Walther PPK vs Bersa Thunder 380

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by GoldenEye, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. GoldenEye

    GoldenEye New Member

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    Hi, everyone.

    I'm a firearm newbie and looking to get a pistol for concealed protection and also possibly to be the start of a collection/hobby. I was surprised to read all the positive reviews on Bersa while being a significantly cheaper alternative, especially with the reports of the PPK having the tendency of jamming (not sure what that means). However, I was still drawn to the PPK because I thought it was able to accept a suppressor in its stock condition, but I found out that's not the case. So being that both the Bersa Thunder 380 and Walther PPK have to be modified for a suppressor, I'm wondering if one of the two is inherently easier for this modification or if both are equally challenging? If the latter is the case, I figure I could get the Bersa and receive the same/better quality while saving some money. Would there happen to be a place where I might be able to get one of these already modified?

    The only pistols I'm currently considering are the PPK, Thunder 380, and the short barrel 500 Magnum. Can you guys give me your take on the power, accuracy and reliability ratings for these 3?

    By the way, is there a difference in performance between the long and short barreled Magnums, or is it just a thing of portability/concealability/aesthetics? Also, I noticed that both the stainless steel and blued steel PPK's are priced practically the same, but do they both actually have the same longevity or is it a give and take thing? For example, will you get corrosion resistance with stainless but have metal hardness/frame rigidity compromised, and good frame wear resistance with blued steel but lose out on corrosion resistance after a period of use?

    Thanks very much.
     
  2. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    OK, lets see if I understand what you're asking here. You're considering either a .380 or a S&W .500 - is that correct? There's a lot of middle ground here I think.

    As for the PPK and the Bersa - I've owned both and they are nice guns. The Walther is more expensive than the Bersa for the same reason an Acura costs more than a Honda.

    It's been a while since I had a Bersa but I believe it's like the Walther in that the barrel is attached to the frame and it would take a lot of effort to have it threaded for a suppressor.

    In general, the longer the barrel - the better the ballistics & accuracy but it's more difficult to conceal.

    To me a carbon steel gun treated properly is just as resistant as a stainless steel gun but SS has it's advantages especially in the hot and humid GA climate.

    I'm trying to give serious answers but I can't help but think you just came from a theater playing a James Bond marathon...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010

  3. 007BondJamesBond007

    007BondJamesBond007 New Member

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    I have the S & W Walther PPK/S and love it. The main thing to watch for on the Bersa is the short beaver tail. You can get railroad tracks on your hand if not careful. You do need to break in the Walther when it it broken in it is a great shooter. The pistol is heavier which helps in recoil management. I have shot other .380's LCP Bersa Taurus ect. and found it not pleasant to shoot. The Walther design is over 75 year old. It was among the first double action auto pistol. Hitler used one to kill himself. Allot of history behind the PPK. The German military issued it to their officers. It is more the a gun it is a piece history. A classic.

    Walther PP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  4. GoldenEye

    GoldenEye New Member

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    NGIB,

    Nice to meet you. First, I wanna say thank you for your brave service in protecting the nation's Constitution and sovereignty, and I hope you are being treated properly as a veteran from the social services or whatnot. I feel those that try to chisel off or neglect veterans (including politicians) should suffer nothing less than imprisonment because it's treason in essence.

    I couldn't help but laugh a bit when you brought up James Bond because that's exactly where my knowledge and inspiration for firearms come from. Specifically, the GoldenEye video game where all the guns are listed upon selection. Having played that with friends for a better part of a decade, I got to remember many of the gun names, such as the Deusche, Klobb, PPK, Cougar Magnum, AR-XX Assault Rifle, etc. I see guns in movies all the time, but none of those give in-depth exposure on their backgrounds enough to make an impression.

