The M&P Bodyguard 380 is a subcompact and sleek semi-automatic pistol manufactured by Smith and Wesson. It is designed for concealed carry, both for personal protection and off-duty use. In this M&P Bodyguard 380 review, we will look into the gun’s features and its pros, and cons.
M&P Bodyguard 380 Review: Specs Overview
- Type: Semi-automatic
- Firing mechanism: Double action only, hammer-fired
- Capacity: 6+1
- Barrel length: 2.75 inches
- Overall length:5.25 inches
- Caliber: .380
- Weight: 0.75 pound
- Trigger: 9lb
- Finish: Matte black
- Frame material: Stainless steel
- Stock material: Polymer
- Slide material: Stainless steel
- Muzzle: Plain
- Front sight: Fixed
- Rear sight: Fixed
The M&P Bodyguard 380 was first introduced in 2014 to succeed the BodyGuard 380. While the M&P line of Smith and Wesson pistols is primarily for military and police, it is also accessible to the licensed public as an everyday carry, concealed weapon for self-defense. Law enforcement professionals mostly use it as a backup handgun.
The model design has evolved over the years and is available in different variations. The first version adopted two crucial features of the M&P line of pistols – a fish scale slide grip and an aggressively-textured handgrip. Unlike its predecessors, it did not have an integral laser sight.
The second version is known as the M&P BodyGuard 380 Crimson Trace. Its design reincorporated an integrated layer; however, instead of being fitted with INSIGHT lasers, it has Crimson Trace insights, thus its name.
Currently, there is a wide range of M&P BodyGuard 380 on the market. They vary in color, whether the gun has a safety, and whether or not it has laser sights. Those that have additional features are more expensive than their counterparts.
The gun is available in the following color options: all black, flat dark earth and black, two-tone silver, and black. Similarly, you can choose from various laser color options, including red and green.
M&P BodyGuard 380 Review: Gun Features
The M&P Bodyguard 380 is arguably one of the smallest subcompact guns on the market. As such, it has a small build and is super lightweight.
Its barrel is 2.75 inches long with an overall length of the gun of 5.25 inches. It is 0.75 inches wide, which is quite narrow compared to other guns in its category – the Ruger LCP is 0.82 inches wide, while Glock 26 is 0.98 inches wide.
It is approximately 4.3 inches high. It weighs 0.75 pounds when loaded. The rounds do not add any significant weight to the gun, keeping it light in weight and ready for caution.
This gun is constructed to deliver functionality, sturdiness, and durability. The frame and barrel are stainless steel, while the stock is a high-strength polymer. The trigger is smooth plastic. The exterior has a matte Armornite finish that gives it a sleek look and ensures that it is corrosion and rust-resistant.
The grip is textured and ensures no slippage, even when handling the gun with wet hands. Therefore, you do not have to worry about stopping halfway when shooting to readjust your grip because your hands slipped off.
As the name suggests, this pistol is chambered with a .380 cartridge. It incorporates the .380 caliber design developed by John Moses Browning for the Colt 1908 pocket pistol.
The top advantage of a .380 caliber is it fits compact and narrow handguns, like the M&P BodyGuard 380, perfectly. However, it is not as powerful as 9mm guns. The .380 delivers 200 foot-pounds of muzzle power, compared to 364-foot pounds in similar guns with a 9mm caliber.
M&P BodyGuard 380 handguns have both rear and front sights that offer excellent focusing capabilities without drawing the pistol to an eye level. The sights are dovetailed into the slide. They are black, made of stainless steel, and do not snag. The front sight is serrated at the front, while the rear sight is serrated at the back to ensure no glare.
Models with the Crimson Trace laser offer superior accuracy. The laser enables a quick aim even in stressful conditions and seamlessly integrates with the pistol frame. You can switch it on/off with a button on the left side of the gun. Some of the guns have ambidextrous laser control. The laser is built with a power-saving feature that shuts off the laser after five minutes.
This semi-automatic gun comes with two magazines, each with six rounds plus a round in the gun’s action. It is easy to insert and release. To release, press the magazine release button strategically placed for easy access. Ensure not to bump the magazine when inserting it. With just a bit of push, it locks in place.
The BodyGuard 380 pistol also comes with four base pads. Two of the base pads are extended and the other two are flat. The extended ones offer an extra half-an-inch length on the grip. The total handgrip height with an extended base pad is 4.25 inches compared to 3.75 inches with the flat base pad inserted.
The extra length comes in handy for people with medium-to-large size hands as they find only two or three of their fingers fit on the pistol grip when using the flat base pads.
Some Smith & Wesson M&P BodyGuard 380 pistols have a manual safety feature on the left side at the top of the frame. Once the safety is activated, the trigger gets stuck, and the gun cannot fire.
The safety has a serrated, almost-flat design. The flat design ensures that you do not deactivate the safety accidentally, and it takes a bit of effort to take it up and down. This can cause a delay if you need to use the gun promptly in emergencies. The serration provides a grip to enable you to move the safety. Once the safety is in the right position, either on or off, it produces a clicking sound.
