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  #1  
Old 11-29-2011, 07:30 PM
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Default 2nd bodyguard 380 broken firing pin DONT DRYFIRE

My bodyguard was working so well I bought another for my son EAV####. Within an hour of owning, oiling and tuning it up and dry firing to loosen the trigger the firing pin snapped. Dealer sent it back to Smith a month ago and it might be lost in shipment (send them back yourself). The dealer and S&W CS told me this was a fluke issue (roll eyes). And I should be able to dry fire away.

Well fast forward.... my main #1 BG380 EATxxxx which I absolutely love now, broke the firing pin too a few days ago when firing only a few times. Broke exact same place right where the rear meets the first cutout. I've fired about 1000+ rounds maybe more. Originally broke the trigger in with about 400-500 dry fires with no issues. Laser buttons working great after fix. Tuned it up and polished the ejector and this thing runs like a sewing machine, or it did. Obviously I'll be using snap caps in the future.

I saw a comment on the web these pins are MIM manufactured. I guess meaning they are metal injected molding? Or a powder injected into a mold to make a metal part.

Honestly this sounds like pot metal, pig iron or something. Can anyone comment? I'm now worried S&W is using a less than wonderful type of firing pin. I see a lot of broken firing pin results on google too.

Last edited by GeorgiaShooter; 11-29-2011 at 08:25 PM. Reason: shorten
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaShooter View Post
My bodyguard was working so well I bought another for my son EAV####. Within an hour of owning, oiling and tuning it up and dry firing to loosen the trigger the firing pin snapped. Dealer sent it back to Smith a month ago and it might be lost in shipment (send them back yourself). The dealer and S&W CS told me this was a fluke issue (roll eyes). And I should be able to dry fire away.

Well fast forward.... my main #1 BG380 EATxxxx which I absolutely love now, broke the firing pin too a few days ago when firing only a few times. Broke exact same place right where the rear meets the first cutout. I've fired about 1000+ rounds maybe more. Originally broke the trigger in with about 400-500 dry fires with no issues. Laser buttons working great after fix. Tuned it up and polished the ejector and this thing runs like a sewing machine, or it did. Obviously I'll be using snap caps in the future.

I saw a comment on the web these pins are MIM manufactured. I guess meaning they are metal injected molding? Or a powder injected into a mold to make a metal part.

Honestly this sounds like pot metal, pig iron or something. Can anyone comment? I'm now worried S&W is using a less than wonderful type of firing pin. I see a lot of broken firing pin results on google too.
Dry firing with snap caps did not prevent my firing pin (S/N EAHxxxx) from breaking after about 300 dry fires. It's been fine since S&W replaced the firing pin, with about 300 live fires since on the new firing pin. I dry fire very little now.

Judging from the broad span of broken firing pins across a wide range od S/Ns, it's my opinion that the 380 firing pin has a design problem, which results in a stress point where all these things seem to be breaking.

The metal injection molding process is a widely used and accepted manufacturing process when done correctly, so I'm not so sure it is the source of these problems. However, problems with the MIM process could make a design problem worse. From what I've heard S&W tells everyone with a broken firing pin that their problem is an isolated case. I would recommend against much dry firing, even with snap caps.

Dave

Last edited by Snoguy; 11-30-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:23 AM
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Dave thanks, very interesting and good feedback. I'd better follow that same path until more information is available.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:26 PM
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This might be useful to some. I see what is most likely causing the firing pin to break. While I can't diagnose it to the level of a professional I still see the general problem and I illustrate that in this short video. Any knowledgeable feedback out there much appreciated but I also asked S&W to respond to me, they have not done so yet. I'm still waiting on my replacement firing pin (sigh).

S&W Bodyguard 380 Broken Firing Pin - YouTube
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:46 AM
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Update: S&W customer support tells me they've never seen this problem before ever. And no known issue here. And that I should not listen to web forum users that find a problem once and repeatedly exaggerate it. I think if this is an issue it's either not even on their radar, they are not recording all the cases or communicating that within S&W or playing public relations tactics. I have no clue but this happened on two Bodyguards and I did nothing wrong to cause it. So I'm going to install the new pin when comes in and then watch the gun closely and not dry fire. He again said there is no official problem dry firing but I think it actually brings this issue out faster than live fire but I'm already having people email or contact me that have broken a FP even with live fire on new BGs. So even if this issue is isolated, it still appears to be a valid issue to me. We'll see if they suddenly have some design change appear in future models. If I have more news to add I'll update again.

