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380 Bersa Grand Power P11 Plus T-100 Thunder Tristar

Range Visit with Bersa and Tristar

Yesterday was my birthday and I decided that I would go to the range after work.

There was a 40-minute waiting list and I almost ended up leaving.  That’s the first time I’ve ever been to Elite Shooting Sports where there was a backlog during the week day.  What’s cool is that they had  tablet kiosks to allow you to add yourself to the wait list and you’d be texted (to your phone) when a slot was available.

The staff was cordial and I know they were really busy, but none of the register attendants acted like they wanted to be there.  When you’re buying merchandise, service, or just space/time, the worst thing is to interact with employees that act like they don’t like what they’re doing.  This is the second time I’ve noticed this…was hoping it wouldn’t turn into a trend.

Anyways…

I decided to shoot the Bersa Thunder 380 Plus first, since it was something different for me (blow-back design and .380 caliber).  Man, is that thing accurate!  Recoil is next to nothing, too.  I dumped 3 rounds into each target, 7 yards away, semi-rapid fire, from upper right to upper left, lower right to lower left, then center.  The first shot was dead on the red (as well as being a DA shot), but the following two flew a bit upward.  Then next target was a bit wide, but I still touched the red at least once.  The rest of the groups tightened up significantly as I navigated the targets.

I shot a total of thirty-four rounds before I put the Bersa away.  Since I only had one magazine, I stopped shooting it.  I’ve ordered 3 new OEM magazines from MidwayUSA.com (was marked down at $27 each but has since been up-priced at $49)

I then focused on the Tristar T-100 9mm for the rest of the range session.  One thing I neglected to do was manually decock the gun for a DA shot.  I’ve a feeling I wouldn’t have hit red in DA like I did with the Thunder, as the DA trigger is long and strong (much longer and stronger than what I’m used to).  But I did a mag dump in the center target as a first date:

I started off fine but as I sped up my follow-on shots, my group began to lose composure.  That’s not the gun’s fault…it’s mine.  I was treating it like the Bersa since the Bersa was the gun I was shooting prior to picking up the T-100.  Recoil was significantly more than the Bersa, but I was all over the target center before I upped the pace.  This gun is just as easy to shoot as the Bersa, because of it’s low bore axis and it’s non-traditional rail setup (it’s using the CZ design).

I then tried to focus on small groups (using the same target):

The groups are very tight, especially upper left.  The lower right had a flyer, but the two that landed were almost on top of each other and near center-mass.

For the T-100, I used the same Remington 147-grain flat-nosed FMJ that choked my Grand Power P11.  It ate 150 of that make/model without one failure.  One round had a slightly crinkled lip but I wanted to see if the round would still chamber and fire without issue…it did.  I expected nothing less, as I know that CZs aren’t designed to be as tight as GP’s products.  The gun frame was warm to the touch when I was done with it (it’s a metal-framed gun), but not uncomfortably so.  For the Bersa, I used Federal 95-grain FMJ, and there were no failures.

I also fired some spare ammo from my GP P11 (8 rounds of Winchester Personal Protection JHP that had been chambered several times…they needed to be used or disposed of, so I used them).  There were no issues whatsoever.  I neglected to bring non-Remington 9mm so I couldn’t fire the P11 any more than that.  Plus, I only had the lane for an hour and I was out of time after firing 8 rounds from the P11.  I need more range time with the P11 since it is my carry gun.  Of those 8 rounds, only half hit the target.  I found I was slapping the trigger, but as soon as I figured that out, the rest were all in the red.  The P11 doesn’t seem to be as forgiving with heavy-handedness, and it’s SA trigger is very light.  I’d have done better if I’d have had more time to adjust to the switch-up of handguns.

I had fun with the two new guns, especially the Tristar.  I’ll probably shoot it again the next range visit.

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9mm Canik CZ75 Shark C T-100 Tristar

I Present the Tristar T-100 9mm!

My immediate impressions of the gun:

  • Sturdy and solid (hefty)
  • Very long and strong DA trigger (not gritty but a bit notchy-like)
  • Very nice SA trigger
  • Slide feels like it’s riding on glass
  • Stock grips are plastic (not the rubber that it looks to be)…will have to see how well they grip when firing rounds
  • Cerakote is good…not a blemish in sight
  • Slide serrations are very aggressive, allowing a good grip on a small area
  • Takes down well
  • Magazines are high quality
  • No decocker (I knew this when I bought it)…will require manual decocking…half cock allows DA without dropping hammer fully when decocking (a good thing for carry, IMO).

I’m thinking I should’ve focused on getting one of these a long time ago…the handgun feels that good in my hand.  I’ve no doubt that I’ll love it at the range.  I’m not sure about carrying it, though, as it is heavy (1.5 lb) and I’ve heard that it’s difficult to find a holster that’ll hold it that has a retention strap.

