Kahr P380 or S&W Bodyguard 380?


July 11, 2011, 05:09 PM
I carry a Kahr PM9 as my CCW but there are times when even that rather diminutive pistol is too large, so I am thinking of getting a 380 for those times that I need something really small.

I have narrowed the choices to the Kahr P380 and the SW Bodyguard 380. I really like the price of the SW as well as the built-in laser, but I know the Kahr is just a smidge smaller in its' dimensions.

So for those of you who are familiar with both of these pistols: is there any meaningful difference in conceal-ability between these two?

And for those of you who own the SW Bodyguard 380: how do you like it?

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July 11, 2011, 06:46 PM
Kahr have saw lots of complaints about their dime store laser Kahr better pistol anyway.

July 11, 2011, 07:00 PM
I checked both of them out at the store. The Kahr P380 felt a little smaller to me (though not by much,) but the trigger was the determining factor. The Kahr's is (as they say) smooth as glass. The Bodyguard left my finger hurting when I tried to dry-fire it. If I had to choose between those two, I'd go with the Kahr.

Have you checked out an LCP? The trigger on that is still a little too heavy for my tastes, but it's way better than the Bodyguard's, in my opinion.

dogtown tom
July 11, 2011, 07:37 PM
I used to own a P380 until I was made an offer I could not refuse. It is the best of the polymer micro .380's. No one else comes close to the Kahr trigger.

I have shot the S&W BodyGuard 380 and had no problem until it came time to field strip......:cuss: I'll never buy one for myself.

MICHAEL T Kahr have saw lots of complaints about their dime store laser Kahr better pistol anyway.
The Kahr doesn't have a laser.:scrutiny:

Yo Mama
July 11, 2011, 07:58 PM
Really small? Keltec 32

July 11, 2011, 11:04 PM
After some research I am starting to consider the Ruger LCP with the Pearce grip extension. The extension apparently takes care of the one main complaint I have heard about the pistol, namely lack of comfort and control with hotter self defense ammunition.

July 12, 2011, 10:33 AM
No one else comes close to the Kahr trigger.

I guess you haven't shot a P238!

July 12, 2011, 10:35 AM
I have and it's not that impressive for a SA trigger. YMMV

Buy the Kahr.

dogtown tom
July 12, 2011, 02:20 PM
kokapelli Quote:
Originally Posted by dogtown tom
No one else comes close to the Kahr trigger.
I guess you haven't shot a P238!

Yes I have. The Sig 238 isn't a micro sized .380 like the Kahr or S&W Bodyguard. It's closer in size to the Kahr PM9, heavier and in a weaker caliber.

For a pocket gun there is no way I would carry a single action semi like the 238.

July 12, 2011, 08:48 PM
If the LCP trigger is better than that of the Bodyguard, how bad must the Bodyguard trigger be??? :)

July 13, 2011, 09:53 AM
I like kahr and carry cm9 or cw9 BUT I would never spend that kind of money on there 380. I would but a KT p3at or rugers 380 first . They work and are waaaaay cheaper. S&W ain't even an option for me.

July 13, 2011, 10:00 AM
Yes I have. The Sig 238 isn't a micro sized .380 like the Kahr or S&W Bodyguard. It's closer in size to the Kahr PM9, heavier and in a weaker caliber.

For a pocket gun there is no way I would carry a single action semi like the 238.
I have a P238 and a PM9 and the the P238 is significantly smaller than the PM9 and especially where it counts for pocket carry.


July 13, 2011, 01:40 PM
There is nothing wrong with a Kel-Tec P-3AT.

I've never shot the S&W BG380, but a lot of people really love the gun. Personally, I'd rather have a pocket pistol sans the laser sight. It adds weight and bulk when it is really not needed.

The best .380 for the money is the Kel-Tec P-3AT. For a pocket pistol, I'd go with a DAO.

July 13, 2011, 02:11 PM
Mattole,probably not much diffrence between the concealibity of the two but I would think the Khar will have more holsters to choose from.
I too have a PM9 and there are plenty of times I carry my Diamondback .380 instead of the PM9 due to dress.

August 6, 2011, 02:12 PM
I bought a brand new kahr p380 and what a mistake that was and waist of money. Nothing but FTF and FTE, and very finiki with ammo. Not reliable enough to carry. Sold it and haven't looked back. I was very disapointed, when it worked it was a very nice shooter and good looking but that was about it. My LCP and Bodyguard 380 are less than half and they WORK flawlessly. Completely reliable. The Kahr p380 was my first kahr and left a sour taste in my mind knowing I spent that kind of money for nothing but looks and feel. I really like the kahr P9 and plan on purchasing it and giving a shot but ill probably buy it used. For now for a 380 bug ill stick with my LCP and bodyguard 380 because they WORK.

