Bersa Thunder .380 or Kel-Tec P3AT?

This is a discussion on Bersa Thunder .380 or Kel-Tec P3AT? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm thinking about getting a small light weight .380 for my wife and for me to carry from time to time.(no ccw for her yet) ...

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Thread: Bersa Thunder .380 or Kel-Tec P3AT?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Bersa Thunder .380 or Kel-Tec P3AT?

    I'm thinking about getting a small light weight .380 for my wife and for me to carry from time to time.(no ccw for her yet) Two different options come to mind. The Bersa Thunder .380 and the Kel-Tec
    P3AT. This has probably been asked before, and if so I'm sorry for posting about it again. But what do you guys think about either of these and which one would you choose?
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    If its for your wife, let her choose.

    The Bersa is much easier to shoot, the KelTec is much easier to carry.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Well, it will be left behind for her when I'm out for a little while and probably with me when we are out together.
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    Depends on how you want to carry it. If you want to pocket carry, get the Kel Tec. If you can do the IWB or OWB holster with your mode of dress, get the Bersa.
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    Member Array Larryes's Avatar
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    All I can say is that I love my Kel Tec!

    Larry

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    I dunno then... both are inexpensive but good buys. The Bersa imo is a little large for a .380 carry gun, your P11 is a much better choice for that.
    I would be willing to bet that if you bought the Bersa, it wont get carried because you have the P11. If you bought the Keltec, once your wife shoots it, she wont want to anymore. (unless she is a seasoned shooter) Its a stout little pocket rocket.

    I would go with the Bersa, it sounds to me like its going to be more of a sock drawer gun than anything else. Still, do yourself a favor, and let your wife be in on the choice if she needs to be able to shoot it.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Bob O's Avatar
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    If you expect to pocket carry, definitely the Kel-Tec.

    For belt or purse carry either one would be OK.

    The Bersa feels and looks better, but the Kel-Tec is more utilitarian.

    Even smaller and lighter than the Bersa you could get a more powerful 9 mm Kel-Tec PF-9, Skyy CPX-1, or a Kahr CW9 or PM9. The Kel-Tec P-11 may also work, but it is a higher capacity double-stack and therefore a bit wider than the others. Even so, many people carry the P-11 very comfortably by belt or purse and some even pocket carry them.

    If you want a small gun for pocket carry check out this chart (the Bersa is not on the chart because it is bigger than the chart's parameters).
    http://www.mouseguns.com/PocketAutoComparison.pdf
    For the Bersa specifications:
    http://www.bersafirearmsusa.com/

    For belt and purse carry you would have a lot more options.

  9. #8
    Member Array floridaguy911's Avatar
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    If its your wife you should probably go with her and let her feel both at a shop somewhere. Try to shoot both with her if you have the opportunity. The kel-tec is much lighter and smaller, but also has more 'kick' to it that might bother some. It doesn't bother me so much, its not extremely pleasant but bearable by all means in my opinion as long as you dont plan on shooting 500 rounds in a sitting.

    The Bersa on the other hand, I have not personally shot before but I have held it, and weighs a good amount more than the Kel-Tec. Its also larger, and made of metal. (I think- correct me if I'm wrong) Regardless, its heavier. So more recoil is soaked up by the counterweight. Its also harder to conceal in some places like pocket than the Kel-Tec. I said harder, in comparison to size- Not impossible.

    So to return to my original statement, you should probably try to shoot both with your wife. Ask her about how it feels in her hands, how she likes how it shoots, etc. Get her input if the gun is going to be left with her for primarily her use. Then add in the information above all together to get your best desired results.

    To ultimately answer your question. I personally would say for a woman, it will probably be more comfortable to shoot the Bersa. Some women are less prone to that feeling, your mileage may vary. I think it depends on where she plans on carrying it too. I own a Kel-Tec P3AT and I don't mind the recoil. Im about 6-1 160lbs, not a large guy. If she plans on carrying in her purse maybe the Bersa would be ok, Pocket I'd go with KT long as she was OK with the recoil.

    Decisions, decisions, decisions.

    Hope some of this helps you out.
    Good luck with your choice.
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    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Well as far as my wife goes, she shot marksman with the M-16 and can handle my over/under 12 ga shotgun. So I do not think that recoil is so much an issue. It's the trigger pull. She has a hard time with the trigger on my P-11, which is understandable. Haha. I may end up getting a P3AT for myself and maybe a Bersa Thunder .380 for her. I like the P3AT and I think the Bersa may be a better bet for her. Both guns are well within my price range and maybe after I get my P3AT she will shoot it and want one of her own. Then again, maybe not. I guess we'll see. Thanks for the input guys. I appreciate it!
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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    As Sixto said, the Bersa is a bit large for a .380. Same way I feel about the Walther PPK. If I were looking at weapons in that size, I'd go for a 9mm, rather than a .380.

    I view the P3-AT as the ultimate BUG. It carries perfectly in a pocket holster, has decent capacity, and is quite lightweight. It's functionally accurate under 10 yards and altogether reliable.

    Again, if you're looking at a larger weapon, there's no reason not to go with a more powerful caliber. I haven't had the chance to handle one yet, but I think a PF-9 would be an excellent choice in a slightly larger handgun.

    My young bride is very fond of her P3-AT, as well. We've been using Gold Dots, which perform quite well.
    Cheers,
    Rod
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    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Well since it sounds like your wife is an experienced shooter then I would recommend the Kel Tec. You will need to make sure though it is well broken in before you trust it to carry. Mine jammed a few times but now it spits out cases with no problem since I have about 600 round through it.

    It does have some recoil to it since it is very light....but like SIXTO said it is so easy to carry!

    +1 on the Gold Dot recommendation. My pistol feeds these with no problems and I think it is about the best load out there right now for the .380.
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    I'm a big, big fan of the Bersa. It has never misfired or stove piped.I have no problem pocket carrying my Bersa, but I'll admit the front pockets of mens jeans are deeper. I find the Kel Tec harder to manage but there is just as many fans of the Kel Tec as there is of the Bersa. Both are priced about the same. But in my opinion I feel the Bersa has better reliability stats.

  14. #13
    Member Array senseiturtle's Avatar
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    Shoot more than carry --- Bersa.
    Carry more than shoot --- Kel Tec P3AT.

    I had the same decision in front of me last week. I wanted a gun I wouldn't mind carrying 24/7 if need be, and something that would more than easily hide anywhere.

    The kel-tec is very, very small and fills that "niche" better than the larger bersa. The bersa, however, would be more accurate and last longer as a range gun.

  15. #14
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    My EDC is usually my Kimber Ultra, but I sometimes take my Glock-36 for a ride!

    But for those times I just want an equalizer of some type, my KelTec P-3AT is perfect. It's not a fun gun at the range, but it ALWAYS goes bang...I've had it for several years and never have had a problem with it...it is so easy to hide in a pocket. My wife now uses it's younger cousin the .32 in a flat leather pouch...and she really likes the feel of that little 'fella'.

    Can't beat the KT's for a little backup power!

    Stay armed...even with .380 power...stay safe!

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    Member Array SGeringer's Avatar
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    Let her choose, but if I had to choose I'd pick the Bersa any day of the week.
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