What do you all think about this setup?

What do you all think about this setup?

This is a discussion on What do you all think about this setup? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have an aunt with a violent ex husband. He's gotten more and more dangerous as time goes on. There's a lot more to the ...

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Thread: What do you all think about this setup?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    What do you all think about this setup?

    I have an aunt with a violent ex husband. He's gotten more and more dangerous as time goes on. There's a lot more to the story (the ******* killed my cousin for one thing), but that's the short version.

    She used to have a pistol. She had no idea what manufacturer or caliber, but by showing her several cartridges and asking lots of questions, I've figured out she had either a .380 or .32 caliber semiautomatic pistol. Her dad (my grandfather) gave it to her years and years ago and she's actually a good shot with it.

    Well she was until she had to sell it a couple years ago because the idiot doesn't pay child support.

    She does have some spray, and I gave her a good flashlight, and she's very feisty, but she wants a gun and I don't blame her.

    Now I know it's always best for someone to pick their own gun. Heavens, look at the long debates we have here over what kind of gun is best. But although she knows how to shoot, she doesn't know jack about guns themselves. She can't tell a Rossi from a Colt.

    Her criteria are very tough. The gun must be inexpensive. $200 maximum. It must be semi-automatic. Lord I wish it could be a revolver and this would be so much easier, but I digress. It can't be too small or too big. For instance a Kahr PM-9 is too small, and a Ruger P-89 is too big. Single stack magazine, as little recoil as possible, preferably smooth trigger pull.

    Yeah. Yikes.

    But rather than try to talk her into compromising for something else she won't use, I'm determined to help her find something at least close to her guidelines and I think I have.

    http://www.bersa-llama.com/cat_thunder380.html

    The Bersa Thunder 380 seems to be purpose built for this situation. It's at the very tip top of the price range, but I've handled a couple and I can find one for 200 brand new.

    The thing that mainly concerns me is that her idiot ex husband isn't huge, but .380 ACP is just not one of the more effective calibers. However, it's the most powerful caliber she is willing to fire, so we're stuck between her not using the gun and her using the 380.

    That turns me to what to load in this thing... and I figure some Speer Gold Dots should serve nicely.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/rewriteaproduct/638305

    I use them myself, just in another caliber. I figure one of these to the center of that moron's mass will make him wish he was dead if he isn't already.

    I plan to get her an extra factory magazine, but I'm at a bit of a loss as to what kind of holster to get her. She's going to carry it in her purse. I can't help that it's just going to happen. I would like to get her a holster though that might encourage her to keep it on her body.

    No one's bought anything yet, but I was wondering if anyone could show or tell me anything useful about the gun, the caliber, catridge, or holster selection. I figure $300 is our operating budget here. I am figuring $215 for the gun after taxes, $30 for a couple boxes of Gold Dots, leaving about $35 for spare magazine, leaving not a lot for the holster.

    I know the Fobus paddle holsters can be had for about $20, and if it were me that's what I'd get but it's for her not me.

    I am thinking about something like this

    http://www.uncle-mikes.com/adtemplat...catky2=2000214

    Which would encourage on body carry

    Or this

    http://www.uncle-mikes.com/srchresul...catky2=2000017

    Which could facilitate on body carry and still keep her gun from getting coated with lint while it lives in her purse.

    I'd ask her, but the problem is she's going to assume whatever I think is wonderful.

    Sigh... can I do any better? Or is this setup about as good as it's going to get without her helping me some more?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    For what your working with i think its a good selection wish i know more about the bersa's but its never intersted me.

    If it was for the $ limit i would say the Sig 380 would be the way to go but really doubt your gonna find it under 200

  3. #3
    Member Array nighthawk's Avatar
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    Stay away from Bersa. Haven't found one I thought was well built.

