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Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 Review [Tested]

Wondering about the S&W Bodyguard .380 for concealed carry? Check out our full review to see if its really all its cracked up to be.

Are you one of those people who think anything less than a .45 isn’t worth carrying?

If so, you can probably just skip this one and just head on over to our .45 ACP roundup, but if you do you’re going to be missing out.

Cats in snow
You can leave, but its a lot nicer in here.

The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard is a pocket-sized .380 pistol worthy of S&W’s long heritage, and it makes for an excellent carry gun.

.380 ACP Round
.380 ACP Round

We’re going to look at what makes these little pocket guns so popular, and what about the Bodyguard, in particular, caused it to wind up on my belt.

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Prices accurate at time of writing

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Let’s get to it.

Table of Contents


Why Buy a S&W Bodyguard?

Pocket pistols are by no means toy guns.  Sure, they typically come in a smaller caliber, but up close a .380 can do some serious damage.

Remember, it’s only slightly smaller than a 9mm. If you need a refresher on the sizes of the various common handgun calibers, check out our handgun caliber comparison.

Popular Pistol Calibers
Popular Pistol Calibers

With guns like this, it really isn’t size that matters; its shot placement.  And that’s where guns like the S&W Bodyguard excel.

See, the smaller round means less recoil, which means more accurate shooting, which means more holes in the bad guy and less in the wall behind them.

Pulp fiction bullet holes
Quentin Tarantino’s gun safety documentary “Pulp Fiction” illustrates this nicely.

S&W Bodyguard for Concealed Carry

Carrying a gun this small opens the door for a lot of people to carry a gun more often.  Did you buy a larger gun and don’t always carry it because of its size or weight?

I bought my S&W Bodyguard specifically to deal with a problem I had with my regular carry gun.  Any of you folks that carry know what it’s like in the summertime when its hot out and you’re wearing light clothes and trying to conceal a larger firearm.

The gun prints, which isn’t ideal, and the heavier gun can weigh down lighter clothing.

Man Drawing Gun from appendix carry
Concealing a large firearm in cold weather clothing is much, much easier.

Plus, it’s hot.  Guns get hot.  Then you sweat.

Tactical implications of trying to draw, aim, and fire a sweat-soaked firearm aside, sweaty guns are no fun.

So, because I don’t want to wear thicker or baggier shirts or multiple layers in the summer, I thought it would be smarter to get a smaller, thinner gun than my Glock.

Since I got the S&W Bodyguard, there have been plenty of times when I don’t want to lug around my Glock 27, ($539) even in the winter months.  I know the Glock 27 isn’t huge in comparison to other guns, but it still feels like you’re toting a boat anchor compared to the Bodyguard.

boat anchor on beach
What a full-size Glock feels like in light pants with no gun belt.

Whether you’re wearing it in your pocket or on your belt in an IWB holster, it’s an easy gun to conceal.  

These little guns are not for everyone, but they are perfect for those shooters with a smaller frame that can’t conceal a larger firearm or want something a little smaller for easier carry.

S&W Bodyguard vs Glock 27
S&W Bodyguard (Top) vs Glock 27 (Bottom)

Which Bodyguard Should You Buy?

There are several variations of the Bodyguard 380 available.  Aside from the color, your options are a combination of whether you want a thumb safety (they are not quick to un-safety, I recommend going for the no-safety version) and whether you want a laser.

s&w bodyguard with laser
Everything is better with frickin’ laser beams.

The main consideration is whether or not you want the version with the laser, and if so which color laser, green or red.

We strongly recommend laser sights for defensive guns, so it’s definitely a good idea to spend the extra to pick up the laser.

The color choice is up to you, but I recommend going with the one that aligns with your Jedi/Sith inclinations. 

Darth Vader with saber.
Do what you want, but if you don’t pick Sith you’re wrong.

All of them come with two magazines that hold six rounds each. 

Shooting the S&W Bodyguard

The handguns I’ve shot have typically been larger than the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard.  If you’re used to a sub-compact like an M&P Shield 9mm, when you go to the Bodyguard you’ll notice there’s a lot less room for your hand on the gun.

It takes a little getting used to, but it shouldn’t be a problem.

Another thing I had to get used to was the Bodyguards Double Action only trigger, as I’ve only rarely shot a DAO trigger.

s&w bodyguard with upgraded trigger
Many folks like to upgrade the trigger on the Bodyguard for a smoother pull.

Getting used to the trigger was a little bit of a learning curve, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  A lot of the guns I’ve shot have really short trigger pulls…about half what the Bodyguard has.