If you have issues like this make sure you are contacting S&W customer support so they are getting the information directly.

The new BG EAVxxxx that broke the FP was lost in UPS from the dealer to S&W so I'm getting another new one. And I'll fix the one I carry EATxxxx.

Last edited by GeorgiaShooter; 12-07-2011 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:18 AM
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S&W usually does not admit problems over though phone. Even when we had daily posts of 15-22s firing OOB a year or two ago, Customer Service claimed they had never heard of this issue before when people called. There was never a recall or admitted problem.

If they ever do decide to improve the firing pin, they will likely do it without telling anyone and the new pin will just appear in new guns. I don't think this problem is big enough right now for them to care.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:48 AM
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The top spring loaded part that is housed in the slide, just below the rear sight, is the firing pin stopper. (Safety feature to keep the firing pin from striking the primer when trigger is not actuated.) The trigger bar is supposed to raise that part to a full clearance point so that the blocker is never interacting w/ the firing pin during normal use.

More likely what's happening is that trigger bar component designed to disengage the stopper is wearing down (or otherwise being displaced), causing the firing pin to hit a little bit of the blocker during normal firing actuations, as a result of the stopper not being fully cleared. This would, of course lead to undue stress being applied to the firing pin, in that break point area, too often and ultimately leading to the break.

P.S. I also posted this info on your video listed above.

You can check for proper blocker clearance by taking the hammer out, putting pistol back together & manually pushing the firing pin forward while holding trigger back. The pin should move forward w/o any resistance, if you feel resistance, then the blocker is not being cleared properly.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:20 PM
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Okay these last two posts nailed it. Dragon I think you are spot on with these comments and after a number of issues with the BG this seems to be the norm, and they also refrain from answering lots of other liable questions about supported ammo and so on. I'm cool with this now. Just very happy they have the level of CS they do. It's in my opinion what sets them apart. Since there are many great brands out there this is one reason to choose S&W.

Physboy,

You really nailed it. I was looking at the wrong place but now I see precisely which part on the same pin that holds the hammer that rotates and lifts this cam causing the FP safety to rise and allow the hammer to force the firing pin fully forward as far as allowed to travel by the other side pin coming in under the ejector spring. I can see by the wear on the broken firing pin and the bottom of the safety bar this is the cause. Since this also happened on another brand new BG I'm pretty sure it's just general quality control and tolerances.

When I get this new firing pin I'll go through these procedures and make sure it clears and if I can't correct or make it work perfectly I'll just send it in or get another firing pin safety part on order. After looking at all the parts closely with calipers and magnifier, I believe I can make it work perfectly with some TLC.

I really appreciate your help. I do love the little BUG.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:18 PM
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GeorgiaShooter,
My BG380 S/N: EAJxxx bought in February?? Firing pin broke in the exact spot as in your video. Probably about 2-3 months ago. Sent the gun back and they fixed it. No explanation in the return box. Now I know. I didn't dry fire mine that much and probably had about 450-500 rounds through her. All is good now, but won't be dry firing it except to check for function after cleaning.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgiaShooter View Post
Physboy,

You really nailed it. I was looking at the wrong place but now I see precisely which part on the same pin that holds the hammer that rotates and lifts this cam causing the FP safety to rise and allow the hammer to force the firing pin fully forward as far as allowed to travel by the other side pin coming in under the ejector spring. I can see by the wear on the broken firing pin and the bottom of the safety bar this is the cause. Since this also happened on another brand new BG I'm pretty sure it's just general quality control and tolerances.

When I get this new firing pin I'll go through these procedures and make sure it clears and if I can't correct or make it work perfectly I'll just send it in or get another firing pin safety part on order. After looking at all the parts closely with calipers and magnifier, I believe I can make it work perfectly with some TLC.

I really appreciate your help. I do love the little BUG.
Glad I was able to help brother! That's what were all here for! Good luck w/ new firing pin & keep us posted on progress!
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:59 AM
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Default Smith & Wesson Quality Customer Service

I am an LEO and range instructor for my department. I purchased a BG 380 this week. Lubricated, dry fired, and broke the firing pin within two days. I believe the individual who made the thoughtful YouTube on this is correct. There is a design flaw.

In general, I am not a fan of the 380, but have some specific applications for this pistol. We see a lot of functional problems with these pistols, and the balistics are marginal at best.

