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Beretta DA/SA handguns PX4 Storm The Firearms Blog

The Firearms Blog – 2023’s Most Underrated Pistol

It’s nice to see two very knowledgeable individuals who understand how good the Beretta PX4 Storm is!

If I weren’t on a 1911/2011 fixation, I’d probably be shooting this gun more!

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.380ACP ammo Bersa DA/SA Herter's N82 Tactical Plus PMC Thunder

Latest Progress Report – Bersa Thunder 380 Plus

A few weeks ago, I had bought some .380 ammo locally (from Cabela’s).  I’d bought Herter’s Select and some PMC Bronze.  My intention was to shoot both boxes (50 rounds per box) but I ended up quitting after shooting the Herter’s.

Why?

The Plus was biting the webbing of my hand.  The part between forefinger and thumb.  It wasn’t slide bite but the gun’s beaver tail edges were cutting into the webbing.  This was the first time I’d experienced this and I’d shot maybe 250ish out of the gun by that time…without any sharp recoil (that’s what I’m going to call it).  I’d not changed how I was shooting.  I was holding the gun the same way I always had.

The only thing that had changed was the ammo.

My first thought was that the ammo was hot but when I conducted some quick research on the ammo, I saw that the muzzle velocity wasn’t anything special, so maybe it wasn’t that it was hot.

Today, I took it to the range and shot the PMC out of it.  This time, there was no sharp recoil.  It had to have been the Herter’s ammo.  I’m pretty sure that ammo was hotter than normal.  The whole box.  I believe it’s made in Europe and I know Europeans usually make their ammo NATO-spec.  I’m just glad I now know to avoid Herter’s.

I’m now at 323 rounds through the Plus.  That’s more than my XD 9 Mod 2.  The Plus is my 4th most fired gun, between the aforementioned XD and the Sig Sauer SP2022.

It is now much easier to fire than when I first bought it.  I used to hate how difficult it was for me to operate the gun.  I hated the DA trigger, hated the manual safety, hated the decocker’s placement, and hated the safety’s non-intuitive nature (the manual safety operates the opposite of how a 1911 manual safety is operated).  What’s different now?  The DA trigger must’ve wore in because it’s not so difficult to actuate now (but it is long and pinches the side of my trigger finger…I’d have to wear a bandaid to negate the effect).  I don’t use the manual safety at all…I use DA in place of the safety.  I do use the decocker (to get into DA mode) but I only use it after racking the slide back and chambering a round.  I usually don’t drill when doing this…this isn’t something I need to practice, but I do need to remember to always place the gun in DA mode.

I also published a video update on the Plus here:

I’ve only one holster for the gun, the N82 Tactical Original holster.  It is a great holster.  The gun will carry well no matter the holster but it carries extremely well with this particular holster.  The holster is easy to put on the hip and is easy to remove.  It’s a simple holster…simple is good enough for what I need at this time.  I needed a holster that removes quickly.

Oh, I’m carrying Inceptor Polycase ammo with this particular firearm, too.  I know that .380 JHP is known to have issues penetrating, so I wanted something that I know for a fact will always penetrate.  This ammo will not have an issue penetrating, but it shouldn’t over-penetrate either.  I’ve tested the ammo at the range to ensure the gun will eat it without issue…it did.

I wouldn’t mind finding different sights for this gun but I’ll wait until I’ve more rounds through the gun first.  I wouldn’t mind Big Dot sights for the gun.

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.380ACP 15-round Bersa DA/SA Delta Three Outfitters double-stack double-stacked Plus PPK/S Thunder Walther

Another Gun Is On The Way!

UPDATEthis gun was NOT in stock like it appeared to be.  After 3 days of waiting to see movement on the order, I contacted the store and asked if they actually had the gun in stock.  They did not and said all their suppliers were having issues getting this particular handgun, so I told them to cancel the order, since it’s very apparent that there’s a stocking issue with this gun.  Argentina is experiencing significant economic difficulties, from what I understand.   This could be the cause of the nationwide backorder.

