Bersa Thunder Pro UC and HC Pistols
By Prof. Carlos H. Prosperi, Ph.D (Tiro Federal de Córdoba - Argentina)
Bersa pistols are well known in the United States and elsewhere by their models in .22 and .380 calibers, which externally resemble the classic models PP and PPK from Walther. These are simple blowback operated pistols manufactured by Bersa S.A. Company, located in Ramos Mejía, Buenos Aires, Argentina. They are well known for their balance between affordable prices, decent quality and reliability.
The subject of this article is the Bersa Thunder Pro pistols that are designed for more powerful calibers 9x19mm (9mm Luger), .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Thunder Pro models come with an integral Picatinny rail for laser sights or tactical flashlights. Finish can be matte black, nickel, or black and nickel combined in duo-tone. All finishes come with ergonomic polymer grips.
These Thunder Pro Bersas bear an external resemblance to the Walther P-88, although they are internally different. They are a short recoil operated, locked breech design. The barrel is locked to the slide by means of a single lug that engages the ejection port. Unlocking is caused by an extension located under the barrel.
Thunder Pro pistols are offered in standard high capacity (HC) and Ultra-Compact (UC) versions. The differences are limited to barrel length, grip length and magazine capacity. The Pro 9mm and .40 caliber pistols use double stack magazines in both HC and UC versions, while the Ultra Compact .45 comes with a single stack magazine.
My personal Bersa is a nickel finish UC in .40 caliber and I am very satisfied with its performance. The photo at the top of this page shows it with a rail mounted laser sight.
Here are the compact Thunder Pro UC specifications
The pistols are fully ambidextrous. There is an ambidextrous safety, decoking lever and a hammer. The magazine release button is normally located on the left side of the grip behind the trigger guard, but it can be easily mounted on the right side.
In addition to a conventional, frame mounted, manual safety (up for "safe," down for "fire."), there is an automatic firing pin safety, which is released when the trigger is pressed. Another safety feature is an integral key lock, located above the trigger on the left side of the frame. This key blocks both the slide and the trigger. It is designated to prevent domestic accidents or misuse by children.
Full sized Thunder and Thunder-Pro pistols in 9x19mm with black finish are at present standard issue pistols for Argentina Federal Police, most Provincial Police Forces, the Army, Navy and Air Force (Ejército, Armada y Aeronáutica). They are gradually replacing the old and venerable F.N. Browning P-35 High Power, which was made for many years under license in Argentina by Fabricaciones Militares.
Here are the 9x19mm Thunder Pro HC specifications
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