I am a fan of S&W and many of their products. In my expereince, they are ethical and thoughtful in dealing with problems. And they certainly listen to their customers. I communicated with customer service, and notified the chief armorer and my regional sales manager, both of whom are highly qualified and steller individuals.

Customer service is aware of this issue and it is being addressed. I am confident that the issue will be resolved.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:37 PM
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I have been a vocal proponent for the BG380 for quite some time. This is alarming to me. S&W should find a fix for this and get it out to the owners. For a concealed carry weapon, utmost reliability is paramount. The way I read this post, the firing pin could break at any time. I guess I'll be carrying my P11 for a while.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:31 AM
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Georgiashooter:
I just viewed your YouTube #2, on the evaluation of root cause and repair for the fring pin design problem. It was very insightful.

Do you feel that the firing pin and firing pin block should be redesigned? Should they be manufactured with forged metal?

I would also be interested in hearing if your BG will stand up to extensive dry firing after your fix.

Thanks for your scholarly contributions on this!
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by SWAT I View Post
Georgiashooter:
I just viewed your YouTube #2, on the evaluation of root cause and repair for the fring pin design problem. It was very insightful.

Do you feel that the firing pin and firing pin block should be redesigned? Should they be manufactured with forged metal?

I would also be interested in hearing if your BG will stand up to extensive dry firing after your fix.

Thanks for your scholarly contributions on this!
Based on GeorgiaShooter's latest YouTube video, he no longer has his 380. He apparently had a 3rd firing pin problem with his 380, and then traded it back to the dealer and bought a SIG P238.
Sig Sauer P238 Equinox DEC 2011 Review, Range Test, Field Strip - YouTube

Dave
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:08 AM
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Glad I found this thread. I was in the market for a BG 380, but it sounds like I would do well to wait until confirmation that this issue has been corrected. With such a serious problem that could result in a major lack of sales (and a lot of returns), I suspect they'll correct this asap now that they've apparently acknowledged that the problem exists, and know what's causing it.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:23 PM
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I was thinking of getting one of the .380's for my wife, but after reading all the problems with this model I will not being buying one at all, I have the other Bodyguard the .38 special, and really love it and have had no problems with it.....
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:25 PM
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My wife bought me a BG380 for Christmas. I was nervous about it after reading about these firing pin issues, especially since I dry fired it a few dozen times. I took it to the range tonight and put 150+ rounds through it. It performed flawlessly. The laser was a little low, but after a slight adjustment, I was getting a very tight grouping. It's a little snappier than my M&P 9s and the trigger is going to take some getting used to, but as a backup carry piece, I think it will be fine.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:48 AM
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Default BG 380 SN question

Does anybody know roughly what the newest SN's are that have been produced for this gun to date? Obviously there have been a lot of problems with this gun, most of them resolved early on except obviously for the firing pin related issue, and I really want to make sure that I buy one of the newest possible SN's if I buy one.

From what I understand and have read, the SNs started with EAAxxxx, and proceeded to EABxxxx, EACxxxx, and so on. This makes sense, but I've seen EAXxxxx SNs posted, and if each letter represents 9,999 produced, that's almost 250,000 manufactured in the last couple years. That seems ridiculously high to me for this model and over that period of time, so I presume this logic isn't entirely correct. Does the 3rd letter change every time there's a revision or something? If that were the case it would mean there have been almost 25 revisions since productions started, which also sounds high. If someone could clarify, and perhaps clue me in on the highest known SNs produced that would be great. I've tried to find this information elsewhere including on S&W's site to no avail.

TIA!
Eric

Last edited by edenney; 12-20-2011 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:16 PM
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Mine is an EAKxxxx . I have 200 live rounds and maybe about 400 dry fire pulls with snap caps. Firing pin broke in the exact same spot as in the video (which is now removed). I called S&W, they denied of ever hearing the problem. They are of course paying for shipping and replacing the pin. But I want to know if the pin has been re-designed, or made of a different metal, so it will not fail again. I will not carry this again until I have over 2000 dry fires and 1000 live rounds and no failures.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:51 PM
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When I called someone I know at the company, he told me he thought he'd heard the firing pin had recently been revised to incorporate a radius at a spot that was previously a sharp corner (where some firing pins are reported to have been broken).

I replaced a broken firing pin for another instructor. It had broken off at the front corner of the firing pin safety shelf.

The gun fired a box of rounds in the intended manner after the repair.

