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I bought a Bersa Thunder Compact 9mm for my wife yesterday. She had bought a Kel-Tec P11 a couple of weeks ago and after less than 20 rounds handed it to me and said take this to the next gun show and get me something I can shoot. To say that she hated the trigger would be a gross understatement. We did a lot of research to try to find something comparable in size to her Bersa .380 but in 9mm. Other requirements were that it be SA/DA and have a good de-cocker/safety. We narrowed the field down to the CZ 2075 RAMI polymer frame and the Bersa Compact 9mm.

To make a long story short the only CZ at the show was a model 75. This is not an insult to the show, but it was very small. The civic center in Montgomery, AL where gunshows are traditionally held is being renovated and the sponsor of the show has had to make do with a much smaller hall. Dealers don't bring a lot of stuff because they just do not have the space to display it. One dealer I often buy from takes about one third as much to Montgomery as he takes to Birmingham. There are not as many dealers as I am used to in Montgomery either. But for what ever reason except for old CZs there just weren't any. So following orders to bring home something she could shoot I sold the Kel-Tec to an individual for a good price to him and much more than a dealer would give me and bought the Bersa compact 9.

Today my wife put about 150 rounds through the Bersa. A 100 rounds of WWB and about 50 rounds of several kinds of hollow points. There were two minor problems. Actually I hesitate to say problems because I determined that my wife was the cause of both. Anyway the third round's casing hit her on top of the head. Through the rest of the shooting she got hit in the glasses or the forehead or had a casing sail right by her ear. Problem 1. Now problem 2 did not occur until about 80 or so rounds had been fired. The casing from a round was caught in the ejection port by the very bottom of the rim. Slight movement of the slide and the casing fell out. In the next mag a shell casing was caught long ways. So 2 FTEs.

I began watching my wife's shooting in stead of spotting the rounds and I discovered a couple of things. First, she was limp wristing every time. Second the Bersa has a pretty pronounces counterclockwise flip if you don't control it. I witnessed a couple of the shell casings flying back toward her face. This was because when the casing was ejected the port was almost vertical as a result of the uncontrolled flip. As I watched I realized that even though our pistol instructor had showed us how to grip with the left hand she was not doing this. She was shooting as well one handed left or right as she was two handed. Instead of using the left hand for reinforcing the right hand's grip she was just using it to hold the pistol up while shooting. The right hand was resting in the left hand, but the left hand was actually in her words, "Just there." The recoil and muzzle flip was taking her right hand completely out of her left hand. We worked on her grip and there was some improvement. She was tired after about 150 rounds of 9mm and 14 of 357Sig so we did not get to work too much on the grip. But after realizing that the left hand was not just a support the shell casing flying back toward her face was pretty much eliminated and she had no more FTEs.

The 9mm has more recoil than than her .380 of course, but it will not be a problem for her when she gets some more practice using a good grip. I feel sort of stupid that I did not see the problem earlier, but then I remind myself that she has fired a mag of .40 caliber from a Taurus, a mag or two of 9mm from the Sig P239, the Skyy, and from the S&W 439 and none of these seem to have the same kind of twisting muzzle flip as the Bersa 9mm. The .380 certainly does not present the control problem that the 9mm does, so the fact that the left hand was doing nothing had just not been evident when she was shooting it.

The Bersa compact 9mm itself was very accurate and had no mechanical problems at all. Loaded it weighs only 3 or 4 ounces more than the Bersa .380 loaded. Size wise it is almost identical. When compared to the .380 the compact 9mm is .1" shorter, .25" less in height, .1" wider. A nice sized package and so far appears to be another sleeper in the Bersa arsenal. This week Leah will work on improving her grip and next Saturday we will be going to the police range with the Chief. I'll post a follow up at that time. Pictures will be posted tomorrow afternoon.
 

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I bet when she's not tired the flipping will stop when she tightens her grip. Buy your nice lady some of those grip exercisers - that'll help too - but could make her piano "interesting" to say the least? Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Rock and Glock said:
I bet when she's not tired the flipping will stop when she tightens her grip. Buy your nice lady some of those grip exercisers - that'll help too - but could make her piano "interesting" to say the least? Good luck!
I think it will too, Richard. She had a very good grip, but simply had not been using it. I know how hard it is for husbands to teach wives, even though that is not normally a problem for us. So tonight I brought Massad Ayoob's book The Gun Diges Book of Sig Sauer and read the chapter on shooting again. His sections on grasp and stance will help her to understand how to use the left hand much better than I can.

