Another one bites the dust (something for you all steel fans...& Bersa fans too)

Another one bites the dust (something for you all steel fans...& Bersa fans too)

This is a discussion on Another one bites the dust (something for you all steel fans...& Bersa fans too) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Today I spent the afternoon with Mrs. 380ACP out at the range, shooting predominately our pocket .380s (Taurus TCP and Ruger LCP) but also threw ...

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Thread: Another one bites the dust (something for you all steel fans...& Bersa fans too)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Another one bites the dust (something for you all steel fans...& Bersa fans too)

    Today I spent the afternoon with Mrs. 380ACP out at the range, shooting predominately our pocket .380s (Taurus TCP and Ruger LCP) but also threw some .38 special and my Kahr CW9 into the mix.

    I bought the Kahr a year ago, and have tried so hard to love it. It's got a lot going for it, it's thin, easy to carry, trigger is fantastic for those striker fired pistols. But unlike the Glock it replaced (which had none of the above attributes) I can't hit crap with it, at least not consistently. I've practiced and practiced and gotten good, but as soon as I move away from the Kahr for a second I can't hit a damn thing with it the next time I pick it up. Odd as the Glock 26 felt in my hand, that was never something that could be said about it. I could hit a fly's ass with that 9mm...

    Well, I figure it's just a combination of the grip size, the sights, and the trigger. Something about it just doesn't work consistently for me. I still really love the gun, I just don't know if I want to make it something I trust my life to. I mean, I got to where I was shooting the tiny Taurus TCP as well or better than I was shooting the much larger Kahr. That's not right...

    So I went shopping. I handled a few Tauruses but moved on. Handled a Sig Sauer P290 and P2022 I believe. They were nice but aside from the name weren't really selling me. Handled a Walther PPS which felt nice, but not quite right. Handled an M&P and even an M&P shield. Okay, but not right. Then a Beretta Nano. I was literally on the verge of walking out the door with a 4th gen Glock 19 (felt much better in hand than the 3rd gen Glock 26 I had) when I caught sight of the Bersa Thunder 9 Ultra Compact Pro for $100 less than the Glock.

    It was love in my hand, and made me realize that despite all the different ones I've owned I just really don't care for polymer frame pistols anymore. I've been searching for an all steel 9mm (like a S&W 6906 or similar) for a while now for that reason, but never found one locally and didn't want to chance not liking it after buying one online. I know polymer works great for many of you, and that's great...but I've come to realize after years of polymer carrying that I really appreciate the substance and feel that an all-steel frame provides in the hand. I don't think I'll be buying another polymer frame gun, except for my little micro .380s. They're so small anyway that even if they were made of unobtanium they still wouldn't feel very substantial.

    Anyway, the Bersa Thunder 9 Ultra Compact Pro really has a lot going for it, besides the frame construction. Really nice DA/SA trigger (HUGE plus, I love SA and the lack of this feature on the Kahr affected my accuracy, I think), nice 3-dot sights, 13+1 round capacity, standard light rail, ambidextrous safety and slide release, external bobbed hammer that is exactly like the one on my Colt Commander 1911 (another big plus), two mags included, polygonal rifling (AWESOME to have at this price point), and the list goes on. I had a Bersa before and really missed it (Thunder .380) and I'm glad to have another one again. I won't let this one get away.

    Pics:







    Good 3-dot sights.

    Comparison to my Colt Commander 1911:





    The only polymer bits on this gun are the grip panels, which can be replaced. I think I might get some wood ones for it someday. It's funny that they call it the Ultra Compact Pro because it's really not ultra compact at all...but it is somewhere in between a Glock 26 and a Glock 19 in size with much better ergonomics so it should be easy enough to carry with the right holster.

    It's similar in thickness which will make it easy enough to carry. Thicker than the Kahr unfortunately but that's to be expected with double stack. It will be nice to have 26 rounds on hand instead of the 21 I had for the Kahr (3 mags).


    Mrs. 380ACP was livid at first but she calmed down once I explained that I didn't think I could protect her with the Kahr, because I'm really not sure I can. Time to hopefully go out to the range here and see how this guy shoots.