I strongly suggested the owner of that Bodyguard, and another of our folks who just bought one, to just shoot the guns and not sit around and engage in excessive dry-fire 'practice' with these little guns.

There's no way in the world I'd ever consider doing 2000 dry-fire cycles through this (or any other ) diminutive pocket pistol.

Does it really take experienced and skilled shooters more than 1-2 magazine loads of rounds being fired to figure out the long & heavy trigger stroke of this sort of gun and adapt to it? Once that's figured out, go to the range and shoot the gun as much as you can afford to shoot it, if you wish.

BTW, the only other couple of our guys who have bought and used their Bodyguards for quals (so far) have not had any problems with them.
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Last edited by Fastbolt; 02-20-2012 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:08 PM
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my theory is dry fire with a snap cap should be fine on any pistol meant to fire live ammo. But there could be some weird thing happening where the recoil of the pistol is actually lessening (reversing) a force concentraion on the firing pin. Maybe I won't dry fire when it returns, But that just makes me uneasy, will the FP break when duty calls? Maybe I'm just so familiar with dry firing since that is what I do with my 1911, I just carried that habit over to the BG380. I don't NEED to dry fire, it's just someting I do save $$.

On the radius. on mine there appears to be a double radii, as if the cutting bit did not come in close enough to make one clean radius, there are two smaller radii. Not sure if that was intentional or an accident. Either way the part still failed.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Snoguy View Post
Dry firing with snap caps did not prevent my firing pin (S/N EAHxxxx) from breaking after about 300 dry fires. It's been fine since S&W replaced the firing pin, with about 300 live fires since on the new firing pin. I dry fire very little now.

Judging from the broad span of broken firing pins across a wide range od S/Ns, it's my opinion that the 380 firing pin has a design problem, which results in a stress point where all these things seem to be breaking.

The metal injection molding process is a widely used and accepted manufacturing process when done correctly, so I'm not so sure it is the source of these problems. However, problems with the MIM process could make a design problem worse. From what I've heard S&W tells everyone with a broken firing pin that their problem is an isolated case. I would recommend against much dry firing, even with snap caps.

Dave
I was tought to NOT dry fire any gun! I do not see why you would have to dry fire a gun. I will hold the triger when closing all of my long guns. on the auto I use a smap cap or and empty brass.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:53 PM
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I purchased mine a couple of weeks ago, serial EAYXXX 500 plus rounds through and no problems
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:43 PM
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FWIW, the person with whom I discussed the matter didn't pretend it was an isolated case, but neither did it sound like he'd been hearing about a lot of them, either.

You also have to remember that the bank of customer service phones are receiving calls for ALL S&W products and services. I've been told this might mean some days there are less than 20 people manning the phones, or up to 35 people on other days. These folks might be new employees, or they might be folks who have worked elsewhere within the company for over more than a 30 year career. Just depends. I've called and spoken with a regular CS person for minor things I needed (instead of waiting to connect with a designated, more experienced LE contact person), and had them tell me they were completely unfamiliar with what I was talking about or asking for. It can happen. I either had them hand me off to someone else, or I waited and discussed my needs (or problem) with the LE contact, spoke to technician, etc.

It doesn't surprise me at all that someone there might answer the phone and not have heard of a specific complaint or reported problem with one of the numerous products and services they market, let alone one involving one of the many, many firearms they sell.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:44 PM
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It took me two days to get a hold of a customer service person on the phone.

I point blanked asked them are they getting a lot of bodyguard back due to pins breaking. He told me I was about the 30th Bodyguard 380 owner this week that hes talked to that had a broken pin. Most his calls are bodyguard 380 related.

That doesnt sit well with me.

You'd think my bodyguard 380 would last longer than 18 shots.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
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He told me I was about the 30th Bodyguard 380 owner this week that hes talked to that had a broken pin. Most his calls are bodyguard 380 related.

That doesnt sit well with me.
Lucky him.

I you actually have a problem with yours, why not just send it in and let them install the latest firing pin revision?

Remember when it seemed everyone was saying that M&P strikers were breaking all over the place? Well, it wasn't exactly that bad, but they did redesign their striker to make it less susceptible to damage if subjected to dry-fire. I ran a few thousand rounds through my couple of M&P's using the original strikers and never had a problem, and I know a fair number of other folks who could say the same. The company saw a way to make the striker stronger and more robust, though, and incorporated the change (as well as covering any broken strikers under the lifetime warranty). Still a lot of the original design strikers out there providing normal service, too.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:56 PM
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My serial number starts with EAZ and my firing pin broke Monday. I had just got it back from S&W that very day and now it looks like another trip back up North.

