Sunday, July 31, 2016

Guns: S&W M&P Bodyguard 380 review (The .380 Throne - Part 1 of 5)

[I'm clearing out a bunch of my .380 pistols, so I thought it'd be fun to do a C/D-style comparison test to see which one is king of the hill...]


5. S&W M&P Bodyguard - Last Light

A lot has changed since my review of Smith and Wesson's original .380 Bodyguard back in 2011. The Bodyguard's biggest selling point - its integrated laser - is basically a nonstarter now, since Crimson Trace has found ways to shoehorn lasergrips onto every pocket 380 on the market. Similarly, in 2013 the market leader and the Bodyguard's primary competitor, the Ruger LCP, received substantial trigger and sight upgrades. Honestly, unless S&W improves the Bodyguard's abysmal trigger and fixes the light strike problems (see below), the Bodyguard is only good enough for last place.


The particular gun for this review had a blue Kyptek camo frame, and seemed to be less accurate than my old Bodyguard. Here's some groups of PMC Bronze at 7 yards:



Things started opening up at 10 yards:


As the gun got dirty, I was beginning to get light strikes - the first trigger pull would not light the primer, but the second pull always did. This is the same problem Tam observed last year, and I tend to agree that it's due to fouling preventing the gun from going into battery:


The Bodyguard here demonstrates the limits of pocket .380s - they are just extremely difficult to shoot at anything beyond bad breath range. Here's a "group" of Sellier & Bellot at 15 yards - I hope I never actually have to hit someone at this distance.


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