Bersa Thunder CC Review

This is a discussion on Bersa Thunder CC Review within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I picked up a used Bersa Thunder CC 380 Satin Nickel finish this weekend and took it to the range. I've never been a fan ...

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Thread: Bersa Thunder CC Review

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Bersa Thunder CC Review

    I picked up a used Bersa Thunder CC 380 Satin Nickel finish this weekend and took it to the range. I've never been a fan of the 380 round, but I like Bersa products. My Thunder 9 ultra compact is an awesome gun. I got a good deal on this one, so why not.

    1) Everything is rounded off and the grips are very thin. Designed to disappear in a pocket, IWB, or even OWB. Ergos are GREAT. Capacity is 8+1. The sights are small humps that make an old S&W snub revolver sights look like match grade target sights. More on sights in a minute.

    2) Weight. It's a little heavier than I anticipated. A little heavier than my PT709 which is about the same size.

    3) Construction. This thing is well made. Thick stainless steel controls, including trigger and hammer.

    4) Takedown. Push down the leaver, pull the slide all the way back, and lift off. A little tricky to get it back on at first, but after a couple times its easy.

    5) Controls. Great. It has a de-cocker/safety and a loaded chamber indicator that isn't obtrusive. You can also put the safety lever in the safe position and rack the slide and it automatically moves the hammer back down. Then just take the safety off. That way you don't have to drop the hammer. The slide stop is designed in such a manner to slingshot the slide rather than use it as a slide release. You can do it, but over time it may round off the catch.

    6) Fixed barrel. I've only ever had this on 22s. It sure seemed to make accuracy no problem, even with non-existent sights.

    7) Shooting. I got 150 rounds of range reloads that I bought there and started checking it out. I didn't clean it before I went or anything. It was a little snappier than my buddy's regular Thunder 380, but not bad. Just more than I expected. The sights are the tiniest little humps on the slide I've ever seen, BUT believe it or not this little gun is accurate as anything I've ever shot. From 7 yards I was wearing out a 3"x3" post-it note shot after shot as fast as I could pull the trigger. The first DA pull is smooth and the SA pulls after that are very nice. Very short reset too. Out of the 150 rounds I had 4 jams. The rounds failed to feed. Some of the jams were cleared simply by pushing the mag release. Could have probably just popped the back of the slide. I'm attributing it to range reloads, running dry, dirty, and I had that thing toaster hot from shooting it hard and fast. Next trip will be factory loads.

    8) Magazine disconnect safety. I had it disabled in less than 30 seconds. Fires every time now without a mag. In the pictures, you see once you remove the right grip panel (1 screw) there is a long transfer bar that pushes up when a mag is inserted. A C spring holds tension on it pulling the trigger connector down when the mag is removed. Remove the spring and the spring on the trigger connector rod holds it in place. Nothing to pull it down. Works like a charm.

    9) My impressions. For a gun with essentially no sights, it is accurate as any gun I've ever shot at 21 feet. Thin, but not necessarily real light. Easy enough to pocket carry in regular pants or shorts. Fun to shoot, like the DA/SA hammered action, like the decocker so you can carry in DA mode. Super simple to disengage the stupid mag disconnect. It only comes with 1 mag, and extras are $35.

    For me, I was hoping it would be something I could toss in my gym shorts pocket while I go walking through the neighborhood (I'm on a 3+ mile exercise walk several days per week). The weight seems to be somewhat of a limiting factor for gym shorts carry. Perhaps a LCP would better serve that purpose. Up to this point, I've been pocket carrying my 442 when I do that. I like the gun, but might trade it for a LCP which may better serve the purpose I'm trying to fill...or I might just keep it and add an LCP to the arsenal.

    I still can't get over how accurate it is, seeing as how the sights are like miniature skeeter bites.

    All in all, I like it. Anyone needing a small thin gun won't be disappointed. Pics attached.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Good review. And nice granite countertops.
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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    8) Magazine disconnect safety. I had it disabled in less than 30 seconds. Fires every time now without a mag. In the pictures, you see once you remove the right grip panel (1 screw) there is a long transfer bar that pushes up when a mag is inserted. A C spring holds tension on it pulling the trigger connector down when the mag is removed. Remove the spring and the spring on the trigger connector rod holds it in place. Nothing to pull it down. Works like a charm.
    Why is this desirable? I thought having a mag disconnect safety was a good idea.
    A CCW is like a parachute; if you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deafdave3 View Post
    Why is this desirable? I thought having a mag disconnect safety was a good idea.
    Let's say you are in a situation where someone is wrestling you for the gun and oneof you hits the mag release. Now you can't even shoot the round you have in the chamber. Let's say some pocket lint gets in there and jams up the transfer bar or the hump on the mag that moves it up gets worn over time. What if you are reloading before you run completely out and somethnig happens during that process. You are holding a paperweight until you get another mag in. For me, I just don't like having something that will prevent me from shooting my gun. This is the only gun I had that had this particular feature...now it is consistent with the rest of them. I'm just not sure why anyone would desire having that feature.
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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    Let's say you are in a situation where someone is wrestling you for the gun and oneof you hits the mag release. Now you can't even shoot the round you have in the chamber. Let's say some pocket lint gets in there and jams up the transfer bar or the hump on the mag that moves it up gets worn over time. What if you are reloading before you run completely out and somethnig happens during that process. You are holding a paperweight until you get another mag in. For me, I just don't like having something that will prevent me from shooting my gun. This is the only gun I had that had this particular feature...now it is consistent with the rest of them. I'm just not sure why anyone would desire having that feature.
    For me, its just a safety issue, but you're right... it is the only brand that carries a mag disconnect safety and I (or anyone else) shouldn't get used to it or depend on it.
    A CCW is like a parachute; if you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.

