Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 Hits it Big in Mini Market
The surging popularity of the .380 caliber among concealed carry permit holders has led to an explosion of what has come to be known as the “mini” or pocket market; essentially scaled down replicas of a similar full size weapon.
Although these diminutive cousins may walk the walk, they don’t always talk the talk in terms of accuracy and dependability.
This is not the case with the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380(BG380), but the most interesting feature of the BG380 is the integrated Insight Technologies laser module.
The laser is designed for the same purpose as the gun; short-range self-defense, so it’s not a powerful or well-defined beam beyond a few yards, but definitely effective up close and personal. George Hill describes the benefits of the laser module for the BG380 in his article “M&P Mini-Me: Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“Some shooters argue against lasers as unnecessary gadgets. It’s true that a laser isn’t a necessary thing, but any device that gives you any sort of an advantage in target engagement or intimidation is a huge benefit, especially with pocket sized guns.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
The specs on the Smith & Wesson BG380 are fairly standard for the pocket 380s. The overall length is 5.25 inches with a barrel length at 2.75 inches. Height is 4.1 inches and grip girth is a slim .75 inches. The weapon weighs 11.8 ounces empty and 22 ounces loaded. The trigger pull is on the heavy side at 12 pounds.
It was during range testing that the BG380 surpassed most of the other minis. The low relief sights are a nice feature on this gun that significantly increase the odds of the bullet going where you aim it. There were no malfunctions during the field test using CCI Blazer Brass 95 grain JHP rounds and Winchester 95 grain Silvertips.
As far as concealability, the BG380 is a dream carry, as are most of the pocket autos. There is no printing and the light weight allows for all day carry. The .380 cartridge is not going to create a lot of carnage, but the 6 +1 magazine provides plenty of shots to get the job done or at least give you time to make a safe getaway.
Smith & Wesson’s entry into the pocket semi-auto market is a winner. The Bodyguard 380 supplies all the essentials for a concealed carry piece along with a cool built-in laser. It’s reasonably priced around $575.