S&W Bodyguard .380

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NOTE: This product review was made possible by GunsForSale.com.  To get up-to-date information on where to find S&W guns for sale, please visit GunsForSale.com.

In the last year and a half .380 pocket pistols have become very popular after years of a drop in interest. The increase in interest I credit to the number of states allowing concealed carry as well as the number of gun makers marketing them. Of course we have the older designs such as the Walther PPK and the Sig P232. The new designs are a good deal smaller and lighter. S&W has joined the ranks of companies making a very small well designed “pocket” pistol.

S&W is always on the leading edge in new firearm design. The “Bodyguard” series is no exception. These are new designs not updated versions of older designs. The S&W .380 semi auto is one in a series of these new designs made for concealed carry for civilian and law enforcement use.

To really appreciate how small and convenient this pistol is look at the size compared to my average size hand in the picture below.

The pistol is double action only. It’s a traditional hammer fired pistol rather than a striker type. The hammer is recessed in the frame even with the back of the slide. When you first take it out of the box the trigger is pretty heavy but lightens up after firing a 100 rounds or so. I now have 200 rounds fired through it and the trigger is satisfactory for it’s intended use. A loaded chamber indicator is milled as a crescent cut in the top of the slide.

This firing mechanism makes it safe to carry in a pants pocket without the worry of an accidental discharge. If this is still a concern there is also a manual safety placed in approximately the same location as a 1911. The safety is also very easy to manipulate. It’s very positive when clicked into the safe or fire position. I’ve carried it in a front and back jeans pocket with no printing through your clothing. I’m sure this is partly due to the width of just ¾ of an inch. Not only is the “Bodyguard” small it’s very light at just 11.85 ounces!

The picture below shows the controls. From left to right is the takedown lever, slide release and finally the manual safety.

The magazine release is in the usual position. Sights are black and well made with no sharp edges. They provide a sharp sight picture. The magazine holds six rounds with a seventh in the chamber. The magazine comes from the factory with a finger rest installed. Another magazine base is included which is flat making the pistol grip even smaller. No matter which base you choose chances are your little finger will sit under the base of the grip. This extended grip provides a better grip. One magazine is included with the pistol. Additional magazines are $22.00 each. The front of the grip has two finger grooves. As is usual with S&W the slide is stainless steel with a Melonite finish. The frame is Zytel polymer.

One nice feature on the “Bodyguard” series is a built in red laser. These lasers are becoming more common on many new models from other manufacturers as well. Insight Company makes the laser for S&W. This laser is located inline with the barrel and placed just under the barrel. A conveniently placed gray button is on both sides of the of the frame near the front. The laser can be activated from either side with the trigger finger. The first push of the button and the laser is a solid beam. A second push of the button and the laser pulses. A third push turns the laser off. Included are two hex wrenches to adjust windage and elevation coordinating the laser with the sights. Once adjusted the bullet hits where the laser points on your target. This laser works fine at night or in low light but is not visible on a sunny day. The picture below shows the laser activated

Stats

Model: BODYGUARD® 380
Caliber: .380 Auto
Capacity: 6+1 Rounds
Barrel Length: 2.75″ / 7.0 cm
Frame Size: Compact
Action: Double Action Only (Hammer Fired)
Front Sight: Stainless Steel
Rear Sight: Drift Adjustable
Grip: Polymer
Overall Length: 5.25″ / 13.3 cm
Weight: 11.85 oz / 335.9 g
Frame Material: Polymer
Material: Stainless Steel w/Melonite® Finish
Finish: Matte Black
Purpose: Personal Protection
Law Enforcement

The grip angle is good making the pistol a natural pointer. Other ergonomic features include a stippled grip surface which provides a good grip even when your hands are damp. The aforementioned finger grooves on the front of the grip strap help a good deal even with the flat magazine base used.

Also included is a nondescript carrying case with looks like an organizer that so many people have these days. Inside the zipper case is a built in holster with a magazine pouch built in on the other side of the case. The only thing that might give it away is a small S&W logo on the outside of the pouch. I guess they couldn’t resist putting the logo on. At least the carry case and logo are black so it doesn’t show very well.

On The Range

Let me preface this range report with a bit of information on the purpose of the pocket pistol. Normally I would shoot from seven and ten yards. This type of pistol is made for distances as close as touching distance to seven yards or so. It’s possible too have an encounter at a greater distance but the caliber and sight radius of this pistol and others of the type are not made for this kind of confrontation.

