S&W Bodyguard .380: Is this thing the clunker it seems to be?

This is a discussion on S&W Bodyguard .380: Is this thing the clunker it seems to be? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I took a look at the new S&W bodyguard .380 at my local shop. I know it is relatively inexpensive, but it really seemed like ...

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Thread: S&W Bodyguard .380: Is this thing the clunker it seems to be?

  1. #1
    Member Array johniac7078's Avatar
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    S&W Bodyguard .380: Is this thing the clunker it seems to be?

    I took a look at the new S&W bodyguard .380 at my local shop. I know it is relatively inexpensive, but it really seemed like a clunker. First off, the laser was REALLY hard to activate. Then the damn battery cover came off.......
    Next up was the trigger pull.....yuck.

    Please tell me if I am wrong, but this one seemed pretty bad.

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  3. #2
    Member Array Roman's Avatar
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    I agree. I had my Sig 238 to compare it to and it was like trying to drive a beat up junker. It just felt clunky in every aspect.

    What local shop do you go to? Cool to see someone else in MA here!

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    Member Array txshooter's Avatar
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    The S&W .380 Bodyguard along with Ruger's LCP laser and Keltec's P3AT all have their place in the defensive carry pistol world. For lightweight pocket carry pistols, they serve their purpose well. The trigger pulls are long and hard which function as a safety feature. The Bodyguard has a tiny thumb safety that is extremely difficult to manipulate and in my opinion is useless. The laser can be activated one handed with the trigger finger..... usually. I had to send mine back to S&W right out of the box after it quit working. Of course I am of the opinion that the lasers are pretty much useless as well, except for the scare factor; well maybe. But that just me. A number of the big name experts disagree and recommend lasers. Oh, well you be the judge for yourself.

    I have never fired a Ruger so I don't have anything to compare against, but I prefer my Keltec over the S&W. I have fired both of these in comparison and found that the functioning, handling and accuracy are pretty much identical.

    If you slow down a little and concentrate on trigger control, these little guys can pretty accurate. But you have to work at it a bit. I agree that the Sig 238 is sweet in comparison. The functioning, handling, accuracy and trigger is much better.
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    Member Array ws76133's Avatar
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    The trigger isn't an issue for me, as my EDC a revolver. The trigger is quite similar to what I'm used to. Mine is surprisingly accurate with the iron sights and laser, and my 58 year old eyes work better with the laser. I've had no reliability issues so far.

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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hey txshooter: Just read your reply and immediately picked up on your comment about lasers. A 380 is a point shoot firearm where fractions of a second and minimal distances are the preemininent considerations and the time taken to activate and acquire a laser is, IMO, working against you. S&W, by putting a built in laser on their Bodyguard is shamlessly catering to the "lets put the laser on the firearm and we will be invincible crowd" who are willing to pay extra for something that serves little purpose on such a firearm. For the price of a sig, though, I can have 2 kel tecs and they work just fine. They are also and still the smallest and lightest and in my pocket that makes all the difference. PS: If anyone out there somehow feels their laser on a pocket gun does make a difference, have at it, mindset can be an important consideration and I may disagree but I will not fault you.

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    I tried out the Taurus, Ruger, S&W but not the Sig which was to large for my purposes. I settled on the Diamondback .380. Best recoil absorbion and best sights. I did not want a laser though you can get one on it. I wanted small and slim. I wanted deep concealment as this is a BUG not a primary.

    P18163004.jpg This is mine.......

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    Senior Member Array DoctorBob's Avatar
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    I like my BG 380. The sights are easy to use and much better than the ones on the Keltec P3AT. The laser actually works and is easy to turn on with your stong hand index finger or your weak hand thumb when in firing position. You do have to sight in the laser (best done with a parallax stand) and then the gun is quite accurate at 10 and 15 yards - not sure you could say that about the LCP and P3AT. The gun is easy to conceal in pocket, on belt or at ankle. I've shot the LCP and the P3AT and prefer the BG380. Smith and Wesson has upgraded the laser switch buttons and will send you a pair free if you call. The trigger pull does seem long but you adapt to it fairly quickly. At 11.85 oz it is a bit heavier than the Keltec or the LCP which probably accounts for its better recoil score on http://genitron.com
    otherwise they are similar. The BG380 includes an optional magazine bottom with pinky rest or flat format. I find it a better fit for my hand than either of the other two.

    in a custom IWB holster from mccabeleather.com

    in a remora holster:


    remora as an ankle holsterwith BG380:

  9. #8
    Member Array txshooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    Hey txshooter: Just read your reply and immediately picked up on your comment about lasers. A 380 is a point shoot firearm where fractions of a second and minimal distances are the preemininent considerations and the time taken to activate and acquire a laser is, IMO, working against you. S&W, by putting a built in laser on their Bodyguard is shamlessly catering to the "lets put the laser on the firearm and we will be invincible crowd" who are willing to pay extra for something that serves little purpose on such a firearm. For the price of a sig, though, I can have 2 kel tecs and they work just fine. They are also and still the smallest and lightest and in my pocket that makes all the difference. PS: If anyone out there somehow feels their laser on a pocket gun does make a difference, have at it, mindset can be an important consideration and I may disagree but I will not fault you.
    That about sums up my sentiments on the lasers and bugs in general. I'd also have to agree about the price of the Sig. However, I prefer carrying and shooting the Sig over the others. It's just sweet.

    One of the reasons I bought the BG 380 was to compliment the Keltec; one in each pocket, lightweight easy to carry and conceal. After purchasing and shooting for a while I came to the same conclusions about the laser. I shoot much better just point shooting than trying to chase the dot around. Quicker and more accurate that way for me.
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    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johniac7078 View Post
    I took a look at the new S&W bodyguard .380 at my local shop. I know it is relatively inexpensive, but it really seemed like a clunker. First off, the laser was REALLY hard to activate. Then the damn battery cover came off.......
    Next up was the trigger pull.....yuck.

    Please tell me if I am wrong, but this one seemed pretty bad.
    ummm.... you sure you where looking at a S&W bodyguard? Neither the 38 or 380's laser has a battery cover... you have to remove the laser module to get to the batteries.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  11. #10
    Member Array ws76133's Avatar
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    probably referring to the laser button cover.

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    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txshooter View Post
    If you slow down a little and concentrate on trigger control, these little guys can pretty accurate.
    That's fine for a range gun. Not so much so for a self defense firearm.
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  13. #12
    Member Array txshooter's Avatar
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    Actually trigger control is very important in both range guns and self defense. Bad results from poor trigger control (and sight alignment) is not as noticeable at close distances (3-7 yds). But as the distance increases then trigger control (and sight alignment) become much more important and the results are readily apparent. You see this in IPSC and IDPA all the time.

    I think that these small guns work great for close distances. In fact, I find that simple point shooting techniques achieve excellent results. That why I don't see the laser being that effective. But if I want, or need, to shoot accurately at greater distances (10-15 yds and beyond) then I must slow down and concentrate on trigger control and sight alignment. And I have found that when I do so, these guns can be surprisingly accurate. I have hit decent shot groups at 25 yds, but I had to work at it.
    Glock, Colt, S&W,Beretta,ParaOrdnance
    Springfields, Browning, Keltec... to name a few.

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    Senior Member Array 45ACP4ever's Avatar
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    Personally, I could never pick up the laser outdoors. Too bright most of the time to see it. I have only put one magazine through a LCP, since a gent at the range was nice enough to let me try it and I didn't want to burn up his ammo. It was pretty sweet shooting and didn't have as bad of recoil as I heard it did. Most of my shots hit in the stomach area at 15yds, so I'd think it was sighted (as much as it could be) for 10yds and in, most likely BUG range. That was a few years ago before I learned it best to aim for the head with BUGs.

    My Beretta 21A was a sweet shooter. I could keep them in the head all day, and a 32oz Gatorade bottle made for a fine simulation of the area I'd have to hit. 7 out of 8 rounds on target was the norm, but admittedly it was only a .22, but it beat nothing.
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    Member Array ZRow1's Avatar
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    I agree completely . . . The laser setup on the BG truly sucks. My LGD and I opened 3 brand new BG's and could NEVER get the laser to constantly activate on any of the 3 guns. He and I both were VERY disappointed. Why didn't they just put a grip button like Ruger put on my LCR? You grab the grip, the laser lights up. It's a no brainer, and under the extreme pressure of a "situation" a no brainer is exactly what you need. You don't need to be hunting for a VERY finicky, in consistent power button when your life is in jeopardy.
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    Member Array johniac7078's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razor02097 View Post
    ummm.... you sure you where looking at a S&W bodyguard? Neither the 38 or 380's laser has a battery cover... you have to remove the laser module to get to the batteries.
    may not have been the bat cover, but that is what the shop owner said....it was a little grey colored thing that went bouncing around the shop. Honestly, at that point I didnt stick around. I gently handed it back to the guy and walked away SLOWLY.........toward the Sig counter.

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