Bersa BP9cc Part 1

Bersa BP9cc Part 1

Learning the ways of subcompact carry

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By Dennis Adler

Since 1959 Bersa has been manufacturing well-built, affordable semi-auto pistols in Ramos Mejia, Argentina, and their first polymer-framed, striker-fired model, the BP9cc is available as a .177 caliber blowback action CO2 model. The ASG Bersa BP9cc has exceptional attention to detail and polished slide used on the 9mm duotone pistol.

Back in the 1980s I owned a Bersa .380 ACP semi-auto, it wasn’t a Walther PPK but it looked a lot like one and that was its biggest attraction. Bersa started out in the late 1950s building .22 caliber semi-autos and over the decades worked its way up to larger calibers. Their early guns all had a passing resemblance to either Walther or Beretta models, and not surprisingly, the company’s founders, Benso Bonadimani, Ercole Montini and Savino Caselli were Italian firearms engineers who immigrated to Argentina in the 1950s and established Bersa in the city of Ramos Mejia, the name you see on the slide of every Bersa model. Their first .22 LR semi-auto pistol was introduced in 1959. More than half a century later Bersa is an established manufacturer of well built but still affordable pistols. The company offers a complete line of .22LR, .380, 9mm and .40 S&W semi-autos (some that still look like a Walther PPK or PPK/S) and others, like the BP9cc, with a passing resemblance to a Glock. It is, however, its own unique design. BP9cc stands for Bersa Polymer 9mm Concealed Carry. Introduced in 2010, the 9mm semi-auto was the company’s first polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol, so for Bersa this is a groundbreaking design.

The airgun follows the lines and features of the centerfire model (right) with the Bersa’s distinctive wave pattern slide serrations, integral accessory rail, undercut triggerguard and excellent grip texturing.

The BP9cc 9mm and .177 caliber models

In 9mm the BP9cc is regarded as a lightweight semi-auto. It uses a locked breech (Browning) design and has very compact dimensions, particularly in width, which is a mere 0.94 inches. With an overall length of 6.35 inches and height of 4.8 inches, it is an ideally-sized concealed carry pistol, especially for one chambered in 9mm.

It took two years but the BP9cc really began to catch on in the U.S. by 2012 and is now available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .380 ACP. With a suggested retail of $440 (with the duotone finish), the BPcc series has been successful enough to warrant its own CO2 version, which is built under license by ASG.

The CO2 model is so accurate in details that the barrel is correctly marked 9x19mm, with the CO2 caliber .177cal (4,5mm) marked on the slide. The airgun’s lines are clean with no distracting verbiage. The Bersa’s locking safety design has an added lever for the CO2 model. Also note the textured trigger finger rest molded into the polymer frame above the triggerguard. The left-hand side has a matching rest that is ideal for the support hand thumb when using a two-handed hold.
The visual comparison between the CO2 model (previous photo) and the 9mm version above is remarkable in detail. On the centerfire model, the lever used for the safety on the airgun is absent; only the locking mechanism and F S indicators are used. To put the 9mm on safe for storage, a separate tool is used.

As previously mentioned the BP9cc has a Glock-like silhouette, but a different trigger system, an internal key locked safety, and a well designed grip frame that provides a secure hold for its compact size. The triggerguard is also slightly undercut to provide a better grasp on the narrow grip, as well as lower the bore axis, which helps reduce muzzle flip. While the latter is of little consequence in a .177 caliber pistol, the airgun is as true to the 9mm design as possible, providing clean lines and very easy handling and operation. If not for the use of a 20-shot stick magazine with a full size base (to conceal the CO2 seating screw) and a separate CO2 channel, this would be one of the most authentic CO2 semi-autos on the market today. Even with those two small strikes against it, this is an exceptional blowback action model for under $100.

The ASG model is a blowback action design with a fixed barrel, as opposed to the locked breech design on the centerfire models. The CO2 model has a rifled 9mm muzzle opening with a 2.91 inch smoothbore barrel recessed inside.

Gun details

A 9mm Bersa model weighs in at 21.5 ounces, the ASG model also tips the scales at 21.5 ounces and shares the same overall length, but comes in taller at 5.25 inches (base of magazine to top of rear sights) adding about a quarter of an inch to the gun’s profile. Both the centerfire and .177 caliber models have a double-action-only (DAO) trigger and no external safety, although the airgun has a lever added to actuate the gun’s internal lock. On the cartridge-firing models it is set and released with a separate key. This feature is intended for safe storage, not as a functional manual safety on centerfire models.

Well engineered, the CO2 loads by releasing the locking backstrap panel. Removing the stick magazine also takes the full-size base with it revealing the hidden CO2 seating screw. The dovetailed white dot sights are part of the alloy slide and are non-adjustable.

The 9mm Bersa models use a trigger with a fairly long initial pull and a passive firing pin safety that prevents the pistol from discharging without a complete stroke of the trigger. Unlike a Glock design with a blade safety trigger, the Bersa relies solely on its trigger mechanism like a DAO revolver. The Bersa 9mm has a short trigger reset so the initial long trigger pull is only for the first shot, unless you release the trigger fully. It is a design that demands a shooter’s attention. To that end the basically ambidextrous design of the frame has a trigger finger rest indentation on either side above the triggerguard. The offhand side indentation is a perfect location for the support hand thumb as well. And all of this is perfectly duplicated in the ASG BP9cc CO2 model.

The stick magazine has an excellent locking follower and loads 20 .177 caliber steel BBs through the firing port. To load the magazine it is necessary to place a finger on the backside of the port to make sure the BBs drop down into the channel. (Shown with the follower locked down)

The Bersa is a very clean design, especially with the duotone polished slide. The gun has no superfluous features; the front of the slide is beveled to facilitate smoother re-holstering, the frame has an integral light or laser accessory rail, and the external controls are the trigger, ambidextrous magazine releases (only a left side release on the airgun, unfortunately), and slide stop lever. This gun fits the average hand well and has excellent balance for its size and weight, and white dot sights for quick target acquisition. There is very little in the Bersa’s design not to like, in any caliber.

In Part 2 more detail on the airgun’s design, loading, operation and the shooting test.

A Word About Safety

Blowback action models provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts. All airguns, in general, look like guns, but those based on real cartridge-firing models even more so. It is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.


2 thoughts on “Bersa BP9cc Part 1”

  1. nice looking pistol. Agree that it deserves a self contained co2 mag. The big bulbous mag plate attached to a stick mag looks , well , ridiculous and detracts from tactical reloading and general reality aesthetics. Otherwise a nice looking pistol that may qualify as a best buy if accuracy is there.

    • The oversized magazine base is just slightly deeper than the one on the actual gun pictured in the article, and the added depth is, unfortunately, needed for the seating screw. A self-contained CO2 BB magazine would likely be almost as deep as this one, but certainly far better than a stick magazine. ASG still relies on stick magazines for many of their blowback action pistols, which otherwise are extremely accurate in design. As for how well this model performs, we’ll find out Saturday. As for looks, this one has it, and it can be used as a CCW training gun for the actual Bersa models. At under $100 it is hard to beat.

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