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Oldschool85
05-06-2011, 05:51 AM
Whats up people, New to the forum here and was just wondering if there is a way to modify thunder or firestorm series grips to fit the old model 85 frame?? Does anyone know of a site/place that sells the mag extension (butt plate) for double-stack mags?? Are there any double-stack mags selling out there for less than $50-$100 a piece?? Any help or advice is appreciated!! Thanks!!

pollyb
05-06-2011, 09:06 AM
First welcome to Bersa Chat,:thumbs up:


New to the forum here and was just wondering if there is a way to modify thunder or firestorm series grips to fit the old model 85 frame??

Not the standard model, possibly the Plus model but it would have a notch for the slide release on the left side.



Does anyone know of a site/place that sells the mag extension (butt plate) for double-stack mags??

Look here on Eagle Imports http://www.bersa.com/bersa-firearms/thunder-380-plus/thun380plus/magazine-bottom.html


Are there any double-stack mags selling out there for less than $50-$100 a piece??

Doubtful, if you find and 85/86 mag jump on it, they are few and far between.

Some have reported success modifying the catch slot on the Thunder Plus 15 round mag (available here http://www.bersa.com/magazines/bersa-thunder-380-plus-matte-15-round-magazine.html)

:smile:regards jab

p.s. Check your PM's (private messages).

p-t-max
05-06-2011, 11:24 AM
http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/p-t-max/mod85_131copy.jpg

The Model 85, pictured above, had no external slide lock, and the mag release on the frame behind the trigger pin, much like the current BT380.

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/p-t-max/bt380_fs22/bt380plus006w.jpg

The Thunder 380 Plus, the current iteration of the Model 85, is very similar, except for the external slide lock and the magazine release located lower on the front strap near the bottom of the trigger guard. It looks like the rubber wrap-around grip of the Plus could be made to fit the Model 85 with a minimum of modding.

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/p-t-max/bt380_fs22/86_85_plusmags.jpg

The 85/86 magazine on the left is also very similar to the BT380 Plus magazine on the right. You'd need to cut a notch for the magazine catch, using your own magazine as a pattern.

I'm not saying that any of this is guaranteed to work. I'm just saying that it looks like it could be made to work if you're willing to roll the dice on a set of new grips and a magazine, available at www.condorsflight.com .

Good luck, whatever you decide to do. And welcome to Bersa Chat.

p-t-max
05-06-2011, 11:37 AM
My mistake, it looks like the Thunder 380 Plus grips are not available at Condor's Flight. However, they're available at Eagle Imports, for $24 here: http://www.bersa.com/bersa-firearms/thunder-380-plus/thun380plus/thunder-380-plus-grips.html

Oldschool85
05-07-2011, 01:04 AM
SWEET!!! Thanks to both of you for the awesome info!! I'm gonna check into this..........So glad I joined........Thanks!! :)

p-t-max
05-07-2011, 09:50 AM
Oldschool85, if you decide to proceed with either of these mods, please check back and let us know if you were successful and what if any problems you had. We're always interested in hearing about this kind of stuff. :thumbs up:

Incidentally, 15 round Thunder 380 Plus magazines are also available at Eagle Imports, if you'd like to cut down on your shipping costs.

Oldschool85
05-08-2011, 04:52 PM
Sounds like it's worth a try to me..........Time to break out the dremel tool.........With a little time and a careful hand, I think it would work just fine. We shall see, I'll keep you guys posted when I get it here and finish it.......Thanks again for the great info!!!! :)

JesusismyPapa
05-29-2011, 02:22 PM
Let me know how it works as I have recently gotten a Model 85 also...

EastTexasShooter
07-11-2012, 10:29 PM
Hi all...just joined up an already you folks have helped me out..I have a model 86..an only one clip..till I saw your suggestion on the BT380 plus clip..went to my local pawn shop an bought a new one...took it how in around 15 mins..had a model 86 clip...works great..was easy to do...now for the real deal...I am going to buy my wife a new 380 an try an modify all our mags the same...I'll let ya know if it all works out! thanks again for helping out!

pollyb
07-12-2012, 07:54 AM
Welcome to BC EastTexasShooter,

Thank you for your input on the mag mod. It's always nice when a plan comes together. Lots of good information here so look around and enjoy. Any and all contributions are appreciated.

