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Old 12-29-2020, 07:06 PM
IntegraRC IntegraRC is offline
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Default Bodyguard 380 Reliability

Has there been any revisions of the Bodyguard 380 that improved reliability?

I bought one nearly a decade ago. At first, I had no issues at all, but after a few years, I started having a slide lock issue. It went back to S&W, and then came back with a mag drop issue. It then went back to S&W again and came back with not only a mag drop issue, but with FTF and FTE issues as well. I finally gave up and bought a M&P 340 for cc, but I kept missing the slimness of the Bodyguard 380. After a few years I then got a Sig P365 in hopes it would fill that hole, but it didnít. So I started replacing components in the bodyguard on my own in a desperate attempt to make it reliable. I changed the mag release with a Galloway precision part, which fixed the mag drop issue. I tried replacing the recoil spring, but that actually made FTE worse, so that was changed back. I then tried new mags and a Galloway precision mag spring. The Galloway mag spring seemed to help, but didnít completely resolve the FTF and FTE. On a side note, I have also tried multiple ammo types, with some having more success than others, but all having some issues.

So that bring us to the present. Despite the constant reliability issues, I just love the way the bodyguard 380 carries. I want this thing to work to the point Iím considering buying a new one. So hereís the question again. Has there been any revisions of the bodyguard 380? Iím willing to put down the money for a new one, but only if there has been improvements. I appreciate any feedback!
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:30 PM
smoothshooter smoothshooter is offline
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I like the sights and the thinness of the Bodyguard I carry almost every day as well, but a person needs to always have two of them-one to carry and one to keep in the warranty repair shop at S & W.
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Old 12-29-2020, 09:11 PM
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A lot of guys don't like them but I've had mine since 2015 ,she's been very reliable and accurate.I replaced the mag release with a metal one supplied by S&W and replaced the CT laser.I shoot a box of ammo a month +..I did polish the feed ramp as I do all my semi's,keep her well oiled.It is my EDC.
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Old 12-29-2020, 10:01 PM
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It's not just the Bodyguard. You'll find a bunch of threads about the general unreliability of .380 pocket pistols. It's just not a reliable cartridge in little pistols.

A much better option is to accept a minutely larger platform and go with a pocket 9mm.
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Old 12-29-2020, 10:22 PM
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If you like how thin the Bodyguard is, along with the light weight... but want reliability....

In all honesty, look toward the Ruger LCP.

Mine have all been extremely reliable.

I could never get my Bodyguard to operate with reliability.

Last edited by banger; 12-29-2020 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 12-29-2020, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borderboss View Post
It's not just the Bodyguard. You'll find a bunch of threads about the general unreliability of .380 pocket pistols. It's just not a reliable cartridge in little pistols.

A much better option is to accept a minutely larger platform and go with a pocket 9mm.
I agree with you. I was just hoping S&W may have done some improvements over the years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by banger View Post
If you like how thin the Bodyguard is along with the light weight... but want reliability....

In all honesty, look toward the Ruger LCP.

Mine have all been extremely reliable.
I would get a LCP II immediately if it came with a manual safety. I like carrying with just a clipdraw, so a manual safety is a must for me. The day they come out with one is the day I put an order in. Although I also wish the sights were able to be changed out.

Last edited by IntegraRC; 12-29-2020 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 12-29-2020, 11:24 PM
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Got a BG in 2014, it ran great for two years then developed light strike issues. Went back to S&W, they fixed it and I sold it. The only .380 that’s been 100% for several years & several hundred rounds is my old style LCP. My 340PD is an EDC and the little .380 fills in when I can’t adequately conceal a J Frame.
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Old 12-30-2020, 12:00 AM
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My thoughts are that the S&W .380 Bodyguard is the S&W .22 Escort of the 21st Century...
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Old 12-30-2020, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banger View Post
If you like how thin the Bodyguard is, along with the light weight... but want reliability....

In all honesty, look toward the Ruger LCP.

Mine have all been extremely reliable.

I could never get my Bodyguard to operate with reliability.
My brother has a gen 1 LCP and it is reliable. Then he got an LCP2 and nothing but problems. Sent to Ruger and came back no different. Problems. I matter ammo or mags. FTE with double jams.
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:01 AM
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I love mine. Utterly reliable pocket pistol. I recommend
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken158 View Post
My thoughts are that the S&W .380 Bodyguard is the S&W .22 Escort of the 21st Century...
I think us older guys will appreciate that comment!!
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:38 AM
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You guys should really look at the Kahr CM9/PM9 in 9mm. The size difference between it and the .380s out there is very little, and the Kahrs run. My PM9 has been in my front right pants pocket for over 15 years with no muss and fuss.
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Old 12-31-2020, 06:41 PM
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My Son picked up a Bodyguard 380 & so far it's been going without any trouble.. It carries easily & that's the advantage of it over anything else.
I picked him up a LH Fobus for Christmas to carry it on the belt..
Time will see, BTW His is a newer one with the metal mag catch & an engraved stainless slide..
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Old 01-01-2021, 02:30 AM
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I appreciate everyone’s feedback. I’ve been searching the vast regions of the internet to figure out if S&W made any rolling changes to the bodyguard 380, and I couldn’t find anything other than the name change and CT laser upgrade in 2014-2015. I’m hoping someone will tell me otherwise though!
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Old 01-01-2021, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borderboss View Post
You guys should really look at the Kahr CM9/PM9 in 9mm. The size difference between it and the .380s out there is very little, and the Kahrs run. My PM9 has been in my front right pants pocket for over 15 years with no muss and fuss.
I disagree, they are not the same at all. Mainly because of weight loaded. IMO. I had the PM9, 365 and LC9 to compare with the BG380. I think the PM9 is the next best thing but it still is not as easy to pocket or vest pocket.
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:58 PM
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I came into a few cases of .380 ammo a few years back and because I would rather shoot ammo than sell it, I needed to buy something to shoot it with because I didn't own anything in that caliber. I ended up with a Glock 42. I have to admit I was really surprised with how well it shoots and how nice the trigger is. I've got 700 rounds through it with zero malfunctions. I just use it to shoot steel but I would feel completely comfortable using it for an EDC if I didn't already have a P365 for EDC.
I have a friend that has the .380 Bodyguard and he likes it and has had no issues with it. I need to get with him when the weather gets nicer and try out our .380s for a good comparison.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:40 PM
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I like mine and have about 300 trouble free round through it so far.
I don't shoot it alot, but it gets carried daily on those early am runs/walks, gets sweated on and is small enough for pocket carry, unlike the G42 I had. I wear it in a active gear band, so I wanted the long DA trigger pull.