  4. #4
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    I think I would opt for a used gun of higher quality rather than a Bersa. My two coppers.... :squareeye
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  5. #5
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    Some reports of Bersa guns falling apart at the 4,000 rnd. mark. A better used gun would work better but $200 isn't gonna get ya the best for reliability. I would go with the Bersa as she probably won't shoot it much. Maybe look at a CCw purse or a pocket holster to keep lint out of the gun. Good luck.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Well if it was for me, well first of all I wouldn't buy it. I think the Bersa is good for the money but it's not to my tastes.

    The trouble is a similar pistol by a better maker in that price range really isn't any better, or it fails one of her other criterion.

    The best I have found besides the Bersa for that kind of scratch is a S&W 380. I would take the Bersa long before I'd buy a POS like that. The only good things about the 380 are its ergonomics and my understanding that when it falls apart, S&W will rebuild it.

    It seems the Bersa is one of those guns that goes 50/50. Some people report they do fantastic until you put too many rounds through them, and then I hear problems with various parts wearing out or the extractor needing to be replaced or what have you. Then the other half say it holds up just fine. I do note however that the people who like it tend to either use it for a carry piece, a spare, or a range toy. I've talked to one person who uses it for a glove box compartment gun and just puts 100 rounds through it twice a year.

    Like I said, if this could be a revolver, it would be a lot easier.

    Then again it's a decent PPK clone so how awful can it really be? At least it feels like a real gun unlike some of that other stuff out there.

    You're all probably unfortunately correct that its limited lifespan probably wouldn't be an issue for her.

  7. #7
    Member Array scratchy wilson's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about them, but would a Keltec do?

    For a holster, I hear good things about HBE holsters. He started out making holsters for Makarovs as he didn't find any that he liked.
    Last edited by scratchy wilson; February 6th, 2005 at 03:29 PM.

  8. #8
    Member Array mikaldulee's Avatar
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    Try a Makorov or P64. Cheap($120-150), semi automatic, easy to use, and durable. I own a P64, it will do the trick. Fobus also makes a Mak holster.
    People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to violence on their behalf.

  9. #9
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    Makorov or a Keltec probably would be good solutions come to think of it.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I considered the Makarov but there's one thing about it I don't like: It fires that weird 9x18 catridge, and the .380 chambered Makarovs cost as much as the Bersa.

    Here's the problem with the Makarov. By the time I find one for $140, then pay $10 shipping, and then pay $30 transfer fee, then pay $30 to get a barrel to convert it to .380, I've paid for that Bersa.

    Even if I left it in 9x18 I'm not really saving anything.

    Kel Tec I had considered, but most of their offerings in that price range I've seen are those little bitty pocket pistols. Too small.

  11. #11
    1952 - 2006
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    I agree, I think the Keltec 32 or 3AT would be perfect for your situation. I've fired many rounds from the Keltec 32 and they are very reliable.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
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    Cool

    The Llama Micro-Max is a .380 acp built on a 1911-ish frame, 7 rd mag. They go for $200-$220. I've looked at them at the gun shows and have considered getting one for a backup. I haven't heard much about Llamas, but a friend at work has one in .45 cal and swears by it.

  13. #13
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    A Mak in 9X18 might be a better gun for the money. I don't think the cartridge is all that much weaker than a .380. Also Maks are becoming more popular , more optional ammo and holster choices coming around. Might consider it anyway.

  14. #14
    Member Array mikaldulee's Avatar
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    9x18 hollow points are only $5-$6 a box(SOG), there was lots of it at the last gun show I went to. Why convert to .380?

    However, if a kel-tec is more your style, they have a great warranty.

    As to Llamas, I've owned several, but they either work or they don't. 50-50 at best. When they work they run like champs, when they don't they make dandy clubs.
    People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to violence on their behalf.

  15. #15
    Member Array revlar's Avatar
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    I'd take a Makarov over ANY Bersa or Llama - any day. In fact - I have. The chambering is more powerful than you think - and is not hard to find. For a military piece the gun is surprisingly well finished. It's one heck of a buy as far as I'm concerned.
    If you want to make God laugh - tell Him your plans. Yiddish proverb

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