Small Arms

John Milewski en­joys test­ing a Bersa BP9CC - the pocket-sized pis­tol from ASG

Airgun World - - Contents -

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.

HAN­DLING

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.

TEST CARDS

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.

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