Women Review four .380 pistols

On Legally Armed America, three ladies shoot and review four .380 acp pistols. They look at a Ruger LCP, S&W Bodyguard, Colt XSP Mustang and the Glock 42.

Not surprisingly, the S&W Bodyguard was the least liked out of the four handguns. I have met many people who dislike that gun.

The Glock 42 barely beat the Colt XSP Mustang when they tally up the scores and that was mainly due to the appearance of the Glock 42.

One thing I would have addressed is the fact that most of the women were using the crease of their finger to pull the trigger. The RO should have instructed them to shoot with the pad of the finger and not the crease. Also I would have liked to have seen the Sig P238 put up against this test or the P938 which is about the same size as the Glock 42 but in 9mm. I am curious how the women would have viewed and rated the Sigs.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Parnell

    I can see why they don’t like the bodyguard. Fired one over the weekend, the trigger is horrendous! Why does every S&W come from the factory needing a trigger job?

    • bdub

      I love my bodyguard. Don’t understand the hate. Each his own. It fits me perfect and has been completely reliable. I guess that’s why they make different guns for different tastes.

      • Parnell

        Good for you. Every trigger finger is different. pointing out that the trigger sucks isn’t hate, it’s just the truth. I really don’t think you should have to get a trigger job after you’ve paid good money for an S&W gun. I wonder if they own a piece of the company that seems to be the preferred source for new triggers (sorry, forget their name). I’ll stick with my XDs9.

  • Steve Truffer

    Soooo. where did the LCP fall? all we know is: Glock>Colt, All>S&W.

  • DaveP.

    I’d like to see the Kel-Tec and the SIG 230/232 in there.

    • sauerquint

      I’d put my CZ82 against all of them 😉

    • Geodkyt

      Well, having shot a KelTec side by side with a Ruger LCP, I’ll say they pretty much shoot the same except:

      1. The Ruger has a MUCH better trigger.

      2. The Ruger is MUCH better shaped to hold steady and control recoil (it has a wasp waist “Coke bottle” profile that really makes a difference – I was HIGHLY dubious before shooting it).

      3. The KelTec couldn’t get through two magainzes in a row without a malfunction, whereas I have yet to get the Ruger to malf in 300 rounds. That’s probably a QC issue — the very next KelTec off the same line might be flawless. But KelTec has ALWAYS had variable quality issues.

      4. The combination of 1 & 2 made the Ruger far more accurate – groups about half the size. It sure wasn’t the sights, as both guns suck in that department. (Then again, they ARE the size of a mid sized .25ACP or tiny .32ACP from 20 years ago, so I wouldn’t be taking one out for falling plates at 50 yards – they’re up close and personal arms.)

      • sianmink

        Did you get a later LCP? I fired an early LCP and the trigger was horrid, much worse than the P3AT. LCP was more reliable though. P3AT always wanted to vomit an extra round out the top of the mag every shot.

        • Geodkyt

          I bought my LCP in March 2014. But, had fired a friend’s that she bought about two years ago, and it was just as nice — that’s the only reason I even TRIED the LCP or KelTec, because I was previously convinced that any .380 that small would be uncontrollable.

      • DaveP.

        I dont have any personal experience with the Kel-tec, but I know they sell pretty good and should be included on that basis… besides, not every buyer can swing the extra for a Colt/Smith/Sig. Cheap guns have a place too. And if the T&E gun breaks down a lot, well that’s a valid result too and one the buyers should be aware of.
        I own a Sig 230 and consider it the best full-size .380 out there, with “full size” being the operative phrase (whipping out a postal scales and a calipers and comparing the 230 and the Glock 36 was a real eye opener, I’ll tell you…).

        • Geodkyt

          Oh, I loved my Sig 230. But the darned thing was HUGE for the cartridge and my then-wife hated the trigger (I had picked it up on a whim, because she wanted a smaller carry piece for warmer weather and the price was stupid low. . . I figured worst case, I could at least get my money back if I resold it, and I was right.)

          I never owned them at the same time, but I’m certain my Sig P250 is shorter in height and length, probably a skosh wider, but carries 11+1 9x19mm rounds. . . and I don’t notice any major difference in felt recoil, and recovery between rounds isn’t significantly greater.

          So, similar “shootability”, but carries more rounds that have better performance? Yeah, I’ll relegate the P230 to the days where a Walther PP was Da Bomb as a deep carry piece. . . 😉

  • sauerquint
    • sauerquint

      The Glock scored 41/45, Colt 40/45, Ruger 22/45, S&W 20/45.

    • tincankilla

      as an aside, i’ve noticed quite a bit of sloppiness with back-linking and hat-tips on TFB lately…

      • Steve (TFB Editor)

        Sorry, I take responsibility as the buck stops with me. We will sort this out.

