The Bersa Thunder CC – Budget Awesomeness

My first ever real carry gun was a Bersa .380 ACP. I was a broke Marine who had just turned 21 and had Walther eyes but a Bersa budget. In all fairness, little Bersa served me well. It was the standard Thunder .380. Over the years, my carry guns evolved and grew, as did my budget. However, the little Bersa also charmed me, and when I saw a Thunder CC in the used gun portion of one of my favorite gun stores, I swooped it up!

The Thunder CC still has the little charm of the Walther design, and internally, it isn’t much different. The gun is a blowback-operated, fixed barrel .380 ACP. What Bersa does differently with the Thunder CC model is trim and melt corners to create a very smooth and trim design. It’s almost the same treatment SIG gives its SAS guns.

They melted corners and lines. The hammer is deburred, and the sights are smoothed over and simplified. The idea is to give the Thunder CC a deep carry option that won’t snag when drawn. They cut and trimmed the design in an impressive way that Walther never accomplished. If you look at the lineup of Bersa handguns, they make more than Walter clones.

Yet, their Walther clones are often more creative and inspired than Walther’s own PPK. Models like the CC, the TPR, and the double-stack variants show a willingness to be a bit different and interesting from an old design.

Dissecting the Thunder CC

The Thunder CC is a super interesting little design. As covered, the corners are melted, and the gun is shrunk in a few ways. For example, the beavertail is shorter overall, and the magazine is flush fit and doesn’t feature a pinky extension. The hammer has been deburred, so it sits flush with the slide.

It’s still a double-action/single-action design, and you can manually cock the hammer to single-action, but it’s as easy or as fast as a standard hammer. I likely wouldn’t suggest doing so and just make your initial shot a double-action shot. The Thunder CC comes with a single stack eight, round magazine, and chambers the classic .380 ACP round.

The gun comes with a slide-mounted safety that doubles as a decocker. The slide lock still remains large and aggressive for such a small gun. Across the top, the sights are very small. In fact, they are the suggestions of sights moreso than sights. These are smooth and rounded evenly across the top. Bersa tops both the front and rear with white dots that make them stand out just a little bit.

To The Range

I thought I knew what to expect with the Thunder CC. It’s small, blowback-operated, with tiny sights. I expected harsh recoiling, difficult-to-shoot firearm. I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong.

On the recoil front, it is somewhat stiff but doesn’t hurt your hand like other blowback-operated pistols. In fact, I found it to be surprisingly soft for such a compact .380 ACP. Keeping the gun low and on target proved easy to accomplish between shots. I shot a modified 10-10-10 drill, the modification being I fired eight rounds instead of ten. I was able to keep all 8 in the black of a B8 target in about 8.7 seconds. With practice, I can drive that number down.

The sights are somewhat small, and you won’t get that one ragged hole accuracy out of them. However, they are adequate and easy enough to track between shots to put a fist-sized group into a target at 15 yards. As far back as 25 yards, I was able to ring the steel of an IPSC target.

What really helps is a surprisingly smooth trigger. I don’t remember the details of my original Bersa’s trigger, but the Thunder CC is super smooth. The double action is surprisingly nice and moves smoothly, and the single action has a bit of takeup but then breaks cleanly and easily.

On the reliability front, it had no problem eating the Fioochi blue box FMJs. A few hundred over the course of a couple of days with zero cleaning proved the gun was reliable. The little Bersa Thunder CC has some bite.

Going Far For Cheap

The Bersa Thunder CC might feel a little outdated compared to a number of modern guns. It’s still very capable for self-defense purposes. The real benefit of the Bersa Thunder CC is just how affordable it is. That’s where the gun shines. It’s an affordable option for concealed carry. It’s not just a small gun, but a gun designed to be easy to carry and easy to deploy. It does a lot for the money and disappears with ease.

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Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.

He serves as an NRA-certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.


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