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Old 07-11-2018, 05:49 PM
326MOD10 326MOD10 is offline
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Can anyone shed some light on the difference between the old school model 38 and the newer 38-2's.

It appears the 38-2 has the newer frame composition but I was curious if it is +P rated?

Any other pros or cons of the 38-2 would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:43 PM
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Kernel Crittenden Kernel Crittenden is offline
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Are you asking about the difference between a traditional alloy frame Bodyguard and that polymer frame abomination?
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:52 PM
326MOD10 326MOD10 is offline
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No sir.

I have seen for sale a 38-2, which appears to be a regular old fashioned style Bodyguard, but appears to be made of the newer material used in the 442's/438's.

They also have the Smith symbol and "airweight" in what appears to be white on the side of the frame.

It seems to be a 438 without the lock but I am not sure if there are any other things about it or what the difference is between it and the old school airweight Model 38.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:10 PM
yep380 yep380 is offline
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I'm curious about the 38-2 as well. I have '72 M38 no dash that I like a lot... it's beat up pretty good though and I wouldn't mind finding another one that's a bit newer. I've owned a couple 438s, nice guns but the lock bothered me.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:25 PM
JWM JWM is offline
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I bought a model 38-2 when they first hit the market (about 1991). The difference was that they increased the front sight width from 1/10th inch, to 1/8th width. Easier to see. That was the only change. It was still non-plus P rated.

Last edited by JWM; 07-11-2018 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:45 PM
Cal44 Cal44 is offline
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As far as I can tell, the sight change was the only significant change in 38-2s.

They also changed to Uncle Mike's grips.

A LGS had, a couple years ago, a 38-3 for sale.

That one had the MIM parts, used the extended J frame, and was p+ rated.

At least, that was what the catalog says.

But the one in the LGS did not say 38+P.

I didn't buy it. I might have, if I was sure it was +P rated as I don't like the locks on defense guns so a modern 638 wasn't attractive.

I now I have 49-0, and being all steel, I don't worry about using +p in it.

But it's heavy.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:19 AM
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Kernel Crittenden Kernel Crittenden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 326MOD10 View Post
... but appears to be made of the newer material used in the 442's/438's....
The frame and alloy metallurgical composition is the same as c.1955. If anything, they changed the surface coating. You can't blue aluminum. The newer guns have a different anodizing or epoxy or something, that's all. Underneath it's the same. The cylinders and barrel are carbon steel.

A few were even offered in nickel. The words Airweight and AirLite are just marketing terms S&W uses for their family of alloy frame guns. The terms have been around for a long time. I think it's only been in the last 20 - 30 years or so, though, that they've actually inscribed the term on the guns themselves.
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