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:05 PM
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Make sure you point out to them that it's the second firing pin, then hopefully they'll make sure one of the new revised firing pins goes into the gun (since those may not have entered the regular spare/repair parts chain, yet).
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:46 PM
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My serial is EAZ also. Seems to be a epidemic with firing pins breaking on Bodyguards.

Heck, I'd be happy if they fix it and include 2-3 extra pins in the box when they send it back to me.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:43 AM
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I held off posting more to prevent any bashing of Smith but honestly the last time I got my BG back from repair with the second firing pin broken it began light firing which was my original issue when I bought it.

I fixed it again then traded it into the dealer at a 60% $$ loss and bought a SIG P238 that has not even hinted at malfunction in 1000 rounds now, I am gloriously happy and a sense of relief getting rid of the BG.

I still LOVE LOVE LOVE my other two Smith's but honestly I will never trust a BG again. And with the truglo TFO night sights with fiber optics on the Sig Equinox I dont miss the laser one tiny little bit.

In fact I have a full unopened BG380 laser kit with tool, laser unit, new buttons if anyone wants a deal on a complete spare laser unit and parts unopened.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:21 AM
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I'm seriously considering turning my Bodyguard 380 into a P238 when it gets back from the factory
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:52 PM
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It's all well & good to decide to try another make/model of some other firearm when a particular one has required a couple of repairs. Frustration & some amount of annoyance is understandable.

I've certainly owned some guns that made me feel that way. For example, many years ago I got rid of a pair of '80's vintage Bulldogs due to assorted problems, the last of which I traded in after it's 3rd trip back to the factory for the same problem - seizing cylinder - when it exhibited the same problem when I removed it from the shipping box after it's latest trip and I couldn't get once around the cylinder doing dry-fire without it locking up.

I've had other guns ... both those I've owned and those I've helped support ... which require one, two or even 3 repairs for a problem before the problem was resolved. That's why they train armorers, you know.

Personal experience can work both ways, though (can't it always? ) ...

One make/model of gun drives a small number of dissatisfied owners to another make/model, with which they have an acceptable experience, while they may not realize that there's another whole set of dissatisfied owners who have switched from that make/model due to bad experiences ... and who are perfectly satisfied with good functioning examples of their "new" choice, even though the first group of owners for that one may have had bad experiences with it.

I have a friend (another instructor) who had great expectations for his new LC9. He had to return it for light strikes and magazine drops. He returned it for repair, and after it was returned (he was told the hammer spring was too light and the mag catch needed replacement) he told me it was not good-to-go after the first range test, and the problems seemed to have been resolved. Then he tried it for another range session after that, and the light strikes were once again occurring. (He was using duty loads which exhibited normal function in all the other 9's.) He got rid of it without being willing to let them try to repair it again.

Sure, you can find a small number of reportedly unsatisfied owners of that new Ruger, but you can find more satisfied owners.

Me? I've made it a practice to commonly avoid the first 1-2 years of a new design's production when it comes to firearms. Sure, you might get one that's fine. Then again, you might not enjoy being the Beta tester if the one you bought exhibited some teething pains. (I haven't enjoyed that experience, myself, which is why I prefer to wait until any new designs have been out and in the hands of the eager folks looking to be the first ones on their block to own the latest & greatest. )

Wouldn't it be great if all new guns that hit the market were perfect?
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:39 PM
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How have LAPD's Bodyguards been performing?
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:57 PM
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My Bg is sn# EANxxxx. Although 500 rounds with no problem,do not want to chance a failure when needed. I plan to call S&W CS but likely will trade very soon. This is the first time in over 40 years in LE that I lost confidence in a S&W. Started with a 4" Mod. 10 in 1971 and still have a 638.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:30 PM
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I just bought one and have never fired it. The serial number starts with EAZ. Now y'all have me thinking about trying to take it back. Is the later ones better than the first ones out?
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:14 PM
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Just shot 213 rounds through my EBB serial Bodyguard. Only dry fired and handful of times so far. No issues to report.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:58 AM
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Excellent points and post.

This issue for me is that this gun has been out for 2 full years and S&W still has not addressed the firing pin problem, perhaps the most crucial issue afflicting the gun. I did not purchase my BG as soon as it was released, but rather after it was well into production. I really liked it, wanted it to work properly. It did not.

