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Old November 10, 2022, 10:03 AM   #1
cmdc
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Browning BDA .380

I found one in a local pawn shop for $630 , including two magazines and box. I’m thinking about getting it but would appreciate some input before I do that.

Thanks
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Old November 10, 2022, 06:20 PM   #2
PolarFBear
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Fine gun. If you can get it for $600, OTD, you will have gotten a pretty good deal on one of those.
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Old November 10, 2022, 07:57 PM   #3
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Great guns.
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Old November 11, 2022, 05:26 AM   #4
CajunBass
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Great guns. I had one a number of years ago, but I was young, and listened to people who told me the 380 wasn't good for rabbits, and the gun was "too big and heavy" for a 380...you could get a 9mm that size...9mm ammo costs less, etc..." Which might be true, but I still like the BDA and wish I'd kept it.

Made by Beretta for FN/Browning, it's basically a Beretta 84, with an enclosed slide with an ejection port, vs the open top slide the Beretta is noted for. It has a 13 round, double stack magazine, conventional DA/SA action. The triggers are usually very nice. The grips is somewhat fat, but does help to spread the recoil out. The slide is steel, the frame alloy aluminum. Very solid gun, and mine was a good solid shooter.

I replaced mine with a Beretta 84F, and a Tisas Fatih 13 (a copy of the Beretta 84 BB), and use the Tisas as my EDC. The Beretta was tagged at $650 with two mags. The Tisas only had one mag, but was about half the price of the Beretta and was stainless. If a Browning was to turn up at my LGS...in that price range, I'd probably buy it, just for grins and giggles I suppose. Especially if it was nickel.
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Old November 11, 2022, 01:41 PM   #5
Metric
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IMO, it could go either way, depending on condition and the reason for buying.

I wouldn't buy it simply as a bargain that's too good to pass up (unless condition is exceptional).

If the reason for buying is the collector appeal of a beautiful and rarely-seen pistol, it's worthwhile if the condition is nice enough. Perusing gunbroker for recent "completed auctions," I get the feeling that $650 should be able to pick up quite a nice example, in VG+ condition. Being able to escape shipping and transfer fees helps a bit. If condition is really exceptional, then the price on GB tends to explode, and may convert this one into more of a serious bargain.

If buying more for the shooting experience, then it's in direct competition with similar-vintage Beretta 84's. The Berettas should be a little cheaper for equal condition (lots of recent surplus examples coming to the market has moderated the price in the last few years), and they have a frame-mounted safety where the BDA has the slide-mounted style.

Usually, of course, there is kind of a mix of reasons for buying and ultimately you have to just go with what you feel. It's a fine firearm, notable but rarely seen.
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Old November 11, 2022, 02:30 PM   #6
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So, I went back today to have a closer look. The gun was pretty beat up finish-wise, but the real kicker was that the guy behind the counter would not take the trigger lock off so that I could inspect it more thoroughly. I passed on it.
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Old November 11, 2022, 02:31 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies though.
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Old November 12, 2022, 02:28 PM   #8
CajunBass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmdc View Post
So, I went back today to have a closer look. The gun was pretty beat up finish-wise, but the real kicker was that the guy behind the counter would not take the trigger lock off so that I could inspect it more thoroughly. I passed on it.
That would have been the kiss of death in my opinion too, especially if the finish was subpar. What are you hiding you don't want me to see?

Check out a Fatih 13 if this type gun interests you. Buds has them for about $330-350.00 NIB.
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Old November 12, 2022, 04:28 PM   #9
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Thanks. I’ll check them out. Yes, I like the look of those guns.
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Old November 16, 2022, 12:32 AM   #10
Doc TH
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browning bda 380acp

It is a fine gun, accurate and very reliable. Very ergonomic with a decocker and true DA/SA capability. But the pawn shop owner is a jerk; did he want you to buy a pig in a poke? You made the right decision.
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Old November 16, 2022, 08:09 AM   #11
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Yes. Maybe they sell mostly to more unsavory types who just want something that goes bang. ♂️
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Old November 17, 2022, 01:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmdc View Post
So, I went back today to have a closer look. The gun was pretty beat up finish-wise, but the real kicker was that the guy behind the counter would not take the trigger lock off so that I could inspect it more thoroughly. I passed on it.
This is my experience, typically. Especially with more corporate-oriented pawn shops. There is a lot of liability associated with unlocking a pistol for a customer. I personally recall a story from a local Houston, TX pawn shop chain where someone brought in a loaded Glock 17 mag in his pocket, asked to see a Glock 17 off the shelf (no trigger lock) and then proceeded to load the gun and rob the shop.

Asking to to disassemble a firearm prior to purchase is almost always a no-go. The average looky-loo who tries to do this will never get it back together correctly. If I request to do this, I usually inform the manager that I intend to buy the firearm if the check goes well and slap a $100 bill on the counter if I can't reassemble the firearm. That tends to do the trick.
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Old January 4, 2023, 07:45 PM   #13
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I have been intrigued by the Browning BDA .380 for years.

A few months ago I found one for sale on the net for a good price and I bought it.

A holster from DeSantis, spare magazines from MecGar, and I was ready to go to the range.

The double action is wonderful and smooth, the single action is crisp, and the sights are tiny. The hammer bites the web of my hand, so I'm going to have it bobbed.

I put Pachmayr rubber grips on the gun. I have fairly big hands and long fingers so the thicker rubber grips didn't cause me problems with properly positioning my finger on the face of the trigger.
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