    Anyway, there it is, my new 9mm carry gun for summer carry (winter is 1911 time). No more strikers or polymer for me...it's all external hammers & steel from here on out, starting with this Bersa. It looks good, feels good, and by all accounts I've read, shoots good too. We'll find out. Price was $429 at Academy.
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    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    A person should always buy a gun they like, not what someone tells them they should like. Sounds like you've found your gun. Congradulations!
    Diddle and sensei2 like this.
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    Congrats! Nice picts. Thanks...waiting for the range report. My Thunder 380 has one of the nicest DA/SA triggers, and I use it as a stepping stone between the 22 and ... well, anything up to the 500.
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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array tcox4freedom's Avatar
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    Congrats!
    Now go on over to BersaChat and join a whole bunch of like minded Bersa lovers like me.

  5. #5
    Member Array kmagnuss's Avatar
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    I had one of those for awhile... never had a gun I could shoot as well as that Bersa. Shouldn't have ever sold it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by tcox4freedom View Post
    Congrats!
    Now go on over to BersaChat and join a whole bunch of like minded Bersa lovers like me.
    After today, I just joined! This gun is sweet.

    Quote Originally Posted by kmagnuss View Post
    I had one of those for awhile... never had a gun I could shoot as well as that Bersa. Shouldn't have ever sold it.
    Sounds a lot like my Glock, which I somewhat regret selling too (for it's accuracy), but I think this Bersa will eliminate any seller's remorse there. Why did you sell it, if I may ask?

    Went to the range for a very quick trip just to dump two mags worth of ammo (26 rounds). Not enough to really know exactly how accurate it is (especially since I didn't use targets) but it was all smiles anyway.

    It's an outdoor range and I didn't have a target with me, so I was just shooting at random crap on the ground. But I could tell that I was hitting what I was aiming at naturally and that it was easy to acquire the target. I recalled a recent trip to the range when I forgot my targets so I had to do the same thing then, too. I was shooting my previously mentioned Kahr and my Nazi-produced Walther P.38 9mm. The Walther was pegging every piece of refuse I pointed it at while the Kahr was all over the place. The Bersa performed every bit as good as the Walther did in that respect. Actually, the controls between the two are very similar, but more on that later.

    I didn't even do anything other than just wipe it down before going out to shoot, but even so didn't have a single failure to anything. Chambering a round with the Bersa was notably 'better' than with the Kahr. While I've never had a problem chambering a round via the slingshot method with my Kahr, it was noticeably reluctant to do so. The Bersa chambered without any drama.

    Recoil was great, I think the only 9mm I've fired that was more pleasant was my Walther P.38. The Bersa is lighter, but still recoil was still negligible as was muzzle flip. My Kahr tends to squirm around in my hands when fired despite having a rubber grip installed.

    Takedown on the Bersa is ridiculously simple. Remove the magazine, flip town a lever, and the slide comes off. No trigger pull, no pins to remove, nothing. Just like my Walther, as are the controls. Makes sense as the Bersa 9 UC Pro is a copy of a Walther P88 I believe. Modernized a little with the barrel rifling, accessory rail, and other things obviously, but functionally much the same.

    On review I realized that the pictures I posted above sucked, so here are some better ones with a real camera.











    What else? Not much other than the more I hold it, the more I love it. Not only does it shoot good, but it feels good too. That's a winner in a carry gun.

    Not sure what's going to happen to my Kahr. I hate selling or trading away guns as I often end up regretting it later, but there's little point in keeping a gun that I can't seem to shoot well. I may sell the Kahr and use part of the proceeds to buy a nice holster for the Bersa, I don't know yet.
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    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array sixgun's Avatar
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    Congats on your new gun. I have the thunder 380 and really like it. Im also looking into the bp9cc from bersa. They are probably one of the most underrated guns on the market. Will be looking for a full range report soon. In the mean time enjoy that new piece.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    I've never really considered the Bersa pistols, since I simply can't stand the slide-mounted safety levers predominant on them. But this one seems a good option. Relatively light (for metal 9's), more than 10rds, 6.5" or shorter. Sized about the same as the HK P2000SK 9mm, which had a magazine release lever that tore up my hands. About the only thing I didn't like on that wonderful pistol. This Bersa sounds interesting.

