The S&W Bodyguard is junk

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by bangbang01, Dec 11, 2017.

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  1. bangbang01

    bangbang01 Member

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    I purchased one of these guns several years ago, and the thing constantly light striked regardless of ammo. I sent it back to S&W, and the thing was fine for a few boxes of ammo, but eventually started light striking again, so I got rid of it.

    I recently had the opportunity to pick up the M&P 2nd gen version of this gun for less than $300. I couldn't pass the deal up, and the guy at the gun shop said the light strike issue had been resolved. Well, it looks like I got another lemon. I was unable to get through a single magazine of 2 different types of ammo without a light strike or jam even after over 150 rounds and cleaning the thing after the second box.

    Sorry S&W, but this gun is junk. My wife's Glock 42 has never had a single malfunction, and my keltec p32 hasn't had a malfunction after the first 50 rounds over 15 years ago.

    Here's an idea, build a gen 3 and actually resolve this light strike issue SMH
     
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  2. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    You're talking about the BG380?
     
  3. bangbang01

    bangbang01 Member

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    Yes,the original BG380 and the M&P BG380
     
  4. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    My wife owned a S&W Bodyguard as well. No problems with ammo just the trigger pull was obscene, measured at over 15 pounds. It was sent back to S&W, tested as "fine" and sent back very dirty. The trigger did not change at all. It was cleaned and sold in less than a month after that.
     
  5. rskent

    rskent Member

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    And after about 2000 rounds (guesstimate) my G42 started having light primer strikes.

    I resolved mine with a new striker ASSY and striker safety. Works great now. We shall see in a few thousand rounds.

    Sorry about your Body Guard problems. But no matter how hard any manufacturer tries for a zero-failure rate, they are bound to throw a few clinkers now and then.
     
  6. bangbang01

    bangbang01 Member

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    For sure, but two in a row right out of the box? Yikes

    The marriage just wasn't meant to last I guess LOL
     
  7. SteveChuck

    SteveChuck Member

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    I've found that it is usually the result of poor quality steel/alloys etc..The things get worn in no time. Kimber has been experiencing that the past several years with some of their compact 9mm and .380s. When those manufacturer's start to use poor quality materials, even if they have a sterling reputation for quality over the years - this is the result. Combine that with corner-cutting ammo manufacturers, gee whiz, you have a nice day at the range huh? Just always say a little prayer of thanks you discovered it while shooting at the range, and NOT during a gunfight.
     
  8. cocojo

    cocojo Member

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    WOW, the whole gun is junk because you got light strikes. Don't you think thats a bit over the top. I had a glock 42 and had to file away a bit of the slide stop, it was contacting the bullet nose. It was failing big time until I worked to fix it. I would never call it junk, its still a very well built pistol. I own a m&p bodyguard and it’s an awesome pistol and very well built. I love my gun a lot. Doesn't malfunction at all but would light strike on steel cases, they have hard primers, but i wouldn't call the gun junk because of it. No problem with my carry usa made ammuntion. I am so sick of people complaining about triggers. Too many are spoiled with light range gun triggers. This isn't a range gun, its a hideout handgun and the day you need it the trigger could be 20 lbs and you wouldn't even know it. I can tell you I dont want a 5lbs trigger aiming at my crotch with appendix carry. Junk absolutely not!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  9. 71velle

    71velle Member

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    I know a few guys that have or had the BG380 and none of then had light strikes, but a lot of guys seem to have the problem. I wonder what the problem is? There must be some small variance between pistols, surprising Smith has not eliminated the problem. It is costing them a ton in shopping and lost sales from guys who are afraid to take a chance. It seems that I have read a few reports of pistols coming back from repair and still having the same issue. Im at the point that if a pistol doesn't run out of the box its not the end of the world as long as the issue is fixed and doesnt return.
     
  10. cocojo

    cocojo Member

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    I can tell you why. Because so many are obsessed about light triggers today and complain about the bodyguards doa trigger. Now because of that they try and lighten the trigger just enough so its not too heavy and fires. In Time it softens and light strikes occurr. They can make the gun so it never happens but instead of a 9 lb trigger, it would be 12 lbs and more and everyone complaining about how heavy the trigger is. It a compromise a bearable trigger with an occasionaly light strike or a heavy trigger and complaining the triggers are way too heavy.
     
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  11. HamSlamma

    HamSlamma Member

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    If you have trouble with a gun over and over again,,,,,,Guess what,,,,,ITS JUNK!!
     
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  12. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49 Member

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    Not having either weapon in question any opinion I may have isn't worth much, but what the heck, this is afterall the interweb thingie. In both instances it sounds suspiciously like a head space issue.
     