August 6, 2011, 02:29 PM
SpaceExplorer - I like that term '.. a sour taste in my mind..'! I'll have to remember that. Thanks for the input about the Kahr vs the Bodyguard.

I decided after a great deal of research to go with the Taurus 738. It has the best trigger next to the Kahr and people report it being very accurate and comfortable to shoot.

It seems that there are reports of unreliability on individual examples of all of the micro-380's, so if my 738 does not work as I want it to I will be sending it back to Taurus until it does.

August 6, 2011, 03:25 PM
I've had good luck with 5 Kahr's and am not fond of lasers, so I would go with the kahr.

August 7, 2011, 07:24 AM
Spaceexplorer31 you have to fire at least 200 rounds in a Kahr P380 during a required break in period. It's one of those type of firearms and after that reports indicate that the Kahr P380 works flawlessly.
My dealer brought that up and that information was matched by my research. It takes patience. The Kahr P380 is a fine pistol.

August 7, 2011, 08:13 AM
My complaint with the Body Guard is the awkward activation of the Laser and the magazine release, and since S&W doesn't give you an opt out on the Laser, go with the Kahr. I have a PM-9 and the feed ramp out of the box looks like it's already made a trip to the shop for a professional polishing.


August 7, 2011, 10:28 AM
When I purchased the kahr I put about 300 rounds through it and still had problems maybe I got a lemon? But my LCP and Bodyguard (newer versions) did not give me any problems and did not have to put over $100 dollars in ammo to work. I like the Taurus 380 also, nice choice.

August 7, 2011, 10:38 AM
I guess you haven't shot a P238!

He has a PM9 so the P238 is not very much smaller or lighter.

I posted some nice comparison photos in this thread but I don't have a Kahr 380 -- don't like the price.


I plan to redo the photos adding the Taurus TCP if I can find the time this evening. I fancy guns small for their caliber so its just a matter of finding the Kahr 380 at a price I can tolerate.

Only the LCP and Bodyguard 380 can function with Wolf steel cased ammo. All the others choke badly on it (but have not given me trouble with other ammo after initial problems were resolved). You may not care, but to me it says the others have small operating margins.

The P238 weighs more empty than the LCP does fully loaded.

IMHO people that criticize the S&W laser don't under stand point shooting where you use the middle finger on the trigger and the index finger along the side to "point" at the target -- the laser button is right there under it when you do this. Some of them had very hard to activate buttons, I've heard if you call S&W about it they will send you new switches.

August 7, 2011, 11:39 AM
The Kahr P380 by a long shot. There isn't a better trigger on the market in a true sub compact of that caliber. I carry their PM9 frequently and have not had a failure of any kind. You can get a cheaper .380 pocket pistol, but not a better one IMHO.

August 7, 2011, 12:11 PM
For what it's worth I wish I would have got the Kahr P380 over the Ruger LCP. The LCP is a great gun, but for a little more you can get one of the best. I still plan to get a Kahr eventually. I do like my PM9 very much, except for the fact that it scratches up cartridge cases really bad. But, I can get over that.

harmon rabb
August 7, 2011, 12:21 PM
I have and it's not that impressive for a SA trigger. YMMV

Buy the Kahr.

It's a mediocre SA trigger. But a mediocre SA trigger is still a lot better than a great DA trigger in my book :D

August 7, 2011, 01:22 PM
Yes the Kahr has a nice trigger but a nice trigger. Ain't gonna save your butt if its not dependable. LCP,s trigger ain't better but at least it'll work when you need it. What's the point buying a $600ish pretty handgun if its finiky and not reliable? For that price for a bug it better work with common ammo like WWB and it better not be finiky. Now this is just the impression I got from my Kahr P380. I can't comment on the other Kahr pistols including the P9 I plan on buying. BTW with the sale from the P380 I was able to buy the bodyguard 380 and holster and about$150 worth of 380 ammo and could not be happier.

August 7, 2011, 04:13 PM
I just fired for the first time today my Kahr P380 using Winchester 380 Auto FMJ (50 rounds) and had no problems with performance. Accuracy was surprising.

Very comfortable to fire, one failure to eject but that could be the round itself. Overall very satisfied.

My initial feelings: based on the performance today, I'm confident that this weapon will deliver. Have 150 more rounds to go for break in but at this point I am very pleased with the Kahr P380.

Even if the weapon did not perform as expected I'm the kind of person who will not give up. The manual for the Kahr P380 confirmed by the dealer states that 200 rounds must be fired through the Kahr P380 during a break in period. As far as my experience, that should be with any firearm. You will experience problems-I have with my Taurus .40 Millenium however now it fires without any problems.

