So, this past Friday, I was kind of depressed. I think it’s because my birthday was Saturday, and I didn’t have much planned because just about all my friends had already made plans to be out of town or with their families or moving family members from out of town. Seems to happen every year. Maybe if I actually tell people more than a week ahead of time, that might be different.
To rectify this, Naienko decided that we needed to go shopping… specifically at gun stores, electronics stores, and/or book stores. I tell ya, she abuses me terribly.
So, at one of the gun shops on the north side of town (I had recently been to most the ones on the south side), I spotted a couple Bersa Thunder 22s. I think I’ve mentioned that I love my two-tone Bersa Thunder 380 before. It just feels sight, looks damn cool, and I’m probably most accurate with either it or my XDm compact (strange, I know). Of course, there’s also the big plus that their pistols are on the inexpensive side while still being dependable. And… well… the SS version of the Thunder 22 followed me home.
The 22 is essentially the same gun as the 380 (and the Thunder 32). According to Bersa’s website, it’s about and ounce lighter and .2″ shorter, but the same length and thickness. I’m pretty sure that height and weight difference is in the slide, which is noticeably slimmer when put side by side with the 380 version. This means that, unlike many of the “big name” .22 copies of centerfire guns that have been shrunk a bit, the experience should be as close to the same as possible. The .22 also differs from the .380 by having bright orange dots painted on the sights instead of the usual white ones. Like the rest of the smaller Thunder series, the .22 comes with 1 magazine.
I did get a chance to shoot it on Sunday, and I think I’ll keep it. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the session this past Sunday (mostly “we need to blow off steam”), I didn’t get any good targets to really show how well the gun shoots. I will say that it was at least as accurate as I am and is a pleasure to shoot. The orange sights are much easier for me to pick up than the white ones. I remember reading years ago on the old BersaTalk forum (now apparently dead) that many folks go out and get similar color nail polish to paint over the white dots on the 380 for that reason, and I can see why. The much lighter .22 rounds mean that there’s none of the sharp recoil bite in the webbing of the hand that many folks complain about with the Bersa .380 and other small .380 pistols. The magazine also hold 10 rounds instead of the .380’s 7.
This is a fun little gun. I’ve seen some folks suggest people who are afraid of larger caliber guns. I’m not sure about that, but that’s more due to the idea of carrying a .22 for self defense. I think this would be a great gun to introduce folks to shooting with, since many .22 target pistols are configured significantly different from your standard carry pistol. I’m going to enjoy it since I’ve started carrying the 380, and .380 ammo is significantly more expensive than .22 (and it wasn’t that long ago that it was impossible to find).