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The Bersa Thunder 380 CC: Best Kept Secret

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Bersa Thunder 380 CC
Behold the power.

After a tedious 48 hour “cool down period”, yesterday I was finally able to take home my new toy!

The Bersa Thunder 380 CC is everything a conceal and carry gun should be and more.  Do I wish the 380 round was more than just a neutered 9mm?  Sure, but I still wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of it.

The Bersa Thunder is a clone of the PPK, a legend in it’s own right, but unlike the PPK (or even the standard Bersa Thunder), it holds 8 + 1 rounds and it’s loaded with safety features including a de-cocking lever, loaded chamber indicator, and an automatic safety when the magazine is dropped (I know some of you aren’t a fan of that one).   When I am carrying, I like to know that my firearm won’t shoot me.  With this gun, I am very confident.

All of the sharp edges on the gun have been softened to make it the smoothest draw you have ever experienced, whether you are drawing from your waistband, or your jacket pocket, you would be hard pressed to snag this bad boy on anything.   This does mean that the three dot sight system is very low profile and takes a little getting used to.  However, as I wouldn’t recommend carrying a gun that you haven’t become proficient with anyway, this should pose no serious problem.

The trigger pull is smooth whether in double action or single, however, as with most semi-autos, the double action pull is long.

At 25 yards, I was shooting fist sized groupings on rapid fire, and about half that size during slow pull; and I have small hands guys.  The Thunder ate everything I fed it.  Lead, flat heads, FMJ and JHP.  It just kept eating like a hungry hungry hippo!

You may be thinking, “Hey, this sounds like a great little piece, but I bet it costs around $400 to $500 and there is no way my wife will let me drop that kind of cheese.”  Well, you are in for the shock of your life!  This little bugger can be found for $300 and below.  I picked mine up in brand new condition for $240!

For the citizen on a budget, this is the most bang you are ever going to find for your buck.  Trust me.  I’m a professional.

 

 

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62 Comments

  1. I have a Bersa Thunder as a backup to my 45ACP. It’s an excellent firearm.

  2. quartierleblanc

    I have a standard Bersa Thunder 380 and not the CC version. For the price it’s a very nice weapon. I keep mine in a wallet holster. I also agree that it’s a remarkably reliable weapon.

  3. RedSeeingRed

    The trend continues! I have literally never heard or experienced a bad thing about this gun!

  4. I’ll put it on my Christmas list.

  5. Bersa also has a hi cap Thunder in 380, 15 + 1 IIRC.

  6. SPURWING PLOVER

    Any new gun on the market and you can bet the Dim-O-Crats want it banned or regulated since Dim-O-Crats are the worlds stupidists species in the universe

  7. argusromeo4

    KEL-TEC P.380… A tad-bit small for my sausage fingers but perfect for carry. I also have a SIG 1911 in .45 flavor. Yummy.

  8. My personal carry piece is a Colt Mustang +II in stainless. I kinda prefer a gun that looks like a gun. Colt on the side don’t hurt either. It was purchased before there were Glocks.

  9. I have had two of these (not the CC) and I loved them both and gave them Pet names. I used to use these as my go to carry weapons.
    Then we had a murder in my sleepy little town. I know all the cops, and am generous with the Maple Crullers so I got the skinny.
    The guy took two 380 rounds to the skull from less than ten feet away.
    They both bounced off his noggin.
    What killed him was bleed out from the other two rounds that hit him in the leg and torso, he lasted fifteen minutes.
    I now carry my 1911 .45, its heavy but I got suspenders (because of my creepy cracka ass).
    I am saving for a Taurus Judge so I can load my own 4/10’s
    There is a thrift store in town where I can get old silverware to cut up that will do nicely.
    Then there’s always old Hot Wheels cars.

    • RedSeeingRed

      That is not the first time I have heard about 380 rounds not penetrating the skull. I teach all my students to shoot center mass anyway. Funny story, Lazlo, I carried a 1911 for a long time, but bought this to carry during the summer for maximum concealability. The other thing to consider is that the personal protection loads from, say, Hornaday, are a few grains hotter and should have no problem with penetration.

      • I agree with both your points; center mass shots, and the conceal carry wear ability. But my fashion sense has been called into question before. I dress loosely (in case I have to go into Ninja mode) so concealment is easy.
        I tried the .38 2″ police special for a while, but the grip just didn’t fit my hand very well. I had the same problem with the Bersa. On rapid draw I ended up juggling both. This does not intimidate bad guys.
        As far as practice shooting price I like the bersa.
        But my own philosophy leads me to go for the .45 stopping power.
        I feel that very few bad guys rob and kill in cold blood (meaning calm). The adrenaline factor, and the drug factor lead me to my personal view
        Having said that, I would rather not get shot with one.
        BTW, thanks for the thoughtful response.

        • RedSeeingRed

          Well, that is why they invented the 1911 .45 caliber pistol in the first place. They couldn’t take down the jacked up Philippinos with the .38. Personally, though, I think 8 or 9 well placed 380 rounds in the bread basket and chest cavity in rapid succession would take down even the most hopped up junkie. Multiple attackers may be another story, but let’s not forget that 99% of all conceal carry encounters are resolved without pulling the trigger.

    • master of sinanju

      Just so you know,IF you happen to cap some lowlife and your using your home grown ammo, you will be crucified! Please my friend stick with some well known S.D. ammo.

      • Home grown has nothing to do with it. If you are justified in using a gun, then it doesn’t matter what you are loading.

  10. Boy ya sure can’t beat that price. I’ll be looking for that one. I prefer a 45 though. Sig 220, extremely reliable gun.

  11. The .380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) pistol cartridge is a rimless, straight-walled pistol cartridge developed by firearms designer John Browning.
    I personally won’t go smaller than my glock 32, what with the bath salts zombies roaming freely and multiple Trayvons wound up and on attack mode…

    But if I did, I would amp it up with Buffalo Bore/Double Tap/Underwood Ammo
    Underwood:
    380 ACP +P 90 Grain Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point
    Speer Bonded bullets were designed to meet stringent law enforcement standards for dependability and performance. They features Uni-Cor technology which firmly bonds the core to the jacket and virtually eliminates bullet failures. The hollow point is created after the jacket is built. This helps produce maximum expansion and weigh retention while improving bullet feeding. A great personal defense bullet.

    Technical Information •Caliber: 380 ACP
    •Bullet Weight: 90 Grains
    •Bullet Style: Speer Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point
    •Case Type: Brass

    Ballistics Information:

    •Muzzle Velocity: 1200 fps
    •Muzzle Energy: 288 ft. lbs.

  12. http://gunbot.net/ammo/380auto/

    380 Auto +P Ammo – 90 gr. Jacketed Hollow Point (1200fps M.E. 288 ft. lbs. – 20 Round Box
    From Buffalo Bore:
    “The 380 auto inhabits a valuable and useful place in our society, mostly because of the easily concealable, tiny pistols chambered for it. HOWEVER, because of the very limited size of the cartridge, it is plagued with limited power and therefore most of the existing ammo in 380 auto suffers from not being reliable as a man-stopper. We’ve studied and played with nearly all of the existing available 380 ammo and find it wanting as a reliable means of self defense, especially against a large, insane, drugged up/pain free, determined attacker.

    Here’s the problem. The current 380 auto frangible ammo delivers a large amount of surface trauma, but lacks serious penetration. For example, if you shot me or another sane man in the face with modern frangible 380 ammo, it would blow off a big portion of my cheek and send a few teeth down my throat, I would undoubtedly fall to the ground in shock and pain, but I would be very much alive and functional if I could get past the shock and pain as that frangible bullet would have stopped some where inside my face, never making it to my brain. However, if you shot a drugged up maniac in the face with that same frangible 380 ammo and blew half his cheek off, he would keep right on coming because he is insane and is not thinking like you or I. Plus, he is likely pain free and fear free and wont know that half his cheek is missing and if he did know, he would not care. So whatever 380 ammo you shoot him in the face with, had better go through his face and blow his brain stem out the back of his head, because only a CNS (central nervous system) hit with a 380 is going to stop him. Likewise, a torso hit to the sternum needs to penetrate deep enough to blow all the way through his spine in order to shut him down spontaneously. If you fail to shut him down instantly, you and your loved ones are going to have to find a way to survive while you wait for him to bleed out and pass out. The best chance of survival for you and your family is to shut down the attacker instantly. So, we’ve designed a few 380 auto +P loads to keep you and your loved ones alive under the worst of scenarios.

