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Mr Wizard
12-26-2010, 9:03 PM
Has anyone given a range report on their experience with this pistol?
I took my new Bodyguard .38 to the range today. I bought it as a (future)secondary CCW weapon. It is my first laser equipped revolver and I was excited to try it out.
I took some reloads and a box of new ammo. I wanted to practice using the sights first before trying out the laser. I wasn't getting very good groups (10") with the reloads. Several were keyholes that concerned me, so I switched to the new ammo. No keyholes and I avg 5" groups at 30 ft. I kept hitting high left of where I was aiming. I figured it was my 50 yr old eyes, but my son had the results.
I was really disappointed with the laser. I did a preliminary zero, by following the supplied instructions, but I shot even farther left and it shut off a couple times when I fired. I tried to readjust it, but couldn't get it right, so I gave up and switched to my 1911. I always shoot better with a .45

I figure after this break in period and a good cleaning, I'll get better results next time.
Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated.

Doheny
12-26-2010, 9:12 PM
When I've been to the range and seen guys shoot with lasers, the results have been less than impressive.

Try shooting the gun single action with a slow trigger pull to see if it's you or the laser.

Enjoy the gun!

fonzy
12-26-2010, 10:25 PM
I don't think that bodyguard has a single action. Is this your first revolver? Try sights on target squeeze slowly when the cylinder spins and locks in place you have a split moment before the final pull to release the trigger, this will help your accuracy. Also dry fire it alot with your laser so you can see on target if you laser moves once you fired it (dry). I can shoot auto faily well but revolver is a whole nother world. If your right handed and it's not a smooth trigger we have a tendency to push left or pull left whatever you want to call it as we pull the trigger to the rear.

Doheny
12-26-2010, 10:28 PM
/\/\ In that case, I stand corrected! :)

dfletcher
12-27-2010, 9:14 AM
Has anyone given a range report on their experience with this pistol?
I took my new Bodyguard .38 to the range today. I bought it as a (future)secondary CCW weapon. It is my first laser equipped revolver and I was excited to try it out.
I took some reloads and a box of new ammo. I wanted to practice using the sights first before trying out the laser. I wasn't getting very good groups (10") with the reloads. Several were keyholes that concerned me, so I switched to the new ammo. No keyholes and I avg 5" groups at 30 ft. I kept hitting high left of where I was aiming. I figured it was my 50 yr old eyes, but my son had the results.
I was really disappointed with the laser. I did a preliminary zero, by following the supplied instructions, but I shot even farther left and it shut off a couple times when I fired. I tried to readjust it, but couldn't get it right, so I gave up and switched to my 1911. I always shoot better with a .45

I figure after this break in period and a good cleaning, I'll get better results next time.
Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated.

For better or worse I just can't, or I suppose choose not to, deal with laser sights. I'm over 50 and am just too used to looking at my front sight or at the target over my front sight - actually looking at the red dot on the target just throws me all off, I find myself "walking" the laser all over the place. For example, if I hit a little high to the left - I look high to the left as opposed to deliberately bringing the laser down and to the right. I don't know if others do that, if it's a routine error or just my bad habit. I suppose "practice, practice, practice" works though.

Coded-Dude
12-27-2010, 9:38 AM
Its a hard gun to shoot. I haven't set my laser yet because I have been more focused on getting the action down and using the sights(which could use some f-ing dots). Plus the last two times I shot there was too much light for the laser to even be seen clearly. I can pull through the first action pretty quick and lock the cylinder, then I aim and fire. I'm not all that great with the snub nose revolvers yet, but will feel a lot better with more practice.

I was also amazed at how much better I was with my new 45(out of the box), than with my bodyguard.

mag318
12-27-2010, 10:25 AM
My results were just the opposite with the Bodyguard 38 and I find it to be an excellent revolver. Until I bought the BG38 I was carrying Smiths' excellent Model 337 AirLiteTi. And while the revolver was a joy to carry it was no fun to shoot it. After a couple cylinders full it became downright painfull to shoot even with non +P ammo. The first thing I noticed with my BG38 was how comfortably it handled recoil. None +P ammo was very comfortable and even hot +P ammo was reasonably comfortable. I attribute this to the grip design and the flexing of the polymer gripframe. I now regularly shoot 150/200 rnds per practise session. The trigger out of the box is the best I've evre had from a J frame size Smith and the iron sites were dead on with 158 grn loads. As for the laser, it greatly aids accuracy from odd positions which in itself could be a life saver. I have over 1000 troublefree rounds thru my BG38 and carry it everday, I think S&W did a great job with this innovative revolver.

