I’ve you’ve ever fired a Bersa Pistol, odds are you have an appreciation for what I’m about to write. The guns are inexpensive, they typically work exactly as advertised, but Bersas don’t have the same die-hard following of many of their competitors. Yet I’ve never met anyone who has ever had anything damning to say about the guns, and I know a lot more people who will secretly confess to liking the Thunder. Bersas, it seems, are like Mopeds. Mopeds are a lot of fun to ride until someone you know sees you riding one. Well the BP9CC is shaking off the Moped metaphor and making Bersas worth crowing about.
The BP9CC is a great little gun. It works. It isn’t the most accurate pistol in this class. It isn’t the best build I’ve seen from a 9mm compact, but we’ve been force feeding all kinds of junk 9mm into this BP9CC and we can’t make it hiccup, much less choke. When you pull the trigger, the gun runs like a gun should.
Action: Short reset DAO
Barrel Length: 3.3”
Front Sight: Sig Sauer #8
Rear Sight: Glock rear sight
Finishes: Matte Black or Duotone
Grips: Integral to frame
Construction: Polymer Frame/Steel Slide
Safety: Locking System, Firing Pin, Trigger
Weight: 21.5 oz.
There a couple of items of note here. The trigger has a safety feature built in, but if you, or anything, pull on that trigger, it will go. The trigger pull is strange. There’s absolutely no stacking on the trigger. It is smooth all the way back. It is so smooth, in fact, that I was often surprised by the break when trying to place accurate shots. The break occurred earlier than I expected, I think, but it did have the advertised short reset. I’m not complaining about the trigger, exactly. It does its job, and works very well when firing multiple shots quickly. But it is different. As it is a DAO, every pull is exactly the same.
I like that it makes use of Sig and GLOCK sights. This gives some modularity to the pistol that will allow those who want to tinker, even on a budget.
If black isn’t to your liking, you may find the Bersa in green, or two-tone. And for those who don’t approve of the 9mm, you can get a snappy little .40 S&W, or a less effective .380. Up to you.
While it does have a lock on the slide, it doesn’t have a thumb safety. I consider that to be a positive when looking at guns for concealed carry. Yet it won’t fire with the magazine out of the gun. That is a safety, yes, but not a good one. Magazines fail. They fall out. I want to be able to chamber a round and pull the trigger if I need to.
But a Bersa?
Here’s the rub. Much of the market for concealed carry firearms in this country is driven by a mix of function and fashion. Bersa isn’t a fashionable name. Phonetically, it reminds me of Bertha, which isn’t a name I associate with exquisite beauty. In a world where name recognition alone drives sales, the Bersas are at a disadvantage.
And then there’s what I refer to as the over-the-counter evaluation. Imagine you are in the gun store, and old fashioned place with a knowledgeable sales clerk and a wide selection, and you are looking for a small 9mm for concealed carry. The Bersa may eventually come out of the case, but it won’t be first. And by the time it does, you may have pulled some really good triggers, and pulled back on some smooth slides. It would be hard to buy something like a Bersa without feeling like you are settling. And it shouldn’t be that way.
Look at the texture on the gun. Run the slide, and make sure it is safe. Pull the trigger (yes, even in a gun store). Drop the magazine. Look down the sights. Compare the ergonomics and functional features of the gun to other similarly sized 9mms and the BP9CC will come out on equal ground, and for a lot less in most cases.
Yet the finish isn’t going to knock your socks off. The finish on this barrel has spots where it is wearing thin. The frame, which is polymer, has some mold marks, for sure. If you look at these details and judge the gun by them, you’re missing the point. Consider what you’re seeing in relationship to the price tag, and it will make more sense.
Shooting the Bersa
Let’s take it out of the store and put it on the range. The Bersa performs, no questions asked. We had a wide variety of ammo on hand for two different range sessions. Most was bulk 9mm, 115 grain ball. Some of it was domestic production, but most of it was imported. Some was lacquered steel cased stuff. While some of the other, more expensive pistols we had at the range that day were a bit picky about what they shot, the BP9 ate anything fed to it and spit it all out. We ran slow accuracy tests, rapid target acquisition drills, and fast mag dumps. We mixed full powered 124 grain carry ammo in with underpowered reloads. The gun fed all of it reliably and ejected everything.
This is where you have to really question what you want. If you need a gun for concealed carry, but are on a limited budget, than the Bersa may be an ideal option. If you plan on shooting at the range for basic training, and then carrying, then the BP9 may be ideal.
The build isn’t one that suggests this will be a good high mileage gun. If you shoot a lot, and are looking for a gun that you can put several thousand rounds through, I’d probably look at your price point and consider spending more. But if you need something now, the Bersa is here and now, and you aren’t going to pay more for the name.
Is there a downside?
Of course. Holsters aren’t as easy to find as they should be. The Bersa Thunder has been around for so long that many makers offer decent options for the gun. This one combines newness with a touch of obscurity, and that may limit the options. That isn’t to say the BP9 will be hard to carry. Far from it. There are a lot of holster makers, like Sticky Holsters or VersaCarry, that make more generically sized holsters. Check them out, see what suits you.
There is a time and a place for a gun like this. If you pay more for your cigars than I did for my college tuition, than the Bersa will probably not come up on your radar. Yet there are some of us out there who scrape up funds for gun purchases, and look for something that works. Well, here it is.
I’ll close with an anecdote. I like to play a little game called “how much would you pay for this gun?” I take a lot of friends to the range with me, and we shoot, and sometimes they won’t know exactly what they’re shooting. This game is most often played with expensive guns. A friend will shoot a magazine or two and I’ll ask, “how much would you pay for that gun?”
They’ll often sit back and look at it differently. They’ll consider how it shoots, and really examine the fine details. Almost always, they’ll guess low. A $1,200 pistol will sometimes be evaluated at $500 to $600 dollars. Hardly ever is it the other way around, where someone overshoots the value of an inexpensive gun. With an MSRP of $475, I’d say that was just about right. Yet the gun comes up for sale for as much as $100 less than that. The BP9CC is worth more than $375.