This season on Personal Defense TV, the smallest and lightest revolver George is using is the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38.
This little five-shot double-action-only cuts weight by having an aluminum alloy upper frame and synthetic lower grip frame. Both the cylinder and barrel liner are stainless steel, which is why the Bodyguard 38 is rated for .38 Special +P ammunition.
Despite its light weight, the Bodyguard 38 is surprisingly manageable to shoot. Its svelte one-piece hard rubber grip is easy to wrap up tightly for shooters with small to large hands.
Ordinarily, the small size of the Bodyguard 38 could cause the cylinder latch to painfully strike the shooter in the thumb during recoil. That’s not going to happen with this gun because Smith & Wesson moved the latch to the top of the frame where you would expect a hammer spur. It takes training to get used to the new location, but the new latch is totally ambidextrous, and is one less thing to snag during the draw or reholster.
Both the light weight and trim size makes the Bodyguard 38 sweet to carry in a pocket or ankle holster. If there’s any criticism of snubnose revolvers it’s that their short sight radius makes them difficult to shoot accurately.
Smith & Wesson addressed that issue by making the Bodyguard 38 with an integral laser sight that is fully adjustable for windage and elevation. Simply put the laser’s red dot where you want the bullet to go, and smoothly pull the trigger.
There are times when a laser sight isn’t the right tool, and all electronic devices can fail, so the Bodyguard 38 has fixed iron sights that can never be knocked out of alignment.
Overall, the Bodyguard 38 did really well for us this season and those trainers we worked with who used it were also impressed. Snubbies may be somewhat “old fashioned” but you can tuck one just about anywhere, and they always work when you need them to.