Newbie Note: A double action only gun means there is no need to cock the hammer.  If a round doesn’t fire when you pull the trigger, you just pull the trigger again.  With other gun types, you need to rack the slide again to cock the hammer before it will fire. For more information, we actually have an article that explains the difference between double and single action.

I can’t say I’m a big fan of the long trigger pull.  Unlike some handguns, you truly have to pull the trigger all the way to the back before you get to the break.

We were on a break Ross
Fortunately, its easier to figure out the break on the Bodyguard

While that’s one of the things you get with a double action only, the pull could be about half the length in my opinion.

I did a bunch of checking around the web in forums and talked to some people I know who have owned pocket pistols and they suggested I look for an adjustable trigger and a shorter trigger bar.

A kit that kept coming up time and time again was the combo of an RTK Edge Trigger and Galloway Precision Short Trigger Bar.

RTK custom red trigger kit
RTK custom red trigger kit

By adding a new trigger and shorter trigger bar you will gain adjustability.  You can have your trigger break about halfway through the pull, which is where most people are used to.

Some people like to add all kinds of mods to their EDC pistols, be it a trigger, springs, barrel, or something else.  When you make these changes, you are potentially compromising the careful engineering of the firearm, so make sure you’re aware of the risks

Always keep in mind that even something as simple as a shorter pull trigger can come back to bite you in the butt if you end up in a life-or-death situation. Proceed with caution, and at your own risk.

caution sparta sign
The Spartans would definitely have won with more guns. Just saying.

The Reality of Carrying a S&W Bodyguard

Something you should realize right away is that the Bodyguard is not designed for long-range shooting, partially because of the size, but also because of that trigger pull.

S&W Bodyguard with ammo
S&W Bodyguard with ammo

If you’re not squeezing the trigger carefully, its very easy to yank the barrel to one side when you’re firing.  What’s only a slight error at 3 feet becomes a complete and utter miss at 20 feet.

Because of this, we recommend you get a few boxes of a good .380 defensive ammo and practice practice practice to make sure you’re used to the recoil and the considerable trigger pull.

Maintaining the S&W Bodyguard

Taking this little guy apart to clean and lube isn’t too bad. Make sure it’s unloaded, lock the slide back, turn the front rod holding everything together to the 9 O’clock position and pull it out.

If your gun is new, it might take a small flat blade screwdriver and some patience to get it out.  After a few times, you’ll get the hang of it, and things will loosen up.

A little of your favorite lube on the barrel and other metal to metal contact points are all you should need. 

Once you do that, you can put it together.  This is where you’ll need to be patient and might learn a new curse word or seven.

Putting the pin back in is… challenging to put it nicely.  After a few attempts at doing it, you learn how everything should go together, and things get much easier.

Michael Scott Office
That’s what she said.

Just remember: the pin goes back in the same way it comes out.

Make sure the barrel is pushed all the way forward, have the pin at 9 O’clock, and twist it in.  Once the pin is turned to the 3 O’clock position, you’ll have to push it in.

If it’s new, you might need to tap it with something like the back of a screwdriver or small, hard rubber mallet.  Avoid metal tools as this will mark up your nice new finish.

S&W Bodyguard Disassembly
S&W Bodyguard Disassembly

Ammo Considerations

Like even some of the best .380 pocket pistols can be a little picky with ammo.  Having a double strike capability with the S&W Bodyguard 380 is nice because if you have a light primer strike, all you have to do is pull the trigger again.

Other pistols like a Kahr CW for example, you’ll need to re-rack the slide.

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It still is my recommendation to practice with several different types of ammo just to make sure that when you need to pull the trigger to save your life, something actually comes out.

squib detonated gun barrel
Pictured: not ideal

Like they say, the two loudest noises are a bang when you expect a click and a click when you expect a bang.

The carry ammo I’ve had good luck with is the Hornady American Gunner Series 90 Grain XTP Hollow Point.  When training, I have used ball ammo from Winchester and Federal with no problems.

Best .380 Defensive Round
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Prices accurate at time of writing

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S&W Bodyguard by the Numbers

Reliability 4/5

With higher quality ammo and some testing to find out what works for the gun.

Accuracy 3/5

It’s not going to win any long-distance marksmanship competitions, but it’s more than adequate for self-defense distances.

Ergonomics 3/5

All pocket pistols suffer from being a bit hard to get a grip on, but this one is better than most, and the controls are easy enough to reach for even the hammiest of hamfisted shooters.

Looks 3.5/5

You either like it or you don’t.  

Customization 4/5

There are a surprising amount of customizations out there for this gun, but by far the best options are in S&W’s custom shop.

