Bodyguard 380 review
Well I finally got the 380 Bodyguard and had a chance to give it a good shakedown cruise today after the car show.
I've got a bit of a mixed review of it after shooting 2+ box's of mixed ammo through it.
The initial impression of it is OK after un-boxing it and checking it out, sad part,,1 mag,,,seriously,, it's a $420 gun,, it should come with 2 for that $$$$. Cheap Bastards,,,
Off to the South 40 to try it out,,,
1st thing, it doesn't like to have a round dropped in the chamber and close the slide on it,95% of the time you'll have to press the back of the extractor into the slide a bit to make the extractor grab the case and allow the slide to move completely forward, it may work itself out after more rounds, but hadn't after 2 box's through it, I'll let ya know later on that point after it's been shot more.
The laser is only,,,so-so,it doesn't show even in the shade during daylight, inside or at dusk, it's OK, it's a bit weak and defiantly not as good as a Crimson Trace, not even close. But for what it was designed for,,it's acceptable. It has a pulse mode too BTW.
So lets shoot it now,,,surprisingly accurate for a mouse gun, it really surprised me. I didn't try it on targets , just cans at 20' and 30', pretty easy to connect almost every time on 16 oz cans, quite impressive. I'll try targets later after it's had 3-4 box's through it and we'll see how it does then. Thank goodness they have very good sights, there quite nice other than they could use a contrasting insert on them and they are right on,, on this particular gun.
Initially the trigger was pretty gritty but it smoothed out, some, after shooting it more. It's has a bit of a long pull, but not overly so and not to heavy,it breaks clean and is very predictable. Pretty typical DA trigger for the most part.
Many reviews I've read said they had "hick-ups for the first few box's through them, not mine, it didn't miss a beat, fast or slow. Not a single FTF or FTE, stove pipe or anything, and I tried 4 different brands including my own loads, which were the most accurate BTW, 90 gr HP, XTP Hornady's over 4.3 grains of Unique, and seems to be nice load in that gun. Pictured were the other brands I tried, all were just about equal with no malfunctions of any short and were all about equal in accuracy. As far as ejecting goes,,,NO PROBLEM , as a matter of fact many of the empties were in a pile very close to the back stop,,,it flings those buggers about 20-25 feet from where your shooting from, no problem other than finding the empties later!!! Ejected cases seem to go most every where's , but mostly forward and slightly to the right for the most part. Just 20+ feet away!!!! WICKED EJECTOR!
One thing I did find that I didn't really care very damn much for, it seems 90% of the time you tend to get bit of gas's and powder residue back into your face when your shooting it, and on many of the cases, they had powder flash over down one the side of the case, the chambers don't seem all that tight on them, and I don't really think the "Loaded chamber port" helps much in that respect and that's probably where it's coming from, not really sure. I did detect some powder residue in that area after shooting it. It wasn't Super Bad, but noticeable, and glass's are recommended when shooting one of these.
Recoil is quite manageable, and the slide springs are just right. It's a joy to carry and quite light, just what I was looking for in a "pocket" gun. It is also set up with the metal insert in the polymer frame like the Glocks are. It has a double strike capibility with the hammer, and you can fire it without a mag installed.
So I guess all and all it's not a bad little mousey gun , over all, other than only having only 1 mag, a bit of a weak laser, minor gas blow back and being some what overpriced.
I honestly think with those short comings it should be more in the $300-325 price range if you ask me, I can't imagine that it cost them more than 150 tops to build one and I honestly think $420 is a bit of a stretch,, price wise. On a star rating,, I'd have to give it about 3 1/2 stars,, maybe 4 sense it's accurate and reliable and eats everything you feed it,,and has many desirable features many others don't. The gas issue, 1 mag and a slightly weak laser knocks it out of the 5 category for me. Well along with cost too,,,,
I think unless your REALLY looking for this type of gun specifically, your $$ might be better spent on a nice used Baretta, a Lamma, or CZ 380, there much better guns for the $$ IMO,, but not,,, really,,, quite in the same class of firearms, but close. I generally can find those all day in the 250-300 range for really cherry ones. And IMO much better guns overall,,,But it's that's still a bit of a "apples and oranges " kinda thing to a certain degree., them not being true "mouse guns".
