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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I've mentioned before that my Beretta Model 81 is a PITA to rack, the Bersa Thunder 380 not so much.

The Bersa is .380 cal while the Beretta is the smaller .32 cal, both pistols are of blowback design and are approximately the same overall size.

BERSA THUNDER .380 DUO TONE
21.JPG


BERETTA MODEL 81:
DSCN0546.JPG


The grip area on the Bersa slide is just a bit more "grabby" than the Beretta, meaning the grooves are more pronounced making it easier to grasp. The grip area on both appears to be close to the same overall size, the grooves on the Beretta are more closely spaced together.

The Beretta factory recoil spring is 14lb, not sure of the Bersa rating.

The Bersa slide weighs 7.8oz, the Beretta slide weighs 7.6oz (with the barrel, recoil spring, and guide out). Weight on the Beretta goes up to 11.0oz with them installed.

Theory sez that the lighter the slide the heavier the spring must be so it doesn't slam back so hard. Both slides weigh approximately the same (Bersa 7.8, Beretta 7.6).

The Bersa recoil spring (no guide rod, the barrel is the guide rod) is much bigger diameter and slips over the fixed barrel, while the Beretta spring is much smaller diameter/shorter and has a guide rod, that along with the barrel, fits into the slide as separate parts.

I'm leery about trying a less stiff spring in the Beretta because it could damage the gun. But the fact the Beretta is of smaller caliber would indicate to me the spring doesn't need to be the strength it is (whatever that is), if I compare the 2 guns.

It could be nothing more than the grip area on each gun, with the slightly smaller area on the Beretta causing the problem. It could also be the position of the safety lever on each gun. The Bersas lever is midway up on the slide:

22.JPG

The slide on the Beretta is on both sides of the frame:
DSCN0542.JPG

Even though the Bersa safety is not Ambi, it may help in racking the slide whereas the Beretta safety is Ambi but provides nothing to pull against when racking.

Anyone else got either/both of the guns? What's your take?

All I know is I have to put a KungFu grip on the Beretta...have to be strong like bull!!!
 

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I Stand With Talon
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I have both and have no issue with either racking them. You may wish to review your racking technique to make sure you are getting the proper leverage and movement.
 

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Resident PITA
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Anyone else got either/both of the guns? What's your take?
2 Thunders and a Cheetah. No problems. Stupid question for ya. Tried cocking before racking?
 
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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #4
I have both and have no issue with either racking them. You may wish to review your racking technique to make sure you are getting the proper leverage and movement.
I rack em both the same.

2 Thunders and a Cheetah. No problems. Stupid question for ya. Tried cocking before racking?
Done that too and it does help some.

Does someone offer a gauge that would measure the amount of pull on a slide? As many different types of guns/slides/grip grooves/grip angles as there are I kinda doubt it.

Brass Stacker makes this for Glocks, maybe I could make one for the Beretta and be done with it:

slide pull.jpg


Or...let my arms/shoulders heal up from one of the "Itises", old age, and/or tree limb damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Beretta slide is actually thicker, .979" compared to the Bersa at .861", just measured them with my caliper.
 

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King of you Monkeys
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I've used both and didn't have a issue with either, but I didn't shoot them at the same time. So I'm not much help. Does wolff have different springs for it??
 

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Discussion Starter #8
They have 14, 15, and 16lb springs for the Beretta 81, but nothing lower than the 14lb factory type.

I'm beginning to wonder if the spring in mine is OEM or not.
 

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King of you Monkeys
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They have 14, 15, and 16lb springs for the Beretta 81, but nothing lower than the 14lb factory type.

I'm beginning to wonder if the spring in mine is OEM or not.
It might not be. Or it could be. Buy one and try it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It might not be. Or it could be. Buy one and try it out.
I tried to play engineer and find an online formula for determining spring rates and tried this one:

https://www.icalculator.info/engineering/compression-spring-calculator.html

But I have no idea what material the spring is and I'm not positive if the results are accurate. Plugging in the data I got by measuring the spring, the formula says it is rated at 7.263lbs/in..

So does that mean if the spring is 3.34" long then this spring is 24.26lbs (if it's 7.263lbs per inch, then 7.263x3.34=24.26)!?!?! That's what it feels like when I yank on the thing, 24lbs :yikes:

What I need to figure out is how to measure the strength of the spring in the gun, then compare it to what the Wolff springs are.

For approximately $10 I can get a Wolff spring and just see what the difference is.

Here's a shot of the calculations, for those who have nothing else to look at :rotfl::

spring strength20200104_18392328.jpg
 

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King of you Monkeys
Up down
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19,708 Posts
I tried to play engineer and find an online formula for determining spring rates and tried this one:

https://www.icalculator.info/engineering/compression-spring-calculator.html

But I have no idea what material the spring is and I'm not positive if the results are accurate. Plugging in the data I got by measuring the spring, the formula says it is rated at 7.263lbs/in..

So does that mean if the spring is 3.34" long then this spring is 24.26lbs (if it's 7.263lbs per inch, then 7.263x3.34=24.26)!?!?! That's what it feels like when I yank on the thing, 24lbs :yikes:

What I need to figure out is how to measure the strength of the spring in the gun, then compare it to what the Wolff springs are.

For approximately $10 I can get a Wolff spring and just see what the difference is.

Here's a shot of the calculations, for those who have nothing else to look at :rotfl::

View attachment 60389
Get the 15 lb spring. Its middle ground. Or buy the set and sell the other 2 on Ebay after you find the one that works in racking and function
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #13
You might just try racking the slide with your other hand, or try a different grip?:)
I've tried a number of different methods, including making this thing:

racker 3.jpg

racker 2.jpg

It works just fine but I don't like putting my hand in front of the barrel to rack it.

Or buy the set and sell the other 2 on Ebay after you find the one that works in racking and function
That may be the easiest/best option.
 

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Banned
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I've tried a number of different methods, including making this thing:

View attachment 60393
View attachment 60395
It works just fine but I don't like putting my hand in front of the barrel to rack it.

That may be the easiest/best option.
If you swap out the spring for a different tension, the pistol might not operate correctly anymore, that is what I would be concerned with. Maybe this is a good pistol to sell on down the road and replace it with another:)
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #15
I like the pistol and can rack it, but man, I have to convince myself to just do it. Plus I think as soon as my arm(s) get back to normal it won't be so difficult.

In the mean time, I ordered the 14lb spring from Wolff.
 

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Premium Member
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If you swap out the spring for a different tension, the pistol might not operate correctly anymore, that is what I would be concerned with. Maybe this is a good pistol to sell on down the road and replace it with another:)
Better idea.

Buy the spring as designated by the manufacturer, find out the gun works perfectly and is perfectly acceptable, and shoot it for the rest of your life.
 

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I like the pistol and can rack it, but man, I have to convince myself to just do it. Plus I think as soon as my arm(s) get back to normal it won't be so difficult.

In the mean time, I ordered the 14lb spring from Wolff.
Try a S&W EZ9 or EZ380. It's amazing how easy it is to rack the slide. I think they even have a EZ380 shield now.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Try a S&W EZ9 or EZ380. It's amazing how easy it is to rack the slide. I think they even have a EZ380 shield now.
This gun shouldn't be that hard to rack. Of all the ones I have this is the only one that's tough.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sorry, I assumed it had the factory spring, and the gun functions well. If he changes the spring it might not function well anymore;)
I don't know if the spring that came with it is the factory spring or not. From what I read, these guns were in the Italian prison system. Who knows what the guard(s) might have done to any of the guns.

I ordered the spring from Wolff, but they haven't changed the status of my order yet, still processing.
 
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