S&W Bodyguard 380 Pistol and 38 Revolver

One of the major product launches at SHOT Show was the launch of the S&W Bodyguard Series.

Smith & Wesson have applied the Bodyguard name to a variety of lightweight wheel guns over the past 50 or 60 years. The latest iteration of the Bodyguard brand again includes a light weight revolver but also, cleverly, a light weight pistol (offering something for everyone).

The Bodyguard 380 pistol and Bodyguard 38 Revolver were both designed with similar objectives in mind. Both are lightweight compacts, both are chambered in low-powered .38 caliber cartridges, both have a similar black finish and, notably, both come standard with a built-in laser sight.

The laser sight is a feature S&W will be marketing heavily. The INSIGHT manufactured lasers feature ambi control, constant and pulse modes, windage and elevation adjustment and three hour continuous operation.

The booth was lit up with red lights (emphasizing the laser capability)
The Bodyguard ad is SEXY. You are going to want to watch it more than once.

S&W Bodyguard 380 Pistol

This pistol is a brand new design. It is lightweight at 11.85 ounces, although not quite as light as the Kel-Tec P-3AT which weights in at just 8.3 oz. Its polymer frame with integral laser has a cool futurist look to it.

It is double action, has an external safety and can hold 6+1 rounds of .380 ACP ammunition.

Caliber .380 ACP
Capacity 6+1
Finish black Melonite coating
Barrel 2.75″
Total Length 5.25″
Height 4.1″
Width 0.75″
Weight 11.85 ounces
Rear Sight drift adjustable
Other Features Laser sight
MSRP (Price) $575
Availability May 2010

S&W Bodyguard 380 Revolver

The Bodyguard 380 is a lightweight J-Frame with aluminum/polymer frame and steel cylinder. While less exciting than the above autoloader, it is a decent compact revolver. It features an ambidextrous cylinder release on top and fully enclosed hammer for snag-free drawing. The laser is mounted on the left side (laser switch is mounted on top for ambidextrous use).

Caliber .38 Special +P
Capacity 5
Frame One-piece aluminum alloy upper frame. Steel reinforced polymer lower frame.
Barrel 1.9″
Total Length 6.6″
Height 4.39″
Width 1.36″
Weight 14.3 ounces
Finish matte black PVD finish
Grip one-piece rubber grip
Sights notch-style rear sight. Pinned blade front sight.
Other Features Laser sight
MSRP (Price) $625
Availability May 2010
Guns America TV have published a video about the new Bodyguards.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • DaveP.

    That bodyguard .380 looks a LOT like a Taurus Millennium.

  • p3dal

    “both are chambered in low-powered 9mm (.38) cartridges”

    Pretty sure 9mm and .38 are not the same.

    • p3dal, they sure are. In metric .38 Special is called 9×29mmR and .380 Auto is 9x17mm or 9mm Browning. But I can see why confusion could arise so I have changed the wording.

  • Jim

    Other names for .380 ACP include .380 Auto, 9mm Browning, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Short, and 9x17mm.


  • dg

    Ill take a 380 please. Very glad to see S&W finally offer a 380 pocket gun.

  • Grey

    While I like both and applaud S&W for trying to think outside the box a little, I am baffled by the emphasis on ambidextrous cylinder release. The cylinder still opens to the left side of the gun, so it will still be awkward for lefties…

    Now, if they had a common trigger, grip frame, cylinder release, with an option of either left or right side opening cylinder, then I would be well and truly impressed. Or, if it were a top break, which would be well and truly ambidextrous.

  • Don

    Damn nice marketing.

    @DaveP, I thought the same thing.


  • yamalink

    Wonder how the revolver’s trigger action is. Like the current heavy-but-reliable 642? The price gonna be a lot more than the Ruger LCR Crimson? The laser being on top won’t interfere with trigger finger muscle memory positioning.

  • Tux

    Any word on how to change out the batteries/ what batteries are used? I can’t see any obvious cover where they would be, and I’d hate to have to disassemble the gun just to swap batteries.

  • Brian

    Bodyguard 380 looks really nice. I think it’s all going to depend on price.

  • gvass

    9 mm Browning SHORT is the .380 ACP

    (because there is the 9 mm Browning LONG, which is .38 ACP and obsolete.)

  • 4Cammer

    Well, it happened. Uglier guns than Glocks are now being made. 🙂

  • Tom Stone

    The Ambi cylinder release is a nice touch,I hope it becomes more widely available.

  • Donkey Kong

    Is it just me or is the Bodyguard 380 pistol’s barrel bent upwards in the shot with its slide racked back?

  • Crabula

    Stylishly Ugly!

    Did the Ruger LCR turn stylishly ugly into the latest trend in personal defense.

    With the aluminum/polymer frame, its pretty obvious that the revolver is meant to be in direct competition with the LCR.
    They both seem pretty slick, but I think that the revolver is my favorite of the two.

  • jdun1911

    Double action with external safety is redundant. The auto pistol is DOA.

  • james

    Looking at the .380 pics it looks like the pistol uses a locking system similar to a keltec and doesn’t use a blowback system… so why chamber it in .380!? The ammo is weaker and had as hell to find right now. Seems like it would be simple to make it a 9×19. Everyone and their grandma is pumping out .380s lately and it’s killin me! I still think the Walther pps is about the best subcompact carry piece since those nice little kahr pistols. What does everyone else think?

    Oh the integral lasers are bad ass though…. hahaha. Bet the price will be 500+.

  • ericire12

    Mass Ayoob reported disclosed the MSRPs on each gun:

    .380 — $575

    .38 — $625


    • ericire12, thanks for the info.

  • Nigerian Defense Minister

    Hello, I am Nigerian Defense Minister. I would like to buy 1,000 of each gun. No need to follow laws, just put them in big box and mail to me. I will send you money by PayPal. We can meet in Vegas to discuss if you want. I promise to come alone, no cops.

  • Tom

    I dont understand why manufactures are coming out with small 380`s.. The 380 is a marginal self defense round, and costs more than 9mm. I would rather they come out with small 9mm`s like the Kahr PM9 for a pocket pistol. I have the Kahr PM9, and PM45.. Both fit in my front pants pocket.. and you cant tell there there..

  • Joel

    I have a comment and a couple of questions.

    Recently I handled a “DAO” Kahr K9. I quickly noticed that it does not have a second-strike capability. Nonetheless, it is marketed as “double action.”

    1. Does this seem wrong? Double action should include second strike. My Sig 226 and my old S&W 5906 were DA/SA and had second strike.

    2. Does the S&W Bodyguard 380 have second strike?

  • Matt Groom

    Everyone knows that a 9x19mm and a 9x17mm (.380) are nominally .356″ vs. the .38 Special/.357 Magnum which is nominally .358″, but few people realize that almost NOBODY makes rifling buttons which are .356″. Most 9mms out there have .3585″ groove diameters. Slug your bore and see. My Hi Power, Beretta, and an assortment of others I’ve tested all have .3585″.

  • Phil Wong

    @ Grey: The top-mounted cylinder release DOES actually make a left-handed reload a bit more convenient, as the LH thumb doesn’t have to swing all the way over to the other side of the gun as with current conventional DA revolvers, but can instead stop halfway in a slightly more natural-feeling position behind the rear sight. The lefty-revolver reload techniques from Massad Ayoob’s “StressFire Vol. 1” book can be applied readily with the New Bodyguard as it is.

    However, I do foresee that the top-mounted cylinder release MAY be a visual distraction for old-school Smith shooters, like…me, for one.

