The Bersa Thunder is a blowback-operated semi-automatic handgun made in Argentina and available in the United States through Talon Distributing based in Kennesaw, Ga. Bersa, which manufacturers its firearms in the city of Ramos-Mejia near Buenos Aires, was established by a trio of Italian engineers more than six decades ago. The company has a well-established reputation for making affordable and reliable handguns.
The Bersa Thunder is one of those firearms. It’s available in .380 ACP and .22 LR chamberings. Magazine capacity for the .22 is 10, while the larger-bore version can ship with either seven or eight round versions (depending on model).
Barrel length, regardless of choice, is 3.5". Overall gun length is 6.6", height 4.7", width 1.3" and .380 ACP models tip the scales at 20 ozs.. The rimfires come in just shy of 19 ozs.
The front sight is a blade dovetailed into the steel slide, and at the rear is a notched-bar dovetail. The frame is constructed from weight-saving aluminum. Grips are made of polymer and, like the metalwork, available in a dizzying array of colors.
Fire controls include a decocker/manual safety and magazine release on the left side. A slide catch is also located there. The takedown lever is located on the right side of the gun.
There’s no shortage of finishes currently available—clear, flat dark earth, duo-tone, white, gold, matte black, rose gold, nickel, pink, blue and more. There are even versions in the lineup with threaded barrels. MSRPs start at $303.
The frame also includes an integral lock that disables the trigger with a turn of the provided key. It’s not a popular feature with every enthusiast, but there’s no denying it’s added peace of mind for relatively new owners worried about unauthorized access.
As for performance, B. Gil Horman tested one for American Rifleman and concluded, “With its moderate recoil, reliable feeding and solid defensive accuracy, it’s an ideal all-day-every-day concealed-carry piece. It’s hard to believe that it's a budget-friendly gun that can be picked up for real-world prices just at or below $300. With all of the affordably priced accessories available for this pistol, it’s a worthy candidate for daily carry.”