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Old November 13, 2012, 02:12 PM   #1
Southern Shooter
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Daughter Wants Her Bersa Thunder .380 for Winter Time CCW....

My daughter wants her Bersa Thunder .380 for CCW because she "likes" it and enjoys shooting it. She handles it quite well but I think she should carry her snub .38 Special.

Where she lives, Utah, it is common for folks to wear thick winter clothes and I believe the heavier weight bullets fired by a .38 Special would be more effective in a defensive situation. So we are at odds on this issue. Of course, she is 21, can make her own decisions and does not need my permission.

Am I worrying about nothing? Is my argument worth pushing with her? If she continues to insist on the Bersa Thunder .380 what can she do to maximize its performance in terms of self-defense?

Thanks
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:51 PM   #2
aarondhgraham
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FMJ ammo possibly?

Perhaps ball ammo would be appropriate for winter usage.

There have ben many threads on the topic of penetration through heavy clothing,,,
Someone always mentions ball ammo so I thought I might be the first.

Aarond

.
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:56 PM   #3
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A good FMJ would be my thought as well.

At the end of the day I think we all know she will carry what she wants - if she is anything like the women I know that is

I usually go back to my Beretta in the winter (Bersa is the summer gun), but that is mostly due to the fact that I can get away with a larger gun more so than lack of confidence in the .380
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Old November 13, 2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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Women and cats,,,

Quote:
...she will carry what she wants - if she is anything like the women I know that is.
"Women and cats will do as they please,,,
Men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea"

True dat!

Aarond

.
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Old November 13, 2012, 04:19 PM   #5
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Hornady Critical Defense .380 ??

This is the only stuff that seems to split the difference between FMJ and hollow point performances.

http://www.hornady.com/assets/files/...eakthrough.pdf

http://www.hornady.com/store/380-Aut...tical-Defense/
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Old November 13, 2012, 06:04 PM   #6
K4THRYN
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ya, hornady critical defense would work.

or corbon powerball.

either would make HP performance on winter clothing less of an issue for her bersa (if she really likes that better).
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Old November 13, 2012, 06:52 PM   #7
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Bersa makes a good gun. I don't own one but if I was looking for a 380 I would give it a serious look.

As to ammo, stick with FMJ. Odds of hollow point opening ain't real strong, unless you got the cash to buy 'designer loads' and reliability improves.
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Old November 13, 2012, 07:56 PM   #8
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cold weather carry issues; winter...

If it were me, I'd advise my daughter or any other concealed license holder/armed citizen to get a better sidearm than a Bersa .380acp for cold weather carry.
A .44spl DA only snub like a Charter Arms Bulldog or a Ruger LCR .357magnum revolver would be good.
A semi-auto DA only like a SIG Sauer P224 DAK or a P290 with a laser makes sense. The 9x19mm & .357sig work best for compacts.
Larger calibers like the 10mm, .40S&W or .45acp would do well in colder weather but may be harder to control.
Keep in mind things like gloves, heavy jackets, leather etc may not work with smaller rounds like the .380acp or 9x18mm.
She should carry the largest caliber in the smallest format she can safely handle.

CF
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Old November 13, 2012, 08:14 PM   #9
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What a coincidence. I also like my Bersa Thunder 380 and enjoy shooting it. I even carry it!

Depending on how I carry it, I often use the optional 9-round mag for a capacity of 10 rounds, with a spare 7-round mag in a pocket. I use Buffalo Bore .380 ammo labeled "+P" (yes, I know there is no such thing officially) 95gr JHP. They also make a 100gr hard-cast flat-nosed lead if you want to go for non-expanding with plenty of penetration.

Keep in mind that .380, 9mm, .38 special, and .357 magnum all punch an identical-sized hole if the round doesn't expand, so it may be just as good as the .38 if heavy clothing plugs a JHP.

Hard to decide if five .38s would be better than ten .380s until after the gunfight.
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Old November 13, 2012, 08:27 PM   #10
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Wait, let me get this right: your 21-year-old daughter will carry a handgun, has determined which of her firearms she shoots best and will practice with the most often, and you're quibbling with her about her decision?

Count your blessings here. Dad, she's done her own homework, so now it's time to let her grow up and make her own decisions.

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Old November 13, 2012, 08:29 PM   #11
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IMO the best load for the .380 is BuffaloBores 100gr hardcast, at 1150 fps it delivers 294 ft-lbs of energy. Its the hardest hitting .380 ammo on the market.

The hardcast load will give you all the penetration of ball ammo, but since its lead it will deform on its way through causing more damage than ball ammo.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=127
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:03 AM   #12
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Yes, PAX...

