Sunday, September 19, 2010

Guns: Frickin' Laser Beams

I've been looking for a new .380 pocket pistol and it looks like Smith and Wesson is trying to capture the upper end of the market with the fancy Bodyguard .380:

It's got sights you can see, a real working slide stop that locks when the magazine's empty, and it looks and feels more substantial than the two frontrunners in the polymer .380 marketplace, the Kel-Tec P3AT and Ruger LCP.

So what's not to like? The Bodyguard .380 is only available with an integrated laser.

Now, I'm not against laser sights per se, but I see them as a specialized attachment, especially on a pocket gun. Lasers are invaluable if you anticipate that you're going to do a lot of shooting without looking at traditional sights (the shield guy on a SWAT team, for instance). They're also a boon in low light situations:

For general use, though, they make me antsy. Lasers need batteries, and batteries tend to fail. Lasers need circuitry, and circuitry tends to fail (speaking from *cough* personal experience). It doesn't seem smart to rely on a sighting system that may not work when you really need it.

Still, there is some value in being able to reference this scene:


At 10:08 AM, Blogger Huey148 said...

I did kind of a similar comparison lat month on my my blog

I already owned a LCP and in the end just decided to get the Crimson Trace unit for it instead of going all in on a new design. Still the S&W does seem to be a nice choice for someone thinking that they would want a laser on their pocket pistol at some point and is starting from scratch.

Thanks for the Austin Powers clip...classic!!

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Bradley said...

if it has normal sights, and adjustable ones at that, is it fair to say it relies on the laser?

At 12:17 AM, Blogger Mulliga said...


Thanks for the comparison - sound logic.


A fair point - both Bodyguard models do have normal sights. But in the split-second you have to actually draw, aim, and fire a gun to defend yourself, I'm not sure that you can just decide to use the iron sights if the laser happens to be dead. More likely, you'll be confused as to why the laser dot isn't on your target.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that S&W is using a separate push switch - unlike the Crimson Trace, which activate automatically.


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