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Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 Concealed Carry Handgun | CCW Guardian


Hello again, I’m David Reed with Reed and
Ward, the makers of CCW Guardian, the premier smartphone app for CCW permit holders. This is a review of the Smith & Wesson M&P
Bodyguard in 380. So, let’s go-ahead and clear lock and show safe. Visually and Physically
inspect the chamber. I’ve got no one behind the camera and there’s no ammo, so we have
a safe training area. Let’s go and take a look at this on the left
side. Now, the weapon is 5 1/4 inches long 4.1 inches high. It weighs about 11 1/2 ounces,
so it’s very light. This is a true pocket pistol, unlike a lot of them that I’ve reviewed
in the past that were right at the edge of the pocket pistol category. This is a true
pocket pistol. Flip it over, let’s take a look. Now, the weapon has a 2.75 inch barrel
and this is not the same Bodyguard the Smith & Wesson has made in the past. They’ve made
any number of weapons that they refer to as Bodyguard. This is also not the same 380 that
Smith & Wesson has recently made. This is a new for 2014 offering and it’s an M&P Bodyguard.
It’s the first very compact, semiautomatic pistol that Smith has put that M&P logo on
and Bodyguard. The other 380 that Smith has made recently is kind of based off the Sigma
series and is a striker-fired pistol. This is a double action only, hammer fired,
semiautomatic pistol. There are some pros and cons to that. More pros and cons, and
I’ll kind of talk about that in a minute. You can see the external extractor, I’ll
roll it over and let’s take a look at the top of the slide. It is 0.75, that’s three
quarters of an inch thick. That makes this the thinnest semiautomatic 380 I’ve ever
reviewed. It means that it is, overall, considerably smaller and lighter than even a Walther PP
KS. So, it’s definitely a pocket pistol. If you look, you see the sites are dovetailed
in so that you can adjust them for your eyes or the ammunition you’re shooting, and you
can also take them out and replace them with aftermarket sites. I happen to know there’s
already at least one company making tritium night sights for this weapon already. The weapon also has the little loaded chamber
indicator, right there, that Smith & Wesson puts. It’s kind of an M&P Hallmark. It’s a
hole in the shroud of the barrel, over the chamber. The philosophy is is that I could
look down in perfect lighting and I can see a piece of brass through that hole and know
that I had loaded chamber. Also you know that I don’t believe in loaded chamber indicators.
I think it’s a lawyers trick. You get a false positive or worse a false negative.
So I always press check my weapons when I load them. That way I know that I’ve got
loaded chamber. Another feature I want to talk about and of course, this is again, a
double action only, semiautomatic pistol. Right here on the left side, it has a manual
safety that operates in the same direction as the 1911. That’s the opposite of the
old Smith & Wesson’s where down was on and up was fire. In this case, up is on, more
like a 1911 style, and down is off. Now, the reason I like this, I train a lot of people
who are single parents or they have unauthorized adults over and they keep a loaded gun in
the house as a home defense weapon, so to speak. I like having the manual safety on
there because if an unauthorized person, adult or child, were to happen, God for bid, to
get access to a loaded weapon in your home that manual safety not only locks the trigger,
but unlike the M&P striker-fired pistols, it locks the slide as well. So the weapon
becomes really deactivated when you got that safety on. I think it’s a nice feature.
The trick is, you’ve got to train during your draw stroke with your primary weapon
hand thumb to wipe that safety off so that, you know, when you’re bringing it up, boom,
you can fire it and when you put it away click it back on. Another advantage to having a 1911 style or,
and I refer to that, mechanically it doesn’t work like a 1911 safety, it works in the same
direction as a 1911 safety. That’s why I refer to it as that. But let’s say I’m carrying
his weapon with my CCW permit, there’s a viable threat, I pull the weapon out with the idea
that maybe I need to defend myself and I get into a combative situation. Someone takes
this weapon away from me. Hopefully by having this manual safety on there, it’s going
to give me enough time to either run away or retake the initiative, take that gun back
from him and teach him how it’s used. Okay, so that’s why I’m a fan of these. I’m a
1911 guy anyway, so I carry 1911, it’s not a big deal. If you’re more of a Glock type person or the
M&Ps that don’t have safeties on it and you want to keep your training regimen the same,
then just leave it off and don’t be a hater. Just leave it off. Okay, but don’t block it
for the rest of us. I like having that safety on there. The weapon, like I said, is double
action. Check clear again because, you know, the first rule is all guns are always loaded.
If you didn’t know that go to that video on four weapon safety rules elsewhere on this
website and review that. We’ll wait for you. Okay, we’re back. Watch right back
here and you can see that hammer work. See this is not a striker-fired pistol. It’s a
double action, so it does give you a second strike capability on a weak primer. The old
Bodyguards, like my Smith & Wesson 38 that my wife has or my Smith 442 which is a quote
unquote hammerless Smith & Wesson 38, it has about the same trigger pull if anything a
little bit lighter than my Smith 442. It’s a good solid pull. It does not stack
at the end. The more I pull up, the more I like it. I would gauge it maybe 5 pounds,
maybe six at the worst but I’m thinking about 5 pounds, without putting it on a gauge.
Now if you’re used to using trigger reset as a way of sort of evaluating your pistols,
and a lot of people like to do that. I’m going to pull the trigger, then re-cock it
and then, you that first click? Watch it! That is not the reset. You have to come all
the way off and all the way back on. I’m going to let you see that. Right there, I’m