Bang for the Buck 5/5

It’s cheap, reliable, and it fits in your pocket. For my money, this is an awesome carry gun.

Overall Rating 4/5

The S&W Bodyguard makes an excellent carry gun for those who are looking for a smaller EDC piece, and its low cost and decent feature set make it a great choice for first-time shooters, and those new to carrying.

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Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons


Carrying the S&W Bodyguard 380 is convenient, you almost forget you have it on you since it’s so light. Obviously, ergonomics, size, and weight can make or break a CCW, and the Bodyguard is an all-around solid pick. It might not be a standout, but it’s inexpensive and has great features.

For my EDC and summer carry, it works well.  Aside from procrastinating over getting a new trigger, I have been really happy with my Bodyguard 380.

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard for sale
Smith and Wesson Bodyguard for sale

Training and range time to get used to the size and quirks of a smaller gun is important when you’re starting out with one of these.  You don’t want to be in a life or death situation and have your rounds miss your target.

And as with any carry gun, always bang out a box or two of your defensive ammo of choice at the range to make sure the gun feeds and fires as expected. 

Other than that, the S&W Bodyguard makes a great choice for those with smaller hands or those who want to carry without having to worry about printing or carry a weighty piece around. 

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard carry gun
And that’s why it’s my new favorite carry gun.

What’s got you thinking you want to go the pocket pistol route?  Or did you read this and find that you still don’t want one?  And check out more of our favorite.380 Pocket Rockets.

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53 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    I stopped reading after watch the video of the ignorant guy cleaning his Bodyguard. He called the magazine a "clip"! If you're going to write a gun article of record a video, you should at least know the proper nomenclature.

    May 2, 2023 10:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    stanley lapinski

    you need 2 obscure sizes of allen wrenches ..one for laser sight adjust(which I never could get accurately adjusted) ,and one for changing batteries. Odd design!

    February 19, 2023 8:34 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    James Browne

    Buy Smith & Wesson BodyGuard 380 Pink Madness Edition 380 ACP Pistol

    September 9, 2022 10:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have been a revolver carrier most of my life .
    IMHO The M&P Bodyguard is the best most perfect Auto loading Revolver for EDC Ever Made .
    Now I wish Smith & Wesson would make the same gun in a 9mm

    March 6, 2022 6:56 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kevin DEARMAN

    I bought my BG 380 about a month ago. ( mid October 2021). I got the one without the laser. I picked up 3 extra magazines, and
    a couple of holsters. About a week later, I
    took it to our local indoor range. A box of
    “Blazer”, .380 Auto 95gr. FMJ, later , and I
    seriously messed up two of the silhouette
    targets they sell. At 25 yards the groupings
    were, obviously not made by a tack driver,
    but did put some hurt on those evil targets.
    I’m a retired state cop in Louisiana, and this is probably the best back-up, CCW gun I’ve
    owned. Thanks to Mr. Trevor for a well written
    article. He put me on to some accessories
    that fit the gun and I’ll surely take advantage of.
    God bless you all, and

    November 29, 2021 8:56 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Big W

    I like Pew Pew Tactical a lot. As a matter of fact, I used many of your recommendations for a recent AR build... Sorry, but the S&W Bodyguard .380 is junk. I unfortunately own 2 of them (one with laser, one without) and am sending both to S&W today for repairs. One that is 4 months old had the safety completely fail. It freely flops around, and the trigger can still be pulled. This would cause a catastrophic situation if the gun were to be fired and the safety flopped up into the slide... The other one I have, the magazine falls out of it. 90% of the time I pull it out of my pocket, the magazine has fallen out of the grip. In a life or death situation, I would have a 10% chance that I'f have a full magazine to defend myself. I'm getting these repaired and selling then asap. Seriously, what are the chances of buying 2 of the same model of gun and having both fail? I don't trust the Bodyguard and I have very serious doubts about Smith's quality control. Not sure I'll buy another weapon from them again.

    February 23, 2021 8:59 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    matt p

    We have a BG.380 with the crimson trace... My wife was ok with the trigger pull because shes new to carrying and felt more comfortable with the harder pull. However, we are now sending it back to S&W a second time. Simply put, does not go bang when trigger pulled. light primer strikes no matter the ammo. range ammo, defensive ammo, doesn't matter. we ran 7 different types of ammo and honestly I thought we had a winner when i was able to get 1 mag full without a FTF. but that was short lived because the next mag had 2 FTFs. i can see an occasional FTF in a rim fire, and once in a great while in a center fire. but this thing simply wont go a full mag on a consistent basis. will wait and see when it comes back the second time.