I kept this session close with distances of three yards and seven yards. For this session I used ammunition from Federal, Cor-Bon DPX and Winchester Silvertips. The targets used are five inch Birchwood Casey adhesives. My goal was to keep all rounds fired within the five inch circle rapid fire.

First up was the Federal 95 grn. FMJ. Drawing from a universal size nylon holster I fired 30 rounds from three yards with all rounds inside the 5 inch target grouped within 2 ½ inches on average. Next was the Cor-Bon DPX. This is a hot round with a fair amount of recoil for a .380. Again, I fired 30 rounds total. All rounds stayed within the 5 inch circle rapid fire. With the additional recoil the average was right at four inches.

I backed up to seven yards and repeated the previous string with all three types of ammunition. Firing 30 rounds of each brand of ammunition bringing the pistol up to eye level and using a flash sight picture in rapid fire. Three rounds went outside the five inch target. These were the Cor-Bon DPX rounds with more recoil. After that many rounds fired my hands were getting a bit tired. I was satisfied with the results for such a small lightweight pistol.

Conclusion

The “Bodyguard” is handy and light to carry as well as fast getting the first shot off. It would be hard to beat as a backup pistol or one you grab to make a quick trip to the convenience store. I know carry your full size pistol but to be honest many people do grab a backup pistol for this type of neighborhood chore.

The .380 should be the smallest caliber considered for defensive use. With the newer ammunition designs it’s a fairly good round if you do your part. Cor-Bon’s 80 grn DPX is an example of an effective loading. The muzzle velocity is 1050 fps. Pushing a solid copper Barnes bullet. Using this Cor-Bon load I would feel pretty well protected with this S&W.

There were no malfunctions of any kind during testing. Having said this we have too consider a new pistol on the market which is also very small and that’s the S&W “Shield”. Price wise the S&W is a better buy but the Shield holds seven or eight rounds and it’s a 9MM or 40 S&W which I prefer over a .380 any day of the week. I’m also a fan of the M&P series of pistols so I may be a bit biased.

In any case the “Bodyguard” fills a niche for those needing a true pocket pistol.

Update:

I came across some new information on the S&W 380 Bodyguard. This information in reference the “Bodyguard” and the LAPD comes to us from Richard at Blue Sheepdog. Note the changes LAPD required in order to make this one of two authorized backup/ off duty pistols.

In order to encourage officers to carry back-up and off-duty firearms, as well as to take advantage of the technological advances in firearm and ammunition construction, the Department has authorized the following .380 caliber pistols and ammunition:

Approved Pistols
Ruger LCP, caliber .380
Smith and Wesson Bodyguard, caliber .380 (LAPD SKU ONLY, no manual safety)

Approved Ammunition
Hornady Critical Defense, .380 caliber, 90 grain load

In order to deploy either of these firearms, officers must first successfully shoot the Department’s “Back-Up Qualification Course”, at either the Davis Training Facility or the Elysian Park Police Academy. The “Back-Up Qualification Course” must be shot with Department approved .380 ammunition only. Officers must supply their own duty ammunition for the qualification course and for deployment in the pistol. Upon completion of the “Back-Up Qualification Course” of fire, officers shall take their qualification receipt to the Department Armory and have the pistol entered on to the Department’s Firearms Inventory and Tracking System (FITS).

The Smith and Wesson pistols are equipped at the factory with a laser aiming module. This laser module must be disabled by the Department Armorer, prior to the pistol’s deployment. The Armorer will disable the laser module by removing the batteries; there will be no permanent modification to the pistol. Once these procedures are met, officers will be certified to carry the .380 pistol for back-up and off-duty use. These .380 pistols are an optional individual officer purchase. Therefore, the pistols will not be maintained by the Department armory. If a pistol becomes unserviceable, the officer must return the pistol to the manufacturer for repair. Once these repairs are completed by the factory they must be verified by the Department Armory, prior to the pistol being redeployed.

Additionally, the Department will not supply any .380 caliber ammunition.


Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • Zach

    You mention Taurus revolvers in the italic text at the top of the page. The bodyguard is neither a Taurus product nor a revolver. Thought you might like to know. =)

    • Phil White

      Zach,

      You got that right:-) Thanks! Sometimes I cut and paste info from other post which is what I did on this one. I changed it——

  • cayton

    “Price wise the S&W is a better buy but the Shield holds seven or eight rounds and it’s a 9MM or 40 S&W which I prefer over a .380 any day of the week.”

