S&W Bodyguard .38

This is a discussion on S&W Bodyguard .38 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My mom has recently decided that she wants to start carrying concealed after me trying to talk her into it for awhile. The other women ...

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Thread: S&W Bodyguard .38

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    Member Array rugerdude12's Avatar
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    S&W Bodyguard .38

    My mom has recently decided that she wants to start carrying concealed after me trying to talk her into it for awhile. The other women at her work have started to carry and she feels it is a good idea especially for the type of work she does where she has to confront a lot of strangers in outside counties. She really likes the idea of a wheel gun which I can understand because of their simplicity, and she has asked me for help on her decision. She will be primarily carrying in her purse which is on her all the time. The S&W bodyguard .38 I think really fits the bill for her. Its +p rated, has a grip big enough for me to fit all fingers of my giant hand around yet still small enough for concealment, comes with a laser, and for $440 at my LGS its right in her price range. We don't need a .357 because she didn't like the recoil of it from my gp100. Also i'll add that we tried semi-autos after I suggested them and she shot an lcp, bersa, my g19, and my sr9 but she doesn't like the "snappiness" of them. So does anyone have any experience with the smith that could comment on quality? I'm also open to suggestions on other .38 wheel guns in the $350-$500 range.
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    Member Array Sikiguya's Avatar
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    I suggest a 442 instead...laser are nice but simple is better.

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    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    I'd ditch the laser for SD range.
    Any of the lightweight S&W Revolvers are an excellent choice. I would prefer hammerless or shrouded hammer to prevent snagging, though.

    I carried a Charter Arms "Pug" .357 Mag as my off-duty carry for 12 years, CA is 100%.
    rUGER'S lcr IN .357 mAG OR .38+p ARE A GOOD CHOICE AS WELL, i LIKE THEIR OVER-SIZED TRIGGER GUARDS.

    Some like the added couple ounces of the .357Mag models, but shoot .38 +Ps for carry and WWB or Fed AE for cheap range practice.
    I'd guess the trigger pull and overall carry-weight would be her main concerns.
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    Has she actually shot the bodybuard? Both that and the 442 which Sikiguya suggested are pretty lightweight. Some people: men and women; like lightweight guns but for others the increased perceived recoil (OUCH factor) makes them unattractive. My hubby has a lightweight bodyguard. I much prefer a model 60. (Actually, I really prefer a 686........but that doesn't tuck into a purse too well.)

    I do think that women in particular need to shoot a gun they are considering buying if they are fairly new to using firearms.

    Personally, I've shot enough that I now can pretty much tell if I'm going to like a gun by dry firing it in the store. Several years ago I made a mistake and wound up with a small .38 that I thought was SO cool because it was 6 shots instead of 5 and came with a built in laser. When I took it to the range to use it I absolutely hated the thing! I traded it in for something else not too many months later.
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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    My wife loves her 642 ladysmith, I had a action job done on it an really important had the trigger polished to a mirror finish an slightly rounded. It really helps, makes range time a joy. Also ditch the +p try short barrel low flash low recoil 158 gr buffalo bore still gets almost 900 fps an easy to get mulitpule shots on target fast.
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    I second the shrouded or 'hammerless' model, such as the S&W 638 or 442, respectively. You don't 'need' that hammer since you should be shooting these snubs DA anyway.

    Both of these are 15-16 ounce guns, and standard .38 rounds have quite manageable recoil. +P adds some snap at both sending and receiving ends, but for someone who had achieved proficiency with standard ammo, in the heat of the "gravest extreme" the additional recoil will likely not be noticed. It's a small fraction of the step from .38 to .357 mag.
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    Member Array Nuke0955's Avatar
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    My wife bought herself a Taurus 85 Ultralite .38 SPL and then bought a S&W Bodyguard .380 semi-auto. Besides not having the recoil the .38 SPL has, the BG380 is lighter and much easier to conceal and reload. Also, the BG380 comes with a factory OE laser. She now carries the BG380 and keeps the .38 SPL for at home use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerdude12 View Post
    So does anyone have any experience with the smith that could comment on quality? I'm also open to suggestions on other .38 wheel guns in the $350-$500 range.
    Oops - missed your question about quality in my first reply. My personal feeling is that S&W IS quality.

    One other thing to add: I've not had a S&W revolver yet that I didn't have to spend money on for an action job. I do not in my old age, nor did I when I was younger, have much strength in my fingers or hands, so my experience with the Smith triggers may not apply to anyone else at all. But thought I'd share it anyway:

    For me, their triggers are way too hard to pull until they get fixed - and sometimes have to be dry fired a couple thousand times even after that. It's a balancing act, because you don't want the trigger pull lightened to the point where the gun becomes unreliable. The end result varies from gunsmith to gunsmith. The worst results I got on two different guns were when I sent them to S&W for their version of an action job. Had to pay someone else to do it right.
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    I handled a bodyguard .38 when I was looking for a CCW revolver. I was not impressed. They don't have the same look, feel, or ergonomics of other Smith wheelies. I do like the airweights, but ended up with an LCR 38 due to price, availability, and recoil management. I love my LCR and highly recommend it. I will warn, however, I don't know if any snub nose .38 is the best fit for someone who's recoil sensitive. Maybe a larger .38 would suit her better; especially if it's going to live in her purse.
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    Gasmitty, i agree with some of what you said but a small fraction going fro .38 to .357 for me its not bad but I am 6'4" 250 my wife is 5'4" 115 lbs the .357 even out of my mod 60 snub is tuff for her on the second shot an even some of the plus p stuff out of her 642 is a little snappy not as bad. But the standard .38 in 158 gr works perfect we have been carrying an shooting snubs over 20 years an are really good with them just saying
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    Member Array ole slabside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patri0t View Post
    I'd ditch the laser for SD range.
    You need to take a quality low light class, if you think this way…
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    I will start off first advising you that a snub nose is not a good choice for a first time shooter or one without a lot of experience. Even with a laser they still have a long and heavy trigger pull and a lot of recoil. Most of my new ccw students end up not liking their snub nose revolvers and buying a Ruger LCP or other small semi auto. I see women struggling with snub noses at the range all the time. They are really a gun for more experienced shooters despite what you may have read.

    If you are dead set on a snub nose then the best two choices are the Ruger LCR and S&W 642/442 with a Crimson Trace Laser grip. You can get the grip in either two or three finger configuration but note that a two finger grip conceals much better and is not difficult to shoot if you just tuck your pinkie under it and stabilize the gun just like a right angle bracket does. Even consider the Ruger .22 magnum LCR if your mom is recoil sensitive. With the new defensive loads from Speer, Hornady and Winchester, they penetrate very deep and expand like never before. They are also easier to shoot due to the mild recoil.
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    Member Array ditchdoc1017's Avatar
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    I have had several 642 had issue shooting due to very long and heavy trigger pull. I now have a S&W 637 Gun Smoke and a LCR 38+ P both are very shoot able and my EDC. Shooting a snubbie at a indoor range with +p will get attention. Loud and huge flash.
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    Cool. I have a S&W .38 Police revolver. But it is hard to find .38 ammo.

    Anyone have any intenet recommedations for finding simple .38 S&W ammo? Thank you in advance. PM me please.
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    Member Array rugerdude12's Avatar
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    I did notice that the cylinder release was plastic and very wobbly and not easy to use, that and the laser was not a grip laser as I thought
    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large, is that they be properly armed."

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