    And since I AM an old-school, reactionary-Luddite, traditionalist Smith shooter, who viscerally distrusts and despises components like the “Clinton/HUD lock” I see pictured – parts whose sole(and flawed) raison-d’etre is to prevent the deliberate firing of a gun designed for fast, close, desperate defensive situations – I believe I shall continue to search out and purchase the pre-lock Model 640/642/442 Centennials that I have come to know and trust.

  • Carl

    The safety could be useful if people decide to carry these unholstered in their pockets or purses. I still wouldn’t recommend doing this though. Get a holster.

    I would suspect (but don’t take my word for it) that with the locked breech (short recoil) you can use a weaker recoil spring and/or a lighter slide than with blowback. So the gun gets easier to operate for people with less strength (women for instance). But this is just speculation on my part.

    By the way, the behaviour of the people in the video seems rather paranoid to me. I’d hope I would wait for a more tangible threat until drawing and lasering up the place.

  • SpudGun

    I found the black and white video to very informative –

    1. If you are a rich businessman, don’t wander down dark alleys alone at night

    2. If you are wearing a suit and a long coat, carry a larger caliber pistol

    3. If you are a woman likely to get mugged, don’t put your pistol in your handbag, that’s the first thing purse snatchers like to grab

    4. Lasers work best when there is plenty of smoke / steam / dry ice

    5. The use of fear to sell your products is a good one. Hopefully S&W’s next video will feature even more images of extreme terror, maybe have some dead family members lying in blood in their living room and the tagline ‘Should have bought Smith & Wesson, but you’re too late, they’re all dead.’

  • Tom

    The 2 people in the first video are wearing long coats, and the woman is carrying a large purse also.. Both could be carrying and concealing.. a little larger, but far more effective self defense weapons.. The 380 and 38 Special are whimpy cartridges.. with long records of NOT stopping aggression.. Plus those tiny 380`s are to small to be used effectively.. There`s nothing hardly to hold on to.. Feels like a toy in my hand.. Both of these cartridges were never recommented for serious self defense..

  • SpudGun

    @Carl – LOL, good point about drawing and lasering up the place at the earliest provocation.

    Maybe in the next video, the business man and the young woman draw guns on each other when they see the lasers, but instead of shooting each other, they fall in love. Aaaah.

  • Matt Groom

    The .38 special was the premier police cartridge in the US and most of the rest of the world for over 80 years Tom. It was used by dozens of militaries as well, and it would probably STILL be the premier police cartridge if not for the rise of semi-auto designs in popularity.

    You could make the argument that pistol cartridges in general are wimpy, since none of them will stop an aggressor in their tracks save for a hit on the central nervous system, but then again, you could probably make that case for a good many rifle cartridges as well. Bullet placement trumps displacement always.

  • Matt Groom

    I like Spudgun’s idea for a video:

    “Two strangers, alone, in a hostile world. The fear and excitement of that first surprise encounter. The adrenaline. The Pheromones. The gunplay. It was a Mexican standoff that ended… in romance. Fall in love with Smith and Wesson’s new Bodyguards this Valentines day!”

  • Stu C.

    Tom, I have to disagree with you slightly. I might not be the biggest fan of .380, the .38 special(especially with the more modern ammunition) they can both be a quite effective tools. Remember it’s not the gun you want in a fight it’s the gun you have, and let’s face it if I knew I was going to be in a gun fight i’d be somewhere else, and if i couldn’t i’d bring a rifle. These guns are really just meant to be better than nothing. And I’ve never met anyone who would want to be shot with anything.

  • Jim

    I started laughing when I read the “Nigerian Defense Minister’s” post. That was a minute ago. I’m still laughing. PERFECT comedic timing and tone. You are wonderful, sir.

  • Stella

    A wimpy as .380 may be, I am pretty sure a mag dump at self defense distances is going to dissuade hostile action.

    Tiny .380s make it so there is never a wardrobe or sloth related excuse to carrying.

  • I don’t mind .380 for a bug. I think I might have to pick up one of these two guns.

  • Tom

    I will agree on one point.. A 380 or 38 Special is better than nothing.. But there are people out there that document police shootings.. The 380 and 38 are dismal failures.. Even in my city.. Police are banned from carrying 9mm`s, with modern ammunition i may add.. Police went from revolvers to Hi-Cap 9mm`s.. When the 40 S&W came out.. They traded in there 9mm`s for the 40 S&W, because of 9mm`s failures.. All this is well documented and the info is on the web..

  • Stu C.

    Very well, but that depends on what department of which your speaking. Alot of people had mixed results with alot of different brands of 9mm, the most successful of which i believe was the 9bple round by federal. And alot of that switching was done when the .40 was brand new. Keep in min this is coming from someone who only carries a 9mm/.38 special/.380 as backups to a .45 ACP, or when the government tells me i have to go to war with one. Basically my only point was getting shot universally sucks, no matter what you get shot by. I personally don’t find law enforcement record/restrictions to be a viable basis for an argument. while some of those decisions are hard learned on the street someof them are made on an uneducated bias to something small. I would like to re-iterate that I carry a .45 pretty much everywhere I go, i too prefer big bullets. Personally i think S&W did i great job developing new tools for the toolbox. But that is just my opinion.

  • A .38 Special revolver is interesting (and the price seems OK), but the pistol is soooo ugly. And nowadays every manufacturer have to have a small .380 ACP. Just BECAUSE.

    It is like the fashion trend of subcompact M1911s.

    I think, the .38 snubbie will stay with us forever, the .380 ACP pocket pistols maybe not.

  • Wayne

    How about just calling them what we call them .380 and .38 special, why do we need to be “fancy” ? Geez !

    I never mess with .380, but I think to call .38 Special, especially in +P, and 9MM both in all their 2010 offerings, wimpy, weak or whatever,is silly. There are so many new designs, from credible sources in the last few years, after the switch to .40 became popular, that negates some of that. Just my opinion of course, but I have read similar statements by those who are supposedly in the know.

  • Wayne

    The videos are interesting, I guess I am lucky that I do not ever travel in any alleys like the guy was in, nor would allow my wife to have to walk in some dingy dark garage alone, but that’s just me.

  • Tom

    New small 380`s.. 38 snub`s.. its all about marketing and profits.. not what works.. Don`t be mislead..

  • DaveP

    I don’t use .380 myself… but I also believe that there’s not a single person here decrying its value, who’d be willing to be shot with it as an experiment.
    Worry less about hundreths of an inch and more about getting good shot placement and you’ll all be better off.

  • Komrad

    They seem like nice little guns, nut they’re nothing special. For someone with big meaty hands, they’re probably not a choice but I have seen several comments on this blog and on others that their wife doesn’t like .45s, or 9mms, or .357s. These are not really for experienced shooters with big meaty hands, its for those who can’t or don’t want to carry something bigger. Would you rather have these not be available for your wife or girlfriend to use?

  • dustydog

    Idiots. Kel tec and Ruger already make those guns. Jumping into a mature market.

    What they should have done, and should do, is make a titanium 380 – lighter weight, replace all the plastic with top-of-the-line metal, improve the reliability with quality and materials, and jack up the price accordingly. Price is no object, for a better deep concealed carry gun. People aren’t buying the P3AT and the Ruger LCP because they are cheap guns, we are buying them because they are small and light.

  • Marsh

    I might have bought the pistol version if it was in 9mm. Shame. You get nearly the same size gun with much more reliable stopping power.

  • Matt Groom


    People ARE buying the Kel-Tec and Ruger Lame Cloned Pistol because they are cheap! They aren’t buying Rohrbaughs and Seecamps in the same quantities because they cost too much! Look at the Colt Mustang. Great little gun, decent seller, but in it’s entire production life, there were probably as many built as there are P3ATs built in a year! That’s because the Colt’s product cost considerably more, and people weren’t willing to pay that much for “just a .380”.