August 7, 2011, 04:42 PM
I was shooting my Kahr P380 at the firing range at Rose Lake. The CPL range is not finished as of yet-it's supposed to be a 10 yard range.
I was firing the pistol at the standard 25 yard range and frankly did not expect to hit the target at all-the purpose was to run 50 rounds as a baptism. Overall performance as stated above-excellent. Accuracy though was surprising got 8 rounds in the white center target one in the black, 11 in outer area-and that was after modifying my aiming point at the top of the target paper because of the distance after the 3rd magazine.
I believe this weapon will be deadly at 10 feet or less-rounds will impact where aimed.

August 7, 2011, 05:00 PM
SpaceExplorer31 I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the Kahr P380. As my posts state, today, had an excellent initial experience.

My experience with weapons, especially after being in the military X 20 years: patience. For example- many complained about the M16A1 not being accurate. One day at the range I spent a whole amount of time fine tuning the M16A1 I was using at a 100 yard range. After extending the required amount of time zeroing the weapon I got it to perform dead on.

New firearms are tricky-does not matter if it's a high end 1000 dollar handgun. You have to run it through its paces. It might take 200, 300 or 500 rounds. That's just the nature of firearms-they are not perfect. Each has its own "personality".

August 7, 2011, 07:54 PM
I have a BG380. I’ve never handled or shot the Kahr 380 so I can’t compare them; but I do like the BG.

I’m used to a DA/SA trigger so the DAO is taking some getting used to. Other than that I have no complaints.

The sights are pretty good. I was expecting more recoil and was surprised how little there was. Recoil is only slightly worse than my Bersa 380; which weighs twice as much. I haven’t really tried the laser. I see lots of complaints about it but it doesn’t bother me. Carrying it is super easy; though I imagine the Kahr would be pretty easy too.

I paid $350 for mine new and feel like I got a heck of a deal.

August 7, 2011, 10:41 PM
Have both Kahr P380 and Kel-Tec P3AT. I trust them both very much. Kahr is a better shooter because of the trigger, but KT is a little smaller and lighter - snappier, too. Had more issues with the Kahr in the first few months, but it's settled down nicely. KT will shoot anything including the steel case russian stuff. Kahr can be a little more fussy when dirty after an extended range session. Tighter chamber, probably.

August 8, 2011, 11:15 AM
I am also searching for a smaller pistol for pocket carry. I did have my choices narrowed down to a Kahr CM9 or a DB9. After handling each one, I decided that the Kahr CM9 is just a bit too big for me to pocket carry. A lot of things that I am reading on the DB9 is not positive, So i passed it up til it had more time to prove its worth. I have never really trusted a small auto pistol. I have seen too many jam up. I have owned a S&W BG380 in the past. It was pretty reliable with the right ammunition. I did look at the Kahr P380 and was impressed with it size , weight, and quality.......but not the price. After thinking on it some more, I came to the conclusion that an airweight 5 shot snubbie would be my best option. So now I am looking to buy a S&W 438. I pocketted one while I was at the gun shop, then walked around for a few minutes. It pocket carries great, even with out a pocket holster.

Dont rule out a good airweight revolver. I feel that they are more reliable and less picky about what you feed them.

August 8, 2011, 11:51 AM
I like the kahr because of the overall build quality and the fact that the slide locks back after the last shot and also has a slide stop.
Most micro 380's are lacking here with the slide lock.
The price of the Kahr on the other hand is pretty high though.
I have heard several good things about the Body Guard but dont know a lot about it nor have I ever fired one.
I have heard several complaints about the laser setup though.
Too bad they dont offer the pistol without the laser.

August 8, 2011, 02:25 PM
I picked up a used Kahr P380 with a laser for <$400 earlier this year. I was in the shop when the guy traded it for an AR15. He complained about reliability so I figured it would need a little "tweaking". After looking over the pistol, I could tell it had not even been through the recommended break-in of 300rds. So I did just that, loaded up 300 rounds of 95gr FMJ with 2.8-3.0gr Unique and off to the range I went. Had a few fails to chamber in the 1st 100rd, so I polished the barrel and outside of the chamber a bit. After another 50rds it smoothed out just fine. It has been rock solid reliable since and looks to be a better built gun than the LCP (which I've shot) or the Bodyguard. Trigger is certainly better and it feeds hollow points better then the LCP I shot. Every gun can be finicky at times, this one just needed a little break-in to run like a champ. My only complaint is the laser adjustment screws are so tiny I had to buy a specific allen wrench for it.

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