    Also, both are made by S&W.

    • Phil White

      cayton,

      Yep very true. I believe I put that in the review. They have a standard magazine with 7 rounds with an 8 round magazine coming out if it hasn’t already. I also prefer a 9mm or 40. Probably a 9mm considering the weight. The Bodyguard is about 3/4 of an inch shorter in length and a bit shorter in height. Whether that would make a difference as a pocket pistol I don’t know for sure. I’ve yet to review the Shield.
      If I was going to carry in a holster it would be an easy choice.

  • West

    I own this pistol as well as the Sig P238.
    They are both ideal to carry in the front pocket of my cargo shorts. The climate here is sub-tropical so I dont exactly wear a lot of layers to hide a pistol under.
    And I think we would all be pressed to tell the difference between getting shot at 5 or 6 yards with a 9mm, .40 or a .380.

    • Phil White

      West,

      You would be hard pressed to carry anything larger! You do your job and place the round where it should be and it will work most of the time regardless of caliber (380 and above).

  • Jeff Smith

    Phil,

    First of all, Thanks for another great review!

    Second, I’ve always heard that the .380 has about 75-80% of the power of a 9x19mm round, but I have also heard that companies are now producing some pretty effective rounds for it. Any idea on how these new rounds stack up?

    Lastly, do you think the .380 is becoming obsolete? I understand that it is a “niche round,” but it seems as if companies are now making handguns in 9mm and .40 S&W that are nearly as small. I had a chance to handle a M&P Shield at a recent gun show and I was really impressed by its size. Also, I have noticed that many manufacturers that recently (1-2 years ago) released guns in .380 (S&W bodyguard, Sig P238, Ruger LCP) have also, very recently, released guns that are that are approximately the same size, but chambered in either 9mm or .40 S&W Shield, Sig P938, Ruger LC9). Is there any reason that you would choose a gun of approximate size chambered in a smaller round? It seems as if either would work well for the intended purpose.

    • Phil White

      Jeff,

      Thanks Jeff I’m glad you enjoyed it! I think the percentages you gave are pretty close. Companies have come a long ways in recent years with bullet design, powders etc. and really stepped up the effectiveness of most calibers the 380 included. I don’t think the 380 is obsolete. When you think about the Shield at about 19 ounces there are a fair number of people who won’t be able to handle the recoil from a 40 cal and will be better served with a 380. After all if you don’t hit the right spot it doesn’t matter how big the caliber is. I believe that will most likely leave a place for the 380 for a long time to come.
      The sale of 380’s over the last couple of years has really gone through the roof and gun manufacturers have sure turned out a lot of guns in that caliber. Of course now we see them coming out with guns almost as small in larger calibers. The Walther PPS and the Shield are just the start of what we’ll see in the coming year or two. That will cause 380 sales to drop some I’m sure.
      If I was recoil sensitive and had trouble hitting my target I would stay with the 380. If I wasn’t bothered by recoil I would most likely choose a 9mm. As I was saying earlier a pistol that light would be unpleasant to shoot in 40 S&W. I agree that with the right ammunition either gun will do the job.
      Pistol ammunition can be strange in effectiveness as is the human reaction to being shot. I’ve worked shootings where one 22LR in the stomach took a life while a 45 acp through the right eye, with no exit, and he lived.

      • Jeff Smith

        Phil,

        Thanks for the response!

        • Phil White

          Jeff,

          You’re very welcome Jeff.

  • Davey

    I don’t get you logic regardIng engagemt distance. Sorry, but I consider your decision not to test the pistol beyond 7 yards to be a copout. You don’t get to decide the engagement distance. t If you need to shoot somebody 10-15 yard out, are you not going to draw? Anywhere inside 25 yards is a reasonable defensive scenario – especially with a laser to mark your target! With a little gin comes more range time.