  • The top mounted cylinder release solves a problem some of us have with the J-Frame: getting the thumb knuckle sliced up by the cylinder latch during recoil. The latch rarely fails to spill my blood even in steel-framed models. The latest kidney-shaped latches are the worst in this regard. At least the old seashell-shaped latches could be cut down and recontoured because they were solid, unlike the hollowed out MIM latches. The much older flat latches probably would have been even better.

    I also hope the new stocks can be retrofitted to the J-frames.

  • Matt Groom

    I second that, Mr. Watters. I have a permanent callus on my right thumb knuckle from the infrequent use of standard .38s in a J-frame. I don’t even own a J-frame .38!

  • Scott

    Boy I think Smith missed the boat here…why not make the auto 9mm nearly the same size as the .380 and alot easier to find ammo for. I have a LCP and would trade in a heart beat for a small 9

  • Scott

    I love how people say the .380 is a wimpy round. Its like they go around and shoot eachother in the ass and giggle “it tickles, its just a .380! hehe!”
    These guns are made to stick in someones face or gut, to save your life. It may not be the best gun for the job, but it will get the job done.

  • Carl

    Another problem with unusual and expensive ammo (compared to 9mm) is that you probably won’t afford to train as much. Lots of training is just as important as using the right tool. I pity the fools who think they can just buy a gun and magically be able to use it properly in an emergency without a steady training regimen.
    I’d give a well trained shooter with a .22lr better odds than an untrained one with whatever caliber.

  • John

    Interesting cylinder release on the .38…but these are somewhat reminiscent of the Ruger LCR and LCP…

  • Tracy

    I carry a Para PDA in .45 ACP. It’s a great pistol, reliable, accurate, and Daddy always did tell me that if you ever have to shoot somebody, do it with something that starts with a 4. But I must admit that after a day of carry in an IWB holster, the 32+ oz. loaded weight feels more like 32+ pounds.

    The thought of shaving 2/3+ of a pound off the carry weight fills me with glee. I’m a wheel gun guy at heart, so seeing some innovative designs in revolvers is a happy thing. A .38 +P may not compare well to a .45 ACP, but it beats the heck out of nothing at all.

    I like the idea of having the laser high on the frame. Sometimes your hand tends to crawl up a J-frame stock when firing hot rounds; I could see where your knuckle might end up obstructing a CT grip-mounted laser. (I haven’t fired one of the CT laser J-frames; the CT grips seem a little larger than the standard S&W grip, so maybe it’s not a problem.)

    At any rate, I think I might just buy one of these little bad boys, put an XS sight out front, and declare victory.

  • Cam

    I’ll trade in my Ruger LCP right now! I think this 380 pistol looks awesome!
    Can’t wait until they are available. Nice job S&W!
    p.s. This pistol exists get over it. Why must this always turn into the same old and I do mean OLD “380 ACP isn’t an adequate cartridge” argument. Some of us are OK with 380. This is still America isn’t it? Carry what you want and let me carry what I want.

  • jb

    I put money down today on the 380 pistol. Yes, everyone has their preference for round or carry weapon…I’m gonna have 7 rounds to stop a threat with this pistol. Is it hammer, yes! Is it a sledge hammer, no! Last time I checked though, it hurts like hell when you get hit with a hammer. You get a lot functionality for the asking price of this gun. My planned use for this weapon is a alternate carry or for my wife to use at home when I’m gone. Let’s not forget people good and bad have been mortally wounded with a 38 or a 380 round…it’s not a cap gun.

  • hakan

    there is always someone out there to start ammo size arguement no matter what. and i am so sick of it. once that guy will trade his .45 with .55 or .65, than he will start saying that “.45 is not a good choice for self defense”. but if i put my Bobcat 22lr on his head, i gurantee you that he will pee in his pants or start running like a chicken. :))

  • Thomas

    You guys are not informed about the miserable failures of the 380.. Wounding and stopping are two different things.. A wounded person can and will kill you..

  • Matt Groom

    Stopping power is a MYTH. There are no practical pistol calibers that will kill somebody “Instantly”, or even in many cases quickly with out a hit to the Central Nervous System, in which case, even a .22 LR is effective. Anywhere else, be it the .357 Magnum or .45 ACP, there just isn’t enough balls behind these bullets. People are regularly shot with rifles in vital organs and still return fire for several seconds before they die. If you are in a life or death struggle, you may still die, even if you shoot first and have a bigger gun. That’s just the way it is.

  • Thomas

    You guys are ill informed.. I suggest you read the Tacticalforums.com

  • Matt Groom

    Yes, yes. Nothing like reading the posts by the proponents of myth to disprove credible science.

  • Carl

    Of course the size and energy of a bullet makes a difference.
    If not I’d like to see the science proving otherwise. That would mean an air pistol would be a fine self-defense tool.
    But I agree it seems very unwise to depend on any particular bullet to instantly stop a threat.
    Of course how well trained you are is a lot more important than having the right caliber. But you can be well trained as well as fire a big bullet with a lot of energy.
    With smaller calibers, should you go for the CNS directly?

  • Cam

    Thank you, you have proven my point. For some reason you can not just live and let live. I thought that this discussion would be about the pluses and minuses of the new S&W Bodyguards. What if I told you that I have looked at several sites concerning the stopping power of the 380 ACP. I have found the results less than satisfying however I have found that the results are much better than not carrying at all. I choose to carry a 380 at times. I would have to say that I am not “ilinformed”. Dense? maybe. Lazy? sometimes, but at the very least I’m armed! We get it already! For those of you that didn’t know “the 380 ACP is not a .45 and therefore will not have near the stopping power of a .45.” Thanks Again for the information. I’m out!

  • Matt Groom

    With any caliber, you should go for the CNS directly. Yes, a more powerful caliber, like .357mag or .45ACP will make a difference when it comes to wounding, but there’s no such thing as a one shot stop that does not damage nervous tissue as Thomas contends. If the round is powerful enough to penetrate a skull, which requires only 8 lbs of pressure at some points of the skull, then it is likely powerful enough to damage white and gray matter, causing permanent damage and likely, death.

    If you shoot someone in a vital organ, they will die without medical treatment, but until they go into shock, they will still be a threat. The speed at which they go into shock is likely determined by how much damage is done, and a larger, more powerful caliber will do more damage by virtue of being larger if by no other factor. Bullets don’t kill people, shock induced by blunt force trauma kills people. There is not such thing as a one shot stop that does not do damage to the CNS. If you shoot someone in the Medulla Oblongata with a .22, you will kill them almost instantly, whereas if you shoot them in the heart with a .45 ACP JHP, they won’t die for as much as 2 minutes, although they may be unconscious in as little as 30 seconds.

  • Carl

    Matt, interesting points.
    Though, even if it is perfectly possible to hit the vital areas (brain stem) with a .22, it is presumably easier to do so with a larger, faster bullet, because it will disrupt more tissue.
    Then there is the issue of hydrostatic shock, which has been demonstrated with 9×19 bullets for instance. I don’t think a .22 will result in bleedings in remote areas of the body because of shock.
    I agree one should not depend on such effects, but they still give the bigger, faster bullet a chance to incapacitate even if the shot is not perfectly placed.
    Regarding always shooting for the CNS, I thought most experts still advocated shooting a couple in the center mass and then go for the head. If what you say is true one should go for the headshot straight away.

  • Thomas

    380 vs 38sp, from the experts..

  • Matt Groom

    I advocate shooting the CNS, but that would need to be commensurate with one’s level of training, opportunity, stress level, etc. Being in a “surprise” situation would dictate very different tactics, and surprise situations happen rather frequently. If the perp is worth shooting, they’re worth killing, and two in the chest should immediately be followed by one in the head (comme dans un Mozambique) time permitting.

