Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 (BG380)

I have not shot this weapon myself, but I have some observations.  First it’s a 380 which means at best 200 ft lbs of force and probably less from this small barrel.  Secondly and most importantly; I have seen a lot of these guns at the range and most of the time I notice them because of a jam!  Could it be that the owners aren’t maintaining them properly?  Maybe so, but I have seen a lot of them jam and that’s enough for me.


One thought on “Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 (BG380)”
  1. These “jams” you were seeing at the range are, in my opinion, almost certainly simply misfires due to light strikes. I have one of the BG380’s from just before they switched to Crimson Trace lasers (it has the older Insight laser, but with the newer raised circle to protect against inadvertent activation). These guns are very finicky about their ammo. With some brands, I was seeing as much as 5% to 7% misfire rate — certainly not the performance you’d want for a personal protection gun. Inspection of the rounds that didn’t fire show very shallow dimples, but interestingly enough, ones that DID fire on the first strike (of the SAME brand) have deep dimples. Because the BG380 has “second strike capability” (which they tout as a great advantage), I’m able to pull the trigger again & again until it fires; in some cases I’d pull as many as FIVE TIMES before some rounds would fire. I’m doubting it’s due to variability in the ammo; I think somehow the gun isn’t very consistent with its striking force. I sent it back to S&W complaining about that, and they simply sent it back to me saying they’d checked it and it is “performing according to spec”. After trying over 100 rounds each of about six different brands of JHP, I finally found one that consistently performs well in my BG380. Interestingly for many brands, their ball ammo’s performance in my BG380 does not necessarily match their JHP ammo’s performance, and it’s not always the case that one brand’s ball ammo performs better than their JHP ammo.

    One final note about the S&W BG380 is that their mag catch is made of polymer, and the mags are stainless steel with 90 degree stamped edges. After many, many mag changes, my mag catch was slowly worn down by the sharp top edge of the mags to the point it wouldn’t reliably hold the mag (even the slightest bump of the mag catch would drop the mag). S&W sent me a new catch (for free), but before I began using it I took super-fine polishing sandpaper (1000 grit) and slightly rounded the top edge of my mags right where the edge first comes into contact with the catch. Now my mags no longer grind away at the catch on each mag change.

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