Johnson writes, “For years, many cops, including myself, carried J-Frame revolvers from Smith & Wesson as backup guns. The little guns were fairly easy to conceal and utterly reliable. Now the same company is offering law enforcement officers another good option for backup duties: the M&P Bodyguard 380.
“If the pistol sounds familiar, it probably is. Smith & Wesson introduced the original Bodyguard 380 a few years back. It has been a good seller for the company, and many have found their way into the hands of patrol cops. However, in addition to some minor styling changes, the M&P Bodyguard 380 differs from the original in that it lacks the internal laser-aiming unit.
“Some law enforcement agencies prohibit the use of lasers on firearms. For example, one notable West Coast department allowed the use of the Bodyguard 380 as a backup gun, but only if the officer had the internal laser disabled by a department armorer.
“Including a laser in every gun added to the total cost of the original Bodyguard 380. While the price of the original gun was not prohibitive to most shooters, it was a wasted expense for officers not wanting, or not allowed to have, an internal laser on a backup gun. By offering a pistol without that feature, Smith & Wesson now has a gun that is available to officers who could not purchase the pistol due to department policy or home budgeting concerns.”