Hello again, I’m David Reed with Reed and Ward, the makers of CCW Guardian, the premier smartphone app for CCW permit holders.
This is a review of the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard in 380. So, let’s go-ahead and clear lock and show safe. Visually and Physically inspect the chamber. I’ve got no one behind the camera and there’s no ammo, so we have a safe training area.
Let’s go and take a look at this on the left side. Now, the weapon is 5 1/4 inches long 4.1 inches high. It weighs about 11 1/2 ounces, so it’s very light. This is a true pocket pistol, unlike a lot of them that I’ve reviewed in the past that were right at the edge of the pocket pistol category. This is a true pocket pistol. Flip it over, let’s take a look. Now, the weapon has a 2.75 inch barrel and this is not the same Bodyguard the Smith & Wesson has made in the past. They’ve made any number of weapons that they refer to as Bodyguard. This is also not the same 380 that Smith & Wesson has recently made. This is a new for 2014 offering and it’s an M&P Bodyguard. It’s the first very compact, semiautomatic pistol that Smith has put that M&P logo on and Bodyguard. The other 380 that Smith has made recently is kind of based off the Sigma series and is a striker-fired pistol. This is a double action only, hammer fired, semiautomatic pistol. There are some pros and cons to that. More pros than cons, and I’ll kind of talk about that in a minute. You can see the external extractor, I’ll roll it over and let’s take a look at the top of the slide. It is 0.75, that’s three quarters of an inch thick. That makes this the thinnest semiautomatic 380 I’ve ever reviewed. It means that it is, overall, considerably smaller and lighter than even a Walther PP KS. So, it’s definitely a pocket pistol. If you look, you see the sites are dovetailed in so that you can adjust them for your eyes or the ammunition you’re shooting, and you can also take them out and replace them with aftermarket sites. I happen to know there’s already at least one company making tritium night sights for this weapon already. The weapon also has the little loaded chamber indicator, right there, that Smith & Wesson puts. It’s kind of an M&P Hallmark. It’s a hole in the shroud of the barrel, over the chamber. The philosophy is that I could look down in perfect lighting and I can see a piece of brass through that hole and know that I had loaded chamber. Also you know that I don’t believe in loaded chamber indicators. I think it’s a lawyers trick. You get a false positive or worse a false negative. So I always press check my weapons when I load them. That way I know that I’ve got loaded chamber
Another feature I want to talk about and of course, this is again, a double action only, semiautomatic pistol. Right here on the left side, it has a manual safety that operates in the same direction as the 1911. That’s the opposite of the old Smith & Wesson’s where down was on and up was fire. In this case, up is on, more like a 1911 style, and down is off. Now, the reason I like this, I train a lot of people who are single parents or they have unauthorized adults over and they keep a loaded gun in the house as a home defense weapon, so to speak. I like having the manual safety on there because if an unauthorized person, adult or child, were to happen, God for bid, to get access to a loaded weapon in your home that manual safety not only locks the trigger, but unlike the M&P striker-fired pistols, it locks the slide as well. So the weapon becomes really deactivated when you got that safety on. I think it’s a nice feature. The trick is, you’ve got to train during your draw stroke with your primary weapon hand thumb to wipe that safety off so that, you know, when you’re bringing it up, boom, you can fire it and when you put it away click it back on. Another advantage to having a 1911 style or, and I refer to that, mechanically it doesn’t work like a 1911 safety, it works in the same direction as a 1911 safety. That’s why I refer to it as that. But let’s say I’m carrying his weapon with my CCW permit, there’s a viable threat, I pull the weapon out with the idea that maybe I need to defend myself and I get into a combative situation. Someone takes this weapon away from me. Hopefully by having this manual safety on there, it’s going to give me enough time to either run away or retake the initiative, take that gun back from him and teach him how it’s used. Okay, so that’s why I’m a fan of these. I’m a 1911 guy anyway, so I carry 1911, it’s not a big deal.
If you’re more of a Glock type person or the M&Ps that don’t have safeties on it and you want to keep your training regimen the same, then just leave it off and don’t be a hater. Just leave it off. Okay, but don’t block it for the rest of us. I like having that safety on there. The weapon, like I said, is double action. Check clear again because, you know, the first rule is all guns are always loaded. If you didn’t know that go to that video on four weapon safety rules elsewhere on this website and review that. We’ll wait for you. Okay, we’re back. Watch right back here and you can see that hammer work. See this is not a striker-fired pistol. It’s a double action, so it does give you a second strike capability on a weak primer. The old Bodyguards, like my Smith & Wesson 38 that my wife has or my Smith 442 which is a quote unquote hammerless Smith & Wesson 38, it has about the same trigger pull if anything a little bit lighter than my Smith 442. It’s a good solid pull. It does not stack at the end. The more I pull up, the more I like it. I would gauge it maybe 5 pounds, maybe six at the worst but I’m thinking about 5 pounds, without putting it on a gauge. Now if you’re used to using trigger reset as a way of sort of evaluating your pistols, and a lot of people like to do that. I’m going to pull the trigger, then re-cock it and then, you that first click? Watch it! That is not the reset. You have to come all the way off and all the way back on. I’m going to let you see that. Right there, I’m sorry I was off camera a little bit. All the way off. All the way off before you can fire it again. Okay, obviously I wouldn’t do it with my thumb up, I just wanted you to be able to see. That’s not the reset. All the way off and all the way back on. Think compact three-inch snubby revolver and you’ve got it, with a manual thumb safety.