Mr Wizard
12-27-2010, 11:51 AM
Its a hard gun to shoot. I haven't set my laser yet because I have been more focused on getting the action down and using the sights(which could use some f-ing dots). Plus the last two times I shot there was too much light for the laser to even be seen clearly. I can pull through the first action pretty quick and lock the cylinder, then I aim and fire. I'm not all that great with the snub nose revolvers yet, but will feel a lot better with more practice.

I was also amazed at how much better I was with my new 45(out of the box), than with my bodyguard.

I'm glad I am not the only one that has a problem with the sights.
I was telling my son that I kept losing the front sight against the black target. The orange targets were not a problem. I definitely need to install new sights if they are even available for this model yet. I know the front sight is pinned to the barrel so it's not something I am willing to replace myself. The laser was a bonus, but not my primary reason for choosing this model. The laser lens kept fowling from the crapping reloads I was using.
I enjoyed shooting it, but after 100 rds my hand was starting to hurt even with the comfortable grip.
I am going back this afternoon for some more practice. I'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks all for your imput.

pTa
12-27-2010, 11:55 AM
I don't think that bodyguard has a single action. Is this your first revolver? Try sights on target squeeze slowly when the cylinder spins and locks in place you have a split moment before the final pull to release the trigger, this will help your accuracy. Also dry fire it alot with your laser so you can see on target if you laser moves once you fired it (dry). I can shoot auto faily well but revolver is a whole nother world. If your right handed and it's not a smooth trigger we have a tendency to push left or pull left whatever you want to call it as we pull the trigger to the rear.

It's sinble action / the bodyguard still alllows acces to the hammer/ It;'s just shieled on both sides.

pTa
12-27-2010, 11:57 AM
My expperineces are with the 442/ double action only / mind yoru trigger control and shoot at 7 yards I can keep all in the black /
10 yards and over it really start to spread out

I believe the bodyguard shold shoot as well in DA as the 442 / better if its all steel

Coded-Dude
12-27-2010, 12:00 PM
i'm pretty sure the BG38 is DA only - there is no hammer(unless i am blind).....you might be mistaking the ambidextrous cylinder release as a hammer.

DNA
12-27-2010, 12:26 PM
Sorry to thread jack, but has anyone compared it to it's primary competition, the Ruger LCR?

Dan

redcliff
12-27-2010, 12:42 PM
i'm pretty sure the BG38 is DA only - there is no hammer(unless i am blind).....you might be mistaking the ambidextrous cylinder release as a hammer.

The original Model 49 Bodyguard, as well as the model 438 and model 638's can all be cocked via a short hamer spur exposed outside the hammer shield.

Personally I have no idea if the OP's "Bodyguard 38" is one of those models.

DNA
12-27-2010, 12:54 PM
OPs Bodyguard 38 is the newer polymer framed J frame.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_WfkVB7nkqYQ/S1ZxVn3ypMI/AAAAAAAABJg/kxlWIH9LdiU/s640/Bodyguard+38.jpg

Basically, the answer to the Taurus

http://i45.tinypic.com/erapag.jpg

and Ruger polymer offerings.

http://www.ammoland.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/crimson-trace-lasergrips-ruger-lcr-revolver.jpg

Dan

redcliff
12-27-2010, 3:59 PM
OPs Bodyguard 38 is the newer polymer framed J frame.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_WfkVB7nkqYQ/S1ZxVn3ypMI/AAAAAAAABJg/kxlWIH9LdiU/s640/Bodyguard+38.jpg

Basically, the answer to the Taurus

http://i45.tinypic.com/erapag.jpg

and Ruger polymer offerings.

http://www.ammoland.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/crimson-trace-lasergrips-ruger-lcr-revolver.jpg

Dan

Ahh, I see, thanks for the enlightenment. I don't follow many of the new S&W offerrings because I prefer older pre-lock models. It does appear to be DAO.

