Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38 (BG38)

This is a nice little 5 shot 38 with +p capability.  The gun comes with a built in laser that can be set to constant on or strobe.  This was my wife’s first handgun.  The weapon is surprisingly accurate (3 of 5 shots in the same hole at defensive range).  It’s reliable, as most revolvers.  It’s a mix of polymer and coated steel that makes it very corrosion resistant. The down sides are a stiff DAO trigger with at least 8.5 lbs of pull.  This can be overcome with practice and trigger control.  There is no external hammer, thus no option of SA pull.  The cylinder release is a little awkward in placement (above the grip back where the hammer would normally be).  Lastly, this little gun KICKS LIKE A MULE.  The very thin grip and lack of any padding cause it to be uncomfortable to shoot in any extended practice.  We chose to add the Hogue 60020 tamer grips and they made a world of difference.  The gun is now a pleasure to shoot. We got ours for $400 plus tax.  It’s well worth it.

(WARNING: S&W provides no diagrams for this weapon and consider it to be unworkable by anyone outside S&W this means there is no reliable safe trigger job to be done by your local gunsmith.  Chances are you will waste your cash and end up with misfires.)


10 thoughts on “Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38 (BG38)”
  1. I love the 38 especially the revolvers. Thats a good looking 38 the built in laser sounds cool does it work well

    1. Joe, it shoots like a dream just kicks like a nightmare. The Hogue grips make it fantastic. I will warn it does have a heavy trigger but my wife proves how well it can be shot. The downside is it cant be worked on very much by a gunsmith. We tried reduced springs and it made the gun unreliable so the original hammer/main spring went back in thus not much reduction achieved. For the price its a top pick for a new shooter.

  2. I just picked up the BG38 and was dissapoinnted with the laser. The “Iron sights” are dead on at 20′. The first shot I took with the laser was off to the right and high. The second shot wasn’t even on the paper. I tried adjusting the sight and was unable to get it anywhere near usable. S&W service had me remove the laser and Mail it in. Being from Dpringfield Mass I was dissapoinnted that I couldn’t just drive it there for service. I bought the version with the insight laser, I hope they replace it with the new Crimson Trace laser.

    1. Obviously we didn’t have that issue and I’m glad. Sorry that you did. All in all I thinknits a great little gun for the money. We only paid $400 after tax NIB.

      How’d you like th recoil? Buying the tamer grip from hogue?

      1. I didn’t find it too bad. I have an old 1970’s Chief Special with wood grips, that gun although weighing more kicks a lot harder. The biggest advantage is no hammer to get caught on clothing, I just have to get used to the DAO and long trigger pull.

    2. I bought my BG38 last Spring and it came with a Crimson Trace Laser. It was off some, but I did some Fine Tuning with a Laser Bore Sight AND added the Hogue Grips. It’s very lite at only 14oz and is a great EDC Weapon. I mostly carry it in a Belted Holster, but works very well in my Shorts pocket in the Summer time.

  3. I had a smith and wesson 642 and I found that the recoil on the BG38 was better than the 642. And it’s lighter, not by much but a little.
    The laser is good but I don’t want to rely on it. I think its good for training, but it would have a impact on anyone who finds it strategically placed on center mass. Of course it is a bad guy that finds it there.
    All said I found it not bad to shoot. So I traded my 642 for something else with a exposed hammer.
    It’s a good choice for concealed carry.

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