    June 30, 2020 11:24 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Larry S

    We tried out the BG380 with the laser and an assortment of FMJ and JHPs. It ran good on the American made but suffered a few light primer strikes on Fiocchi's FMJ offering. We settled on Hydrashock and Hornadyle XTP for the defense. After approximately 150 rounds the magazine stripped out of the handle and would not stay in anymore. I see all that holds the mag in place is a tiny plastic nubbin. Upon closer exam I saw that the roll pins had backed out some. We was warned by the salesman to Lock-tite the laser hatch screw because they are known to back out and hang up the slide. Called Smith and Wesson and they sent us a shipping label. They advised us to box up the gun and to without labeling the contents and drop it into a Fed ex pick up box on the street. We sent the pistol along with a note telling them what the problem was. The gun was back in about 10 business days ready to be sold at darn near full price. It's a cute little gun, someone called it a pimp gun. I remember back in the day there were these chrome plated somewhat bigger 380s floating around that the new breed of pocket pistols now replace.

    January 18, 2020 11:42 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I bought my bodyguard in early 2019, it is now used as a paper weight on my desk. Trigger pull weight a killer. Could not handle it, it was literally, painful to shoot!

    December 16, 2019 6:15 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Randy Wittmann

    I have a newer bodyguard without the laser, It is very accurate. The firing pin broke after about 1000 rounds. Smith replaced it quickly. Great pocket gun

    September 4, 2019 4:31 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have .380 bodyguard, fails to feed last or next to last round everytime. I was going to buy one for my daughter. But, if will do this when she need sit most. I can't.

    August 26, 2019 12:07 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I've been carrying a 380 bodyguard as EDC for several years. Mine predates the crimson trace & had an Insite laser. I carry it with Hornady Critical Defense and it seems to run well. I bought a couple boxes of TUL-AMMO for practice during the ammo shortage when ANY AMMO was a lucky find, but about 10% FTF with perfectly good hits on the primers. I reloaded them again in mag and all fired on 2nd pass. Had absolutely NO issues cycling all other brass rounds from reputable vendors, Hornady, Winchester, Federal, Remington, etc.. But I will NOT ever buy TUL again. (made in russia). I DO like the gun a lot, BUT, word of caution!!!!! I did some rapid firing of several mags just to see, and it jammed!!! After taking it home, clearing the jam was a challenge. What I found was that the screw that secures the laser worked out and caught the slide. WHATTTT????? I contacted S&W and they had me send them the Insite laser and replaced it with the CT. They never did confirm this will resolve problem, but I installed with just A HINT of blue locktite on the screw. Hope I can get it back out when needing batteries... :) If not, I'll just use without laser. There are several posts about this, so be advised. I also carry a Glock 23 on occasion, but the 380 is my EDC.

    July 23, 2019 10:50 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ted H

    What's the best pocket holster for the bodyguard w/laser?
    Hip pocket is favorite I think.

    July 11, 2019 2:10 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Ted H

      So, after a lot of reading and watching youtubes, I bought an Alabama Holster (kydex) pocket holster. Works very well. Has a sort of thumb push (leverage, not a mechanical device) built in lip and is very secure and yet easy release. Works in front pocket only for me. Also had a soft side VE for my old LCP w/laser that fits it to a T. This one is best for the hip pocket.

      September 14, 2019 6:28 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I've been shooting handguns since it was still legal to buy a hand gun out-of-state as my first was target 22 was legally purchased in an adjacent state. I had always considered anything less than 9mm undesirable as a carry gun, but had been looking for something small and light for summer carry in DAO. The Bodyguard 380 is smaller and lighter than any 9mm DAO semi-automatic on the market today. After researching 380 ballistics I decided well placed 380s should be good enough.

    DAO is important since it is impossible for a prosecutor to argue that your defensive use was pre-meditiated based on the state of your weapon before it was fired. Also, if you can learn to fire a DAO accurately any other handgun is easier and shooting a good DAO like the Bodyguard is not really that hard with practice.

    Much like a whole list of potentially dangerous products I would council against any modification to a handgun you intend to carry as in the event of any problem you can site one manufacturer, whose engineers passed on the product as safe. This is not much different than, say a car roof racks or a trailer hitch.

    The laser option is desirable as along with a sighting device the laser could also be considered a separate, non-lethal, weapons system, particularly the green laser. Also, although I have not had this experience, I imagine a laser trained center mass on a would-be assailant should have a chilling effect on continuing an attack unless the assailant has reason to believe that you don't plan to pull the trigger. If you aren't willing to go this next step you shouldn't be carrying.

    May 5, 2019 6:12 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Great article. I am still making a decision. DIfficulty reaking is an issue for me. Weak hands.