For a .380, I bought the Sig p238, as Sig Sauer addressed the issues the gun had - and as your post noted, it was a gun in new production that had issues.

The Bodyguard is not, as your post asserts, a new gun that just hit the market.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastbolt View Post
It's all well & good to decide to try another make/model of some other firearm when a particular one has required a couple of repairs. Frustration & some amount of annoyance is understandable.

I've certainly owned some guns that made me feel that way. For example, many years ago I got rid of a pair of '80's vintage Bulldogs due to assorted problems, the last of which I traded in after it's 3rd trip back to the factory for the same problem - seizing cylinder - when it exhibited the same problem when I removed it from the shipping box after it's latest trip and I couldn't get once around the cylinder doing dry-fire without it locking up.

I've had other guns ... both those I've owned and those I've helped support ... which require one, two or even 3 repairs for a problem before the problem was resolved. That's why they train armorers, you know.

Personal experience can work both ways, though (can't it always? ) ...

One make/model of gun drives a small number of dissatisfied owners to another make/model, with which they have an acceptable experience, while they may not realize that there's another whole set of dissatisfied owners who have switched from that make/model due to bad experiences ... and who are perfectly satisfied with good functioning examples of their "new" choice, even though the first group of owners for that one may have had bad experiences with it.

I have a friend (another instructor) who had great expectations for his new LC9. He had to return it for light strikes and magazine drops. He returned it for repair, and after it was returned (he was told the hammer spring was too light and the mag catch needed replacement) he told me it was not good-to-go after the first range test, and the problems seemed to have been resolved. Then he tried it for another range session after that, and the light strikes were once again occurring. (He was using duty loads which exhibited normal function in all the other 9's.) He got rid of it without being willing to let them try to repair it again.

Sure, you can find a small number of reportedly unsatisfied owners of that new Ruger, but you can find more satisfied owners.

Me? I've made it a practice to commonly avoid the first 1-2 years of a new design's production when it comes to firearms. Sure, you might get one that's fine. Then again, you might not enjoy being the Beta tester if the one you bought exhibited some teething pains. (I haven't enjoyed that experience, myself, which is why I prefer to wait until any new designs have been out and in the hands of the eager folks looking to be the first ones on their block to own the latest & greatest. )

Wouldn't it be great if all new guns that hit the market were perfect?
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  #38  
Old 02-27-2012, 01:26 PM
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From my own perspective, I consider any firearm that's only been in production, and out in the hands of actual owners/users, for 1-2 years as essentially still being a "new gun".

I'd hope that after the first couple of years the engineers and manufacturers ought to have been able to identify and address typical teething pains.

Then, there's the virtually inevitable revisions and refinements which often continue to occur over the years.

Having been through a fair number of armorer classes over the years (more than a Baker's Dozen), I've listened to folks from various companies discuss any number of ongoing changes being made to address occasional issues in some of their guns (mostly being reported by LE users), sometimes even after a model has been in production for several years.

One of the other major gun companies is still working to address reported issues with their latest product line change ... and that model line isn't as "new" as the Bodyguard line.

It took another of the companies a few years to address some reported issues with their .45 extractor design, and it appears they may still be refining the 2nd design change made after they changed the way they make their slides.

The M&P striker revision came about more than 3 years after the introduction of the M&P.
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  #39  
Old 02-27-2012, 04:41 PM
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I'm assuming everyone is talking about relative new guns? Have never heard of this problem with older automatics. My Plus II has been fired so much I had to replace the springs, but never any breakage. Still shoots fine. Don't understand why so much dry firing? But on a good pistol, should not be a problem.
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  #40  
Old 02-27-2012, 08:55 PM
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From my post above, after more inspection, shear slip cracks seem to initiate at the lower of the small radius, then propagate to where the fracture occured.

Anyways, THE DAY I sent my EAK to S&W CS, my wife bought a EAX for herself. We shot 200 rounds of PPU through it, at the start of the session we had no light strikes. On the last 50rounds we started to get light strikes on PPU (hornady, speer, winchester, ALL OK every time). It may be an indication of the FP getting fatigue cracks, and not transferring all the hammer energy to the primer. On my EAK, I had light strikes on PPU from the very beginning.

