxers)!

    If you haven't settled on a holster yet definitely give this one a look.

    Oh yes, nice informative write up. Thanks!

  9. #8
    Member Array NavDoc's Avatar
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    If anyone is interested in Bersa's, please visit Bersa Talk at :: Bersa Talk ::
    You will find good information there.

    I started with a Glock 23 (40 S&W) and picked up a Kel-Tec P-3AT pocket gun. My wife bought a Bersa Thunder 380 CC. I was so impressed with it, I bought the Bersa Thunder 9 UC. Both are very nice weapons.

  10. #9
    Member Array ROFL SQUAD's Avatar
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    I've had my Bersa Standard .380 for some time now. I've carried it a cheap Uncle Mike's Nylon size 3 IWB with no retention problems. Only really have ammunition problems if you let it get dirty.


    J

    Edit: I shoot WWB through it for practice and Winchester SXT 95g Black box JHP for carry load. It feeds both fine if it's clean.
    If you're going to carry one weapon, might as well carry two, because as the saying goes, "Two is one, and one is none."

    "Liberals can decline or whine, but I will still carry and conceal mine." - Cold Warrior. Excellent quote good sir!

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    VIP Member Array BAC's Avatar
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    Glad you guys liked the review. To clarify the ammo thing, the vast majority of what we've been shooting are WWB semi-wadcutters. In fact, all of the bulk ammo that's been fired through the gun has been semi-wadcutters, because I have not seen any other kind. Probably a quarter of what's gone through the gun has been hollowpoints, which are far and above more reliable in feed and function in the Bersa. I want to buy a couple boxes of plain ol' round-nose FMJs and see what happens.

    If the malfunctions continue into the next several hundred rounds, this will have to go back to Bersa to be fixed, but not before I get my Mil Spec back.


    -B
    RIP, Jeff Dorr: 1964 - July 17, 2009. You will be missed.


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    Member Array benbovac's Avatar
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    I carry a Bersa 380 every day to work. Very easy to conceal and as you say a very accurate weapon.
    A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include thier own government --George Washington

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array BAC's Avatar
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    Well, finally got a package from Geneseo, IL today. My 1911 is officially back in the saddle. Now it's time to keep up the good habits carrying the Bersa got me into.


    -B
    RIP, Jeff Dorr: 1964 - July 17, 2009. You will be missed.


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