The first gun she bought back in January was a S&W Airweight 638 with the shrouded hammer. She liked it very much, but ran into one problem. She could not pull the trigger. I gave her a grip exerciser that I used after I broke my hand several years ago and she got where she did pretty good at it. When we took the NRA pistol course in February she discovered that about 10 rounds was all she could fire. I really was surprised from the first because she does have such a stron grip and strong fingers. We finally decided that the muscles used to pull the trigger and those used to grip a hand or play piano are not the same. We replaced the 638 with the Bersa .380 during the lunch hour at the pistol course.

She could not fire the first round from the Bersa 9 this afternoon double action. After she fired several mags I shot one and deliberately fired several double action. The trigger is still a little tight and required more pull than either of the Sigs today. It was beginning to lighten up some after the first hundred or so rounds. I'm sure she will be able to manage that shortly. I am going to put her back to work on the grip exerciser though.
 

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Sounds great George and thx for the after action report.

I am sure the gun will ease further and note too the DA pull problem and your mention of the revo trigger too. A lady in the last Personal Protection class I tought had this exact problem - for her the revo was just not cutting it. Attention to grip will almost for sure improve matters for Leah and help reduce what I am not surprized to hear, is quite a marked torque effect on recoil.

I may well explore this gun - could be that Beth might easily move up to it later on. In fact could be too I'll ''need'' :)wink:) one myself!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
P95Carry said:
Sounds great George and thx for the after action report.

I am sure the gun will ease further and note too the DA pull problem and your mention of the revo trigger too. A lady in the last Personal Protection class I tought had this exact problem - for her the revo was just not cutting it. Attention to grip will almost for sure improve matters for Leah and help reduce what I am not surprized to hear, is quite a marked torque effect on recoil.

I may well explore this gun - could be that Beth might easily move up to it later on. In fact could be too I'll ''need'' :)wink:) one myself!
Chris, I also like the fact that it is available in .40 and .45 as well. If you need a small pistol with a little more power than the 9mm they are available.
 

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Ahh yes - the bigger cals. I reckon tho that possibly 9mm is about the ideal for size whereas perhaps a .40 anyways might be a bit harsh.

It's on my ''possibles'' list anyways :smilez:
 

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I think you will be very happy with the UC-9. All of Bersa's big caliber guns are sleepers in my opinion, and once more people realize how good Bersa's really are, they will become the next Taurus, THE name when people think of guns from south of the border.:hand10:

I own a number of Bersa guns (as most people who have read my posts for any length of time probably already know) and I think the UC-9 is the best of the crop. It's the gun I used when I last qualifed for my CC permit a few years ago and it has NEVER let me down. In fact, except for one individual who reported a slide problem once, I know of noboby who has ever had a complaint with a UC-9 concerning function and reliability. Of the several dozen handguns I own, it's the one I'd pick if I could only keep one for personal defense.

My ONLY gripe is the price of Bersa's magazines. Everything about Bersa's seems to be an OUTSTANDING value except when buying factory mags. They tend to run on the mid to high side, especially considering what a new Bersa usually costs, but I suppose the company has to make a bit of profit somewhere. They can be purchased at a number of places, but you can buy the factory 13 rd mag for the UC-9 for about $40 at impactguns.com. Not cheap, but better than the price asked at Eagle Imports (the US Bersa importer) or yourgunparts.com, the importers "authorized" parts retailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just got a chance to take pictures of the wife's new Bersa Ultra Compact 9mm. I also took some comparison pics. She has her Bersa .380 with her so I could not use it. I used a Makarov .380 in stead. Also compared to Sig P239 357SIG and Smith & Wesson model 439.















