Steel case ammo in the Bersa Thunder .380?

Discussion in 'General Bersa Discussion' started by jpshaw, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. jpshaw

    jpshaw Well-Known Member

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    Was reading a thread on the Keltec forum in regards to the P3AT .380. It was said by someone never to use the Russian or Serbian .380 ammo that was steel cased or steel jacketed. Continued that that firing that ammo could damage the certain parts of the Keltec since it was made for the Makarov that was very robust in it's inner parts and that they were to be fired only in Makarovs or the Bersas.

    That's pretty good praise for the Bersa but has anyone ever used the steel cased or jacketed ammo in the Bersa .380's? No mention was made of the corrosive ammo available from those parts of the world though.
     
  2. Bear

    Bear Member

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    From another Bersa forum it has been stated to NEVER use steel cased ammo in your pistol. It tends to wear out the parts quicker.
     

  3. David

    David Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I agree with you.
     
  4. jpshaw

    jpshaw Well-Known Member

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    I'm in agreement that a steady diet of this stuff should be avoided. However, if I walked into a store and saw them for sale box of 50 for 5 bucks I'd buy one. The other gave their AK's and Makarov's a steady diet of it. Of course Russian guns are not exactly fragil.
     
  5. ECII

    ECII Member

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    I've fed thousands of rounds of steel case to my Makarov and any wear can hardly be noticed on the various parts that would wear quickest. Looking most closely at the ejector. My new Bersa Thunder has a similar ejector and there's surely not much difference in the steel. I am not sure it would be much of an issue but could be wrong. Ejector replacement is easy too, just have one around if you have to shoot steel case. What other parts are going to wear much beyond the ejector with realistic use?
     
  6. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

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    Steel cased ammo will not harm your firearm...

    The Russians and other satellite countrys use a soft steel that is not any harder than the brass

    Americans are used to...as it is about 40% cheaper to use than brass. The US market will usually turn up their noses

    at steel cased ammo due to the fact it is berdan primed ( which can be corrosive ) and it's non-reloadable.

    Hell, it is now offered by Hornady (among other ammo manufacturers)...and loaded with match bullets and non-corrosive berdan primers.

    http://www.hornady.com/store/Steel-Match-handgun/

    As brass commodity prices continue to rise, look for more American made steel cased ammo to appear in the lineup of major manufacturers.
     
  7. qwiksdraw

    qwiksdraw Well-Known Member

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    Just a couple of moths ago I bought the last box of .380 Tulammo at a Walmart, which was all they had on the shelf. My BT380 didn't like it. The only other ammo that it didn't like was Sellier & Bellot which is brass cased. It may be the rim on the S&B is a slightly different size from spec ammo.

    Other than that, it has shot everything just fine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013
  8. dalefan88

    dalefan88 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I shot 50rds of blazer steel ones thru our bt 380 with 0 problems.
     
  9. 9UC

    9UC Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    When in doubt! Don't. That philosophy has saved my backside on more than one occasion. Ever gun, Bersa or whatever brand, has it's own "likes and dislikes". Some will handle steel and some won't. I've not used them, but I'm not willing to gamble on an FTE or subsequent FTF just to get a less pricey ammo. I would not even use them for range practice. Neither one of my BT-380s like Winchester flat nose (brass cased) and the original one I purchased does not like Buffalo Bore JHPs. With due consideration for "shooter 13s" expertise and opinion, I've followed various Bersa forums for 8 of the 9 plus years, including two of the oldest, since I bought my first BT-380 and the over all over the years, opinion has been that the steel cased, whether Russian or what ever, does increase the wear and tear on the extractor and should never be used in a Bersa.
    .
     
  10. balrog

    balrog New Member

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    If memory serves me correctly, the BT380 owners manual specifically states "do not use steel cased ammo" or something to that effect.
     
  11. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

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    Welcome to the Bersa Firearms Forum balrog !!
     
  12. Tardboy2

    Tardboy2 Member

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    As did I with the same result. I wanted to try it 'just because'. As stated earlier, if I could find a box now and it was real cheap, I'd stock up with what i could.
     
  13. qwiksdraw

    qwiksdraw Well-Known Member

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    While I have used steel case ammo in my 1911s and my Makarov, my BT380 doesn't like the Tulammo. I think this has more to do with rim dimensions than anything else. Sellier & Bellot ammo doesn't work well which is brass cased ammo and has been reported to have different case rim specs.
     
  14. jpshaw

    jpshaw Well-Known Member

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    I can see in the future more berdan primed since it doesn't require the anvil and is cheaper and of course soft steel cases and maybe even steel jacketed hopefully with some soft metal over it to protect rifling. Can't see any other way to lower cost except for reloading. Brass is just getting too expensive. As stated, Hornady has already started.
     
  15. zephyr9900

    zephyr9900 New Member

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    Just read a small book by Chrysler from 1946 called Bullets By The Billions. It was about how they supplied several billion 45 cal bullets during WW-II. In the book they covered steel V brass and steel out performed brass by a good margin. They also covered how everyone was use to brass and wanted to blame gun issues wrongly on the steel shells. Much I suspect like today.
     
  16. Steve_Red_Dog

    Steve_Red_Dog New Member

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    My Bersa Owner's Manual Doesn't Address Steel

    I recently purchased a Bersa Thunder Combat .380. My owner's manual does not address the brass vs steel issue. In regard to this issue, it simply says "Use high-quality, original, factory-manufactured ammunition in your firearm."

    I have no concerns with steel and have purchased a mix of steel & brass cased ammo for practice.
     
  17. jpshaw

    jpshaw Well-Known Member

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    My manual doesn't address steel at all either. Ditto's what yours says.
     
  18. qwiksdraw

    qwiksdraw Well-Known Member

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    Steel cased ammo will not damage your gun. However, you may find, like I did, some steel cased ammo will not work in tour BT380. In my case the ammo used was TulAmmo.

    I believe the reason is the diameter of the casing rim is slightly different than brass, so the extractor might not grab the rim every time.

    In other guns I have, the TulAmmo works fine, it's just the 380 that doesn't work in my BT380.