    Definitely post in future, in regards its reliability.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixgun View Post
    They are probably one of the most underrated guns on the market.
    I think so too. The gun's feel and it's features really suggest that it could be sold for nearly twice as much as it is now and still be worth it. I think what impresses me the most (after the feel anyway) is the polygonal rifling. With practice I think it could be a real tack driver. I love it when my carry guns also end up being among the guns I shoot best with; the Colt 1911 is also one of those.

    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    I've never really considered the Bersa pistols, since I simply can't stand the slide-mounted safety levers predominant on them. But this one seems a good option. Relatively light (for metal 9's), more than 10rds, 6.5" or shorter. Sized about the same as the HK P2000SK 9mm, which had a magazine release lever that tore up my hands. About the only thing I didn't like on that wonderful pistol. This Bersa sounds interesting.

    Definitely post in future, in regards its reliability.
    Will do, I hope to take it out for a real test run with targets and more ammunition this coming weekend. Should be a good overall test of reliability and accuracy.

    I hear you on the frame mounted controls. My first thought upon seeing it was how many different levers the thing had, and how large they were. Seems like it would be nicer if it had more minimal style controls such as 1911 style or similar. I will say that they are well designed ergonomically as they are easy to activate with one hand without changing the firing grip and are ambidextrous out of the box.

    Your post also reminded me that I forgot to post the specs, in case anyone wants to know specifics. Here's what is listed in the owner's manual:

    9x19mm, semiautomatic, DA/SA
    6.53" length
    1.46" width
    4.76" height
    23 ounces weight
    3.25" barrel
    13+1 capacity
    R.H. polygonal rifling, 6 grooves, 10 inch pitch
    Integrated picatinny rail, ambidextrous, reversible magazine release, loaded chamber indicator, etc.

    Definitely should make a nice carry pistol. I'll keep you guys updated.
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    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    Two great shooting pistols....Bersa Thunder 9UC and BP9CC. I discovered Bersa twenty some years ago, and have a few.


    Kimbers are the guns you show your friends....Glocks are the ones you show your enemies.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I have a Bersa Thunder 9 ultra compact, which is an older version but identical to yours other than mine has a U rear sight (which I prefer a 3 dot set up). I've had mine for several years and I bought it used from a forum member here. That thing just eats ammo and begs for more. Recoil is minor and accuracy great. Feels great in hand too. Slide finish on the older ones isn't pretty, but not a big deal to me. The frame is metal, but not steel. It is a lighter weight alloy frame. All of the controls and internal workings are thick steel. They are well designed with very long slide rails and well made. Great firearms and great value. You've just discovered the most under-rated firearm out there. Congrats on your new pistol...you'll love it.
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    New Member Array FearNot's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken, the Thunder 9 CC can be converted to a .40 cal with just a slide change, giving you an option and some flexibility. I think I saw the discussion on the BersaChat forum.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Beautiful two tone there, zonker!

    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    The frame is metal, but not steel. It is a lighter weight alloy frame. All of the controls and internal workings are thick steel. They are well designed with very long slide rails and well made. Great firearms and great value. You've just discovered the most under-rated firearm out there. Congrats on your new pistol...you'll love it.
    Ah, okay. That explains why it's a bit lighter than some of my other all steel pistols. I agree on the quality of construction, though. And I'm really loving how these Thunder 9's seem to be universally appreciated by those who have owned them. It's rare these days to find a gun that's so well liked by all. I'm definitely on that list as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by FearNot View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, the Thunder 9 CC can be converted to a .40 cal with just a slide change, giving you an option and some flexibility. I think I saw the discussion on the BersaChat forum.
    Neat, I'll have to look into that! I went with the nine for a couple of reasons, one because that was all they had (lol) and two because I have a lot more 9 than 40, and it's cheaper. But I do love flexibility.