    April 7, 2019 2:45 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Thank you, Trevor, for an interesting and thoughtful review. At age 79 I received my FL carry license.. My gun is the S&W BG 380. Living on South Beach, our weather is always hot to hotter, and the 380 is super easy to conceal. Two handbags from GTM will Iincrease my cred in Publix and on the trolley. We also have an S&W revolver that I love use at the range, not carry. Our collection includes to larger Glocks. Going to the range is lots of fun. The people there are charming and I am delighted to get involved in such an exciting activity, Second Amendment supporters, think Cuba er al, we are also NRA life members.

    March 27, 2019 7:39 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Just got one. (Black Friday whee!)

    Complete pistol newbie (with some rifle experience) take:

    I need to practice, like woah. After putting out what I felt was a decent group with my AR (getting testing out of the way so I can try my G93 later this week), then putting two dozen FMJ rounds through this to try.

    Iiiii sucked. Doing a lot wrong. I don't think I was anticipating too much but I was pulling off-axis or something (mostly low and right on my right hand). I really don't think that trigger helped. I'm going to try to git gud before I dive into trigger replacement (unless that's just going to teach me more wrongness).

    Just now did the first cleaning. Reassembly isn't that bad! Only problem with the pin was a noob mistake: Holding the slide TOO far back so the pin went in front of the lug entirely. Wiggling it back in wasn't too bad at all after that.

    December 4, 2018 12:52 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      William Harvey

      Pistol marksmanship is a whole different beast from rifle marksmanship. Rifle accuracy is actually much easier to pick up. I myself am decently well versed in rifle marksmanship. Pistols I’m alright with, but I’m not going to regularly hit anything past 15-20 yards. The biggest thing to remember is posture, lean into the shot, it helps to send the recoil up your arm instead of into your wrist. Squeeze the trigger don’t pull, and try not to tense up while firing, it will pull your aim off target if you do.

      April 3, 2019 7:14 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Great review. Good for the beginners.

    November 13, 2018 9:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Janice Littlejohn

    Do you recommend this gun for a woman?

    October 30, 2018 5:52 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      David, PPT Editor

      Yes I would. If you want more options, we have an article dedicated to the 7 Best Handguns for Women!

      October 31, 2018 9:41 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Dave B

      I bought this gun for myself as a pocket carry gun for when I don't want a larger one dragging on me for whatever reason. I brought it home and, like a good husband, showed it to my wife (5'3", buck-and-a-half, 58 y/o) who picked it up and promptly claimed it as her own. Since that time, I have bribed, threatened and made every effort to reclaim it. I have failed.

      April 6, 2019 10:49 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Curt Peterson

    My son got a Smith & Wesson M&P 40 Cal. I liked it enough to by an M&P 9 mm. I like it but it's a little big for carrying, as you mentioned above, especially in the summer. I've been contemplating the Bodyguard and I think I'm gonna go ahead and get it after reading your very comprehensive review. Thank you!

    October 25, 2018 9:15 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bob VanDevander

    Just bought a M&P Smith & Wesson Body Guard.... really like it... was interested in the trigger up grade ... where can I “ go” to get more info on that ?... Liked your write up on this pistol !

    August 29, 2018 6:57 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Great review. Doing research to decide between the Ruger, Taurus, or SW. I like a safety on pocket pistols but not really comfortable with the long trigger pull.

    June 16, 2018 3:27 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    why i sold my bg.. .1. the trigger pull is long and hard, so since it's so small it's hard to control. 2. the reset is so long that i was missing reset on quick followup shots.( and if that happened at the range, imagine it under stress) 3. the sig p938 is not much bigger, shoots a 9mm, and is much easier to shoot.

    June 12, 2018 2:42 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Bob VanDevander

      Try using the “ nose picking “ part of your finger.... some one suggested the to me a while back.... it seems to help

      August 29, 2018 6:59 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I've had an early BG for quite a while. I wasn't comfortable carrying it until I put a Hogue grip on it, now I carry it regularly. The Hogue is a must if you have larger hands. I also installed a Galloway +1 extension that helps a bit with grip. The thumb safety is too stiff, other than that it's been a great gun for me.

    May 23, 2018 6:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Doug Green

    I bought the bodyguard 380 and it's a nice gun. A lot of people are complaining about it. I bought the mag pinky extenders and I shot it with inceptors ARX low recoil ammo. I shot about 200 rounds and I didn't have any problems with misfires. My mag never fell out of the gun nor did I have any jams. Everything ran smoothly. I didn't like the long trigger pull but with a little practice I will get use to it. My grouping was Ok at 15 meters and I used splatter targets that I bought on amazon. I will run another 200 -400 more rounds through my bodyguard and see if I can reduplicate any of these problems that everyone in the other post are complaining about. My BG 380 don't have a laser on it and I seem to group my shots very well Again I didn't have any problems with my gun but I will go back to the range and see if I can duplicate any of the other problems that everyone else was having before I pocket carry this gun. I want it to work if I ever need it. and have to depend on it to save my life.

