3 year review and thoughts on the S&W Body Guard 380

3 year review and thoughts on the S&W Body Guard 380

This is a discussion on 3 year review and thoughts on the S&W Body Guard 380 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Almost three.....in April Anyway, for those who remember, I purchased this gun to be used as a pocket carry option when I came out of ...

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Thread: 3 year review and thoughts on the S&W Body Guard 380

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array G-man*'s Avatar
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    3 year review and thoughts on the S&W Body Guard 380

    Almost three.....in April

    Anyway, for those who remember, I purchased this gun to be used as a pocket carry option when I came out of retirement and took a new job in a somewhat NPE.

    For two years, I worked with that gun and became extremely proficient with it, and also posted numerous threads about that training and the results that I was obtaining with it, and how it was performing.

    After that 2 year period, with many rounds fired, this past July, 2019, the gun developed a couple of issues; one issue was that the slide was failing to lock back on an empty magazine, and this was affecting 2 of the three mags I had and used and carried daily. This was a problem I could live with, and did, until the next issue surfaced....
    The magazine started to unlock in the mag well, allowing it to drop just enough to not be able to pick up and feed the next round....an issue I could not tolerate.

    The gun was returned to the factory, where a metal mag catch was installed resolving the issue of the mag release. The gun also now only failed to lock back on one magazine
    However, this is an easy fix with a new follower replacement, because the edge of the follower that contacts the metal slide stop stud wears down after a while...….this is why I do not like polymer guns that use metal mags, or any other poly against metal part!

    Anyway, the gun was fired 18 times, using all three six round mags when I received it back just to check for the mag catch issue, and then was cleaned and reloaded, along with both mags, and placed in my get-me-home bag where it has been untouched since July 2019.

    Today, I took it out and shot it with all three mags, and the feeding and extraction was flawless, despite the gun having had all the lube dry up.

    Accuracy is very good. I fired 18 rounds from 5,7.10 yards, and all rounds could be covered with my hand. I fired strong hand only, weak hand, and with support, all with 100% reliable function.

    After cleaning and reloading, as I thought how I felt about this gun today, vs 3 years ago, I am in pretty much the same mind about it, when I consider the design and purpose of the piece.

    It still hurts my hand, not the recoil, but that skinny grip bites in to the tendons between my thumb and index finger when rearward pressure is applied to that heavy DAO trigger. The combination is quite painful by the end of the first 6 round mag.
    I tried to remedy this by putting a Hogue rubber grip thingy on it, but it would eventually slide down and hinder the magazine from free falling from the gun during mag changes. I tried glue, but it eventually failed to hold the rubber grip in place, so I just took it completely off. My thoughts are that if I really had to use the gun, I can deal with the discomfort.

    Looking back, a G42 would have probably been a better option as far as shooting comfort, but the heavier DAO trigger of the BG is still preferred by me for the mission of pocket carry.
    Having fired the G43, I can tell you that I would not have resolved the discomfort issue of shooting, just changed places where the pain is felt.

    After shooting the 938 that my wife chose, well, that is a game changer, but still not what I would call a true pocket pistol. The 238; maybe.

    However, I already own this pistol, and there is no real need to get something else.

    My final thoughts are, that if I had it to do over, this gun meets my needs, and I would still choose it over the other offerings. It does what it is designed to do, I know its weaknesses, its strengths, and the money for a new gun would be better spent on ammo and magazines for the one I already have.

    We will revisit the BG and pocket carry next year and see what changes
    " Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight.”
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    I don't consider any of the pocket pistol category a fun-to-shoot-at-the-range gun. They are good at what they are designed to do, conceal well and provide relatively close-up SD. To expect otherwise is silly.

    G-man, I think you can take a broken slingshot and make it work well for you because you're willing enough and adaptable enough to make it work. Far too many seek the pie-in-the-sky gun that is the answer to all of their dreams in all circumstances.

    Me? Just give me a functional gun and I'll make it work out. I can switch between my S&W Gen 3s and my G30 and shoot pretty much the same with any of them, certainly not up to the bragging rights some forum members can claim, but I'll get the job done.
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon on the loose.
    Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array CWOUSCG's Avatar
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    Nice write up. I have a 238 I inherited from my Dad, nice gun I think you'd like it. I don't pocket carry much but it does do that well.
    G-man* likes this.


    Send bachelors and come heavily armed.
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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    @G-man* : I have and like the BG380 also, but I find it really interesting that the issues you had were very different than the ones I've had. I plan to send it in to Smith. My two problems are 1) Fairly frequent light strikes with some factory ammo, and 2) The slide releases when forcefully inserting a full mag, almost every time. I suppose that's faster than having to rack it, but I like for a gun to operate the way it's supposed to. Mine is a fairly recent one, less than a year old.
    G-man* and 1gunsnowbird like this.
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array sammeow's Avatar
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    Nice that it is doing its job. I keep thinking about a pocket carry firearm, now need to decide which as I save up for it.
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    That's a nice report G-man, especially your comments about metal-against-polymer contact. That is something I had not considered although it seems obvious now that you point it out. Thanks.
    G-man* and Wavygravy like this.
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  8. #7
    New Member Array rlggray's Avatar
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    Nice review of your Bodyguard G-man*
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  9. #8
    VIP Member Array G-man*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmf552 View Post
    @G-man*: I have and like the BG380 also, but I find it really interesting that the issues you had were very different than the ones I've had. I plan to send it in to Smith. My two problems are 1) Fairly frequent light strikes with some factory ammo, and 2) The slide releases when forcefully inserting a full mag, almost every time. I suppose that's faster than having to rack it, but I like for a gun to operate the way it's supposed to. Mine is a fairly recent one, less than a year old.
    I had light primer strikes as well, but solve the problem by not trying to stage the trigger but to pull straight thru, at least it seems to be working.
    I think light primer strikes are much more common in small gun like this, and are somewhat mitigated by the second strike capability of the S&W BG, which is one reason I chose it over the LCP. The times I did get a light primer strike, a repeat pull of the trigger ignited the primer.
    Hoganbeg likes this.
    " Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight.”
    -Jeff Cooper

    “ Looking around doesn’t cost you anything; and it’s a healthy habit”
    -Joe Foss

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    FWIW, over 10 years with 3 gen 1 LCPs and a combined round count that must be in the thousands, light primer strikes have not been an issue.

    There have been other issues, but Ruger has taken care of them at their expense.

    Glad the BG is back to working order for you. Even though your NPE is not so NP anymore, a BG in your off side pocket could give you options you can’t get with your 1911 on the hip.
    Hoganbeg and Wavygravy like this.
    Carry a sidearm always. Be able to put shots into the torso and then head, if needed. The rest is much less important.

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