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Thunder 380 jamming issue...

66692 Views 30 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  arcorob
Hi everyone, I have been having an issue with my Thunder 380 jamming. I load a mag and then pull the slide back, then the first round jams. I've tried it with several types of ammo with the same result. The gun is clean and lubed properly and i doubt it is a magazine issue, as I have tried 3 different mags. I've fired around 300 rounds through it with no problems at all... I don't know why suddenly it has been jamming? Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.


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Sorry about the blurry camera phone sucks.
Are you slingshoting the slide? My gun did the same thing when I first got it, but I was pulling the slide back then riding it back. Slingshoting the slide since and no problems.
Two things Seth

And I am no expert.

Dismantle the Bersa slide as normal

Remove the grips

Check the spring areas under the grips that they are clean and operating. Also, the spring that the outermost has a small leg, make sure it has not come loose.

Now on the side of the gun, that pivot rod (I have no clue what its called) but it is on the RIGHT side and attaches to the trigger. Make sure it is seated properly and lubed. If you want it can gently pop out of the trigger and be reseated (don't bend the metal)

Reassemble and try.

I had the same issue. I used some bad metal Russian ammo and had the same issue. I had to clean like crazy, reseat things and it has not failed since.

But I am a newbie so I am sure there are better technical answers than mine . :eek:
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Are you sure that the recoil spring around the barrel is not on backwards?
Tight end toward the chamber and wide end toward the muzzle is the way it should be.

Other than that I would suspect the feed ramp may be rough or the mag lips are out of spec. Normally this wouldn't happen to 2 different mags at the same time.
Does it happen with all or just HP ammo? I ask because I recently read a FAQ on the Eagle Imports website that said HP ammo might cause some issues and that polishing the feed ramp could fix the problems.

If all the ammo (RN included) does it, then I don't know what to say. Polishing the feed ramp can't hurt, anyway. I did mine at first just because and I've never had a jamming issue with all types ammo. Good luck.
Couple of fast and easy things to try first....

1) Ammo: some bullet shapes just don't work as well. If you haven't yet, try some different ammo types

2) Polish is your friend! In my 50 years of shooting a lot of different firearms I have learned that polishing the feed ramps has solved many a problem. Its quick and easy. Some firearms come polished from the factory, they they cost more due to the extra labor. I do my own if they need it and normally five or ten minutes and they are looking great.
Thanks for all of the replies. I haven't used any cheap ammo and it has been jamming with hollow points AND regular. The feed ramp needing to be polished could be the issue. My first thought was it could be a weak spring in the magazine but then I tried two other ProMags and had the same issue. There seems to be some visible marring at the top of the feed ramp and the bottom of the bore, where the bullets have been hitting. The recoil spring is on correctly and I always slingshot the slide. It's just odd that I have had no problems at all before and then suddenly the rounds won't feed correctly?
I have seen this where some lead or whatever gets on the ramp after some time. You should try the polish job just to make sure. If the firearm was working OK and then starting malfunctioning you have to consider what has changed? Not saying this is the problem in your case, but some brag about never cleaning their firearms for thousands of rounds. I am not one of those people. I like to clean and inspect and keep them perfect. What may seem like a very minor thing can screw up a good gun. Been there, done that, lessons learned the hard way.
I've never polished the ramp before. What is the best way to do that? What supplies do i need? Thanks again...
I heard not the polish the ramp because the ramp this is a aluminum like the frame and is already cover was some kind of polish from the factory

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I was having some feeding problems, and went ahead an polished the feed ramp with a Dremel and a polishing bit. It turned out much smoother in a very short period of time, and I was being very careful. Maybe it's aluminum, but I don't think that changes the advise (or need) to polish the ramp.
The feed ramp is anodized aluminum. Polishing can remove the anodized layer.
did the polishing help
I haven't tried it yet because i keep getting conflicting opinions on here. Not sure if i should give give it a try or not yet?
I haven't tried it yet because i keep getting conflicting opinions on here. Not sure if i should give give it a try or not yet?
You are wise to wait and learn. There are conflicting opinions on polishing it as it is aluminum and there is a coating that will be removed.