I bought another gun.  This is a bit different.  It’s a .380ACP handgun.  It is small in stature.  It is also small but double-stacked and will hold 15 rounds.  It is a double action / single action gun and also has a decocker/safety.  It is a non-U.S.-made gun.

What is it?

A Bersa Thunder Plus.

There are several variations of this particular model of gun:

  • Thunder (base model)
  • Thunder Combat (lower profile slide with wide serrations, rounded trigger guard, smaller profile beaver tail, ergonomic rubber grip surface)
  • Thunder Plus (enhanced capacity)
  • Thunder Concealed Carry (small beavertail and unique frame grip)

There are also different caliber versions:  .22 caliber and .380ACP

There are different paint and color schemes, as well as variants that have color-coded controls (nickel and gold, for example).

The gun looks somewhat similar to the Walther PPK, and shares the PPK’s barrel layout.

One thing that I’ll immediately remove once I have it is the magazine disconnect.  I do NOT need that abomination.  The gun also has an integrated lock (which I’ll never use).  I do need to order an extra magazine, as the gun is delivered with one magazine only.

I had a choice between nickel or black.  I actually wanted a Plus Combat (new for this year) but most places aren’t carrying them yet.  In fact, when looking for the Plus, most places online were out of stock.  And when I say most, I mean like 95% of the stores I checked.  I don’t even know if the place I ordered from actually has them in stock…I order went through without verification (the other places I checked wouldn’t let you order if they were out of stock or back-ordered).  I almost bought the nickel version, because I think it’s rarer, but it was $397…that’s a chunk of change for a Bersa Thunder, as the MSRP is like $420.  I got the black version for $379 from Delta Three Outfitters, which is also where the nickel Plus is currently stocked.

Why this gun?  Because it is cheaper than the Walther by a long shot, shoots just as well as the Walther, and carries double the ammo.  It’s reliability is great and has a lifetime warranty for original owners (not so with used Thunders, which is why I went ahead and bought it new… plus, I couldn’t find new ones…I know for a fact a used one will be difficult to find locally).  I like small-statured guns and wanted something I could shoot with my kids.  Also, because of it’s fixed barrel, it is very accurate.

Depending on how much I like this handgun, I may eventually get one or two single-stacked version.

Some people can’t stand the .380 round, though.  I’ve never shot it, but people have been killed with far less.  Shot placement is key, as I always say.  And with 15 rounds to get on target, I highly doubt someone will walk away without a scratch.  Plus, if I really wanted power, I can always look for +P .380 ammo…or, as a last resort, carry with FMJ, which I hear is what a lot of people are doing since .380ACP doesn’t appear to penetrate as well as 9mm (it has a smaller charge unless the round is hot).

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124-grain 147-grain American Eagle Breakfree CLP DA/SA failure to return to battery flat-nosed FRTB Geco Grand Power grease Hogue oil P11 Mk12 P220 Remington Sig Sauer TW25B UMC

More Grand Power Testing

I’ve been getting an influx of comments on my last Grand Power YouTube video.

Many people think that I need to be using oil (one person stated to not use TW25B and another recommended to use oil and not grease).

I tested the theory that I was using the wrong lube.  I stripped off the TW25B from the helical cut and breech area of the barrel and used a light coat of Breakfree CLP instead…I kept grease on the rails, though.

Remember, on my last visit, I fired 263 rounds of various ammo (50 x Tula steel-cased, 200 x Remington UMC 147-grain flat-nosed FMJ, and approx 24 rounds of Winchester Personal Protection JHP).  Of that ammo, I had two failures to return to battery (down from “many” failures), both of them being with the Remington ammo.

At last night’s range session, I used 100 x Remington UMC 147-grain flat-nosed FMJ, 50 x American Eagle 124-grain FMJ, and 28 rounds (of a box of 50) of Geco 124-grain FMJ, for a total of 177 rounds.  I had five failures to return to battery (FRTB).  The first happened on the 3rd magazine.  Then the 4th, 5th, and 6th magazines.  The gun wasn’t dirty, but remember, I was using a thin coat of oil vs a coat of gun grease.

Yeah, so much for that theory.  I had less failures during my previous range visit with the P11, and shot maybe 100 rounds more, too (with Tula being 100 of that, and both Remington UMC and Tula are very dirty).

But here’s a revelation…of the five failures to return to battery and of the 177 rounds, guess which brand failed the most in this gun?  Remington.  All five failures were with the Remington.  I made a point of paying attention to which brand I was shooting and keeping notes on each box’s tabs.  I also ejected each round that generated a FRTB.  In one case of FRTB, I found that the front lip of the case had bent when the gun tried to ram the round into the chamber.  I decided not to fire that round.

Here’s a picture:

If it’s difficult to see the damage, here’s a video.

So, maybe it’s a combination of the oil I used as lube and the ammo?  No, I think the ammo is the issue, as I shot 75 rounds of ammo AFTER the Remington that didn’t get hung up at all.

This gun does NOT like the Remington ammo I’m shooting.  I’ve other Remington ammo (non-flat-nosed and 115-grain FMJ) that I can test but I really don’t think I need to test any more.

I cleaned the gun and looked at it’s internals last night.  The claim that the oil is easier to clean after a range session is false.  The oil migrated to the slide and coated the whole underside of it.  In fact, it was everywhere and I didn’t use a lot…just a thin film.  It took quite awhile to clean.  The gun wasn’t quite that bad when I used grease as the primary lubricant.  The oil collected the carbon exactly as the grease did (it basically made mud), but I can’t contribute the failures to the oil.  All I know is that I had less failures with the grease but if the ammo is the problem then all perceived lube problems are exonerated.

I’ll post the video once I’ve edited it and posted it to YouTube.

UPDATE — here’s the video:

For now, I’ll continue to use the CLP as the primary lube.  I’ve even put it on the slide and frame rails.  I’ll watch for wear and/or trouble for awhile.

I also took my SIG Sauer P220 and gave it a quick run to test the new Hogue rubber grips.  Man, that gun is a beast.  Recoil is less of an issue with these grips.  I’m able to put ammo (half the mag, in this case) in the red, too.

All DA shots, first 8 rounds, at 7 yards

I fired a total of 44 rounds (I had five mags that have been loaded since Jan 2015 that I wanted to shoot…Perfecta hardball in 230-grain).  The gun ate it all up without issue.  My aiming did get progressively worse, though.  I might need to get glasses I can use at the range (or it might be time to have my eyes checked again), as I was having a difficult time seeing the front sight and my vision got worse as I shot.

I brought the Glock 19 and intended to shoot it, but got too engrossed with the P11 (let’s face it…as my EDC and with my recent issues, it needed the attention).

So, this range visit was very valuable for me, as I learned that not all ammo is created equal.  I still have a lot of Remington flat-nosed ammo left (I bought 500 rounds of it).  Some of my other guns will eat it without issue, so I’ll use it up, but I won’t be buying any more of it.

Grand Power P11 testing – accurate as hell!
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DA/SA decocker GP Grand Power kydex manual P1 P11 Red Hill Tactical safety

GP P11 – Ready To Conceal Carry!

I finally found an inside waistband holster for my P11.  I cheated.  How?  I couldn’t find any for the P11 anywhere and didn’t feel like begging for any holster makers to make one for me.  I didn’t feel like trying to make one myself, either.  I searched and found that many holsters for the P1 are available for sale.  The P1 is the next size up from the P11…it’s the compact version of the Grand Power K-100, which is a full-sized handgun.  The P11 is the sub-compact version of the K-100.  They are identical, feature-wise.  The only differences are the length of the grips and the length of the slides.  So, I bought a P1 holster thinking that the P11 would fit inside without issue.  The holster was kydex, so it was important that the slides and features be pretty much identical, placement-wise.  I wasn’t disappointed, as it was almost as if this holster was made for the P11.  The slide length of the P1 is 3.6″ while the P11’s slide is 3.3″, so I had .3″ extra between the tip of the handgun and the tip of the holster.

