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So Mr. C. hails from Illinois and carries a Bersa Thunder .380 pistol.  Nothing wrong with a .380, but it works a lot better when you carry something besides ball ammo!

Here’s today’s Everyday Carry submission, entitled Car Salesman’s EDC.

I recommend anything with XTP bullets, but frankly any hollow-point gives better performance than FMJs.  Google Shooting the Bull .380 ammo for a great run-down.

In addition, he carries a Pro-Mag extended second magazine.  Kudos.

His Ruko pocket knife reminds me of what my grandfather always carried.  The Casio Calculator watch reminds me of one I had as a junior high school kid.

Looking at the keyring, I’d just about bet he has one of those Homak gun safes at home.  Along with some older cars.

Bless him for carrying.  We need more of those here in the Land of Lincoln.



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  1. In 380 I would carry ball ammo. I think 380 hollow point ammo is not that great at expansion. Shoot through risk is usually minimal in most situations anyway according to the FBI. I would rather take the chance of maybe having two 9mm size holes as opposed to maybe having one .45 inch hole. Not to mention ball ammo tends to be more reliable in smaller pistols, to me at least.

    I may be wrong, but regardless he is much more prepared it seems than the vast majority of folks out there.

    • i agree 100 percent
      underpenetration is a real concern
      side note:
      thats not what she said
      what she said was
      im sorry but im not familiar with that term

      • 380 is the one caliber I do not worry about hollow points. 9mm NATO? Yes.

        45 ACP will probably over penitrate, but the other I’m ok with ball.

    • D,

      I believe today’s .380 ACP hollowpoints expand just fine. The problem is that those expanded bullets are light-for-caliber and at a significant risk of underpenetration.

      Penetration is a function of impact velocity and bullet sectional density. And .380 ACP is light on both impact velocity and bullet sectional density compared to other calibers, including 9mm Luger and even the lowly .22 LR.

      • In the tests I’ve seen, most 380 does not reliably expand. When it does expand, it doesn’t penetrate deep at all. In my opinion, the best 380 to carry is Underwood Extreme Defender. You don’t have to worry about expansion, and it’s very consistent on penetration.

        • Dude,

          I share you concerns. Either way you slice it, there are legitimate reasons to doubt the effectiveness of “traditional” self-defense loads in .380 ACP. That is why I would either carry Buffalo Bore hardcast or Underwood Extreme Defender (as you listed) if I were carrying .380 ACP for self-defense.

    • Hollow point expansion is hit or miss with .380 Auto, except for a few ammo types. The XTP ammo mentioned does not expand reliably in the LucyGunner tests, but the FTX Critical Defense does.

  2. I really like the Bersa but I have never found it practical enough to buy. It’s heavy, a little large and shoots a underpowered round for its size. That being said it just seems cool. Wish I was at the point of my life to buy cool things just because.

  3. I hope he doesn’t trust that ProMag magazine too much…I’ve had mixed results at best with that brand.

  4. “I recommend anything with XTP bullets, but frankly any hollow-point gives better performance than FMJs…”

    Not if it doesn’t reach the vital organs it doesn’t. And I’m talking about in a human body, not gel, which is not a perfect representation of the former.

  5. .380 hollow points are excellent at penetrating four millimeters into a human sternum. Why do people who know jack shit about a particular subject get to present themselves as experts on the internet?

      • Nah, just stays there. .380 hollow points are junk. Really, anything less than .357 magnum and 10mm are incredibly inconsistent. Just use FMJ and be confident in the knowledge there’s an over 99% chance you’ll never have to shoot anyone.

        • You’re full of it. Lucky Gunner did extensive testing of multiple calibers and the .380 loads from Hornady Critical Defense and SIG both expanded reliably and penetrated an average of 12 to 18 inches of gel after passing through several layers of denim.

          Gold Dot expanded well but averaged 11 inches of penetration, so it would be my third choice in .380

  6. Federal HST is also a very good round in .380. Has more energy than most other .380 loads and it’s a terrific expander.

  7. that thing may only feed ball ammo reliably
    jhp ammo is not a must have for me
    the 1986 miami fbi shootout may have ended sooner with the death of fewer agents if their 9s were pushing fmj vs jhp
    if my memory serves me correctly
    underpenetration early in the fight by winchester 115 grain silvertips stopped the bullet just shy of the heart of the one individual that went on to kill 2 agents with a mini 14
    but hey we got the 10mm and 40sw as a result
    2 great calibers for sure

  8. What, all that “new and great” technology only packed into the 9mm. If there was new and great technology it would extend across the board. What a bunch of suckers and wimpy, wimpy FBI limp wristed snowflakes. Anyone ever see the new verse old spec/actual data sheets for the “new and improved” 9mm? Point is, if the 9mm is better, then the 380 is better, and the 40 would still be best. Do you really think the manufactures would only use the “new and improved” technology in a single caliber cartridge? BS x 1000,000,000!!!!

  9. Have had a lot of contact with people who swear by Bersas. Every single one has been positive.only complaint I have heard is the slide stop can wear quickly if used as a release, slingshotting is the preferred method. I carry 380 a lot and trust it, to each their own.

    Like the retro keys, look like some oldtimers Ford keys and a lockbox key. Carried an old stocks like that knife many a year, always worked well.

    No phone in the carry case because it is taking the pic and using the case as a place holder.

    I would prefer a light too.

  10. Bersa generally gets good user press. I owned one in the early ‘90’s; sold it because it just didn’t feel comfortable in my hand. If it works for you, that’s great. As to the spare magazine, I’d go with OEM. They’re available on the website for ~$35. And if capacity is a concern, Bersa offers the Thunder 380 Plus with a 15 round magazine.
    While .380 is a marginal caliber, I don’t think, given current ammunition choices, it should be called a “mouse gun” anymore (hamster? guinea pig?). Yes, some of the newer, high tech ammo will USUALLY penetrate and expand adequately, but Murphy’s always ready to mess things up. Buffalo Bore touts their .380 +P 100 gr. hard cast flat nose round as having the penetration needed to stop a determined (drugged?) person. While I carry 380 hollow points, I can’t fault their logic.

    • kind of a weird flex for BB- someone who is drugged up is not physically resilient to bullets. If a bullet will penetrate sufficiently- and a FMJ .380 will do that- it’s not going to be more effective with more penetration against a drugged up attacked. At 20+ you’re not getting more bang for your buck.

  11. People would be smart NOT to show their keys.
    To understand why, see the YouTube video “Copying Keys from Photos, Molds & More”.

    • i’m on it. that guys opera windowed 390cu ltd landau brougham is mine! i hope it still has the hot water bottle windshield wiper squirty bag.
      oh wait, what if it’s a montego mx 4dr?

    • I was just thinking “I bet someone could copy those keys…” but without any knowledge of it actually being done. Finding those keys’ owner would be a different challenge.

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  13. I’ve also got a Thunder 380 in duotone that I feed ball ammo into. I carry with 1-2 extra mags, & ALWAYS one in the chamber! I’m thinking of going to a combat mix, or staggered jhp’s with ball. Appendix carry with a WTP kydex holster

  14. Pro mag is pure junk
    I had no idea they made an extended mag for the Bersa.
    I carry a Bersa Thunder cc in my carry rotation when I have to leave it in my car and I am worried about it being stolen when I am forced to enter a gun free zone.
    Since it is cheap, I won’t cry if it gets stolen.
    I carry wadcutter type ammo in . 380 as hollow point may not expand and may underpenetraye in the low powered.380 caliber.
    I have a laser on mine and it is a surprisingly accurate little gun.

  15. I do not use JHP during the winter (cold) months because people wear more coating of clothes for what Hallow Points will do the job all the time. Like the old saying “there is a place and time for everything.


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