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shotokan99
November 28, 2007, 09:12 PM
are there any members that had used .380 specifically bersa thunder 380 on an actual or real shootout? can you share your experience? i like this little gun and plan to have it soon.

tnx

Tanzer
November 28, 2007, 09:23 PM
Not buying it in anticipation of a gunfight, I hope.

tshadow6
November 28, 2007, 09:31 PM
Here is one true story. An off-duty Tampa,Fl firefighter shot his attacker once in the chest with his .380. The attacker died on the spot. My Bersa .380 likes the Remington JHP .380 round.

YounGun24
November 28, 2007, 09:37 PM
I just got my CCP last week, and have been carrying my Bersa .380 on my ankle for 4 days. No shootouts yet.:D

kgpcr
November 28, 2007, 10:59 PM
My opinion is its smaller than i would like. I am a hard core .40 fan but this "Smuch is for sure a .380 is better than no gun at all. Not my first choice but there are worse to be had. Better to have a .380 that is comfy to carry than a 1911 (I LOVE 1911's) you never carry due to size.

Jim March
November 28, 2007, 11:19 PM
With this class of gun/caliber and the 38 snubbies, you need to be REALLY picky about ammo. And in the case of a semi like the Bersa, you then need to worry about whether or not that quality ammo will feed - so you need to shoot at least 200 rounds of it, AFTER the gun is broken in with 100-200 rounds of whatever.

For ammo choices, start here:

http://www.brassfetcher.com/Various%20.380ACP%20handloads.html

This is the first time I've seen his data on the 380 as this isn't a caliber I'm personally into (I'm a wheelgun guy). What I get from it is that the 90gr XTP and Gold Dot projectiles work well enough when driven at 900fps or better. I would consider speed-testing factory with those slugs across a chrony from my gun and if they're getting enough heat, yeah, they oughta work. Other than that the 85gr Federal slug looks at least respectable.

Cor-bon's 80gr ain't punching deep enough.

tcov
November 28, 2007, 11:55 PM
I worked with a guy who shot a home invader with a Walther 380. Two shots and gun jammed. One hit an arm and other well off center of torso. Bad guy stood there whining about being shot and had to be knocked down with one punch. The guy had not practiced and tested for reliability. The police told him to shoot more than 2 shots with a 380 but that doesn't help if it jams. He now keeps a 38 for protection but is probably still a bad shot. The lesson is to practice and make shure your gun works always. I always wanted a Walther and traded for one this summer. The pistol was unreliable til after about 200 rounds of hardball. Magazine catch had a burr that needed filing. I don't consider it reliable with hollow points. I like the 380 but don't want another Walther. I have heard positive reports about the Bersa but haven't shot one.

JohnKSa
November 29, 2007, 12:02 AM
I don't consider it reliable with hollow points.Probably just as well, some experts advise carrying only FMJ in a .380 due to the fact that JHP rounds tend to penetrate less than is generally considered adequate.

shotokan99
November 29, 2007, 01:01 AM
actually from other threads...folks always suggest 38 snub is alot better choice than .380. the only thing that attracts me with .380 is the size....plus reloading is easy compared to wheelgun.

BPCustomShop
November 29, 2007, 01:19 AM
I have carried the Thunder 380 and used Federal Hydra-Shoks. No problems with feeding. A friend of mine has used the same pistol in a defense situation, also with same ammo. He had an attacker try to car-jack him with a knife. He shot him 3 times and he died straight away. What's the old saying? Don't bring a knife to a gun fight!

tshadow6
November 29, 2007, 06:29 AM
A .380 in your pocket beats a .45 in your gun safe. My Bersa is reliable with ball ammo and Remington JHPs. I haven't shot it with any other top brand hollowpoints yet. With 9 rounds in the piece and at least one spare magazine, you should be "good to go."

FM12
November 29, 2007, 08:47 AM
Got to agree with Tshadow6 here...you won't carry a heavy, uncomfortable sidearm very long.

I had a Bersa and really liked it, it functioned well and was reliable.

Got to also agree with JohnKSa (always good to agree with the staff, don't you think?) also...I carry FMJ in my Colt .380. Much more dependable and better penetration.

