The Bersa .380 has caught fire in the American market as an excellent concealed carry handgun. The Bersa 380 is a copy of the famed Walther PP, PPK, and PPK/S pistol series of pistol made famous by James Bond. The Bersa 380s are almost direct clones, but retain their own small touches on improving the Walther design.
Overview of the Bersa .380
The Bersa 380 is a small and capable pistol chambered in the ever growing and ever popular 380 acp cartridge. The Bersa 380 is a single stack handgun that comes with one seven round magazine. The weapon is incredibly thin and very light weight. This aids greatly in effectively concealing a weapon, especially for those of smaller statue.
When it comes to carrying the Bersa 380, the gun just disappears. The light weight makes it disappear and the thin profile keeps it extremely comfortable for all day carry. You can basically forget it’s there while you’re carrying it. The Bersa is very easy to pocket carry with the proper holster like the Blackhawk or Bulldog pocket Holsters.
Features of the Bersa .380
The Bersa 380 works on a double action single action capability, meaning you have a long and heavy trigger pull for the first shot followed by a lighter single action trigger. The double action is somewhat unpredictable, being at first very heavy and then becoming very light all of a sudden. The single action is very nice and crisp though. Since the weapon features a magazine disconnect this is bound to affect the trigger.
Firing this weapon is a real joy. Any veteran of the firing the Walther knows the blow back action makes you feel every ounce of recoil and the lack of a bobtail is going to give any shooter a good dose of slide bite.
The Bersa successfully mitigates the recoil much better. I can only assume the slightly wider grips and the longer grip with the pinky extension is what helps so much with recoil. The Bersa also adds a generous beavertail which completely erases the slide bite problems. The weapon feels very comfortable in the hand, and points very naturally.
Accuracy at fifteen yards was acceptable, but it’s important to remember a pocket pistol is not a long range weapon. You easily put rounds into the chest of a man sized target, but producing quarter sized groups at 15 yards is going to be difficult for most people who aren’t sharpshooters.
The sights are rather small, and a traditional three dot set up. The small sights do help the weapon stay compact and insuring a quick snag free draw.
The Bersa 380 hold a very attractive price point, often coming in under the hundred dollars, and almost always being less than two hundred and fifty dollars sticker price. The Bersa has a cheap price point but does not carry the stink of a cheap gun like a Davis or Raven. The Bersa is very reliable from right out of the box. You can leave home every day with the Bersa 380 and trust that it’s a reliable weapon.
Specifications of the Bersa Thunder
The Thunder 380 resembles the Walther PPk to a T. The little weapon feels very nice in the hand and is very lightweight. The pistol is built to be concealed and is quite easy to carry. The only issue is the hammer likes to dig in the body when carried inside the waistband.
The little Bersa actually features two very nice enhancements that actually outdo the weapon it’s modeled after. First off, the trigger is much lighter and less gritty than the PPK, which is surprising since the Bersa is about half the price of the Walther.
The second is recoil. The Walther tends to be quite snappy with the little 380 load, but the Bersa seems to handle it much better and feels much more comfortable to shoot. The Bersa comes with a seven round magazine, and due to its popularity, the magazines are easy to find. This is uncommon for budget priced foreign guns. The sights are a small and simple three dot system most of us are used to.
The weapon is quite accurate, and like the Walther, the fixed barrel really squeezes a lot of accuracy out of that little gun. It was easy to score chest shots at fifteen yards and even head shots if one takes their time. One has to remember this is a compact weapon for concealed carry, not a target pistol for 25 yard shots.
The Bersa Concealed Carry Thunder
The next Bersa model is their Concealed Carry Thunder. The original Bersa 380 was already an excellent concealed carry gun, but had a few rough edges. The concealed carry model takes the rough edges and smooths them out.
The hammer has also been bobbed to keep from digging in the carrier’s body. The magazine is flush with the grip and offers an eight round magazine, which if you recall is one round more than the standard Bersa Thunder. The Concealed Carry is about the same weight loaded, which is light enough to carry comfortably.
