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Concealed Carry Handgun Reviews Pistols Semiauto

Review: Bersa BP 9 CC

by Paul Scarlata   |  April 27th, 2012 26
Bersa Thunder BP 9 CC

The Bersa BP 9 CC is a polymer-framed, striker-fired that proved a smooth shooting 9mm, although the initial sample experienced extraction problems.

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Argentine firm Bersa, S.A., but for those who haven’t, here’s a quick rundown. The company was founded in the mid-1950s by three Italian mechanical engineers—one of whom had worked for Beretta—who’d emigrated to Argentina to make parts for the now-defunct arms manufacturer Ballester Molina.

 

In 1959 they introduced their own .22 pistol, the Modelo 60—a modified Beretta design that sold extremely well—and in 1989 they introduced their first full-size combat pistol, the 9mm Modelo 90.

 

Bersa Thunder BP 9 CC controls

The BP 9 CC’s design dispenses with any external controls save the slide release, which helps make it a great carry gun. The positive serrations on the slide make it easy to work.

In 1994 they brought out the Thunder line, which have steel slides, alloy frames, double-action/single-action triggers and slide-mounted decocking/safety levers. The Thunder 32 and 380 are blowback designs while the Thunder 9 and 40 utilize a locked-breech, short-recoil system and high-capacity magazine.

 

Today the Thunder 9 is the standard sidearm of the Argentine Armed Forces, Argentine Federal Police, Buenos Aires Provincial Police and number of other South American law enforcement agencies. But wanting to grab some U.S. market share, the company designed a polymer-frame pistol, the BP 9 CC (CC for concealed carry).

 

The Bersa BP 9 CC has a square-profile steel slide that reciprocates on four steel “slide-guide” rails integral with the frame. The slide has sharply cut grapsing grooves for sure manipulation event with gloved or wet hands.

 

It’s a striker-fired design, which which means there is no external hammer while its double-action-only trigger does away with the necessity for external safety levers. In fact, the only external controls are the trigger, ambidextrous magazine releases and slide-stop lever. The result is a smooth, snag-free exterior, which is just what you want on a handgun that is designed to be carried and drawn from concealment.

 

Bersa Thunder loaded-chamber indicator

A loaded-chamber indicator behind the ejection port provides a visual and tactile way to assess the gun’s condition.

Thanks to its polymer construction, the grip is only 0.92 inch wide. An accessory rail on the dust cover allows mounting of lights or other tactical devices while textured “finger locater” pads are situated above the trigger guard to help the shooter keep his trigger finger away from the trigger when not intending to fire.

 

The three-dot, drift-adjustable sights are steel, and behind the ejection port is a loaded-chamber indicator.

 

A single column, eight round magazine is retained by ambidextrous magazine releases and has an extended base pad to provide a full three-finger purchase on the gun. Magazines fall free loaded or unloaded, slide forward or locked back.

 

The BP 9 CC uses a variation of the tried-and-true Browning locking system in which the hood of barrel chamber moves up into, and bears against, the front edge of the ejection port.

 

Besides its double-action-only trigger and loaded-chamber indicator, the BP 9 CC has a passive firing pin safety that prevents the pistol from firing without a complete stroke of the trigger while a magazine disconnect safety prevents it from being fired with the magazine removed. The Integral Blocking System on the slide is activated by turning it 45 degrees with a supplied key that locks the sear and slide in place, preventing unauthorized firing.

 

Bersa Thunder Internal Block Safety

An internal lock system, the Internal Block Safety, is a key-operated mechanism that blocks both sear and slide to prevent unauthorized operation.

My initial sample pistol displayed good materials, fit and finish. I was taken with its ergonomics; it’s a naturally pointing pistol. The thin cross section of the grip, which I believe is one of the narrowest of this class of polymer pistols, will make it a natural for people with smaller hands.

 

The trigger had a bit more than a half-inch of take-up before it broke and little overtravel. While the trigger had a bit of staging halfway through the stroke and felt a bit mushy. Pull weight was 4.9 pounds, according to my RCBS trigger scale.

 

The controls were well located and easy to manipulate, although the magazine releases required quite a bit of pressure to activate.

 

Test firing was conducted from a rest at 15 yards with three different types of 9mm ammunition; results are found in the accompanying chart. I thought the groups were more than adequate for a compact, service type pistol. After chronographing was complete, I set up a pair of combat targets, belted on a Gould & Goodrich Yaqui Belt Slide holster and proceeded to run it through a number of drills, including: draw and fire double-taps at five yards; draw and fire head shots only at five yards, combat reload and repeat; and draw and slow-fire from seven yards.

