Up until several months ago I had never owned a Bersa pistol. I purchased a Thunder 380 for my wife and we both liked the gun so much we decided to try out another model. We have .22′s, a .380, a .38/.357Mag, and 2 9mm pistols. We chose the UC (Ultra Compact) 40, since we didn’t have any pistols in that caliber, and I must say we are very happy with our choice.
Bersa handguns are manufactured in Argentina by the Bersa S.A. Company. Thunder pistols are available in several different calibers. The Thunder-380 pistols are of simple blowback design, while the more powerful Thunder-9, Thunder-40 and Thunder-45 (yes they even have a .45ACP) pistols are of locked breech design. I believe the Bersa Thunder 9 handguns are still standard issue pistols for the Argentinean Federal Police.
I actually bought this pistol online, and will submit a review on that process too, but I digress… Our pistol arrived as “New In Box” and there were (2) 10 round factory clips included. The pistol weighs in at 23ozs. empty and is a relatively small .40 at 6.5″ long (3.25″ Barrel), 4.75″ tall, and 1.45″ thick. Can it be concealed… absolutely, but it’s not the smallest .40 on the market. The pistol is outfitted with a DA/SA trigger mechanism and a de-cocking safety mechanism. The sights are interchangeable Sig Sauer type and the pistol includes a picatinny rail which means you can add a laser pointer or a flashlight.
I put 300 rounds of Winchester White Box (Walmart) through the gun to break it in and I was not all that impressed with the results. Even though I experienced NO failure to load or failure to fire incidents, the gun just was not printing what I expected. Next I tried Federals 185 grain FMJ’s and the pattern improved dramatically. The picture on the right is 10 rounds at 7 yards from a standing position, no rest. I followed the Federals with some Hornady 155 grain XTP’s. It printed about the same as the Federal’s with no feed or ejection issues. This is a pistol I could shoot all day at the range and not get fatigued. The recoil is snappy but not uncomfortable at all and target reacquisition was fast and sure. Field stripping is easy and cleaning is a breeze… much easier than my Springfield Armory EMP. Look, this is not a target pistol by any means, but it is a great buy for the price and a real good shooter. I highly recommend breaking it in with 200 – 300 rounds of good FMJ ammo (I prefer the Federal) before moving on the the jacketed hollow point self defense rounds. This pistol is a very solid buy!