They also rolled out a polymer revolver called the Bodyguard .38 to directly compete against the Ruger LCR which had also been eating away at its revolver sales, but that's a post for another time...
They came up with a pretty darn good looking compact pistol and backed it up with some flashy advertising...
As you can see the emphasis on the pistol is the integrated Insight laser that is standard on the Bodyguard .380. A laser unit from Crimson Trade for the LCP (and the pistol it directly copied in design, the Kel-Tec P-3AT) for a while now and has been a very good selling item for them.
As you may remember from one of my earlier posts, Ruger itself used some high profile marketing hype when rolling out the LCP..
There has already been some considerable hype in the usual gun rags about the "new kid on the block" from S&W. Other notable points on the Bodyguard are dovetailed sights and a manual safety, both standard on the pistol and not available on the LCP. Also, the Bodyguard .380 has a slide that locks back on the last round of the magazine, a feature the LCP lacks that I find quite appealing.
Would the LCP's throne is threatened by this dark night armed with a laser and such?....got me thinking. Should I "upgrade" my current LCP? The cost for a Bodyguard .380 in Columbus, Ohio is currently right around $500. I paid $300 for my LCP and the Crimson Trace unit for it is right around $200 if bought locally so price wise it would be a wash. Would it be worth it? I started to take a look and see what I could find...
First off lets take a look at what I consider to be two of the best user videos (yes, this is a video heavy post...I find them, you watch them) of the Bodyguard .380 by my 'net friend George Hill, aka The Mad Ogre from www.madogre.com...
..and a shooting review..
Well, that should pretty much make my decision clear...run out and grab a Bodyguard .380 right? Well, now quite. Before I get into that lets take a look at some of the specs for these two pocket pistols...
||S&W Bodyguard .380||Ruger LCP|
|Caliber||.380 ACP||.380 ACP|
|Weight||11.85 oz.||9.40 oz.|
|Sights||drift adj. rear, dove tailed||fixed, integral|
|Laser||Insight Technologies built into frame||Crimson Trace available option ($200)|
|Actual as of 08/10||$499||$299|
Some thoughts of the two of them based on my meat pawing of a Bodyguard at a gun store (hey, I make purchase decisions the same way most of you do by searching out info and whatever hands on I can. Unlike some other blogs and sites I don't get manufacturers sending me samples to try out).
- I like the way that the laser is triggered on the CT unit compared to the Bodyguard, less thought involved.
- Size wise they are pretty much DNO (dead nuts on) in dimension to where it doesn't matter. The bodyguard does have a 2.5 ounce difference in weight which while not much is certainly more when hanging out in a holster in the loose pocket of my khaki's swinging around.
- Tossed up on the sights, yeah the dovetailed units are a big improvement over the LCP but for what I think the pistol was designed for it may be overkill, doubt I will be taking this thing to the range with a couple of boxes of ammo just to plink.
- Definitely like the slide locking back on the last round over the LCP arrangement.
- Guy at the store had some snap caps so we compared triggers, the LCP is lighter but a bit "squishy" compared to the Bodyguard. The Bodyguard seems to need a bit more to get it to break but it does so cleaner than the LCP (both were new units from the display case)
- * Didn't like the manual safety on the one I looked at, felt stiff and I though the button would be a PITA to deactivate from a pocket draw when you were also worried about getting the laser engaged at the same time.
- Found a CT unit for the LCP for $153 shipped on line...
- While the LCP certainly doesn't look bad (matter of fact the only reason I upgraded to it from the P3AT was for aesthetics) the Bodyguard does have a certain "cool" factor to it the LCP doesn't
- The bodyguard has a very solid and quality feel to it and the melonite finish on the stainless slide is of very good quality. Good gripping surfaces on the grip also.
- Rob at the gun store said that they have had several Bodyguards come back for defective laser units in the first couple of weeks of having them available.
While the Bodyguard is certainly a quality product I feel that the LCP suits my needs in every way except one, the laser. After thinking it over and looking at some training videos over on Crimson Trace's web site I decided to get one of their units for the LCP. Sure the sights on the Bodyguard are nice, but check out the groups I put together at 3 yards with the LCP (realistic range for this type of gun)
I was shooting at the top triangle on the target. First 3 rounds are the lower group that I used a 6 O'clock hold on the triangle and then went to a center hold for the last 3. Not bad for a pistol "lacking proper sights" as some have claimed.
The slide lock back would have been nice but this type of pistol is designed and carried as a last ditch type weapon where you are only going to be firing a few shots anyway. If I need to swap mags I will be at a disadvantage for sure, but that is a negligible risk in my book.
Manual safety? A non-issue for me, I have yet to have a ND in my pocket while carrying the LCP due to the trigger being pulled. Just get a holster that covers the trigger guard and you're good to go.