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March 20 : 2012  
Editor's Notebook: Bersa Polymer 9 Concealed Carry - A Slim Nine in Time
So what's not to like? We have a thin, feather-weight polymer single-stack 9mm with 8+1 capacity, sights that can be changed to your preference, ambidextrous magazine release and a fairly light trigger.

There are a few things we don't like. In composing a chart, I found about three items that could stand a change. I found a dozen things I like.

The BP9CC got its initial familiarization fire at OMB Guns' new indoor range in Olathe KS.
First, the utilitarian finished Bersa pistol is in an envelope most can handle. It's easy to reach the trigger and get a proper press. There's an ambidextrous magazine release button and "register pads" - a roughened spot to put your trigger finger when you're not shooting - above and ahead of the trigger. Having a spot to put the trigger finger - on the left if you're left-handed and the right if not - is better than a simple mantra, "Keep your finger off the trigger." If not on the trigger, where? "Here, put the point of the index finger here."

A cartridge capacity of nine rounds is just right. This prevents running afoul of moronic bureaucrats who wet themselves at the mere idea of an "assault weapon" (in concept, like an "eating spoon" or a "driving car.") It's handy and your spare magazine doesn't weigh you down. Nine rounds of nine is pretty good. Better than six rounds of .380, but that you have in the spare pistol you carry, right?

The gun is supplied with two magazines. Bless their hearts. Six would be better, but two is better than one. The sights are standard - SIG standard in front and Glock standard in the rear. Change them as you see fit. Speaking of sights, these are fairly well regulated at 10 yards - a handy thing.

A near mirror image of the other side of the gun, the BP9CC is extremely friendly to the ambidextrous.
There is an unobtrusive key lock on the right side of the slide . . . if you need such a thing. There is an accessory rail on the dustcover - even though this is a small pistol - and the gun fits the Gould & Goodrich Yaqui slide (Model 891 Belt Slide holster -- www.gouldusa.com ) meant for a G17. It is also a good fit to the DeSantis Nemesis (www.desantisholster.com ) I have for the Glock 26.

I don't, as a rule, use holsters made for other guns that are "okay" fits. In this case, I wanted to see what was nearest to the new gun. I didn't carry it for defense.

I went through the best part of 150 rounds at OMB Guns' range (www.ombrange.com ) on one of their "mini-Me" targets. I noticed a pronounced shift to the left and low for me. As my accustomed grip is for double stack guns, I take it as a re-learning mission. When I thought about it, I could grip it properly for the BP9CC. That tended to move the bullets in more to the middle. If worse came to worse, I'd move the rear sight.

I had a few disturbing failures to extract. It's a timing issue because I was once able to contrive a failure to extract with the next round in the magazine pointing up at nearly 12 o'clock. Later, I consumed another hundred rounds at an outdoor range. I found that the only failures to extract were with 115 grain ammunition. I shot a fair amount of 147 grain ball with no issues except increased recoil.

At the rear of the slide, there is a key-lock. Just behind the trigger is the right-side magazine release. Above and forward of the trigger is the "Register Pad," the roughened area where the trigger finger goes when it's not on the trigger. The dust cover has a Picatinny-style rail for accessories.
A couple of things come into play here. One, my grip's not what it once was - and for some, what it never will be. A hotter round or one with a heavier bullet often functions better in spite of the lessened grip (what some call "limp wristing" is failure to configure yourself to the recoil of the weapon). As it's recoil-operated, the BP9CC likes a consistent resistance against which to fire. Part of the resistance is grip, the remainder is a function of the recoil spring and magazine spring. They need to be in balance. The mag lets the next round out a bit soon when extraction is sluggish.

This is not insurmountable. Based on Bersa's runaway success with their .380 and .22 rimfire guns, I have no doubt they'll beat this problem. The right side magazine release button hangs up a little. This is something that a person with a bit of mechanical skill and a stone or small file could cure in 10 minutes and a minute bit of material removed. No sweat.

Finally, the BP9CC has a magazine disconnector. I'm not a fan of those. They needed it for import points. It's not a deal-breaker. I like Browning High Powers, S&W 3913/4506 and other guns with the dreaded device.

Just remember: unloading the gun means removal of the magazine and locking the slide open. Not just one operation, but two.

The Bersa Polymer has a good start with a few growing pains. In fact, if they didn't want this one back, there could be some interesting tinkering going on with the sample right close to home.

For more information, see www.bersa.com.

BP9CC Specifications:
Caliber: 9MM
Action: Short reset DAO
Capacity: 8+1
Barrel Length:3.3"
Front Sight: Interchangeable Sig Sauer type
Rear Sight: Interchangeable Glock type
Finishes: Matte Black or Duotone
Construction: Polymer Frame/Steel Slide
Safety: Integral Locking System, Firing Pin, Trigger
Weight: 21.5 oz.
Length: 6.35"
Height: 4.8"
Width: .94"
MSRP: $429

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