I really like how the BG380 shoots, I really like that it has the same manual of arms as my full size carry (1911). I really HOPE the firing pin is fine on my wifes EAX. And if it does fail, I REALLY REALLY hope by then a robust FP is designed for replacement. (And dont tell me to get a P238, I like cocked and locked on my belt, not in my pocket) (PS, if sig made a DAO P238, I would buy two of them tomorrow) S&W, please make the BG380 right!
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  #41  
Old 03-06-2012, 01:05 AM
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Default BodyGuard 380: another broken firing pin.

EAVxxxx. After moderate dry firing using new snap caps, weather permitted outing with a friend and prospective buyer of another BG for himself. I intended to cycle 350-400 rounds of various .380 ammunition for reliability test before using the piece for full-time concealed carry. Nice day, but it failed to fire.

I did not know that there was a firing pin breakage issue before checking online today. Field-stripped, I can only see the firing pin block, with no part of the firing pin showing rearward of it. I can depress the block pin and push the firing pin sufficiently to protrude from the breech face--but not by a lot IMHO. It's tiny and pointed.

Unfortunately, the YouTube movie referenced earlier has been pulled. But it seems clear that the pin block may at least be one factor in these failures, which must include poor design, weak pin steel, and too much machined from the firing pin to accommodate the pin block.

But I'm also wondering whether there is a problem with the actuator that is supposed to raise the firing pin block at hammer release. Mine seems to raise only at the instant of hammer break. That seems to be cutting full release of the firing pin much too close. [No, I do not let the hammer drop all the way]. But if the block pin cam does not actuate the block cleanly at time of hammer fall, it would likely impose a leveraged breaking moment to the bearing surface of the firing pin cutout and easily break the end of it off. Is this the failure the YouTube movie described and that others are experiencing?

I'm curious as to what armorers here may think about this notion. Can anyone confirm that the pin block actuator operates as described? It would not seem to take much wear or miss-adjustment of the block actuator to cause the problem.

As for snap caps, note that I cycled among 5 new snap caps so that none would become dented and thus not protective of the firing pin. That said, the apparent minute protrusion of the firing pin at the breach makes me wonder whether snap caps would do much to protect the firing pin on the BG 380 in any case.

Meanwhile, I'll stick with my P7-M8.
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  #42  
Old 03-07-2012, 12:38 PM
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Got my Bodyguard back from S&W.

Took the gun to the range. I now have a new issue. I have to pull the trigger TWICE to fire a round. The gun didnt do this before. To empty a 6 round mag I have to pull the trigger a minimum of 12 times.

Oh joy, just filled out the return form AGAIN

This is putting a sever bad taste in my mouth on S&W.

New gun, broke pin after 18 rounds of Hornady CD ammo. Now it wont set that same ammo off. Even tried winchesters, and I still got to pull the trigger 2-3 times to fire the gun
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  #43  
Old 03-13-2012, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdcromer View Post
I'm seriously considering turning my Bodyguard 380 into a P238 when it gets back from the factory
Try the equinox P238, it comes with the best night sights I've ever had and literally eliminate the want for the cheesy laser on this model.

I'd like to hear from others if Smith's customer service has told you there are no known issues with the firing pin, like they did me.
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  #44  
Old 03-13-2012, 02:54 PM
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I bought a new 380 Bodyguard in Nov of 2010. it was an EABxxxx series gun. I had FTF and FTE problems with it from the getgo and sent the gun back to the factory 4 times for the same exact problem. On the 4th re turn, I demanded and received a full refund including sales tax. I suggest you folks with the firing pin problems otta do the same. This model is just not reliable for use as a cc gun. My Ruger LCP has never failed me and i'm happy as a clam with it.
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  #45  
Old 03-13-2012, 03:24 PM
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Hopefully they get this issue figured out. I like the BG380, I don't own one, but I like it. A lot. It feels great in my hand. I hesitated buying it because of the laser buttons on all I fondled didn't work the same from side to side or consistent every time.

Went with the LCP. After installing the Hogue Handall, it's a great shooting problem free pistol, I have two (I couldn't resist the Zombie Slayer...)

I have a LC9 that I absolutely love. But if you go to the Ruger forum, you'll see several people having problems. No manufacturer is immune to this. My two 15-22, M&P15A and my newly aquired 40c are IMO works of art (I know, most AR's look the same). Not much time with the 40c yet, but it's my daily carry, what little time I do have with it has been flawless, as has my other S&W's, even my 22a.

I'm mostly glad to have S&W and Ruger being built here in the states.
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  #46  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaShooter View Post
Try the equinox P238, it comes with the best night sights I've ever had and literally eliminate the want for the cheesy laser on this model.

