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Discussion Starter #1
I've had this puppy for a couple of weeks now, and despite the fact that I am a die hard curmudgeon who generally avoids new fangled stuff, I'm kinda taken with this little gun.

First off, the frame is much more "Centennial" than "Bodyguard". It's the enclosed hammer type, not the shrouded hammer type. The lower or rear frame is described by Smith as "...steel reinforced polymer"; the upper frame and barrel shroud are aluminum. The barrel and cylinder are steel, the barrel being covered by the frames integral barrel shroud.

The grips are some type of synthetic polymer/plastic/rubber stuff and are very slender with slight palm swells. They are well relieved for speed loaders. The grips fill in the space behind the trigger guard and go all the way up the back strap. I can get a very high hold with these grips. They seem to be held in place by a single roll pin at the bottom of the grips. They are one piece.

The cylinder latch has been moved to the top of the frame, just behind the rear sight. I believe it is made of polymer, not steel or aluminum. It is intended to be ambidextrous. You push the release toward the rear sight and it releases the cylinder. You look inside the frame after opening the cylinder and...

...THERE'S NO HAND (or pawl or whatever the correct term is)! :shocked: There is a small circle of metal with a protruding (male) 5 point star design. On the corresponding spot on the cylinder is a female 5 point star design. When you press in on the cylinder release, the frame mounted piece retracts, unlocking the cylinder. This is the ONLY place the cylinder locks up, at lease that I can find.

The extractor rod is longer than usual, and easily clears fired casings from the cylinder, but it doesn't lock up anywhere.

The trigger pull is different. Not bad...just different. It is relatively light, easy to stage if that's how you shoot, and just as easy to pull straight through. I gotta find a schematic for this. This is a total redesign of the standard S&W lock work, or at least certainly seems like it is.

The integral laser is located on the right hand side of the frame behind the cylinder. There is a cut on the recoil shield for the laser lens. It adjusts easily for windage and elevation. The whole unit is removable for maintenance and battery replacement. The activation switch is on top of the laser housing. It's a little awkward to get to with your right thumb if right handed, but I've been practicing and it's getting much easier as time goes on. I would think it would be much more natural a motion for a southpaw. Press the button once = continuous beam; twice = pulsing beam; 3rd time shuts it off.

Square notch rear sight, ramped front sight pinned in place. The front blade is wide and the rear notch even wider. Good, solid easy to see sights.

I've put 50 rounds of Winchester White Box 125 grain +P hollow points through it since I've had it. Got no problem keeping my shots inside a paper plate at 20 feet.

I wonder about the new design and lockup, as far as longevity goes. I know these guns are usually carried a lot and shot a little, but still, I'd like to think I could pass on any gun I buy. Time will tell.
 

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I saw one for the first time yesterday. Accurate description Mr. Cop...

Again, just to be contrary, it seems as if S&W is following Ruger...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Charlie, I think you're being accurate, not contrary. Ruger was there first. I do like the aesthetics of the Smith version better, but that's just me. Now let's see if either one will hold up to moderate or heavy use.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention...the damn cylinder on that Smith turns in the wrong direction! :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Touche', Mr. Spwenger. :)

Does kinda make me long for the 4" Python I bought used for $400 back in the mid 80's. I never could shoot the durn thing worth spit, but it was purty.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, my new S&W BG38 has developed a serious problem. The trigger will lock to the rear, freezing up the gun. You can't open the cylinder, and the trigger won't reset. I worked the trigger, cylinder release and cylinder until it finally cleared and I was able to unload it. (That was a little disconcerting with a loaded gun!) I tried dry firing it and the same thing happened. A little too little/too late research on the S&W Forum showed me more than a few people having the same type of problem. She's going back to S&W.

In the meantime, if anybody was thinking about buying one of these, you might want to look into it a little more.

Oh, well... :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Rub away, Spwenger. I usually follow a similar guideline. But I try to look on the bright side.
Now I get to experience first hand S&W's customer service. You know...a learning experience!