Doheny
12-27-2010, 8:09 PM
The original Model 49 Bodyguard, as well as the model 438 and model 638's can all be cocked via a short hamer spur exposed outside the hammer shield.

Personally I have no idea if the OP's "Bodyguard 38" is one of those models.

Yeah, I assumed he had the older BP w/ Crimson grips. It looks like the new BG is DA only.

sker13
12-27-2010, 10:48 PM
Sorry to thread jack, but has anyone compared it to it's primary competition, the Ruger LCR?

Dan

Yep...and I no longer own a bodygaurd. Feel free to PM me for details!

Mr Wizard
12-27-2010, 11:18 PM
Sorry to thread jack, but has anyone compared it to it's primary competition, the Ruger LCR?

Dan

I originally went to the store intending to buy the LCR, but then I couldn't see paying $220 more for a laser grip that I was already getting on the BG38 for the LCR base price. At a glance they looked very similar, so I went for the S&W.
After my second trip to the range today and another 50 rds, I realize my BG just doesn't like reloads. Yesterday I used brass reloads, today was steel case. I still got several keyholes with both, along with 10% FTF.
Practicing with name brand ammo is going to get expensive!

B Strong
12-28-2010, 6:53 AM
Has anyone given a range report on their experience with this pistol?
I took my new Bodyguard .38 to the range today. I bought it as a (future)secondary CCW weapon. It is my first laser equipped revolver and I was excited to try it out.
I took some reloads and a box of new ammo. I wanted to practice using the sights first before trying out the laser. I wasn't getting very good groups (10") with the reloads. Several were keyholes that concerned me, so I switched to the new ammo. No keyholes and I avg 5" groups at 30 ft. I kept hitting high left of where I was aiming. I figured it was my 50 yr old eyes, but my son had the results.
I was really disappointed with the laser. I did a preliminary zero, by following the supplied instructions, but I shot even farther left and it shut off a couple times when I fired. I tried to readjust it, but couldn't get it right, so I gave up and switched to my 1911. I always shoot better with a .45

I figure after this break in period and a good cleaning, I'll get better results next time.
Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated.

I've got many years behind Smith J frames, so let me throw in my .02

Dump the Laser.

Practice firing double action only, concentrate on squeezing the trigger evenly through the full travel of the trigger.

You're not going to be able to use just the finger tip on the trigger like a 1911 - I get best results with using the area of the finger at just about the first joint.

Experiment with different brands/bullet weights of ammo.

I concentrate on the front sight only, and try to have enough of the blade above the notch to the point where I get a crisp image, see where your poi is, and adjust accordingly.

plan-b
12-28-2010, 11:55 AM
I still got several keyholes with both, along with 10% FTF.
Practicing with name brand ammo is going to get expensive!

Curious, how does a FTF happen with a revolver? I don't own any revolvers.

brassburnz
12-28-2010, 4:42 PM
I used to have the original Model 38 Airweight Bodyguard many years ago. It is definitely not an easy gun to master but a great gun to carry. I had a gunsmith perform a trigger job to smooth out the DA pull. He also recut the forcing cone because it wasn't square to the cylinder face and did something to fix a little endshake in the cyclinder. This a was new gun out of the box.

After that, the little revolver shot like a champ. There was a six inch square gong target at the 50 yard line you could hit all day with 148 gr. wadcutters shooting DA. You just had to know where to hold. I used to let everybody on the line shoot that thing.

corrupt
12-28-2010, 6:38 PM
Lasers are highly misunderstood, and there are lots of pitfalls that suck inexperienced shooters in to making them shoot slower and less inaccurate because they are mesmerized by the little red dot.

For example a lot of people start following the red dot with their eyes instead of looking at the target... this decreases speed A LOT. Etc, etc....

Seek some kind of training/book/video that will straighten you out on their pros/cons. They can be useful.

My little laser schpeel.

