The Bersa Thunder CC: A Review

The Bersa Thunder series has become a little less known these days; back in the era when concealed carry exploded, circa 2008-ish, they were everywhere. They represented an affordable, sturdy, and well-made concealed carry option. They wouldn’t break the bank, plus they were Walter PPK clones, and the Walther PPK is always cool. These little .380s are still being produced, but Bersa has strayed a bit from the Walther design with models like the CC or Concealed Carry.

bersa thunder 380 logo
The Thunder 380 CC is a gun I like getting dirty with.

At its core, this gun is still a Walther clone. It’s a straight blowback .380 ACP pistol that uses a single stack magazine. The safety is still slide-mounted, and the magazine release sits in front of the grip on the left side. Bersa is an Argentinian company that deals in many international markets.

Bersa thunder cc hammer
The hammer is bobbed but can still be manually cocked.

This also means they have a few extra ‘safety’ features to comply with various laws. These include a magazine disconnect and a lock system, similar to the S&W and Taurus models, which use a key to disable the gun. That’s the boring part of what makes it different than a Walther. What about the part that puts the CC in Thunder CC?

The Bersa Concealed Carry

The Bersa Thunder CC takes the normal Thunder design, trims it, and slims it. They cut corners but in a good way. The sides of the gun have been melted and trimmed to be snag-free. Everything has been melted and modified to enhance concealment for deep carry. Sig Sauer is probably the most famous for this trim work with their SAS guns.

Thunder cc 380 slide
Bersa trimmed the slide to be thin and snag-free.

The Bersa does the same thing with the Thunder CC. The slights are cut and trimmed down to be as small as possible while still functional. The sights are ramped and just high enough to make the dots visible. The gun is still a DA/SA design, but the hammer has been spurred so it fits flush with the slide for a snag-free design. The safety and slide are trimmed and reduced to keep the thing slim and sleek.

Overall, the design of the Thunder CC is unique and somewhat surprising for a weapon designed to be a budget-friendly option. The Bersa Thunder CC weighs 20.5 ounces and uses an aluminum frame to keep the weapon lightweight. The gun still holds eight rounds of .380 ACP with a 3.5-inch barrel to help ensure it’s moving fast enough to expand with JHPs. The gun is 6.6 inches long, 1.35 inches wide, and 4.9 inches tall.

To The Range

From the outset, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Bersa Thunder CC. Blowback .380 ACPs aren’t well-known for being easy to handle. Tiny sights aren’t easy to work with, either. Still, I think the gun’s somewhat original and clever design captured my interest. With a few boxes of .380 ACP and a clear day at the range, I set out to see how well the little gun clicked and popped.

I warmed up with some Bill Drills. It’s six rounds on target from seven yards. The target is an IPSC-sized A zone. I just used a rectangle I printed on copier paper. The drill is all about keeping all six rounds in the box and shooting as fast as possible. From a cold start, I got a 3.39. That’s not exactly fast or acceptable. With a little warm-up, I got it down to 2.69 seconds, which is a lot better but far from perfect.

The tiny sights do present a bit of a challenge. For comparison with the P365, I can score a 2.25-second Bill drill. The small sights and recoil from the straight blowback design make it a little tougher to shoot than a standard short recoil handgun. Still, it’s within the realm of acceptable. With more practice, that number can shrink, but it’s one of the inherent weaknesses of the design.

Out of curiosity as to what those small sights could do, I stepped back to 25 yards and used a full-sized IPSC target as my fodder. This was a basic ready-up drill, and I started with the safety off and hammer down. From the low ready, I aimed and fired, accepting a hit as a success. I was able to do this in 1.69 seconds, which isn’t too bad. By then, the tiny sights clicked in my brain because it all worked, and I felt quick and efficient.

Running The Trigger

These two drills taught me a few things about the gun. The sights do suck. While they are snag-free and concealable, they are tiny little nubs. That doesn’t make them super easy to use or super quick. They are usable, but even on a flat range in the best of lighting, I can just barely see them. In lower-light situations, they disappear. I don’t even mean dark-dark; I mean dimly lit hallways make them tough to see.

While the sights aren’t great, I do appreciate the trigger. It’s better than it has any right to be. The single action is remarkably smooth and short, with just a hair of take-up. The double action is smooth, but it does start to stack near the end of the trigger pull. Still, it doesn’t hurt your accuracy potential and does a great job for a budget gun.

The recoil is a bit stout. As a blowback-operated handgun, the recoil is a little more harsh than most guns its size. After a few hundred rounds, I felt like I was developing a bit of tennis elbow. Of course, most people won’t be throwing that much lead downrange at one time. That extra recoil also makes it tougher to fire quickly and accurately.

Slide bite on shooters hand
The gun will give you some bite if you aren’t careful.

The Bersa Thunder CC is pretty easy to reload. The magazine flies out of the gun when the button is pressed. The slide lock is reduced but still easy to hit. The faster method is to slingshot the slide. The controls are easy to reach but don’t do exceptionally well.

The thunder 380 on wood
The Thunder CC is small but still bigger than most modern compact handguns.

Here Comes the Thunder

By modern standards, the Thunder CC is a bit out of date. Guns like the P365 hold ten rounds of 9mm, have less recoil, and are a bit smaller than the Bersa Thunder CC. Still, if you can find one, they tend to be very affordable firearms. They certainly have a different look and design to them and do offer a high degree of reliability, and even with the small sights, the gun is surprisingly useful. The Thunder CC might not be for everyone, but if you’re on a tight budget and find one for a good deal, it can be a capable carry gun.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

Sign Up for Newsletter

Let us know what topics you would be interested:
© 2024 GunMag Warehouse. All Rights Reserved.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap