One of the most anticipated releases from Bersa this year was the new .40 S&W version of its BP Concealed Carry series of pistols.
In this Bersa BP40CC review, I wring out the new .40-caliber version of the pistol and let you know if it is as good as the original 9mm pistol.
If you’re not already familiar with it, the pistol is a polymer-framed, striker-fired handgun designed specifically for concealed carry and self-defense. It is the second in the company’s new series, with the first being chambered for the 9mm cartridge. Read my Bersa BP9CC review for additional information about the original gun.
Let’s not waste time and jump right in.
[Update: My sources are indicating that Bersa is no longer shipping this pistol to the US market due to lackluster sales. However, the .380 ACP and 9mm versions continue to sell very well. You may only be able to get this handgun on the used market.]
This should not come as any surprise, but the BP40CC is a lot like the original BP9CC. In fact, when just glancing at the two, the only obvious difference is the model name carved into the slide. So, if you are familiar with the 9mm gun, you will be at home with this one.
At its most basic, the BP40CC is a semi-automatic handgun with a polymer frame. The gun is double-action-only (DAO) and is striker-fired. According to Bersa, the gun uses a “short reset” DAO that presumably allows for fast follow up shots.
The magazine is single-stack, holding 7 rounds of .40 S&W ammo. Since the magazine is not staggered, Bersa is able to make the frame of the gun thinner than they otherwise would be able. According to the company, the gun’s width is less than 1″.
Just because the gun is thin doesn’t mean it is tiny. The gun has a 3.3″ barrel – shorter than a service-type pistol, but longer than many compact pistols. This is slightly longer than the Smith & Wesson Shield (3.1″) and Walther PPS M2 (3.2″) but slightly shorter than the Glock 43 (3.39″).
Additionally, the gun’s grip length is long enough that I am able to get a full grip on it. Not only does this feel good in the hand, but it also allows me to better control recoil when shooting.
The magazine release is truly ambidextrous. Some pistol makers claim that a release is ambidextrous when they actually mean that the release can be changed from left to right and vice-versa. The BP40CC requires no changes. Out of the box, there is a button on both sides of the gun: press either side and the mag drops free.
This Bersa pistol shipped with two magazines. If you carry a spare magazine, 15 rounds should be plenty for the vast majority of self-defense situations.
As with the original gun, the BP40CC has an internal lock that can be used to prevent unauthorized use. The keyway for this lock is located on the right side and at the rear of the slide. An included key can activate and deactivate this lock.
The internal lock is not suitable for use while carrying. It is designed to help secure the weapon when it is stored. I know there are a lot of concerns about internal locks affecting the reliability of guns. However, I have not experienced a single issue with any of the Bersa guns that can be contributed to the lock.
At the time of this review, Bersa only offers the gun in a matte black finish. In the 9mm model, a version with an OD frame is also offered. Additionally, a two-tone model is available in 9mm. Depending on the popularity of this model, I would expect that the same options would be introduced.
The sights on this gun are a mixed bag. On one hand, I like how they are set up, but on the other, I don’t care for the material.
As with many factory sights, Bersa uses a three-dot arrangement. While I don’t think this is an ideal arrangement, I think Bersa does it better than most. The front sight uses a larger white dot than the two rear dots. This naturally draws the eye’s focus to the front sight. Personally, I think this is a superior system than three equally sized dots.
The sights are plastic, which is one of the few things I do not like about this pistol. I much prefer steel sights on a self-defense handgun. I have, unfortunately, seen plastic sights damaged in violent encounters. Additionally, the rear sight may be needed to work the slide in an emergency. I want steel to ensure the sights can take the abuse and still be available for sighted fire.
Bersa uses standard size sight bases on the BP Concealed Carry line of handguns. This means existing aftermarket sights can be used on the gun if desired.
The front sight uses a SIG SAUER sized base, while the rear uses a Glock. This requires a little mix-and-match when buying from some sight companies. However, some companies make Bersa specific kits that have the correct front and rear sights matched in one package. One of the companies that provide a matched kit for your Bersa is XS Sights. They provide the DXW Big Dot Night Sight kit that combines an oversized front sight with tritium insert and an express-style rear sight.
How to Field Strip the Bersa BP40CC
Field stripping this pistol is relatively easy, though not quite as easy as a Smith & Wesson M&P or Springfield Armory XD.
Here are the steps I take to take down the gun:
- Remove the magazine. Make sure the mag is empty and no ammunition is in the area where you will be working.
- Keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction, pull the slide to the rear. Ensure the chamber is empty through both visual and manual inspection.
- When you are certain the weapon is unloaded, let the slide go forward.
- Insert an empty magazine into the weapon and, with the gun pointed in a safe direction, pull the trigger. The trigger disconnect safety necessitates this step to release the tension in the striker mechanism.
- Remove the magazine.
- Retract the slide about 0.25″ to align the witness marks on the left side of the slide and frame.
- When the marks are aligned, push the slide stop lever out of the frame.
- Release the slide and push it forward off of the frame.
- With the slide removed, you can now remove the barrel and captive recoil spring from the slide.
- Once the gun has been cleaned and oiled, reassembly is the same process in reverse.
I strongly urge you to use caution when cleaning the pistol. The Bersa is as safe as any other firearm, but all weapons are dangerous when mishandled. If you fail to use the utmost caution, you or a loved one can be hurt or killed. In my former employment as a police officer, I saw the devastating effects first hand of a firearm that was supposedly unloaded.
Holsters & Accessories
The BP40CC shares the same exterior dimensions as the original BP9cc. This gives owners a real advantage in finding holsters for this pistol. All existing carry rigs for the 9mm gun will fit the .40 caliber handgun. If you need a holster for the BP40, check out my list of BP9CC holsters here. To my knowledge, every one of them will work with this pistol.
I carried the BP40CC in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 rig for a few weeks. This combination was very comfortable for me. Check out my Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 Holster Review.
A short accessory rail is standard on this handgun. This allows you to add a light or laser to the pistol. Something like the Streamlight TLR-3 will fit nicely and provide the ability to properly identify your target in a low light setting. Perhaps the only thing worse than being killed by a dirtbag is accidentally killing an innocent person because you improperly identified him or her as a threat in the dark.
Short story: the gun was reliable and accurate enough for any reasonable self-defense situation.
I took the gun to the range multiple times over several weeks. During that time, I shot more than 1,000 rounds of various .40 ammo. Much of it was FMJ stuff from Blazer, Speer and Winchester. I also a number of premium self-defense loads.
One of the things I noticed with the BP9CC is that if I got it really dirty, it would occasionally malfunction. With the BP40CC, I experienced no malfunctions of any kind, with any ammunition and with any round count. This gun ran without a hitch.
Recoil was not bad in this gun. The .40 can generate a lot of recoil when compared to other pistol calibers. Recoil was stout and more than I experienced with the other calibers in this line. However, it was still controllable. A fan of the .40 S&W will not likely have any issues with shooting this gun.
The trigger isn’t bad, but it will not win any fans. The take-up and pull are relatively light: 3.10 pounds on average with a Lyman digital trigger pull gauge. I prefer a trigger pull of about 5-5.5 pounds on a self-defense pistol.
Even though the pull is relatively light, it is a bit gritty. The reset isn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem to be any shorter than that of a Glock pistol.
Reporting accuracy is a tricky thing. Unless I bolt the gun into a Ransom Rest, there are too many non-gun variables that are introduced into the equation. Using a Ransom Rest introduces its own problems, not the least of which is that grip inserts are not made for every gun I review.
Instead of reporting group sizes, I try to offer a more practical measurement of accuracy as it relates to self-defense. First, can I consistently put rounds on an 8″ target at 25 yards? Second, can rapidly fire the gun at 7 yards and keep all of the rounds within the same 8″ target? For both of these questions, I can answer yes with the BP40CC.
|Blazer Brass 180 gr FMJ||881 fps||310 ft-lbs|
|Hornady Critical Duty 175 gr||941 fps||344 ft-lbs|
|Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense 60 gr JHP||1875 fps||468 ft-lbs|
|Speer Gold Dot 180 gr JHP||907 fps||329 ft-lbs|
|Speer Lawman 155 gr TMJ||1070 fps||394 ft-lbs|
|Winchester PDX1 165 gr JHP||1070 fps||419 ft-lbs|
|Winchester (white box) 165 gr FMJ||928 fps||315 ft-lbs|
Based on my experiences with the Bersa BP series of handguns, I recommend checking out the Bersa BP40CC if you are looking for a thin handgun for personal protection. These guns conceal well, and I have found them both reliable and accurate.
In the self-defense context, I prefer a 9mm. Since I already own a BP9CC, I will keep that one. However, I recognize that a lot of people prefer something a little bigger. If I wanted a larger caliber, I would buy this gun without hesitation.
At this price, I feel that it is a good value, and recommend it to anyone who likes the feel of it in their hands.
As with all of my reviews, I want you, the reader, to know of any possible influences on my opinion.
This particular gun was loaned to me by Bersa specifically for review on this site and in Combat Handguns magazine. No monies or other benefits were offered by Bersa to do a positive review of the gun. At the time of this writing, Bersa is not an advertiser, nor am I in any discussions with them to be one. After I completed my Bersa BP40CC reviews the pistol to the company.
I have no financial interest in any manufacturer in the firearms industry.
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