    March 27, 2018 9:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have carried this gun now for awhile, yes the long trigger pull takes getting used to but as a CC gun I like that the hammer is forward and however unlikely, less likely to have a negligent misfire. As far as accuracy, I found this gun to be very accurate for what it is... 7 yards out and easily make aimed head shots and all day long quick draw with double taps and hit center mass... I have Glock's and Kahr's, and this is the one I carry most of the time. One other thing I should add, the sights on this are much better than any other gun I tested in this size, plus the laser will help compensate for the short sight radius. I highly recommend this gun... The 380 in you pocket is much more lethal than the .40 or .45 at home in your safe.

    February 27, 2018 1:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I'm torn. I have shot a bodyguard and being that my usual carry is a shield 9mm, I liked the similarities between the two, to make it an easy transition back and forth. BUT- after receiving a NEW bodyguard for Christmas, I'm not so sure about them. The one I received, I could not for the life of me tear down. The slide release does not want to budge. I read where the release can be a little tight and to use the rounded end of a magazine to push it. Tried that, not budging. So since the gun hadn't even been fired yet, I took it back to my dealer to have a look (I assumed it was user error). They could not turn the slide release either. It took them getting a rubber mallet and some other object to break it loose. Once the had it torn down, they could not get the slide back on. So as awesome as this dealer is, they gave me the option to exchange it for the other bodyguard they had in stock or return to manufacturer for repair. I asked if we could try to tear down the other they had in stock.....SURE ENOUGH, it has the EXACT SAME PROBLEM! They could not get the slide lock to release on the other gun either.

    So, the dealer refunded my $$ for the bodyguard and they have pulled them from their shelves and are not selling any more until they see resolution from the manufacturer. I'm not sure what other gun this size I would like to pick up in its place, as I really had done my research and practiced with several and chose this gun for a reason....but I'm not confident with picking up another one any time soon. Anyone else encounter these issues?

    January 9, 2018 10:59 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ken Vance

    I've had one of these for a long time and I've never shot it. After reading all the comments I now wish I'd never purchase this gun. Suppose I could use it as an expensive target for my 500 magnum. You know now days when you purchase pretty much everything has not passed a test until you the purchaser waste your money and lots of unnecessary time doing so. Kinda like the sorry ass Gmc I have. Plastic rattling plastic breaking pile of shit.

    December 31, 2017 10:40 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I bought a BG from Sportsmans Warehouse. I got A $50 gift card. The gun was $100 off the regular price plus a $50 rebate from SW. Final price, $149. I have a medium sized hand and the gun feels comfortable in it. I have only shot two magazines of Browning FMJ target. It cycled fine. The trigger is horrendous. In order to have any control at all it is necessary to wrap the finger around the trigger. When I got back home I dry fired a bunch of shots. I found it impossible to fire consecutive shots without pulling the sights off to the side. Rapid fire was an impossibility. The trigger is so stiff I couldn't pull it rapidly and I do not have weak hands. Pretty much makes the gun worthless.

    December 4, 2017 9:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Bought one today at gun show, got it for 359 out the door. Smith has a 50 dollar rebate going on. That's what pushed me to buy it. Thanks for the input. Gonna take to range to find out what I got. Have LCP and NAA guardian 380s . I will post later with my review thanks.

    November 25, 2017 1:44 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Let us know how it's working for you!

      December 14, 2017 12:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Garbage! Just try adjusting the sights...Took a framing hammer to this piece of junk!

    October 30, 2017 3:59 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Daniel Tucker

    Galloway did the trigger update ( Santigo) and added a heavier firing spring when I got it back I could not pull the trigger and Galloway said to just put the original spring back in. 300.00 down the drain . This Body Guard gun is a problem right out of the box . Spend your money on a good Sig .Ruger or Glock. My 938 has never failed or misfired and is right on the bulls eye. My LCP2 is very reliable and my Glock 43 is a Gem . Do not Trust S&W lifetime warranty, They can't fix their own problems.

