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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, Since I am getting a FireStorm 380, I thought i would join up. I am an old guy, 7 years Military Service, 20 years Law Enforcement service (with a medical retirement), and several years as Domestic Security Contractor, protecting the power grid in the mountains for Homeland Security. Now, I am semi retired, and a REALTOR for Coldwell Banker in the Sierras of Nor-Cal.

I spent many years as an Armorer, and firearms instructor and tactics instructor in the Military and LE, but I am not a firearms brand snob! My Armory is diverse, with my EDC CCW weapons being a Glock 19 that I have had for 20 years, a Kahr CW45 45 ACP I bought last year, and Taurus 85 38 snubby I bought a couple years ago. The Taurus 38 replaced a Taurus Millennium (non-pro) 9mm that I loved, but had reliability issues, and had an ejection port too small to eject certain longer loaded rounds...That's a game killer for me, since immediate action drills for a striker fired pistol includes jacking out the round that did not fire!

Unlike some "Professionals" I am a fan of the .380 and 9x18 as a defensive pistol round. I have had a CZ82 9x18 and a CZ83 .380. I liked them, but almost as bulky as my Glock 19. I have also had Kel-Tech 380 and 9mm (just too insubstantial for me), an FEG SMC PPK clone, an AMT Back-up .380, and many years ago a German made Walther PPKS (which I foolishly sold). With the good ammo available, it is effective for close up and personal encounters, with moderately good shot placement. I like Hornady Critical Defense .380s (I also like it in my Kahr CW45 and Inland 30 M-1 Carbine house weapon). I still have some from when I had my CZ83. I am also intrigued by Buffalo Bore 90 grain +P, and might try some of that, too.

Anyway, fast forward to yesterday when I went into one of my local gunshops and found a NIB BERSA FireStorm .380 for $375. Handguns of any sort are hard to get in Kalifonication, due to our draconian approved handguns list. VERY few 380 pocket pistols are approved, but the Firestorm is one. I picked it up, and really liked the balance and feel of it. At 20 ounces, it weighs an ounce less than my Taurus 38, but will hold nine rounds (with a Mec-Gar 8 rounder), instead of the wheel gun's five!

This will fit nicely in my ankle holster for when I am "all dressed up" being a REALTOR!
 

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Welcome to the forum from SE Texas, glad to see that you have decided to come on in and give an us a try and an intro. Sounds like you've got a far better background in gun than I. My early military experience was only with the original M16A1, S&W post Korean War 38 revolver and an even more ancient M2 carbine. I didn't start out planning on being a one brand or Bersa fan, just happenstance just led that direction. I now have 6 hand guns and one rifle. Five of the handguns are Bersas. Two BT380s, two 9UCs and a Firestorm 22lr. The sixth, my resident safe queen is a 70+ year old Colt 1911 .45 and one lonely rifle is a 72 year old Inland M1 Carbine. Even though it's winter and my primary carry is a 9UC, my favorite carry is my first handgun purchase, a matte black BT380 on a pancake holster with the 9 rd DLX mags. I carry it on Sundays and/or during the summer.
 
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Welcome on board the Bersa Pistol Forum, glad to have you with us from the Lone Star State.

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Welcome to the Bersa Forum from another CA resident. Your introduction is very well written and causes me to comment. I too am an "old guy", Vietnam vet (draftee) 101st Airmobile near Hue. Last year I purchased a FireStorm .380 from Turner's in Oxnard. I bought it to replace a totally unreliable Ranger/Interarms US produced .380 PPK/S I simply couldn't trust. I actually made money on the dealer consignment sale. It sold in one day. I don't carry but I shoot what I own, they aren't safe queens just to fondle by any stretch. I love my Bersa, it works and doesn't have the F/E F/F issues my Walther did. It resides in the top drawer of my desk with a 9 and a 7 rounder. I'd love to add Bersa's single stack 9mm but sadly it's not on the CA "approved" list. You'll see my rather modest collection below. Enjoy your Firestorm!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the welcome guys. I enlisted in 1974, and went into the MPs, then Investigations. After ETS from active duty (did Army Reserve 1977-79 and USAF/ANG reserve 1079-1981 as an SP), I went to work on a Nor-Cal SO, then pursued my career in Washington state for 9 years, then back down to CA until 2000. Went back to school and got my degree and teaching credential and taught High School for 7 years.. Absolutely hated what has happened to education (45 kids in a class, teaching to the test, lowering standards so more pass, Common Core, etc) and gave it up in 2011.