    • Phil White

      Davey,

      Not logic but nearly thirty years of street experience along with being a certified LEO firearms instructor. Unfortunately I have also been there and I can tell you my engagements ranged from touching distance all the way out to an ambush from 75 yards away. No at 75 yards I didn’t fire back.There were bystanders directly behind the suspect. Sometimes innocents are directly in the way and you can’t shoot. You call for other units after you take cover and let them move in from another angle.
      There are FBI stats that average out engagement distances in a publication they send out. Nearly every FBI report has the average distance at 7 yards plus or minus a couple of yards.
      Also these things happen and are over in the blink of the eye (most of the time) so there is no time to activate the laser. The instances of a confrontation that allows you to activate the laser are limited.

      • D

        it’s always good to see statistics and experience being put to use testing something, rather then whatever fantasy scenario people come up with.

        • Phil White

          D,

          Thank you sir I appreciate it. I added that background information for the the purpose of showing I have an extensive background in the real world. Hopefully it lets folks know where my opinions come from.

    • http://blog.hsoi.com hsoi

      No, you don’t get to choose the engagement distance. But that said, FBI, DEA, and a healthy dose of real world data from Tom Givens does hold that most incidents occur from 0-5 yards… car length, distance where someone can be close enough to you to talk to you.

      So it’s reasonable to test from 3 and 7 yards, because if the gun cannot perform in that range, then the gun is a dud. 15 and 25 yards doesn’t matter.

      Nevertheless, statistics are of little comfort when you get to be the statistical anomoly. I believe in Tom Givens’ student data set, one had to take a shot at 22 yards. If all you had on you was this Bodyguard and you had to take such a shot, could you? Granted, it’s more the brave than the bow and arrow, but if the tools aren’t up to the task then all the skill and luck in the world doesn’t matter. So I would also say there’s merit in testing and reviewing how well the gun can function at distances out to 25 yards.

      • d

        You can play the statistics game all day and tom givens isn’t the end all be all as well. I’ve been in contact where both parties were within 7yds if each other with no direct hits either. You are taking things drastically out if proportion. The only thing one would be concerned with when in this situation is fire first, fire often and pop smoke before they can get their bearings. Keep it simple. shoot them quick, accurately and keep it moving.don’t try and break thus down into done fantasy firefight league where mr givens stats say such and such.that’s just stupid.

  • 2Wheels

    Not a bad pistol, but not the best pocket .380 IMHO. My buddy has one, I took the chance a little while back to compare it to my pocket pistols, a Sig P238 and a S&W 442 wheelgun.

    My biggest issue was the trigger, it could use some work. It was nowhere near as good as the DAO trigger on my S&W 442, which isn’t the greatest DAO trigger in the world to begin with! It’s heavy, a bit rough (it was newish, I assume it’ll smooth out) and seemed to stack a little bit near the end.

    One other minor complaint I had is the lawyer safety that probably needs to get gone, I understand it on my P238 but the BG380 isn’t a SAO gun. The trigger is heavy+long enough that it doesn’t need a manual safety. I also didn’t find it nearly as easy to manipulate as the safety on my P238.

    The laser activation method isn’t the best, I much prefer a grip activated system, but I guess it works OK. Better than on the revolver version of the Bodyguard… I consider the laser an afterthought anyways, I wouldn’t buy the gun simply because it has a laser.

    All in all my P238 shoots circles around it, the only downside being that it’s a little heavier.

    • David

      I shot the gun when it first came out and consider it on of the worst pieces of sh** ever produced.

      • Phil White

        David,

        Well I wouldn’t go that far. To each his or her own:-)

    • Phil White

      2Wheels,

      I sure can’t disagree with the comparison with the Sig P238. It’s a fine pistol and being about like a 1911 in the controls department I like it:-) I believe the Sig’s thumb safety sits a bit lower making it easier to manipulate.

      • 2Wheels

        I thought the problem with the S&W safety was that it didn’t stick out far enough, almost like S&W didn’t quite want to commit to the idea of putting a safety on it… Eh, minor complaint I guess, you could always leave it turned off.

        Nice gun overall, aside from the trigger I didn’t like, I’m just spoiled with my baby Sig :)

        • Phil White

          2Wheels,

          It’s hard to compare a lot of guns with a Sig! The small safety didn’t bother me but I can see if you have medium or smaller hands where it would be a bit small. I’m just so used to the 1911 type safety it’s second nature for me.

  • Stella

    Thank you for the review. If the trigger is anything like a Ruger LCP (smooth but very long and heavy) I don’t understand the need for a manual safety. This is, I understand, a personal preference: ever since I stopped carrying a Hi Power I have gone striker/DAO with no external safety. Or perhaps I am missing something.

