The BDA is a semi-automatic short recoil operated locked breech firearm. It has a vertically tilting delayed camming action. This locking mechanism was borrowed from the Browning Hi-Power. The handgun features a double action trigger which cocks and then releases the hammer. The recoil of the slide recocks the hammer, and all consecutive shots are fired from the single action mode. A disconnector ensures the pistol fires in semi-automatic mode only. The spring-loaded external claw extractor is mounted in the slide, while the fixed ejector – inside the pistol’s frame. The BDA is secured against unintentional firing with an automatic firing pin safety which blocks the firing pin and is released only when the trigger is pulled to fire. Immediately after a round is fired, the safety reengages itself even if the trigger is not released. The BDA also has a decocking safety that safely releases and captures the hammer in a safety notch. A decocking lever is mounted on each side of the pistol’s frame.
The BDA feeds from a dual-column box magazine with a 14-round cartridge capacity. The magazine release button, located aft of the trigger, can be configured for either right or left-hand users simply by swapping out the push-button. The BDA is fitted with a slide catch that holds the slide open after depleting the magazine. The slide can be released by pressing the slide release lever, placed on the left side of the frame. The pistol is aimed using fixed iron sights with contrasting dots – a front blade and dovetailed rear notch. As an option, tritium-illuminated Meprolight night sights can also be fitted.
The BDA is chambered in the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, but a 9x21mm version is also available for those countries where military calibers (such as the 9x19mm) are prohibited for civilian use.