One of the earliest pistol reviews I ever did
was almost eighteen years ago, and the subject of that review
was the Bersa Thunder 380
semi-automatic pistol (Ed. Note: a few years later, Jeff
had another look at the Thunder 380 - Boge). That is a
dandy little 380; not too small, not too large. Just right.
Similar in size to the Walther PPKs, but more reliable, and with
a better trigger. It also costs a lot less than the Walther,
making the Bersa Thunder 380 one of the best values on the
pistol market for many years. It is still a great choice for a
380 pistol. Over the years since that review, I have heard a lot
of positive feedback from readers who have purchased that pistol
with complete satisfaction. I have only heard of one negative
experience, and that reader later reported that Eagle Imports
rectified the problem quickly. I still have that Bersa Thunder
that was the subject of that original review, and have added
probably a half dozen more to my accumulation over the years,
along with a few of the excellent
little 22 Long Rifle versions of that same pistol, so my
experience with Bersa firearms has been a pleasant one for many
With all that in mind, I was quick to say
“yes” when asked if I would like to review their new compact
version of the TPR9 pistol. The TPR9c is a solid pistol,
constructed primarily of metal. The matte black finish of the
steel slide matches well with the aluminum frame. The
thirteen-round magazine is made of steel, with an aluminum
follower and polymer base plate. The base plate has a slight
extension for accommodation of the little finger. The black
polymer grip wraps around the back of the frame, and is grooved
for a secure hold. The slide lock and decocker controls are
ambidextrous. The sights are made of steel, and have the
familiar three-white-dot pattern. Both front and rear sights can
be adjusted for windage correction by drifting in their dovetail
cuts in the slide.
The TPR9C is of the
double-action/single-action trigger design that was once very
popular among new semi-auto pistols. Today, most new pistol
introductions are of the striker-fired design, but the DA/SA
trigger is a good system, proven for decades. With the hammer
down on a loaded chamber, the pistol has a firing pin safety
that prevents an accidental discharge if the pistol is dropped.
To fire the first round requires a long, smooth trigger pull,
much like that of a double-action revolver. After the first
round is fired, the cycling of the slide chambers another
cartridge, and the hammer remains in the cocked position,
allowing subsequent shot to be fired with a short, crisp
single-action trigger pull. The hammer may be safely lowered
without touching the trigger by pressing upward on either of the
ambidextrous decocking/safety levers. The pistol can then be
safely holstered and carried with the safety in the “ON”
position, or with the safety lowered into the “FIRE”
position, ready to fire again with a double-action trigger pull.
In addition to the manual safety, the TPR9C has an internal key
lock, should you desire to use that feature. It also has a loaded-chamber
specifications for the TPR9C are listed in the chart below.
Weight is listed in ounces, and includes the empty magazine.
Linear dimensions are listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed
in pounds of resistance, as measured with my Lyman digital
trigger pull scale and confirmed with my Timney mechanical
trigger pull scale. DA is the double-action trigger pull. SA is
the single-action trigger pull. Height includes sights and
magazine base with the magazine in place. Maximum width is
measured across the ambidextrous slide lock levers.
||9x19mm (9mm Luger)
|Weight with Empty Magazine
|Trigger Pull DA
|Trigger Pull SA
||13 (10-round option
|Magazine Disconnect Safety
|Manual Thumb Safety
||Yes, Visual and Tactile
|Internal Key Lock
|MSRP as of March 2018
fired the Bersa TPR9c with a variety of ammunition over the
chronograph to check velocities, with the results listed in the
chart below. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second. Bullet
weights are listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint
bullet. DPX, Buffalo Bore Lead Free, and Double Tap and Barnes
Tac-XP are hollow nose homogenous copper bullets that are made
by Barnes Bullets. FMJ is a full metal jacket roundnose bullet.
FMJ-FN is a full metal jacket flat nose Buffalo Bore Penetrator
bullet. Velocities were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above
sea level, with an air temperature of fifty-seven degrees
Fahrenheit, and a relative humidity of seventy percent.
Velocities were recorded at twelve feet from the muzzle.
|Buffalo Bore Lead Free HP +P
|Buffalo Bore Lead Free HP +P+
|Buffalo Bore JHP +P+
|Super Vel JHP +P
|Super Vel JHP +P
|Lehigh Defense HP +P
|CCI Blazer Brass FMJ
|Double Tap TAC-XP +P
|Double Tap FMJ +P
|Remington Home Defense
|Atomic HP +P
|WCC NATO FMJ
|Buffalo Bore FMJ-FN
|Buffalo Bore JHP +P+
|Buffalo Bore JHP +P
|Cor-Bon JHP +P
|Cor-Bon DPX +P
|Cor-Bon JHP +P
Every brand and type of 9x19mm ammunition
tried in the Bersa ran well. Every cartridge fed, fired, and
ejected flawlessly. Accuracy was very good. It was easy to keep
every shot on target firing standing offhand at human silhouette
and steel plates out to twenty-five yards. The TPR9c handles
recoil very well, even when firing +P ammunition.
I got to try some of the new Super Vel high
performance hollowpoint ammunition just coming to the market.
Super Vel pioneered high velocity ammunition for police work
decades ago, but the company went out of business for reasons
unrelated to the quality of the ammunition. Now, Nevada Cartridge
Company has reintroduced the new Super Vel ammo, with the same
philosophy as the original, and it performed flawlessly in the
Bersa pistol, exhibiting excellent accuracy and high velocities.
The 90-grain load shows high velocity with relatively light
The Bersa TPR9C is very well fitted and
finished. The feed ramp is well-polished for smooth and
trouble-free feeding from the double-stack magazine. The pistol
feels smooth, and runs smooth. Take-down for cleaning is easily
accomplished with the rotation of a lever. Barrel-to-slide
lockup is very solid and consistent. The TPR9c feels solid in
the hand, without being excessively bulky or heavy. It carries
fourteen rounds of 9mm ammo in a relatively compact package,
with a smooth delivery system at a very affordable price. It is
easy to shoot, and easy to shoot well. What’s not to like?
Check out this and other Bersa firearms
online at bersa.eagleimportsinc.com.
For the location of a Bersa dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order Bersa pistols online, click on the
GUN GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com,
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