    Other than that, the S&W looks like a great pistol. I work outside and in nuclear southern heat, pocket carry is pretty much the only way to go.

    • Phil White

      Stella,

      I know about the heat in the south since that’s where I worked until I retired and moved back north a bit. I’d say the trigger is pretty close to the Ruger but not as heavy. I like a manual safety on any semi-auto but it can also be left unused since you have the longer trigger pull. You can sure put it in a front pocket and barely even know it’s there.
      It is a nice pistol and has never given me any problems through several hundred rounds of assorted ammunition.I bet that Hi-Power was a bit hard to give up!

      You are very welcome—- I’m glad you liked the review!

  • Josh B

    I bought one when they first hit the market, after firing other pocket pistols from sig ruger kel-tec and others I will say that it is not the absolute best in the market. However for the price that i’m willing to pay for a pocket gun that I only carry when I absolutely cant carry a full size due to the heat or the job I could not be happier with the Bodyguard.

    • Phil White

      Josh,

      I’m glad it’s working well for you. It has for me as well. It just disappears in a front or back pocket. With the trigger it has you can carry without a holster without worries.

  • Guy

    Better than the lcp,but I still will take my little P64 any day. Cheaper shoots a better round and is more accurate. IMOHO th 9×18 is about the perfect CC round.

    • Phil White

      Guy,

      We all have to pick what works best for us. There is certainly nothing wrong with the 9×18.

  • harLEquin

    Hi Phil,

    Just for discussion sake, you said this: “S&W is always on the leading edge in new firearm design.”

    Now don’t get me wrong I have a couple smiths and I like them, however I don’t think that S&W has really been a pioneer in firearms since the 70s, but have kinda comeback in recent years. They have especially struggled in the auto department, in my opinion. They usually play catch up (sigma) and dont really improve on new tech that much, they just try to keep their name in the game.

    Just my opinion, and i may be overlooking somethings. What are your thoughts?

    • Phil White

      harLEquin,

      I think overall they have stayed in the game well over the years and especially the last few years. I don’t mean to say that you pick S&W as the only company who has been on that leading edge. Fortunately for us there are a good number of companies who have been innovative in materials,finishes,design etc. I agree the Sigma was a terrible gun and still is of course. To compare though I have to look at the numerous recalls Ruger has had with new releases especially in semi-autos.I still believe overall S&W has turned out enough innovative designs it’s in that leading edge of companies.
      Then there is poor old Colt who rest on sales of the M4 to the military to stay alive at all.

      • harLEquin

        I agree with you there. I do not have any Ruger auto pistols for that reason and poor Colt indeed, used to make a nice DA revolver.

        Good review, thanks for being available to answer comments.

        • Phil White

          harLEquin,

          Thanks and it’s really my pleasure too talk back and forth with everyone.

          I’ve started to buy a Ruger semi-auto a couple of times then those recalls started on just about every new one that came out. I’m just leery of them for now.

          Colts situation is really sad. I can remember buying Pythons and loving that beautiful finish as well as the unreal trigger pull. I understand you can still special order one but you better be rich! With Remington winning an M4 contract that going to really hurt Colt even more.

  • Payce

    I bought one a few months ago and have put about 150 rnds through it and the trigger is still stiff as hell. Also, sometimes when I fire my mag ejects and yes, I make sure it’s seated properly before I fire.

    • MDemo

      Payce.. That trigger should start to loosen up now.. Mine was around 250.. Maybe a little more. The Mag eject is an issue Smith will fix it fast! They are tops in customer service.

      • Phil White

        MDemo,

        I’ve never had to use S&W customer service so it’s good to know they take care of customers in a timely manner. My trigger loosened up fairly quickly but then with a double action I’ve become used to taking a new double action pistol or revolver and while watching TV I’ll sit and pull the trigger to give it a workout. I do that on all of them. Of course you have to be safe and separate the ammunition from the gun by placing it in another room so there is no way you’ll have a loaded gun in hand.

    • Phil White

      Payce,

      Hum, strange I’ve not had that problem and never heard of it before. I’d send it in for a look see. Now I did have one instance when I fired and my thumb hit the release causing the mag to drop—–could that be the problem?

      • Payce

        I’m wondering if I’m hitting it with my trigger finger, I have big hands. I think I’m going to have someone watch next time I fire it.

