S&W Bodyguard : Model 638 vs Model 649!


March 28, 2003, 11:33 AM
Am interested in getting a S&W Bodyguard revolver later on this year. Plan to shoot .38 spl. +p ammo in it. May or may not get CCW. Min. acceptable accuracy - 6" circle at 25 yds. Any one with experience with one or the other or both have recommendations as to which one to choose?

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Kentucky Rifle
March 28, 2003, 11:54 AM
Within 6 inches at 25 yards is pretty good for a snub. I own a 638. I couldn't do that...but, if she cocks the little bodyguard~my wife can.:confused: She's a little younger, good clear blue eyes, steady aim. She's a Dental Hygienist. Maybe she's just developed steady hands because, with a pistol she outshoots me every time.


March 28, 2003, 12:32 PM
649, since you are not sure about ccw, also +p's are a little easier to shoot out of an all steel frame.

March 28, 2003, 12:43 PM
I have a 649 and I cannot do 6" groups at 25 yds (although the gun might with a different shooter) shooting DA.

March 28, 2003, 01:04 PM
The S&W guns can all do well within 6" at 25 yards. Probably easily 2 or 3" at 25 yards. For a shooter to shoot up to the gun's potential takes practice, however.

March 28, 2003, 01:09 PM
649 all the way.

March 28, 2003, 01:19 PM
I have been amazed at the accuracy of my j frames if I hold them still enough or shoot from a bench rest. IMNSHO most of the negative reports I hear about j frame accuracy are a problem of the shooter. Its also an easy problem to have because even a small swing with the pistol will get a great divergence at much distance.

But, what would you want to shoot at 25 yards with a j frame? I think the bodyguard union would complain:D

If your criteria is that the gun is just generally accurate that would make sense. Consistently hitting a 6 inch circle with a j frame from a free stance will not be an automatic result. You would have to practice and get pretty good.

But with a 75 foot head start I would be hard to catch and with my body guard (model 38) a 7 to 10 foot shot is relatively easy just in case I am not fast enough.

The real advantage a bodyguard model offers is the ability to cock it in your pocket and reliably shoot it right through your jacket. Queensberry Rules do not apply:D

March 28, 2003, 02:12 PM
I have both a 649 and an M38. The 649 is easier to shoot with + P loads. It is also more accurate and shoots a wider range of ammo acceptably. It had a trigger job before I got my hands on it so that may account for some of the ease of shooting it.

My M38 is stock. Recoil is much more noticeable in the alloy-framed gun. It doesn't shoot 158 grain loads to point of aim, and accuracy with them does not match that from the 649. I ended up using Win Clean 125 grain loads because they shot closer to the point of aim than the rest of the ammo I tested. It does carry more easily and disappears better in a front pocket due to the lighter weight.

I plan to keep both, but if it came down to it I'd hold on to the M649.

March 28, 2003, 03:43 PM
Sounds like the 649 may be the way I go. I've got a Chief's Special w/3" barrell that will usually hit within 3" circle at 25 yds (guess it depends on me and the ammo).
Will see what else is said.
Thanks for commenting.

March 28, 2003, 03:48 PM
I recommend the 649, as that's what I carry (purse/BUG) and shoot. If you invest the trigger time to become proficient with it, the revolver is absolutely capable of sub-2 inch groups DA at 25 yards.

I only shoot full-power .357 mag loads, and my last time at the range, I shot 23 of 25 bowling pins SA at 25 yards, and 21 of 25 DA.

March 28, 2003, 03:56 PM
Here's another vote for the 649

Jim Watson
March 28, 2003, 05:16 PM
My old M38 is light enough to carry in a pocket; my 640 is not, it needs a holster and if I am going to wear a holster I can carry more gun. But the 640 is engraved and too pretty to part with.
I don't know what they will do at 25 yards, I have full size guns for that. If you are determined to target shoot with a J frame, look at a M60 3" adjustable sight version.

El Tejon
March 28, 2003, 05:37 PM
Carried the 638 as a bug for many years. Solid piece.

You should be well-served with either weapon.

March 30, 2003, 02:19 PM
I have both guns. The 638 is better for pocket carry, which is the way that I carry a J frame, because it is a lot lighter and shorter than the 649. The 649 seems to be built stronger than the 638, and is chambered for .357 magnum. The 649 also has a slightly longer barrel. As far as the accuracy you require, I can not consistantly shoot that well with either gun. My 649 rarely leaves the safe, because of it's size and weight, and the 649 is carried almost daily.

March 30, 2003, 03:28 PM
My 649, which reminds me of a one hump camel, is the most accurate snub that I've ever owned. It gives me one ragged hole at 15 yards. I've had it for approximaetly 5 years & have had no problems with it,

March 30, 2003, 03:29 PM
this 14.5 oz pre six series airweight bodyguard would hold a well centered tight group double action from 25 yards but I was most impressed with the instinctive way it landed fast pairs at the closer ranges
Recoil with standard pressure handloads was sharp but well short of distracting or painful

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