new Bersa BP9CC review and comparison to Walther PPS (lots of pics)
My wife liked my Glock 26 but the grip was a little too thick for her. So we looked for something similar but smaller overall.
The Bersa BP9CC kept popping up on the radar screen but it's a relatively new gun so there isn't a ton of info on the web. The few reviews I read were very favorable. I saw one at a recent gun show so I took a chance and grabbed it. So far she loves it. It's a polymer striker fired, single stack, pre-cocked DAO very concealable pistol. Ergos are great, recoil is mild, fit and finish are top notch. I started to do some more research on the company and they have a loyal following. Not surprising since they seem to put out a fine line of firearms at very reasonable prices. I was told in this forum that other popular Bersa designs were heavily influenced by Walther pistols. The BP9CC is Bersa's first polymer gun and appears to be the first designed from a clean sheet of paper. Interestingly enough I couldn't help but notice that wifey's new Bersa was almost identical in size to my Walther PPS. Of course I couldn't resist a tabletop comparison and a brief range comparison.
The Bersa takes an 8 round 9mm magazine. At this time it's the only option for this gun. It's closest in size to the PPS with the 7 round mag which is usually how I carry mine. My PPS is wearing the large backstrap in these pics but the Bersa has a slim grip that is smaller even than the PPS small backstrap.
The PPS is more versatile. With three mag choices it can be smaller than the Bersa, same or larger. Interesting to note though that with both pistols outfitted for 8 rounds the Bersa is smaller.
This is not meant to be a scientific analysis of dimensions, just a quickie tabletop comparison using serviceable but modest calipers.
As you can see the slide of the PPS is slightly thinner while the grip of the Bersa is thinner.
I measured circumference from the web of my thumb in the pics to the underside of the trigger guard. As mentioned my PPS is wearing the large backstrap. I have largish hands and mainly I posted this pic to show the difference in grip. Although the Bersa grip is small I found it amazingly comfortable.
Here is the Bersa on top of the Walther. They are very close in dimension as you can see. If I were to put the small backstrap on the PPS they'd be almost identical.
Not everyone is a fan of the Walther mag release but it is a true ambidextrous release.
The BP9CC also sports an ambidextrous mag release in a more traditional configuration. The button is accessible from either side. Nice touch!
The polymer detail behind the mag release button is raised flush with the button to prevent accidental release. There are small grippy panels not only in the handgrip but on either side of the slide. These are great indexing points for your extended trigger finger on one side and thumbs forward grip on the other. This little gun has been well thought out.
How does it shoot? Well I only had time for a brief range session. I took the PPS and BP9CC and put 30 rounds through each. Initial impressions; for me they were both equally accurate. In fact my two groups were almost identical. Felt recoil was the same on both. I really didn't feel that one had more than the other. Both are what I consider soft shooters. A very interesting observation though... follow up shots with the Bersa were a dream. The slim profile allows me to get some serious purchase on the gun which made it easy to keep on target. But what made it even easier is the short reset. The BP9 trigger is good but the short reset is really good! It's not so short that I had to worry about accidental double taps but short enough for easy follow-up shots and fast bursts. The Bersa also has a lower bore axis.
I love my PPS and it's in no danger of being replaced. But this little Bersa has to be the value of the year. The Walther has a street price of around $500 but a short time ago had been selling for much more. The Bersa is available with 2 mags for $360. The fact that it can compete with the PPS on almost all levels and stay in an economical price range is impressive. I think this pistol can fill some voids in the current market. It may be a good solution for some people seeking a single stack Glock or a slightly larger (and much softer shooting) alternative to a Keltec PF9. It's definitely not a pocket pistol (for me) but it is a very concealable pistol that allows a full grip.
The Bersa comes with 3 dot sights. The sight situation is a little funky. The Bersa takes a Sig front sight and Glock rear sight. Not as bad as it sounds. Dawson Precision sells tritium and fiber optic front sights for the BP9CC. I'd probably just replace the front but they sell matching rear sights as well.
The Bersa has a magazine safety (won't fire without mag in gun) and also a manual safety which is visible on the right side of the slide. A small key is provided to switch the gun between safe and fire. Of course you don't need to use this if you don't want to.
The Walther has removable backstraps. The gun will not fire without a backstrap. I see no reason to remove them but to each his own.
The Bersa comes in a standard version and nickel finish slide version. I can't attest to the durability of the finish yet. The Walther's metal parts are tenifer treated for corrosion resistance.
Based on this experience I've taken a look at the rest of the Bersa line and have been equally impressed. I have no doubt I'll be adding one of their models to my safe.