I'd like to hear from others if Smith's customer service has told you there are no known issues with the firing pin, like they did me.
I couldn't wait. Bought a Nitron finished P238 with rosewood grips!
And yes, the Sig night sights are phenomenal :-D
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  #47  
Old 04-23-2012, 12:34 AM
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Bought my BG380 (EBBxxxx) this month. Loved it until the firing pin broke with less than 100 rounds through it, and no dry fires (I was taught to never dry fire any gun). Bought an LCP for my wife at the same time, and so far, no problems with it.

May 6, 2012 update: Been a couple of weeks since calling S&W customer service. Not surprisingly, I'm on a waiting list for backordered firing pins....

May 29, 2012 update: Received the new firing pin about 10 days ago, and took it to the range on Saturday. One box of ammo, and zero problems so far. Will keep you posted.

Last edited by F14RIO; 05-29-2012 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Received part.
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  #48  
Old 04-24-2012, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekrauos View Post
. . .
I really like how the BG380 shoots, I really like that it has the same manual of arms as my full size carry (1911). I really HOPE the firing pin is fine on my wifes EAX. And if it does fail, I REALLY REALLY hope by then a robust FP is designed for replacement. (And dont tell me to get a P238, I like cocked and locked on my belt, not in my pocket) (PS, if sig made a DAO P238, I would buy two of them tomorrow) S&W, please make the BG380 right!
Ditto this!

I originally bought a Sig P238 for my wife to use as a CC. I don't recall if it was American Rifleman or G & A that did a review of the pocket 380s but one of them did a while back. The S&W was not included in the article. Of those that were the Sig was determined to be the best one of the bunch so I bought that. At the time I bought this I didn't even know about the BG 380 being available. I have about 300 rounds through the Sig and I'm NOT a big fan. It has a difficult time shooting just about any ammo I buy. It stove pipes frequently. I am continuing to put ammo through it when I have time in hopes it is just a break in issue but I never carry this gun anywhere.

My wife (and I) just love the small size and firepower of the 380 so I went back to the drawing board and considered several other 380's. That is when I found the 380 Bodyguard. I bought one used at my local dealer and from day one it has shot super. I have around 400 rounds through it and it has only stove piped once. It shoot any kind of ammo I put in it. My wife uses this as a CC and I loved it so much I went and bought a second one for myself (brand new). I have never had any problems with either one. I do admit that I DON'T dry fire the gun much, once in a great while after cleaning maybe but that is it. I was also taught not to dry fire guns.

I was on this forum looking for information about better night sights for my BGs when I stumbled across this thread. I had no clue anyone was having any problems with them. I love the fit, finish, reliability and design of my BG. If there really is a problem with the FP I sure hope it gets resolved soon.

I agree about not carrying a cocked and locked gun in my pocket either, no way. That was another HUGE benefit to the BG over the Sig.

What about after market FP? Has anyone looked into this? Honestly it isn't a money issue for me, I love the BG and would consider buying a hardened steel after market FP if there were one available. I just love the gun and don't know of any reasonable replacement for it. My wife and I carry ours all the time and I just need to know it will be there for me (her) when we need it.
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  #49  
Old 08-03-2012, 07:53 PM
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Cool May problems with the BG 380!

I bought one a week ago and found the trigger pull to be long thats not a problem but for it to break has been estimated at 12lbs!
I took it to the range and fired close to 100 rounds, during firing the elevation screw fell out, took it home and started to clean it and the firing pin fell out? Last 1/3 broken off!
Never mind the difficulty in pressing the left side laser activator!
Going back to the dealer tommorow and see what happens because of course Smith is off on vacation till Aug13!
I really like the handgun and already bought holsters and XS sights for it so I have alot invested! Would like to keep it but we will see!
Oh I did dry fire many times with snapcaps to loosen the trigger pull!
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:17 PM
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I'm glad you like the BG380 and also sorry to hear about the broken firing pin. My BG380's firing pin broke exactly like yours. S&W will send you a FEDEX label to send your gun in on their dime. Mine was fixed and returned in about 2-3 weeks, of course you might have to wait a bit longer since they are on vacation.
Just curious, what is an elevation screw?
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Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols Thread, 2nd bodyguard 380 broken firing pin DONT DRYFIRE in Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols; My bodyguard was working so well I bought another for my son EAV####. Within an hour of owning, oiling and ...
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