        • Phil White

          Payce,

          If you have real big hands I bet it’s possible. Let us know how it goes!

  • BodyGuard 380 owner

    A word of warning: I own one of these and recently had to send it back to S&W for repair.

    There’s a bit of a design flaw I believe: The screw that holds the battery compartment for the laser in can come loose during firing!

    It happened to me at the range, and after that the slide could not go back far enough to either pick up another round or disassemble the gun.

    My only choice was to send it back so for repair. I think I am just going to completely remove the laser module so it doesn’t happen again.

    • Phil White

      BodyGuard,

      I’m glad you passed that along. Like the other reader talking about the mag dropping this is a new one for me.I hope they get it back to you quickly.

  • Phil White

    irateblackguy,

    LOL—but it works!

  • Jake Barnes

    Best.. Username… Ever.

  • Nicks87

    A co-worker purchesed this pistol as a CCW option and ended up getting rid of it. Our complaints were as follows:

    -Long heavy trigger pull.

    -Almost unmanagable recoil.

    -Not only is the .380 an anemic cartridge but its more expensive than 9mm.

    -Nearly useless laser sight.

    You’re welcome (to those of you that skipped Phil’s detailed but lengthy and overly positive review) I saved you some reading.

    • Phil White

      Nicks87,

      Now Nicks we talked about this:-) Everything you said was a personal observation but unmanageable recoil from a .380!Man I have to take issue with that. With the Bodyguard 38 +P I could see that but really a 380 is a cream puff in recoil from any gun I know of.
      Yep the ammo is more expensive but has come down in price in recent months since the amount of production has gone way up.Besides it’s not a daily shooter. The laser or almost any laser is useless in daylight. Works fine at night at any reasonable distance. I’ve lit up reflective street signs two blocks down the street with it.
      As I said earlier it’s always to each their own.

  • Zach 02

    I recently purchased this gun and after 150 dry fires the firing pin broke in half. I’m having to send this gun back to S&W for repair.

    • Phil White

      Zach,

      I hate to hear that! I don’t recall any company information cautioning against dry firing. I’ll contact them and see if they can provide any information to that effect.

    • Phil White

      Zach,

      I spoke with my contact at S&W about the problem you experienced with the Bodyguard. They strongly discourage dry firing a semi-auto unless you use snap caps. A revolver (other than a 22) you can dry fire all day long but none of the semi-autos should be dry fired more than a very few time without a snap cap. They were not surprised that the firing pin broke after dry firing 150/200 times. Of course this also applies to any striker fired pistol no matter who makes it.
      He told me to have you return it and they will fix it. If you call the S&W main number they have a website you go to and print out a return shipping label which they email too you.

    • http://Yahoo Jeff

      You should never dry fire any semi-aut

      • Jeremiah Glosenger

        I’ve dry-fired my Glocks thousands and thousands of times without ever causing a problem. Perhaps this is a manufacturer design specific problem that doesn’t include every semi-auto. Glock armorer instruction always says you can dry-practice with your Glock all you want. Happy shooting.

  • DK

    This is one of the best reviews and comments I have ever read. Why did LAPD choose the S&W over the Sig? Thanks all!

  • Bev

    Hi, I had a ladysmith .380 that was stolen and recovered, but not sure it’s worth refurbishing?!?! I looked at the Bodyguard Today and I like the feel of it and it seemed to fit good in my small hand. My LS is a revolver. Just trying to make the best choice…thanks!

    • Phil White

      Bev,

      I believe most people will like it. One thing to remember is that with the light weight the recoil can be rather strong with +P ammo.

  • Gene

    I am strongly considering a Bodyguard for pocket carry but have been concerned with reports of firing pin breakage. If this is limited to dry firing I’m not too concerned. If this has been happening during live fire, I am. How prevalent is this pin breakage? I would think LAPD did test a few even though it is private purchase. I would have thought the issues would be worked out by now -why I waited this long.

  • Hiflyer141

    Well I picked up my BG380 at the end of July^2012 a week later the laser elevation screw fell out at after less than 100 round never mind the heavy push to activate, all problems already known check Google. At home while cleaning it the firing pin brokeoff now this is a late model high serial#EBR3### gun so problems solved I think not! Of course Smith was on vacation for 2 weeks so I took it back to the dealer to get an exchange for a new one of course due to paperwork he could not do it so I left it with him and he sent it back! Who knows I might get it back in 2 months or so do to the vacation backlog!!
    Mean while my Taurus TCP has been over 300 rounds without a hiccup!! I still like the feel and function of the BG but come on now Smith get it fixed. Oh also how about the 12lbs trigger pull?