  • Cherryriver

    Not a great deal of difference between the Colt Mustang and the Sig 238- most people consider the Sig a clone of the Mustang.
    The Mustang was the only .380 I ever owned or shot until I became an instructor and got to try a number of others out. It remains the .380 that gives me the best results in terms of speed and hits.
    Meanwhile, having sampled the 938 at an open house, I am indeed impressed by that, both in terms of getting hits with speed, and the fact that it fires a cartridge with significantly better effectiveness than a subsonic 85-grain ball.

  • Blake

    Personally I feel that our blowback CZ-83 (.380 auto) has more felt recoil than our 9mm locking-action pistols, due to the simple nature of the action. CZ-2075 might be a better choice for people with small hands.

    But the ’83 looks great (walnut grips), feels great, & shoots great, so I think we’ll keep her around :-).

  • Ted Unlis

    After watching video at the LAA link, it was a shame to see that the review was conducted in such a half-@$$ed manner. First of all the women were not separated to give their evaluations which resulted in a follow the leader factor that for the most part negated any chance of objectivity.

    Secondly, the review was comparing apples and oranges. The Glock 42 and Colt Mustang are medium sized 380 autos and a fair comparison would have been with other similar sized 380’s such as the Ruger LC380, Walther PPK, or Sig P232. It served no purpose to compare a micro sized 380 like the LCP with the larger guns which are obviously going to be much more comfortable and easier to shoot. The LCP is a solid dependable choice for a 380 only because the shooter opts for ease of concealment over shooting ease and comfort.

    The most glaring bone headed flaw in the video review is the tacit suggestion that there would ever be a reason for novice shooters with minimal training like the three lovely ladies in the LAA video to ever carry a single action auto like the Mustang which is suitable only for experienced shooters with competent 1911 familiarity and training.

    While the ladies safely fired the 380 autos under supervision of the range officer, after observing their level of familiarity with a firearm, my suggestion would be that they carry exactly what my wife and daughters carry, a small high quality 38 Special revolver.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    @ Sauerquint & Blake :

    Excellent calls on the CZ-82, CZ-83 and CZ-2075 pistols — they tend to get overlooked in this country by virtue of marketing forces, yet in terms of real-world performance and quality are actually far better than the better-publicized competition.

  • Lance

    Sorry SIGs suck for a woman a Glock’s light trigger pull is always a winner. I find more women shooting Glocks Berettas than Sigs.

    • DracoMalfoy

      The question you should ask yourself is how many women are allowed to pick their own guns in the first place in order to find out what THEY like best and find easier to handle and shoot. The answer is very few.

      • Gun Totin’ Granny

        OMG. Every woman I know who owns a gun chose her own. What do you mean “are allowed.” My husband and I don’t ask each other for permission and we have been married 52 years. If a woman is with someone from whom she needs permission, she should find a different person.

        • DracoMalfoy

          Every woman you know, eh? More often than not, some guy will go out and buy a woman a gun without asking for her input, or will push her into getting whatever gun he thinks she should have. I see that a heck of a lot.

  • atmar

    my wife likes her bersa bp9cc and its a 9mm…..

  • Mack

    Would of loved to seen a Walter and a Sig thrown into the ring! 🙂

  • JumpIf NotZero

    “most of the women were using the crease of their finger to pull the trigger. The RO should have instructed them to shoot with the pad of the finger and not the crease.”


    Um, no. There is no “proper” part of the finger to use. And no an RO shouldn’t just decide for you what works best for you. I’ve seen long distance precision shooters use their pad and others their joint. I’ve seen some expert pistol shooters use tip and past joint. This is absolutely not a right or wrong thing, like at all. It’s just like stance, do whatever works for you (but if shown that it doesn’t work for you – must remain open minded).

    Depending on firearm, I’ll use tip or pad. The world actually needs less RO recommendations in my experience.

    • JT

      Walter White school of training. Today it’s splitting hairs over trigger squeeze, tomorrow it’s selling methamphetamines

  • Blake
  • percynjpn

    that was mainly due to the appearance of the Glock 42

    Wow! I never thought I’d see those words written.

  • Mountainfeet

    I do not understand all the Bodyguard hate….can someone explain it to me? Is it the laser? The safety? The finger grooves in the grip? To me, it is the superior pistol between the other polymer lightweights mentioned.

    I own a Sig P238, and I have shot a Ruger LCP & S&W 380 Bodyguard, and I would rank the LCP dead last of the three. The lack of real sights and the lack of a last round hold-open killed the deal for me. Between the LCP and Bodyguard that I shot (at a gun range that rents them), the Bodyguard had a much more consistent, smoother trigger that I didn’t even have to think about while pulling it. The LCP trigger had several stages, all with different weights that made it hard to fire (without having trained for it) without throwing the sights off target. I could pull the Bodyguard’s trigger the easiest without feeling a need to adjust my sight picture, and without any training, though. My friend who was with me at the time also agreed. It had a light, even pull that broke at a predictable point at the end-point of its travel. This was earlier this year, so maybe S&W has improved this trigger from what it used to be?