With the rough edges smoothed out, drawing this weapon is a dream. It makes a great pocket pistol, or an even better inside the waistband gun. The weapon does not suffer from having a teeny tiny grip like most pocket .380s, which makes it very comfortable to fire.
The Bersa Thunder Plus
The third Bersa is probably the most exciting. The Bersa Thunder Plus is an awesome little gun. It’s very rare a concealed carry gun can carry an excess amount of rounds. The Bersa Thunder Plus utilizes a 15 round magazine and is still chambered in .380. The Double stack mag does make the grip a little wider, and the short 380 round makes the grip still smaller than your average 9mm.
The Thunder Plus is in the same family of firearms that the Browning BDA and Beretta 84 falls into. This is a pumped up .380 that packs a lot of energy into a bit of Walther style class.
The Thunder 380 makes recoil management even easier for the first few rounds. The full magazine adds a bit of weight to the weapon, but it really balances nicely. The weapon is still concealable even with the wider grip. Its grip makes it very comfortable to fire for folks with larger hands as well.
All three Bersas are capable of being equipped with Crimson tracer laser grips. Models that come with these grips still come in cheaper than a stock Walther PPK. The weapons are also available in a variety of finishes.
You can get traditional blued, stainless steel, two tone, and even a blued and gold finish. The weapons come with only one magazine, which is a bit of a buzzkill when most modern guns come with at least two magazines.
These Bersa 380s are some of the few guns that offers a budget price with high quality. This is important for folks who can’t afford a five hundred dollar Glock or a 700 dollar Sig.
It’s the perfect gun for people who are constrained to a budget; they still deserve to be capable of bearing arms to protect themselves. Those who live in low income neighborhoods can often be in the most dangerous situations.
The Bersas are great little guns and are capable of being trusted concealed carry guns. Stay safe and keep shooting.
Best Holsters for the Bersa .380
When leaving home you should take the time to choose a good holster. Some examples are……
The Galco Stinger Bersa .380 operates on the principle that simplicity is key. The Stinger is designed for small automatic pistols and designed to be carried behind the strong side hip. The leather is high quality premium grade leather that absolutely babies the gun. The holster has an open top design with no active retention. The retention comes from the holster being molded to the weapon and an does feature a completely covered trigger guard.
The holster is available in a black finish and come in either left or right hand designs. The cant of the holster is just enough to securely take hold of the grip and draw the weapon. The cant is mild enough that it doesn’t poke or print under the cover garment. The belt loop is a tunnel style and the main benefit is that is holds the weapon as close as a pancake holster, and since it’s designed for small weapons there is no need to worry about holster sag.
Fobus Belt Holster
These days all the rage is kydez holsters. Kydex is superior to nylon in the fact it can be molded for the gun and feature a variety of retention devices both passive and active outside of a thumb strap. Kydex is superior to leather for it’s moisture and rip resistant properties, and is still able to protect the gun sufficiently.
The Fobus Belt holster is a Kydex offering for the Bersa 380 and is similar to their paddle style holsters. The main difference being between the paddle and belt is the polymer belt loop, which tends to hold the weapon higher up on the body. The Fobus Belt holster has a passive retention device built into the piece of the holster that covers the trigger guard. The open top design combined with a passive retention device insures both retention and a quick draw.
Desantis Yaqui Belt Slide Holster
The Desantis Yaqui Belt Slide holster is as small and minimalist as you can get when it comes to holsters. The Belt slide is extremely small and prevents any kind of printing. The Yaqui is a very simple design that is really nothing more than a loop to slide your gun into. Retention is addressed by a set of dual retention screws that can be adjusted and tweeked until the user is satisfied.
The trigger guard is fully covered and that’s about it. The holster makes the gun rise high, which makes it easy to conceal under an average t shirt. The Bersa 380 is so thin that this holster works wonderfully for it. This is the smallest design holster you can get and it’s light weight combined with the Bersa’s lightweight makes this an excellent package.
The Bersa 380 is an amazing budget pistol that provides a user with a small, accurate and comfortable to carry weapon. The lightweight and thin profile makes this gun an excellent pocket pistol.