Yes, PAX...my daughter has wanted to carry for a long time. She started shooting handguns with me when she was about 8 and goes to the range on her own...no guys needed to help in her opinion...ha ha. She decided to get her CCW permit on her own...actually, she asked for the money to take the class and for the the application fee as an early birthday present. She did the leg work. And, when her CCW card came in the mail she could not wait to call me and tell me about it. I am a proud papa. ha ha

She is my little girl even at 5' 2"...guess I am still trying to protect her. What am I thinking. This is the same girl that goes jogging on mountain trails on her own, scheduled and paid for a study abroad class in Amman, Jordan on her own, scheduled and paid for a sky diving experience on her own, joined a boxing gym on her own, etc....hhmmmmmmmmm She seems to make some good personal enhancement decisions.
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Last edited by Southern Shooter; November 14, 2012 at 12:16 AM.
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:36 AM   #13
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I agree with your concern, however the better message is regardless of caliber, it's where you put the holes in the goblin that count. Focus on that, maybe her mind with change with time maybe it will not, however I will take the person who puts the 380 COM any day over one who gets the "near miss"
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Old November 14, 2012, 02:36 AM   #14
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I am definitely not trying to insult you, but the internet sure has a way of magnifying problems, even genuine ones, with a cartridge. If you were to base your opinions purely on gun forums, you'd think shooting .40 S&W was like holding a stick of dynamite and .380 was a BB gun.

Keep in mind that 9mm short has been a popular European police loading for decades. It gets pretty cold in parts of Europe too, and people wear coats there, too.

Is the .380 a duty cartridge, in the same league as 9mm/.40/.45? Absolutely not. In a full-size gun you're better served with a larger cartridge. But in a small gun, it nicely bridges the gap between concealment and power.

I carry my LCP year-round. I shoot well with it and it wears easily so I am carrying 100% of the time that I legally can.

Her confidence and comfort with her weapon system are paramount. If she trusts the Thunder and is comfortable and familiar with it, her proficiency with the system will more than make up for the .380's moderate performance
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:38 AM   #15
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Southern Shooter, I'm jealous. My wife refuses to carry a gun or even own a gun of her own. And yet she very often walks to her car after work for several blocks through bad neighborhoods after dark. I finally got her to carry pepper spray but she recently admitted to me that it's usually lost at the bottom of her purse.
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Old November 14, 2012, 04:02 AM   #16
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1. have a gun.
2. have a gun that you are comfortable with, confident with, and proficient with.

From here you may gain a little from caliber choice and bullet type, but don't sacrifice 1 or 2.

If she wants to carry the Bersa she will. Something else she might just leave at home.
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Old November 14, 2012, 06:30 AM   #17
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A heavier bullet out of a 38 snub is only marginally better than a 380 at best.
I can shoot a LCP or my Bersa 380 far better than any 38 snub I've owned especially a LCR, which is the worst gun I ever owned from a accuracy and physical discomfort standpoint.
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Old November 14, 2012, 06:57 AM   #18
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Use enough gun...

Just as important as; have a gun, is "Use enough gun!"
The 21 year old may be cute & have a Charlie's Angels stance but a .44spl, a snub .357magnum or a .357sig will do much better than a .380acp.

Clyde
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:12 AM   #19
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This is a lot to do about nothing. She carries and practices with her .380 and is clearly comfortable with it. I'd suggest FMJ ammo and call it good.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:30 AM   #20
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I'd be happy that an independent young Lady like your daughter, who trail walks and gets out and about has enough sense to carry a firearms for self defense. Maybe later on she will upgrade.
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Old November 14, 2012, 10:51 AM   #21
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Southern Shooter,

That's just pure awesome, with a side of awesomesauce.

pax
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Old November 19, 2012, 08:35 PM   #22
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Iam glad she got her permit , shoots and owns a Bersa Nothing wrong with the 380 I have the 44spl 45acp 38spl but still a 380 on me more than other
I think Critical Defense will do her fine . I uselly say Corbon or BB DPX load but winter fo with the CD

Tell here to come visit http://bersachat.com
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Old November 26, 2012, 06:46 AM   #23
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Southern Shooter:

Count your Blessings. It sounds like you have raised a great daughter. I tend to side with those who believe proficiency and comfort trump caliber size. Like many have said before me; "It's better to have the .380 in your pocket, than the 105 mm howitzer left at home." I don't own a .380 yet, but still believe it is a great round for a concealed carry pistol, where small size and light weight are so important. I mostly carry an early 80s S&W Mod 60. But if my wife were to buy me, say a Ruger LCP for Christmas, I probably would carry it as often, if not more so, than my S&W .38 special. Both rounds have a proven track record and I would feel confident that either would be sufficient for self-defense against the typical two legged predator. Heck, I might even carry both at the same time.

Last edited by Rifleman1952; November 26, 2012 at 06:56 AM.
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Old November 26, 2012, 11:11 AM   #24
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Yep... Count your blessings SS... She could've fallen in love with a .22.

.380 isn't bad... I carry one about half the time.
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Old November 26, 2012, 04:21 PM   #25
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Practice those head shots.
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