    Anyhow, yes, I'm trying to choose between these 3 pistols because they're all I really know about, apart from the Glock, but I think that's too big for practicle concealment. And, as you mentioned, the 500 Magnum is gapped widely from the 2 380's, and while it's not the same Magnum model as in the video game (357), the super small size plus the tremendous power gave its immediate appeal. Of course, what I want most right now is to duplicate the supressed PPK, so that I get both decent close range protection+minimal overpenetration possibility and be able to have a reproduction of what Bond uses at the same time. I just called a couple shops here in GA, and was ultimately directed to a company called Tornado Technologies out in Oregon that is supposed to be the most equipped and experienced so modify a PPK barrel. I was told that they would probably thread the end of the original barrel to have a threaded extension/adapter be placed in which would then thread into the suppressor. Picturing that in mind, I don't think that will be a very secure method, but I'll see what they can offer once I get a chance to ask them about it directly. If this project turns out to cost way more than a 500 Magnum, I may just settle for the Magnum.

    I think I briefly came across the statement that the S&W 500 Magnum is one of the most powerful handguns out there, is that right? If so, should I expect it to have a big recoil as opposed to a 380, and are the chances of a first-shot kill high?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  5. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Uh, YES.

    I highly suggest you get out to one of the local ranges and try a few guns out (if you're old enough). What happens in a video game bears little resemblance to real life I'm afraid...
     
  6. GoldenEye

    GoldenEye New Member

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    Thank you very much for the background info on the PPK. I had taken a look on Wikipedia and learned that it had been around since early last century, but never knew that it's what Hitler killed himself with. And with it being a historical piece, having it also shown in the media with the James Bond franchise makes it one of the most (if not the most) famous handgun(s), I think.

    However, in a discussion comparing the PPK with the alternatives, a subject that naturally arises is whether a 380 acp is adequate for self defense against someone intending to kill you. A brief search on the internet showed the seemingly concurred idea that a 380 is well adequate, but notwithstanding, it is still the minimum on the list, hinting the possibility that it may not be enough to save your life, especially if the adversary also has a firearm and/or body armor. Of course, jumping over to the 500 Magnum may be reaching overkill, so what would you say are the medium choices that favor power in addition to small size/ease of portability?
     
  7. 007BondJamesBond007

    007BondJamesBond007 New Member

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    Yes it is the most power hand gun in production. There maybe a more powerful handgun but they are only IMO novelty gun. Also if your going to put a suppresser your going to need ATF Tax permit to own one. If you make it your self you are going to lose your firearm rights.
     
  8. GoldenEye

    GoldenEye New Member

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    That's a great idea, but do these ranges have guns you can use over there for a fee or do you have to bring your own, and do they require you to have some other qualification/license apart from the age factor?
     
  9. GoldenEye

    GoldenEye New Member

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    Do you know where I can find out how much this ATF Tax permit is going to cost here in Georgia? I was told I could get a suppressor for about $750, but that's excluding tax(es).

    Also, after having legally obtained a suppressor and a permit for concealed weapons, is it permissible to take the suppressor with you to a state that bans it, like New Jersey, or does suppressor banishment in a particular state only entail the acquisition of the license to get one?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  10. 007BondJamesBond007

    007BondJamesBond007 New Member

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    your going to have to find that out for yourself. To me it will be a PIA and not worth it.
     
  11. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Most ranges have rental guns and as long as you're of legal age and have ID it's no problem to rent one. I used to shoot every weekend at Wild West Traders in Smyrna and they were very nice folks.

    Now a question for you - are you old enough to buy a handgun?
     
  12. group17

    group17 New Member

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    I have a Bersa 380 duo as well as having shot my friends cc and have never had a problem with rail bite or found it unpleasant to shoot.
    To each his own.
     
  13. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    Out of the 2 .380's you have to choose from I pick neither.
    The main reason I can see to carry an underpowered caliber such as .380 is generally to conceal it. Why pick such a heavy gun for your concealment pistol?
    I carry 3 guns all the time, while my main gun is a bit heavier than a Walther PPK
    it is a larger caliber and therefore justifies it's existance. While I do carry a .380 my pick is the Kel-Tec P3AT, for it's low cost, third gen. reliability and light weight/ less printable than most any metal frame .380 save the LW Seecamp .380. I think you can save a lot of weight & size by looking at a modern selection of pocket gun.
     
