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Smith & Wesson Bodyguards 38 and 380

by Handguns Online Staff   |  May 31st, 2011 36

Join Richard Venola and Patrick Sweeney on the range as they cover the new Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38 and 380 and see how they shoot.

  • Jon

    I like that the laser sights are built in to these handguns rather than hanging on the outside where they can get bumped around and get out of alignment. It also eliminates the need for a modified holster to accommodate the sight.

  • Tom Goodrick

    Very good show. I'd like to compare the energy of these rounds. Where'd your energy chart go?

  • Bryan

    I purchased a Bodyguard with the laser sight, and I do not like it whatsoever. The trigger does not break smoothly, it has an extremely long trigger pull. I am seriously thinking about trading it in on another Bersa Thunder .380

    • Bryan

      Let me clarify, I purchased the 5 shot revolver. I have not had an opportunity to fire the semi auto.

    • Gary

      I feel the same way the trigger is what i hate about my 380

    • Adrian Anhood

      Yes it has an exceptionally log trigger pull. The other features make up for it, such as the reliability. I've cycled 500 rounds each of different brands without mechanical failure. I had one round misfire, and a second trigger pull set it off. Overall design is solid.

      I simply don't like that it does not come with extra mags. So add $50 to the price to add two more!

  • D Schwappe

    I have the .380. Yes long trigger pull but I learned to shoot it. However to turn the laser on is the real problem, it takes two hands, one to hold the gun steady and tight and a finger to push the ON button. Would like it better if sight was easier to use

    • C Moss

      I hate guns with long trigger pulls and heavy pull also. Most all double action are that way.

  • Russ

    I own a Bodyguard 380. The trigger pull is just over 10lbs so it is pretty stiff. It is accurate and will feed almost any type of ammo. The Laser activation button becomes stiff and is difficult to activate. The screw that holds the laser assembly in place backed out causing it to strike and lock up the slide. It was repaired by S&W but backed out again after 50 rounds.

    • C Moss

      10 lbs is to heavy for my taste. I would like to see a double action in about 6 lbs. range. Have yet to find any like that. Next option of course is the DASA which at least only the first shot is heavy pull. Have a Sig 239 like that which is not bad.

  • Larry Priddy

    my nephew just bought the 380 s&w I have a hellcat 380. we went shooting yesterday ; his fired every time, mine jammed 3 different times ' mines now for sell and going to buy the 380 s&w

    • C Moss

      Kahr makes about the best small double action auto, the PM9, still has a long trigger pull but is very accurate. I have a laser on it and got a custom holster to fit. I think they cost a little more then these SW.

      • Adrian Anhood

        I shoot both the PM9 and S&W 380 Body Guard. Both are excellent guns. The S&W is a bit lighter/smaller, but both are quite tiny. The only issue I have with the Karh PM9 is that the magazine often releases while in the holster. This happens because the mag release button is in now way shrouded so it snags easily. PM9 quite a bit more expensive.

  • Bikersteve

    After seeing the video, I want the Bodyguard .38! My favorite small gun now is a Scandium-Framed 5-shot .38 S&W Airweight snubby. It is one of the most accurate pistols I own, Bar-None. I own several S&W's and love them all!

  • Festus

    I have a couple of Bersa 380s. They are quite reliable, they have very manageable trigger pull. I also have a Taurus 85 SS in 38 spl. It had poor carry up on two chambers that would not lock up with the cylinder stop. Taurus warranty fixed it though and it didn't cost me a cent. I don't see anything about the S&Ws that would cause me to get them over what I have.

  • Mick

    I'd be hard-pressed to give up my Model 38's. These newer models have appeal, but I'll let someone else find and work out all the bugs for a few years. Newer isn't necessarily better. I've handled but not shot both guns; not much there to thrill me.

  • slim jim

    Fanny packs are the way to go in Florida when you wear shorts and t-shirts practicaly all year long. The Bersa .380 Thunder Plus (15 rd. mag.) with spare mag. gives you plenty of fire power. You could rip-off 5 shots from the crotch to the adams-apple before their knees buckle. Shoot some hollow points into gallon milk jugs and see the effect.

  • Gute

    Don't buy them with out trying them first. I sold mine. 380 and 38 revolver. Worst hand guns i ever own. The 380 trigger pull is very heavy and long. It almost touches the back of the trigger guard before discharges. The laser becomes useless, since your hand is shaking to try to pull the trigger. Very attractive design, don't get foul by it. You will dislike how inaccurate this little gun is. The 38 is very light in weight, does not hanle +p 38 bullets well, recol is painfull. Laser also becomes quite inaccurate. Sorry, but this are the worst weapons smith and wesson ever made. That just the way it is.

    • Adrian Anhood

      I agree with you about the accuracy, but I justify it as a pocket gun. And YES the trigger pull is long and heavy, which of course could prevent it from discharging in your pocket. The 380 Bodyguard is not for everyone and I could not agree more that people should shoot it before taking the plunge. I didn't but am happy. One friend of mine had serious problems with the trigger and didn't cycle more than half a mag before the complaining began.