 

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George - you have been excelling yourself with pics today :smilez:

Great to see and I think more and more that Bersa could be on my shopping list sometime - tho heaven knows I really do not need another 9mm :rolleyes: :wink:
 

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George - to help fill the gap - as the .380 is AWOL - I'll post mine (oops, the wife's now) just for kicks! :smilez:


 

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Looks like Bersa borrowed some of the looks of it from the Walther P88 to me, I know their 380's where one of the very few , that where okay for off duty carry in my department and those who had them, only had a few problems with some of the early models
 

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In looking at your pics of the Bersa 9MM it looks like the slide release(catch!) and the Safety are ambidextrious. Could be a real nice gun for the lefties out there. I think that the mag release can be changed over to the left also. I have handled the Bersa 9MM and the 40 S&W but have not shot them. Know one of the guys at Gander Mountain that has one and really likes it.
 

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Boomer45 said:
In looking at your pics of the Bersa 9MM it looks like the slide release(catch!) and the Safety are ambidextrious. Could be a real nice gun for the lefties out there. I think that the mag release can be changed over to the left also. I have handled the Bersa 9MM and the 40 S&W but have not shot them. Know one of the guys at Gander Mountain that has one and really likes it.
Great, now I have to buy one if it's leftie friendly.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Boomer45 and SammyIamToday,
The Bersa Thunder Compact 9mm, .40, and .45 are all fully ambi. They have the slide release and safety on both sides and the mag release can be reversed. The take down lever remains on the left side. The take down is different than any I have encountered. The slide does not have to move to operate the take down lever. It rotates clockwise and stays there. To reassemble it is necessary to move the slide about 1/2" past its normal position so the take down lever can go back to the horizontal position.

Wife will put another 150 or so rounds through this weekend and practice her new (true) two handed grip. I expect this will solve both the two FTEs and the getting hit with the shell casing.
 

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dr_cmg said:
Boomer45 and SammyIamToday,
The Bersa Thunder Compact 9mm, .40, and .45 are all fully ambi. They have the slide release and safety on both sides and the mag release can be reversed. The take down lever remains on the left side. The take down is different than any I have encountered. The slide does not have to move to operate the take down lever. It rotates clockwise and stays there. To reassemble it is necessary to move the slide about 1/2" past its normal position so the take down lever can go back to the horizontal position.

Wife will put another 150 or so rounds through this weekend and practice her new (true) two handed grip. I expect this will solve both the two FTEs and the getting hit with the shell casing.
That's awesome. You should write Bersa and tell them you're about to make them some money. :) I'm almost to the point of buying ambi guns on principle, but the bersa compact 9mm would fill nicely for some of my needs. In fact, the only gripe I had with my .380 was that it wasn't ambi.
 

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nice pics thanks....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
For those who are interested. We did some shooting yesterday and my wife has improved her grip. I let her read the section on Shooting the SIG-Sauer Pistol in Massad Ayoob's Gun Digest Book of SIG-Sauer. The info about grip and stance are generic. She put about 50 rounds through the Bersa before the rain got us yesterday. She only let her grip slip once and paid for it by getting hit on the upper lip by the ejected 9mm shell casing. That little reminder helped her to concentrate on controling the pistol. Not FTEs when the grip is good.

She had a class to go to this afternoon so I took the Bersa and shot about 30 rounds through it this afternoon. This is the first double stack that I have ever fired reasonably well. I don't do as well as I do with my S&W 439, either of my Makarovs (Bulgarian .380 and Russian 9X18), nor my Sig P239 in 9mm, but I put all the rounds in a fairly good position. If I had been defending myself the BG's torso would have been riddled with holes and most of them would have been in the COM. The pistol handles nicely and is a real pleasure to shoot as long as you remember the muzzle flip. If you for get and let the flip twist the pistol the shell casing can easily hit you.

I am very please with the pistol and am again amazed at the quality of the workmanship and the accuracy of what is really a very inexpensive pistol.

For those interested in the pistol there are a couple of caveats. First, it is very difficult to find a holster. Since my wife will be carrying the Bersa in a Coronado Leather purse she does not need one, but for others this is a consideration. Second, if you do not like the grips it will be very difficult to find replacements. I did some checking and did not find any. It is possible that I missed something. I did not make and exhaustive search. Third, the pistol comes with one magazine and extras are expensive. This is true of all Bersa pistols. As long as you know these minor problems you can make an informed decision about whether you want a Bersa Thunder Compact 9mm.
 

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Thanks for the folllowup. I think I'm still going to get one. Do you know of any holsters that you can find for it offhand?
 
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