ISP2605
November 29, 2007, 09:07 AM
Not the Bersa particularly but several incidents with .380.
On 10/02/96 while doing an arrest on a fed fugitive he opened up on us with a TEC-9 in one hand and a Colt Mustang .380 in the other, firing 11 rds at us. Both were loaded with FMJ. On the receiving end you couldn't tell the difference between the 2 calibers, they sounded the same indoors. He ended up shooting himself in the head with the .380. The rd entered in front of and just above the right ear, exited to the rear and just above the left ear, went thru the upholstering of a chair, went thru 1/2" drywall, and stopped in about 1" of 2X4 stud.
We use to issue PPK to senior command who wanted them. Issued ammo was W-W Silvertip. One of our guys shot a subject at about arms length distance. Rd hit the guy center just below the rib cage and came to rest up against the spine.
Investigated a few shootings where .380 was used but none of them hit vitals.

markj
November 29, 2007, 10:46 AM
some experts advise carrying only FMJ in a .380

I use only FMJ in everything I shoot or carry. In actual testing on real flesh HP bounce off ribs, do not penetrate much etc. FMJ works every time for me. We use animal carcases for our testing.

SundownRider
November 29, 2007, 12:18 PM
Just shot my new (to me) Interarms Walther PPK 380 with Winchester WinFree ammo.

Completely reliable for the 100 rounds I shot, no failures to feed, fire, or extract.

Accuracy was incredible, and one handed shooting was equally impressive.

Would have no hesitation carrying or defending.

obxned
November 29, 2007, 02:19 PM
Most data from actual real world use shows that the JHPs give better results than the FMJs. Since these results are old, and while FMJs stay the same, JHPs keep improving, I will choose JHPs.

I would be happy with any of the current production premium JHPs, but I like the DoubleTap Gold Dots best!

shotokan99
November 29, 2007, 09:47 PM
i read in some threads, that small pistols like bersa 380 has less fear factor compared to full-size 1911s. how true is this?

JohnKSa
November 29, 2007, 11:16 PM
Most data from actual real world use shows that the JHPs give better results than the FMJs.I think this is true in general, the problem is that at the .380ACP energy levels you can't get any decent amount of expansion without paying an unacceptable penalty in penetration. Even the newest expanding loads in .380 show penetration levels that are too shallow if you believe what the FBI states as a minimum.

Timeframe
November 30, 2007, 05:14 PM
Need to look at what Cor Bonn is bring out in defense ammo for smaller calibers.Suddenly my .380 Mak isn't so bad after all.

Jim March
November 30, 2007, 08:43 PM
Interesting new options:

http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#380

JohnKSa
November 30, 2007, 10:23 PM
Interesting new options:Well, sorta...

First of all, hotrodding ammunition intended primarily for blowback action firearms strikes me as a bad idea.

Second, two of the three rounds are non-expanding rounds. Which is odd because .380 doesn't need extra power to get sufficient penetration with non-expanding rounds. All those loads will do is put a lot more wear on your gun & wallet and a hurting on whatever is behind your attacker.

As far as the expanding round goes, at least they're realistic about its use. "...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."

matthew temkin
December 1, 2007, 07:58 AM
A buddy of mine was covering a detail for one of his company's security guards who called in sick one night many moons ago.
The job was guarding a warehouse and he saw a guy stealing some stuff.
He walked up to the perp, drew his Walter PPK in .380 and proudly announced, "I got you!!"
Seconds later they were rolling on the ground, the perp pounding my buds head, screaming, "Who's got who, pig!!"
My friend then fired two contact shots into the bad guys ribs, which prompted him to get to his feet, dust himself off and tell my bud, "You shouldn't be trying to scare someone with a damn cap gun" before walking out the door.
Police found him lying in a pool of blood about 3 blocks from the crime scene, still very much alive.
Soon after this my bud bought a 9mm S&W.

MyGunsJammed
December 1, 2007, 09:19 AM
matthew temkin A buddy of mine was covering a detail for one of his company's security guards who called in sick one night many moons ago.
The job was guarding a warehouse and he saw a guy stealing some stuff.
He walked up to the perp, drew his Walter PPK in .380 and proudly announced, "I got you!!"
Seconds later they were rolling on the ground, the perp pounding my buds head, screaming, "Who's got who, pig!!"
My friend then fired two contact shots into the bad guys ribs, which prompted him to get to his feet, dust himself off and tell my bud, "You shouldn't be trying to scare someone with a damn cap gun" before walking out the door.
Police found him lying in a pool of blood about 3 blocks from the crime scene, still very much alive.
Soon after this my bud bought a 9mm S&W.


This story was kinda funny lol....but sucks for your friend who got jumped though....

matthew temkin
December 1, 2007, 11:55 AM
I agree..he was also guilty of bad tactics.
I prefer a .38 snub for concealment, yet I know of quite a few failure to stop instances with that caliber.

shotokan99
December 2, 2007, 09:53 PM
sounds funny..but is it really true? why is there really a big difference when it comes to power between .380 and .38 coming from snub revo?

