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S&W Bodyguard 38 vs. ......

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by OrangePwr9, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. This is the new Bodyguard with the plastic grip frame and the standard laser. Other than my 3" SP101, it's the only snubby I've shot. Trying to decide between it, a Ruger LCR, and a 642 for pocket carry.

    *Laser near bore line
    *Laser ON/OFF switch independent of grip
    *Not much recoil with either .38 wadcutters or 110 gr. Hornady Critical Defense ammo (+P?)
    *Slim smooth grip seemed good for pocket carry & easy to control
    *Accuracy with laser decent at 10 yds.

    *Sloppy cylinder fit
    *Needs XS-Big Dot front sight (for me anyway)
    *Toy-like cylinder release

    Haven't seen much about the Bodyguard on the gun forums; yet the LCR and the 642/442 are praised to the skies. Can anyone tell me how it stacks up against the competition before I throw away my money?
  2. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    I don't like it because of the sloppy cyl fit and thumb release location.
    Of the ones I've handled (3), two had loosey goosey lockup and big gaps. I could see a lefty liking the cyl release, but I'm rt handed.:supergrin:

  3. LawScholar


    Aug 23, 2011
    There's a genuine debate to had between the Smith 642 and Ruger LCR, but I think the trigger, cylinder release, and fit make the LCR clearly better than the Bodyguard.

    My opinion only. :)
  4. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin JMB & MTK

    May 13, 2008
    I chose the LCR in 38spl when I was looking at it and the Bodyguard side by side. The one thing I didn't like is the cylinder release on top of the frame. I'm used to the side forward release on regular Smiths and side inward Rugers.

    I also felt the trigger on the LCR was smoother out of the box over the competition.

    Lastly, the Hogue Tamer grips really soak up the recoil, but many consider them bulky and don't like them for pocket carry. I tried mine in a pocket just for kicks and could do so if I wanted since nothing snags when I draw. Mine sees carry duty in a 5.11 shirt while bike riding or the extremely rare ankle carry mode. The grips don't bother me a bit in those two modes and I personally wouldn't replace them with anything else.
  5. Thanks for the input. So far, you all seem to confirm my impressions. I'll have to get out and look for a 642 and an LCR. This will probably become clearer when I get to handle them.

    It appears that the bore centerline sits lower in the hand in the S&W snubbies than it does in the LCR. Can anyone confirm this?
  6. DaleGribble

    DaleGribble Sandwich!

    Mar 20, 2003
    Land of the toothless!
    I chose the Bodyguard over the LCR simply because of the cylinder release. I've shot PPC and have the S&W cylinder release ingrained to muscle memory and after trying the BG release and after getting used to it, I like it better.

    Accuracy is typical of a snub and nothing to write home about.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  7. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    I've only handled and fired a single example of the Bodyguard 38 revolver. I didn't particularly care for it, myself. It worked fine with a couple of different loads and the inherent accuracy was fine. I didn't care for the laser. The brightness of the laser left something to be desired for the few of us trying it (and we using it in shade during daylight conditions).

    I much prefer my regular J-frames, which includes a couple of 642-1's & M&P 340's. The standard XS front night sight makes a significant difference for aimed fire compared to the standard serrated ramp/posts of my other J's. (You pay quite a bit more because of the Scandium aluminum frame, the sights and having it chambered in .357 Magnum, though.)

    I don't have any first-hand experience with the new lightweight Ruger 5-shot.
  8. Got over to Bass Pro today and managed to handle both the 642 and the LCR. The 642 was a natural pointer for me. I'd point at something with the eyes closed, then open them and find the sights nearly aligned. The LCR was not.

    Also the grips seemed needlessly bulky on the LCR. Mechanically it couldn't be faulted. BP has a policy of keeping the locks on the triggers so I couldn't get try them.

    Looks like a 642 or a 442 is in my future; unless I come up with the scratch for an M&P 340. That's the gun that seems to have everything.
  9. up1911fan


    Mar 12, 2009
    Upper Michigan
    I really like my LCR.
  10. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    I have only handled but not shot the S&W polymer revolver. I remain a solid fan of the basic steel J frame.
  11. MphsTiger1981


    Jun 7, 2009
    For the money the S&W 642/442 is hard to beat. I have a 642 no-lock that's about two years old. I replaced the main spring and rebound spring with a kit from Apex and it made all the difference in the world. The 642 is easy to slip into a pocket and while it is bulkier than the small 9's and .380s, the curves of the revolver actually seem to break up the outline a little, even when it does print.