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Bersa Thunder 9
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin  Argentina
Service history
Used by * Argentina Armed Forces (Thunder 9)
  • Argentina Federal Police (Thunder 9)
  • Buenos Aires Provincial Police (Thunder 9)
  • Various other Law Enforcement agencies (Thunder 9 & 40)
Production history
Manufacturer Bersa
Produced 1994–present
Variants Thunder Ultra Compact
Weight * 794 g (28.0 oz) Thunder 9, 40
  • 695 g (24.5 oz) Thunder 9, 40 Ultra Compact
  • 766 g (27.0 oz) Thunder 45 Ultra Compact

870 g (31 oz) Thunder 9, 40 (unloaded)

Length * 192 mm (7.6 in) Thunder 9, 40
  • 165 mm (6.5 in) Thunder 9, 40 Ultra Compact
  • 170 mm (6.7 in) Thunder 45 Ultra Compact
Barrel length * 110 mm (4.3 in) Thunder 9, 40
  • 89 mm (3.5 in) Thunder 9 and 40 Ultra Compact
  • 92 mm (3.6 in) Thunder 45 Ultra Compact

Cartridge * 9x19mm Parabellum (Thunder 9 & Thunder 9 Ultra Compact)
  • .40 S&W (Thunder 40 & Thunder 40 Ultra Compact)
  • .45 ACP (Thunder 45 Ultra Compact)
Action Locked breech, Short recoil operated
Feed system 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)

IPSC shooter from Team Bersa with a Thunder 40 during a competition

The Thunder 9 is a full size semi-automatic handgun manufactured by Bersa at the Ramos Mejia production plant in Argentina. It is also sold under the name Firestorm or FS 9.

Development History

This handgun is an evolution of the Model 90, the first full size 9mm Luger pistol made by the Argentine 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, match barrel, 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 other handguns in the company's product line. While the smaller Thunders are a blow-back pistols similar to the Walther PPK, the Thunder 9 is a full-size, short-recoil handgun to handle the greater pressure of the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. The gun bears some resemblance to the Walther P88 pistol, although the internal design is a modified version (double action) of the Beretta M 1951.

The slide and barrel are high strength steel and the frame is aluminum alloy. Available finishes are black matte, nickel, and a two-tone with a nickel finished slide and satin black frame. All the available finishing styles are non-reflective. The polymer grips are integrated "wraparound" style. The trigger is double-action for the first shot, single-action thereafter. The magazine is double stack and the slide remains open after the last round is fired. 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, semi-automatic handgun to field strip for cleaning.

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, in the Pro, for Professional, version), firing pin block; the pistol will not fire unless the trigger is squeezed all the way back protecting from accidental falling.


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


The number after the name "Thunder" identify the cartridge fired. They are called the Thunder 9, Thunder 40, and Thunder 45 for the 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP cartridges, respectively. The Thunder 9 and Thunder 45 Ultra Compact are +P rated.

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". Available chamberings are 9 mm Parabellum, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. The .45 version is not available in a full size. 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.

Shooting 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.


  •  Argentina - Argentina Armed Forces, Federal Police, and Buenos Aires Provincial Police all use the Thunder 9

External links

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