CrazyIvan007
December 3, 2007, 12:46 PM
sounds funny..but is it really true? why is there really a big difference when it comes to power between .380 and .38 coming from snub revo?

A .38 Revolver round holds a lot more powder than a .380 auto round.

Check this:

http://www.sff.net/people/sanders/ammo.jpg

As far as stopping power, I consider my .380 fine for self defense.

dawg23
December 4, 2007, 04:32 PM
For ammo choices, start here:

http://www.brassfetcher.com/Various%...handloads.html


1. You all need to keep in mind that the .380 test results from the above-listed site are handloads.

2. You need to pay attention what JohnSKa has posted. I think this is true in general, the problem is that at the ..380 ACP energy levels you can't get any decent amount of expansion without paying an unacceptable penalty in penetration. Even the newest expanding loads in .380 show penetration levels that are too shallow if you believe what the FBI states as a minimum.

3. I have owned a Kel-Tec .380 for several years (bought one of the first ones). In addition to the very common reliability problems (mine has been back to the factory twice), I have yet to find a factory round that will expand reliably AND penetrate to the depths recommended by the FBI test protocols.

I bought my .380 solely as a BUG. I have replaced it with a J-frame .38. My EDC is still a Glock 19 (9mm) with Winchester 127 gr. +p+ Ranger T ammo.

4. in case I didn't mention it, listen to JohnSKa. :)

45Marlin carbine
December 4, 2007, 04:59 PM
several countrys in Europe use it for police. it is surely a close-range round. I carry a Makarov myself, have a BDA I used as security. that's what them over 5-shot clips is for, more lead if needed.

Superhouse 15
December 4, 2007, 06:49 PM
Well, I worked two calls recently involving .380s and FMJ ammo. One was a contact wound to the mouth, bullet exited, travelled through a two interior walls and lodged in a back bedroom wall. The second involved two contact shots one to the mouth and one to the head. One exited and lodged in the ceiling above the victim, the other remained in the skull. First gun was a LLama, second a Davis and Lorcin. Lessons.... Placement is everything.

shotokan99
December 4, 2007, 10:35 PM
@CrazyIvan007 with regards to your chart, you are trying to convey a message that .38 is much stronger compared to .380 due to its size?

to other folks. correct me if im wrong but it seems that most are so concerned with the power of a single shot. what happend to the so-called follow-up shots? personally, if im armed with .380, 2 shots on chest area and finishing to the head. and can you tell which one hurts more, if i shoot you with .380 on your right leg and .45 on your left?

JohnKSa
December 5, 2007, 02:00 AM
A .38 Revolver round holds a lot more powder than a .380 auto round.Actually, while there's ROOM for a lot more powder, the industry standard pressure limitations on the .38special round mean that the amount of powder actually used in the two rounds is much more similar in practice than one might expect.

Line Rider
December 5, 2007, 09:00 AM
The only experience I have had with a Bersa .380 has been that a friend of mine bought a Bersa Thunder back in the mid 1980's. I've never seen a gun jam so much as that one, and it would only feed FMJ. Since then, I've always stayed away from Bersa products.

I would rather have a GL19.

CrazyIvan007
December 5, 2007, 11:20 AM
As far as a PPK clone, I have an FEG Mark II, APK .380. It has proven to be suprisingly reliable and very accurate. I bought it as a carry gun, but it is a bit too heavy for my taste, being fully blued steel.

http://www.geocities.com/banzaibrothers2002/Guns/ACPs/FEG/FEG2-small.jpg

I have heard many positive comments on Bersa Thunder. Here is a review putting the FEG up against the Bersa:

http://www.gunblast.com/RKCampbell_PMKvsBersa.htm

The Tourist
December 5, 2007, 11:34 AM
Not buying it in anticipation of a gunfight, I hope.

For the purposes of this debate, we could say that about any caliber. My belief is that CCW is more a choice of 'readiness.' I also own a spare tire.

But parts of this debate always amaze me. Without fail, someone published power charts and slants the discussuion to the lethality of the lowly .380 ACP.

I was once criticized here for asking the simple question, "Would you attack me?"

That observation hinges on the fact that I am most likely to be near a .380 ACP pistol in circumstances where safety and security are an issue.

Yes, we all own larger pistols and revolvers. But I doubt that many of us tote a SW 500 in a tanker holster "just in case."

In fact, I think most people probably "over carry" for the first periods of time with a shiny new CCW license. Then they get tired of the heft, and look around for something like a light framed Smith J-frame.

I'm not a mercenary. I'm a guy concerned about safety. I lock doors, I buy good windows.

And I believe most macho guys will sing falsetto pleading for their mothers as a good guy starts fighting back with a .380 ACP pistol.

