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Discussion Starter #1
I recently ordered three top shelf Mec-Gar MGBT3808B .380 magazines $19.60 each from Midwest Gun Works for my new BT Combat and they appear to be every bit as well designed and manufactured as any other Mec-Gar stick that I've ever handled. Then today I received email notification that Manventure Outpost is offering the same finely crafted magazine for $17.35 each.
 

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Hey critter, first off have you received your Mec-Gar mags yet? Second how are they working? I ask this in that I have a BT380 (7) round. I purchased a couple 8 rd Mec-Gar mags in order to have the 1 extra round for a total of nine rounds in the gun. (8 in the mag & 1 up top). The problem that I have is that if there is 1 round up top and the slide is forward, I cannot load a full 8 round mag in the gun. The mag will not go all the way up into the mag well. If I load 7 in the mag and theres 1 up top and the slide forward, theres no problem. This to me defeats the whole purpose which is why I'm asking you about your experience.
 

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Hey Dutch! I quickly received the 3 Mec-Gars I ordered for my maiden BT .380 Combat but have not had a chance to get it out to the range yet.

I did indeed note that the 8 round mag needs a bit more nudge for full insertion than I expected when it's loaded with 8 rds and inserted on an empty chamber. When I insert that same load-out (8) under a chambered round, the nudge requirement rises and I'm not comfortable with that. Curiously, I note the same behavior when manually inserting and cycling the two 8 round OEM Bersa branded magazines that were shipped with the pistol.

I just called Mec-Gar and the service person I spoke with advised me that the 8 round Mec-Gars differ in some specific manner from Bersa's 7 round Thunder magazine but I do not have any specifics on what the differences are at this time. Most significantly he sounded quite sincere when he told me that he was not aware of any problems with the relatively new Bersa 380 magazines to date, and that he was going to contact Eagle and see what they have to say. So I decided to let that run and see that he advises when he calls back.
 

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Hey critter, you noted that when you inserted a 8 round mag with 1 up top or in the chamber, it requires a bit of a nudge. I'm gonna assume then that it does fit in the gun for a total of 9 rounds in the gun. Am I correct with that assumption? If so, then at least you can carry 9 rounds in the gun, which is what I was trying to achieve with mine. I think I'll give Mec-Gar a call and asked them about this. My 8 round Mec-Gar mags work well as long as the gun is empty and there is not a round in the chamber. If I load the 8 round mag in the gun and rack one in the chamber, I cannot replace that 8th round in the mag and reinsert it into the gun for a total of 9 rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm gonna assume then that it does fit in the gun for a total of 9 rounds in the gun. Am I correct with that assumption? If so, then at least you can carry 9 rounds in the gun, which is what I was trying to achieve with mine….I cannot replace that 8th round in the mag and reinsert it into the gun for a total of 9 rounds.
Affirmative Dutch. I can insert a a fully loaded mag of 8 in the Combat with one in the pipe, albeit with more insertion resistance than I expected. Previously my experience with Mec-Gar's was limited to my trusty 9mm Sig Sauer P226 into which Mec-Gars insert effortlessly and feed predictably.

I've not heard back yet from "David" at Mac-Gar but expect a call back soon - but don't wait on calling him because of me. It may be that there are variations between newer Bersa .380s that will muddy the waters on magazine function & options, especially with the advent of new 8 round mags from both Bursa and Mec-Gar. I'll let you know what I hear from them.

The only thing I can add at this time is that I clearly recall that the fully loaded 8 round magazines were difficult to insert immediately after I received the Combat .380. I believe that I began to perceive a reduction in resistance when inserting the magazine (8+1) over time after I loaded and unloaded each of them a number of times with the BabyUpLULA .22LR-.380ACP single-stack loader and exercised the spring with the UPLULA loader with both seven and eight rounds loaded in the mags. Have you taken down, serviced, and reassembled those problematical magazines?

I need a range run bad to test drive this little beauty which I will view as a remarkable bargain if she performs well during her planned sea trials.

Noting your New Jersey roots takes me back to some of the best years of my life when I schooled in Philly from '66-'70 where two recollections stand out: 1) The birth of the original "God Bless America" Broad Street Bullies and 2) The original Latin Casino in Cherry Hill where on any given evening we could pop cross the river and for the cost of a few beers take in the likes of vintage James Brown perfecting his exceptional skills.
 

