Makarov or Bersa Thunder

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by mr_flintstone, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    This weekend I took my wife shopping in Lexington. After a day of shopping (actually standing around and following her while she looked at stuff), she said "Why don't you run by Buds and buy yourself a gun?" I was shocked, but I took her up on it. Needless to say it was very crowded, and I heard one of the salesmen say to another customer that there would be about a 20 minute wait to do the paperwork. So I just looked around. It's hard to pick something out of the blue without giving it some thought. So, I decided to just order something or buy locally.

    Here's my dilemma. Lately I've developed an interest in surplus weapons, and I'm to the Makarov point. When I looked at the prices, though, they've jumped quite a bit from the last time I looked. You can still get a CZ 82 or a P 64 for about $250 in "good" condition, but a Bulgarian Makarov in unissued condition is well over $300. I can get a new Bersa Thunder 380 with a lifetime warranty for just over $250 though.

    Now I realize that the 9x18 is "slightly" more powerful than the .380 (but only 50-75 fps in most cases), and the Mak class of pistols has a historic value that the Bersa doesn't. 9x18 isn't readily available locally, though, and by the time I order it, it winds up costing way more than .380. Also, depending on the surplus model you choose, spare parts can be hard to find (or too expensive).

    Somebody talk me into (or out of) buying one over the other.
     
  2. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    I love the Mak family, but at today's prices, I'd buy the Thunder unless I was SERIOUS about the milsurp collection.

    BTW...Bersa makes a Thunder 9 as well. I'm not dissing the .380, I carry a .380 a lot because its a TINY gun, but if I were packing a gun as big as the Thunder .380...may as well get the 9 mm, as the ammo is cheaper, energy is better, etc.
     

  3. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    I know. I've looked at them. Right now I have a couple 9mms about that size, and for some reason I'm drawn to a larger frame 380 or 9x18. I guess because I don't have one. If I could find a single stack 9mm around the same size, I might be up for that. Most of the 9s are double stack, and I don't really like the fat feeling of the grips.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  4. MXGreg

    MXGreg Supporting Member

    Classic Firearms has the P64 with two mags for $199.99 .
     
  5. colthrash

    colthrash Member

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    get the thunder plus, 15+1...
     
  6. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    Thunder UC is a single stack, IIRC?

    I know one of them is.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  7. ArmyScout

    ArmyScout Supporting Member

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    I have the Bersa 9UC. Excellent semi-auto and I have had more than a few to compare it to.
     
  8. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    I'll have to look at those.
     
  9. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    It's the UC or the CC or some variation...I'm behind a filter at present, so I can't look at gun porn.:eek:
     
  10. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    At that price it's something to consider. I've heard bad things about the P64 trigger though. Anything to that?
     
  11. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    I have one, as does Kirk. They are heavy guns, with heavy triggers, that for some reason, against all logic, recoil harder than the "real" Makarov guns.

    As a SD belly gun, they are fine, as anything more, I would go another route.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  12. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    Gotta disagree. The P64 had an almost scary light SA trigger. That combined with the fixed barrel made for an incredibly accurate gun.

    That said, new beats surplus hands down for a shooter. If you're collecting the surplus gun is the way to go. As you've noticed, the value constantly flimbs over time with surplus guns, whereas you'll take a slight loss on a used current production gun the majority of the time.

    The surplus guns do have a pretty substantial downside however, parts are often scarce and expensive if something happens to break. This makes them unattractive high volume shooters IMO.
     
  13. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    As others said, unless you are collecting, the Bersa.
     
  14. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    Gotta disagree.

    The fixed barrel combined with the really small sights and short sight radius make it less than "incredibly accurate" in real world SD use.

    And the safety is a decocker, meaning if you carry with one in the pipe and on safe, you have to either go DA for the first round, or thumb the safety and then the hammer. At which point mine is still not "scary light", though yours might be.;)
     
  15. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Only in DA. The DA is beyond heavy and, as I've said before, deeply into the "is it broke?" zone. The SA, however is light and sweet, and usually breaks cleanly, with some slack/take-up.

    It has a serious recoil too.

    But it's a sweet shooter that packs nice and thin.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  16. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Only the Single Action. The Double Action pull apparently was designed for "hearty peasant stock" to pull. But it is an accurate shooting handgun.