Some people prefer a gun without a safety feature. If that is the case for you, go for an M&P BodyGuard 380 without manual safety.
Loaded Trigger Indicator
The load trigger acts as a cut-out that indicates when the ammo is in the chamber. It is at the rear of the gun.
The trigger is smooth and flat plastic that delivers a trigger pull of about 9.5 pounds. Most find the pull too long, but you get accustomed to it. The pull is much longer when making the first shot as it loads the cartridge and shorter in subsequent shots. It has a bit of take-up that requires you to exert, and then it pulls through smoothly.
The M&P Bodyguard 380 is a double-action-only, hammer-fired semi-automatic pistol. The double-action mechanism has its pros and cons. The top advantage is that you do not need to cock the hammer to fire. Conversely, although it minimizes the risk of accidental discharge, the long trigger pull can be uncomfortable for new shooters. It could also require more practice and shooting lessons to master accurate targeting. It has a side pull that lets you see if you have enough in the chamber.
M&P BodyGuard 380 Review: Pros and Cons
Easy to Disassemble
Unlike some subcompact guns, the M&P BodyGuard 380 is easy to disassemble. You do not have to pull the trigger to strip the weapon. Instead, lock the slide, and position the takedown lever at a right angle, then pull it out. Note you might need a small flat blade screwdriver to open the takedown pin. The stainless steel slide will pull off the frame, and you can inspect or clean your gun.
Easy to Carry
This subcompact semi-automatic gun is perfect for everyday concealed carry. It is so small that you can carry it in your pocket. You can also toss it in your purse or bag. Alternatively, you can carry it on-body using a holster in various positions, including inside the waistband, outside the waistband, on your thigh, or ankle.
The M&P Bodyguard 380 is accurate for close-range shooting – within 10 yards. It uses small rounds that produce less recoil when shooting. It fires smoothly and sleekly. As such, the bullet won’t wander, ensuring you hit the target 90% of the time.
Compatible with a Variety of Ammos
One of the main issues with subcompact semi-automatic pistols is that it can be difficult to find compatible ammunition. This is not the case with the M&P BodyGuard 380.
The cartridge and slide work well with a variety of .380 bullets that feed and fire smoothly. You can try different brands to establish options that deliver the best performance.
Small Pistol Grip
Although the handgrip is textured and offers a firm, non-slip, and ergonomic handling, it is relatively short. This makes the gun unsuitable for people with larger hands as it does not fit in their hands. It is most suitable for people with small or medium-sized hands.
Difficult to Reassemble
Many people find the reassembling process for the M & P BodyGuard quite confusing. Keep in mind that the pin should go back to its initial position. Push the barrel forward, position the pin at 9’ocklock, and push it in. You may need to tap it with a screwdriver or a small rubber mallet to ensure it’s secure.
A Summary of the M&P BodyGuard 380 Pros and Cons
- Compact and lightweight
- Sleek design
- Powerful and accurate at short range
- Durable and sturdy build
- Comfortable, non-slip grip
- Easy to conceal
- Suitable as an everyday carry
- Packs up a wide range of features
- Available in different model variations
- Easy to assemble
- Comes with two magazines
- Comes with both flat and extended base pads
- Compatible with different .380 ammo
- Inadequate grip space for people with large hands
- Not as powerful as 9mm compact guns
- Price is on the higher side for subcompact guns
- Long trigger pull
- Target accuracy reduces with an increase in the range beyond 7 yards
- Difficult to reassemble
About Manufacturer: Smith&Wesson
Smith&Wesson is one of the leading firearms manufacturers in the USA. The company has been around since 1852, and it leverages its experience to bring innovation to its firearm design. It made some of the most powerful World War II firearms for the United States Army.
Its range of products includes rifles, pistols, handguns, machine guns, revolvers, and other shooting accessories. These include both personal and professional use of firearms. Its expertise and experience are evidenced in the high-functionality design of the various M&P BodyGuard 380 guns.
M&P Bodyguard 380 Review: Conclusion
If you are looking for a solid subcompact gun either for personal defense or as a backup gun in your line of work, the M&P BodyGuard 380 is a great option.
Its super lightweight size makes it easy to carry and conceal. For a gun small enough to fit in your pocket, it packs decent power, efficiency, and reliability. You can choose from the various model variations to suit your needs.
Although many people complain about its long trigger pull, you get used to it over time. The long pull enhances the safety of the gun, especially for an on-body carry, as it ensures you do not fire accidentally when pulling it out.
Its slights are remarkably efficient compared to other subcompact guns. The recoil can be snappy, but it is easy to manage with a proper grip and mastering your shooting technique.
This gun is perfect for petite women looking for an EDC concealable gun for self-defense. The grip also fits well for people with medium-size hands and you can use the magazine with an extended base pad for additional grip length. It is not ideal as the main handgun for law enforcement professionals or if you have large hands. Neither is it suitable for long-range shooting.