What's Up W/ S&W .380 Body Guard?


Special Hen
Jun 3, 2022
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I'll always be a massive fan of older, mostly P&R (pinned & recessed) Smith & Wesson Revolvers- primarily those models w/ adjustable sights. I also love some of their old, (mostly stainless) bomb-proof, semi-autos. Great stuff!

But, awhile back; a friend mentioned that she had a small semi-auto pistol of some description that needed some 'help'.
The other day, she handed me an earlier model S & Dub B G in .380 cal.-...w/ the built in Crimson Trace Laser. WooHoo!
I finally got time to look at the little feller, & was not overly impressed by the fit, the machining, the fact that it's a tad 'picky' about how it breaks down, or the fact that it was (apparently) non-FUNctional right outta the box. She said, 'It never worked', as far as she could recall.

I disassembled it; fully suspicious of the design of the stiff, 'floaty' take-down lever. I checked everything, & learned how to re-assemble the quirky little contraption quickly enough- but when the very HEAVY, Loooong trigger was finally pulled- the teeny hammer would wedge into the right side of the back corner of the slide and refuse to fully cock or retract unless you pulled the slide back a tad. It looked like the only way to make it fire was lock back the slide, insert a loaded mag, hold back the trigger, & hit the slide release, & hang on until it was empty. Basically just an 'Open Bolt' (w/ 'stripped threads' ;-). Not impressed.

Being a Weekend (& not a good time to call Smith); I decided to try to help the little critter by prying the hammer to the left where it was centered, & not jamming into the slide on the right side. So: Okay, now it at least dry-fires reliably, and SEEMS to be functional. A good cleaning, & some good ammo may yet prove this to be the case.

What the heck: Might as well replace those dead laser batteries too, right? I borrowed an itty bitsy hex wrench, took it apart, & was sad to see that the switch contacts ( made of teeny tiny squares of crispy, old yeller'd plastic wrap & little dots of tinfoil had flaked apart (probably due to age & solvents) and just fell away from inside the little rubber buttons that operated the laser. I got some glue & rebuilt this marvelous, ambidextrous 'system' to the degree where one side still operates...but between the new, 'modern' Smith & Wesson/ Crimson Trace manufacturing techniques....I will gladly remain 'Old School',
Or go Euro (SIG? Glock? Walther? FN? Springfield?)...as that usually works out pretty well.
Or get a nice little Ruger, maybe.
But this one isn't anything I'd bet a Life on.

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