    Not to me. To me what makes it an unattractive high volume shooter is how painful it is to shoot. :)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  17. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    It's more than accurate enough for real-world use because the vast majority of studies of real-world shootings indicate that almost all of us fail-over to some variation of point-shooting and we don't tend to use the sights much, if at all. This makes a great deal of sense because the effects of fight-or-flight adrenal dump on the function of the brain have it that we will tend to focus on and look at the threat.

    I dislike the safety/decocker/DA combination on the P64. I don't dislike any individual component, but the way they sum together leaves it wanting, IMO. Here's why. The Single Action is light and crisp with some slack (but that's OK). The DA is very heavy; heavier than a KT or a wheelie (but that's OK under certain circumstances). The Safety lever is the reverse of standard U.S. guns; up for Fire, down for Safe, which makes it counter-intuitive for most shooters, particularly in the U.S., and counter-intuitive to the way the body naturally moves under stress, which would be to use the thumb to pull down on the safety lever instead of trying to flick it up and "point it at the threat." Further, while the safety engaged makes it safe to carry with one in the pipe, it must be engaged to be drop safe. Safety off is not drop safe!

    So, for safe carry, it must be carried with the safety on and the remarkably heavy DA trigger required. Because it functions as a decocker, the P64 can't be carried Condition One to take advantage of the light SA trigger.

    Another issue is that, to help address the very heavy DA, many people have swapped the Hammer Spring for a lighter one. This does slightly lessen the DA trigger weight, but it also proportionately lowers the SA trigger weight also, often turning it into a hair trigger, so light that brushing it will trip over the sear. "Scary light" as some have called it.

    Don't misunderstand, I think the P64 is a fine firearm and could make a fine CC handgun. But if (and only if) a person were prepared to train to the particular eccentricities of that gun. Draw, thumb the trigger up, very heavy DA initial followed by very light SA followup shots.

    My review of the P64 vs. Kel Tec PF9


    Accuracy of the P64. Guess which hole was the first round, in DA? ;)
    [​IMG]

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  18. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    I'm gonna disagree with everyone else.

    Get the Bulgie. It's accurate, comfortable shooting, has an intuitive safety, DA/SA (with reasonable human draw weights in both), better ballistics than a .380 (and a bit less expensive, usually), readily available parts, concealed carries better, and will hold value far, far better than the Bersa. Don't worry about "Unissued" unless you're a collector and don't intend to shoot it. You want it in functional condition, not pristine.

    I also believe that the Makarov is a more reliably designed firearm. It is simplicity itself. The safety lever operates as a safety, decocker, and hammer block, but is one single machined part. It's actually frick'n brilliant in its simplicity.

    You might also like the P83 Wanad. It has pretty much the exact same feature set as the Makarov PM but is often a little less expensive. Also has a loaded chamber indicator.

    And I also disagree about the CZ82. It's a darn good option for someone wanting a CC gun, or even a range toy. And you can still get CZ83 parts, which are 99% interchangeable with the '82, from CZ.

    And all of them have a unique flavor which the Bersa simply can't give you. Yeah, the Bersa is a good gun from everything I've read. But it's not head and shoulders above the Makarov caliber options.

    In your place, I'd probably get the Bulgie.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  19. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    CZ82 or P64.
    The CZ82 is a fine firearm, good magazine capacity, DA/SA, conceals nicely and recoil is mild.

    P64, like others have said; it has a heavy DA weight. The heavy DA weight is only an issue for training, in a "real world" SD scenario you are not even going to notice it. As for the drop issue... don't drop your firearm and its not an issue. ;)

    .
     
  20. The hammer spring in a P64 is a shortened version of a PA63 hammer spring. Lighter hammer springs for the 63 can be purchased from Wolff springs, just have to cut coils to fit the 64.

    As far as drop safe I have never tested my 63, internals of the 63, and 64 are identical. I have had my 63 completely apart, and it IS drop safe carried with the safety off by the design. The firing pin has a spring in the top that pushes the FP down below upper portion of the hammer and below the hood of the safety. The FP is only raised when the pin in the top of the frame is raised by fully pulling the trigger.

    If you just take your slide off and cock the frame, the pin will rise because the trigger is back. When carried DA the trigger is fully forward.

    That said I would probably buy keltec 9mm if the prices are the same, if I did not have a PA 63. The keltec is probably no more comfortable to shoot but it is a current manufactured gun. The Bersa is a good choice but I believe they tend to run higher than the KT.

    If you are looking for a PPK type gun the Bersa is probably your best bet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015