Jay1958
December 5, 2007, 03:19 PM
I have a Bersa T380CC with over 950 rounds thru it - FMJ, HP, many different brands - this pistol has never had a jam, FTF, FTE - absolutely zero problems.

Any gun can jam. Yes, some are more prone than others, and quality varies, I understand that. Even the vaunted Glock can jam, though. I was in a Self-defense pistol class with a guy that had a Glock 17 and it jammed several times. My Ruger jammed not once. What does that prove? Nothing.

The only experience I have had with a Bersa .380 has been that a friend of mine bought a Bersa Thunder back in the mid 1980's. I've been seen a gun jam so much as that one, and it would only feed FMJ. Since then, I've always stayed away from Bersa products.

Silvanus
December 5, 2007, 04:05 PM
several countrys in Europe use it for police

Only the one's that can't afford something better. Some police forces even use 7,65mm pistols because they don't have the funds for anything better. All of those who have enough money use 9mms.

shotokan99
December 5, 2007, 08:35 PM
@Silvanus -- does it mean, that folks who settle for bersa are considered 2nd class citizen?

.380 recieved alot of under estimates..i even heard comments like better than a stick. would you feel undergun if what you got is a tiny 380 like bersa, where as others are bulging with their well-decorated 1911?

TexasSeaRay
December 5, 2007, 09:02 PM
Had an AUSA hit a big, leather-clad biker with three Glasers out of his PPK. Biker died, AUSA lived.

Jeff

orionengnr
December 5, 2007, 10:40 PM
A .38 Revolver round holds a lot more powder than a .380 auto round.

You are aware that the 38 SPL was originally a black powder round, yes? As such, it required substantial case capacity to hold enough black powder to propel the bullet at a moderate rate.

Compared to the 9mm, the 38 has much larger case capacity, but that is misleading.

My Hornady manual shows that a 124 gr 9mm uses 5.1 gr of Unique to achieve 1100 fps, while a 125 gr 38 spl uses 6.1 gr of the same powder to achieve 100 fps less (1000 fps). The results are similar for W-231 powder.

The .38 Spl case towers over the 9mm, but size comparisons between cases is irrelevant, especially when one case is filled largely with air...

computerguysd
December 6, 2007, 12:21 AM
In the winters of South Dakota I don't carry my Sig P232 much, although it's the most naturaly accurate shooter for me. The amount of insulated clothing worn in the winter is a concern even at close ranges, and as a civilian I have no business firing "long range" in self defense.

Winter carry is either a S&W 649 .357 or a Sig P239 in .40 caliber.

Summer carry is generally a Sig P232 in .380, Sig P239 in 9mm/.40 cal or the S&W 649 in .357.

BUG (if carried) is a S&W 642 in .38

:cool:

The Tourist
December 6, 2007, 12:32 AM
Had an AUSA hit a big, leather-clad biker...died

What kind of bike? Nice Harley? Fair price?

It was a .380 ACP, heh? But I've been reading here that a teeny little caliber like that is simply not enough gun...

TexasSeaRay
December 6, 2007, 01:21 AM
What kind of bike? Nice Harley? Fair price?

It was a .380 ACP, heh? But I've been reading here that a teeny little caliber like that is simply not enough gun...

The guy was a Bandito wannabe. This was back in the 80's during the Bandito federal trials in Texas. Jacked up methhead took it upon himself to stalk one of the AUSA's who was prosecuting. The wannabe followed prosecutor to a take-out restaurant and then accosted him with a knife. AUSA happened to be a former Marine who carried a PPK. A few seconds later, the AUSA was fine and short three Glasers. The Banditos were now short one wannabe and facing the wrath of the prosecutorial team.

Don't remember what kinda Harley this loser was riding. One of the U.S. Marshals seized it. I looked it over, but I honestly don't know one Harley from another.

Calibre wars/arguements amuse the hell out of me. Those who can always put their bullet wherever they want whenever don't really care what round they have so long as the weapon firing the round can be trusted.

A .38 Revolver round holds a lot more powder than a .380 auto round.

It can, but it doesn't always.

I load 3.4 grains of AA#2 in my 380ACP rounds, but only 2.7 grains of Bullseye in my 38 Spcl WC rounds.

Jeff

The Tourist
December 6, 2007, 01:45 AM
Calibre wars/arguements amuse the hell out of me. Those who can always put their bullet wherever they want whenever don't really care

I agree. However I think the guys who shot IPSC have a leg up on the rest of us idiots.

The concept of "hurrying slowly" has always focused me on doing the basics (half breath, front sight, smooth take-up) while the rest of the world was banging and clanging around.