    As for Hydrostatic shock, it seems to be largely a myth borne of marketing hype. A wave traveling in a body of water is dynamic, not static. As for the effects of cavitation causing the rupturing of capillaries, that’s not difficult to do, and it will likely NOT result in any significant additional trauma. If you’ve ever been slapped in the face, that red mark that’s left behind is small, ruptured capillaries under your skin. That’s why it hurts!

    And you don’t always need a physical force to break fragile capillaries. A mild to moderate sunburn will turn many people red as a lobster. That red tone is damaged capillaries in the skin that have “burst” from ultraviolet radiation. That tan that develops is essentially a bruise, and it takes between 10 and 14 months to heal. Unless you develop a malignant tumor, it’s unlikely that those damaged capillaries will cause death.

    I’m one of those people who alternates my carry piece based on what I’m wearing. Work Clothes, full sized or compact .45, sometimes a 9mm. Fullsized and compact 9mm’s tend to be bulkier than my 1911s, which is why I don’t carry them as often. Leisure Clothes, .380 or .38 Special. Exercise Clothes, .32 ACP. I feel as adequately armed with the .32 as I do with the .45s, despite having significantly more training with the .45s. I feel that a pistol is largely a tool that is used to evade a predator, and engage only as necessary in defense of others.

    A larger bullet is always preferable, and will certainly do more damage to vital organs when a shot on the CNS is not possible, or not successful, but nobody is going to be running down the street with a 71 grn, FMJ .312″ bullet in their Liver either. Caliber selection is largely a matter of opportunity and environment, and the primary goal of a pistol is to avoid and prevent conflict. That is what pistols in the subcompact size category seek to do.

  • Bill Rosenwald

    Has anyone seen the 380 out yet?

  • Guy

    What is the point if carrying anything larger when any gun will put a bullet down range that will a) kill b) wound c) scare the s”’ out of the attacker/s. And even if it only wounds him/ her it will give you enough time to take another shot and stop them from firing back. The best thing to is to be able to pull the trigger fast and in the right GENERAL direction.

  • Carl

    Guy, a 22lr will kill, wound and scare an attacker.
    However, killing and wounding is not the goal of self-defense. The goal is to STOP the attack, as quickly as possible. More tissue disruption is always better, assuming you are well trained with the weapon.

    Use the most powerful weapon you can use well and carry continously, and can afford to train with on a regular basis.

    Matt, I still insist that the more tissue your bullets will destroy, the bigger the chance of impacting the CNS will be.

  • publius

    Thank heavens! I’ve been waiting for someone, anyone, to come out with a reliable compact revolver with a built in laser sight that isn’t a Crimson Trace. I like laser sights. I like a revolver for carry. I hate, hate, hate the cheap feel of Crimson Trace grips. Some nice Hogue grips on a Bodyguard may finally be the gun I’ve been hunting for years. It sure doesn’t hurt that I’m a big S&W fan already.

  • Steve

    I don’t get it. People are so down on the .380 when it is infact a reliable BACKUP gun. I’d rather have a pocket .380 as an emergency backup weapon than any other small, compact gun. Yes, the .380 isn’t like a .45 as far as “stopping power” is concerned but it IS effective with proper shot placement. Stopping power is a stupid, ill informed word that is completely irrelevant. You could hit a non-crucial spot on a person’s body with a .45 and still get killed before they go down. Or iwith a couple of well placed .380 rounds a person will drop. It’s all about WHERE YOU HIT, not the SIZE of the bullet. Hell, assassins used to use .22’s! Any gun can be very deadly with the right person behind it. I know for a fact I could drop any of you with six quick shots out of my NAA Guardian 380 as fast as I could with my 9mm or a 1911.

  • alan

    When is the .380 coming out anyway? It’s supposed to be this month right?

  • skybinky

    If you are not prepared to put to quick ones to the ocular cavity with either of these two handguns, then you don’t need to purchase either one. All other hand waving mumbo-jumbo aside, these calibers need to be applied to the CNS or forget it as a stop in the tracks cartridge. Want center mass two tap stop, move up in caliber and foot pounds of energy,..

  • justdavid

    Where the “Bodyguard” name is concerned I see myself sticking with the J-frames where it’s a nickname, not this new .38 where it’s part of the model name. A polymer frame in a semiauto is one thing, I’m not ready to accept polymer as part/all of a revolver frame.

  • Glen Ennis

    I carry a Smith & Wesson older model 380 with extra clip. Yes, I hear all the talk about stopping power. But, I can conceal this weapon, on a regular pull over shirt, which would show a 9mm or .40 cal. Nothing more uncomfortable, than someone in a retail situation, gawking at your shoulder and thinking,”is that a weapon, under his shirt” I like the new .380 with built-in laser sight. Price will be a factor.

  • ET

    Gee, I wonder why professional hitmen prefer 22cal revolvers. I believe it is because they know where to shoot the target, which is at the base of the skull in the back or the soft spot on the temple. A 22 isn’t very loud and doesn’t create a scene, You get perfect penetration and the bullet acts as a pinball and richocets through the brain and reeks havoc. You put a .380 in the hands of a trained assasin and you will get a fatal shot. A .380 will get the job done. It is just like everything else, You have to know what you are doing.

    Give me one of the guns above and I can effectively protect my self. If you rely on a random shot to stop someone, then you had better go back to school. If I only had a pen I could protect myself. That is why I carry a tactical pen. It looks like a regular pen, except it is made out of metal, has an extremely sharp point and has a large flat head so that I can put my thumb on top and drive it into the target at just the right spot on his torso…Placement, placement, placement…Did I mention it’s the placement?

  • Simon_The_Brit

    As I live in England, I’m not allowed a handgun and even if I were allowed I couldn’t use/carry it for self defence. So I carry a large calibre house brick in a sock. Mind you it is hard to conceal down the front of my trousers (thats pants in Colonial speak)………

    • Simon_The_Brit, LOL, are you sure that they have not yet banned large caliber bricks?

  • Dan

    Wow, this is a tough cynical crowd. I like the look of both of these guns. I had a Kahr P-40 and it was awful. First time I shot it the clip dropped out. Back to the manufacturer, had to wait weeks. got it back and it started doing the same thing. Also the Kahr was still relatively heavy to carry, it flopped around on a ankle holster and stuck too far out on an inside the belt holster. Both of these look like excellent pocket pistols to me. Give S&W some credit. Lighten up.

  • KenS

    Both calibers and both time proven and used through two world wars along side the 45. ACP. The new strides made these days in better powder kaing higher velocities and alloys much more dangerous then our great grand fathers day. One could aurgue ballistics all day however being I am still alive after being shot several times doesn’t mean I would releash the chance to have it happen again.

    No gun of any caliber will save your life unless you learn the correct way to use it then practice, take some defense classes that provide realist training then practice more and then hope to God when something does happen, you see it coming becuase criminals don’t wait for you to see them coming they blind side you or come when your sleeping.

  • soldier medic

    if i shoot you in the center of your chest with +p 38 specail hollowpoint from a snubbie u will die. end of story……………………… you guys are funny.

  • soldier medic

    also…………………… that is not an ugly snubbie.

  • John

    Both my Bodyguard 38 and 380 arrived at my dealers this week and to sum them up in one word “WOW”. Both are impressive pistols, the 38 has some real innovations such as doing away with theframe mounted hand to rotate the cylinder which no rotates clockwise. The revolver feels great in the hand with a very smooth trigger and the laser set up works well.
    The Bodyguard 380 has features not found on the Ruger LCP or the Kahr P380 ( I own both). Besides the built in laser it features both a slide stop and a nice thumb safety. This pistol feels better in the hand than either my LCP or P380. I’m looking forward to shooting them both.

