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OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: samintx
Date: October 10, 2006 11:39AM
Any gun people here? What do you think of this vs a S&W Ladies revolver? I plan on taking lessons.
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: October 10, 2006 11:46AM
I'm not familliar with that specific model from S&W.. but MOST of the small compact S&W revolvers would be excellent choices.
Given a choice, a hammerless model would be prefereable. A .38 Special would be prefereable over a .357, though a "salesman" may try to tell you different.

Get a model that will be comfortable for you to carry, and to shoot. If it doesn't "fit" your hand, try another model. If it's too bulky or heavy, you will find yourself leaving it at home, which would do you little good.

Just remember that gun handling and marksmanship skills are "perishable" skills. They need to be USED regularly in order to be effective.
I trust you also understand that if you intend to carry, there is a great responsibilty that comes with that right.

Feel free to PM me... I can look up details on both models when I'm not at work (darn internet filter!) and give you my semi-educated opinion as an NRA firearms safety, Personal Protection, and Pistol marksmanship intructor...



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 10, 2006 01:06PM
What are you going to do with it?

I'm not a fan of hammerless firearms in revolvers or pistols. The Smith Bodyguard is designed to be a small compact carry gun. It's enclosed hammer prevents getting snagged on clothing when being drawn from a pocket. The more urgent the need, the greater possibility of catching/snagging an exposed hammer.

BUT-- for some people, an enclosed hammer is something of a safety device, the gun being double action only. DAO means somewhat of a heavier trigger pull for each shot, rather than Single Action, where the hammer can be cocked prior to a shot, reducing the effort to pull the trigger. DAO reduces the chance of an Accidental Discharge, embarrassing is some contexts, dangerous with firearms.

I have a Smith Centennial which looks similar to the Bodyguard, but the hammer is partially exposed.

The Bodyguard is Smith's smallest frame fireare, and a good fit for a smallish hand. But it's a lightweight firearm, and not all that easy to shoot well, if you don't train. And training IS a must, if you are to be a responsible firearms OWNER.

Will you carry this weapon? A woman I know got a Colt Detective Special, and could not shoot it well. After talking to her and watching her shoot, I recommended a Smith Mod. 19 with a 2.5" barrel. This is a slightly larger frame, but it fit her hand fine. Though it's a .357Mag, it handles .38Spl very nicely. The added size and weight reduced felt recoil and allowed her to shoot very well with little training.

One of these with a dehorned hammer makes a nice carry gun.

Lightweight, small frame revolvers impart a lot of recoil to some shooters, and impair confidence and proficiency. They are more demanding.

Training cannot be overemphasized.

Again, your intentions dictate a reasonable choice.





Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: October 10, 2006 01:19PM
Quote
RAMd®d
Will you carry this weapon? A woman I know got a Colt Detective Special, and could not shoot it well. After talking to her and watching her shoot, I recommended a Smith Mod. 19 with a 2.5" barrel. This is a slightly larger frame, but it fit her hand fine. Though it's a .357Mag, it handles .38Spl very nicely. The added size and weight reduced felt recoil and allowed her to shoot very well with little training.
.

The premise here is that for some people, a slightly heavier gun is easier to handle (fire more comfortablely).. and this is true.
The potential trade off, as I alluded to, is that if this IS a carry gun, you may be less likely to carry a heavier gun over a lighter one, which negates any advantage the heavier gun may offer. However, both of these things are something the shooter has to decide for themselves... Find which one "fits" you best, and which fits what you will be doing best.

Quote

Training cannot be overemphasized.

Again, your intentions dictate a reasonable choice.

Completely agree...
And to re-emphasize; it's a perishable skill... without practice several times a year at minimum, you will LOSE your skill. Good initial training, and PRACTICE. Practice safety, safety, marksmanship, handling, and SAFETY.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 10, 2006 02:24PM
you may be less likely to carry a heavier gun over a lighter one, which negates any advantage the heavier gun may offer.