sorry I was off camera a little bit. All the way off. All the way off before you can fire
it again. Okay, obviously I wouldn’t do it with my thumb up, I just wanted you to
be able to see. That’s not the reset. All the way off and all the way back on. Think
compact three-inch snubby revolver and you’ve got it, with a manual thumb safety. The weapon is very smooth. There’s no sharp
edges. It comes with two magazines and a little soft case. It has an external extractor which
I like about Smith & Wesson’s. It has better sites than almost any other compact semiautomatic
380 I’ve ever seen. It does lock open after the last round is fired and will lock open
on an empty magazine. Something Kel-Tec 380 can’t brag about. So, I like the Smith & Wesson
380 M&P Bodyguard. We’ll see how it shoots on the range, but before let’s take a look
at the Reed Ergo Power Ratio tool or REPR tool. Now, in section A, caliber. Remember
you’re evaluating a pocket gun for what it is. It is a small, lightweight weapon that
you carry ideally as a backup to a more powerful gun, but for certain people who are recoil
sensitive, older people, people who don’t train a lot, people with medical issues, you
know, a 380 may be the strongest caliber that they can carry. So we’re going to give it a score, but you
might want to lower your overall expectations of what you expect. The mission of this weapon
is to be there when you need it. Small, compact, lightweight, easily concealable, so it’s not
fair to compare this, say to a 1911 Commander or something, right? Or a Glock 19, but let’s
go ahead and take a look at the score. It is a 380 which means it only scores two points
out of a possible five and when you go to section B, total defensive capacity, it is
a 6+ 1. So, you get 7 rounds. That means it scores three. So, right now you get five points
out of a possible 10 in the Reed Ergo Power Ratio tool. But we’re going to disassemble
this weapon in a separate video.We’re going to go outside right now and shoot section
C and D of the REPR and see how does. Okay, we’re here near Richland, Missouri,
on the T.A.G. range. We’re going to be shooting the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard in 380. We’re
going to be shooting section C and D of the REPR, the Reed Ergo Power Ratio tool. If you
want to know how to do this at home you can find instructions here at CCWGuardian.com.
Section C measures recoil management. Two shots within two seconds on a 3.5 by 5 index
card at 7 yards. If I can get them on in five seconds, or I’m sorry, in two seconds, I
get five points. If it takes me more rounds or more time, well then you deduct points
as applicable. Then I’m going to shoot section D. I’m going to reset the timer, shoot section
D. Now, that is practical accuracy. What that means is same distance, same target, same
range. I’m going to try to put five shots on the 3.5 x 5 inch index card in 15 seconds
with not more than three second splits. This measures my ability to properly control
the trigger and see the sights and put rounds where I intend. So, eyes and ears, let’s get
cooking. Start with section C. From the ready. On the beat. Beep. 2 shots fired. Yup, no problem
there. 1.95 seconds. Under two seconds. My split time was actually .53, so, you know,
not too bad. I took it a little bit slow because I see those rounds are a little bit far apart,
but they’re definitely there. All right, next I’m going to reset the timer and we’re
going to shoot section D, practical accuracy. All right. So, reset the timer, standby. Beep.
5 shots fired. Okay, nine seconds and my split times were
2.24. I took it a little slow. Again these sites are small. It’s a 380 and I wanted to
make sure my shots were there, but easily within the 15 second time limit and under
the three second split requirement. Let’s go take a look at the targets. Okay, let’s
check out and see how the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard did. Right here, recoil management,
two shots both on the paper within an inch. For a pocket pistol that’s pretty darn good.
So, I get five points right there in section C. In section D, right over here, I’ve even
doubled one right there and you see all 5 shots are inside half the target. If I wanted
to count it like that. That’s five out of five also. Combining that with the five points
that it got on the inside, the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 comes up with an amazing
15 points. For a pocket pistol that’s phenomenal. That’s, that’s like what I would expect
to get from a much larger, much more powerful weapon than this. So, I don’t know. I’ll tell you, I enjoyed
shooting the weapon. I think this one’s a keeper. I think this one’s going to go
in the Reed family arsenal. I’ll probably have to wrestle it away from either my wife
or daughters at some point. The gun shot fine, the ergonomics are great. It handled recoil
really well and I particularly like the addition of the manual thumb safety. Before I go any
farther, I want to thank our ammo sponsor, ammoanimal.com. The guys at ammoanimal.com
provide all the ammunition to Reed & Ward for our reviews and shoots and as you can
see the ammo does very well. It feeds flawlessly and it’s plenty accurate enough and what
I really like about ammoanimal.com is the low shipping rates. So, feed your ammo animal. Get your ammo at
ammoanimals.com. The last thing I’m going to do with the Smith & Wesson M&P is I’m
going to take out my smartphone and I’m going to pull up CCW Guardian. I’m going
to document this training, I’m going to photograph these targets and I’m going to
make sure that I record my training day as a hedge against allegations of recklessness
or negligence. You know, it’s like a liability inoculation. Police and military use their
training records to establish their training and that they are responsible. For you as
a CCW permit holder, you need CCW Guardian on your side. So whatever you do, whenever
you train. shoot. log. details matter. Okay folks that’s it. I’m David Reed again with
Reed & Ward and as I don’t do anything with 380, I don’t need any help with the brass
today. So, take the afternoon off.