  • Dave

    I have the .380, and I think it's a great option for a pocket-sized handgun. Some people complain about the laser buttons being hard to operate, snappy recoil and long/heavy trigger pull. Consider that when you buy a lightweight gun with a short barrel, you are going to feel more of the bullet's power compared to a full-sized weapon. The laser buttons can operate perfectly with a plastic tubed qtip and about 5 minutes of your time. The trigger is a little stiff, but it is easy to get used to after a few trips to the range. Being able to see the hammer come back inside the slide helps. For such a small gun with a small barrel, I find it to be very accurate. I have tighter groupings with this gun every time I shoot it. Also, this gun feels better in my hand than any other gun that I can fit in my front jeans pocket.

    Every gun has its compromise, and for something to be so easy to conceal, you have to expect it not to shoot like a 1911. I don't always have the ability to conceal my full size 9mm every day. If you want something smaller than a 9mm, with good sights, decent accuracy, good reliability, easily to handle, that can fit anywhere, this is a great option. The Bodyguard is so easy to carry and comfortably hide. The slide and grip are quite thin, and is even manageable to conceal in tighter pants. I have two IWB holsters and a pocket holster for this S&W, and there is not a single set of clothes I own that cannot hide this weapon.

    Know what you're buying, and compare it to other similar weapons. Different hands and different heads have different opinions. Don't let someone talk you out of it, don't let someone talk you into it. Buy what's best for you and share your experience, and learn to use it! Most of all, practice. If you take the time to know your weapon, it won't let you down.

    • wayne

      What is this about a plastic qtip and 5 minutes of time?

  • http://none Michael Deane

    have to agree w/person above – I HAD a Ruger LCP .380 A ND I have small hands but that $$%$# thing kept flyin' outta my hands…this S&W .380 Bodyguard is MUCHO better….I bought it and sold the LCP…..I tried the Ruger LCR and wasn't bad recoil now I will try the S&W .38 Bodyguard if the Gun Shop has one for rental……but like this video….again: that .380 Bodyguard isn't perfect butr mucho better than most I've tried AND very, very accurate…!!

  • Ben

    I have a 38 Bodyguard and love it, it does kick rather hard with +P loads but very manageable it is nice and small and sits in a new IWB holster all day long and after a few minutes I forget it is there. Shoots Good, Looks Good, and Price was real Good with the S&W quality what more do I want.

  • Rick

    Purchased all three rugers lcr Lcp and sr9c sold all 3 never Fired any of

    Them bought bodyguard 380 bodyguard 38 and m&p 9c smith and wesson quality 1000 percent better

  • Tom Wozniak

    My experience with the .38 and the .380 was limited to dry firing. Wearing a size extra glove I found both to be too small; but that goes for the ruger .380 too. If the purpose is to deliver fast accurate shots to the heart and lung region look elsewhere unless you have the hands of a Hobbit.

  • Rick74

    Lots of crying over the trigger pull. Try a little dry fire practice. The more I dryfire the steadier I get. Use the laser to prove your not jerking the trigger. In a week or two you will be amazed.

  • Chopperd

    When I first saw them, I was intrigued and wanted to try them. A friend who owns a gun store bought a few of them for sale. Long story short, the triggers are tough, the laser didn't handle well and was difficult to use, not accurate, etc. They wound up donating them to a raffle. Good idea, great company, but something went wrong in this execution.

  • bflannery

    S&W has a fix for the laser button on the Bodyguard 380. They are shipping me new buttons to try….if that doesn't work they said they would replace the laser, it should operate with one hand and one finger they told me.

  • Brian

    Not a big fan of the trigger on the S&W38. But I'm a big fan of the snub nose 38, so the Ruger LCR 357 is what goes in my holster. The trigger pull is much better and it only gets smoother with use. Of course I use the 38+p in it for much more control. The 3-4oz difference between the 38 and 357 revolver makes it so much more pleasurable to shoot.

  • Ten

    Should have let a small frame woman test fire the weapon to show how it handles.Ill stick with me XD sub-compact in 40 thanks

  • Bill Koontz

    Left handed have never cared for revolver. Have take the time to dry fire and am doing well with the trigger control. I find the laser button easy to use and so far very pleased with it. Release is perfect for me and I wonder if anyone has wondered what will happen with the 380 if fired inside a pocket ? Thanks S&W !!

  • pro

    The 38 is a great snubby, especially if you pocket carry,easy to handle very little recoil,fire a 158 grain with accuracy.for what it was made for it is perfection.the laser integral sight is easy to sharp edges works great can shoot easily with either hand.thank you s+w—-practice practice practice.adrenaline is a mother.

  • Michael Deane

    I like the S&W .380 bdyguard – but it does have a long trigger pull but yu can get used to it and it is accure -for a .38 – I have bought a Chiappa Rhino – wow….amazing – has recoil but much, much better control(ed)……

  • oldman

    Have never owned a semi-auto. I'm left-handed and have used revolvers for 40 years. Like everything else with practice you'll get used to it.

  • Bill

    Trigger pull is heavy for a reason….gun is designed for the pocket. Love it.

  • Dave

    I bought the Bodyguard 380 in November and it failed after about 8 rounds with a dead trigger. S&W customer service was horrible. It took a month for them to finally email me a shipper so that I could return it for service. Then another 3 weeks for them to repair and return the gun.

    I’ve heard others speak highly of their quality and reputation, but I think I’ll stay away.

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