Mr Wizard
12-28-2010, 6:55 PM
I've got many years behind Smith J frames, so let me throw in my .02

Dump the Laser.

Practice firing double action only, concentrate on squeezing the trigger evenly through the full travel of the trigger.

You're not going to be able to use just the finger tip on the trigger like a 1911 - I get best results with using the area of the finger at just about the first joint.

Experiment with different brands/bullet weights of ammo.

I concentrate on the front sight only, and try to have enough of the blade above the notch to the point where I get a crisp image, see where your poi is, and adjust accordingly.

Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a try.
Jeff

Curious, how does a FTF happen with a revolver? I don't own any revolvers.

1 of every 10 of my reloads failed to go BANG. The primers were dented, but didn't ignite. I'm sure it was the ammo and not the my revolver, but it still added to my frustration. Shooting should be fun, not a chore.
Thanks for asking.

mag318
12-28-2010, 8:31 PM
All the new BG38s I've handled had great triggers out of the box. Being a lifelong S&W shooter I practise with a revolver (properly timed) so that the cylinder indexes before the hammer falls almost like a two stage trigger pull. This really aids accurate shooting and why I always prefered DA Smiths over Colts. As for the laser, it is also a great training aid when dry firing while trying to maintain the dot on target. I really like the laser and practise with it about 50% of the time.
I did have a Ruger LCR and have to admit it's a good revolver with a good trigger, but of the two I prefer the Smith as I think it handles recoil more comfortably.

plan-b
12-28-2010, 10:57 PM
Ah hah! I just realized you meant failure to fire and not failure to feed. I got semi-autos too firmly ingrained in my noggin.

Ron-Solo
12-29-2010, 12:49 AM
I've got many years behind Smith J frames, so let me throw in my .02

Dump the Laser.

Practice firing double action only, concentrate on squeezing the trigger evenly through the full travel of the trigger.

You're not going to be able to use just the finger tip on the trigger like a 1911 - I get best results with using the area of the finger at just about the first joint.

Experiment with different brands/bullet weights of ammo.

I concentrate on the front sight only, and try to have enough of the blade above the notch to the point where I get a crisp image, see where your poi is, and adjust accordingly.

:iagree:

Lucky Scott
12-29-2010, 9:57 AM
Hey DNA,

Where did you find that photo of the two Taurus revolvers? I searched the Taurus site and did not find it.
They look really nice.


Edit: Oh, there it is, under new products. Wow, I like.
Has a hammer but it is bobbed, and looks fantastic. Does anybody have any input on how they shoot yet?

DNA
12-29-2010, 11:51 AM
MR. Wizard,
How are the sights on the BG38?

One of the reasons I like my LCR more than my SW642 aside from the trigger, is the rear sight notch is wider and a lot easier to see than the vestigial sights on the 642.

The guys do have some solid advice reference the laser. For me, other than to check if they're sighted in, during practice the lasers are never turned on, I prefer to work with the actual sights as they can't be knocked out of alignment nor will they ever run out of batteries. Although, for whatever reason, bad guys seem to respond real well and fast to lasers....

And as far as price point, the under $500 for the poly revolver plus laser is simply astounding, heck I thought about looking into picking one up after finding out the price point... :P

LuckyScott,
I'm not sure the polymer 38s are out yet, but they do have the 45lc/.410 out for those in the free states, and they appear to have fiberoptic front sights, that'd be something worth looking at...

Dan

Bruce
12-29-2010, 2:39 PM
Lasers on firearms remind me of Col.Jeff Cooper's comment about being a solution to a nonexistant problem.

Malmon
12-29-2010, 5:00 PM
Finally got mine and was able to examine and play with it more thoroughly. I am not sure about the gun itself because I haven't had the chance to take it to the range, but the integrated laser is junk. I noticed that the laser is not consistently pointing at the same point in relation to the front sight. It is loose and attached to the gun by a very small screw that does not tighten all the way.
SW's customer service is not available til Jan 3. This is annoying since the main reason I bought this gun is because of the integrated laser.

Encircled is that small screw. To other BG38 owners, I suggest checking your gun.
http://thebetasigmafraternity.net/BG38