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  13. bangbang01

    bangbang01 Member

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    Yes, a self defense gun that doesn't go bang pretty much every time you pull the trigger is about as worthless as tits on a bore if you ask me.

    This is 2017. There is absolutely no excuse for a high quality firm like S&W to produce a gun that is picky with ammo. This isn't a 50 year old family heirloom like and old 1911 or PPK that needs Ball ammo to run smooth. This is a modern day firearm. There is simply no excuse for this problem to be this prevalent in a 2nd gen gun IMO.
     
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  14. bangbang01

    bangbang01 Member

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    It's definitely not do to an under powered hammer spring. The Bodyguard is known for it's LONG HEAVY trigger, which I don't mind for safety reasons. The hammer is rather beefy compared to other pistols in its class like the little Kel-tecs or the Ruger LCP as well. I've been told that it's a flaw in the design of the firing pin. Who knows, but it really hurts to see a fine company like S&W not be able to fix the issue. I sure hope they aren't going the same rout that Remington has gone with their quality control and this gun is just that one questionable gun that almost every manufacturer seems to have.
     
  15. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49 Member

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    I carried S&W revolvers and semi autos for well over 20 years, until we were issued Glocks. Since retiring I have tried on several occasions to find one of the new generation S&W autos I could learn to live with. So far I don't carry one. The main failing for me has been accuracy, or more properly, the lack thereof. Now, before I get all the flame responses about how my S&W is so great and really accurate consider, I require a handgun to be capable of at least 3 to 4" groups at 50 yards and able to keep 5 out of 5 rounds in the A zone of an IDPA target at 100 yards. The old Smiths would do that with ease, the new generation not so much. But that's just me, your milage will likely differ.
     
  16. wally

    wally Member

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    What two types of ammo?

    I've got a pair of BG 380 pistols, one I carry every day, the other I practice with. No complaints.
     
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  17. bangbang01

    bangbang01 Member

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    Federal brass case and Winchester White box. Both are Walmart specials.
     
  18. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I attend a 3 day shooting course but it was relatively low round count. If I recall it was 400-500 rounds between the 3 days. One participant brought a body guard 380. It was the gun this person intended to carry. Before the end of day two it died. I wasn’t able to examine the gun and never heard what the problem was but it went down and couldn’t be fixed and ultimately went back to S&W. I offered to loan them a spare gun I had in order to complete the class.

    Sample of one but I wasn’t real impressed.
     
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  19. bangbang01

    bangbang01 Member

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    My sample is only two, but after reading a few forums I have discovered that the issue I'm having is extremely common. Most people are only complaining of the gun having light strike issues with certain brands of ammo, but like I said previously, I feel that is unacceptable in a defense gun. I used to have a Ruger mark 2 that would light strike with cheap bulk ammo sometimes before I removed the LCI, but it was a target gun, so it wasn't an issue for me. Had the issue with my bodyguard been only with cheap Russian steel cased ammo maybe I could live with it, but my Bodyguard is having light strike issues with Federal brass cased ammo that isn't know for hard primers. If it fails with that, it will fail with my Federal HST defense ammo. I didn't even waste any defense ammo on it because It never got the green light during the break in period. I typically won't carry a gun until I've put a couple hounded rounds through it without an issue. Also, light striking typically isn't an issue that can eventually resolve itself like a cycling issue either. Light striking actually tends to get worse over time from what I've read.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  20. 18DAI

    18DAI Member

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    Agree strongly! The BG380 is a piece of junk! Cheaply made with a trigger only a lawyer could love.

    We have two left in inventory at the shop I work part time in. The owner says they will be the last ones we ever have.

    The LCP and G42 are so far better made. And they sell! Unlike the pathetic BG380.

    Since we stopped selling s&w revolvers last year (poor QA/QC) the m&p pistols and shields are all we will carry from s&w.
     
  21. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Au contraire, many makers specify that only certain types of ammo, listed by grain weight, are acceptable to use in their self defense weapons. Not to forget that our very own DOD does exactly that - performance is assured if you are using NATO full powered ammo, not whatever you like off the store shelf. Why?

    To ensure reliability the powder charge and bullet weight must be sufficient to allow the bullet enough dwell time in the barrel for the slide to absorb enough energy to fully retract and cycle the action. Along with that the correct primer is necessary - again, the M16 comes with hard primers, not soft target ammo primers as the firing pin does rebound off it when chambering.

    Ammo is the most important part of the dynamic cycling of self loading weapons, it's not a bolt action which tolerates anything that can dribble out the barrel. Detailed examination of a wide range of self defense weapons will reveal many makers specifying which is the optimum round for that model, and almost none will guarantee you can chamber up any junk you like and shoot it reliably. If anything that is an uninformed "consumerist" attitude, much the same as complaining your GT500 Shelby Mustang should run on 85 octane just fine, and blaming the dealer for not keeping it that way.

