I like to support Argentine companies that build a good product and offer good customer service. So I've always felt a bit guilty about not owning a Bersa pistol. Not only are they affordable, but they function well and the factory is only 30 minutes away from my house (and they've got a lifetime warranty). I'm also friends with the plant manager, he's the nicest guy in the Argentine gun community, yet another reason to give Bersa some of my money.
However, since I've read about lots of Bersa QC issues on Argentine boards, I always hesitated to buy one as a defensive weapon. I know that most of this problems occur with heavily abused and poorly manteined police issue guns, but still I didn't feel very confident in them.
I do like the looks of their .22s and .380s, and I've been testing one of their older .22s that a friend bought for the last couple of weeks. It works great. This guy works at a gun shop, and he told me they get used Bersas all the time, some of them like new. I told him to keep an eye out for an all steel model 23 with walnut grips.
He got one a couple of days ago, in pristine condition, for $200! I bought it over the phone without even looking at it.
I'm still waiting for the paperwork (should be ready by Thursday), but I'm really happy with my purchase. It's going to be a plinking gun and a starter gun for my girlfriend's kid and a couple of friends who want to get into firearms.
Take down is really simple, fit and finish is very good (the wood stocks can use some finishing). I'll let you guys know how it runs as soon as I get my hands on it. This model was manufactured from 1989 to 1994.
This isn't my gun in the pictures, just some Bersa 23 I found through Google.