I’m not sure I’ll do a table-top review…there are several very good reviews on this handgun already.

More T-100 stats at Tristar.com

UPDATE (7/28/2016):  The after-range impressions are here.  As well, below is an image of the VZ Grips that I bought for the gun, since I wanted grips that were a bit more aggressive.

Tristar T-100 with VZ Grips for CZ75 Compact
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380 Bersa Canik CZ75 Guns America Plus Shark C T-100 Thunder Tristar

Cancelled the Bersa Order, But Purchased A Tristar T-100!

I updated my previous post, as I had to cancel the order for the Bersa Thunder 380 Plus because the online store didn’t have the gun in stock.  I had to chase them down to ask after I noticed the order wasn’t being updated.  Argentina is experiencing economic issues that are apparently affecting Bersa shipments.  This gun is backlogged all across the U.S.  I don’t want a used gun because the gun has a lifetime warranty if bought new.

So, I’ve really no choice but to wait, or check local pawn shops for used examples.  Or, check local gun shows.  As well, Bersa recently released a new product, the Plus Combat.  I can certainly wait for that version!

I’ve also been looking for a Tristar T-100 in 9mm, or a Canik Shark C in 9mm.  Both are the same gun.  Tristar is just the US Importer (or was).  This gun is hard to find as well.  Even used.  I found one on Guns America that was in a perpetual state of “an offer has been submitted for this item”, meaning, someone is trying to purchase it.  It stayed that way for at least 2 weeks so I asked the dealer (located in Connecticut) if they still had the gun.  They did and told me that if I called and bought it, it would be shipped out tomorrow.  I called them and bought the gun.  I had to also call my local gun shop and ask them to fax a copy of their FFL to the store I was buying the gun from, as I wanted the store to ship the gun to my local shop.   Doing it over the phone was a bit convoluted, as I’m used to doing it straight over the internet.  Connecticut must be a bit hokey like that when it comes to guns (especially after Sandy Hook).

So, I went from not being able to get the Bersa to getting the Tristar.  The T-100 is basically a compact CZ75.  It is a DA/SA gun (without a decocker).  It has the inverted slide rails.  It is all-metal and blued. It can use CZ parts.  It comes with two 15-round magazines.

Shipping is $30 (kinda high).  I’ll also be looking at paying my local gunshop $25 to accept the transfer.  The gun was $319.  With total shipping, it’s $375.  Not sure I’m happy about that, but available T-100s are extremely difficult to find, so I’ll eat the shipping costs.

I can’t wait to shoot this gun!

Tristar T-100 with VZ Frag grips
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15 2075 380 AR-556 Bersa Canik CZ Glock M&P Plus RAMI BD Ruger S&W Shark Shark C T-100 T100 Thunder Tristar

New Wishlist

I’m probably not going to get any new guns any time soon…I’m still OK with what I currently have.

I do wonder if I should try to sell a couple since I’m no longer going to California and no longer have the need to be able to bring non-attainable guns with me to that state.  I currently have two Canik TP9SAs, for example…I only really need one.  The plan was to bring two and possibly sell one of them to a CA resident since those are not on the CA DOJ roster.  As well, I’ve two Rock Island Armory 1911s that shoot 9mm ammo…I really only need one, although I can keep one of them to modify/paint.  I’ve even thought about selling my Sig Sauer SP2022 and even my P220…of the two, the P220 has more ‘keep’ potential, although it won’t hurt to keep both of the (I’ve the space).

Some guns I’m thinking about buying next are:

CZ 2075 RAMI BD in 9mm

UPDATE (7/20/2014):  I’m adding the Tristar T-100 to the list.  It is a CZ75 clone and resembles a Baby Desert Eagle (itself a CZ clone).  They are 9mm DA/SA hammer-fired handguns.  There’s also the Canik Shark C, which is identical to the Tristar T-100.  The two colors I’m interested in are the platinum and black, but I only want one of the two:

sootch00 has a good review of the T-100 here:

UPDATE (1/22/2016):  I changed my mind about the Bersa Thunder Pro Ultra Compact.  I have also changed my mind about the RIA rifle and the S&W E-Series 1911…I no longer want any of them.  I do want a Bersa Thunder 380 Plus (or Combat model).  A Glock 22 Gen 3 (used) is also desirable, as well as a Grand Power P1 (mk7 is preferable, to cut costs).  Oh, and a long gun is pretty much mandatory:  I’ll considering either a Ruger AR-556 or a S&W M&P 15 Sport (the Ruger would be the better buy for the same amount of money, though).

To be honest, not a lot is jumping out at me and I should really start thinking about taking a few self defense courses and focus on trying to sharpen my shooting skills.