It's more the price,out gassing and only 1 mag that knocks the Bodyguard out of the 5 star category for me. But if your,,,really,, looking for this type of gun, there pretty decent and seem to have the best features of the bunch for this class of guns that I've researched.
Would I buy another if I knew what I know about them now, yes , but ONLY if it was 100 bucks or so less. 420 is way to much IMO. But I'm really cheap, so you'll have to be the judge on that count.
Not really a bad price. I think I paid $300 for my Ruger LCP. A cheap laser for one is $100 and the Crimson Traces are almost $200. The LCP did come with 2 mags tho. Did the mag come with the finger extension on it? I had to buy them separate for the LCP.
I guess I am a little disappointed...
My wife really likes the idea of the laser, but if it offers no help in daylight it kind of makes that useless for her needs. I also know she wouldn't like the outgassing and powder residue back in her face.
Guess I will steer her in another direction.
Thanks for the info.
Well FU ,, I'm a bit disappointed in some respects too, but I think it was a really honest review of them, the good the bad and the ugly. There are many great features I do like on the gun. But whats been listed above just doesn't justify the 420 MSRP there asking for them now, I did get it for the 399 from Buds,one of the last at that price, but a 20 transfer and 20 mark up to the FFL dealer just makes it to expensive for what it is IMO. Lucky I did do some trading so I've only got about 225 in it cash wise, and a 22mag I didn't really like much.
The laser is really a joke outside,,,,nothing visible except at about 4' in front of you,,,anything further,,,,nothing! That's the most disappointing thing. If it's even 3 MW I'd be very surprised. Fresh batteries didn't help either,,,BTW there pretty standard # 357's you can get at any drug store or Wally World if you're interested.
Yes Ken3030 it did come with the mag extension installed and also came with a spare flush one which is worthless IMO. There are Pro Mag 10 round extended mags available for them and a 1 1/4" extension available by Gamison if you have larger hands. I don't know if I'll get spares at this point,or not,we'll see how the gun works out down the road a few box's.
I do have to admit it is a very accurate gun from what little I've shot it so far, but was disappointed not hearing about the issue of the powder residue coming back at ya in other reviews I'd seen. If that is indeed a normal problem, it could just be this one for all I know???? It wasn't really very bad at all,, but somewhat noticeable and you could just slightly feel it on your face,, it's not like it was burning you or anything serious like that, just annoying,,, there should be none at all as far as I'm concerned.
That did surprise me and I sent a not so sweet letter to S&W about these issues. The last 3 dealings I've had with S&W were not handled very well and I let them have it,,, both barrels,,we'll see if it falls on deaf ears this time or not. I informed then in no un-certian terms ,,,this may very well be my last purchase of a S&W gun or accessory. I haven't had good luck with there products in the last couple years. And have been treated like crap when I tried to take care of a couple issues.
I got a scope replaced, an old school TC Electra Dot, and what they sent me isn't even as good as a $40 China made scope, and it has a MSRP of $300,,gimmie a break!!! And when they wouldn't return my other and were very rude to me,,, that was just about the "straw that broke the camels back" for me. Especially sense it was on a Custom Shop 8 3/4' barrel 41 mag,, a >1200 dollar gun >30 years ago. I tend to get just a bit fussy when it comes to accessories for that gun, they MUST WORK RIGHT!!!! Period,, with no excuses or grief from the S&W staff.
I know,, just me being fussy again,,,,, or what????? Gezzzzzzz!!!!
Oh, don't get me wrong, just because I say I am disappointed doesn't mean I am questioning your review. In fact I would say I trust your review more than I trust those in the gun magazines. You have nothing to gain or lose in giving an honest review. The same as me when I reviewed the StG44/.22LR, or when I talked about the XDs. If I think it is a good firearm and I like it I will say so, if I think it is junk and I don't like it I will say so, and anything inbetween.
I will admit to having a purely emotional dislike for most things S&W. There is no logic to it, just the way I feel. It was hard for me to even consider the .380 Bodyguard and the fact that my wife liked it and that it would be her gun made it a little easier.
Never thought for a moment you were questioning it at all FU.
It is a perfectly honest and un-bias test and I have nothing to gain or loose. And the only reason I mentioned every persnickety little thing I noticed about this gun, was to inform everyone exactly what to expect if they got one,, from what I experienced with mine.
