June 3, 2013

Bersa Thunder 380 Plus

I figure at this point that I've shot around 10 boxes or so of .380acp through my Bersa Thunder 380 Plus. We'll just call her "Hilde". So let's call that about... 500 rounds give or take of .380.I enjoy this weapon. I think it is an excellent tradeoff between capacity, firepower and concealability- where firepower is docked the most. The BT380P, or "Hilde" is a .380acp caliber, 15 round double stack pistol that is an Argentinian PPK clone. I'm not crazy about James Bond, but the gun does look pretty neat.

I've seen quite a few accessories for this class of weapon- including the
CC model and normal Thunder. This firearm is not striker fired- it features a classic hammer with a de-cocker. One reason I bought the firearm was because of the double action trigger. On the range, at 7-8 yards I shoot approximately a 6 to 7 inch group with a double action pull. With a single action pull, which is after the first DA shot if fired that way, I can land a 3-5 inch grouping where I am aiming.

Typically my shots end up down and to the right- which means I need to work on thumb placement and grip.I originally chose the 380 caliber because it is easier to handle and I was concerned about over-penetration in the event that I ever have to use the firearm against someone who is intent on killing me. The capacity felt right, the grip felt right in my hands and the weight aids in reducing felt recoil.

There are a couple of downsides to this pistol. One is that, after 500 rounds and some wearing around the house in a Galco grip- some of the dura-coat on the outside of the weapon has worn away and has exposed the bare steel. So long as that steel is kept clean and tidy I don't see it becoming a problem- though I'll have it checked out when I leave the state.

One or two of the the grip screws like to come loose sometimes, and I am afraid of losing them. It's an easy fix though. Out of the factory I've never had to adjust my sights- it looks like you can remove them, but only adjust the rear sight for elevation. Through the first 100 rounds or so I did have a couple of failures to eject and stove pipes, but after the initial "break in" of this gun, I have never had a misfire or failure to feed. This gun has performed flawlessly passed the break in stage, and it is something I will need to depend on in the future.

I think the integral safety lock is neat- but it is something I won't need to use as I don't have kids and don't have future plans for them. If, somehow that becomes an issue I can order a new key from the Bersa importer or look for my old one. I think I kept it in the box, but I have no clue where that is by this point. Another downside is the magazines are a little tough to find and are pricey, but that's the price you pay for this package.

I purchased the gun for $400. I am happy with the concealability, the 20oz unloaded weight and the capacity. I place more stock in shot placement over stopping power. I've had second thoughts about the caliber though- because on the range I am becoming much more accurate with 9mm. Perhaps in the future I will upgrade...

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