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    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    I've had several Bersa .380's along the way. Now have a Bersa Thunder .380 Plus, as my others were given to relatives. When I worked the gun counter years ago, we had a lot of customers
    trading their PPK's for Bersas. I know a lot of cops in Texas that carried the Bersa .380 as a bug.
    For the money, its a good little mousegun, and when pin-point accuracy counts (shot placement is crucial with a .380) Bersa has what it takes.

    Keep the Bersa or trade it for a Bersa BP9CC 9mm. I wish I had all mine back that I gave away.

    fyi --the Bersa is electroless nickel and you can make it shine like a diamond with Mothers Mag polish....but that would probably not be a good idea for a carry gun. I did that to my all nickel Thunder .380 that I gave to my step daughter, and she freaking thought it looked awesome.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deafdave3 View Post
    For me, its just a safety issue, but you're right... it is the only brand that carries a mag disconnect safety and I (or anyone else) shouldn't get used to it or depend on it.
    Actually several manufacturers make guns with mag safeties,some States require any new guns being sold there to have them like MAss IIRC.
    I don't like them,I guess its one way to keep the idiots that drop the mag and pull the trigger "On an empty gun"to keep from shooting people until they slap the mag back in and pull the trigger again without checking the chamber,or actually help them by showing their friends that the gun won't shoot without a mag,until some crud hangs the safety and the gun discharges without a mag
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    My GF bought the exact same gun as the OP at a gun show a few weeks ago. I had a bad experience with a Bersa Thunder 380 in the past but she wanted it so I told her to go for it, has a warranty after all. That gun has changed my opinion of Bersa guns entirely. We took it to the range and the trigger was amazing, compared to my LCP and LC9 carry guns. At 25 feet I was out shooting my LC9 by 2 inches. I was just about ready to buy one before I thought about it a little. For me, personally, it's too big f a gun to carry for its caliber. It's slightly bigger and heavier than my LC9 and 380 is not as effective as a 9mm. I do carry my 380 LCP occasionally, but only when restricted by my clothing. If I can conceal a gun the size of the Bersa I am going to choose the LC9 every time, yeah the trigger is not as nice as the Bersa's SA/DA trigger, but I can keep my shots within a 4" group at 25 feet and I'm still improving as I get used to the trigger on that anyway.

    Might end up buying another standard thunder 380 though, could use a .380 range toy to justify the reloading setup that only loads 100 rounds a month for practice with the LCP. If I find a killer deal like my GF did on her CC model I will pick one up for sure even if I was never going to carry it.
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    Member Array fullmetal1911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Actually several manufacturers make guns with mag safeties,some States require any new guns being sold there to have them like MAss IIRC.
    I don't like them,I guess its one way to keep the idiots that drop the mag and pull the trigger "On an empty gun"to keep from shooting people until they slap the mag back in and pull the trigger again without checking the chamber,or actually help them by showing their friends that the gun won't shoot without a mag,until some crud hangs the safety and the gun discharges without a mag
    To me, it's like a seat belt law. We spend too much time and effort saving stupid people from themselves. If you aren't stupid you wear your seatbelt. It may sound callous, but I have always felt that if you are stupid enough to disobey any of the 4 rules of gun safety, like not assuming the gun is loaded or aiming the muzzle at something you don't intend to kill or destroy, you get what you deserve.

    Because it is not a standard feature on ALL firearms it can create bad habits and a lax attitude toward gun safety. Some idiot is going to assume that because his Bersa doesn't fire without the magazine that his AR probably doesn't either, and that will probably end as horribly as all these accidents you hear about when Joe-Blow Gun-Noob decides to show off his new piece to his buddy and shoots himself or his friend.

    A safety feature on a gun shouldn't be a replacement for proper safety and safe handling of a firearm, but people will allow it to be and that will create more problems than that mag-disconnect safety will have solved.
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    Nice review BugDude. I have an older Thunder380 that I love. Seldom shoot it, but she never fails me. Good guns all around.
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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullmetal1911 View Post
    ...For me, personally, it's too big f a gun to carry for its caliber. It's slightly bigger and heavier than my LC9 and 380 is not as effective as a 9mm...
    I'm kind of where you are with it too. I really like it, and as such may keep it. But my Taurus PT709 is the same size, lighter, just as thin, and holds 7+1 of 9mm. It just isn't as rounded off and smooth as the Bersa. My PT709 has over 2,000 rounds through it without any failures at all, and I have a second mag for it. My S&W 442 gets a ton of carry since we moved to Florida. I've shot it thousands of times, so proficiency isn't an issue with it for me. For the purpose I'm trying to fill, an LCP may get the nod. This may serve as a good BUG, but my 442 has typically filled that role.

    I'll hang on to it for a while and if it doesn't seem to get used much I may trade it on something. For what I paid for it, I don't think I'll lose anything. I'm to a point where I only buy guns that catch my interest and then only when I can get a good enough deal on them I won't lose on them.
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