  14. conway11

    conway11 New Member

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    The question of a longer barrel came up on Bersa Chat form and the way I understand it a barrel would have to be made for the Bersa to be able to add a suppressor which probley would be expensive to have made
     
  15. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    take a peak at the colt new agent and defender. 7 round 45acp. i have 3 bersa thunders 2 are 15 rounders one the 7 rounder. used to have a ppk/s in 380. i have a ppks in 22lr. i vastly prefer the bersa model for 380acp over the walthers. when wisconsin gets CCW i will be primarily carrying my new agent.
     
  16. GySgt-6469

    GySgt-6469 New Member

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    A little bit of history here.
    Walther, like Beretta had plants in S.America. Walther in Argentina, and Beretta in Brazil. When both companies decided to pull out of S. America they turned the plants and old dies and machinery over to the governments that they had been supplying arms to. In turn they were turned over to local businesses.

    The Bersa .380 had the same look at feel of the PPK/S that had been produced there prior to the pullout. With the most recent lines, the differences are that yes the PPK/S does have a slightly larger beaver-tail, but not so much that you would notice. Both have fixed barrels, but Bersa imployed additional safety into their Thunder series .380's that the Walther PPK/S still doesn't have.

    1. Slide catch/release - Walther doesn't have one, when the last round is fired, the slide goes home and you fire on an empty chamber unless you were counting your shots. Regardless, you have to load and cycle the slide to get going again. Bersa took care of this. But if you slam the mag in hard, it will release the slide and drive a round into the chamber. I'm looking into a putting a heavier spring in it to correct this.
    2. Safety - Bersa deployed a hammer-drop and firing-pin block as you find on most bigger calibers. The Walther PPK/S still uses the 1911 style slide lock safety. But I heard that they are releasing a model with a decocking safety.
    3. Magazine safety - Bersa deployed a safety that prevents the trigger from operating unless a magazine is in the weapon.
    4. Trigger safety - as with some of the new weapons, a small hex style key is provided that will actually lock the trigger.

    The PPK/S doesn't have these, and if you wanted these from Walther in this Caliber then you would need to go with the PK380.

    I have purchased two of these and have not been disappointed in a the slightest with regards to performance and accuracy. I have big hands and haven't gotten railroad tracks yet.

    And a note for personal defense with a .380 - It is on the low end of the defense range, but you can still maintain enough knockdown power if you stick with ball ammo, and not the HP's. You loose too much impact power in this small round when you use HP's.

    So for my two cents, Yes the Walther has a history and name that commands the money, but the Thunder .380 series is just as reliable and was born from the PPK/S, whether you get the Deluxe, Duo-tone, CC, Combat, or Plus, the 299-430 price for virtually the same pistol is well worth the price compared to the 525-590 range.
     
  17. kcolg

    kcolg New Member

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    When Beretta won the contract for supplying the Brazilian army with the 92 pistol the requirement was to set up the plant at Brazil wich later was sold to Taurus, but I never heard that Walther produced guns in Argentina, are you sure about that ?
    Cheers
     
  18. wjnfirearms

    wjnfirearms New Member

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    The questions of handgun brand and calibre gets asked a lot, especially by those breaking in to owning one.

    For what it's worth, I recently got my wife a Bersa Thunder .380 as she had the opportunity to try one and liked it over others she has had the chance to shoot. I also liked it for what it is, a smaller frame semi auto in a lighter calibre. It's a fine weapon in it's own right and I'd recommend it if this is the type of handgun you want. It's a great value in it's class.

    As to calibre, this comes under what I like to call a "comfort zone". Aside from how much you are looking to spend based on your budget, people are comfortable with particular calibres based on how the weapon feels to them both static, just in the hand, and when it's fired. Back to my wife as an example, she has mild arthritis and the higher calibres bother her in her hand and wrist when fired so control becomes an issue aside from just comfort. If you aren't completely comfortable with the recoil and feel of any particular calibre, then this isn't the right one(s) for you. This is why it's recommended to try several different ones to see how they feel to you.