Some issues that I describe in the video is that the holster was molded with a P1 with it’s slide safety disabled.  I’d thought the GP DA/SA handguns were designed to be carried cocked & locked (one in the chamber with the hammer cocked and safetied).  The guns are DA/SA without a decocker, so if an owner wants to carry his GP in DA mode, he/she will have to lower the hammer on a chambered round (ie, decocking manually).  This is not a trivial procedure and if done hastily or wrong, a round could be negligently discharged.  I’ve been practicing several different manual decocking techniques and will eventually be ready to carry with one in the chamber in DA mode, but for now, I’m enabling the safety and carrying cocked and locked.  While this causes a slight fitment issue with the kydex while the gun is holstered, it doesn’t cause any safety issues…it just looks a tad bit odd, is all.

I’ll eventually have to buy some extra 12-round magazines for the P11.  I’ve two right now, but I want several more so that I can practice at the range without having to stop and reload the two mags after they’re empty.  They are not cheap but I will not buy cheap CZ mags to alter…I’d rather do this right and just buy the expensive mags.

This gun carries good in the kydex holster.  It feels lighter than my other holsters (Alien Gear IWB Cloak Tuck 3.0s) and it is certainly less complicated/busy.  It is easy to clip to my belt.  I can quickly get dressed, grab my gun, and install it on my belt while walking around the house.  I can’t do that with my Alien Gear holsters.  The con is that I’ve to wear t-shirts under my shirts now, because the Kydex doesn’t shield my body from the gun’s rough edges (part of the slide, grip, and hammer sometimes dig into my side.  This might also be a good reason to start carrying in DA mode…the manual safety is protected, but that part of the gun is what is rubbing against my body, so I’m thinking that it would be safer to just have the gun in DA mode.

I bought the holster from Red Hill Tactical.  I’ve visited their site in the past but this is the first time I’ve actually bought something from them.  This holster vendor was recommended by the Grand Power forums.

Categories
Canik DA/SA TP9SA TP9SF TP9v2

Canik TP9v2 Now On The Market!

I knew awhile back that Canik was supposed to be revamping the original TP9 and renaming it the TP9v2.  Well, it’s out.  I discovered this while researching if the TP9SA’s sights can be replaced.

It has not yet been reviewed online (not when I looked last night on YouTube), James Yeager has a quick video of it.  I thought MAC did as well, but he was actually quick-reviewing an SF model (it has no decocker).



NOTE:  I’ve taken some unneeded heat for using Yeager as a resource.  1) I don’t care what you think 2) I’m just trying to share information on the gun…no one else had footage or spoke extensively about the gun at the time of my post.  I’m not a Yeager groupie, but if you don’t like Yeager, that’s your problem.  My post is about the gun, not about Yeager specifically.

I’m seeing the gun listed between $308 and $380, which was roughly what the SA model was selling for 6 or so months ago.

The gun is essentially a TP9 with the TP9SA’s frame.  The gun is shorter (4.1 inches) than the TP9SA, though.  The difference between the TP9 and the new version is the trigger…both DA and SA modes are supposedly great!  Yes, there’s still the decocker, only now it’s used to go from SA to DA mode.  What’s cool is that it’s confirmed that the TP9SA and TP9v2 can share magazines…that’s a huge plus.

I find myself intrigued, but I already have two Canik TP9SAs (one black and one tan).  I’ve already mentioned that I could sell one of them to fund another gun.  Then again, the gun is so cheaply priced, I could probably get by without selling a gun to purchase a v2.  I can also wait, as Canik is supposed to be releasing compact models too.  They also have .40Cal versions but I’m not sure if they’re exporting them to the U.S.

I’ll be paying attention to the upcoming reviews, especially since James Yeager thinks the v2’s trigger modes are excellent.