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Wow critter, the "Latin Casino" you are showing "OUR" ages, LOL. I as well am actually from Philly and went to high school there, Roxborough. Philly is and always was a great town for sports and great music. I grew up on James Brown the Delphonics, Stevie Wonder, Gamble & Huff (TSOP) you name it. I guess then that you remember Ed Hurst, Jerry Blavic, Steel Pier, Wagners ballroom the Uptown etc. Good to interact with a "Home Boy" so to say.:D

BTW, I spoke with a Rep. from Mec-Gar and my problem was news to them! The Rep. indicated that he would speak with Eagle Imports and ask them to try the same thing with one of their Bersa Thunder 380's. He indicated to me that Mec-Gar had sent Eagle Imports several 8 round mags for testing in the Bersa Thunder 380. As of this writing, I'm still waiting on a call back from Mec-Gar, to see how Eagle Imports made out with the test. I'll let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dutch, that is very close to what David in C.S. said to me. I doubt that he was blowing me off when he advised that he had never before heard situation that we both reported. I cannot say that I was surprised to sense the mismatch with the Combat .380 and my concern at this point in time is limited to it's reliability for CCW or in home/office defense in contrast to my personal go to sidearms of the 9mm Sig Sauer and the 5.7x28 FN Five-seveN. First experience with the BT-22 was instant lust when it came to fit, feel, & fun, but it's a pig when it comes to failure to reliably fire. I spent a lot of time in the other Bersa forums without feeling that I had resolved many of my concerns except to confirm that the BT-22 appears to have more than it's fair share of reliability problems, that the craftsmanship used in it's relatively low-$-end production leaves much to be desired, and that many of it's advocates tend to mumble on on unclear terms. My first impression on the BT-380 in general is that it's design and construction appears to be superior to it's little sister mouse gun. Only time, field testing, and feedback from other users will tell.

On the subject of maximizing your load out, have you considered giving the Bersa Thunder 380 DLX 380 ACP 9-Round magazine a trial run? Midway reviews are impressive except for one that describes the same problem you do when the magazine is filled to capacity - "The Magazine seems well built. It would not seat in my Thunder 380 deluxe with nine rounds in it. had to back off to 8. Still trying to see why."
 

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Wow critter, the "Latin Casino" you are showing "OUR" ages, LOL. I as well am actually from Philly and went to high school there, Roxborough. Philly is and always was a great town for sports and great music. I grew up on James Brown the Delphonics, Stevie Wonder, Gamble & Huff (TSOP) you name it. I guess then that you remember Ed Hurst, Jerry Blavic, Steel Pier, Wagners ballroom the Uptown etc. Good to interact with a "Home Boy" so to say.:D
Hell yeah, and all I can say is that it was some kind of miracle for me to translocate from bayou country in South Looziana to UP and Liberty Bell Country. Without know any better my first "home" was in South Philly up close to the navy yard but that proved a bit to run or fight adventurous for my maturing stage of life. So it was on to a whole 'nuther world up north by you in Chestnut Hill which ended up being a bit overly little stiff for my social ambitions but which also introduced me to one of the most incredible roadhouses I ever stumbled on right there in your own back yard, The Valley Green Inn, complements of William Penn. Final settle was in West Philly within walking (or sometimes crawling) distance to the university. The music, the Steel Pier, and pre-casino Atlantic City/boardwalk were were incredible but there was the visceral treat of joining the the insanity of humanity in experiencing the temporary glory of poor ole "One Eye" Gypsy Joe Harris in the Arena over on Swanson St., and another one-armed or one-handed guy who fought pretty damned well in some dumpy old arena/gym in West Philly. Between these classical brawlers and the Flyers there was no shortage of action in the City of Bloodely Love. Philly had it all for anyone who had their eyes wide open.
 

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Hey critter, since you mentioned the BT22, I thought I would comment on them also since I own one. Probably the biggest issue with the BT22 is the type of ammo you feed it. The BT22 was design to shoot high velocity ammo. Bersa's website even mentions this for it's BT22. When I first got my BT22, I had all sorts of problems with it. That's because I was shooting cheap bulk ammo in it. When I realized what the problem was and started shooting the high velocity ammo, I have had no issues whatsoever with this gun. I can tell you that the BT22 works best with CCI, Stingers and any other high velocity type ammo. Feed it the cheap stuff and you will have problems.
 

