S&W .38 Body Guard. Harmless quirk, or real problem.

This is a discussion on S&W .38 Body Guard. Harmless quirk, or real problem. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Thanks for the insight guys, but I'd like to point out one small variable that keeps getting touched on. I'm no "Matt Dillon" or what ...

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Thread: S&W .38 Body Guard. Harmless quirk, or real problem.

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight guys, but I'd like to point out one small variable that keeps getting touched on. I'm no "Matt Dillon" or what not with a revolver, but I have been carrying and using one for some time now. Every time I had this happen, I made sure there was a good and complete lockup of the cylinder and the star that rotates the cylinder before I ever pulled the trigger. In fact, not once could I mimic the action without a complete and positive closure. I was actually wondering if it has something to do with the timing of the revolver because it will not do it every time but I could get it to do it maybe every tenth or eleventh time I would open and close the cylinder. What's crazy is, I have a minimum of 250 rounds and not a single misfire or dead trigger pull, so whatever the problem is, it doesn't seem to hinder the operation to the point of a failure, but it sure makes me wonder if it's a known issue, or if it's something that happens by design. I sent S&W a detailed email , but haven't heard anything back yet.

    Again, my biggest concern with this thing is this. It has always fired from day one. After 250 rounds DR with it I'm fairly sure it had to have happened a couple of times at the range too, but I just didn't notice it. After I noticed it happening, every time I would pull the trigger again and again and the cylinder would advance to the next chamber. When it happens, so far it only happens once and then it advances to the next chamber on the next trigger pull. If the pistol is loaded, it would be sitting on a a live round, so the static cylinder is a none issue except if it somehow does not strike the firing pin along with failing to rotate the cylinder; which is what really bothers me. The whole trigger assembly is so much different than any of my other J frames that I can't get a clear picture of how the hammer strike is produced in the sequence of the trigger pull. I've been all in the internal workings of my J frames when I removed the internal locks, but this thing is totally different. I've searched the web for information, but have come up short on any specifications for trigger assembly on the BG trigger.

    Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts feel free to pass um on, it's much appreciated.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Hey GBK - The only thing I can suggest is that you call S&W. These things are typically better handled live on the phone, rather than back-and-forth via email.

    Good luck. And hey, if anything, this makes you more tolerant of any "quirks" your semi-autos might have!
    gottabkiddin likes this.
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  4. #18
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Hey GBK - The only thing I can suggest is that you call S&W. These things are typically better handled live on the phone, rather than back-and-forth via email.

    Good luck. And hey, if anything, this makes you more tolerant of any "quirks" your semi-autos might have!
    This is true..
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  5. #19
    Member Array WebleyHunter's Avatar
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    trigger pull did not advance the rotation to the next chamber
    I observed this "feature" on the one and only Bodyguard .38 I fondled at Sportsman's Warehouse when they first hit the market. That, along with the excessive endshake and cylinder slop, pretty much ended my interest in the new platform...

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    What happens if you close the cylinder but position it between lock-up positions? Does it advance to the next cylinder then or drop the firing pin between cylinders? My concern woudl be how does the revolver know to advance or not advance? If the thing fires every time the trigger is pulled regardless of the starting position of the cylinder, then I would not be concerned about it. For the life of me, for it to have been designed that way seems like a feat of over-engineering to solve something that wasn't a problem. It seems the simpler the mechanics the more reliable it would be. Advancing the cylinder every time seems like much simpler mechanics, but obviously not a necessary function on a fully loaded revolver. IF they designed it that way, what was the reason? If it fires every time, then what's the harm? If it was worrisome to me, I'd get a 442 and be done with it.
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  7. #21
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    (1)What happens if you close the cylinder but position it between lock-up positions? Does it advance to the next cylinder then or drop the firing pin between cylinders? (2)My concern woudl be how does the revolver know to advance or not advance? (3) If the thing fires every time the trigger is pulled regardless of the starting position of the cylinder, then I would not be concerned about it. For the life of me, for it to have been designed that way seems like a feat of over-engineering to solve something that wasn't a problem. It seems the simpler the mechanics the more reliable it would be. Advancing the cylinder every time seems like much simpler mechanics, but obviously not a necessary function on a fully loaded revolver. IF they designed it that way, what was the reason? If it fires every time, then what's the harm? If it was worrisome to me, I'd get a 442 and be done with it.
    (1) Yes, if I purposefully position the cylinder in between the cycle when I close it, it cycles to the next chamber every time. I can only guess if the firing pin is being struck, but as I stated in my post; it has not had a misfire or dead trigger pull outa 250 rounds DR with it. I'm confident that during those 250 rounds that the thing has done it a time or two at least and I just didn't notice it.
    (2) Exactly! That's what I was thinking... How in the heck does it know, or does it know and it's actually a malfunction. ??
    (3) Yep, that's sorta the approach I'm taking with it. I haven't heard back for S&W yet, but like 10thmnt suggested, I should just place a call to um and see what they have to say about it.

    I'm only really concerned about the firing pin function during the event. As long as it strikes the firing pin on every trigger pull and it only fails to rotate the cylinder the one time, I could consider the firearm reliable, but not being able to find out if it functions that way by design kinda bugs me... This thing really is a neat gun, and the trigger is a good deal better than a stock J Frame so I'm not ready to give up on it just yet. Meanwhile I still have my other J frames to rely on so no big deal there. Now that you mention it though, I kinda wish I would have just went with the 442 or a 642. My 638 is my favorite J frame anyway, but I really like the advantage of the top mounted laser on this BG. I've never shot such tight groups from a snub in my life, even when my eyes were much younger. I put a "LaserLyte" style laser on my 638, but I prefer the top mount version for longer range accuracy.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  8. #22
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    A properly timed revolver needs no assistance in locking the cylinder after closing it. It should automatically align the charge hole with each DA trigger stroke, regardless of cylinder position upon closing.
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  9. #23
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    A properly timed revolver needs no assistance in locking the cylinder after closing it. It should automatically align the charge hole with each DA trigger stroke, regardless of cylinder position upon closing.
    + 1, Agreed...
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  10. #24
    New Member Array virgilj's Avatar
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    This happened to me twice on my first trip to the range with my Bodyguard. On the first trigger pull nothing happens. On the second trigger pull and each one there after the gun fires normally.

    There is a slightly raised area on the back of the cylinder with slots cut into it to accept the star wheel. It is possible to close the cylinder and have the star wheel land on this raised material and not fall into the slot. If this happens the cylinder is free to move. You can rotate the cylinder slightly and you will hear a click when the star wheel engages.

    I solved it by pushing the cylinder closed sharply with my thumb. You will hear a click when the cylinder seats and your thumb will naturally rotate the cylinder until the star wheel engages. Like I said in an earlier post I was able to duplicate this at home so it's not my imagination.

    IF THE CYLINDER IS ENGAGED PROPERLY IT WILL NOT ROTATE WITHOUT PULLING THE TRIGGER. It's pretty important to check this every time you load the weapon for defensive carry. In an SD situation it would be areal bummer to pull the trigger and have nothing happen.

    I don't know if you would call this a defect in design or a quirk, but it is one of the reasons I'll be selling my Bodyguard. I won't let my wife carry this for SD.
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  11. #25
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    Time to trade for that G26

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virgilj View Post
    This happened to me twice on my first trip to the range with my Bodyguard. On the first trigger pull nothing happens. On the second trigger pull and each one there after the gun fires normally.

    There is a slightly raised area on the back of the cylinder with slots cut into it to accept the star wheel. It is possible to close the cylinder and have the star wheel land on this raised material and not fall into the slot. If this happens the cylinder is free to move. You can rotate the cylinder slightly and you will hear a click when the star wheel engages.

    I solved it by pushing the cylinder closed sharply with my thumb. You will hear a click when the cylinder seats and your thumb will naturally rotate the cylinder until the star wheel engages. Like I said in an earlier post I was able to duplicate this at home so it's not my imagination.

    IF THE CYLINDER IS ENGAGED PROPERLY IT WILL NOT ROTATE WITHOUT PULLING THE TRIGGER. It's pretty important to check this every time you load the weapon for defensive carry. In an SD situation it would be areal bummer to pull the trigger and have nothing happen.

    I don't know if you would call this a defect in design or a quirk, but it is one of the reasons I'll be selling my Bodyguard. I won't let my wife carry this for SD.

    Same here.... I am carrying my S&W 638 BG along with my M&P9c for now. I'll probably hang on to the new BG, but it'll join all the other safe queens in the safe for now until I decide what to do with the thing. I would send it to S&W, but I'm sure I'll hear the same thing that some of the reports I read about where Smith says "that's normal, and there's nothing wrong with it".

    Serves me right for straying from the old school "KISS" revolver system. Thankfully I have plenty of other options to choose from. It's a real shame too, I really wanted to like this revolver.....
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockrocker View Post
    Time to trade for that G26
    Ya know, you have a point... Nothing wrong with having two G26s in the inventory..
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

  14. #28
    New Member Array virgilj's Avatar
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    I ended up buying my wife a Bersa thunder 380cc. She absolutly loves the gun.

    The Bodyguard is on it's way back to S&W. The laser crapped out before the gun was even fired. The laser is a nice gimmick, but S&W poorly implemented it. It's too difficult to turn it on to use it in an SD situation. It's a shame too because I really liked the gun and I think the laser could be very useful in low light. My wife loved the way it fit her hand. The gun also has a pretty brutal recoil. It's not S&W fault imho. I think any extremely light weight 38 is going to let you know it's there. I do think S&W could have provided a better padded grip to help reduce the problem.The cylinder problem being discussed is simply a deal breaker for me. The Bodyguard is going to find a new home.

  15. #29
    Member Array NCW Ray's Avatar
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    I've never had a S&W revolver that would not go bang every time I pulled the trigger, but I've only owned and carried on duty an early Mod 66 and a Mod 27. It did not matter where the cylinder lock ended up upon closing it after a reload because as soon as I pulled the trigger it would advance it to lock up and fire. Like you are doing I would send it back to S&W. S&W or not, if that is a "live with it quirk" I would not carry it.

  16. #30
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCW Ray View Post
    I've never had a S&W revolver that would not go bang every time I pulled the trigger, but I've only owned and carried on duty an early Mod 66 and a Mod 27. It did not matter where the cylinder lock ended up upon closing it after a reload because as soon as I pulled the trigger it would advance it to lock up and fire. Like you are doing I would send it back to S&W. S&W or not, if that is a "live with it quirk" I would not carry it.
    Nope, not carrying it at all... I have plenty of other guns for carry so biggie, just disappointed with the thing cause I really liked it... I'll end up sending it back to S&W and see what the deal is with it. Who knows, maybe I can getum to fix what ever the problem is, or even replace it with a newer revv. Either way, it's a safe queen now.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

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