Packin' Light... SW J-rame vs SWBG380

This is a discussion on Packin' Light... SW J-rame vs SWBG380 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A variety of situations dictate that I carry a smaller gun than I'd prefer. For these times my two carry options are a .38 special ...

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Thread: Packin' Light... SW J-rame vs SWBG380

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array BioGLoCK23's Avatar
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    Packin' Light... SW J-rame vs SWBG380

    A variety of situations dictate that I carry a smaller gun than I'd prefer. For these times my two carry options are a .38 special S&W J-Frame, or the S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP. Holding the two ammo rounds side-by-side they appear to have almost identical sized slugs, but the .38 special obviously has a significantly longer casing and I'm assuming more powder because of that. However, the .380 holds two more rounds than the .38 special, so maybe extra capacity could make up for any power deficit.

    Could someone please give their opinions on which of these two models they feel makes a more effective self defense weapon?

    I know that some serious "Students of the Gun" frequent this site, and I would really appreciate your advice.

    Thanks for your input!

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  3. #2
    Ex Member Array Yankeejib's Avatar
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    I can't find .380 listed on any LE agency service caliber recommendations. Mmmmmmm?
    I know, I know. There's a ton of people on this site that will stake their life on a non-service caliber round.
    I won't.
    Bullet1234 likes this.

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    I know I'm going to ruffle some feathers, but since when did I care about that? The SWBG is a terrible design. I'm surprised it has the attention it does. Look at the slide stop, the components... really look it over before you buy. You'll see what I'm talking about.
    Its hard to argue against the J frame, its been doing the job for how long now?
    Knightrider likes this.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Ex Member Array BioGLoCK23's Avatar
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    Yes, the simplicity of a revolver does translate into reliability, but I've put in the ballpark of 800 rds through my SWBG380 with the only failures coming from Tul-Ammo's crappy products. I'll concede that the insight laser on the BG380 does suuuuck big time, but the only time I would use that thing would be as a warning when I was certain that I was in danger, but did not feel the situation had quite escalated to trigger squeezin' time. Kinda like a rattlesnake's tail However, I have no reason not to trust the action of little gun with Hornady critical defense in it.

    Yankjib- The LAPD authorized officers carry the SWBG380 as a off duty/backup gun, but they are required to disable the laser and remove the slide safety before carrying it... read up below.

    http://smith-wessonforum.com/smith-w...-lcp-380s.html

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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    For reliability and the power of the +P 158 grain lead SWC ammunition that I prefer, I will choose a snub revolver over any .380 out there filled with any flavor of .380 ammunition made, no matter how many rounds the pistol holds.
    Bullet1234 likes this.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    Senior Member Array crue2009's Avatar
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    excellent question,i own the Ruger lcp and recently bought the Ruger lcr.38..i began asking myself the exact same question.did i really gain anything buying the lcr? which one is better for concealed carry?..although the .38 is more powerful,it's limited to only 5 shots and slower reloads..with the lcp .380 i get 2 more shots,much faster reloads w/ spare mag,and the smaller size is a bonus in my opinion..i'd probably say by a slight margin the seven shot .380 with a spare mag beats the more powerful .38 as a more effective self defense weapon,JMO though..

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    I carried a S&W 2" J-Frame Airweight as an off duty gun for a long time, trust it with my life.
    Hiram25
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    Ex Member Array BioGLoCK23's Avatar
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    Crue2009- You bring up a good point with the spare mag feature. My BG380 spare mag is so small I can carry it in the front pocket all day without any inconvenience. However, the speedloaders & moonclips loaded with 5 .38 special rds are pretty bulky.

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    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    I personally prefer the 380 to the j frame. Not because it's necessarily better. But being a lefty it's a lot easier for me to reload. However I don't prefer the BG380 over the j frame. If I had to choose with just the BG380 as my only 380 option I would choose the j frame. Confused yet? Don't be. When I carry my j frame I always carry a second gun cuz my reloads with the revolver are woefully inadequate.
    Question Everything!

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    Senior Member Array VBVAGUY's Avatar
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    I too sometimes carry my BG380 as it is very small and very easy to carry. As Crue2009 mentioned, you have an extra 2 rounds and faster reload. Either way be happy with whatever you choose. God Bless

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    Senior Member Array Haywood's Avatar
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    I do not trust small semi autos or the 380. This is only my opinion and I have no experience to back it up or prove it but, I feel the 38 Special +p DPX Corbon is No.1 and Gold Dot 135G. +P No.2 as far as 38 Snub loads. As for the 38 Snub, I only use this as a Back up to a 357 Snub. The 357 Snub is my favorite Main Carry and Plinking Gun. I know what your thinking, " this guy is a Nut Case!!" ........Maybe????????

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    Ex Member Array BioGLoCK23's Avatar
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    I understand that a lot of gun enthusiast are not fond of the so called "mouse guns" and honestly I'm hesitant to carry a .380 myself. I certainly wouldn't go any lower in size and power if I have a choice, but I am of the "any gun is better than no gun" school. For example, my boss's brother shot a guy in the nads with a .22mag (that's not where he was aiming, he was just a terrible shot) that was breaking into his home back in the 80's. My boss said that it was a "game over move". The big 'ol guy just laid on the floor and cried until the police arrived.

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    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    I know I'm going to ruffle some feathers, but since when did I care about that? The SWBG is a terrible design. I'm surprised it has the attention it does. Look at the slide stop, the components... really look it over before you buy. You'll see what I'm talking about.
    Its hard to argue against the J frame, its been doing the job for how long now?
    The J-frame is on my side. I dont own a pocket pistol jammer mouse gun. Sixto... I HATE that darn bug on your posts. Please kill it!!!
    Glock 22, 27 Gen 4
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    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    You're going to get a whole bunch of opinions both ways, but if you feel comfortable with the BG then use it. The difference between the .380 and .38 is small enough that I wouldn't get my panties in a bunch about it, and honestly, all it really comes down to is which gun can you carry with you all the time? We all know deep down that two rounds of either to the chest is gonna bring on some hurt, so just ask yourself which gun is more comfortable to carry.
    "Brilliant. So now we got a huge guy theory, and a serial crusher theory. Top notch. What's your name?" - Paul Smecker

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    Ex Member Array BioGLoCK23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAm_Not_Lost View Post
    You're going to get a whole bunch of opinions both ways, but if you feel comfortable with the BG then use it. The difference between the .380 and .38 is small enough that I wouldn't get my panties in a bunch about it, and honestly, all it really comes down to is which gun can you carry with you all the time? We all know deep down that two rounds of either to the chest is gonna bring on some hurt, so just ask yourself which gun is more comfortable to carry.
    True, I'll believe the first .380 hater who volunteers to take one in the chest to demonstrate it ineffectiveness.

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