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Old June 30, 2008, 02:16 AM   #1
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How's the recoil with the Bersa 380 'concealed carry' compared to 9mm?

I'm looking for a CCW gun for my wife that will be a more defensive round than her P22. She has small hands and has not shot anything other than .22 caliber guns. I wanted to find out if the Bersa 380 concealed carry has much less recoil than my 9mm guns (M&P compact, Beretta PX4 and FNP9). I can't tell any real big difference in the recoil of my 9s. If there is no big difference with the Bersa, then I'm just going to try to get her to carry a 9mm (maybe the Bersa ultra compact or EAA witness compact). Thanks!
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Old June 30, 2008, 04:25 AM   #2
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It is a bit of a subjective thing. There is the actual recoil force that can be calculated and measured and the perceived recoil which is how it feels to the individual shooter. I actually find the Bersa, with it's simple blowback design, to be a bit "snappier" than my 9's, with their locked breech designs....but with a smaller push. To me, the snappiness, or sharpness, made it as harsh as the 9's. A couple others, who have shot it thought it was lighter recoiling compared to their 9's...including two women, one who decided to buy one after firing it.

There are three basic components to how recoil is perceived. 1. Recoil energy/momentum transfer....higher energy/lower momentum worse. 2. Recoil time...shorter worse. 3. Muzzle flash...greater worse.

It has been proven that spacing out recoil...making it less snappy...can greatly reduce the perception. It certainly has that effect on me.

Here is a good explanation of the actual and perceived recoil of the two designs from an old usenet posting of John Bercovitz.
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Old June 30, 2008, 07:53 AM   #3
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I have a Steyr M9A1 (full size) and S9 (semi-compact) (both 9mm), a Keltec PF9 (compact) (9mm), and a Bersa Thunder (compact) (.380). The Bersa recoil is negligible compared to any of my 9s. It's a sweet gun to shoot and very manageable, even one-handed.
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Old June 30, 2008, 07:58 AM   #4
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Big difference.....380 is much softer if your talking same frame.
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Old June 30, 2008, 08:07 AM   #5
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.380 recoil

I own, carry and LOVE my Bersa .380 CC. The recoil is very mild compared to my 9mm GLOCK and BHP. Go ahead and buy your wife the Bersa CC model. You should also order at least one spare magazine. Bersa is the best kept secret in the semi-auto market.
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Old June 30, 2008, 08:21 AM   #6
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My wife likes her Bersa 380, and other women who have shot it like it as well. That being said, I wouldn't buy a gun for another person until after that person has at least handled it and manipulated the controls (assuming the gun of interest is not available for renting at a local range).
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Old June 30, 2008, 10:29 AM   #7
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My wife liked the Bersa 380 over other pistols, excellent trigger and low recoil. She kept that until I let her try a S&W 37-3 revolver with CrimsonTrace grips. The recoil wasn't much more and she fell in love with the little red dot on the target.
Do they make a CrimsonTrace for the Bersa? That might be a winner!!

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Old June 30, 2008, 10:46 AM   #8
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I dont have a Bersa , but i do have a PPK/S and a Kahr pm9 . Subjective recoil is agreed to be ( among me and my friends ) softer with the pm9 than the walther . We also agree that my p3at has less " felt " recoil than the ppk/s quite possibly to the recoil absorption of locked breach vs blow back actions .

The Bersa IIRC is a knockoff of the ppk walthers so it should have similar recoil. I am not saying the recoil is objectionable , just that other choices may be better if felt recoil is a major consideration . If a Kahr is a bit rich for the budget well a Kel-tec PF9 might be tried . ect..
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Old June 30, 2008, 06:14 PM   #9
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I have the .380 but not the CC 9mm. I do however have Ruger P95 and I can add this: All things being otherwise equal, a blow-back (Bersa .380) will have more felt recoil than a locked- breech firearm ( Bersa CC 9mm).

My Bersa .380 has some snap. A little sharper than the Ruger. I like a little recoil.
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Old July 2, 2008, 06:52 PM   #10
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Rented a Bersa .380 at the range for the wife. She much preferred the light recoil to my Sig 239 in 9mm. We did also try the Kahr P9, and while she did admit to more recoil she didn't find it unpleasant and liked the gun better overall. We ordered the Kahr
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Old July 2, 2008, 06:58 PM   #11
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Congrats on the choice , i am sure the Kahr will serve her well .
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Old July 3, 2008, 12:42 PM   #12
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Yep, the smaller .380s jump a bit

In fact even the .32 acp cor bons bounce a bit out of a KT32. The .380s tend to be lighter, have smaller grips and employ straight blowbck designs, making recoil more pronounced. Its hardly anything to be concerned about, but given the choice, I would choose a compact 9 over a small .380 for several reasons

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Old October 6, 2010, 01:39 PM   #13
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.380 Recoil and as a defensive round

I love my Bersa 380 CC. My wife traded me for my much more expensive S&W Bodyguard .380 with a laser, but I actually like the Bersa better at half the price. I noticed the spring would not cycle (JAM) due to my wife having a looser grip, I have never had a jam with well over three hundred rounds fired. The recoil is very mild, approximately half of my Keltec 9MM and slightly more than my .22 mag pistol. If you have problems with Jamming, first stiffen your wrist for a few shots, bet it doesn't jam at all!

.380 as a defensive round: In my humble opinion I would recommend using only factory loaded, full metal jacket ammo with as heavy a grain bullet as possible. I would stay away from hollow points for two reasons. 1: Hollow point with .380 caused me under penetration in several performance tests. 2: Defensive rounds need to feed perfectly every time! Full metal jackets are very smooth feeding and great for feeding every time, even when somewhat fouled from shooting allot.
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Old October 6, 2010, 03:22 PM   #14
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I've got the 380CC and the Bersa 9 UC. More recoil from the 9 even though locked-breech vs blowback (in the 380). The 9 is more accurate, better sights, and no feed problems ever, though. If she can handle the 9's recoil (not objectionable, just more than the 380), it's a nicer weapon.
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Old October 6, 2010, 09:54 PM   #15
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It is a bit difficult to explain. The .380 has more perceived recoil then a Sig P226 9 mm has. It does have more flip then a full sized 9 mm pistol. It is a lighter recoil feel then a polymer compact 9 mm pistol. This is the way it is in my hand. I have probably much larger hands then your wife has. It is possible that I feel more recoil with the smaller grip pistols because I have more trouble getting a comfortable grip on them.

Is there a range near by that rents pistols? If there is one and they have the pistol you are considering getting, it would be money well spent to rent one first. Another idea is to find someone with one and see if you can try it out. I found many people are willing to let you try their pistol if they can try one you have that they have never shot before. I have been able to shoot several different pistols this way in the past.
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Old October 6, 2010, 10:16 PM   #16
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Big difference.....380 is much softer if your talking same frame
Different mechanics, however. Most .380 pistols, the Bersa included, are fixed-barrel blowback designs. The bore axis is lower, and the barrel stays locked to the frame during recoil.

The result, in an apples-to-apples comparison in guns of similar size and weight, is more felt recoil, as well as the "snap" many perceive. While the cartridge itself generates less recoil, the delivery system is a bit less efficient than a locked-breech.

The Bersa IIRC is a knockoff of the ppk walthers
Actually, it's closer to the design of the P88, which I find to be more reliable.

If a Kahr is a bit rich for the budget well a Kel-tec PF9 might be tried
Maybe it's me, but the PF9 kicks like an angry mule that got dumped the night before prom. It's on par with a .357 J-Frame.

Definitely shoot one before getting it, and decide if it's something you (or her) are willing to practice with. I find the Kahr pistols to be much more shootable, though price is a consideration.
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Old October 7, 2010, 12:41 AM   #17
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I rented a Bersa Thunder .380 a month or so ago specifically to check for recoil. Was very impressed with the accuracy AND the mild recoil, milder and with less bite than the SIG P232 I also tried, and probably milder than your Smith compact, which I have also rented. Your larger guns should feel pretty tame by comparison to the M & P compact.

This was not the 380 CC you are thinking of , it had more of a grip tang and was maybe slightly heavier. But the 380 CC shouldn't be a problem on felt recoil.

However, I catch your drift. Has she tried your Smith? The Kahr CW 9 is about the same size, and doesn't hurt to shoot much either. Nor should the Glock 26.
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