Welcome to another episode of "I Carry,"Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together a potential everyday-carry kit. Today, we have a Bersa Thunder 380 in aClinger Holsters Sticky Holster. We also have aLED Lenser P2flashlight, aLeathermanmulti-tool and a Snagmag magazine carrierto round-out a minimalist carry rig.
Gun: Bersa Thunder 380 ($332)
While Bersa, an Argentinian firearm manufacturer, isn’t one of the more well-known competitors in the U.S. concealed-carry arena, the company has been offering what is probably one of the better bargains available today. The Thunder 380, which includes some design similarities of the iconic Walther Arms PPK of James Bond fame, is an alloy-framed, double-action/single-action, defensive handgun chambered in one of today’s most-popular calibers: .380 ACP. All at a market price of well under $300.
One feature in particular that stands out is the DA/SA operation of the gun, which has waned in popularity, thanks to a glut of striker-fired designs currently proliferating in the market. A slide-mounted safety lever decocks the pistol when loaded, providing a heavier, double-action pull for the first shot.
There are some benefits to this setup. Once a user has committed to pulling the trigger with that long first pull, each subsequent shot can be fired with a short, crisp, single-action pull. It’s almost as if the gun says, “Are you sure?” before letting off that first round.
Holster: Clinger Holsters Comfort Cling ($19.99)
Despite the added features of the Bersa, its affordable price means that owners are likely budget-minded folks looking to have a defensive setup without spending too much. So, with that in mind, we selected the Comfort Cling holster from Clinger Holsters, which is sized and cut to fit a range of different guns. The holster is covered with a sticky material that anchors the design inside the waistband or in a pocket and provides adequate trigger coverage for safe carrying.
Now there are several important elements to recognize. Universal-fit holsters are never as secure or stable as form-fitted designs, and the lack of belt-clip attachments on the Comfort Cling means that its position inside the waistband isn’t as rock-solid as clipped-on designs. However, for a budget or back-up rig, the Comfort Cling will serve well until a model-specific holster can be obtained.
Flashlight: LED Lenser P2 ($34.95)
Another affordable, yet dependable, element of this EDC kit is the LED Lenser P2 flashlight. Measuring only 4 inches in overall length and weighing just 1.26 ounces, this slim, easily carried illumination tool has a fixed output of 16 lumens and is operated by a tailcap switch. Momentary on can be activated only by depressing the tailcap partially, while depressing the cap fully allows for contstant-on operation. The light can be carried multiple ways, thanks to the included keychain ring and pocket clip.
Multi-Tool: Leatherman Piranha ($10.36)
One of the most inexpensive and easily carried multi-tool’s in the Leatherman’s lineup, the Piranha is constructed entirely of 420 stainless steel and includes a number of helpful elements designed to aid in daily tasks, like a scraper, bottle opener, box opener, metric box wrench, English open wrench, ¼-inch hex-bit driver and a reversible Phillips/Standard driver bit secured into place with a rubber holder. Best of all, the unit is TSA-approved, so you won’t be losing this to the security-checkpoint trash bin.
Reload: Snagmag Magazine Carrier ($34.95)
For preparedness’ sake, it’s always essential to keep a spare reload on-hand. For one, magazine-related malfunctions are one of the most common ways guns get taken out of commission, and having a reload ready can keep you in a fight. Second, with a single-stack design like the Bersa Thunder, round-capacity is always going to be a potential issue, so having a fresh stack of self-defense rounds to stuff in your gun could save your life.
The Snagmag is an easy and inexpensive way to carry a spare mag, thanks to a Kydex shell attached to a pocket clip. The shell keeps a reload oriented and protected in the front pocket, while the pocket clip secures the unit into position and maintains a discreet profile, appearing like a knife or pen externally.