Walthers PPK vs. Bersa Thunder

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by bigdel, Jul 19, 2010.

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  1. bigdel

    bigdel New Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    I love my son's PA 63 so was interested when I saw the new Walther PPK and the local gun store. The gun appears to be well made but is a little pricey at over $500. The Bersa Thunder has also caught my ey and appears to be more reasonable, as well as available in 9 mm. I am curious to hear from people with experience with both pistols as to pros and cons.

    thanks David
  2. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek Active Member

    Nov 30, 2005
    There are a lot of past threads exploring this topic if you search for them.

    I have a Bersa Thunder 380 that I've carried for almost three years. Great gun, very concealable (though large for a 380) and I've never had a malfunction with it.

    It really is a direct knock-off of a Walther PPK, but the Walther looks prettier. Personally if I had money to burn and was looking for something in that size / caliber, I'd get the Walther but when I got the Bersa I didn't have the cash for anything more. As I said, the Bersa has treated me well, but I'm planning on upgrading to something with a bit more authority (.40).

    Bersa does also offer firearms in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, all under the "Thunder" name I think, but they're not the same size / operation / platform as the .380.

    You can find a lot more info at Bersa Talk.

  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    I have experience with both... The walthers are elegant, and a james bond gun;) the bersas are workhorses made to put rounds downrange. IMO, if youre wanting a user that you can stuff in your pants pocket and shoot the hell out of then get a bersa, save a couple hundred bucks for ammo:) accuracy wise, they are both equal, the walthers are just prettier.
  4. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Simla, Colorado
    I have one of the Smith&Wesson made PPKs, stainless steel .380 for conceal carry. It is a well made, quality pistol. The only gripe I have with the PPK is that there is no manual slide release. Reloading after firing is definately a two-handed affair. Other than that, I like the Walther design.

    My wife carries a 9X18 Makarov. The caliber is comparable to the .380, and it is basically an improved PPK design with a slide release. This one is an East German made gun, and they are available for about half the price if the Bersa and the PPK.
  5. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek Active Member

    Nov 30, 2005
    I should also say that if I did it again and wanted to buy a Bersa, I'd buy the "Plus" model that holds 15 rounds in the mag. Pretty much the same size as the single stack model, but double the magazine capacity.
  6. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    Ohio NRA Member
    Ive only shot the Bersa .380, and all I can say about that is nothing but good.
    Just from that one time shooting session, it made me want one as a carry pistol.
  7. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    I agree. I can't see a downside to the Plus model. The grip widths are the same. The grips on the normal Thunder 380 are wayyyyyyyy too wide for the single stack mag. I'd love to find some slim grips that didn't protrude so far unnecessarily outward on the standard model (perhaps the wide "Plus grips would work on the standard Thunder Model?). If you want a relatively small and higher capacity pistol the Plus model is great for that bill. If you just want a compact pistol in .380, steer clear of the Bersa as a carry weapon. It's FARRRRRRRRRRR bulkier than the Ruger LCP, which can be pocket-carried and runs $299 new now. After all, a gun is USELESS if it sits in the car while you're being robbed. :(

    The Bersa is for the odd soul that truly likes the .380 caliber or who likes the compactness and capacity of the "Plus" model... Anyone else is going to pick a different pistol for carry. The pistol itself is a freaking awesome piece but its practicality is waning among the self-defense crowd. :eek:
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  8. I love my PA-63 and as soon as my CCW comes through, it will be my on-person carry gun. Mine is a AP-9, which is the .380 auto version which was imported in the '90's. I was lucky enough to find a man that made grip panels for these guns. Mine are smooth Black Walnut. I perfer the PA-63 to the Walther because of the aluminum frame which makes it lighter. My intentions are to put a Wolff spring kit in it and, someday, have the slide milled to accept a set of Walther dovetail sights.


  9. Double Deuce

    Double Deuce New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    I would agree the Bersa Thunder is a wide for a single stack, as a carry gun it is not bad though, I bought one and carried it for awhile but switched to a Walther PK380, it is the same length but it is slimmer and holds 1 more round than the Bersa. IMO it is a better carry gun than the Bersa.
  10. mcw120566

    mcw120566 Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    W. Knoxville, TN
    My wife carries a Thunder, we looked at the plus, but is was a bit to bulky with the double stack mag.. 500+ rounds later, and it has been a great gun. Im thinking of buying one for me as a BUG. We all know how that will go......she will get the new one, and I get the hand me down.
  11. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    Actually, I forgot all about it but I really liked the Thunder .380 CC when I held one a while back. It was VERY thin compared to the standard Thunder and also held one extra round. A coworker has one and likes it but it weighs substantially more than his Ruger LCP so you can guess which one gets carried.

    Also mcw120566, I was under the impression that the Plus was a very similar width as the regular Thunder .380 but with thinner grips. The width difference is 1.125” vs. 1.3125”. There's a LOT of wasted area on the standard Thunder .380 in grip thickness and magazine well thickness. It's made like a tank but also carries like one. :eek: I bought one in 2000 when it was a cheap gun and there were few .380 alternatives.

    Now days, even the CC model is bulky compared to the alternatives. With that said, I still like the CC model! :D
  12. roadkingsteve

    roadkingsteve New Member

    I just got hold of an FEG APK Mark II .380 Walther copy. It looks just like the AP 9 mntboomer shows above. Does anyone know anything about them? I have owned a PPK in the past and this looks pretty well made (for a copy).
  13. pinecone70

    pinecone70 Active Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Minnesota Gal!
    I would not buy another Smith made Walther. I'm sure there are remnants of my experience posted in the forum, nothing but problems and the worst gun money I ever spent.
  14. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    I had a couple people I know on YouTube that have owned them and said they are good guns.
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