It's suprisingly accurate and the stock trigger has smoothed up nice.

I purchased mine in early 2019.

Last edited by pazzo; 01-03-2021 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 01-04-2021, 11:50 AM
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I have a pair of newer BG .380's, and both have been 100% reliable with multiple factory loads and my own handloads. I shoot them from time to time, and use the carry ammo on board and 3 magazines of practice loads per session. Then they get cleaned and switched out for EDC, one in black, one in FDE. I use the same shoot/practice drill with my pair of Shield 9's, and my M637/M60. No point of wearing any of them out
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Old 01-04-2021, 01:25 PM
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I'm just guessing here, but from the reports I've read from new BG owners I suspect S&W may be using a stronger hammer spring in the BG to prevent light strikes.

Now for a show of hands. How many of you BG owners have actually taken the firing pin out and cleaned it along with the channel? Since the rear sight and extractor have to be removed first, I'm thinking not many of you have.

I don't remove the FP from mine as often as I do the more simple ones from other pistols, but do remove it for a thorough cleaning once a year. I will however use brake-clean and compressed air to flush it out after every range trip. I also work some dry lube (graphite) in through the FP hole at the breech.

I've never had a light primer strike, or any other kind of failure with my BG. Could be luck, but I don't think so.
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:21 PM
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The original BG380 had a different laser than the new ones today.
I sold mine and got an m&P no laser, no safety model last year.
I like the heavy trigger ,it feels smooth. The feed ramp has a more polished look and feel to it. The mag latch is metal now, original was plastic. The stippling on the new one is a little better (but not great)
Mine has been perfect.( 340 rounds so far)
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:06 PM
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Mine has been pretty reliable in the last 5 years. Just a few light strikes in at least 800 rounds. I added Talon grips, replaced the plastic mag Release with a factory steel one, added magguts +1 springs, and painted the front sight. Great discreet pocket pistol.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banger View Post
If you like how thin the Bodyguard is, along with the light weight... but want reliability....

In all honesty, look toward the Ruger LCP.

Mine have all been extremely reliable.

I could never get my Bodyguard to operate with reliability.
The LCP looks better but my KelTec P3AT was more accurate and reliable.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:31 PM
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I have both the LCP second gen and the Bodyguard both are very reliable but I like the capability of theBG.380 better.I had a P3AT ,used it to get the LCP.Enough said.
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Old 01-30-2021, 08:43 PM
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Update

After much back and forth, I finally caved and bought a second bodyguard 380. I ran about 50 rounds through it and it was flawless, except it had the same slide lock issue that my first bodyguard 380 had.

Just to check, I ran the new magazine in my old bodyguard and it still had FTF every 3 rounds with the same ammo.

I will say that the newer one recoils more softly too. Iím guessing itís from the new recoil spring. I did try a new recoil spring in my old one, but it didnít fix anything.

So long story short, I still donít know why my old one has issues, but the new one is flawless, except for the slide lock. This time though, I learned to just leave it alone. The slide lock doesnít really matter. The last time I sent a BG380 to S&W for a slide lock, it never functioned correctly again... for 5 years... including probably another 3 trips back to S&W. So the advice for all of you that have a functioning BG380 with a slide lock issue, just accept it and live with it. Donít be like me 5 years ago. Being like me is bad in general, but save yourself the headache and the cost of buying a new gun. If thereís no FTE or FTF, just let it be...

To outline the procedure for fixing your BG380 FTF, do the following:
1. Ditch your old BG380
2. Buy a new BG380
3. Come to peace with the slide not locking back
4. Donít ever send your BG380 back to S&W

That is all.
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Old 01-31-2021, 12:02 PM
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Iím confused. Slide not locking back has to be a mag issue. Right?
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Old 01-31-2021, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
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Iím confused. Slide not locking back has to be a mag issue. Right?
S&W didnít think so, and they returned it with the slide lock working, but with FTF galore thatís seemingly unfixable. My advice is not to question it. Questioning it is how I got myself into this 5 year nightmare.
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