With an ever-increasing population of concealed carriers, the U.S. market is lousy with single-stack, sub-compact pistols. I don’t think we’re anywhere near saturation, either. Which opens up the doors to handguns like the inexpensive, Argentinian Bersa BP9CC. Cheap and cheerful concealed carry companion or South American Saturday Night Special?
Bersa‘s BP Concealed Carry series comes in three flavors: .380, 9mm, and .40. Black is beautiful, sure, but Bersa offers it in FDE, OD Green (tested), Urban Grey, turquoise, pink, and duo-tone (various frame colors with a nickel slide). Shoot the rainbow!
Other than the low price (available at Brownells for just $369), the BP9CC’s slim frame is its main selling point. This svelte shooter weighs in at a scant 0.94 inches thin.
The BP9CC’s molded-in frame texture is almost but not quite used car salesman slick. The front- and back-strap’s shallow serrations with rounded edges are handsome, but they don’t provide sufficient gription when Texas-heated hand seepage makes moist.
The pebbled texture on the sides of the BP9CC’s grip frame is better, but also needs to be more aggressive. The “peaks” are simply too short. While we’re at it, the BP9’s slide serrations could be deeper and/or sharper, too.
On the plus side, the grip’s circumference and shape is ideal. It made me want to grip and rip this gun. Squeezing solidly with a high, two-handed grip, driving the BP9CC aggressively, it felt as solid as a rock.
Something about the BP9’s shape and size really encouraged that aggressive grip, though even without aggro roid-rage the gun’s highly controllable.
The skinny BP9CC presents a
low-carbon handy footprint: 6.3 inches in length and 4.8 inches tall. Unlike your basic mouse gun or pocket pistol, the Argentinian’s small enough to conceal easily yet large enough to shoot comfortably.
The sub-compact size enables easy manipulation of the slide and controls. It’s large enough to come complete with real three-dot sights, a 3.3″ barrel, and a short slice of Picatinny rail for accessorizing.
That said, while the ambidextrous magazine release is easy to find — no micro gun finger contortions required — it’s hard to activate. It worked properly, but my middle finger/palm got in the way on the other side.
The issue with these ambi safeties: depressing the left side causes the right side to protrude. With the BP9CC, a full firing grip prevents that from happening. It’s a training issue, and I’ve never accidentally depressed the mag release from the right side. But there it is.
On the other hand (or thumb), the slide stop works a treat. Despite adding very little width with its tall-yet-flat design, the slide stop’s curved rear serrations offer plenty of purchase for dropping the slide from lock. The 90° ledge on the bottom is perfect for manually locking the slide back with the edge of your thumb.
Like a 1911 or a CZ 75 (or a zillion other guns), the BP9CC’s slide stop also acts on the barrel locking lug to pull it down and out of battery. Removing the slide stop allows the BP9CC to be field-stripped.
Retract the slide until the alignment marks on the slide and frame align, pull the slide stop out, slide the slide off the front of the frame and the pistol’s ready for cleaning. But first . . .
Safety check the pistol and pull the trigger to deactivate the striker. No big whoop; we’re all used to that. Only the BP9CC has a magazine safety. So insert an empty magazine, then pull the trigger and follow the directions above.
For reasons best left to politicians (and parents without trained children and gun safes), the Bersa’s BP9CC has an additional safety: a built-in lock. Rotate it between F for “fire” and S for “safe.” The process blocks the trigger and locks the slide in battery.
As an additional safety to the additional safety, Bersa’s BP9CC also has a loaded chamber indicator. With a round in the chamber, the metal flap up top provides a visual and tactile indication that you’re ready-to-rock.
When that time comes, you’ll find the trigger is wide and comfortable without an annoying safety blade dingus in the front. It rotates downwards to clear its passive safety, though, causing my trigger finger to rub against the inside bottom of the trigger guard. Not a problem, per se, but noticeable enough to be irritating.
Gripes about the trigger end real hard and fast at this point, as the BP9CC surprises with one of the best striker-fired triggers on the market. Yes, that’s right, it’s way up there with the highly-lauded Walther PPQ, HK VP9, and CZ P-10 C. Although it’s arguably better-suited for concealed carry.
Though light at about 3.8 lbs, the initial, smooth trigger pull travels a good five eighths of an inch. Once you’ve fired the BP9, the trigger resets really quickly: about an eighth of an inch forwards of the solid rear travel stop.
Riding that audible and tactile reset also delivers a lower subsequent shot break weight of around three pounds. Though the trigger creeps the full eighth inch back to the breaking point, it breaks with purpose. It’s a shockingly fantastic trigger.
From a sandbag rest at 15 yards, the BP9CC’s accuracy wasn’t impressive. Clockwise from the top left bullseye: American Eagle Syntech 115 gr, CapArms 147 gr, Sellier & Bellot 115 gr, and Speer Gold Dot 124 gr.
A target gun it ain’t. But at self-defense distances, the BP9 is more than accurate enough. It’s also easy to shoot rapidly while keeping the downrange holes where they belong.
The BP9CC was a perfectly reliable firearm. I fed it two brands of hollow points plus FMJs in a wide spectrum of weights, bullet designs, and power factors from a handful of different manufacturers.
While I wish the Bersa shipped with more than the one, eight-round magazine, I still managed to get through nearly 500 rounds of mixed 9mm without a single hitch, hiccup, holdup, hangup, hardship, hindrance, or humiliation.
The handgun’s recoil is as snappy as you’d expect from a firearm that weighs 20.9 ounces (with empty magazine). But the ergonomics make it fun to shoot and easy to keep on target. It’s well-suited to almost anyone, regardless of hand size and stature — as long as they have a modicum of grip strength to make up for the lack of proper frame texture.
Overall, Bersa’s BP9CC is not only good looking and affordably-priced, but highly functional. It’s an extremely skinny, compact (but not too compact), and reliable concealed carry pistol with a superb trigger. The BP9CC reflects the fact that we’re living in the golden age of concealed carry pistols.
SPECIFICATIONS: Bersa BP9cc
Caliber: 9×19 (also available in .380 Auto and .40 S&W)
Capacity: 8+1 (8+1 in .380, 6+1 in .40)
Trigger: Short reset striker-fired, 3.8 pound initial pull and 3 pound subsequent pulls (if one rides the reset)
Sights: SIG Sauer-fit front sight and GLOCK-fit rear sight. Front is steel, rear is polymer. White 3-Dot style.
Barrel Length: 3.3″
Weight: 20.9 ounces with empty magazine
MSRP: $429 ($369.99 at Brownells)
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Form Factor * * * *
I love everything about the BPCC’s size and shape for concealed carry. And it looks good, too. Better grip texture and grippier slide serrations would elevate it to five stars here.
Reliability * * * * *
It reliably ran everything we fed it, from reloads to hollow points to flat points to +P.
Accuracy * * *
Trigger * * * *
The trigger is wide and comfortable and smooth and crisp, with one of the shortest resets going. But it tends to squish your trigger finger into the inside bottom of the trigger guard.
Value * * * * *
With a street price well under $400 the BP9CC is a screaming deal — a highly underrated carry option.
Overall * * * *
Bersa’s BP9CC isn’t perfect, but it’s darn close.