    IMHO, the question of calibre vs. stopping power, etc. and capacity so semi vs. revolver has been pretty much beat to death and is over emphysized. Yes, it's true that the smaller calibres have been known to bounce off windshields, and penetration has been questioned (thus why the reasons why law enforcement abandoned the 9mm and earlier the .38 due to capacity. I personally saw a .22 not penetrate a chest wall and I'd never carry them), but I've seen just as many wounded and dead from .32 and 9mm than from .40 and .45. Thusly, why I have no hesitation carrying my Taurus TCP in .32 when I carry a pocket gun rather than my Beretta or my 1911 Combat Commander on my hip. Back to you.

    The weight of any particular gun is also part of the "comfort zone". This can be determined just by going to any gun shop and handling some. The way it feels in your hand is also important. Conventional wisdom says that a handgun should feel as natural as if it is an extension of your arm. Another example is when I was shopping for a compact semi for carry. I came upon a Beretta 9000 in .40, and why they discontinued them is a mystery to me, but this gun felt as if it was custom made for just me. Turned out that it is a great shooter also, so it was a perfect match for my needs.

    We can all recommend various calibres and particular guns based on our likes, dislikes, and experiences, and it's good to ask questions, but the end should be that you go out and look and hold various ones, look at what you can afford (there's absolutely NO reason to overspend when there's the amount of good guns out there at a variety of prices), and try to shoot as many different ones as it's possible for you to do. Don't rush out and just buy something so you can have a handgun in your posession. I've seen several people do just that for whatever reasons and most of them lived to regret their decision.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  19. GySgt-6469

    GySgt-6469 New Member

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    I correct myself. Yes Walther didn't have a factory in Argentina, it was Beretta in Brazil. Mis-information that I didn't confirm, I'm man enough to admit my mistake.
    Here is the verified information:

    Bersa is a privately held Argentine company that has been around since the mid-1950's.
    The Argentine company is often influenced by the German firearms manufacturer Walther in the design of its handguns; the Thunder 22, 32 and 380 are basically clones of the famous Walther PP and PPK while the Thunder 9 and 40 are somewhat similar in appearance and some mechanical aspects to the Walther P88.

    Thanks for keeping me honest.
    Gunny
     
  20. DGM87

    DGM87 New Member

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    :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:
    oh, no.

    Alright, chief.

    #1 - If you are of legal age to buy a firearm and have no criminal history, I will never tell someone they shouldn't have a gun.
    #2 - That being said, have you hit puberty yet?
    #3 - Read the laws, not watch movies/play games. Breaking firearms-related laws brings serious consequences, and no, you cannot take it to NJ.
    #4 - The one-shot kill is a myth (sorta) and isn't something you should rely on. Practice stopping the threat (center mass) instead of trick shooting. Headshots are nice, but if you miss the relatively small moving target under stress and kill an innocent, you're looking at criminal charges.

    Time for seriousness. It's $200 for the NFA tax for a suppressor, plus you have to fill out the paperwork, get it approved and it's a mess. Why the hell do you even want (notice, didn't say "need") it? Carrying it on the barrel is going to run the risk of damage, plus the weapon is going to lose it's concealability. A suppressor runs around 1.5" wide, and several inches long, and it's going to add weight. Also, it's going to impede your ability to draw. Next, if (heavens forbid) you have to shoot someone in self-defense, it's going to be hard to explain why you had a suppressor on you, it will be seen by the jury and prosecutor that you had it on you for some malicious reason, whether you did or not. Firearms and their accessories are capable of hurting/killing someone, and are not toys (as I'm sure you know). The gun you have is better than the gun you don't, but also make sure you can control that weapon, if the trigger pull or weight or recoil throw off your shots and you hit some kid instead of the mugger, you haven't helped anything.

    I suggest you spend some time investing in actual education. Find a mentor who knows about them and their SAFE USE, take a safety class, and as another member has suggested, find a range that rents weapons for practice. A S&W .500 Magnum for CC is going to be ridiculous, unless you are the size of a bear.

    Stay safe, and take the minor text-lashing for what it was, a warning:mad:, and not a "you're not smart enough".:rolleyes: