View Full Version : 380 CC barrel bulge / swollen, part II

05-27-2013, 02:52 PM
Okay, my original thread, found here (http://www.bersachat.com/forums/showthread.php?24209-380-CC-barrel-bulge-swollen), got a little off topic.

Anyway, I ordered a new barrel from Bersa and received it in a matter of days. I was impressed with the speed that Bersa was able to ship out a new barrel and get it in my hands via USPS.

I was also able to cut the swollen part of the barrel off using a 4" air cut off saw. I can now fully disassemble the weapon.

I plan on taking the new barrel and gun to a local gunsmith and have him swap barrels for me. I was really, really tempted to try and do this myself. I have a lot of tools and access to a press, but everything I've read warned me not to attempt this myself due to the tight press fit of the barrel to the frame.

I will come back and update ya'll when I have it all back together.



05-29-2013, 03:36 PM
Dropped it off a local gunsmith today. He has changed the barrel before on this particular model, so that gives me confidence in his work. Hope to have it back pretty soon! He was actually glad that I had already cut the barrel and was able to remove the slide for him. He told me that would save me a few dollars in labor.


06-01-2013, 11:35 AM
Got my gun back! I'm really pleased with the gunsmith; he was very professional and did a great job. He also agreed that this issue was caused by a squib load. Everyone agrees on that cause.

Cost of repairs: New barrel from Bersa: $28 plus shipping = $35. Gunsmith labor charges: $45. Total gun repairs = $80. Having my Bersa back in operating condition = priceless! :D

I also noticed yesterday that the barrels on Bersa's site have gone up to $40 plus shipping. I'm glad I got mine when I did.

I could have sent the gun in to a warranty center and may have perhaps had it repaired at no cost. This is what CGW told me. However, the Bersa rep here said it would not be covered. CGW also said he would not replace the barrel but just replace the complete firearm, and this would probably have taken 6 to 8 weeks at minimum. I was able to have my Thunder back in shape in less than two weeks. Also, I would have spent quite a bit in shipping just to get it to a warranty center to start with.

Also, CGW strongly tried to discourage me from having the barrel replaced. He told me the gunsmith would damage the slide by driving it over the bulge. I told him I planned on cutting the barrel off first, and then he was quiet and didn't have much to say after that, as if he hadn't thought of doing that. He told me that he doesn't do barrel replacements on these models anymore?

Anyway, I'm glad I'm back in business now!

Thanks for everyone helping me out on this issue.


06-01-2013, 11:44 AM
Some pictures of what I did:

First, the swollen and bulged barrel:


I was able to tap the slide loose and get it go all the way back, exposing the damaged part of the barrel.

Then I clamped the end of the barrel in my shop vise, and used a 4" air cut off saw to cut the barrel off behind the bulged part. I slipped a small piece of thin hardwood paneling between the barrel and frame so that my saw would not accidentally nick or cut the frame while performing this surgery.

With the barrel cut, the slide came off with no issues. Here's some pics of the gun after cutting the barrel and removing the slide:



Here's one showing the cut barrel and the new barrel ready to go on:


After that, it was off to the gunsmith! And the gunsmith told me I had saved at least $30 by cutting the barrel off myself. He said that removing the slide can be quite tricky in these situations.


06-01-2013, 11:45 AM
A range report is in order here- let us know about the next shoot.

I'm anxious to get back out there and try her out. The gunsmith told me he test fired it and everything was normal.


Reginald Carstairs
06-02-2013, 03:40 AM
This thread has been moved to warranty feedback. All replies to this post have been removed.

02-05-2015, 08:44 PM
Old thread, I know. Just wanted to update that my Bersa Thunder 380 CC has been functioning just fine since I replaced the barrel! I still love this firearm, and carry it every day.


wolfgang the gun doctor
02-13-2015, 06:52 PM
I can see CGW's reasoning on not wanting to replace a bulged barrel; it is probably the safest course.
However, for me, I take them on a case-by-case basis. If I can get the slide back past the bulge w/o enlarging the barrel hole in the end of the slide, I'll cut off the barrel and replace it. If it's too difficult to pass over the bulge, the slide will indeed be damaged. At that point, I just assume that there was a very severe over-pressure event of some kind and replace the entire pistol as there may well be undetectable major damage (e.g. overstressed frame, etc.).
In my experience, I've found about 75% of bulged barrels are replaceable w/o damaging the slide.
Also, I'm not entirely convinced that all these bulged barrels are due to squib loads. With most firearms, when another bullet is discharged behind a squib load, there will be one or both bullets lodged in the barrel. I've never had a Bersa come in with a squib load still in the barrel, so it makes me wonder...
Good thing is that I've never seen a Bersa blow up either. Probably due to the generally good quality of the materials and workmanship and the relatively low power of the .380 cartridge.