    This 380 Auto+P ammo will better all American made 380 Auto ammo by 150 fps to 200 fps in all bullet weights we make. This is a serious improvement in this typically anemic cartridge. This 380 auto+P ammo is more powerful than the typical 38SPL ammo made by most American ammo makers and you’ll get 7 shots of it in a small/flat/light weight 380 versus 5 shots out of a bulkier 38 SPL J frame revolver. Additionally, with the 380 you’ll get much faster reloads and the little magazines are flatter than a speed-loader used for a J frame.

    Item 27C/20 is a 90gr. Jacketed Hollow Point bullet. It is traveling over 1,200 fps out of my BDA (Browning Double Action) with its 3.75 inch barrel. We’ve utilized the very same flash suppressed powders that we’ve used in our two other 380 auto +P loads. If you like the idea of the extra big hole this expanding load makes in human flesh, we would advise that you load this bullet in your chamber, followed by a magazine full of our non-expanding loads. So, if the first shot does not incapacitate the attacker, your magazine is full of ammo that will, if you can put the bullet in his spine or brain from any angle. Note my “real world” velocities from my personal “real world” pistols.”

    1. BDA-3.75 inch barrel—-1218 fps
    2. Walther PPK-3.5 inch barrel—–1200 fps
    3. Colt Mustang Pocket Lite-2.75 inch barrel—1123 fps
    4. Keltec—1100 fps

    • Splendid Smartness!

    • quartierleblanc

      Ed, it’s no so much the cartridge as the system involved. The Bersa and most of its sisters are blowback operated weapons. You can use + P BUT and this a very big BUT, the bullet MUST leave the barrel to vent pressures downward and this means rapidly. That means you can +P the bullet BUT the bullets MUST be lighter for each increment in velocity you add, therefore whatever +P you get you’ll lose in sectional density of the bullet, therefore penetration will suffer. Either you decrease the pressure of the round or you MUST increase the mass of the slide to account for the extra pressure which means a lot more weight. A high pressure round in a blowback pistol causes early movement of the slide with extraction beginning before the bullet has left the barrel, thereby causing case rupture with the consequences thereof or a double feed. There are a number of ways to help besides increasing slide mass, like moly coating the bullet or using copper, but the system will only handle so much pressure.

      • I’ll defere to your obvious advanced knowledge and stick with my Glock 32 for simplicity and function.
        The 380 acp is a nice thougt when it comes to convenience, I thought that with a souped up hollow point or two in the mag, followed by FMJ or hard caste, it might work for me).‎ These tweekers and berszerkers are hard to stop these dayz

        • quartierleblanc

          It’s all about the function of the design and the parameters set into the design. With a recoil operated weapon like the Glock 25 ( not available here ) you can jack up the pressure even with the polygonal rifling. With +P in a blowback operated weapon you can use them BUT they should be light for caliber. Function is about getting the bullet out of the barrel before the slide moves rearward. The longer the bullet is inside the barrel the higher the pressures. Plus the weapon should be tested for reliability because slide speed becomes a factor in functioning. For example High Point are blow back weapons but slide movement and speed are delayed by adding a lot of mass to the slide. That’s why they are so large, ugly and bulky looking.

    • “However, if you shot a drugged up maniac in the face with that same frangible 380 ammo and blew half his cheek off, he would keep right on coming because he is insane…”

      What about those flesh eating Zombies? Frangible ammo is politically correct ammo.

      • quartierleblanc

        High quality 380 HP’s in the 90grain range give a realistic “one stop” meaning immediate incapacitation rate that varies from 44 to 62% depending upon how the data was gathered. Interestingly the “fatality” rate that I’ve seen is in the low 20%. or so which is really not bad. I’m not sure I’d go to an area with an impending bongo party with a 380 but just to go to the store and get a gallon of milk, it’s probably adequate.

    • steve clark

      That’s what I carry in MY Bersa!