 

The Bersa performed decently in these drills, although the mushy trigger caused a number of my shots to hit lieft. The sights were large and easy to acquire, and recoil control was excellent for pistol with such a narrow grip. The difficult mag release slowed reload times.

 

Also, after I had run about 200 rounds through the BP 9 CC I began experiencing extraction problems. The extractor would slip off the case rim, leaving the spent case only partially extracted from the chamber. Per Handguns policy, I requested a replacement pistol, which ran perfectly. In addition, the magazine release buttons on this pistol were much easier to operate.

 

All in the all, though, the BP 9 CC proved a fine-handling pistol with more than acceptable accuracy and good recoil control for a pistol of this size and weight. I feel it would make a practical concealed-carry pistol.

 

Fast Specs

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger (tested), .40 S&W
  • Capacity: 8-round detachable magazine
  • Weight: 21.5 oz.
  • Barrel: 3.3 in.
  • OAL/Height/Width: 6.35/4.8/0.94 in.
  • Construction: matte or nickel steel slide, polymer frame
  • Sights: drift-adjustable 3-dot
  • Trigger: DAO, 4.9 pull as tested
  • Safety: Integral Blocking Safety (key supplied)
  • Price: matte, $429; nickel, $449
  • Manufacturer: Bersa

Accuracy Results

  • Smallest avg. group: 147 gr. Federal Hydra Shok—2.3 in.
  • Largest avg. group: 124 gr. Remington FMJ—2.6 in.
  • Avg. of all ammo tested (3 types)—2.4 in.
  • Note: Group size is the average of three five-shot groups fired from an MTM K-Zone rest at 15 yards.
  • Ross

    This looks like a great new gun but 21 oz unloaded is a bit on the heavy side for concealed carry.

  • RosenOtter

    Are you hiring editors? This article is full of typos and badly-formed sentences.

    • Barry Barnett

      Shut up Spaz.

  • bob

    The first post illustrates poor thinking. If you are ONLY going to carry a firearm,but NEVER going
    to fire it then carry a 10 oz gun. But.. if you plan on shooting the gun a lot,as you should any gun
    you are counting on to save your bacon , the lighter the more felt recoil and harder to shoot
    accurately. This will also keep most people from shooting that particular gun very often.All said
    21 oz is not to heavy for concealed carry.

    • Kurt

      Bob, your pompous response to Ross' comment is unwarranted. Thanks for enlightening Ross and the rest of us to rudimentary points that most of us already know about and have given a certain relative amount of weight. In the end what Ross pointed out is still correct. And what you said doesn't change that.

    • Kurt

      BTW, I don't think 21oz. is too heavy for concealed carry

  • Arothechild

    Typical gun magazine review…"It's got a terrible trigger and stopped working reliably after 200 rounds…but I'd recommend it!"

    Nice.

  • Dave

    I don't think I'd pay upwards $450 for this gun. You can get the new S&W single stack 9mm for $419 or the LC9 for around $329 at my local gun store. I think $299 would be a good price point for this Bersa.

  • Guest,

    21oz not to heavy My DanWesson 1911 weights more than that and with good holster and belt no problem to carry.

  • Emil

    21oz is not heavy, and you should be able to get this gun for $350

  • Bob

    I found this gun in mesa for $369, I liked it but thought it was a little high for product from this caliber of manuf.
    $300 and I woulda scoffed it up. May change my mind though.

    • marcusking

      In the Philippines it will cost you Php 30,350, roughly $ 740

  • Alford

    I underestand that the Bersas sold to law enforcement agencies in Argentina are very low quality unreliable firearms.

    • Vic

      Well, it’s an urban myth as well as a fact. I mean, I live in Argentina and I personally would not buy a Bersa, at least not the ones that they provide us with over here. They are excellent quality, but the thing is that after 3 out of 10 pistols display issues, jamming, extraction problems, etc… reputation comes by itself and I myself being in law enforcement, wouldn’t trust my life to one. Even tho foreign guns cost 3 times as much as in other countries (I paid $1600usd for my P226), the ones that can avoid Bersa at all costs. The model 380 however, is the most trusted one and accessible over here (about $300usd).

