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Old April 16, 2013, 09:20 PM   #1
.38Catt
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A Tale of Two Bersas

Greetings, All!

Okay, had a Nickle Thunder .380 I got in 2003. Had it for 8 years. Flawless.
Got stupid, traded it.

1 year ago, I bought a blue Thunder .380. Had some FTF with Rem. 88 grn as well as Win. XTP. Figured it needed a break-in, or so I hoped.

Next trip to the range. Few rounds, then pull trigger, no bang, pull, pull pull, bang. Slide fails to fully return. Regroup. Hard trigger pull, bang! Pull, pull, pull...nothing. Pull back slide, slide stuck. Damn. Ship through dealer to one of the Bersa contractors. Two months later...

At the Range, last round fails to feed, a few times.

Okay, so I am done with this gun. Will be sold with full discloser (spelling?)

So, thoughts? I really like the thounder .380. I am considering going with the .380 cc.

Is the quality slipping at Bersa? Did I just get a lemon? Have you ever bought a different gun of the same model after a bad experience? Does finish make a difference?

What is your experience?

.38Catt
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Old April 16, 2013, 09:40 PM   #2
Wreck-n-Crew
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My (wife's now) Thunder is about 5 yrs old and no issues. but it sounds now like the magazine.
IS it the original? Either way, you build a few thousand of anything and one crapper slides off the assembly line.
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Old April 16, 2013, 09:41 PM   #3
ttarp
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Sorry to hear the trouble you've had, make sure you're using factory magazines, or you will most likely have the feeding issues as you've described.
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Old April 16, 2013, 09:49 PM   #4
.38Catt
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Thanks. Yep. FTFs have been with the original mag that came with this firearm.

.38Catt
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Old April 17, 2013, 12:10 AM   #5
Bamashooter
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Is sending it in to Bersa to be checked by them an option? If you like the gun don't give up just yet.
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Old April 17, 2013, 07:31 AM   #6
qwiksdraw
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Have you tried 95 gr ammo? For a new gun with stiffer springs, the 95 gr might be a better choice to start shooting.
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Old April 17, 2013, 07:56 AM   #7
lee n. field
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Quote:
What is your experience?
Bersa .45, about 3 years old. I'm the second owner. It's been fine. Based on that, I'd give a .380 a try.

If you're the first owner, it's under warranty. Send it in.
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Old April 17, 2013, 08:44 AM   #8
valent
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My .380CC has been perfect for the first 300 rounds. No problems with Remington, Blazer and Hornady amunition. It still is, but no more ammo. Based on reports, certain percentage of Bersa firearms has performance problems, but that can be stated for almost any firearm company. The only difference seems to be the percentage. We,ve heard of small Sigs. Hopefully Bersa can resolve the issue in one shipping turn. If you decide on .380CC, beware, it comes with one mag only.
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Old April 17, 2013, 01:47 PM   #9
.38Catt
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I already sent it in once through the dealer. $25.00. It took two months to get it back.

So sending it in again would be another $25.00. That's $50.00 on a three hundred dollar gun. I'd rather just trade it in on another .380 or maybe a 642.

Unless I can get the shipping comp'd by Bersa or Eagle.

.38Catt
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Old April 17, 2013, 01:49 PM   #10
TheSmilingSwordsman
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One of the magazines for my wife's Bersa Thunder had the same problem you described. After a very thorough cleaning, it began to function normally.
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Old April 17, 2013, 02:15 PM   #11
lamarw
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Bersa does not pay for the shipping to them for a warranty repair. I was out even more than the OP when I had to send mine in. It also took about two months before I received it back.
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Old April 17, 2013, 02:49 PM   #12
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I seldom see complaints on the full-size Bersa Thunder 9 Pro's, but over the past few years I've seen too many complaints about their .380's to ever buy one. I personally think that either the manufacturer or the importer is having problems....there's no good reason why any warranty repair system should take two months to turn a gun around, but this is a very common complaint, even on the Bersa forums. I've enjoyed both of my Thunder 9's, but I'll hold off on buying any more of their guns until I see what's going on with them.

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Old April 17, 2013, 02:51 PM   #13
Wreck-n-Crew
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Never hurts to try the magazine first. Maybe try a local range and armory...they will let you try the magazine before you buy and if it fails...no loss.

I have a feeling if your slide was messed up and they fixed it, the slide may have damaged the magazine.One little bend and it won't feed right.
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Old April 17, 2013, 09:39 PM   #14
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My problem was the drawbar/disconnector failure. I have heard this is one of the more common failures with the Bersa .380 Thunder.
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Old April 18, 2013, 08:11 AM   #15
PipeSmokeMcGee
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I had very similar problems with the 380 Thunder. I had done my homework on that gun...but I think we just got a lemon. It was my wife's, and unreliability wouldn't cut it for me or her. After the second fix through the Bersa warranty, I was sick of dealing with it and got rid of it.
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Old April 18, 2013, 09:26 AM   #16
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"I'd rather just trade it in on another .380 or maybe a 642."