The weapon is very smooth. There’s no sharp edges. It comes with two magazines and a little soft case. It has an external extractor which I like about Smith & Wesson’s. It has better sites than almost any other compact semiautomatic 380 I’ve ever seen. It does lock open after the last round is fired and will lock open on an empty magazine. Something Kel-Tec 380 can’t brag about. So, I like the Smith & Wesson 380 M&P Bodyguard. We’ll see how it shoots on the range, but before let’s take a look at the Reed Ergo Power Ratio tool or REPR tool. Now, in section A, caliber. Remember you’re evaluating a pocket gun for what it is. It is a small, lightweight weapon that you carry ideally as a backup to a more powerful gun, but for certain people who are recoil sensitive, older people, people who don’t train a lot, people with medical issues, you know, a 380 may be the strongest caliber that they can carry.
So we’re going to give it a score, but you might want to lower your overall expectations of what you expect. The mission of this weapon is to be there when you need it. Small, compact, lightweight, easily concealable, so it’s not fair to compare this, say to a 1911 Commander or something, right? Or a Glock 19, but let’s go ahead and take a look at the score. It is a 380 which means it only scores two points out of a possible five and when you go to section B, total defensive capacity, it is a 6+ 1. So, you get 7 rounds. That means it scores three. So, right now you get five points out of a possible 10 in the Reed Ergo Power Ratio tool. But we’re going to disassemble this weapon in a separate video.We’re going to go outside right now and shoot section C and D of the REPR and see how does.
Okay, we’re here near Richland, Missouri, on the T.A.G. range. We’re going to be shooting the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard in 380. We’re going to be shooting section C and D of the REPR, the Reed Ergo Power Ratio tool. If you want to know how to do this at home you can find instructions here at CCWGuardian.com. Section C measures recoil management. Two shots within two seconds on a 3.5 by 5 index card at 7 yards. If I can get them on in five seconds, or I’m sorry, in two seconds, I get five points. If it takes me more rounds or more time, well then you deduct points as applicable. Then I’m going to shoot section D. I’m going to reset the timer, shoot section D. Now, that is practical accuracy. What that means is same distance, same target, same range. I’m going to try to put five shots on the 3.5 x 5 inch index card in 15 seconds with not more than three second splits. This measures my ability to properly control the trigger and see the sights and put rounds where I intend.
So, eyes and ears, let’s get cooking. Start with section C. From the ready. On the beat. Beep. Two shots fired. Yup, no problem there. 1.95 seconds. Under two seconds. My split time was actually .53, so, you know, not too bad. I took it a little bit slow because I see those rounds are a little bit far apart, but they’re definitely there. All right, next I’m going to reset the timer and we’re going to shoot section D, practical accuracy. All right. So, reset the timer, standby. Beep. 5 shots fired. Okay, nine seconds and my split times were 2.24. I took it a little slow. Again these sites are small. It’s a 380 and I wanted to make sure my shots were there, but easily within the 15 second time limit and under the three second split requirement. Let’s go take a look at the targets. Okay, let’s check out and see how the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard did. Right here, recoil management, two shots both on the paper within an inch. For a pocket pistol that’s pretty darn good. So, I get five points right there in section C.
In section D, right over here, I’ve even doubled one right there and you see all 5 shots are inside half the target. If I wanted to count it like that. That’s five out of five also. Combining that with the five points that it got on the inside, the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 comes up with an amazing 15 points. For a pocket pistol that’s phenomenal. That’s, that’s like what I would expect to get from a much larger, much more powerful weapon than this.
So, I don’t know. I’ll tell you, I enjoyed shooting the weapon. I think this one’s a keeper. I think this one’s going to go in the Reed family arsenal. I’ll probably have to wrestle it away from either my wife or daughters at some point. The gun shot fine, the ergonomics are great. It handled recoil really well and I particularly like the addition of the manual thumb safety.
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The last thing I’m going to do with the Smith & Wesson M&P is I’m going to take out my smartphone and I’m going to pull up CCW Guardian. I’m going to document this training, I’m going to photograph these targets and I’m going to make sure that I record my training day as a hedge against allegations of recklessness or negligence. You know, it’s like a liability inoculation. Police and military use their training records to establish their training and that they are responsible. For you as a CCW permit holder, you need CCW Guardian on your side. So whatever you do, whenever you train. shoot. log. details matter. Okay folks that’s it. I’m David Reed again with Reed & Ward and as I don’t do anything with 380, I don’t need any help with the brass today. So, take the afternoon off.