  • SCULLY

    SO U THINK A GREAT CO. LIKE BERSA SELLS CRAPP GUNS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT? RITE, RITE ! AND I BET THEY DONT CHECK THE GUNS OUT 1ST OR HELL EVEN FIRE THEM. AND THEN AFTER THEY SUCK , SHOOT LIKE CRAPP AND FALL APART THEY BUY MORE BY THE THOUSANDS. KEEP 2 OR 3 ON YA SO WHEN 1 FALLS APART, GRAB ANOTHER BROTHER! NOT!!

  • Tom

    I bought this handgun about a month ago and really like the short trigger
    reset. Very much like my Walther P99Q that has the best trigger reset!
    I have 3 Bersas- .22LR, .380 & 9mm-all good guns and all reliable and
    enjoyable to shoot. Not the quality of my Walthers or Glock 19, but overall
    still good.

  • Mark

    First let me say that I am a Bersa fan. I have a Thunder 9mm Ultra Carry, 3 Thunder .380s, and a model 94 in .380. My wife just bought the BP9cc as her 1st concealed carry gun. We looked at the Walther PPS and the Ruger LC9. The Bursa ran about $100-$175 less than the others and has a much better trigger pull the ether of the others. It shoots well and I was very impressed with it. I agree about the Magazine release being too stiff. I would buy another one and recommend it heartily. It does not shoot as well as a Glock 19 but has the Springfield .40 Sub compact beat hands down. My wife has small hands w/o much strength in them. This is a great gun for her or anyone else that is looking for a small 9mm. It is an exceptional value. Like all Bursas I would say buy it now as it will catch on and the price will go up.

    • marcusking

      I bought one recently at a gun show in the Philippines for Php 31,057.50 including license. I hope that I bought the right one as this is my first. Haven't received it yet.

  • Stan

    I bought a BP9cc an right out of the box it started jaming up. Tryed plus P ammo an still jammed. The slide is way to stiff an there for doesen't blow back enough to exstract the fired round. I wouldn't carry this for self defense. I am going to try 147 gr rounds an if the problem still happens it will be lookin for a new home. Stan.

    • Tenngun

      Bersas are known to be shipped with grease that can be gummy. Over at Besachat Forums they all recommend thorough cleaning before first usage to avoid issues like yours is having. Or you may have a lemon. Bersa has Lifetime Warranty. Good luck. You won't have a problem selling if you want to.

    • Randy

      put some from oil or frog Lube it will be fine I use Froglube on mine after cleaning it and had no problems with it I love the gun.

    • Tim

      Did 147gr rounds fix the issue?

  • William Mc

    I have a Thunder 9mm Ultra Compact and you can't beat it. Most acurate pistol I ever owned and shoots anything.

  • Randy

    my wife just bought me the BP9cc from a local gun shop first time I’ve ever seen one. it felt really good in my hand. I took it out and shot it and I love the gun. I own blocks and didn’t think I would carry anything else. I recommend you go get you one.

  • Tim

    I don’t understand all the comments about a terrible trigger on the BP9cc? I have a Walther PPQ and of course, the trigger motion and reset is amazing. I tried the BP9cc trigger and absolutely no finger pinch and the motion and reset are just AS AMAZING as my PPQ. Either some people have really fat, flabby, finger with skin folds hanging off them to get caught in the BP9cc trigger or they don’t know hot to properly place their digit pad on a trigger. I tried very hard to make the trigger pinch my finger and could not do it.

  • bk

    Shot about 50 rds of Remmington FMJ today from my new Bersa BP9. After reading several reports on the net AND following factory instructions, I cleaned the gun before taking it to the range. I have several guns from new. This is the first one I had to clean beforehand.

    The first & second rounds failed to chamber properly. I removed that magazine and inserted the next. Again, 1st rd logged 1/2 way up the feed ramp. I slapped the slide forward and was able to fire off 7 fairly well grouped shots, 2-3″, from 15 yards.

    From a box of 50, I short loaded the two magazines with 2-3 bullets to see if it might be a mag issue, but continued to have the same feeding issue. I had my 9mm Sigma with me, loaded with JHP. I shot 5 of those with no problem. After that I got a few short loaded mags to fire with no issue. I will clean again and try again with another brand of ammo.

    I paid the same price I found a new S&W Shield. Those are under a recall at this time. I’d heard such good reviews on this Bersa. I want it to work out.

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