1981 to 1988, I was an Armorer and weapons instructor on the PD, and did LOTS of firearms evaluations: shot one of the first Glock 17s in the country, and loved it, and even shot a toolroom sample of the 469 S&W. Our department almost went to H&K P7 "squeeze cocker" for all personnel (our detectives carried it), but I nixed it based on some safety incidents an ADs with shooters turning my testing period. Evaluated lots of other guns.

I am a life member of SASS, joining in 1994. I was a staff writer for them from 1996 to 2012, writing monthly articles under my alias "Tuolumne Lawman" (that's where I got my writing practice). I evaluated guns from Uberti, EMF, Pietta, Marlin, Colt, Winchester, Armi San Marco, Pedretti, Taylor's, Pedersoli, and a host of originals for my articles (that was a really FUN job). I had an original 56-56 Spencer converted to center fire I shot at the end, which I also used in Civil War reenacting until 2011. I gave up an SASS, as they lost their core values of "spirit of the game" and keeping the old West alive. Now it's IPSC in cowboy boots. I shot black powder cartridge, and the gamers complained because I was too slow with my Spencer and made too much smoke... They used to have a rule book that was a 4x5 pamphlet, and use the John Wayne test to see if it was SASS kosher, Now there are literally binders full of rules, and they don't even know who John Wayne is. (they never refer to the Joh Wayne test anymore).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anyway, continuing about the FireStorm 380. I really like the balance and feel of the slim line finger rest grips. They are done well, not being too bulky like some rubber grips on autos. I also like the light weight of 20 ounces. Light enough for an ankle holster (I carry the Taurus 38 in an ankle holster now), but not too light. A Kel Tec or Ruger LC380 just seem too light for me, especially if I want to shoot Buffalo Bore 90 grain +Ps!. I can't wait to get it out of California 10 day "jail".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I can't get it out of California Jail until Tuesday the 26th (he's closed 24th and 25th). I can't tell you how excited I am to get this pistol. I'm like Ralphie on "A Christmas Story" waiting for his Red Ryder BB gun. I sold my holsters with the CZ83 I sold., so I ordered an IWB and an ankle holster. Nice thing about the Firestorm over Thunderer is that the Firestorm generally fits Walther PP holsters. I also got three, 8 round Mec-Gars from Cotes for $20 each. Dub out my ammo can of 380 from the big gun safe and I now have 250 rounds of FMJ and 50 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense. I may pick up some Buffalo Bore +Ps, also.
 

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Got to admit that when I read of the problems you have in California on handgun purchases, I have to laugh at myself over the irritation I felt over having to fulfill the 72 hour wait when I bought my first BT380 while living in Las Vegas. Now that I am living in Texas. I long for the Nevada gun laws. Sort of know how ya' feel about seeing a major hobby go down the tubes. Spent 20 + years involved with classic Mustang cars and shows. I had a restored and modified a bottom of the line '65 six cylinder coupe. Primarily, the petty internal politic of the local clubs finally got to me. Age and health and the increasing difficulty to perform work on it were contributing factors. Sold it two years ago and bought myself a 2013 Mustang convertible with the V6 premium package. I now let Ford do all the maintenance. The balance and feel of the Bersa 380 version and the decent price convinced me to buy it as a nightstand gun. I did have problems with convincing myself to start carrying it as an EDC, as I have rather broad hands and my little finger was almost completely off the grip. Actually got a price of doing a trade it on a 9mm, but after discovering the world of various Bersa gun forums, and stumbling onto the Bersa/Firestorm 9 round DLX round, the 380 has become my favorite. It became such a favorite, that when I spotted a used nickle version BT380 and a used FS22lr at an LGS for less than the price of a new 380, I bought them both.
 
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