I just spent the last couple of days at Smith & Wesson headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts, testing out its new M&P Bodyguard pistol and revolver with integrated Crimson Trace laser aiming devices.
(We also got an exclusive look at a brand new Smith & Wesson product but can’t talk about it for a few weeks, so stay tuned!)
This was my first time shooting either handgun and I’m more familiar with full-sized tactical handguns than anything else. But I must say shooting both was fun, but if I had to pick a winner, it would be the Bodyguard revolver in .38 Special. The form, fit and function of that little number was awesome and the addition of the Crimson Trace laser was incredibly helpful when we banged out some low-light drills.
The Bodyguard pistol in 380 is nice too, but it is definitely small. At 5.25 inches long and only .75 wide, it sort of the same size as an old school Blackberry.
And that’s the point.
It was hard to manipulate with my big hands, but when you think about it, this is the pack it and forget it kind of defense weapon. It seems like it would appeal to those who don’t want to go so far as to tool up with an IWB holster and spare mag, but instead want a little extra insurance in their backpack or purse. It’s a double action only design since designers were concerned about the reliability of 380 ammo and wanted shooters to be able to hit that hammer again to get a boom.
“This is a self defense handgun, so we wanted to put everything in it to make it as reliable as possible,” says S&W chief of marketing Paul Pluff.
The Crimson Trace lasers fit onto each really well, with the revolver laser’s “on” button situated where the hammer would be — right where the strong hand thumb can turn it on. The semi’s laser has two “on” buttons near the front of the slide, fine for both index fingers.
As I said before, the revolver was funner than heck to shoot and is rated for +P ammo, so you’ll have plenty of oomph for when the SHTF. But the size and reliability of the semi-auto M&P Bodyguard could make it a great option for customers who want a backup piece for casual environments.
The Bodyguard with Crimson Trace laser in 380 carries an MSRP of $449, the .38 tags in at $539.