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I have an older Bersa Thunder .380 that is all steel and its been an accurate and reliable shooter. My co-worker decided to get her CCW and I taught her to shoot and let her shoot several pistols and she kept coming back to the Bersa and wanted one. I found her a used older model at a local pawn shop that she bought and carries. I like the little piece.
 

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I was about to call BS on the steel-framed Bersa, but an internet search showed that steel frames were a thing with early Bersas: specifically the model 383 of the early 1980s, which was followed by the model 83 from 1988 to about 1994. Neat.
 

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I had a Bersa Thunder plus (15 round 9mm), copy of a Walther p88 breech lock design.
Good quality, excellent accuracy & reliability. Expensive mags. Heavy and had proprietary plastic slip on grips, like the Beretta 90-TWO if anyone remembers those.
The blowback Thunder .380 is a fun gun if you want to satisfy your PPK clone itch but NOT what I’d recommend for carry or new shooters. My Shield 9mm is smaller, lighter and has less recoil.

I’ve had an EZ-380 in the collection for a while, it’s like training wheels, a very easy gun to operate with mild recoil. Actually easier to operate than my blowback .32acp Beretta 81.
 

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These days, there's really not a good reason to buy a blowback 380. They kick more than small 9mm's, the ammo is scarce and always more expensive than 9mm, and small 9mm's can be high capacity. My G43X with flush fitting aftermarket magazines holds 15+1. Depending on the 9mm you can often get superior sights and better triggers than typical 380's. Size wise while small 9mm's are larger than 380's, practically speaking they are just as easy to carry as 380's. I've owned a P3AT and two LCP's. I still own the LCP and gave the P3AT for a friend. I can't get my gf to carry the LCP because she hates shooting it, as do I.
 

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These days, there's really not a good reason to buy a blowback 380.
My Bersa CC, chrome plated and 100 percent reliable & accurate, cost me $175, tax included. Now that, to me, is a good reason!
 
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My Bersa CC, chrome plated and 100 percent reliable & accurate, cost me $175, tax included. Now that, to me, is a good reason!
With the money saved on 9mm (as opposed to 380) it more than makes up the difference very quickly, if you practice much. 25 boxes puts you in range of a 9mm in normal times. And with a 380 you need to practice more, because they are harder to shoot. So that's not much of a reason.
 

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Rural King has them in stock right now for $239 in black and. $303 in Robin egg blue


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Tisas Fatih is very similar gun. Clone of Beretta and also readily available. Seeing them online for $350ish


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With the money saved on 9mm (as opposed to 380) it more than makes up the difference very quickly, if you practice much. 25 boxes puts you in range of a 9mm in normal times. And with a 380 you need to practice more, because they are harder to shoot. So that's not much of a reason.
I reload my own. Notice over the last three days, in other threads, I've put over 300 rounds of 10mm reloads though one Glock 29sf to smooth out it's function. I got lots of primers, power, cases, slugs. I'm a happy man.
 
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I reload my own. Notice over the last three days, in other threads, I've put over 300 rounds of 10mm reloads though one Glock 29sf to smooth out it's function. I got lots of primers, power, cases, slugs. I'm a happy man.
I reload too. But I doubt the OP's friend does. And I doubt most people whose only firearm is a Bersa do either. But even if you reload, there are still way too many advantages of a subcompact 9mm over a 380 these days. A few years ago it was different. We didn't have the same choices.
 

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Try finding 9mm.... just like .380 it's hard to find. Won't matter. And it wasn't a few years ago.. more like 4 months. The run on ammo will go away.

So a $175 .380 is a hard deal to beat if you only have one gun.
 
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Tell you friend to get a .380 EZ instead. Better pistol and you’re more likely to find one.
Not in my experience. I tried the 380 EZ PC model. Hunk of junk. Went to SW for warranty returned as junk.
Ive owned, carried, and shot hundreds of rounds through my bersa firestorm since 2017. No issues. My father, retired LEO, has now carried and qualified with his bersa thunder for the better part of 35 years. Sample size of two, but its accurate, low recoiling, slimline, reliable, and DA/SA w/ decocker. Put underwood XD or honeybadger through it, and it becomes a very good concealed gun.
 

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Not in my experience. I tried the 380 EZ PC model. Hunk of junk. Went to SW for warranty returned as junk.
Ive owned, carried, and shot hundreds of rounds through my bersa firestorm since 2017. No issues. My father, retired LEO, has now carried and qualified with his bersa thunder for the better part of 35 years. Sample size of two, but its accurate, low recoiling, slimline, reliable, and DA/SA w/ decocker. Put underwood XD or honeybadger through it, and it becomes a very good concealed gun.
Different strokes I guess.

I think the S&W EZ is fantastic. More importantly, (since it’s hers) my wife loves it and shoots it very well.
 

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Blowback pistols tend to kick more. In the end some of the 9mm pistols with more traditional setup may produce less recoil.
You and I are usually on the same page, but not this time. In fact, the exact opposite.

My wife has severe arthritis, and is beyond recoil sensitive. She sold her favorite Springfield 9mm when it just got to be too much to handle. Her handgun of choice is a Bersa Thunder Plus, in .380 ACP, because it is heavy, absorbs the recoil, and is the only handgun not in .22LR caliber she can do decent followup shots. Her other option is the Ruger SR22, and frankly while I love them, don't feel comfortable with her relying on a .22LR to defend herself.

We've tried everything from a Sig 365 to a Glock 17L, none of them work for her.
 
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