By Dan Kidder
Typically when you think of a bodyguard, you think of a big burly dude who will pulverize anyone who tries to get their hands on you. But maybe, like Smith & Wesson, you take a more pragmatic approach. If I had a bodyguard, I would want them to blend in, to appear to not exist at all. I would want them to be more brain then brawn, but also able to handle anything that came their way.It was with this more sophisticated vision of the bodyguard that Smith & Wesson took on the design of the Bodyguard line of personal defense pistols.
Joining a long line of manufacturers to make small concealable pistols, Smith & Wesson took this market segment to the limit.
The Bodyguard .380 I tested fits well in the hand. For years, my biggest beef with these small guns is how you had to trade off proper grip, which accounts for about 90 percent of your accuracy, to have a small concealable pistol. Not any longer. Measuring in at 5 and a-half inches from stem to stern, the Bodyguard .380 is small enough to fit easily into a pocket holster. At only 3/4 of an inch wide it leaves almost no perceptible bulge to reveal itself to potential bad guys and to scare the unarmed populace. At less than 4-inches high from magazine butt plate to the top of the rear sights, you can practically hide this gun in a bikini.
Added features of this gun make it even more powerful. An easily activated internal Insight laser provides instant aim, a targetcentric sighting index, and a tremendous psychological and tactical advantage. Hit the switch a second time, and the red dot blinks rapidly causing even more disorientation to an attacker.
The ergonomics on this gun are much better than others in the field. It fits well in the hand, even with beefy mitts like mine. While the small caliber .380 ACP round may require multiple shots to bring down an attacker, the ergonomics ensure that each of those shots will be on target.
My only complaint with the Bodyguard, as with many of the smaller caliber personal defense guns, is that Smith & Wesson only includes a single six-round magazine. Smaller caliber pistols should always come with a spare magazine, and preferably two.
The trigger on the Bodyguard .380 is Smith & Wesson’s Self Defense Trigger (SDT), which requires a full double action trigger press to fire the gun every time. This is the best trigger configuration for a self defense gun as it prevents accidently shooting someone in a stressful situation. Once you learn the trigger, it is easy to achieve excellent accuracy out to 25 feet and beyond. I was shooting B-21 Police 25 Foot Equivalent targets at 25 feet which equates to shooting a person at around 50 feet and still able to make 2-inch groups at a brisk pace. The gun comes with full sights, which makes it much more than a gun you have to stick in their belly and pray you will hit them with. All in all, the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard is an excellent choice for deep concealment.
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