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Old February 12, 2013, 12:14 AM   #47
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2, 2013
Posts: 166
An update, for anyone who's interested.

The pawn shop sent me the wrong gun, I think in a deliberate bait-and-switch. They advertised the Bersa Thunder 380 Concealed Carry, I called and ordered it, being very specific that I wanted the CC model and not the regular one, and they shipped me the regular 380. I may have a local guy who wants the gun for what I paid for it, so hopefully I won't have to send it back.

It is a sweet gun, though. Just not enough smaller than the S&W CS9 that I also recently picked up. It's actually a little longer than the CS9, a little slimmer, and noticeably lighter. If they were the same caliber, I would probably pick it over the CS9. (I also think it's better looking.) But the CS9 shoots that full 9mm which is so much hotter than the 380. I may still keep my eyes open for a CC to see if it is much smaller than the non-CC, but I have a feeling it also won't be small enough to justify the smaller cartridge.

The CS9 is built like a tank. It's a bit top heavy, which makes the whole gun feel heavy. All its weight is in the top end; remove the slide, and the frame weighs nothing. I was amazed that my .38 5 shot snubby was heavier.

I don't like that I can't cock the hammer. This might have been a deal-breaker if I had realized it before I bought it. I can't believe I missed it. Now I'm starting to appreciate the gun, though, and think that replacing the hammer with one with a spur would be pretty easy. And I want different grips. The stock Hogue is plump and ugly.

Shooting impressions: none! My friend who's property I shoot at hasn't been available, so I haven't been able to even try the 9 yet. The 380 I won't shoot because I want to keep it brand new for return or sale.

I am waiting on two IWB holsters for the 9 to see how it carries and conceals. It's a little bigger than I had imagined, but hopefully when I start shooting and carrying it I will get more comfortable with it. I is a really neat gun with an enthusiastic cult following.

So thanks to everyone for their suggestions, and I'll report back with more about my experience looking for my perfect carry gun.

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