:wink:
 

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IrishCop said:
Now I get to experience first hand S&W's customer service. You know...a learning experience!
And a very interesting one... it seems to make a big difference who answers the phone. I recently ordered a set of their current-production rosewood service grips for a square-butt N-frame revolver from a rep who claimed there was no such thing, until I coached him on how to locate the part number. In another forum, someone who had purchased a second-hand 686 was initially told he'd have to pay for the firing-pin upgrade, which was a recall, way back when. I got good service on a warranty repair on one of my revolvers but it seems that you really need to know your business, in case the wrong person answers the phone.
 

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I've always been lucky with S&Ws 800 number service. But I've only HAD to call twice and that was recently.

My early SWaMPy 9c needed a replacement Magazine catch and I needed a #3 Front Sight for my Walther P-22 after it departed for parts unknown.

The rep was a little too quick to offer me a box for the P22....which makes me wonder.

Geoff
Who suspects guns are not as carefully Q'd as once was true. Is the firearms industry learning bad habits from the computer industry?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Smith sent me a mailing label for FedEx. Recieved it yesterday. I heard that Shot Show had caused a slowdown at the factory, presumably because a lot of the work force went to the show. I know that the guy I talked to sounded kinda stressed. :ehsmile:

Anywhooo, got the label along with packing instructions and instructions on how to have the package picked up at my residence. (that's pretty cool!) Let y'all know how it turns out.
 

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You're right about the Shot show. Everybody I know was there...

But I gotta tell you the folks who answer the phones are usually saints. I did a piece once and spent a day in the customer service area including listening to phone calls. Sometimes the public could pi** off the good humor man... :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Charlie Petty said:
You're right about the Shot show. Everybody I know was there...

But I gotta tell you the folks who answer the phones are usually saints. I did a piece once and spent a day in the customer service area including listening to phone calls. Sometimes the public could pi** off the good humor man... :roll:
Oh, I understand, Charlie. I started out my Law Enforcement career in Dispatch. Prior to that I was under the impression that the average person possessed average intelligence. [center:22tsvskh]WRONG!!![/center:22tsvskh] :banghead:

Not to worry. I was nice to the guy. He did sound stressed, though.
 

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I got hurt once and was on light duty. They put me in the radio room but took me off the phones because I was curt with the "customers" who wanted to know the time or weather forecast. I think the last straw was when I told a caller, "you must have mistaken me for somebody who gave a ****".

They put me on the channel doing tags and stuff. Got along fine with the cops... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Charlie Petty said:
I got hurt once and was on light duty. They put me in the radio room but took me off the phones because I was curt with the "customers" who wanted to know the time or weather forecast. I think the last straw was when I told a caller, "you must have mistaken me for somebody who gave a ****".

They put me on the channel doing tags and stuff. Got along fine with the cops... :)
Well, that's probably why you and I don't work at the State Department. Diplomats we ain't!

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Charlie Petty said:
Keep us posted.

I didn't get one of the 38s but do have the 380 and it is chugging right along so far.
Okay, a kinda sorta update. I got the shipping label several weeks ago, but a staph infection and the wife having surgery kinda put everything on the back burner. Everybody's back home abd doing fine. Shipping the Smith out today. Let you know what they say.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Okay, My S&W is at the factory. It was delivered today at 12:30. I'll let y'all know as soon as I hear something.

My USFA broke a second hand spring. I called USFA and it seemed that it was all going to be on my dime this time. They (the guy on the phone) mentioned Jim Finch of Long Hunter Shooters. I had already been in contact with Mr. Finch, and the pistol went to him instead of the factory. I'll keep y'all updated on this, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: S&W Bodyguard .38 Special - My Impressions - Update

Got my BG38 back today. Not bad turnaround time, if you ask me. No paperwork detailing just what was done, but the revolver functions like it should, dry firing anyway.

I'll take her out on the back porch tomorrow and put a box of .38's through her. (I've been playing with my new AK today. Don't want to disturb the neighbors too much!) I'll let you know what happens.
 
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