John Milewski enjoys testing a Bersa BP9CC - the pocket-sized pistol from ASG
Today, CO2-powered, blow-back pistols come in all shapes and sizes, from classic handguns dating from World War 1 to ultra-modern replicas of competitive race guns, and one of the most realistic replicas of a ‘current’ firearm is the Bersa BP9CC (Concealed Carry).
The original 9mm version of this pistol is a polymer-framed, full-power handgun, intended for the Argentine military and law enforcement officials and its small size makes the pistol ideal for concealed carry. Most 9mm pistols today have high-capacity magazines that necessitate a large frame, and there has always been a demand for a small pistol, which is handy to have to hand when needed and will fit into a large pocket. The Bersa was designed with this in mind and has been used by private military contractors in the Middle East as well as Eastern Europe, due to its compact size and capability of firing the 9mm Parabellum cartridge.
Whilst the firearm has a magazine capacity of 8 rounds – plus one in the breech, I loaded up to 20 Accu BB in the pistol’s single-stack magazine and experienced no jams throughout my test. Neither of the two shooting clubs I belong to allow steel BBs to be used, due to the increased risk of short-range ricochets, and I fully endorse this policy. The Webley Accu BBs are copper-coated lead balls and worked perfectly throughout my test. It is worth mentioning that I kept a count of shots fired from the first CO2 capsule I used, and stopped at 130 when my tin ran dry and I had to leave the range.
To charge the pistol with Co2, remove the magazine by pressing in the button at the rear of the trigger guard on the left side of the pistol. The rear portion of the grip is then removed via a spring-loaded catch, and the standard capsule inserted, head up. Tighten with the screw at the base of the grip until the capsule is pierced and sealed against the internal washer. Next, load the stick magazine with up to 20 balls and insert the mag’ until it locks into place. I especially liked the way the magazine’s base covered the tightening screw completely when the mag’ was in situ. Rack the slide back in the conventional manner and you are ready to shoot. When handling the pistol for the first time, you will notice how thin the polymer grip is and also how
well the pistol sits in the hand. There is a manual safety catch on the right rear of the metal slide, but I tend not to use such devices on the basis that safe gun handling is the one and only safety procedure that ought to be paramount whenever a gun is handled, whether on the range, during cleaning, or whenever admiring a gun in a shop or private collection.
SPEED OVER PRECISION
Point the pistol and align the sights against the target. The fixed rearsight has two hi-viz white
dots on each side of its notch, lined up with the white dot of the foresight. I tend to prefer blackened sights for more deliberate use, but this pistol was intended for instant use and the white dots certainly help with aligning the sights.
The trigger pull feels long, and the base of the magazine moves during the pull, which can be a little off-putting at first. There is some creep prior to discharge, but this is easy to get used to, the more the pistol is handled. The Bersa recoils with each discharge, an experience that adds to the realism of shooting the pistol because the sight picture has to be acquired again after the shot is away. All too soon, the magazine is emptied and locks back to notify you that a reload is required. Once a fresh mag’ is loaded, simply press down on the slide release on the left side of the slide to allow it to run forward.
When I moved to the indoor range, my best card at 6 yards was a centrally placed 5-shot group of just over an inch. However, the Bersa was not intended for precision target shooting and is very satisfying when shot rapid. Just out of curiosity, I discharged all 20 rounds from one magazine as fast as I could pull the trigger at 6 yards, and most landed centrally within a 2½ inch group, with the odd flyer.
With an overall length of just over 6 inches, the Bersa really is a handy little pistol and I can see why many who have need of such an arm choose it over a high-capacity handgun. A Picatinny rail is moulded into the frame up front, so any manner of after-market optical sights or lasers can be fitted. However, doing so would take away from the compact size and the pistol’s handling, in my view. Personally, I think this CO2 offering from ASG is perfect the way it is.
My sincere thanks to my friend Bryn Jones for allowing me to test his prized pistol.
This was my best group at 6 yards, using deliberate aiming.
I found cradling the pistol in a two-handed ‘Weaver’ type stance provided the most stability when shooting the Bersa.
Place a finger under the magazine-loading aperture to prevent balls falling straight through during the loading process.
Drop the magazine by pressing the catch on the left side of the frame.
The CO2 capsule sits in the rear of the grip. Note the tightening screw at the base.
Rack the slide back to cock the pistol. The pistol’s compact size can really be appreciated here.