    • The .380 will penetrate a windshield even at a 45 degree angle. It penetrates 9-14″ into ballistic gelatin depending on the round composition. Some defense rounds even meet the FBI requirements for penetration, I believe. Too many people badmouth it but none of those same people would ever volunteer to be on the receiving end of one which, puts their comments about “not being a credible round” into a new perspective….

      • joe, AWD has a buddy who is a former SEAL and his carry gun is a .380. Slower than a 9mm with much better expansion.

        AWD’s daughter also carries a .380.

        awd

  13. Why the big concern over concealment????

    I put a full frame M&P 45 under a partially unbuttoned fishing/hunting shirt…..

    and I could give a $hit if you can see its outline

    If I have to “pull”…..I trust my 45.

    • RedSeeingRed

      Well, many people would say that ‘printing’ your firearm could make you a target in certain situations. I guess that is what leads me to take concealment more seriously. I do, however, live in a state where open carry is completely legal 🙂

      • Thanks for the concern……

        I’m a prior policeman and a military vet……

        I tend to watch my environment very closely.

        and my best defense is that I follow the “Derbyshire Doctrine.”

        • RedSeeingRed

          I will say that I am a huge fan of the Derbyshire Doctrine!

        • You say “you watch your environment closely”, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that when you are in a semi dangerous area there are too many bad guys who grossly outnumber you who are also watching YOU and if a gun is exposed, then YOU are at risk of someone going for it. This is why some states like Florida forbid open (or semi exposed) carry. Better to conceal it.

  14. That’s why I only have the 380 as a backup. The main idea (for me) is that if something happens to my primary weapon, a 45, or if an assailant gets into grappling range, then the 380 comes into play; The gun comes out you stick it into his belly, and start pulling the trigger. Thus the old name “belly gun”.

    The lighter caliber handguns were never meant to be the 7+ yard weapons for dueling or other fighting, they were meant for up close and sudden encounters of unfriendly men by women, then became popular for men to carry “in the big city” where open carry was becoming less accepted (late 18 early 1900s).

    Though there were a few places in Europe that issued the 380 to local police.

  15. RedSeeingRed,

    OK RSD… the women probably missed that little comment which would put you in a class with AWD – better known as Miles Long… but us savvy men caught that remark about little hands. Unfortunately I have big hands and a little…

    Nice looking weapon… bet that fits in a jacket pocket just fine.

  16. I carry what fits me and my concern is that my pistol has too much recoil etc. for my wife. I’m familiar with ballistics, penetration etc. and I’m looking for something that my wife can carry and fire without the recoil of my pistol. AWD, I read where you gave one to your daughter, what complaints/complements about the Bersa does she have? I’m used to shopping for myself but I would love some feed back on whether this is a good primary for my little filly.

    Thanks

  17. quartierleblanc

    The 380 is really never what you term a “primary weapon.” Any female can shoot a 9mm and it’s a much better cartridge. Even choices for the non +P cartridges are good and better than the 380. If you look at what female LEO like, it’s hands down the Glock 19. Scotland Yard arms its female protective officers ( equivalent of the US Secret Service with the G 26. Also if money is no object the single stack Sig in 9mm is excellent.

  18. I just can;t keep my mouth shut. I’m not big on pop guns and little mini guns you give to your gals .
    If it’s a grappling situation, grapple, maybe have a back up knife like most people do, learn gun retention.

    The point is this is what we are dealing with:
    Go to 10:12 in this video, “Straight Jacket” here likes to get side mount, hold it and bite off your nose for you.

    Felony Fights 6 – Straight Jacket vs Karate Kid 2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5PZvWgFfGU

    Lucha Mierda impresionante Gangsta! KO.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY8CUdcyAKk

  19. Hey RSR,

    If you happen to come back to your post… fast question… any problem finding ammo for this critter.

  20. I have carried a SW380 for about 20 years, I finally broke down last year and bought a Walther PPKS. My main weapons are either a XD9 sub-compact or a Colt .45 Defender. and I always carry a folder and a full tang SOG seal pup. we had an incident in Arkansas where a urban yoot barged into my wife’s hotel room and stole her purse. This could have gone bad quickly. Being on the road she didn`t have her pistol. Yeah I know, but we own a couple of trucks and federal law says guns in a CMV is a federal crime, Permit`s don`t matter. but she did have Max (our Wiem) and he isn`t much of a guard dog. so I went and bought her a Doberman. at twelve weeks he went after a guy in a truck stop that happened to get to close to my wife. he`s gonna be a mean little shit. I can`t wait to start his training.