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Can't help but respond to your Philly memories. Jypsy Joe Harris and his glass eye, too funny critter. The Arena in West Philly, WOW, my dad use to take me to the fights in the Arena as well as the the Blue Horizon on Broad & Girard avenue. They use to have fights there every weekend. Those were Frank Rizzo days, LOL, and he was 1 bad a$$. Like I said, it's good to talk to a homey from Philly.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey critter, since you mentioned the BT22, I thought I would comment on them also since I own one. Probably the biggest issue with the BT22 is the type of ammo you feed it. The BT22 was design to shoot high velocity ammo. Bersa's website even mentions this for it's BT22. When I first got my BT22, I had all sorts of problems with it. That's because I was shooting cheap bulk ammo in it. When I realized what the problem was and started shooting the high velocity ammo, I have had no issues whatsoever with this gun. I can tell you that the BT22 works best with CCI, Stingers and any other high velocity type ammo. Feed it the cheap stuff and you will have problems.
Wish I could say the same about my BT22. I never wasted much time or energy feeding it anything other than HV ammo and found that CCI Mini-Mag 40gr CPRN (0300) was the best that I could do with my individual mouser.
 

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Hey critter, it's the holidays so if you act right and be a good boy I'll tell Santa to send you a Cheesesteak with fried onions & ketchup and a Philly mustard pretzel. LOL;)
 

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Hey critter, it's the holidays so if you act right and be a good boy I'll tell Santa to send you a Cheesesteak with fried onions & ketchup and a Philly mustard pretzel. LOL;)
In that case and with that behavioral expectation I am doomed, but thanks a lot for the tease, my friend from Philly. <drooling here> Thinking back, I seem to remember that I was there when a number of Cheesesteakeries launched, several of which reached near earth orbit in culinary circles which is saying a lot from a guy whose tastes were honed in the N'awlins community. As easy as it is for me to head out to any number of local sources for a world class Po-boys in an array of flavors, the Philly Cheesesteak owns a piece of my internal taste center. I vaguely recall images of Geno's, and what I think might have been a family relative's imputing place across the street, Pat's, and a few others like Tony Luke's that seems to have had the same cool walk-up style. How has the quality held up over the decades?
 

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Hey critter, I must say that I enjoy reading your literary expressions of these culinary delights.;) In response to your question regarding the stability, quality, and longevity of "Geno's" and "Tony Luke's", they are in fact still around. Both have earned their places on the big screen so to say, in that each has been featured on such shows as "Man vs Food" and various television shows associated with the "Travel Channel and the Food Network". While I do enjoy the sandwiches of both places, I'll admit that the best tasting Cheesesteaks and Hoagies can be found in the little or no name (Joe's, Pete's, etc.) sandwich shops or "Greasy Spoons", found on various corners throughout the urban area's of the Delaware Valley. IMHO, these little joints have the best food around and you won't find them on the Food Network!

I see that both of us have gone somewhat off on a tangent so to say. So before the moderators nudge us about not being on topic, I'll get back on point. I'm still waiting on that return phone call from Mec-Gar.
 

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I see that both of us have gone somewhat off on a tangent so to say. So before the moderators nudge us about not being on topic, I'll get back on point. I'm still waiting on that return phone call from Mec-Gar.
Agreed on topic drift. I suppose we can take it to "off topic" if anyone want to continue on with culinary delights.

I've not heard back from Mec-Gar CS either but that would not really surprise me if this is in fact the first time they received similar inquiries. I tried to get David on the phone yesterday but his receptionist said he was tied up and that he would getting back to me soon after she told him I was holding.
 

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I'm still waiting on that return phone call from Mec-Gar.
'Ey Dutch,

You ever hear back from Mec-Gar? I've not heard a peep which is more than a little disappointing after two calls to them and two promised call backs. I'm curious about whether your insertion resistance eased up any. Mine appears to have a wee bit I think, but we've had so much cold chilly rain down here recently that it's busting my chops to try and get this little mouse popper out to the range to see how reliably she cycles as a CCW candidate.
 
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