  • Just got back from the gun shop I deal with. Price for the .380 is $435+tax but I was told the gun is in very shot supply.

  • My typing is a little lame, ‘shot’ should be SHORT

  • Texans Fan

    Debate aside, my local big box sporting goods store got one of each in today. 380 was only 459.00. 38 was 489.00. Considering the factory installed laser, that seems fair at retail. Heck, I even bought a box of 380 at my local wal-mrt last week. Of course, this is in the state where our governor shot a coyote while jogging with his dog with an LCP. I am not looking to buy one just yet, but I gotta say the grips were very nice compared to the other popular pocket guns. Also, I do like the semi design with its shrouded “hammer” and second striker capabilities. More often than not, the first few from the factory for a new design seem to have bugs – for all brands, and I dont care to be the one giving them feedback and what problems show up (peening etc…) With bad guys in my area wearing body armor for home invasions and gas pump holdups, I’d rather evade if possible and “carry a big stick”. Fireamstactical. c o m. is also a great resource for the debate above, but to me – that’s what it is – a debate. I get the feeling most of you folks have not had the displeasure of observing an actual gunshot wound of any caliber at it’s creation or in it’s aftermath. CNS hit or not, a sucking chest wound really does, well suck.
    Anyways, they are hitting the shelves now.

  • Thank you S&W for your inadequate contribution to firepower in the new Bodyguard .380 and .38. The life of a criminal is bad enough with every cowboy / girl carrying a hand cannon that could make the common robbery / rape an uncomfortable if not deadly experience. Staring down the barrel of a .45 a few times has given me pause in my chosen profession to the point where I almost sought gainful employment. But now that you, and every other manufacturer of handguns has jumped on the pc bandwagon and started churning out these cute little guns by the wagon load, I have reconsidered my quest for a job and have rejoined the ranks of the criminally employed. No longer will I fear the dark alleys and parking structures that used to be my home. Instead I will count the minutes until twilight so I can once again patrol the areas where you shouldn’t be and I am. If I encounter you and you pull your insult to ballistics, I will try not to laugh before I take your money, your gun, and your pants.

    Yours Truly
    A Concerned Criminal

    PS: Do they come in Pink?

  • thebronze

    LOL @ Kevin!

    Well done!

  • Bob

    I purchased a .380 from S&W and it broke after 60 rounds. The trigger would not reset and the Insight laser stopped almost immediately. I have a friend that purchased one about the same time and his laser stopped working after 1 day. Smith has a good gun here but obviously some kinks to work out.

  • anthony

    Where in Knoxville TN could I buy the. 380 or is there a place. If not what is a good website to order from cause I realty want one.thanks

  • I live in Boston Massachusetts and have driven the 100 miles to S&W in Springfield. A friend suggested that we go to the performance center and fire the Sigma and M&P semi- autos I was interested in. I didn’t like either but fired everything else I could get my hands on. The price for the range time and gun rentals was very reasonable and the people there were great and knowledgeable. Since I went I have purchased a S&W 686 4′ revlover and a Sigma 9mm.
    The reason I’m giving you a little bit of history is that I have a lot of respect for S&W, just not for the new Bodyguard .380, not the .38 revolver. S&W makes, in my opinion, some of the finest revolvers in the world. They just seem to drop the ball on semi- autos, including my Sigma which I bought for $300 with the rebate.
    The Bodyguard .380 looks fierce but its a .380 that I feel I would have to load with Corbons to make it an effective gun. It looks like a toy with a laser that’s right under the barrel taking a beating with every shot. The optics must be taking a pounding too and would be prone to failure. This couldn’t be a gun that you take to the range and pass a couple hundred rounds through for break-in. It would have to be a carry and defend weapon only, break it in with a few clips and stick it in the small of your back. I hope I’m wrong and I will shoot it but I’m already seeing bad comments about it here and on other sites. I feel you can never have enough guns, now there’s one less to buy.

  • scruggs

    well i look at all this and i think man… i carry a 40 m&p and a 380..
    i think thats the best choice in my opinion.
    I go for my mp 40 first and if im behind my pov and im exchanging fire and i use all three clips or my 40 jams for some un lucky messed up reason i will atleast have something else in my pocket besides my hand!! I just dont like the revolvers thats all..
    also you could have a cannon and a .22 but the .22 will be more effective if you miss with the cannon!! hehe my point is they tough me at the acadamy to shoot center mass and thats what counts. stopping power?? most of us carry in total 3 clips or more holding 15 shots and one to get you started if you cant stop someone with 46 bullets RUN!!

  • 46 rounds, what a joy that would have been to carry. I was an MP in the army stationed in Germany in the seventies. Obviously we carried .45’s, you know the ones that felt like you were carrying a baby on your hip by the end of your shift. They only issued us five rounds period. We had to get extra clips and rounds and hide them in baggies in the gutters so we had some firepower when we went out on patrol. If we got caught with them we would have been screwed but the alternative to not have them when you needed them out weighed that. They even had a saying for how to fight with only five rounds. Two to fight and three to flee. And don’t forget in close quarters the .45 makes a mean club.
    Now someone get on and say: Five rounds, I used to dream of five rounds, I went to war with two rounds and I had to share them with 4 other guys, and we had a stick for backup.

  • leith

    I own several Smiths. My 30 yo “bodyguard” and mid-size revolvers have the smoothest actions (trigger pull) I have ever experienced (excluding the 2 oz Jewell trigger on my benchrest rifle). My first year 4006 semi had a crappy trigger pull out of the box. Cost me $120, back in 1992, to have a gunsmith work his magic but 4006 is now very smooth. As we all know, smooth actions are one key to revolver accuracy. So how are new .380 and .38 from S&W? Butter? Sand?

  • charlie

    I just a couple of weeks ago bought the 380. I have not had an opportunity to actually shoot it yet, but let me tell you it has about $400 worth of cute. It feels really good in your hand, the trigger pull seems a bit long, but it really is cute. If it will fire, I guess that will be a plus. I’ll get back to you on that.

  • Hey Charlie, are you talking about the gun or something else?

  • 5-0

    Just purchased two of the 38+p bodyguards, one for the wife and one for myself. Very pleased thus far, they’re light weight and are easy to carry in one’s pocket. I’ve gotten tired of carring the Glock 27 for my off duty firearm so we’re going to give this a try. If your worried about the stopping power of these rev. S&W does have a 500 they offer.

  • Winterborn

    My wife is new to CCW. She has a M&P 9c that she likes, and it fits her hand well, but she finds it to be too bulky for her to conceal well, given her size and wardrobe style. She refuses to carry in her purse, which I agree with, as it is all to easy to have a purse stolen. While she does not mind changing her dress style, we can’t afford a new wardrobe right now, so she is looking forward to picking up a Bodyguard 380. I will be much happier with her carrying a 380 than deciding it is too much hassle to try to conceal something bulkier.

  • GLJ

    Glad to see some of these making into people’s hands. I’m interested in hearing good and bad as I consider the Bodyguard .380 vs. the Sig P238

  • Neil Foster

    I read the comments saying that “they should have made it in a full 9mm” and can not help but laugh. Do you have any idea of the differences in pressures and forces involved in a 9mm vs .380? The parts on the new batch of .380s are simply too small to handle full 9mm loads (at least with currently available materials).