    I can't carry my Bersa much from day to day (deep concealment is a must, that's my Taurus TCP's job) but I've been carrying it since I got home and it's comfortable and conceals well in an old Glock 26 holster I have which the Bersa also fits in. This will be great for weekend and afternoon carry.
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    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    The Bersa Thunder 9 full size service pistol was ready to be imported into the United States in 1994 and ads appeared in all the gun magazines. It was being advertised as a Walther P88 for a lot less money. (all current Bersas are based on a Walther design) At the time a Walther P88 was selling for around $900, so the Bersa was much anticipated. I owned a Bersa Model 83 in .380acp and Bersa Model 23 in .22LR. Loved both these little guns and could not wait for the 9mm Thunder 9 to make it to the U.S. .......and then the Clinton 1994 Assault Weapons Ban passed limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds. Bersa decided to not imort the 17 round Thunder 9 into the U.S., and my dream gun of 18 years ago never materialized. After the Assault Weapons Ban expired, Bersa began importing both the full size weapons and the Ultracompacts into the U.S. Bersa does little advertising in gun mags today and sells their guns simply by word of mouth which helps keep their prices low. Apparently the word on Bersa reliability and accuracy has spread as I am now seeing more and more dealers carrying the entire Bersa line.

    Go here for an interesting summary and a bit of history on the Bersa lineup:

    Bersa Thunder 9 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    As for that full size Bersa Thunder 9 I lusted after 18 years ago.....well apparently good things do come to those with patience........one of the most accurate guns I own.

    a Pre-Pro Model before Bersa added polyganol rifling to their barrels.

    BugDude likes this.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    That full size stainless Bersa is beautiful. Now I want yet ANOTHER gun...it never ends...

    Well, I've spent a week with the Bersa and I love it. For me, I don't think there is a better CC 9mm out there.

    Next week I'm hoping to take it to the range with some targets and post up a grouping from it. Today I went to a friend's land and shot at some cans we lined up. It was a fun time, and the Bersa was a natural shooter. It didn't take much work on my part at all to keep it on target. I ended up putting about 100 rounds through it today without a flaw.

    Now that I've been around it for about a week and the 'new gun' has worn off, I can say that I still really appreciate the feel of this Bersa. On ergonomics alone, this gun excels...it may have the best feel in the hand of any gun I own or have ever owned, and that's saying a lot. This gun really feels amazing in the hand, and it helps significantly in control and aim.

    I've also come to really appreciate the ease with which this gun disassembles. Sometimes I don't like cleaning after a big range session with multiple guns as they all disassemble differently and some are rather complex. With the Bersa, turn a lever and the slide comes off. That's it.

    The large controls on the side of the gun are appreciated come range time as well. Comparing back to back with others, the large slide release is welcomed during an extended range session.

    I think I ended up well overall here. Love the all metal construction, the DA/SA trigger, having an external hammer, as well as the excellent feel and accuracy of the gun. I've also found it to be comfortable and easy enough to conceal with a couple holsters I have that fit it. It fits many Glock holsters quite well (though finding a Bersa specific holster isn't hard, I just haven't done so yet). Also have really come to appreciate the weight. It's not a boat anchor, but it feels significant in the hand. This helps me both in recoil as well as general confidence in the firearm.





    Fit and finish on the gun overall is very good to excellent. I have heard older blued Bersa Thunder 9's can have a splotchy finish, mine seems to have a nice, even finish. Maybe they improved production later. But there's no doubt when holding, looking at, or operating the weapon that it is a well-built, quality piece. The Thunder 9 (full size) is after all, the standard side arm of the Argentinian police and armed forces I believe. The UC Pro is an excellent variation of the successful full size for CCW usage.

    It feels like a combat-ready weapon and it's attention to detail in construction as well as various tests performed have proven it capable of performing under very adverse conditions. Most Bersa owners on the Bersa forum and elsewhere refer to the Thunder 9 and all it's variants as tanks...weapons that are reminiscent of AK-47 and Glock-like ability to function without care and under horrible, abusive conditions. There is a video floating around of a Bersa Thunder 9 being shot non-stop for nearly 1500 rounds and still firing when the video cut out. Not that I plan to subject my Bersa to such tests, but toughness and reliability are an important aspect of a carry gun.



    Here's a glimpse into the inside of the pistol...here the quality continues. Besides the non-visible polygonal barrel rifling (still think that's really cool) the firearm has slide rails that run nearly the full length of the pistol (small gap around the magazine) as well as dual recoil springs. The feed ramp is polished to a mirror shine, and while it's not visible here, the magazine's follower is of all metal construction. The only plastic bits on this gun are the grip panels...even the sights are metal. That may not matter to most but I like the solid feel it all provides.

    I'll keep posting more long term reports, starting hopefully next weekend when I get back to the range with targets for some group testing...
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    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

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