S & W Bodyguard .38..

7wby7wby New MemberPosts: 1 New Member
Anybody have any info on this revolver for a carry weapon? Any first hand experience? Looking at it for possible future purchase for wife.

Replies

  • conchokidconchokid Administrator Posts: 508 Senior Member
    There are several Bodyguard models so it depends on which one you're considering. The lightweight models are comfortable to carry but not to shoot with +P ammo. One variation, the all-steel 649 is made to handle the .357 Magnum but has fierce recoil. I wouldn't want to shoot it myself, much less ask my wife to. It weighs about 23 ounces and would be more comfortable to shoot with .38 loads, even +P. But it's a half-pound more to carry.

    I had a very similar Model 642 which was great to carry - 15 ounces, I think - but not much fun to shoot for long. The M 438 is basically the same as the 642 but with black finish. Of course, all these little J-frames are made for carrying and serious shooting, not fun at the range.

    Bottom line, any of these are good carry guns for women, and men too.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,165 Senior Member
    Don't forget this one, the newest Bodyguard .38:

    sw_bodyguard_38_02.jpg

    I occasionally carry a Smith and Wesson Airweight Bodyguard, now known as the Model 38. It's similar to the 649 and 438 conchokid mentions, but I would say it differs slightly from the 642 as the 642 is double-action only, while the ugly hump of the 38 and its variants allows thumb-cocking for single-action use, as the hump is a hammer shroud.
    Revolvers014.jpg

    As some can see, it's an older model with the flat latch. My feelings on revolvers of this size are that they're for those who practice regularly, at least in dry fire. It's accurate enough, as I've shot pepper poppers at 15 yds. with it, but it's just as easy to miss with these, too. The small grips, short sight radius, and double-action trigger make high accuracy more difficult to obtain than from a larger revolver. Then there's the recoil that conchokid mentioned. You really have to be up on your technique with these.

    Were I looking for a small pocked pistol, I'd look at a Kahr 9mm. Longer sight radius, better trigger, and easier to reload. But that's just me.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,693 Senior Member
    Unless your wife is really a gung-ho shooter, I'd go with something like the 642. It's a nice little carry gun, and about as much recoil as most folks want, with self defense loads. A good grip and a little quality practice can get her shooting well enough to be confident in a short amount of time, especially if she does a lot of dry-firing.

    I put CT Laser grips on mine, mostly for dry fire practicing, and it is a great training aid for learning to keep your trigger finger independent - and not a bad idea for anyone who wears glasses or gets out at night frequently.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Don't forget this one, the newest Bodyguard .38:

    sw_bodyguard_38_02.jpg

    I occasionally carry a Smith and Wesson Airweight Bodyguard, now known as the Model 38. It's similar to the 649 and 438 conchokid mentions, but I would say it differs slightly from the 642 as the 642 is double-action only, while the ugly hump of the 38 and its variants allows thumb-cocking for single-action use, as the hump is a hammer shroud.
    Revolvers014.jpg

    As some can see, it's an older model with the flat latch. My feelings on revolvers of this size are that they're for those who practice regularly, at least in dry fire. It's accurate enough, as I've shot pepper poppers at 15 yds. with it, but it's just as easy to miss with these, too. The small grips, short sight radius, and double-action trigger make high accuracy more difficult to obtain than from a larger revolver. Then there's the recoil that conchokid mentioned. You really have to be up on your technique with these.

    Were I looking for a small pocked pistol, I'd look at a Kahr 9mm. Longer sight radius, better trigger, and easier to reload. But that's just me.

    That is good advice.

    However, get your pocket pistol vaccinated against small pox first !!!
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • ChrisdrummerChrisdrummer New Member Posts: 1 New Member
    Bought my wife the S & W Bodyguard as her first carry piece. "Everyone" said get a woman a revolver for her first gun. She qualified in her combat shooting course with a 93% using +P ammo which left the space between her thumb & forefinger bleeding (literally). Next carry piece was the Smith .380 Bodyguard which she liked, but was unimpressed with its accuracy. Finally she bought herself a Springfield XD Compact 9 and totally fell in love with it. Since it wouldn't fit in her CC pure I bought her the XD 9 Sub Compact. She shoots equally well with both Springfields and loves to go to the range with them. She's improving with the .380 and likes the revolver okay without +P's but the XD's remain her favorites.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    "Bought my wife the S & W Bodyguard as her first carry piece. "Everyone" said get a woman a revolver for her first gun. She qualified in her combat shooting course with a 93% using +P ammo which left the space between her thumb & forefinger bleeding (literally)."

    Try and get a set of Pachmayr signature grips for it, they really tame recoil on handguns like that.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • tv_racin_fantv_racin_fan Senior Member Posts: 617 Senior Member
    Everyone is different.. My wife eventually wanted a Ruger SP101 in 357 mag.

    I tried to convince her to shoot my 6" GP100. Finally one day I load up some 38s and she very reluctantly shoots it. She then turns to me and says this thing kicks less than my CW9. I said WELL DUH look at it, much heavier gun weight forward with that underlug. Then I let her try some Buffalo Bore rounds pretty hot rounds tho not +P. She said them kicked but not so hard I wouldn't shoot more.

    I been wanting an SP101 since they came out. Finally picked myself up one. Next range trip the wife wants to shoot it. She said well it kicks a bunch harder that that hog leg but still not so bad I wont shoot it some more. I even let her try them Buffalo Bore rounds. She then says I want one.

    What mama wants she usually gets.

    I think lots of people suggest a revolver then suggest one of the really light weight things. I don't think that is a good thing.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,938 Senior Member
    I shot another forum member's 642 at the range the other day and it seems like a nice enough pistol.
    S&W has been making those small revolvers for quite a while.
    Since I have a Kahr PM40, which is somewhat smaller, I don't see myself rushing to buy a pocket revolver though.
    Wife carries a PM9 and recoil between it and the 652 is similar IMO.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    You are so right, back in the day before pocket guns like the Khar, revolvers were what you carried, now there are better choices.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • BaggerBagger Member Posts: 60 Member



    My wife did not like any of my semi auto pistols. I let her try a revolver and she preferred it. So I have a S&W Bodyguard with laser. She likes the loading and shooting of it.

    She's happy, I'm happy with it.

    Bagger :usa:
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