Most handguns fall into one of three categories: sporting (for taking game), target (for popping holes tin cans and paper targets), or self-defense (for personal protection.) Occasionally a very well made example can jump across the lines of distinction and fall into more than one category. A good example of this is the Bersa T22.
The Design of the T22
Bersa Thunder 380 (Top), Bersa T22 (bottom)....talk about mirror images...
Bersa's Thunder series of semi-auto handguns have been around since the late 1990s and have taken the world by storm with their accuracy, reliability, compact design, and classic good looks. In a world where everyone is fighting themselves to sell a striker-fired and polymer-framed Tupperware pistol, it's refreshing to have a manufacturer that still prides themselves in making a product made of steel with an exposed hammer and a positive active safety. A right side mounted lever at the end of the slide just above the grip functions as a safety/decock that slides a piece of steel between the hammer and the firing pin block.
From this lineage of 380/32ACP chambered pistols descended the T22. The same length overall as its older big brothers, the T22 is chambered for a rimfire 22-caliber round. It keeps the same construction tenets as the original Thunder series and is a well-made quality handgun that harkens back to a simpler time. Visually the pistol looks inspired by the suave Walther PP designs of the 1930s, but packs a lighter 22LR chambering. With a slight decrease in weight over its bigger brothers, the T22 still functions and feels the same as the Thunder, but with a much more mild recoil and a larger magazine.
Why a T22
This Bersa 22 pistol provides a solid entry into the category of a target pistol. For just $15, one can buy 550 rounds of 22LR rimfire bulk ammo and shoot all day at the range. This makes the gun a no-brainer for those wanting to have a companion animal for their Bersa Thunder, as both pistols have the same fit and feel, same length and sight radius, and virtually the same weight. Such low-cost practice can help work out issues that the shooter may have with sight alignment, trigger control, grip, and stance without burning a hole in your wallet. It's also a good introductory pistol for first time shooters.
For those who want to use the firearm for self-defense, the pistol loves hyper-powered exotic types of ammunition like CCI Velocitor, CCI Stingers, and others. This allows the handgun to be pressed into service as a CCW personal protection pistol. Shooters who don't like the recoil of a full powered handgun but still would like some sort of handgun they could expect to defend themselves with, the Bersa T22 is an option.
- Type Pistol, semi-automatic self-loading
- Action Single/Double
- Caliber 22 LR. With the manufacturer recommending the use of high or hyper velocity ammunition (CCI Stinger, etc.)
- Barrel Length: 3.5"
- Capacity 10+1
- Safety Manual flip type safety, integral locking safety
- Grips Synthetic
- Sights Blade Front/ Dovetailed rear
- Weight 18.9 oz
- Length: 6.6" overall
- Height: 4.7"
- Width: 1.3
- Finish Black, satin nickel chrome, or Duotone
- Price: $250-$300