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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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.380ACP Alien Gear ammo CHP Cloak Tuck grip module assembly JHP P320 PP PPK/S Walther Winchester

Sister’s Birthday / P320SC Holster Fitment

My sister’s birthday is today.  She’s 40 years old.  I got tired of trying to guess what she wanted and asked her to tell me if she needed/wanted anything.  She said she wanted ammo.

She has a Walther PPK/S .380ACP.  She has a North Carolina concealed handgun permit and carries as much as she can (she’s also a federal employee, so she can’t carry anywhere near work…she can’t even leave her weapon in her car while on work property).

I bought her 200 rounds of Winchester Personal Protection JHP ammo.  It’s JHP ammo that is designed for defense (it is not range ammo).  I told her to ensue that she shoots 25 or so rounds to ensure the gun can fire the ammo without feed or extraction issues.

When speaking on the phone with her, she also stated she’d been watching my Facebook posts and had gotten herself an Alien Gear IWB holster (the Cloak Tuck 2.0).  I was very surprised, as I thought she was carrying in her purse.  She asked for belt suggestions.  I told her to go back to where she bought her gun (in Fayetteville) and ask them if she could try her 1.25″ belts (she shouldn’t need anything bigger for the PPK/S).  I told her that a good strong belt is essential but she’s already been wearing the holster and says it’s extremely comfortable for her.

On a different note, I saw someone on the forums complaining about their P320 Subcompact’s round trigger guard and the fact that the grip module assembly might not fit in other holsters designed for other sizes of P320 handguns. Well, I’ve a P320 Compact shell for my cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB holster. I’ve the P320 Compact and have the parts to convert it to Subcompact. I converted it and tested fitment in the aforementioned holster…it fits without issue, probably because I’m using the Compact slide with the Subcompact grip module. In that configuration, the slide dictates fitment more than the SC’s trigger guard. That’s a good thing, since I didn’t want any more holsters / shells.

UPDATE: