Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 size
The Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 pistol.

It’s important for every officer to carry a backup gun, regardless of the circumstances. Now Smith & Wesson is offering the new M&P Bodyguard 380 for just that purpose. In the upcoming October 2014 issue of GUNS & WEAPONS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, author Richard Johnson puts it through its paces.

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.

RELATED: Smith & Wesson’s M&P Bodyguard 380 Is Compact, Ready For Backup

“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.”

To learn more, check out the October 2014 issue of GUNS & WEAPONS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, available on newsstands and digitally July 15, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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