  • Tom

    Get yourself a Kahr PM9, PM40, or a slighty larger PM45.. They are much better self defence pocket guns, then the tiny, anemic 380`s.. I can easly put them in a front pocket of a pair of jeans.. and they disapear.. you cant see them.. Revolvers are to “thick” because of the cylinder..
    Slim is what you want.. http://www.kahr.com

  • Julz

    All the people that say that .380acp is not enough to stop an attacker please remember that this thing holds 6+1 rounds, so shoot until the threat is over. If you think one shot of a 9mm or .45acp will stop a person, think again. Hand guns are poor one shot stoppers compared to a rifle.

  • randy

    I purchased their bodyguard .38. Although you may feel it is a toy and cannot do much damage? How about five rounds of Hornady 185 grain +P hollow point in the mid section? Small, light, easy to carry and does have knock down power. Great with a Bianchi CCW holster with finger break strap, sweade on the inside for fast draw, Randy from Ohio

  • jim price

    Any big bore guys carry Very Pistols. I think they are 1.00 caliber and fire very hot loads.————jim————-

  • ric

    just picked up the .38spl Bodyguard yesterday. First impressions are: lightweight, nice feel (can get a good high grip on the gun), cool cylinder release, long ejector rod for more positive extraction of spent shells, smooth trigger, easy operation with one hand.

    I haven’t shot it yet, but I can’t wait to see if my first impressions are right/wrong!

    Also, I have no dog in the fight in the on-going caliber bashing here. I carry .38spl, 9mm, .40S&W, and .45acp. All will get the job done, if I do my part.

  • Rowland

    They ruined the Bodyguard .380ACP by only offering it with the laser. The laser is hard to engage and who the hell is going turn on a laser when your life or another person’s is in danger? It’s just a stupid ploy by the company to jack up the price of the pistol to their benefit. I would have bought this gun right off if it didn’t have the laser, but now I am looking at the Ruger LCP and the Taurus TCP.

  • Don

    The various comments, judgements of various rounds is interesting, but subjective in many ways. Will a 40 or 45 have more stopping power than a 380, 9, 38, 32. or 22? Oh yes. But any of those rounds, well placed, will do the job. Have any of you seen what a 380 will do to a 5-6″ pine tree? Or a 32 for that matter. Rounds on target is the answer to the caliber question.

  • Don

    As far as the new S&W .380, we are talking pocket pistols here. Currently at home, I have a S&W Mod 36 .38, an older 380 and two 12 gauge shotguns, both tactical. Other weapons that could do in a pinch as well.
    Carry a Kel-Tec P-32 everyday, religiously, because of its light weight and conceal capabilities. As well as its pointing and shooting ergonomics for my hand. The arguement over calibers has some merit but must be taken into context. Nothing will stop someone instantaneously, accuracy and placement is everything. Have seen people shot to hell and still dragging themselves along the ground and fighting back. Think that some of the negative comments come from the “spray and pray” crowd. Think that I might buy the S&W Bodyguard 380. It has the features that I like, in a compact package, in an effective cartridge size. Will just have to “feel” it out to know if it’s the pocket 380 for me.

  • John T

    The “stopping power” crowd needs to read the armed citizen column in American Rifleman or USCCA magazines each month. There is story after story of attacks being stopped by “wimpy” rounds like .22LR, .25, .32 etc. Do they drop instantly? No but in every case they flee even after one hit from a .22 … Never have I seen an account where a BG went on fighting. They simply turn and run and are usually arrested later when seeking medical attention for their gunshot wounds.

    Get real people, we’re not doing drug raids etc like the police. These mouse gun rounds will work for our purposes.

  • Julyguy

    Checked the pricing on these today at a local gunshop in Tulsa, OK (Sports world).

    .38spcl = $479.00
    .380acp = $440

    Will probably pick one up during tax season. Just not sure which to buy. I re-load for both so it really doesnt matter as far as amo cost is concerned.

  • P

    The 380’s have their place. Down here in the Florida heat, not to comfortable to be packing any of my 9’s or my Colt officers model. I have the LCP and just slip it in my pocket. With a smaller pistol you are more likely to carry it.

    Remember the old saying ” A 380 in the pocket is better than a 45 in the glove box!”

  • Alan

    Carl on 3/17 said it very well regarding caliber and training, “I’d give a well trained shooter with a .22lr better odds than an untrained one with whatever caliber.” Fact is, the Israeli Mossad and Sky Marshals used the Beretta 70 autoloader in .22lr with deadly efficiency for years.

    I would not advocate that the average person go out and buy a .22lr for personal defense, but, the fact is the person that trains effectively on a frequent basis with a .22, .380, .38, etc… is going to have a better chance in a self-defense situation than the person that goes out and buys the best 1911 money can buy and only practices once or twice a year with it.

  • Alan

    Oh, for those interested, I meant to include this with my earlier comment http://www.tactical-life.com/online/tactical-weapons/israeli-mossad-22-lrs/ if you have any doubt about training trumping caliber.

  • CptJack101

    I am a retired police detective and former police range officer. I purchased the body guard revolver after doing some research. The reason I picked it over the Ruger was because Ruger’s bore axis is higher above the grip (More felt recoil).

    A friend of mine who is still on duty bought a Ruger and we took them to the range. He is trying to sell the Ruger so he can buy the S&W. The only criticism I have is the trigger over travel after the sear breaks. It pulls your shots off. I tried an old bowling pin shooter’s trick and super glued a pencil eraser behind the trigger on the frame and trimmed it with an exacto knife. Pre pencil eraser groups at 7 yards were around 3 inches and at 25 yards were approx. 5 inches (from a rest). After the pencil eraser was installed the 7 hard group had 5 shots touching each other and the 25 yard group shrunk to approx. 3 inches.

    Its not one of my top priorities but I plan on having an allen set screw installed in the trigger as a permanent alteration.

  • Dane

    Donkey Kongon –
    “Is it just me or is the Bodyguard 380 pistol’s barrel bent upwards in the shot with its slide racked back?”

    NO WAY!!!

  • The barrel isn’t bent. In the Browning-type short-recoil semi-auto pistols, the barrel has to tilt in order for the upper locking surface(s) of the barrel to clear its corresponding engagement surface(s) in the slide.

  • Bob

    I am thinking about purchasing a S&W .38 +p revolver. But I have been reading may posts on the web about problems with the 380 auto. Does the revolver have any known problems?

  • j Levtzow

    A lot of negative post on the S&W Bodyguard .380. I’m buying one for my wife. Laser and a smoother recoil than her S&W .38. The 38 is troublesome for her wrist so this will be an ideal CCW sidearm. Maybe packs less punch but if I’m on the receiving end of seven rounds I’m not going to stick around and debate the issue. Would you?

  • Katie

    Recently purchased the S&W Bodyguard .380 – what a “Sweet” Pistol! Took it out last weekend and shot 200 rounds through it with no problems! This is an ideal pistol for a lady to carry. I had been waiting for another brand to release a pistol, but got tired of waiting almost 2 years now. A friend recommended that I take a look at this pistol for CC. I was very impressed with the S&W and decided to give it a try. I’m glad that I made the purchase as so many of the smaller pistols are hard for a lady to pull the slide back….I was able to do so on this one with no problems. Ladies carry what you are comfortable with, as any gun is better than no gun.

  • Wayne

    They have had some issues with the first group of Bodyguard .380 pistols, but the problems seem to be fixed with the EAB serial numbers. I put about 120 rounds of through mine last weekend, 2 different brands of ball and one hollow point, without a problem. I never had a .380, nor a laser. It was a fun gun to shoot, and surprisingly comfortable for my hands. Small and thin, but the shape design is easy to grip. At about 21-24 feet it was pretty accurate for me alternating between sights and laser. I like it, better then any other of the small pistols I have gripped. With the safety and or a pocket holster, this thing can literally go anywhere.

