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Old 07-30-2012, 15:23   #1
plouffedaddy
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Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380: Pocket Carry Done Right

General Firearms Forum
I picked this gun up in 2010, put 100 rounds through it, and it's been in my carry rotation ever since. I generally shoot one magazine through the gun every time I go to the range just to keep familiar with the gun but I don't particularly enjoy shooting it like I do my larger framed guns.

Before I go any further... using the 380ACP cartridge for self defense is controversial (Is it enough power? JHPs or FMJs? ect...) but in my opinion the old cliche' applies––-having 7 rounds of 380 in your pocket when you need it is better than having 9 rounds of 45ACP in your glove compartment...

To me, this is the ultimate back up gun. Fits in the pocket of most pants/shorts without printing much if at all, is extremely reliable, and has more than acceptable accuracy at 10m and in. If you're concerned about only having the little 380 with you than there's still room on your waist for your G19 or 1911 should you feel the need.

Pros:
-Reliable (over 800 rounds with 0 failures)
-Accurate for a pocket gun
-Usable sights and aftermarket night sight availability
-Built in Insight laser
-Good trigger for a pocket gun
-Lightweight (12oz)
-Durable melonite finish
-Great S&W customer support

Cons:
-External safety
-Laser is not very visible in bright sunlight (I generally don't use the laser however)
-Button on the laser is relatively hard to actuate; an instinctive Crimson Trace style activation would be a much better option in my opinion
-2.75'' barrel doesn't maximize the 380s potential

All in all, it's a great gun and I'd buy it again. Heres a video with some shooting, disassembly and assembly of the pistol, some size comparisons with other popular carry guns (Shield, CM9, G26) and some chronograph testing:


Chronograph data:

Speer Gold Dot 90gr JHPs: 911fps, 166ft/lbs energy
Dynamic Research Technologies 85gr frangible HP:1184fps, 265ft/lbs energy
Magtech 95gr FMJs: 797fps, 134ft/lbs energy


One thing I just have to say about these little guns––-people often ask me, "My wife/mom/girlfriend/ect... has never shot a gun before and she wants something small and cute. What gun should I get her?" A small and lightweight gun is the hardest type of gun to shoot well. So, the lightweight snub 38 or this BG380 are absolutely not ideal for new shooters or those who are recoil averse. The have (relatively) difficult sights to pick up and their triggers are more difficult to master than a typical striker, SAO, or DA/SA gun. That's my $.02 anyway...
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Old 07-30-2012, 19:21   #2
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I had laser and light strike issues with mine, but a trip back to the factory seems to have done it well.
It always fed and ejected perfectly.
I like the gun for when the 442 is too big.
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Old 07-30-2012, 19:24   #3
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Glad you like the gun
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Old 07-30-2012, 19:44   #4
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I had one, actually bought it for the safety. I had about 500 rounds thru the BG380 without any issues other than the laser unit failing. It was quickly replaced by Smith. Its a solid little gun. I have big hands so I traded it for the Nano which fits my hand better.
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Old 07-30-2012, 23:01   #5
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You hit the nail right on the head, I couldn't have said it any better myself. I've had mine since September 2010, and have been pocket carrying it ever since. Great gun!
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:11   #6
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:17   #7
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Quote:
I had laser and light strike issues with mine, but a trip back to the factory seems to have done it well.
Sorry to hear that but the good thing about S&W is they really stand by their products. Glad it's up and running like it should.
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Old 07-31-2012, 14:19   #8
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They look like nice pistols. If you could get them sans laser I might have considered one when I bought my LCP. I'm not a huge fan of lasers in the first place, but that laser is a total gimmick IMO. Lasers are for quick draw accuracy and if you have to hit a button with your trigger finger to actuate it, it's too late for it to work as intended. Again IMO. I do like the sights and looks though.
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Old 07-31-2012, 16:37   #9
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Quote:
Lasers are for quick draw accuracy and if you have to hit a button with your trigger finger to actuate it, it's too late for it to work as intended.
Couldn't have said it better.
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Old 07-31-2012, 18:37   #10
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I have been carrying the BG 380 for well over a year. Probably put a few thousand rounds through it. The only issue that I have had is that the laser retaining screw has backed out twice. Keep a check on the screw in your gun, if it backs out far enough it will prevent the slide from cycling.
It will lack about 1/8 to 3/16 inch of a full cycle. When the screw backs out the slide will not go back far enough to take the retaining pin out. I had to send mine to the factory.
I check the screw about every 100 rounds.

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Old 08-04-2012, 15:10   #11
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Late to the party, but the wife just brought one home for herself today.

Quite a step down in caliber for her from a .45.

I have a "neutral" (to be charitable) view of &*^& lasers, but she didn't buy it FOR the laser she liked the guns feel and trigger (since she shoots DA revolvers regularly) that lase was just "there". I have been driving our new puppy nuts with it, so I guess it serves some purpose.

I am used to a heavier revolver return spring "taking my trigger finger along for the ride" and this little auto requires a conscious effort to slack up all the way.

We'll see how it goes on the range.
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Old 08-05-2012, 16:35   #12
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I like mine a lot.

The only problem is that it is an absolute spoiler in terms of convenience. Nothing else holds a candle to it in terms of comfort and concealability. I bought a LC9 that I like a lot recently, but it isn't even in the same ballpark as the bodyguard when it comes to comfort.
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Old 08-05-2012, 16:39   #13
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Ranger 380 runs just fine through mine!
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Old 09-09-2012, 21:00   #14
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I am very satisfied with my BG .380. I use it for pocket carry when carrying something else is impractical. My friend covered the laser cover plate screw with fingernail polish and I just took out the laser. I think that they are nothing but toys, just my opinion. I am not a Smith and Wesson auto fan, but really like this one as well as the wife's Shield. Both are great guns.
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