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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've always thought with a name like "Thunder" a 380 should be exceptional. Now I am not knocking the single stack Bersa's, but come on if you gonna shoot something called thunder it should be thunderous. Enter the 15 round Bersa thunder plus. I have been looking for over two years for a plus version of this PPK clone, but lack of inventory and high prices, on the few out there hiding in little gun stores kept me from making a deal. Well finally the Argentine cowboys and RSA brought another shipment to the US. These are starting to show up in 4 versions; Black on black, the cool combat version with fde on black, the ole pinky on black version, and the pistol I purchased - the all chromed version.

I ordered this from my favorite retail shipper; Buds Gun Shop. They always provide quick shipping and and good prices. This one was $343 on the day I ordered it + a $15 transfer fee. So for $358 I got my thunderous Bersa.

P2250002bb.jpg The pistol comes in a cheap plastic box, with one magazine, a frame lock and a manual.
P3010018bb.jpg The chrome finish is a satin texture with maybe a bit of copper in the mix. The hard rubber wrap around grips are pretty good for control and look ok. The magazine has good internals, an alloy follower, but the sheet metal stamping is very thin. Loading the 15th round was hard, so I loaded up this magazine and the two extras I ordered with 15 rounds (my index finger is still in pain) and let them set for 3 days. FYI one of the mags has a hitch when trying to load past the first round, I was able to force it to break free , but will be asking RSA for a replacement.
P3010031bb.jpg Once you master the take down it is easy-peasy to take down and reassemble. I polished both the frame and breech feed ramps, the slide ramp and lightly polished the rails. I also ended up having to sand and polish sharp edges of the lower sides of the beavertail to keep it from hurting my fleshy hand. Here are the specs:


  • 3-Dot Sight System

    for the perfect sight picture
  • Micro-Polished Bore

    with sharp, deep rifling for greater accuracy
  • Decocker

    for safer concealed carry
  • Integral Locking System

    for the ultimate in safety
  • Lifetime Service Contract

    for original owner
  • 15 Round Magazine Capacity

    for plenty of firepower
  • Combat-Style Trigger Guard

    Accommodates gloves or two-handed grip


  • Barrel Length
3.5"

  • Front Sight​
Dovetail

  • Rear Sight​
Notched-Bar Dovetail

  • Grips
Rubber

  • Construction​
Alloy Frame / Steel Slide


  • [*=left]Length
6.6"


  • [*=left]Height
4.9"


  • [*=left]Width
1.35"

  • Weight with full magazine 26.3 oz's
  • Trigger pull 8lbs DA / 4.5lbs SA

The frame is an alloy but all the controls, trigger, hammer, sights and internals are steel. It has rear cocking serrations and an easy to rack slide. The slide to frame fit is tight and the extended magazine release is easy to actuate and pushed the mags out with authority. This is a blow back pistol and the mounted barrel is steel with great rifling.

P3010010.JPG Shooting impressions; As usual there is little recoil with this 380, the sight picture is decent enough. I did have to move the rear sight a bit as you can see by the hits off to the left of the sticky target. But once I got the POI down, it tore the center out at 15 yards. There is about 5/8" of travel in DA before the hammer drops, in SA there is 1/8" of travel before the break. The trigger is not mushy, but not a crisp Glock like break either. So far I have put 150 rounds of Remington UMC and PMC ball ammo with no issues. Also 30 rounds of Fiocchi Xtrema XTP hollowpoints with no problems. But as with most of my 380's Fiocchi ball ammo will not feed.
P3010022bb.jpg I plan on running another 100 rounds through it before it will be ready for defensive use. But overall the Thunder plus does not disappoint and is worthy of a place in my rotation. Here it is with my other compact 380 the Walther PK380. They are pretty close in size and weight and are both good pistols for the 380 crowd.
 

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Awesome! I love the Bersa Thunder/Firestorm 380 pistols, and the double-stack "Plus" versions pretty much own the market these days for those who desire a high-capacity .380 pistol.

I very nearly bought one a couple years ago when I got the news that the new production Walther PPK(/S) models had been suspended indefinitely, but ended up finding a LNiB Smith & Wesson PPK/S-1. One of these days I'll probably end up getting a Bersa Thunder 380 Combat Plus.

It's funny, a lot of folks compare the Bersa Thunder to the Walther PPK/S, but it's honestly more of a hybrid between the Walther PPK/S and the SIG P232 which improves on both in some ways like the external slide stop (which neither the PPK/S nor the P232 have) and more of a straight shot from the magazine into the chamber which improves reliability in terms of feeding.
 

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"a crisp Glock like break?"

Silver, really? Very well done review, but "crisp Glock like break?? :confused: You want a crisp trigger, get something made of steel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"a crisp Glock like break?"

Silver, really? Very well done review, but "crisp Glock like break?? :confused: You want a crisp trigger, get something made of steel.
hmmm. now that you mention it - I guess it isn't like the boingggg break on a Glock..Teehee
 

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T380 Duo Tone- My first "real" pistol and still one of my very favorites.
 

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...which is steel, but has the worst trigger of anything I own.

How easy to reach is the decocker on the Bersa? Is it a safety too, like on a Makarov?
 
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I have never met a Bersa thunder that I didn't like!
and I have met a few over the years, got 2 now.
 
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"a crisp Glock like break?"

Silver, really? Very well done review, but "crisp Glock like break?? :confused: You want a crisp trigger, get something made of steel.
yea, and it don't hurt to be made in Italy, and of course have a virtual hand built weapon with a single action trigger that's fully adjustable!!!
course they cost more than 350 bucks too!
but this is seriously one sweet pistol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
...which is steel, but has the worst trigger of anything I own.

How easy to reach is the decocker on the Bersa? Is it a safety too, like on a Makarov?

I don't have to break my grip to actuate it, and yes it will act as a safety as well.
 
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