  • john 2

    Yup, I got my butt handed to me on another site for criticizing a guy who said his primary carry gun was a .380. Got into the whole argument about how it doesn’t matter what guns you own, only what gun you have on you.
    I realized I was a bit of a hypocrite, since I had an arsnal of big bores all locked up in a safe most of the time and he was carrying his “poor ballistics” .380 every day.

    Went out and bought a Kahr 380 shortly after and have been carrying alot more. I have had other small cal guns over the years, as I’ve been always looking for the perfect pocket pistol, traded in a PPKS for the Kahr since it was not exactly comfortable to carry in a back pocket.

    Alot of choices now in the pocket pistol class, looked at the Smith 380 at the gun shop, it did feel real nice and at first I thought the laser was a good thing, but now I’m not sure, maybe as a previous poster said it’s a gimmick that may of ruined a great gun???

  • Mike

    Well, im totally a 45 acp guy. I carry a full size 1911 in my carhart in the winter and a glock 36 in the summer. And my wife has a small frame body. All she can carry is a ruger lcp. We got shooting about 2-3 times a month. She knows how to use it. Its all about skills. She does tight groups with that little 380. I would mess with her even is she had a 22

  • Fred

    My gun knowledge is very limited…..someone please tell me the difference (if there is any) between a .38 round and a .380 round.

  • Walter Clark

    I just purchased a S & W 380 pistol & was wondering if they will ever
    increase the clip length to hold one more finger?

  • Lynne

    Just picked up my bodyguard, went to the range and wow! Laser was right on at 30′. nice tight groups. No jams, no feed issues, no problems at all! My only complaint is the trigger. Really long, heavy pull. The guy shooting next to me as really impressed. I think he may be buying one. I’ve carried a Colt Mustang for years and this puts it to shame in terms of accuracy. I LOVE it!!!

  • Walter Clark

    Captjack101 – The eraser trick sounds like a try, but can a gun smith file
    the release down to make the pull lighter?

  • Alan

    John 2, it sounds like you have started carrying more often, but not all the time? One thing I saw a few years ago that I find helpful when thinking about how often and when to carry is to ask yourself the following:

    How many days & which specific days out of each month would you choose to drop your auto or homeowners insurance?

    For most folks the answer would be none, I don’t know when some idiot without insurance might hit me or might slip on my sidewalk and sue me. So why would there be some days or times out of the month that you would choose to not carry.
    Two days ago a 40 year old McDonalds employee was shot and killed by her husband at work here. That McDonalds has never had so much as a fight at it that I am aware of and it has been open a long time. Fortunately, the guy didn’t decide that he needed to kill everyone else there too. He shot his wife and then just walked out. It can happen absolutely anywhere, anytime.

    • Graham

      Are you saying she should have had a gun or that he should not of had a gun? If she had of had a gun do you think she would of been able to defend her self?

  • tommy mc gourty

    Who of you that say a 380 or 38 sp is a wimpy cartridge will volunteer for me to shoot you.I will only hit you with a double tap to the chest.Nothing to worry about.I will only be using Corbon hollowpoints

  • ken

    I carry a Ruger SR9c but recently bought the BG 380 to carry in warmer weather. It’s slim profile make for easy concealment right in the pocket of my shorts. This gun is awesome. I’ve shot over 400 rounds with no problems. Easy to take apart and clean. It just might turn into my primary carry weapon and the Ruger will be my nightstand gun.
    I paid $500 for the BG 380. Pretty expensive for a pocket carry but I have absolutely no regrets. The safety feature is rare to find on small guns so this was a major plus. Perfect size too, right between an LCP and a P22.

  • paul

    The wife just threw a Bodyguard 380 in layaway. We’ll pick it up next week and run some ammo through it while we’re there. Everything I’ve read so far sounds promising.

  • Larry

    I recently purchased the bodyguard .380, it’s a nice weapon to conceal, I am having an issue with mine, I shot 100 rounds through it, it was great until it hit 85 rounds, the last 15 were bad, it jamed twice on me, I sent it back to smith & wesson for warranty work, if I had to do it again, I would go with the bodyguard 38, I can’t trust the .380 now

  • Cody

    Tom, the point of this gun is to carry without having to worry about space. If someone comes at me and I shoot them six times and still cant kick their ass and restrain them then i’m just not a man. I like this gun because i dont like to wear a holster or baggy pants.

  • I have a bodyguard 380. I have put about 300 rounds through it with no problems. I have put it into service so to speak and have started carrying it in a desantis pocket holster. The holster is good, but you need to remove the trim around the inside back or the blade of the rear sight will hangup on it when you draw. This is an easy fix. Just carefully take a razor blade and remove the trim on the inside only in the area of the rear sight. Then take a match and lightly sear the inside of the holster where you have removed the trim. If it is somewhat rough, just take sone 220A grit sandpaper and lightly sand it smooth. If you do it right it will look like it came that way. I may contact desantis about this. Wayne

  • ConSue

    I have a question for all you experts. I am a left handed female looking for a good hand gun for self defense. Can you please reccommend one? I have a little experience but not for many years so obviously target practice is in my immediate future. Thanks so much

    • Derrick

      Check out the Beretta Nano. Its a 9mm, sub-compact handgun. Its has an ambidextrious magazine release. It will come right handed, but a tiny alen wrench is all you need to switch it, intructions are detailed in the manual. My wife loves the Nano.

  • cody p

    For consue: I carry a Taurus 738, my girlfriend doesn’t like it bc of the kick for its size. I love it bc I don’t carry a purse obviously. She carries a Taurus millinium 9mm which is very comfortable for her and fits in the purse really well.

  • rockriver

    Donkey Kongon 05 Feb 2010 at 5:20 am link comment
    Is it just me or is the Bodyguard 380 pistol’s barrel bent upwards in the shot with its slide racked back?

    reading this mad me laugh then it got me worried,if a gun owner dosent know why the barrel drops at the rear while the gun cycles dosent need to own or even handle a gun……

  • Gordan

    80 % of people shot with a hand gun ( any caliber ) survive
    In the US the .22 caliber has killed more people than all other calibers combined
    Just FYI
    i personally picked up the .380 bodyguard and love it

  • Clark

    GLJ – I purchased the S&W 380 with Laser. Fired 2 clips, 1 with laser on.
    The laser quit working. Changed batteries twice to no avail. Dealer
    said to return to manufacturer. Had trouble contacting them to
    get return instructions. Hope to get an exchange on laser unit.
    Has anybody had this trouble?

  • Dave

    Jesus Christ!, why is it that all the juveniles must make inane comments about “.380 being weak”, or “underpowered”?
    Can we stop the kindergartener impulse of criticizing calibers and just examine the weapon?

  • Brent

    I just bought one of the .38’s a week ago and after carried it for two days. I pulled it from the holster multiple times to practice drawing and several times the ambidextrous cylinder release had been accidentally triggered, causing the cylinder to simply fall open. I tried testing this out several times and I have come to the conclusion that this must be happening when I am simply wearing the weapon and taking part in every day activities. I have owned other revolvers with the standard cylinder release and never had this happen. I will be returning this weapon before I ever shoot it. I need a backup/concealed carry weapon to be more reliable than that.

  • Tracy

    Brent, I’ve had a similar experience with ambidextrous safeties on some 1911’s – you know the safety is on; you look down, and it’s off. I eventually came to the conclusion that Mr. Browning got it right the first time around.