    Light primer strikes are a separate issue - if one gun or another has an issue with it then in a number of perspectives its still not "junk" and the proof is that most will sell it to inflict their problem on someone else to recover their costs. If it was truly junk the nearest rubbish bin would be sufficient. If I was having light strike issues I would first check the reliability of the ammo, secondly, send casing with the gun to show how it's happening. I'd also make sure I wasn't overlubricating the gun, especially the firing pin channel and already have torn it down to inspect it for any congealed grease or machining dross. Changing the firing pin for another new one wouldn't be out of the question as it would likely not be the same manufacturing lot.

    As for the 12 pound pull that has been "in the news" for that firearm since the introduction, there have been trigger kits to lighten it up, and those two items both combine to make it fall down the list of potential purchases. There are better guns out there with better triggers that should have been chosen before the Bodyguard.

    All too often we buy guns on their looks and Brand reputation, when you buy on features that are important and then select the ones which best do the job, you discover guns you may have discarded entirely due to emotional reasons. In this class of guns you could do better with half a dozen others. Kahr, Remington, Ruger, SIG, Keltec, and others offer them. If S&W had equipped the Bodyguard with a decent trigger up front, and made the laser modular for upgrading, it could have made the cut. As it is now, it's a back of the pack choice and arguably barely ahead of the original LCP.
     
  22. bangbang01

    bangbang01 Member

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    The S&W BG380 has no such recommendations. In fact, it doesn't even have recommendations or warnings against +p commercial ammo (I know there is no such thing as real +p 380acp) like a lot of other micro 380's. This isn't a little Seecamp or Beretta tomcat that has well defined ammo specifications. This is a modern day firearm that is supposed to shoot "whatever I like off the shelf." Being that I have an entire safe of handguns that will do this, I hardly see such expectations as unreasonable. For me, the thing is junk. If someone else wants to experimenter with different ammo choices or try to fix the thing, I say more power to them. If I buy a self defense gun, I expect it to cycle any ammo under the sun that meets the manufactures specifications after the break in period which should be no more than a few boxes of ammo. The first version of this gun that I purchased was a gen-1, so while I felt burned, It was understandable. However, there is no excuse for a firm like S&W to have a 2nd gen gun with the exact same issue (this is a common problem). If they end up making a gen 5 that is regarded as the greatest pocket gun ever made, I will not own one. S&W had the chance to win me back, and they failed. I will most likely be purchasing a Ruger LCP custom as my next pocket gun.
     
  23. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49 Member

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    bang, I agree with everything you say except one point. ANY well designed properly made and assembled weapon should never require a break in period. Target weapons with zero tolerances, perhaps, but never a defensive weapon, never. A "break in period" suggests that tolerances are too tight for a defensive weapon, but then what do I know. But wait, I was a LEO & armorer for 31 years, maybe, just maybe I do have a clue.

    Regarding your next purchase, remember my requirements. The Glock 43 met the requirements, not by much but it did make it. No one could have been more amazed than I. Check 'em out.

    Good luck.
     
  24. bangbang01

    bangbang01 Member

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    There are a lot of guns out there that are dead reliable that require a break in period for various reasons other than the one you stated. I'm OK with putting a few boxes of ammo through a gun before I trust my life to it, but I could see how some gun owners wouldn't.

    The Glock 43 is WAY too big for pocket carry, and if I'm going to carry any other way, I'd just carry my CZ-P01. My Glock 42 will fit into deep pockets in a pair of cargo shorts, but I would pocket never carry something with a safe action trigger. I will only pocket carry something with a long DA trigger for safety reasons. My wife got the Glock 42 to fit in her custom CC fanny pack that she wears while biking. She likes it, but has recently started to carry her NAA Black widow on her rides because it's much lighter and it fits in this nifty little ankle holster she got. I would rather her carry the 380 if she's going to carry, but she actually shoots the little 22 mag better. I was actually pretty shocked with the accuracy myself the first time I shot it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  25. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I had a BG380 from the M&P line w/o the laser. It was actually less ammo-picky than my LCP (gen 1). The LCP wouldn't cycle the steel stuff worth a hoot. The BG ate it fine. I only got rid of the BG because I purchased a Pico that I liked better for pocket carry. I've sense moved on to the LCP II because I wanted a lighter trigger pull and wasn't thrilled with the Pico's warranty.

    I kept the BG380 IWB with a Techna-Clip attached. Comfy carry piece, really. Sorry people are having issues with it. It seemed pretty well made to me.
     
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