  21. TSA to Purchase 3.5 Million Rounds of Ammunition

    Enough for its agents to fire 9,400 bullets a day, every day of the year

    Paul Joseph Watson
    Infowars.com
    August 19, 2013

    The Transportation Security Administration is set to purchase 3.5 million .357 SIG caliber bullets, enough for its agents to fire 9,400 rounds a day, every day of the year.

    Image: YouTube

    According to a solicitation issued by the agency on August 16, the TSA is looking to buy “3,454,000 rounds of .347 SIG Caliber Training Ammunition”.

  22. While I can neither confirm or deny that I may own one of these pistols, I will say that my experience has been that is does not like cheap ammo. I have had a couple of serious FTF issues. My first one was so bad it took two of us to clear the bullet from the gun. Just my experience.

    And with that, I offer this.

    “Guns are a lot like parachutes ~ If you need one and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again”

    The best presentation on gun control yet. Even if you don’t like guns, watch this!

    This should be required viewing by both sides of the issue of gun control legislation. Here is a man who knows the constitution. Bear in mind this is a “virtual” president, and like anything “virtual”, he can be anything we want him to be. And although what he says is the truth and explains the situation right down the line, he is not actually speaking to the joint members of congress or anyone else except the viewer.

    Watch the faces of some Senators in the audience.

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/_T-F_zfoDqI?rel=0

  23. GaGunslinger

    I have worked in the repo business for 10 years in the metro ATL and surrounding areas. I have a GFL (Georgia allows open or concealed if you have the license), and own many guns. Ive carried small pocket rockets 22’s to Taurus PT845 w/3 mags loaded. My favorite still and forever is the ol trusty S&W 19-5. Gramps carried one, Pops carried a 686, the S&W .357 mag revolver of any model is a total no brainer. Reliable to a fault, relatively lightweight and comfortable to carry, NO SAFETIES, predictable trigger break every time, that famous hair trigger in single action (big smiles!!), and of course STOPPING POWER TIMES 6.

  24. quartierleblanc

    I carried the Bersa this PM with my wife on one of your walks and kinda laughed at the why. Buck #1 I’ve watched for a few weeks. A 21/2 year old at 10 points. A bit thin on the main beams. He’s maybe 120 still in velvet. Buck#2 is a big 8, maybe 41/2. A cull, probably won’t get do much more. The big one is a 12, way past the ears, still slim, a 31/2 year old, still stupid letting me get this close. I don’t miss the city at all.

  25. I bought the 380 cc and really like the gun. Unfortunately, the extractor broke on it after 50 rounds of steel case Russian Truammo. When I get it back I guess I will never use the steel case ammo but do not know if I will ever trust it for concealed carry.

  26. I really loved my Bersa dua tone 380 acp for the first year. Then I had to send it off for repairs. No big deal, got it back fired it for a while, and now I’m going to have to send it back one more time. This little pistol is very accurate at 10 yards, I can keep 6 out of 8 rounds in a 3 inch shoot and see target. But if this last trip to the repair place in Texas, doesn’t resolve my issues, I’m going to complain directly with Bersa about getting a replacement pistol. I really want to be able to depend on this gun for a hot weather conceal carry, and like another poster stated, I wouldn’t want to be shot with the Winchester Ranger series ammo that I carry.

  27. Maybe as a backup, but there is just not enough firepower here. I agree that I would not want to be on the receiving end of it but it aint no man stopper. I know I will get negative feed back for this but I am a disciple of my 1911 Model 45. Yes it is cumbersome, yes it has limited catrridge capability, but it has the stopping power I want. My wife carried a 380 for years but opted out for her 9MM Glock. Just sayin.

    • QuartierLeBlanc

      The 45 ACP is overrated as a cartridge especially with the modern ammo available in other calibers. The 1911 is an obsolescent weapon. It’s great for matches and perhaps for entry teams, but there are just much better weapons out there.

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