    After handling the Bodyguard .38, I decided a little more traditional was the way to go. I really don’t like the way the laser is activated on the Bodyguard .38; there’s no way you’re going to be able to turn it on in a draw and fire scenario. Anyway, I went with an S&W M&P 360PD with the XS tritium big dot sight, and then put a set of the Crimson Trace soft rubber laser grips on it (LG405). I love this little rig, although it’s a bear to shoot even with .38’s. It makes a great warm weather carry gun, and weighs about 1/2 of my Para PDA .45. I actually forget I have it on. The M&P with the Crimson Trace grips costs about twice as much as the Bodyguard .38, but I feel it’s considerably more user friendly, and in a high stress situation, user friendly is what you want.

  • Brent

    Well my instinct was to go with the Ruger LCR or the old stalwart hammer less 442 but the Bodyguard was the better deal at a closeout price at the place I bought it from (they are getting rid of all Smith and Wesson products). Now I regret not paying the extra 50 bucks. Now I have to rely on their good graces to work out some kind of exchange where I don’t lose a huge chunk of money. I guess I should have known looking at the thing but the money savings clouded my judgement.

    Anyway just a warning for anybody considering that particular model. Maybe it’s just me.

  • Teri Lynn

    I LOVE my Bodyguard! (38 Revolver) Its VERY lightweight. I have to check to make sure its still “on” me. lol No one can tell I have it on me. I LOVE it. Its a beauty, feels GREAT in my hand! Very Smooth trigger. Shoots like a dream.

  • Steve

    I couldnt decide so I got the 380 and the 38. Got the 38 for my wife. She loves it cause its simple and light. The 380 is also simple and light. Have not shot either one and hope i never have too, but they loaded and ready.

    • Rob

      I really hope you’re not saying that you just bought those guns, loaded them up, then fooled yourself into some false sense of security. You ~always~ have to test your carry/defense gun; especially these new ridiculous offerings from the company that now calls itself S&W. Both of these guns are already well known for their reliability issues, mix that with S&W’s terrible QC and your idea of just buying them and keeping them around as talismans…..that’s a recipe for disaster.

  • p

    I hope you put about 200 rounds thru each before you carry it and didn’t mean they are loaded and ready for when you need it?????!!!!!

  • Kathy

    What is the pound-pull weight required for this double-action only pistol (the 380 model).

  • Jon

    So all you shooters who find it hard to find .380 ACP: where do you all live? Chicago? Mars? Canada? I can buy .380 ball at Walmart any day of the week, and HydraShok two towns away, again, any day of the week!

  • AlabamaGirl

    This is my first gun, and although it may be considered “ugly” to some, it is the most comfortable gun I’ve ever placed in my hands.

    If the gun is not comfortable, a woman is unlikely to commit the time to practicing on a regular basis. Many guns are just too big for a woman’s hands.

    I’m far away from being a proficient shooter, but I will continue practicing until it happens.

  • Paulie771

    Does anyone know if the internals of the .38 version is the same as a standard J-frame (not including laser, of course)?

    I’m wondering if APEX’s new J-frame DCAEK kit will work with the bodyguard or not.


  • arthur

    guys?all the hoo ha about suitability of a pistol’s caliber, don’t you guys realize how damm lucky you can buy a pistol off the shelf(well nearly), in fact as many as you want?me?where we come from a pistol is reserved for big shots, millionaires and well connected,(which I am not,mine was a gift from a top brass police chief relative) and in any event, only per license(yup, that’s what they do here)so I’m stuck with my post war German made Walter PPK in .380((mm kruz) but boy, does it travel with me!

  • HORN

    anybody know how to change the batteries out for the laser in the bodyguard, and what kind they use or how to get them?

  • Wayne

    It’s in the instruction book, it can be downloaded I believe if you do not have.

  • Blane

    tommy mc gourty You are right its a 38+ so if your a bad ass let me double tap you center mass & don’t cry like a Bi7ch. Then say its a pu$$y gun.

  • Richard Gilliam

    What precausions need to be taken with the insight laser when cleaning the 38 spl bodyguard

  • First thing, I love my 357 L frame with 8 1/4in barrel.Hunting Yes carrie all the time no.I have a springfield xd sub compact carrie sometimes,stayes in the truck.I want to buy the s&w bodyguard 380 cal but in stainless steel.My gun dealer says there comming?? But while I’m waitting he has let me carry the Diamondback 380. I agree bigger is better,but carrie or not carrie is a no brainner!!But also if you pull the weapon and hit air then it does no good! Shooting and practice with the weapon you carrie is the key! I feel comfortable with a pocket gun.After several boes of ammo will have no fear of where the bullet will hit if the time comes.My father says a 22lr will do the job! after blowing the head of a lizard’s head at 30yrd.It’s all in the practice and nowing the limits of your weapon.Also think of the ammo you use.Thank you all for the reading today of what you had to say!

  • The design of Bodyguard 380 pistol and Bodyguard 38 Revolver are same. Both are lightweight compacts, both are chambered in low-powered .38 caliber cartridges, both have a similar black finish and, notably, both come standard with a built-in laser sight.

  • See a lot of post about the 380 but few about the .38 Special. Yes the .38 special has reliability issues. I own one. Right now it is in the hands of the good people at S&W for warranty work. Have yet to find out the final disposition about the problem with it. The way the cylinder rotates and engages with the frame is not that of the standard tried and true design of the 642 or similar to other popular revolvers. All the gun magazine authors and famous gun blogger must be getting paid by S&W to pump the hype of how good this gun is. The price for the BG38 revolver is to much at any price. If in a gun fight and I was able to pick the gun that you would be shooting at me it would be a semi-auto or a BG38 as both may or may not fire. If S&W repairs my BG38 or replaces it and sends it back it will be sold or sit in a safe and never be used as a carry weapon. Read other posts about this gun before I bought it. A few people had complaints about it, but most professional reviews about it were good. Should have listen to the average working man that paid for his BG38. Problem with professional reviewers is that they usually get to keep the weapon or get it at a greatly discounted price for writing articles about weapons they review. Which if they told the truth like this weapon is SH*T they might not get any more in the future to review. When was the last time you saw a professional published review in a gun mag that made you say “I am NOT going to go out and buy that weapon.” Yes my point exactly.

    • Rasputin

      Frank, I found your comment interesting and informative. I have never fired a .38 polymer Bodyguard and have only held one once. A friend who works for the department I retired from had one. The first thing I noticed was that the way the cylinder engaged with the frame and achieved rotation was eerily similar to the mechanism on a snub-nose toy cap gun I had as a child. That action was problematic, as I recall. This did not make me want to go out and buy one of the new generation BG revolvers. Thank You for your comments.

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  • Guys,
    The BG38 is complete garbage. 15 rounds and mag wont open…so much for a self defense weapon, it’s not even heavy enough to throw at an assailant….extremely disappointed. DO NOT BUY THIS PEICE OF S@#T! Smith and Wesson you have a may never make this up to me but you can spend the rest of your days trying you F#%^ers!!!!!

    • It’s a very tight gun and MAYBE IF YOU CLEANED IT PRIOR TO ITS FIRST USE, you might have had no problems. Also, what brand of ammo did you use? Smith & Wesson is a well respected gun manufacturer so your rant doesn’t hold much water. Did you contact S&W about the problem? You know, my Beretta acted up when I first bought it but after doing a through cleaning and oiled, it has had a problem since. Did I curse Beretta out when that happened? No, I did not! You have anger issues and maybe a gun isn’t for you.

  • scott roberts

    I love my .380, it is the most accurate pistol i have shot in a while.
    I have not experienced any stove pipes or malfunctions but once. That was my own fault, shooting in22 degree below whether with an extremely dirty gun.
    overall I am really happy with the bg 380 the laser was factory accurate, dead on at 20 meters I can’t complain about this little firecracker!

  • Michael

    nice little pocket/backup gun i just did a custom holster for my neighbor who is a cop turned out nice!


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