You'd get fewer rounds but lighter weight and more punch with the 642, plus as near 100% reliability as any gun can give. I prefer the steel Centennials and have no trouble pocket carrying one, but the 642 is a huge seller for a reason. And .38 Special +P is just a harder hitter.
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Old April 19, 2013, 12:24 PM   #17
michael t
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Take mag apart and clean real good . Make sure recoil spring tight end down barrel .

Everyone . If you buy a New Bersa They must be cleaned real good including mag to get rid of the gunk they ship them with. On Thunder be careful tighting R/grip to tight and will interfer with the drawbar that cocks hammer . Use a drop of blue loctight on grip screw to keep grips tight .

If you bought new from a dealer . Try to get dealer to send in if needs warrenty . He can ship USPS for a few bucks . You can't My dealer says this part of service when buying from him. He has sent 1 to Para Ord and another time twice to Tarus for me .

I have 2 Thunders at present have owned a CC and 9mm pro . Sold Pro to a family member . I have not had any troubles from my Bersa's My oldest Thunder is a 2004 and newest is a 2011 .
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Old April 19, 2013, 01:07 PM   #18
lamarw
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I agree with a vast majority of your comments Michael. I assure you they were not the cause of the failure with my Bersa. I did return the pistol to a major gun store in my area from which I had purchased the pistol new within a short time of buying the pistol. They charged me between thirty and forty bucks to send it to a Bersa repair gunsmith.

I think a good warranty should include covering shipping cost when the warranty repair has been examined and aggreed with as a warranty repair by the manufacturer's represenative.

I call foul on the mention of the "grip issue" (over-tighten the right grip) you surfaced above. If this is a problem as you indicated, then Bersa should address it as a recall issue and/or mention it in their literature to new owners. It certainly meets the definition of "latent defect". I hope they have fixed the problem. Do you know whether they have or not?

I can only consider myself lucky since the failure with my pistol occurred on the range and not when needed as a defensive carry. I did buy the pistol for my wife as a concealed carry. A lot of Bersa's are bought for personal carry purposes.
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Old April 19, 2013, 06:25 PM   #19
mumblyj0e
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Similar issue, simple solution

I just got my new Thunder CC in yesterday and took it to the range today:

Had similar issues as you reported. Problems chambering the last or second to last round in the mag and the slide felt a little sticky about 3/4's of the way back.
stripped it, cleaned it, lubed it.. fine for to mags and then problems again.

stripped it again and realized the problem- Stupid me- i'd put the spring on backwards when I disassembled it the night before to clean off the factory oil.
I popped off 3 mags after that without issue but was out of ammo at that point and had to cut it short.

I'll try it again tomorrow and let you know how it works. The slide doesn't stick anymore though
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Old April 21, 2013, 12:55 AM   #20
mumblyj0e
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Well, that's that.

After the second trip to the range I am sad to report my new Bersa is total garbage. A box in and it started jamming again, but not at just the last round in the magazine- at EVERY round. It won't even slide now. The hammer is stuck down and the trigger won't actuate.

I'm waiting to hear back from the repair people and Bersa makes the owner pay shipping. Looks like I'll be tacking on an expensive lesson in the form of UPS overnight fees on on this POS: when buying handguns, buy local and DON'T EVER BUY BERSA.
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Old April 21, 2013, 12:50 PM   #21
ttarp
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Just to put some perspective on this, NEVER BUY WALTHER, I had a PPK/S that shot like garbage and would jam several times every magazine... You had a bad experience with BERSA, sorry about that, but a lot more folks have had good experiences with them.
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:52 AM   #22
JasonJ
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mumblyj0e, we've heard the same story about every manufacturer on the planet.. Hk, Glock, Sig, S&W, Springfield, Colt, you name it ... I'd hate to see how you react when your car breaks down.

Sounds to me like you disassembled it, fiddled with it, basically broke it and now are blaming the manufacturer. And a gunsmith hasnt even looked at it yet.

chill out dude, it'll be ok. Just send it in, let them look at it and see how it goes before you go talking about the gun being garbage, a peice of crap, and then telling everyone NOT to buy a certain brand... if we all did that everytime a mechanical device failed, none of us would drive any brand of car, and we wouldn't own ANY guns we didnt make ourselves.
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Old April 23, 2013, 07:06 AM   #23
qwiksdraw
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...when buying handguns, buy local...
How many gun manufacturers are there in your home town?
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Old April 23, 2013, 07:42 AM   #24
.38Catt
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So let me ask this question. As I said in the original post, first one (a pre-lock, btw) great. Second one, not so good.

Does anyone believe that in the recent explosion of gun purchases that Bersa (and other manufacturers) have "rushed" production to meet demand and perhaps let quality slide?

.38Catt
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Old April 23, 2013, 04:07 PM   #25
JayPee
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I've had problems with a new Colt, a new Smith and Wesson, and a new Ruger. But these companies crank out guns like popcorn.......Bersa owners report far too many problems for the limited number of guns the company produces (by comparison to the others.)
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