    October 3, 2017 4:52 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Daniel Tucker

    This gun sucks , Long trigger pull ,Misfires and drops the Mag , sent it back to S&W Twice and they cannot fix it and will not buy the gun back now they are blaming the updated trigger as the problem , Hell the guns was mis- firing and dropping mags before I had the trigger updated, It's a factory problem and they won't admit it?. Keep your money The gun is not reliable with any ammo. I used Sig ammo and,Remington and Winchester they all misfired in the gun . Save your money because S& W doesn't stand behind this lemon , Dealers won't take it back to trade up, they know it has a problem , I own a S&W Shield Pro and the second time I shot that the piston spring broke . S& W did replace that part? It appears that the Quality in an S&W weapon has gone array . I have a Sig 938 , a Spring Field Mod 2 9 mm ,a Glock 43 and a Luger LC2 no problems with any of them. The Body Guard is Junk It will let you down when you need it most

    October 3, 2017 4:40 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    candy l

    how to rack it easier is there a gadget?

    September 21, 2017 5:08 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Colin Payne

    Final post and I'm all done! Some ammo apparently has harder primers which the Bodyguard sometimes doesn't like, by showing as a light firing pin strike on the primer and not firing the round. However, since it's a double-action only pistol with a hammer, and the round stays right where it is in the chamber, all you have to do is pull the trigger again and the hammer hits the firing pin again (two bites at the cherry) and with luck the round fires. It probably will, (which may be worrying if you are in a tight spot and want it to go bang the first time). So unless you are real sure the gun is very reliable with the ammo you like, you could relegate it to being a backup gun, which is no help to someone shopping for a primary defense gun. To summarize, for my brand new gun I had: (after about 250 rounds fired)
    . Light primer strikes beginning, (failure to fire)
    . Hammer rubbing on the slide
    . Gummed firing pin chamber I could not clean without buying a tool to
    remove the rear sight, in order to remove the firing pin
    . Rough trigger bar channel - production issue, or design issue
    . Mag release button too long, (fat fingering caused mag to drop
    prematurely while firing)

    August 27, 2017 12:00 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks for all your input, Colin!

      August 28, 2017 3:42 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Colin Payne

        I really enjoyed your article Eric, and the gun itself is a good gun provide one is aware of the potential failings and take care of them. They are relatively easy to fix. I'm sure not everyone has the problems I had. I still enjoy shooting the gun, however my son doesn't like it at all. Personal taste is everything and so is the ability to realize there are many perspectives, and everyone has their own view and there's is as valid as anyone else's.! Your forum is really excellent, I like it very much and hope I see more from you to enjoy. Have a great week! Colin :)

        August 30, 2017 3:27 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Colin Payne

    I just read the ad for the Galloway Precision after-market trigger kit, they say it doesn't make the trigger pull lighter but does reduce trigger pull length. But as Brian B. said, aftermarket kits tend to be pricey for some of us (including me). I happen to like the long pull of the stock trigger, I think it helps prevent accidental early discharge. In other words, if you really really want to fire, the trigger makes you pull a fair way to prove it.! I find some pistols to have a ridiculously light and short stroke trigger and I have fired one of my pistols earlier than I meant to at the range because of it! That's not a good feeling because it feels unsafe. Sure we should practice with our guns to become competent and safe, but I own several guns and they all have different pulls. I like a trigger to take a bit of work to err on the safety side.
    The Galloway ad said this by the way since they redesigned their trigger kit to account for the "Bodyguard's trigger bar channel not being flat, or being rough". I forgot to mention earlier mine was rough and when I had the gun apart I smoothed it down with a small stone, and this probably helped make the trigger pull smoother as well as helping with the light strike issue.

    August 26, 2017 10:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Brian B.

    Trigger pull alone makes this weapon a no-go for me. At the range you pull, and pull, and pull until it goes bang...right before you touch the back of the trigger guard! Which means it is NO fun to practice with, pretty inaccurate and inconsistent. Plus, after adding mods the price on this is much higher than just getting the new Ruger LCPII...a much better handgun in all respects...with a really good trigger for a small.380.

    August 26, 2017 6:09 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Colin Payne

      Gotta agree on the LCPII !

