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Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 Review [2020]

While some people might scoff at the idea of a small handgun, serious gun owners understand the value of owning a firearm that can protect them without drawing a lot of attention. This is especially true if you live in a state with a concealed carry law.

A quality conceal carry weapon should be both small and lightweight enough for you to take with you wherever you go. This helps you to feel safe and secure as you go about your day and ensures you are ready for anything.

Smith and Wesson takes these factors and more into consideration in the design of their Bodyguard 380 handgun. Therefore, we decided to review all the aspects of the Bodyguard 380 from its specifications to its benefits and drawbacks.

So, let’s go through our comprehensive Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 Review and find out if its the perfect pistol for you…

Specifications

1 Size

While the term handgun encompasses a wide variety of compact firearms, the Bodyguard 380 takes this term to a whole new level. This gun is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and it could easily fit comfortably in your pocket. Its overall length is only five inches long with a thickness of less than an inch.

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380

This minimalist size makes this the ideal weapon for concealed carry purposes. It also easily fits in a small drawer if you need to have it close by while at home.

2 Weight

If you are new to firearms, larger handguns can be a bit intimidating. If you go for something big like a revolver, the recoil can be a lot to handle, therefore decreasing your accuracy and increasing your risk.

Fortunately, the Bodyguard 380 is made for anyone looking for a lightweight weapon. It is only 0.75 pounds without the ammunition, which makes it one of the lightest firearms you can find. Plus, you don’t have to worry since the ammo doesn’t add that much more to the overall weight of the gun.

3 Performance

This is the part that really matters, right? 

The Bodyguard 380 might be small, but it still packs quite a bunch. This gun is a double-action semi-automatic firearm that can hold six rounds of 380 ACP ammunition in a single magazine.

The best part?

When you purchase the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380, it comes with two magazines. This gives you 12 rounds that you can always have at the ready.

The trigger is made from a flat and smooth plastic that requires 9.5 pounds of pressure to fire, which is quite high for a small firearm. This gun is also a double-action model meaning that the trigger handles both the cocking and firing with one motion.

Perfectly on target…

The Bodyguard 380 also has an impressive amount of controls for its size. It has both front and rear sights that allow you to perfectly align your shot. The slide is fixed and made of steel, which provides a durable and smooth action that will not get caught on the frame.

This is a hammer-fired, and it protrudes from the rear of the slide right before the trigger breaks. And you can easily stage the trigger at the end of the pull, which gives you a near single-action feel. It also has a second strike capacity that acts as a potential failsafe in case contact is not made with the primer.

4 Durability

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 Rating

Overall, the Bodyguard 380 is a durable piece of equipment. The barrel is made from stainless steel, while the stock is made from a synthetic polymer material that is sleek and comfortable. The stock is also textured to ensure you maintain your grip regardless of the conditions you are in.

However, as mentioned, the trigger is made from plastic, which doesn’t make it especially durable. However, the plastic ensures that it is lightweight.

5 Safety

The safety is located on the left of the gun, where the stock meets the slide. It sits flush against the frame, which makes it difficult to engage or disengage accidentally. Although it does have a textured edge that helps with the process, and you will know when it’s engaged because you will hear the audible “click.” When the safety is engaged, you will not be able to move the trigger or the slide.


Which Kind Should You Buy?

There are a few variants of the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 available. The differences aren’t especially significant, but they could make a huge difference in your particular experience.

The first thing to consider is the color. This probably isn’t something of much importance to you, especially if you are planning on a stealthy concealed carry weapon. But should you choose to add a little pizazz to your weapon, there are a few different colors to choose from.

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 Review

Safety first…

The next thing to consider is whether you want to go with the thumb safety or not. Smith and Wesson manufacture a version without a safety in order to provide a quicker firing process. However, if you plan on using it as a concealed carry weapon, it is wise to purchase the model with the safety.

Another variant includes a laser with an opinion of either red or green light, depending on your requirements. If you need one, go for it, if not, stick with the more traditional and less expensive option.

Maintenance

The key to a long-lasting, high-performance weapon is properly caring for it. This aspect of gun ownership can put some people off if the process is too complicated. Fortunately, the Bodyguard 380 isn’t particularly difficult to take apart and clean.

So how does it work?

When taking it apart, the first thing is to make sure that the gun is not loaded. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we can’t stress this point enough. Then all you need to do is pull the slide back and flip the lever to 90-degrees and pull it out. We recommend a screwdriver and a little patience if this is your first time.

After you have everything removed, you can apply lube to the barrel and the metal to metal contact points and then put it back together. This may be a bit tricky when it comes to putting the pin back in. Just remember that it goes back in the same way it came out. Taking a few quick photos on your phone is always a good idea if you’re new to this.

Once the pin is switched back to its original position, then you are good to go.

Also, remember that there are a ton of YouTube videos that do a great job of explaining Bodyguard 380 maintenance, so with a little video watching, patience and practice, you shouldn’t have any problems at all.


The Good

For a pocket-sized gun, the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 has a number of benefits, whether you are an amateur gun operator or an expert marksman. So let’s run down some of the reasons why you should invest in it.

First of all, this is an exceptionally accurate weapon. The ACP rounds used in the Bodyguard 380 are on the smaller end when it comes to ammunition size. This will mean less recoil, which means less of a chance you end up with wayward bullets. This results in you hitting your intended target about 9 times out of 10 depending on your experience, which is pretty good for a handgun.

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 Reviews

Superb concealment…

Another great thing is that because of its size, which makes it one of the best concealed carry weapons on the market. You can easily slip this weapon into a purse or glove compartment and maintain your safety wherever you go.

You can even pick up a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 holster that is designed to fit inside your waistband. Your pistol can then be carried on your front, back, or side. Also, since it is lightweight, drawing the weapon is a smooth and effortless action.

Built to last…

And everyone who has used the Bodyguard 380 will agree on its durability. The body is made up of stainless steel and polymer that offers superior strength, in case it is dropped. It’s also designed in such a way that it is easy to maintain your grip. This is especially useful if you are drawing the weapon with wet hands or using it in the rain.

As long as you are opting for the model with the thumb safety, this is also an incredibly safe weapon. When you are putting it in a holster or a purse, the last thing you want is for it to accidentally go off. The serrated safety is flat and securely locks in place, some may even say it locks in place a bit too securely — but better safe than sorry!

The Bad

Granted, there are not many downsides to this gun, but no weapon is perfect. In this section, we will take a look at a few of the drawbacks of the Bodyguard 380.

The main issue we had with this weapon, and many reviewers tend to agree, is with the trigger. It has a 9.5-pound trigger weight, which certainly gets the job done, but it is a little on the heavy side for a gun this small. Of course, not everyone is so concerned with this aspect of firearms, but if you have larger hands or are used to a smaller weight, this could take some getting used to.

Also, the trigger is made of plastic, which isn’t as durable as steel or another composite. This may bother some people, but others find the lighter material easier to work with. It all really depends on your preference and your experience with firearms.

One last small drawback is the price. Granted, it is a Smith and Wesson, so even though it has a higher price, you will get what you pay for. However, budget-minded folks can find much cheaper handguns that offer similar specs.

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 Review Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Exceptionally accurate.
  • Very easy to conceal.
  • Durable.
  • Ergonomic.
  • Excellent safety.

Cons

  • Heavy trigger weight.
  • Trigger is plastic, not metal.
  • Quality doesn’t come cheap.


Further Reading

You may also be interested in some of our other reviews, so check out the Best 380 Pistols for Conceal Carry, the Best Cross Draw Holster, the Best Small of Back Holster, and the Best Ankle Holsters currently available.

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 Review Conclusion

While there are bigger and stronger guns of this style out there, the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 is an all-around solid gun. Its small size and lightweight design make it an ideal choice for concealed carry situations.

It is also an ideal choice for novice gun-owners and those that may not want to deal with a heavy weapon because they lack confidence. Of course, whether you are experienced or not, it is always a good idea to hit the range first so you can get a feel for your gun and make sure it functions properly.

The accuracy and durability are what really make the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 stand out. These features help to lower the learning curve and give you the peace of mind knowing you are prepared for any adverse situation.

Happy and safe shooting.

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