Smith & Wesson’s Newest Bodyguard 38 Revolver is Sleek and Affordable

Tried and true with plenty of 21st century. (Photo: S&W)

Gun industry giant Smith & Wesson is pleased to announce an addition to the Bodyguard family of self-defense handguns, the M&P Bodyguard 38 No Laser. This updated revolver, chambered for .38 Special +P, does not have a laser grip.

This makes it one sleek and light handgun. The M&P Bodyguard 38 weighs just a hair over 14 ounces unloaded. Another benefit about the laser-less design is a very low price. The M&P Bodyguard 38 has a suggested retail price of just $385. Real-world prices will be even lower.

The M&P Bodyguard 38 combines modern construction and with tried-and-true features. It has a five-round fluted cylinder, single-piece aluminum alloy frame, and a grey polymer grip. The cylinder and barrel are both stainless steel and the cylinder sports a black PVD finish.

The M&P Bodyguard 38 is a double-action only revolver with a snag-proof internal hammer. In place of the external hammer is a top-mounted ambidextrous cylinder latch.

The new Bodyguard may have you re-thinking what your everyday carry setup looks like. (Photo: S&W)

For sights the M&P Bodyguard 38 has a standard U-notch rear sight and a pinned black ramp front sight, typical for most snub-nosed revolvers. It also has a 1.8-inch barrel which is also pretty standard for Smith & Wesson’s small revolvers.

One of the main reasons a lot of people turn to semi-automatic pistols is that they are often less expensive than similar-quality revolvers. With the M&P Bodyguard 38 that just isn’t the case.

And while 5-shot revolvers may not have the same capacity as a similar-size self-loader, the organic shape of revolvers often makes them easier to conceal, especially in form-fitting outfits. Revolver reloads like speed clips and speedloaders are also small and a cinch to conceal.

Weighing as little as it does the M&P Bodyguard 38 is a great candidate for ankle-carry, too. Ankle-carry guns need to be lightweight. And while ankle-carry doesn’t provide the fastest draw, it is one of the more effective ways to conceal a handgun.

See Also: Smith & Wesson’s Newest M&P 2.0 Guns–SHOT Show 2018

It’s also a solid backup option for anyone who needs another gun to fall back on. This is an M&P series pistol which means it’s just as suited for law enforcement as it is for everyday carry.

Only thumb safety models are affected. Click on the image to learn more.  (Photo: S&W)

You don’t have to be a police officer to see the benefit of carrying two guns. And at this price it makes carrying a backup that much more appealing.

Not all news from Smith & Wesson is good news, however. Smith & Wesson is offering a voluntary upgrade for anyone who recently purchased an M&P 380 EZ pistol with a manual thumb safety.

Unfortunately, under recoil, the thumb safety can switch from off to the safe position. This could seriously endanger a person in a self-defense scenario. If you have an M&P EZ pistol with a manual safety please contact Smith & Wesson for an update.

For more information on the M&P Bodyguard 38 No Laser visit

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Singleshotcajun April 14, 2018, 6:21 am

    My(and my Wife’s
    )daily carry are S&W 442’s. Love the 442 but hate the front sight. This one has a pinned front sight, hello XS big Dot. The ambi cylinder release would take some training to get over. My Wife grew up on Colts so She always wants to pull instead of push on Her carry gun.

  • Ike April 13, 2018, 5:23 pm

    I have a few of the older K frame Smith’s from yonder years , but this little 38 has a trigger problem . Till they get that fixed they should remove it from the market . I have a little Ruger LCR , that put’s my new S & W to absolute shame . I am 68 yrs old and used to perfection from Smith . Shame on U . Reminds me of a Daisy BB gun’s trigger .

  • bph9 April 13, 2018, 5:02 pm

    Smith has been using MIM cast parts which enable it to take the part out of the mold and drop it into the gun with no and fitting resulting in terrible trigger pulls. MIM cast parts are made from compressed powdered metal mixed with plastic. Yes you read that right mixed with plastic. The plastic melts under pressure leaving more porosity than regular castings and the word porosity is just a polite word for microscopic air holes that is why all castings are so brittle and often crack under stress. Notice the barrels on some smiths are now two piece. They have round barrel cranked into the frame by putting a tool into the end of the barrel that engages the rifling and then the barrel is torqued into the gun. This does not do the rifling any good and its most vulnerable at the muzzle as well. After that a shroud is put over the top of the barrel.

  • mike April 13, 2018, 12:40 pm

    I like the look of this new M&P 38. If I didn’t just buy a S&W M&P Shield 9 last month, I’d consider getting this for concealed carry.

  • Steve April 13, 2018, 10:57 am

    No matter, laser or without, this revolver has the worst trigger I’ve ever experienced on a revolver. The innards, unlike any other S&W revolver, cause the trigger pull to be excessively hard and stackey. Friends bought one each and the hard triggers on both caused poor target hits for these older shooters. I suggested they try the Ruger LCR .38, which has the best trigger in the off-the-shelf market. Both guys now had consistently easier and better bullseye-area hits. I’m an S&W guy throughout but they pulled a big neg with this thing.

    • Al April 13, 2018, 10:10 pm

      I’m surprised, as a Ruger fan, I freely admit they have the worst handgun triggers in the industry.
      I have NEVER owned a Ruger that wasn’t desperately in need of a trigger job.
      Hell, I expected it and just worked it into the cost of the gun!
      This is especially true of nearly all their SS models. Terrible galling from the factory. The P series pistols were abominable!
      I have had several S&W’s that were fair to good, and were excellent with minor trigger work.
      Just not a fan of S&W’s looks.

  • Clint Wilde April 13, 2018, 9:04 am

    Hope it comes with another grip option, it might be sleek and affordable, but it’s ugly.

    • Singleshotcajun April 14, 2018, 6:22 am

      I could be wrong but looks like any round butt J frame grip would fit it. My 442 wears magnas from long ago.

  • Jamie April 13, 2018, 7:24 am

    To bad the Ruger LCP is still a better gun and deal. S&W spent years offering an over priced revolver with a poor trigger that required a gunsmiths touch to make tolerable while pouring R&D $ into semi autos.

  • Robert Smith April 12, 2018, 11:46 pm

    It’s great to see Smith & Wesson putting some effort into keeping at least a few of their revolvers affordable. Now if they would just use the same design and manufacturing methods to make a $400 K-frame, 6-shot, with 4″ (or longer) barrel, DA/SA trigger, adjustable sights. I’d buy it.

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