While my eyesight has always been good, Terry convinced me to use those great big Millett red/white sights, and it did help me focus on the front sight. Yikes, how could you miss it!

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb231/TheTourist_bucket/Tussey.jpg

However, I'm comfortable with quality, reliable functioning .380 ACPs. I've even thought about installing some form of brightly colored Novak or Millett sights suitable for the smaller CZ 83.

You've got to hit it to win it, and I do just fine with my little pistols.

WNTFW
December 6, 2007, 01:52 AM
Sadly the last officer to get killed in the line of duty here was shot with a .380 The bullet missed his vest. He was a nice young man by all accounts. There is no guarantee one way or the other with gunshot wounds.

I carried a .380 PPK/S for years & liked it alot. Never worried about the round. I was younger then. The PPK was easy to carry & I liked the controls. Not as many competing guns when I got it though. I bought used from my high school teacher after I graduated.

The only bad thing is the safety is opposite of some pistols, if you switch back & forth it can mess with you. I assume the Bersa is the same.

Silvanus
December 6, 2007, 07:15 AM
@Silvanus -- does it mean, that folks who settle for bersa are considered 2nd class citizen?

.380 recieved alot of under estimates..i even heard comments like better than a stick. would you feel undergun if what you got is a tiny 380 like bersa, where as others are bulging with their well-decorated 1911?

What the...:confused:

Second class citizen?

I'm just stating a fact. I wanted to clarify some misconceptions a few people got about European police. A lot of Americans believe that "we" think of 7.65mm and 9mm kurz as "big calibers". That's just not true.

Did I make fun of police forces who have to rely on old, obsolete pistols in marginal calibers? No. I'm just saying that those who use guns like that, use them because they can't afford new equipment. That's a fact and has nothing to do with what I think of a certain caliber or not.

I recently read an article in a firearms magazine about a Portuguese "Swat" team. They received training from an American/Portuguese Security company. They had a lot 7.65 Berettas and some old German SMGs. They certainly didn't use those because they are good guns. The Berettas jammed constantly. They are slowly upgrading to Glocks and MP5s now.

And just for the record, I personally am a big fan of the 9mm Luger. My HD gun is a Glock 17 loaded with 9mm FMJs. A lot of people think a 9mm is not enough and only the most expensive hollow point will do the job. I don't care about that. I know what I can do with that gun and ammo and that is more than enough. And I would definitely not feel "undergunned" with a .380 Bersa. I think for self defence a 9mm short is good enough. But I can't carry anyway and there are many compact 9mms, so I don't see the point of owning one.

DWARREN123
December 6, 2007, 09:18 AM
I do not know about wound ability but my Bersa has had over 700 rounds of different types/brands and never had a hiccup. A good, accurate and reliable handgun.

f8lranger4x4
December 6, 2007, 09:45 AM
Haveing a .380 beats sticks and rocks anyday

7712drb
December 6, 2007, 11:40 PM
I have both a Bersa .380 and a Walther PPK/S. Minimum jamming problems with all types of ammo. Bersa is more fun to shoot. It seems I usually grab my S & W Model 442 J Frame in 38 Special. It has ALWAYS been 100 %.

Lawyer Daggit
December 7, 2007, 12:01 AM
The question is ALWAYS where the target was hit. I am sure a perpetrator would not walk two blocks if both lungs were perforated.

The Tourist
December 7, 2007, 12:40 AM
I am sure a perpetrator would not walk two blocks if both lungs were perforated.

I also believe that. I also am a believer that shot placement trumps just about every aspect of cartridge debates.

And just as small caliber weapons are responsible for most of the fatalities recorded, just where do you draw the line?

When do you decide on a .32 rather than a .25, or a .38 SPL over a .380 ACP?

Doggieman
December 7, 2007, 01:41 AM
I also believe that. I also am a believer that shot placement trumps just about every aspect of cartridge debates.


Of course. That's not even an issue. I could kill a man with a safety pin if I could place it right where I wanted to. Shot placement is hands down the most important thing, but it's also hands down the thing that we have the least control over in a gunfight. So to debate shot placement vs. anything else is meaningless.

I just switched from JHP in my guns to FMJ in all of them. For the past couple of years I've firmly believed that 380 and below should use FMJ, and 38 spl and above could use JHP (38 being kind of on the edge).

However, I've since switched to FMJ for legal reasons. I think they do an adequate job and I'm more worried about post-shooting prosecution than I am about getting shot. From my legal studies I've realized that if a DA decides to charge you and you used JHP, it will look very bad. And if a perp sues you after the fact, you can bet his lawyer will play the JHP card.