    • hiflyer141

      Well after 3 broken firing pins Smith has agreed to send me a new gun! Hopefully this one will work the way it is made to!!

  • mike volkman

    i recently purchased this gun took it shooting and shot 70 rds thru it came home said this isnt the gun for me . Want to sell it couldnt shoot where i wanted it to go. nothing wrong with gun maybe its me or after reading your article take it back to the range and shoot more rounds thru it. thanks for making me give it another try -mike volkman also holsterpro makes an avesome holster for 20.00 great product

  • vince

    purchased my sw380 a month ago. fired 100 rounds soon after the purchase , feild stripped and cleaned.

    so about 3 weeks after that I went to the range ,I fired 2 rounds and the slide jammed ( sound familiar ), it would not go back enough to engage another round. it took a lot of force full pulling at the slide to fully pull it back. ( i thought maybe I didnt oil it enough…. not the problem )

    after i feild stripped to re-oil I could not reassemble because once again the slide would not fully pull back

    after sending it back to s&w, and waiting for them to recover from there vacation, it took two (2) weeks to be returned.

    design flaw ??? it appears that my issue is not a new one..(that came from S&W by the way) . the set scews that hold in the rear sight ( from the underside of the slide) tend to come loose, then when the slide springs back during use it jams…

    This is the only gun I own that I can carry, again because of its size and my occupation ( plumber ) . So this left me in the inner city of some crack house basement with out my protection. dont know what to think at this point.

    I might have to throw it at somebody and run next time

    • Bruce

      Try when reassembeling the gun hold it with the barrel facing down when you put the take down pin back in that should fix the problem.

  • Bruce

    I purchased a body guard 380 in June of 2012 I shot over 300 rounds throught without no jams but had problems with the laser going off when shooting and not centered anymore and just recently the magazine won’t stay in it keeps popping out I sent it back to S&W hope they fix it right this time.

  • Browser

    I bought one of these from a local shop. The trigger is the most unpleasant thing I have ever pulled. When a round is chambered, I can’t get the trigger to go all the way back unless I pull from the tip, which is rather painful. However, when the chamber is empty I can easily pull from the middle of the trigger and get a quick snap of the hammer.

    I admit that I am a wimp, but I can fire my .357mag Taurus with full power loads (more painful on my whole hand, but much softer on my finger) more quickly than I can fire this gun. The trigger on my Taurus does not pinch my finger even though the full power recoil is fierce. I usually put .38 special in my .357 due to ease of shooting.

    I am also having what sounds like the laser screw problem because my slide will not go back to the lock position anymore. I will fiddle with it some more before sending it back.

    On the positive side, I have been able to hit close targets easily with it and it looks good too.

  • ?Notsurewhatthismeans Pete

    I am a Viet Nam vet. Handled many weapons 40+ yrs ago but never a pistol. Bought a SW 380 Bodyguard. Had it to the range twice. Put 100 rds through it both times. Worked flawlessly. I guess everything is relative. I hear people complaining about the long trigger pull and the pain it causes to people’s hands. I had absolutely no problems. Accuracy was good and no pain.

  • Linda

    I have the S&W J-Body revolver because I was used to and comfortable with revolvers. I also have my ex’s 38 service revolver which I learned on. It’s a bit heavy in my purse and obvious in my pockets so… My brother got the ‘Bodyguard’ a couple of months ago and has been urging me to buy one. I have handled his but not shot it. It fits nicely in my pocket and seems to be handier to carry than the revolver.

    I am a quick study and don’t think I’ll have a problem getting used to a semi-automatic. I think I’d probably carry it on my person more than the revolver. My concern is the amount of comments I have ready about the ‘Bodyguard’ breaking down and even misfiring without the proper ammo.

    Also, my brother’s laser and sights aren’t even close. I have never used a laser and shot with sights or gut. His laser was 5-6 inches off where I thought I was aiming. Is this normal and something I just have to trust or could his laser be off? He has many guns and keeps up at the range so I would think he would be on it if it needed an adjustment. Thank you. I’d really like to have a more comfortable CW and hope this would will be it.

