View Full Version : Your thoughts on Firestorm .380 by Bersa?

07-12-2010, 2:17 PM
My brother is in the market for a compact pistol in the $300 range and came across the Firestorm .380. I can't say I'm all that familiar with Bersa or Firestorm products, but I understand a lot of Bersa owners are very happy with their purchases. I'd like to hear thoughts/opinions from any Firestorm owners, specifically on the Firestorm .380. Aside from .380 acp being a little hard to come by, are you happy with your purchase? What do you like/dislike about it? Quality? Reliability? Any information is greatly appreciated.

07-12-2010, 2:25 PM
I am not familiar with the Firestorm model, so all I can talk about is the model I owned.

I had a Bersa Thunder .308 Bitone pistol. For a backup gun (or purse gun for a woman) I would say it was pretty cool. It was well made, and had not only a thumb safety but an internal gun lock. Both great things for gun you are going to dump in a bag or stash in a place that something like a Glock would be a liability.

I would NOT want it for a primary. The sights are built into the frame and pretty hard to see. The frame itself is very small which makes hanging onto it and shooting it more difficult than a fullsize gun. Fatigue sets in around the 400 round mark and you start limp wristing it causing malfunctions, making it a difficult gun to train with during a handgun course or a long day at the range. Additionally, a .380 is a last resort round. Not something you want to stake your life on.

It definately fills a nice little nitch. You can safely stash it just about anywhere and it will be there when you need it. However, I don't like dropping below a 9mm if I have a choice. I keep thinking about picking another one up, for a backup. But the fact that is a .380 keeps preventing me from doing so.

07-12-2010, 2:39 PM
I would get a .38 spl revolver like a Charter Arms or Taurus! Possibly a bit more than 3 bills though!

07-12-2010, 2:45 PM
I am very happy with my Bersa Thunder .380. I am told the Firestorm is the same, I do not know this for fact.
I think of my .380 as the small back-up gun. I would not keep it as a primary HD gun either. The finish is not great, but acceptable for a lower priced gun. I usually only shoot about 50 rounds at a time. I than clean it and lube it for next outing. It has never had a failure of any kind. I shoot up to 10 yards at an indoor range. Groups are under tennis ball sized. In an HD situaion, I would be less than 10' away. This is good enough for a 'Pocket Gun'.
I use Cor-Bon DPX for the HD round. Ballistics are good for .380. I use WWB mostly for the range. $30 for 100 rounds at WM.
Good luck.

07-12-2010, 2:49 PM
You could try a bulgarian makarov or a cz-82 both are in the same price range, both are compact pistols and both shoot 9x18 mak which is right smack dab between 380 and 9mm in power.

07-12-2010, 2:59 PM
I'd like to hear thoughts/opinions from any Firestorm owners,

I own a FireStorm Mini 40. It doesn't have the greatest finish in the world and it's not much to look at, and forget about finding readily available accessories for it, but I gotta say the more I shoot it the more impressed with it I am. I like it.

As far as I know (ahem)... the FireStorm .380 and the Bersa Thunder 380 are the same except for aesthetics. Bersa has the squared trigger guard and no finger grooves on the frontstrap, whereas Firestorm has a rounded trigger guard and a finger groove grip. I like the looks of the Bersa better myself... provided you can find a non-duo tone model. Finding accessories for these models is not a problem, or at least I've never heard of anyone complaining about that. Pretty much anything that fits a PPK.

07-12-2010, 3:04 PM
I purchased a Bersa Thunder 380 3 weeks ago for my daughter. I runs great. No problems and no FTF at all. So far about 100 rounds through it and 100% reliable. I highly recommend this short arm.

07-12-2010, 3:17 PM
I think Bersa Thunders are neat little, lower priced pistols. That being said, 9mm is definitely cheaper ammo than .380. If your friend wants to shoot regularly, they'll save more money in the not-too-long-run on ammo with something in 9mm. If it's just for carry, cool. Otherwise, they'd be better off getting something like a Ruger p94 in 9mm.


07-12-2010, 4:52 PM
I definetely agree on ammo price I owned a firestorm .380 and it's pretty nicefor the price range safety decocker, upswept beavertail, nurling across the top of the slide, and fairly nice fit and finish but I hated buying.380 ammo do I sold it but coming from someone who owned that same gun that's my thoughts on it

07-12-2010, 4:54 PM
Oh forgot it's exactly the same as the bersa except fir name

07-12-2010, 6:08 PM
I would get a .38 spl revolver like a Charter Arms or Taurus! Possibly a bit more than 3 bills though!

I bought and sold a Taurus .38 snubbie before I owned the Bersa Thunder. Much happier with the Bersa.

07-12-2010, 6:20 PM
Loved my bersa. Sold it to my Dad, but I'm very likely going to buy it back this very weekend. Very comfortable, and it was one of those .45 in the safe, .380 in the hand deals:

It was always with me...

which made it a much better gun than others that I had. I think it was simply because it was fun to carry around, and 100% reliable after a couple hundred rounds and a bit of feed ramp polishing. (very minimal. like 5 mins work)

Very easy to take down.
Expensive but quality $30.00 mags
very slim single stack design
very accurate
I actually very much liked the sights...


p.s. during the ammo shortage, I only had about 100rds on hand, but honestly I felt very prepared with 3 mags of .380 FMJ's, knowing that even in an emergency, it was very unlikely that I'd fire a round. If I did, a double-tap center mass was very doable, due to the inherantly(sp) accurate blow-back design and low recoil. Again one of those "3 hits of .380acp are better than 1-2 misses of .45acp" things.

07-12-2010, 6:26 PM
Oh, and firestorm is Bersa, Bersa is firestorm. Same gun. No problemo.

I can get a duo-tone bersa here in san diego for $296.00 OTD(out the door with tax and DROS, included) Hell of a deal, and the only real contender other than the P95 from ruger which is a 9mm, and can be had for around $350 + tax and dros

07-12-2010, 8:05 PM
I picked up the Mini Firestorm 9mm by Bersa several years back and I am quite happy with it. Well over 300rds down the tube without a hickup. It shoots quite a nice group at 25yrds for being small at that. Seems quite well made as it's still nice and tight, and the finish is holding up nicely. Did make a mistake when picking up two extra mags, one was for a 40 not 9mm, but that's not the pistols fault.

07-12-2010, 10:22 PM
The Firestorm and Thunder are almost twins, but not quite. Bullwinkle was correct in his description of the differences. Here's the importer's web site and you'll see the Thunder above the Firestorm. I've got a Thunder and later added Firestorm grips to it.


380 ammo is expensive and difficult to obtain. I think it's a bargain of a gun but the recoil has a sharp component that bothers me. I just slip on a pair of shooting gloves and all is well. I've shot WWB, Remington, PMC, Sellier & Bellot - all in FMJ, Remington Golden Saber in Self Defense ammo. The gun never hiccuped on any of them.

07-12-2010, 10:35 PM
i really want one! i shot it once about 2 years ago... really nice little firearm, 50 rounds (reloads) not one jam!

07-13-2010, 2:22 PM
I had one, worked good. Wish i would of kept it. Thinking of buying another one.