      August 26, 2017 10:37 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Colin Payne

    Adding more (I forgot earlier). I added the mag extension described by another reviewer and I love it. I filed off some of the plastic from the slide release button because I kept bumping it at the range and the mag would fall out when I didn't want it to. All good now,.I also forgot to mention earlier that to aid with preventing light strikes I installed a stronger slide rebound spring. The logic is, it helps the slide go forward faster/harder and ensure the slide/cartridge/barrel are correctly in battery. There's a potential for malfunctions when changing from the stock slide rebound spring, and I don't recommend it unless you're prepared to experiment with it and test fire it with both springs.. However It worked fine for me without malfunctions..There's an after-market trigger kit available to lighten the trigger by installing softer springs. I don't like changing springs on the firing pin and trigger/safety so I did not buy that kit. To me, the factory firing pin spring and trigger springs have been selected very carefully and I won't mess with those to lighten the trigger. I think the trigger weight on the stock gun is fine anyway. I did put a thin washer under the hammer spring, (again to help with light strikes). I don't know if it helped or not (probably did a bit), I'm a standard size guy, so not too worried about the trigger weight. While I had the firing pin out I checked the pin for square corners because I read early ones broke at a stress point, But
    mine didn't seem to have any obvious square corners where stress cracks could begin, all potentially troublesome corners had been radiused. Just a note about stripping the gun right down to the frame - if you want to or need to, you'll need to support the frame on a soft wood block or similar with a hole in it and punch out the roll pins with a suitable size punch. Thanks

    August 26, 2017 4:58 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Colin Payne

    This is a really good presentation and I agree with everything said and presented. I have been carrying mine for a couple of years and I love it, Mine has the Crimson Trace red laser and a manual safety. It didn't love this gun until, as being a bit of a home 'gun-smither', I made it work to my full satisfaction. I was very unhappy with 2 things: 1) Light hammer strikes on the cartridge primer. S&W said to send the gun back but I had read on forums they replaced parts but that didn't fix the problem; so I elected to fix it myself. I DON'T recommend this unless you are confident in your abilities. The hammer was rubbing on the slide and I modified (fixed) the gun by grinding on the slide and adding washers each side of the hammer pivot until there was no more hammer rubbing. 2) The firing pin is not removable (meaning the firing pin chamber can't be cleaned) without removing the rear sight, which takes a special tool and very special care. The rear sight in mine was in 'murder' tight, hammer and punch did not work to loosen it. It took a special pushing tool and loads of pressure to move it. I resolved this by buying the aforementioned sight removal tool and lightly stoning the lower vee of the rear sight after removal, so it would be easier to remove next time (making it snug but NOT loose). I now have no more light strikes.. As a secondary measure for convenience I lucked on a complete spare new slide for cheap and did this procedure to that one also so I can swap slides in a pinch if I don't feel like stripping the whole slide for a thorough cleaning..If you do this too you'll have to shoot the gun to prove BOTH slides work okay with your chosen ammo and with no malfunctions. 3) Spare parts have been just about impossible to get and S&W doesn't want to sell you any. They won't even talk to you about it. Parts have been available in EBAY etc here and there when someone strips a new gun and sells the parts off one by one. I have no information if gun dealers can order the parts for you. I think potential buyers should watch out for the above if these are a big concern to them, Thanks.
    . .

    August 26, 2017 4:24 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    GA Dad

    I've carried a Bodyguard for four years now. The size allows me to carry it any time, even in my PJs. It's always with me, even when I'm carrying a larger caliber. I have no issue with the trigger, because I've trained with it. t's not a range gun, but at self defense distances, center mass is not a problem. At the time, it was only offered with the laser and a safety. The laser is an excellent tool for mastering the trigger. If you don't like it, you don't have to use it or you could just remove the batteries. The safety is mostly flat against the body. It activates and deactivates with a very positive click. I find it operates easily, but is not likely to operate accidentally. I can use it or not, without concern. I like the looks and with practice, it handles very well. Even a .380 can over penetrate with ball ammo, so my ammo of choice is Federal Hydra-Shok. Expansion isn't on par with its cousin HST, but does offer better penetration in this caliber. For anyone thinking .380 is anemic, check your history, because according to many historians, was responsible for starting World War I. Two shots, two kills.

    August 26, 2017 4:56 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Long arms

    Is the gun in the picture that is badly damaged a Kel-tec?

    July 3, 2017 9:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I suggest checking out Greg Ellifritz' site ActiveResponseTraining for his take on ammo for the little .380. The anemic penetration of the .380 led to his recommendation to use ball ammo for self-defense. Very persuasive--I have 90 rounds of .380 Speer Gold Dots in the cupboard and ball ammo in the pistol!

    April 15, 2017 5:53 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I've owned several of the small pocket .32 ACP and .380 ACP guns over the years and some were more reliable than others. I've not owned or shot the gun in this article, but I finally decided the S&W J frame was the answer for me. Ballistically there probably isn't much difference in them, but I found the j frame to be a better fit for my hand. My $02. YMMV.

    April 15, 2017 3:07 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ralph Jannelli

    Bought one of these recently, I suggest getting the third party magazine extenders. They give you a good rest for your pinky, and don't add much to the overall size, still fits comfortably in the pocket.

    April 13, 2017 6:37 pm
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