    • Matt

      The laser is a gimmick. If you have to pull this thing and use it you won’t be thinking about the laser. TRUST ME.

      • UODuckMan

        I agree the laser is an afterthought. But if you get pinned down it sure can help you get pointed at your attacker. Most of the time it will be unused. But there is a place for them. However, my laser is very much off target. I need to spend more time sighting it in.

        On this gun I have a hard time hitting target. I shoot at a 4″ ball, and probably only hit 50% of the time, but if I miss it’s only by an inch. To me the trigger pull is hard to get used to.

  • Robin

    I just bought my Bodyguard last week and have been to the range twice so far. I find it has extremely tight trigger! I was told that they can’t take it down because of the hammer strike. I’m very glad to hear that it loosens up after about 250 rounds. I’m at about 150 now. The good thing about this is that you don’t have to engage the safety while carrying. It is making me play with the grip and pull. It is easier and more accurate using the tip as opposed the the finger joint. The laser is helpful during practice also. Mine is pretty accurate.

    All in all, if I had tried this gun out before purchasing it, I would have gone for a .9 instead. I will keep this though as my carry, but in all likelihood by a .9 for target for the ease & the price of ammo.

  • CAB

    I wanted a lightweight gun,somewhere in the 17 to 20 Oz weight, for the Retired officer carry, when I am dressed ,after trying several it came down to the Bodyguard 380 and the Scandium 357 revolver, the revolver was a handful even with standard 38s, so I selected the bodyguard. The bodyguard ,which was much more pleasurable to shoot.. I am in my mid 70s and have no problem keeping every shot on a 8x 11 sheet of paper out to 7 yds, which I believe is adequate.
    With a DeSantis pocket holster it fits easily into any large pocket, and you hardly notice you have it, being from the old school I also carry a extra mag or two with me. I also like the Hornady critical defense load or the Federal Hydro Shock ammo.
    A great concealable lightweight ,easy to handle gun .

  • Eronicon

    I like my BG380 so far, shot couple hundred rounds, just starting to get accurate with it haha…only issue i notice is i cannot get more than 5 rounds in magazine and get it to engage. anyone else have this issue?

  • JPO

    Most likely went with S@W because of simplicity of system. Pull trigger, bang.

  • JPO

    Purchased one today. Was wanting a Kahr, but a bit expensive. Didn’t want to settle for a Ruger. Bodyguard had last round slide lock, better grip and built in laser. Sights can be switched for tritium. The little extra weight made it feel like a real gun, not a toy. Trigger could be better, but better than Rutgers.

  • Rick

    I have 380bodyguard it will not take the clip unless u push the button is that right or do i need to send it to sw i donot lile it

    • burt

      I have not tried that but I have a difficult time also getting a full mag. to load with one in the pipe

    • Ernie Wilkerson

      Try breaking down cleaning an oiling monthly weather you shoot it or not

  • DLG47

    Can you shoot +p ammo thru this platform safely or will it damage the weapon?

    • jhorenka

      I talked with S&W and they said no…

  • fisherman

    Phil, I am a bit of a safety nut. I have a Ruger LCP pocket pistol, but I
    am put off by the notion of putting it in my pocket with a round in the
    chamber. I only do it when I am going somewhere risky. In a stressful
    situation it seems to me that one could shoot himself in the foot or
    worse during a draw. I like the notion of having a safety in addition to the long trigger pull. I read all the write-ups below about the BG 380 and they say to me that I should shop some more. I looked for your reviews of other 380 pocket pistols but couldn’t find any. What are my other choices of 380 semi auto pocket pistols with a DA trigger and a safety that meet your performance criteria. Are there any? By the way what does the O in DAO stand for? Double Action what?

  • lewdog

    Is the front sight adjustable? The reason for the question is that on my 380 it is sightly to the left of center.

  • baldeagle

    Great review! !’m glad that I purchased my BodyGuard now. It is however pretty loud when fired. Is there a sound suppressor available for this weapon?

  • Farmerj

    I want to share my experience with my new S&W Bodyguard. The Laser stopped working within two weeks and only after firing 70 rounds. S&W requested i send the laser back for a replacement. It has been over two weeks and when I contacted them, they said they will replace the laser, but they are shutting down for two weeks and it won’t be shipped out for another four weeks. Poor customer service and a weak response. I only had the gun for two weeks.