It sucks reading all these gun magazine reviews and purchasing something that has a good write up, only to find out later the review was only partially complete and doesn't really tell the whole story and you end up with something you don't like, or just doesn't work well. So I mentioned every possible little thing I noticed ,, good or bad.
It sure is accurate though for a dinky little mouse gun. So far just as accurate as any gun I've ever had in that category, and way better than 99%. That part is great.
Price and a single mag honestly isn't a real deal breaker,the laser isn't either, after all how much would you honestly really use one in daylight anyways?? Never,,,, the only real negative over all is the gas/ powder issue, but everything I've used so far are rather hot defense loads, so that could possibly be a contributing factor , can't say for sure. I'll know better when I get some target/standard pressure loads through it and see if it still does then, that will tell the tale. I've got some coming Tuesday and I'll try it out then with that ammo to see if there's a difference. It's not like it was frying my face off or anything quite that bad, just slightly aggravating and it shouldn't do it at all IMO. That and the somewhat weak laser are the only firm negatives I've found, the others are just me being fussy. I'm just a stickler for quality and features for the price, when I lay my $$$ down.
I still say it's a $325 -$350 gun, TOPS,,not $420, but then again,, that's just an opinion on my part,,,and I'm a cheap old FUG !!! Others may think it's a steal??? Remember at my age I've been used to buying guns at a hell of allot less than what they cost nowadays. Do you remember ex condition Garrands for <200 bucks,,,well,I do. That's what makes me think this way!!
After several box's through it I'll do a future update on it , or if I notice any other quirks or problems with it before then. I don't want anyone here to waste money on something that isn't really that great or has hidden flaws that the writers don't divulge. There is a lot of junk out there and I don't want anyone here to get stuck with something that's junk or something that's sub-par if I can help it,, wasting money on junk sucks,,,
I consider most all the folks here to be my friends,,, and just want to help out.
YUP,,,believe it or not,,,,even you!!! :wow::lol::lol:
NOW I'M BEING A SMART ASS!!!!
Are you really surprised???
Nope. Not at all surprised.
I consider many here my friends but strong differing viewpoints has simply made being friends with all here kind of tough.
HELL,,,,That's what makes the world go round bud,,differences. It would be a pretty damn boring world if it wasn't like that. We've had our differences and arguments before too, not a biggie. But I never let it bother me one bit when we disagreed on subjects,,,were both stubborn old fugs when we think were right,and that's just in both our natures. I do recall when you first came on we had some heated discussions and I'm sure it riled us both up,so what ,,it's just opinions,, I'll never hold that against anyone for having there's. Even if I disagree. The problem comes in when you can't respect others points of view, weather either agree or not, it's called respect, and if you loose that, there's not much hope. Life is to short to burn bridges IMO, even the very best of friends don't agree 100% of the time,,it don't keep then from being friends , that is if there really friends to start with.
Political discussions always bring out conflicting points of view and no one will ever totally agree when it come to politics. That's why I just give my points of view and move on, there will never be a winner in those discussions, there's to many nuances within that subject to ever come to a total consensus,,,period. The only time it becomes a problem is if someone is so closed minded they can't see someones else's point, that's where the problems come in.
That's half of the reason the country is in the boat it is now, politicians never agree on anything, and never will. It's called passion and if you can't be passionate about something you feel strongly about, your just a dud that sits in the corner and lets life pass them by.
Don't let it bother ya, it's just life,,,,
Plus I think it's just plain,, FUN,,, to FUCK WITH YA!!!!! :lol::lol:
A couple of you stubborn old mules here,,,really give it to each other sometimes, very entertaining indeed,,,,keep up the good work!!!
Well, I have tried to change my way of debating and tried to avoid the name calling and personal attacks as best I can. I don't mind being fucked with, hell I was a career firefighter for 22 years and the line around the firehouse was if you ain't getting picked on you ain't liked.
But I think there is a major difference with being fucked with and being outright personally attacked by some people here everytime I post anything political. I can't help but wonder if these people understand what free speech and open debate mean.
Either way, I don't lose any sleep over it and for the most part enjoy the conversations here.
Ya sometimes things get to personal when it doesn't have to. But in all honesty,,, I think I've heard you get a bit rough sometimes too, not a biggie. I'll bet the slings and arrows bounce off them too,,,
what happened to gun talk ?????? Fuck politics,,,,