:smile:regards jab

jbr8398
07-25-2012, 09:19 PM
Walked into a local gunshop that had misc clips (new). Found 2 that worked fine (tested both of them). Paid 50.00 for both. They are out there, just compare the original with a replacement. This is a model 85

pollyb
07-25-2012, 09:38 PM
Welcome to BC jbr8398,

Yes, they are out there and what a great find and price....were they 10 or 13 rounders?

:smile:regards jab

vulcan73
11-03-2012, 08:04 AM
Greetings all....I know this thread is a few years old but here goes...I'm a new member to this forum but a long time Bersa M85 owner. When I got my piece in the 80's, I neglected to get an additional magazine. I dropped out of shooting/hunting/reloading many years ago and now getting back into the hobby since I retired and have lots of time (but not much $$$). Anyhow, I've been rearranging my inventory of guns by selling some and replacing with others and in general updating my collection. One of the updates is to get a second magazine for the M85. I can't afford a new one for $100 so this Thunder 380 Plus idea seems to be the solution.

Carving a notch in the Thunder 380 Plus magazine appears to be straight forward but before I go ahead with the project, I don't want to flush $40+ down the toilet if I hose the job. So, is this a slam dunk if it's done carefully? I don't see oldschoolM85's report on his results modifying the magazine.

By the way, the Bersa M85 is one terrific gun but my carry piece is a Sig P238 mainly because of its size. My car is a C5 Corvette which does not leave much room for anything in a side holster. If I was driving my truck ('78 Ford E250), well anything goes.

Thanks in advance for replies....Fred (K1NVY)...

mitchr
11-03-2012, 10:07 AM
Welcome to Bersa Chat vulcan73. OldschoolM85 hasn't posted anything since that last post you refer to, but might try sending him a PM.

vulcan73
11-03-2012, 10:22 AM
I did send him a PM but no reply yet. I've decided to go ahead and acquire the Thunder 380 PLus magazine, make the notch mod and post my results. Stay tuned....

vulcan73
11-14-2012, 06:31 PM
Greetings to those of you following this thread:

I acquired a Thunder 380 PLUS magazine from Eagle imports ($49) and carved the notch so the magazine will work in my Model 85. With some careful measurements and Dremel tooling, the notch was carved within a few minutes. I have not fired the gun but with an empty magazine, the slide locks up as if it was emptied and ejects with the push of the button. The photo shows the Model 85 mag with the single notch and the Thunder 380 PLUS with two notches. I now have a standard M85 mag with 12+1 and a 15+1. If you double click on the image, it will expand.
3864

pollyb
11-15-2012, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the update vulcan73:thumbs up:......patiently waiting for the range report.:smile:

regards jab

aacarter81
11-26-2012, 03:26 PM
Hi Vulcan73, I'm new to the forum, but only because my father just handed over a Bersa 85 to me. But, surprise, surprise, he misplaced the magazine & can't seem to find it. Can you tell me specifically what you did to modify the Thunder 380 plus mag so that I can take it to a gunsmith? I'm new to the gun world so I don't know anything, but it's looking like I'll have to go the same route you did. I haven't had any luck with hunting down the correct mag. Thanks!

vulcan73
11-26-2012, 03:48 PM
Hi....OK go back on this thread to posting #3. The photo shows the original M85 and the Thunder 380 PLUS magazines. The M85's release button is located above the trigger and the Thunder's is located below the trigger. These notches are clearly seen in the photo. The M85 is "high" and the Thunder 380 PLUS is "low". What you need to do is acquire a Thunder 380 PLUS magazine from Eagle Imports then carve out the notch so it releases from the M85. Without having a M85 magazine to use as a reference, you may have to use some trial and error to find the correct spot for the notch BUT this can be costly if you hose it. I gave $49 for the Thunder 380 PLUS magazine.