49 thoughts on “Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 Concealed Carry Handgun | CCW Guardian

  1. GSTEA1: You sure can do that. I like that the safety gives you options. That said, however you decide to carry be sure to train that way and document using the CCW Guardian smartphone app!

  2. Please hold the gun by the trigger guard with only two fingers, this will keep your hand BEHIND the gun so we can actually see the features you are refering to. The way you demonstrated it your hand frequently blocks the view of the gun.

  3. The manual safety is a killer for me.. "Just leave it off".. Yeah until it activates itself in your pocket (personal experience) chances are you won't have the time, or finger dexterity to deactivate the safety in a real self defense situation.

    Traded mine for a newer ruger lcp, trigger is better and no oh shit lever.. Err I mean safety

  4. It's great to hear and watch a review by a real professional! Looking forward to training with my new Bodyguard when it ships.
    I will download the app as well, as I am a new CCP carrier.

  5. 3:50 Under high stress, I mean, when your fight or flight response kicks YOU LOSE YOUR FINE MOTOR SKILLS (I have been there), good luck trying to disengage a MINUSCULE safety lever…

  6. Great review. Would you recommend this gun for a first time gun owner/shooter? Many people will tell me that a small gun isn't the best first gun because it's harder to shoot accurately, but you give it high ranks for that department. Please let me know your thoughts. I love the size of it.

  7. The safety is why I like this weapon. My father has a couple .380's for carry and when I was looking for my first carry weapon, he was suggesting the ones he had (Ruger LCP) but I hated them because of the lack of a proper safety mechanism and I could get a good grip when handling the weapon. This weapon is great for carry because of its good gripping and mechanical safety. My father agrees because now he wants one too, its bigger than the Ruger LPC but not by much.

  8. Thanks for the review! I was looking for something for my wife; and for me as a backup. I've seen some really bad reviews for this gun, but I believe it was for the previous Smith model and not the Smith M&P. Thanks again!

