The Bersa Thunder 380 Handgun

The Bersa Thunder .380 Caliber at glance offers the new handgun owner important benefits:

  • Ease in performace and utility and perfect size for concealed carry. 
  • Dynamically designed for ease in carrying and handling with the extended hand grip.  Good for small to medium sized hands.
  • Dramatically comparable to larger sized handguns with the same dependability, but lower in price. 

Points To Consider For Your Handgun Needs

Ease Of Grip

For various hand shapes and sizes this handgun is comfortable and easy to grip with a magazine extender.   

Multiple Safety Features

You won't have to worry when carrying or when you have visiters.  See below for it's many safety and locking features.

Racking The Bersa

Beginners will not have difficulty racking this gun as it has a very easy slide system that even beginners can master.

About  The Bersa Thunder 380 Handgun

Why I Recommend The Bersa Thunder 380

If you're a person who hasn't purchased your first handgun or if you're a new shooter, you need to consider what type of handgun will be dependable for self-defense, yet easy to use. And, if you're like I was, you'll also need a handgun you can feel comfortable with to minimize your concerns of gun ownership.   

You need a handgun that will help you embrace it as a part of your personal protection. Having this attitude, will create the desire to become a profient and responsible handgun owner and shooter if the need were to ever arise.

My research and experience with the Bersa takes into account the user who has had no interest in guns, and may even fear them.  The Bersa was my first gun.  I purchased it while I still had the mindset of having a fear of guns and a fear of what they could do.       

My Research For The Right Caliber Handgun For Me 

If a handgun is too big or powerful, a new shooter won't be willing to practice enough to operate the gun or become proficient enough to hit the target. My recommendation for persons who aren't used to guns and feel intimidated by them is to begin with a caliber that is potent enough to stop an intruder, but has a recoil light enough for the new shooter to use comfortably.

For this purpose, the best caliber for new users and experienced users looking for a smaller gun that won't overpower them, is the .380.  This bullet has good stopping power and as FBI reports indicate, most shootings happen at a distance of seven yards or closer. Therefore it's their conclusion that it's better to put multiple rounds on the target by using a caliber of ammunition that allows the shooter to re-acquire the target quickly after firing the first round.

FBI agents now carry weapons that fire 9mm bullets. Because the 9mm has a stronger recoil, new shooters might find it intimating to use for their first shooting experience.  The .380 caliber is a smaller version of the 9mm caliber so that while the recoil is less, it still is a good choice for personal protection, especially if the shooter is trained to put multiple shots on the target as the FBI recommends. 

The Bersa Thunder 380 Caliber Handgun

Once I had the caliber that seemed right for me, there were many different handguns available to choose from.  So I had to narrow my search further.  I had wanted a very small gun under 3", but research showed that the guns with the shortest barrels were also the ones with the most recoil and because of their size, they were difficult to hold making accuracy questionable.

Further into my research  I came to learn that it was a wiser choice for me to look at guns with barrels of three inches or slightly longer.  This made more sense for my use. Light weight guns were prone to have more muzzle rise when firing, so I focused on guns that were 17 to 21 ounces in weight.

The Bersa Thunder .380 handgun was recommended to me so I quickly purchased it because it fit the criteria that reflected what I needed in a weapon for self-protection.  I wanted a handgun that could serve as home protection as well as a concealed weapon and would be easy to shoot while safe and reliable.  And it would have less of a kick-back than the smaller handguns.

What I came to learn after owning the Bersa Thunder 380 handgun is that it's easier to hold on target which is important to me. But first, and most important, it's simple and reliable.  It has the basic design for this type of gun, which is called a "blow back design."  

This fixed barrel design was developed in the late 1920’s so it's a proven design. It's also a gun that a new shooter can become very accurate shooting. Its size is perfect, when using it concealed and it's easy to fit into a purse or holster. It’s sturdy with a steel slide and an alloy frame.

One of the less expensive, but dependable handguns, it ranges in price from $269.00 to $325.00.


The Bersa is very safe, having several safety mechanisms to keep the new shooter out of danger of misadventure. The Bersa has an external safety that is also a decocker so that when you rack the slide to chamber a round you can depress the safety lever and lower the hammer without fear of firing the round.

It also has a magazine interlock that prevents the gun from firing if the magazine is removed. Lastly, there is a frame lock that you can lock with a key that makes the gun completely inoperable. This makes the gun particularly safe if you're concerned about children gaining access to your gun.

Obviously, the best way to keep a gun safe from children tampering with it is to lock it away in a box or safe and remove ammunition from the gun and store the ammunition separately from the gun. 


The Bersa has an 8 round magazine, and it is described as 8 plus 1 in the chamber, so it is a gun well suited for personal protection.  Bersa recommends using ball ammunition also known as full metal jacket or FMJ.

Bullets come in different grains that indicate the weight, 95 grain bullets are most commonly used for target practice but can also be used for everyday carry. There are other types of bullets for personal protection that can be purchased that will expand upon striking the target so that the bullets don’t continue traveling on outside your walls if you're at home.


Once you purchase your gun make sure you practice racking the slide so you can do it easily. Also make sure you read the free safety manual to familiarize yourself with the safety mechanisms on the gun. If you have never used a gun before and you have no one to help you, find a gun range and seek help from the operators there. Also, take a gun safety class and then practice on a regular basis until you're confident you can use the gun with ease.  

Highlights at A Glance Of The Bersa Thunder 380 Handgun

Bersa Thunder .380 has earned a worldwide reputation of quality and is truly one of the best performance-for-price buys on the market. It’s lightweight, small-frame and ideal capacity combines with Bersa’s time-tested reliability and accuracy to make the Thunder .380 an excellent choice for personal protection.  The key lock is just above the trigger for extra safety. 

Safety Features

The Bersa is very safe, having several safety mechanisms to keep the new shooter out of danger of misadventure. However, always safely lock it away in a safe separate from the ammuntion when children are present.

Important Features

  • External Safety that is also a decocker.
  • Magazine Interlock prevents gun from firing if magazine is removed. 
  • It has a framelock that locks the gun with a key.


The Bersa has an 8 round magazine and it is described as 8 plus 1 in the chamber, so it is a gun well suited for personal protection.  Bersa recommends using ball ammunition also known as full metal jacket or FMJ.  Purchase sources below.


  • Brownells is my best source. They have great specials! 
  • Walmart has good prices but ours doesn't always have a good supply. 
  • Check for specials Online and your local gun store.


The blowback, fixed-barrel design theoretically aids accuracy.  The vast majority of Thunder 380 users, including myself, report favorably on that issue.  If you want to learn more, download the free Thunder 380 manual. 

More Tips

  • Brownells offers an excellent Bersa  .380 selection and prices.
  • Locate a firing range near you to practice regularly.
  • Safely practice using the features on your gun.

I've Purchased Two!  This Could Be The Best Handgun For You Also!

A Closer Look At The Bersa Thunder 380 Handgun

Reverse Side

A. Safety and Decocker.

B. Slide Release

C. Magazine Release             Button.

Download The Manual

Leave Bersa Thunder .380 Handgun For Home Page

Copyright © 2017.  My First Handgun.  All Right Reserved

This is the bottom slider area. You can edit this text and also insert any element here. This is a good place if you want to put an opt-in form or a scarcity countdown.