Send me a PM (personal message) with a good e-mail address and I'll make a diagram with dimensions of the notch. I'll scan the diagram into a jpg image and e-mail it back to you.

pollyb
11-26-2012, 10:35 PM
Welcome to Bersa Chat aacarter81

Congratulations on your new aquisition, too bad about the mag. You can acquire a 15 round 380 Plus mag here http://www.condorsflight.com/products/product_info.php?cPath=112_114&products_id=1826.

Condors Flight gives a 10% discount to Bersa Chat members who have ten posts and then contact an Administrator or MOD for the discount password.

:smile:regards jab

vulcan73
08-11-2013, 10:42 AM
Greetings all...I can't believe that I made my posts way back in November '12 and I'm just getting to report the results of my modification to the Thunder 380 Plus magazine's retro fit into my older M85.

Here's what I posted back then...."I have not fired the gun but with an empty magazine, the slide locks up as if it was emptied and ejects with the push of the button."

Whoa Nellie, not so fast! When I finally took the M85 to the range and fired round #1, the magazine popped out. I chambered round #2 and same thing happened, the magazine refused to stay locked in place. I quickly realized that the magazine was staying in place by virtue of the friction of the latch against the side of the magazine and not because the latch was inside the notch opening. When the gun was fired, the recoil simply pushed the magazine downward and out she came. The notch clearly was not carved in the correct location so that the latch would engage inside the cut out. A little more filing solved that issue and now when the magazine is pushed home, the latch snaps into the notch which can be verified by noting the portion of the latch on the outside of the frame is flush with the frame.

My next visit to the range was trouble free, round after round. So, the Thunder 380 Plus magazine retro fitted into the M85 does work if the notch is correctly positioned and the latch is fully engaged into the notch cut out.

By the way and unrelated to this, I acquired a Thunder UC in 40 S&W from a local dealer and then acquired the 9mm barrel, slide and magazine from Eagle Imports. I'm sure this "conversion" is discussed elsewhere on this site. Replacing the 40 S&W slide, barrel and magazine with their 9mm equivalents takes less than a minute so I basically have two guns, a 40 S&W and a 9mm.

Love my Bersas!!

03hard
01-16-2014, 02:35 PM
Hey! Im new to the site and vulcan73 hit the nail right on the head. Thank you for clearing up my questions without me even having to ask any! Great mod!

vulcan73
01-16-2014, 02:47 PM
Hi...and welcome to the forum. Although I don't shoot the M85 Bersa often but when I do, she's a terrific 380. The magazine mod works great as does the Thunder UC in both 9mm and 40 S&W.

mitchr
01-16-2014, 08:00 PM
Welcome to Bersa Chat 03hard. This forum is just chuck full of info. You ought to hang around & browse.

BersaBro
01-27-2014, 08:50 PM
I snagged a beautiful Model 85 @ a local gun show with 3 mags for $315 about a year ago. Fires like it's had trigger work done, too. Short easy pull and dead accurate. Love this Bersa of the 8 I own. SOOOOO... Just snagged a 380 Thunder Super in 90% cond yesterday @ local show, w/ one 15 rnd mag. Tacky grips. Sweet! Now I need more mags for it. Paid $300 paper in private deal. Quite pleased. These double stackers fit my long fingers very well. My UCP40 does too and my UCP45 feels a tad big.


Does anyone have a source for Super mags? Just started looking. Thanks!

autumist
03-05-2014, 01:37 PM
Does anyone have experience with the slide locking back with a full magazine on a model 85. Mine locks back after each shot, I suspect a weak spring, but need others knowledge.....TIA..........Dick

mitchr
03-05-2014, 01:41 PM
Welcome to Bersa Chat autumist. Someone will be along that knows for sure, but I suspect there is a spring which keeps the slide stop from popping up on recoil & may be easily replaced, if you can find one or if it uses the same spring as the currant models.

vulcan73
03-05-2014, 02:05 PM
Does anyone have experience with the slide locking back with a full magazine on a model 85. Mine locks back after each shot, I suspect a weak spring, but need others knowledge.....TIA..........Dick

I just read your posting and checked my M85. The magazine follower pushes the slide up into position to lock the slide when the magazine is empty so if it's locking on every round then the spring is either weak, busted or missing. I'd remove the slide and see what the spring is doing to the slide stop, that is, check to verify the slide stop is under spring tension without a magazine. It should be in a 'down' position as compared to 'up' with an empty magazine. It easily moves up and down with the slide off.

gtgeorge
03-05-2014, 02:41 PM
On most semi auto pistols when the slide locks back on each shot it is a sign of a bad slide stop spring, improper hold causing you to push up on the slide stop, or the bullet nose in the magazine pushing up on the slide stop.

pollyb
03-05-2014, 05:00 PM
On most semi auto pistols when the slide locks back on each shot it is a sign of a bad slide stop spring, improper hold causing you to push up on the slide stop, or the bullet nose in the magazine pushing up on the slide stop.