Which is why I asked "Will you carry?".

For some there may be a perfect weapon, for others it may involve a compromise with additional training.

A carry gun left at home is useless. A carry gun that is not easy to shoot well and does not inspire confidence *may* be of some use, and scare off an attacker. These days, that is far less likely than before. In such cases, the firearm may be a greater liability than if it were left at home.

The Bodyguard is probably about 1lb, the "Ladies guns" about .25lb more. A Mod. 19 is probably about 10-12oz more. That may be too much more for some. For many, it will greatly enhance their marksmanship.

sam's original post is akin to "what's better- a MacBook or MacBook Pro". We can quote stats, but making a recommendation is pure guesswork, without some (read "much) background.


sam:

Do you have any shooting experience?
If so, what kind?
Will you be carrying a gun? (I believe TX is a "Shall Issue" state.)
If so, will you carry *daily*?
Person or purse? (I usually recommend against the latter.)

You referred to the S&W "Ladysmith" line of firearms. Neither of these are "hammerless" like the Bodyguard, but they are a few ounces heaver, and some have a slightly longer barrel. The line is basically some small frame, short barreled five-shot revolvers.

They, and the Bodyguard are limited/special purpose firearms.

In years past, the lineup also included a few 9mm pistols, but I don't know if that's currently the case. (S&W has trimmed their lineup substantially over the years.)

If you've never shot (regularly) it might be a good idea to join a gun club and learn with a .22 revolver. Then move up.

At a distance of 2-4', it's hard to miss, and the choice of firearm might be moot. But that puts a potential attacker *very* close.

The .38Spl is a fairly anemic round, and the only person it will readily stop is a person who was not expecting to be shot. Factor in the possibility of adrenaline, drugs, alcohol, or bare rage (probably increasing adrenaline), and shooting ability becomes paramount.

What say you, sam?





Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: October 10, 2006 02:37PM
Quote

The .38Spl is a fairly anemic round, and the only person it will readily stop is a person who was not expecting to be shot. Factor in the possibility of adrenaline, drugs, alcohol, or bare rage (probably increasing adrenaline), and shooting ability becomes paramount.

Respectfully disagree with this statement....
Modern .38 special factory loads, with modern bullets, are considerably more effective than even 15 years ago. Particularly .38 "+P" loads that virtually all modern S&W pistols will handle just fine.
Gun magazines, and even police departments, put too much stock in the "stopping power" myth. Not saying there is "No" validity to the argument that a .357 is better than a .38.. there is no question that it IS, but the difference with modern loads is overstated.

I respect RAM's opinions on firearms matters.... I think our disagreement is a matter of scale, not of basics.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: October 10, 2006 03:33PM
FWIW, there are lots of rounds for the .38 special that will give plenty of stopping power. Magsafe springs to mind. Just for this sort of use too.

An alloy ladysmith 9mm single stack is also a good choice, but there are lots of good reasons for a revolver as well. My S&W 439 was revamped in the next generation and was morphed into the 3913, which had a ladysmith version. It was actually the ladysmith 3913 that led me to get the 439 when i ran across it at a gun show.

Taurus also has some great revolvers, as well as the Ruger carry revolvers. Both are really popular with guards.

I would take the classes at a range that also rents pistols. At many clasess, the weapon is provided. And any decent training course will help steer you towards the weapon that is right for YOU. It may or not matter to you, but there are lots of places that offer classes for women, taught by women. It cuts through the macho BS that can occur.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2006 03:36PM by Racer X.
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: October 10, 2006 04:55PM
Back in the early '70s, The Army issued me a S&W "Bodyguard AirWeight" model 38 (I worked in 'civies'.) as an alternate sidearm. After seeing how it was basically useless beyond 10m or so, it stayed strapped on my ankle. I preferred my trusty .45ACP in a shoulder rig. 8x 45s vs. 5x 38s was a no-brainer.

