BERSA Thunder 9

BERSA Thunder 9

Infobox Weapon
name=BERSA Thunder 9

caption=BERSA Thunder 9
type=Semi-automatic pistol

  • Argentina Armed Forces (Thunder 9)
    • Argentina Federal Police (Thunder 9)
    • Buenos Aires Provincial Police (Thunder 9)
    • Various other Law Enforcement agencies (Thunder 9 & 40)
      variants=Thunder Ultra Compact
      • g to oz| 794|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes "Thunder 9, 40"
      • g to oz| 695|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes "Thunder 9, 40 Ultra Compact"
      • g to oz| 766|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes "Thunder 45 Ultra Compact"

      • mm to in| 192|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes "Thunder 9, 40"
      • mm to in| 165|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes "Thunder 9, 40 Ultra Compact"
      • mm to in| 170|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes "Thunder 45 Ultra Compact"

      • mm to in| 110|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes "Thunder 9, 40"
      • mm to in| 89|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes "Thunder 9 and 40 Ultra Compact"
      • mm to in| 92|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes "Thunder 45 Ultra Compact"

      • 9x19mm Parabellum "(Thunder 9 & Thunder 9 Ultra Compact)"
      • .40 S&W "(Thunder 40 & Tunder 40 Ultra Compact)"
      • .45 ACP "(Thunder 45 Ultra Compact)"

      action=Locked breech, Short recoil operated
      feed= Detachable box, double stack magazine:
      • 17 + 1 rounds "(Thunder 9)"
      • 13 + 1 rounds "(Thunder 40)"
      • 13 + 1 rounds "(Thunder 9 Ultra Compact)"
      • 10 + 1 rounds "(Thunder 40 Ultra Compact)"
      • 7 + 1 rounds "(Thunder 45 Ultra Compact)"

      The Thunder 9 is a full size semi-automatic handgun designed to fire 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition, and is manufactured by BERSA at the Ramos Mejia production plant in Argentina.

      Development History

      This handgun is an evolution of the Model 90, the first full size 9 mm Parabellum combat pistol made by the Argentinian company and introduced in 1989.In 1994, when the entire BERSA pistol production line was renamed "Thunder", the Model 90 was modified with better functionalities and placement of the fire control group, improved sights, better ergonomics, lighter weight and increased magazine capacity. It then became the full size offering of the Thunder model range.


      The Thunder 9 shares little in common with the similarly named handguns in the company's product line that fire less powerful cartridges, for example the BERSA Thunder 380. While the smaller Thunders are a direct blow-back pistols similar to the Walther PPK or the Russian Makarov PM, the Thunder 9 is a full size handgun and uses a locked breech short recoil modified Browning action to handle the greater pressure and power of the 9 mm Parabellum round. The gun bears some resemblance to the Walther P88 pistol, though control placement and function differ. This handgun is also sold under the name Firestorm or FS 9.

      The Thunder 9 belongs to the combat pistol category, barrel length is 4.3 inches, the slide and barrel are made of high strength steel, the frame is made of lightweight alluminum alloy resulting in a surprisingly light weight for its size. It is available in a black matte finish, nickel finish and as well as a two-tone version with a stainless slide and satin black frame. All the available finishing styles are non-reflective.

      The ergonomic grips are integrated into one polymer piece surrounding the butt of the frame ("wraparound" style). The gun can be fired in double-action for the first shot, single-action thereafter unless the shooter manually uncock the hammer, magazine is double stack. The slide remains open after the last round in the magazine is fired.

      The pistol features ambidextrous safety, a decocker activated by the safety lever, emphasized sights, combat trigger guard, an integrated accessory mounting groove in the frame (added after the year 2000), firing pin block (the pistol won't fire unless the trigger is squeezed all the way back protecting from accidental falling).The magazine release button can be reversed for left-handed shooters and it has a "round in the chamber" indicator. It is one of the easiest, if not the easiest, handgun to field strip for cleaning.

      The Thunder 9, together with other modern firearms like, for example, the Glock 17, the Tanfoglio Force or the SIG P226 can be considered one of the "second generation" Wonder Nine pistols (the early double stack magazines 9 mm handguns like the Browning Hi-Power, the CZ-75 and the Beretta 92). Even higher magazine capacity, lighter weight and more compact design despite having a full size pistol barrel length.

      BERSA Thunder full size pistols are well balanced, very accurate and extremely reliable. Users particularly appreciate the ergonomics of the design.


      From the original Thunder 9, many other versions were introduced later on.


      The number after the name "Thunder" identify the cartridge fired.

      ;Thunder 9: The original version chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum;Thunder 40: Chambered for the more potent 40 S&W round, introduced few years later;Thunder 45 Ultra Compact: It fires the 45 ACP cartridge and it is available in the Ultra Compact version only.

      The Thunder 9 and Thunder 45 Ultra Compact are +P rated; although a standard +P specification doesn't exist for the 40 S&W round, all Thunder handguns are factory tested and certified with proof test cartridges so the Thunder 40 should be able to easily handle even the heavier of the commercial loads for that cartridge, for example, those produced by specialized ammunition manufacturers such as Double Tap, Buffalo Bore or Cor-Bon. However when in doubt, regardless of the caliber, it is advisable to ask to the ammunition company what is the maximum pressure developed by a specific load and then check with BERSA Customer Service to avoid damage to the firearm and/or injury.

      Compact Versions

      The Compact versions of the BERSA Thunder full size handguns were introduced at the end of the 1990s. Initially the name was "Mini Thunder" later changed to "Thunder Ultra Compact". Avalilable chamberings are 9 mm Parabellum, 40 S&W and 45 ACP. Barrel length is reduced to 3.5 inches (3.6 for the 45 ACP caliber).

      The Thunder Ultra Compact features a security key to activate a security locking system located on the left side of the frame under the take down lever, in the locked position the hammer cannot be cocked, the trigger won't work in double action, the slide won't cycle and the gun cannot be disassembled. Each pistol has an individual key.

      Magazine Capacity

      The original Thunder 9 double stack magazine capacity is 17 + 1 rounds. Because of the bigger round, the Thunder 40 capacity decreases to 13 + 1.In the Ultra Compact versions, magazine capacity is 13 + 1 rounds for the 9 mm, 10 + 1 for the 40 S&W and 7 + 1 for the 45 ACP.

      During the high capacity firearms magazine ban, handguns exported to the United States had the maximum capacity capped at 10 rounds. Original BERSA replacement magazines are notoriously expensive but extremely well built (for example they use stainless steel followers instead of plastic ones) and very durable. Third party magazines for BERSA handguns have a bad reputation for reliability.

      hooting Competitions

      BERSA Thunder full size pistols have won several IPSC matches and are always very competitive either with the official Team BERSA or in the hands of private shooters.


      *flag|Argentina - Argentina Armed Forces (Thunder 9)
      *flag|Argentina - Argentina Federal Police (Thunder 9)
      *flag|Argentina - Buenos Aires Provincial Police (Thunder 9)
      * Several other Law Enforcement agencies (Thunder 9 & 40)

      ee also

      * BERSA
      * BERSA Thunder 380
      * Semi-automatic pistol

      External links

      * [ Official Website]
      * [ Eagle Imports Official Website]

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