@gtgeorge....good advice but, models 83/85/86 have internal slide stops.....

gtgeorge
03-05-2014, 05:05 PM
@gtgeorge....good advice but, models 83/85/86 have internal slide stops.....
ooops somehow I figured I should have looked at one first. :wink:

randall13f
03-10-2014, 01:09 PM
Hi Oldschool85, I did the cut on a newer bersa thunder 380 plus magazine to fit on my bersa 85 and it works flawless!!

mitchr
03-10-2014, 01:31 PM
Welcome to Bersa Chat randall13f. You got pics?

pollyb
03-10-2014, 02:24 PM
I did the cut on a newer bersa thunder 380 plus magazine to fit on my bersa 85 and it works flawless!!
Great :thumbs up: Welcome :smile:

randall13f
03-10-2014, 05:57 PM
Thank you mitchr! I have a picture after testing the new magazine.5309

vulcan73
06-10-2014, 08:40 AM
Hi all following this thread. It's been a while since my posting but I continue to receive PM's regarding the notch location on the Thunder 380 magazine so it works in a M85. The top of the notch is 0.41" from the top of the Thunder magazine. Be sure the M85's magazine latch cleanly snaps into the notch. You need to see and hear it snap into position on the opposite side of the release button.

The Bersa M85 (1980's vintage) is one outstanding bargain in 380's for range or SD use. It is essentially the same as the Thunder 380 but with a steel frame.

56625663

jnclevel
11-07-2014, 10:14 AM
I bought a 380 PLus mag from Eagle Imports for $49 ($42 + $7 shipping). Made the following mods to get it to work in the Model 85. Measure down 0.41" from the front side of the clip. Then make another measurement from the same point down 0.65". Keep these measurements parallel to the existing clip hole for the 380 Plus. Make your cut ~1/16 inch deep at the front edge and extend it back 1/4". For the top measure of 0.41", I started a little lower and continued to grind small amount off with a diamond tip grinder until the clip snapped in place to avoid having a loose clip. Just make sure the clip completely snaps into place. Work on the top, back and front measurements until this happens. Seems the 0.65" measurement is not that critical. I did this in about 15 minutes and now have a perfectly fitting 85 double stack clip. Vulcan73 has pictures of these measurements directly above. I got the additional measurements for the depth of 1/16" and 1/4" back measurements from him through PM's. Mine was made a little squarer at the rear, like the 380 Plus and seems to cause no problems.

pollyb
11-07-2014, 01:16 PM
Welcome to BC jnclevel,

Good job on the mag.......thanks for sharing your info ....that's just one of the great things about BC.

mitchr
11-07-2014, 02:39 PM
Welcome jnclevel & thanks for the info. Will probably be several members benefiting from it.

vulcan73
05-09-2015, 08:49 AM
Greetings to anyone still following this thread.

I've noticed a M85 being auctioned on Gunbroker.com without a magazine. The seller in CT says they can't sell the gun without a 10 round magazine locally so its being auction without a magazine. I don't understand why it can't be auctioned to an out of state buyer with a >10 round magazine.

Anyhow, this is a great opportunity to grab the gun at a decent price and stuff it with a Thunder 380 Plus 15 round mag. If this gun were in nickel, I'd jump on it. Do a search for "Bersa Model 85" and it should pop up. Good luck...

By the way, I've been carrying my '85 more frequently contrary to what I posted several months ago. I've settled on Hornady 90 grain XTP's pushed by either IMR PB or Greendot for all my 380 carry guns...M85, Sig P238 and Browning BDA 380.