As Racer noted, there are now plenty of potent rounds available in .38SPL, but back then we had to carry the govt. issued 'pansy' ball round.






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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: October 10, 2006 05:04PM
that may have been Smith's first alloy and steel revolver I believe. Smaller and 5 rounds, right? There is a Ladysmith variant I believe (not that that should matter)
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 10, 2006 05:28PM
While ammo has improve, let's not forget that were talking firearms with less that a 2" bbl., based on sam's post.

And again, you put a hot round in a lightweight firearm (which I do not recommend for less than experienced, competent shooters, and there is a potential problem of bullet placement.

And I stand by my assessment of the .38Spl. Though it's a generalization, I say it's correct more often then not. But I will further qualify that to one-shot stops. Granted, two, three or more well placed shots (not counting COM head shots) from a short barrel .38 will probably stop a not too determined assailant, like a lightweight purse snatcher, etc.

But a determined, drunk, drugged, or highly agitated assailant will not be stopped by a such a round, *unless* maybe it's a vital organ shot. Or two.

I would lean toward Mag-Safe frangible-type rounds over any "hot" SJHP .38. Most will not achieve sufficient velocity to expand. It's been awhile since I've looked at such ammo, but earlier versions had a problem with heavy clothing like leather. Assuming that's been solved, it's usefulness should be restricted to personal defense only.

Now if a .38 ++p++ round is fired from a suitable weapon that allows good two shot placement for a given shooter, then I'd agree, it could be a viable choice.

Again, I don't know sam's abilities or potential, so an Airweight Bodyguard with hot 38s might be just the ticket.

But until I know better, the only hot 38s I'll trust are:







Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: October 10, 2006 05:46PM
Quote
RAMd@d
But until I know better, the only hot 38s I'll trust are:

...and Pam used to carry 40s or were those 44s??

thumbs up smiley
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: October 10, 2006 07:01PM
MagSafe has stuff specifically for alloy frames and short barrels. The numbers for the .38 specials are higher than for standard 9mm rounds (and many +P rounds in the 9mm).
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: rob banzai
Date: October 10, 2006 08:57PM
I just want to chime in on hammerless DAO...

My hand strength is not good and any time I have to go DAO, revolver or auto the results are not good. I keep practicing but the typical DAO trigger pull is too heavy for me to stay as accurate as I can be with single action.

Definitely try and shoot it before buying it so you can get a feel. It's so personal that what works great for someone else might feel awful to you.
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: testcase
Date: October 10, 2006 09:08PM
The "Lady Smith" line revolvers use a lighter spring in the rebound slide than the "regular" non-LS revolvers. This results in a lighter trigger pull while still insuring reliable ignition. The Bodyguard had a shrouded hammer. I don't think they're made anymore. The Centennial line have a fully enclosed hammer and, are therefore double action only. Proper fit to the user's hands is often overlooked and, very important to good shooting. If you're anywhere near the S&W plant (Academy actually) in Springfield MA, you can actually get your hands on most of the S&W line by renting & trying them at their indoor range. Otherwise, try to get your hands on as many handguns as legally possibly. Some will be a much better fit to your hands than others. Some jurisdictions make handling guns you don't own or, are licensed to possess, impossible. Don't get jammed up on a technical violation. Profession training is HIGHLY recommended; your life is worth it.
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: October 10, 2006 10:06PM
"sam" lives in Texas, so she should have lots of options for ranges, and reasonable firearms laws.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2006 10:07PM by Racer X.
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: samintx
Date: October 11, 2006 04:32AM
Thanks guys! this gives me lots to think about and ideas. I certainly will be taking lessons in safety and shooting....and keeping up with being a responcible gun owner. No "Pistol Packin' Mama" will I be....

Remember that song?
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Re: OT: Smith&Wesson Body Guard Model ?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: October 11, 2006 09:51PM
take lessons, pay attention, and get a permit if it is offered, even if it is not required where you live.
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