Bargain Hunting: the Bersa BP9 Concealed Carry

Bersa has a large and cult-like following of gun owners who are absolutely smitten by these Argentinian handguns.  Known best for their low cost, Bersa firearms are widely considered to be reliable and dependable, if not the prettiest guns behind the counter.  When they announced the BP series of single-stack, polymer-framed concealed-carry pistols chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W, the fans cheered.

That was in 2010.  It took nearly two years for Bersa to get them approved by the ATF and into the US.  Even photos were scarce.  But starting in the last weeks of 2011, BP9s started showing up in stores.

BP9 CC with black finish

The BP is a lightweight gun well-suited for everyday-carry, hence the name, weighing just 21 ounces, but still able to carry nine rounds of 9mm (8+1).  In .40 S&W the BP has a capacity of 7 (6+1).  Dimensionally the BP is quite svelte, at 6.3 inches long, 4.8 inches tall, and a mere .94 inches wide.  It has a 3.3-inch barrel.

It has a Picatinny rail mount for accessories, an ambidextrous magazine release, and a loaded chamber indicator.  It also uses polygonal rifling, like Glocks.  Another thing it has in common with Glocks is the rear sight.  The front sight, however, is SIG, but that still means you can change out the factory sights.  Meprolight does have night sight packages available for them, too.

BP9 CC with nickel finish

It uses a partially-cocked striker and a short-reset double-action only (DAO) trigger and a trigger safety, similar to Glocks, except the Bersa BP uses a one-piece trigger.  It also has a firing pin block.  Like most Bersa firearms, there is also a manual key-operated safety to disable the firearm.  On the BP pistols it is mounted on the left side of the slide at the rear.

The trigger is smooth and the reset is predictable and positive and decidedly short.  Trigger travel isn’t much but there is some takeup.  The recoil is what you’d expect from a lightweight polymer-framed handgun, but it’s on the lighter and more controllable side due to the pistol’s high grip and angle.  The texture isn’t very aggressive but it does provide a good gripping surface with a low likelihood of catching on any clothing.  It also has grip texturing on the side of the frame which almost subconsciously promotes good trigger discipline.

All said and done, this is the handgun that Glock and Kahr aren’t making.  And best of all, it is often priced under $350.  The only thing we can say we don’t like about the Bersa BP series is just how popular they are.  BP-series pistols aren’t the easiest guns to find, and right now with gun sales being what they are budget handguns are selling out faster than they can be restocked.

But if you’re looking for a good concealed-carry pistol on a budget, keep your eyes peeled for a Bersa BP.  They’re available in all-black or two-tone black polymer and nickel-finished slide configurations, and don’t be picky about which one you get, ’cause if you wait, someone else will buy it first.

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