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Discussion Starter #1
After almost becoming the victim of an attempted carjacking a few months back, I decided I needed to carry something other than the Bersa .380 I've been packing. It stopped the carjacking, but left me wondering how effective it would have been if I'd had to actually use it. So I started looking around for something about the same size with more punch.

After spending dozens of hours reading various forum posts, checking dozens of gun maker's websites, and talking to tons of people, I finally ran across an ad for the Bersa Thunder 45. Not much bigger than my .380, (wider, but otherwise about the same) it holds the same number of rounds (7+1), and has a grip big enough for my hands, but not too big to be hard to hide. I bit the bullet last week and ordered one, the model with the stainless slide.

While awaiting delivery, I scoured the on-line Gunzines for ANY review of the gun, but found NOTHING. Uh-Oh! When you don't see anything, anywhere, it usually means the gun is impossible to find or no reviewer had anything good to say about it. I checked Gun Tests, G & A, Shooting Times, everywhere I could think of. Nada. Oh No, what have I done?

It arrived yesterday, oil-soaked but still impressive. I expected one magazine but instead found two. It has a key-lock I'll never use, and it's not the easiest to use anyway, and I'm not worried about it locking accidently, the detent is pretty strong.

At the range today, I ran 200 rounds thru it, 100 handloads with a 200-grain lead roundnose, and 100 rounds of 230-grain factory ball ammo. It shot EXACTLY to POI at seven yards with everything, about as far as I'd ever use a self-defense gun. The ergonomics are very good, and several people with bigger hands than mine also liked the way it feels. The rear sight has a white outline, the front has a white dot, and they were easy to pick up, even in dim light. Shooting 2-handed braced at 7 yards, I got a nice 1" group, more than once. One handed standing averaged about three, but the trigger hasn't smoothed out yet, and is still kind of gritty. There is ZERO backlash, likely thanks to a stud on the back face of the trigger. It's not adjustable, but it works just fine as is.

I had looked at several Kahr guns, but the lack of a safety and the price put me off. I'm serious about CCW, but my budget is still limited, and I figured what I didn't spend on the gun would go for practice ammo, and it will. My price out the door was right at $450 with 100 rounds of ammo, darned fair, if you ask me.

There WERE some glitches. On several occasions, the slide locked open in the middle of a string. It ONLY did this with the heavier-bullet, factory ammo, not with the slightly milder handload. I'm convinced the gun was designed around the use of the lighter bullets, likely 185- and 200-grain loads, and plan on carrying the gun with those anyway, probably Gold Dots or Silvertips. After, of course, I test them to make sure it feeds them properly!

Recoil is about what you'd expect from a 6.7", 27 ounce (empty) 45 ACP. Snappy, but not excessive, no worse than any compact 9mm I've shot. Or 40, for that matter, although some say the 40 has too much recoil for them. I've never agreed with that notion, though my 40 is a full-size, all steel Witness. I simply don't notice it. It's not a 38, but it's not a magnum, either. 45's are supposed to kick, and this one does. Practice will make that a moot point, and I intend to practice with it a LOT. After all, it's my CCW gun!

Barring any unforseen complications, I'm thinking this is the CCW gun I'll be carrying for a long time. I loved my other Bersa, but it was just too anemic for me to trust my life to. The price of the 45 was right, it's reliable with the right ammo (thus far), it fits me like a glove and disappears in a good holster. In my neighborhood, that's a lot of comfort in such a small package!

Papajohn the Protected
 

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It is always good to get get good reports.
Scary too hear of the carjacking attempt--but very good too hear of the outcome.
I am glad too hear of your decision to upgrade calibers, I think that is a good decision and I am happy too hear the range report of the new gun. It should smooth out in a few more sessions.
I carry a Walther in my pocket when out of the car--.380 PPK--but in the car a .45 is the go to weapon.
I have not experienced your situation but I hope mine would come off exactly as your.
Blessings
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Mr Layton, I have been putting it off, but have decided to spend some time and write up the attempted carjacking, it might be a good lesson for those who think it could never happen to them, like I did. The Good Lord was with me that day! A combination of things got me out of there alive and unscathed, many of which were not normally in place.

I'll try to get it on this forum Saturday. It's amazing all the details you remember, after the fact!

Papajohn
 

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A write up of the carjack atp. would be welcome , and give a report on the gun after more use please as you are correct no much on them !
 

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Papajohn, thanks for the report. I use to have a Bersa (I don't recall the model). It was a single stack .380. I felt the gun was too big for the caliber and traded it. I always liked the gun and it was dependable. After reading your post I am thinking of getting the Bersa Thunder 45.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Pete, the more I shoot this Bersa the more I like it. The SA trigger keeps getting better, if I do my best I can keep all 8 shots in a little over an inch at 7 yards, pretty good for me. I think it would feed any bullet profile I fed it, it eats everything, even the stubby wadcutters. The feed out of the magazine is almost a straight line into the chamber, and the sights are easy to pick up. I may swap the front sight for a Tritium unit, I honestly think that's the only modification I'd make. It's a little bigger than the .380 I used to carry, but I have a LOT more faith in it, and it's been dead reliable with light-bullet loads. I'm thinking the 185-grain Silvertip might be the perfect load for it, but I plan on testing several, including the Gold Dots and maybe some lighter Hydra-Shoks. So many loads, so little time (and $!)

Papajohn
 

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PapaJohn, I think there are a lot of people like you who start out carrying a mousegun and after their first real scare get to thinking about the reality of what they are doing. Congratulations on having the good sense to get a real gun, maybe some of the other mousegun fans here will pick up on what you've experienced.
 

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Papa,
Congrats on finding the perfect carry gun!! I find the perfect gun about half a dozen times a year! ;D ;) ;D
Savage
 

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some buy a "GUN " they buy it to fit a space . they have no knowledge of the limitations involved until they get the **** scared out of them then they become experts ! that is if they live thru. it !
 
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