  9. Great video!  And I really appreciate your statement about the manual safety.  I'm a former police officer and I have a hard time convincing people how important a manual safety is if you get into a struggle with someone.  Which is highly likely if your in a urban setting!  Have a great 2016!

  10. I like the idea it has a safety I might grab one of these for my girl friend for carry I think she would like this…

  11. I like the safety as well. With the Lehigh and/or underwood defense rounds it is a much more powerful weapon. I use it as back up or when I don't have the clothing to hide my Glock. So I take this and feel well armed "if" I have to use it. I too like the trigger and the way it makes you "think" and "want" to fire the weapon. Makes you think about firing. Spending time with the handgun has made it my daily carry more secure. Your video and presentation are excellent.

  12. just put one of these on lay away at my local shop going to be picking it up in few weeks good gun to serve as a back up to my m&p 9 full size or for summer carry option

  13. You better watch Jetrry Machilik's video. He shot 3 targets in 1.25 seconds with 2 shots on each target and all shots less than 1 inch apart. That was at 15 feet. Then he moved out to 150 yards and used 4 rounds to range the steel target and hit the steel with the 4 th round. and that was with Hornady Critical Defense JHP.

  14. You mentioned to train to release the safety as you draw then you mentioned that when the safety is on it and a bad guy wouldn't be able to use the weapon on you. If you train correctly that safety should be off by the time the weapon is extended therefore, the bad guy will grab an unsafe weapon. No safety for me.

  15. My only concern with the S&W Bodyguard 380 is the "two stage" long trigger pull. What do you think about after market fixes such as the RTK Edge Trigger and a slightly shorter trigger bar?

  16. I bought the older version back in like 2012 been carrying it every day since one of my favorite pistols . I love the fact that it has a safety .

  17. I'm a woman new to guns, and the BG380 was recommended to me. After reading reviews about the heavy trigger, I knew I would not enjoy this pistol for practice/shooting targets, so I purchased the Shield, and I do love it. However, it's too heavy to carry in my purse or holstered on girly pants (no belt). So now I'm going to purchase the BG380. Is the trigger something I will get accustomed to with practice? Thanks!

  18. I think you ought to re evaluate your rating of the 380 round. 380 is very close to 38 caliber which is very close to 9mm. One can compare 380 as a 9mm short or cap shot in .22 caliber. The 9mm would be like the .22, the 38 special would be like the .22 long and the 357 would be like the .22 L.R. In 380, the projectile makes all the difference. I would not want to be shot with a 380.

  19. and promoting a manual safety on a double action firearm?1?1?, and the fact you even suggested someone trying to wrestle a firearm away from someone who took it away from them already, OR EVER!!!..Deeply concerning.

  20. If you are close enough to we're someone can take you piece you should not be using the pistol in the first place… creat distance or draw your blade… pistol should never come out within fist or foot range

  21. I thought this presentation was great! I am equally pleased you like the CCW Guardian. One more piece, I especially liked, with a chukkle, when you made mention of your wife and daughter on attempting to wrestle this gun from them. Now that's neat! Semper Fi

  22. I like my Bodyguard but no way it's anything close to a 5 lbs trigger pull . Ive never measured it
    but I think it's more like 9 or 10 lbs. Definitely makes it safe for pocket carry even with the safety off but it does hurt accuracy.

  23. Kudo's for point of safety! There are times one is needed and incorporating its use in training is the way to go. My Sig P229 is the only pistol I feel safe with because of the long and heavy pull needed to fire it. The triggers on all my stricker fired guns make me uncomfortable. It is a matter of training however as I am old school and used to safeties on pistols. Just sayin. Great job sir!

  24. Glock made their whole marketing plan that they have the "on all the time pistol" then im the movie black hawk down the stupid scene in the chow line " my finger is my safety" made this whole situation…..manual safetys are awesome.

  25. I have to say you definitely did a great review my opinion of the bodyguard 380 is that it’s a very reliable great fire plus it’s accurate . This fire arms the bodyguard 380 has never once gave me any issues whatsoever also a good defense rounds that I use for this fireman also tested was sigsauer V crown hollow points and also federal Hydro Shocks ammo

  26. Curious. What is the ring you are wearing on your right ring finger in this video? It looks like the Cross of Lorraine.

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