Go over to Wikipedia and read about the process. They say things like this:

"Anodized aluminum surfaces, for example, are harder than aluminum but have low to moderate wear resistance that can be improved with increasing thickness or by applying suitable sealing substances. Anodic films are generally much stronger and more adherent than most types of paint and metal plating, but also more brittle. This makes them less likely to crack and peel from aging and wear, but more susceptible to cracking from thermal stress."

So there is conflicting information here. One side is that the coating makes the metal surface harder as with Hard Coat Anodizing which is the thicker process mentioned. Other anodizing is just more or less cosmetic and adds color or corrosion protection. Its NOT a good wear surface and can crack and peel.

Then there are the wear properties of the aluminum to consider. Like steel, there are a great number of aluminum alloys in use, all with properties that the engineer can select from to best match the application. Some of these alloys will "work harden", that is they will compress sort of like a forged piece of metal and become much harder and wear resistant. (link below)

So, if you don't want to polish, DON'T ! Those who say not to are basing that on sound reasoning. But, its only sound if the coating on there is correct for the application and if the metal below it is in good shape. I am sitting here looking at my Thunder .380 that I got back when they first came out and it looks perfect, showing little to no signs of wear.

As for polishing it, well....if the original finish is rough or the metal under the anodizing was rough then there might be a reason to do it. If the finish there looks smooth and there are no dents or roughness I would skip the polishing and look for other problems first!

Most would suggest the following steps:
1) Ammo...try various types, some bullet designs work better than others

2) Magazines....the feed angle of the magazine can be a little off and really mess things up. Even a new factory mag can be at fault, nothing is perfect.

3) Action.. make sure the action is working properly. The slide moves back smoothly and there is no excessive friction, especially as the slide nears the limits of the rearward travel.

Good luck with it...and don't give up on it..

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I've never polished the ramp before. What is the best way to do that? What supplies do i need? Thanks again...
The best way is DON'T DO IT! Unless you are an experienced gun smith. 95% of FTL and FTE issues with the BT380 (that are not operator error) are one of two things, magazine issues or extractor issues.
The first time I shot the gun was outside with a temp somewhere south of 0 F. It failed to load a round about once per mag, which seemed like a lot.

Since then, I confess, I did polish the feed ramp. I also polished the front side of the extractor. Neither helped.

My Bersa was purchased at a gun show. As I walked through the show, several people approached me to congratulate me on my purchase. But, the universal advice was, "give the gun 200 rounds".

The other thing I hadn't thought about until today was Thunderdog's first suggestion - try different ammo.

Today, I shot the gun for the second time, and put a total of 200 rounds through it. I also tried flat-nosed full metal jacket ammo for the first time.

The problem completely disappeared using flat-nosed bullets, and by the end of the session had almost disappeared using round-nosed. So, I think the key is definitely ammo.

Has anyone else found that the shape of the bullet itself has a lot to do with failure to load issues?

For me, the problem was never consistent - could be any round in a magazine. So, I don't think it was a mag issue at all.
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Bullet shape can make a world of difference, I know! I reload and have lots of 9mm and .380 firearms. A bullet style that works perfectly in one may not work well at all in another. Man have I learned this the hard way!

If you really worked at it you might learn that its a combination of many factors like feed angle on the ramp and the angle on the magazine lips, etc. Manufactures run into this often with new designs. They test their firearms with certain ammo and they work great but when the guns hit the field in the hands of consumers they start having problems due to the wide variations in ammo out there.

You can accept that it works with "ammo A" but not "ammo B" or you can start chasing magazine issues or some other adjustment. Just depends on how much effort and time you want to spend on it.

I do this for a hobby so I just play with stuff until I get it to run well with the widest range of ammo. Sometimes I have to give in and realize some of my firearms are just picky and I stick to what works best for them. :)
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