The S&W Bodyguard 38 is a new venture for Smith in their revolver product line.  No doubt it was influenced heavily by the Ruger LCR.  I guess what I find most interesting right now is that Smith seems to be a little behind on the development of new things.  The Bodyguard and the Governor are both following other manufactures ideas.  One might argue that it is better to be late if your product is better in quality, but I have not shot the Governor head to head with a Judge yet so I will let others make those observations.

One thing about the Bodyguard is that it is extremely lightweight.  At 14.3 oz it is not a gun you will want to shoot all day at the range.  However, it deserves a closer look because the design is unique in several areas.

One is that the cylinder release is ambidextrous.  It is positioned on the back of the frame making it easy for lefties.  The cylinder design is different as well.  In a traditional Smith the rotation is counterclockwise.  The Bodyguard has a  clockwise rotation without a traditional ratchet system on the cylinder.

While it may look like a J-frame, it is more of a hybrid.  Springs are different.  Takedown is completely different.

On the plus is side is the integrated laser with several functions.  Many people have really liked the way it is mounted to the right side plate.  Obviously lasers have their place.  Some don’t like them, but I find them very useful in several situations especially if eyesight is a problem.

While I like the Bodyguard, I don’t know if I’m ready to get rid of my J-frames just yet.  Only time will tell, but it appears with a new design things will go one of two ways:  1.They will become standard for the industry.  You will see more and more revolvers go to this type of configuration.  2.  The Bodyguard will end up like the Glock 36.  It will have a small but dedicated following.  I tend to think you will see option 2 take place.  Those who love it will be sold forever.  The mainstream will find it hard to get rid of the tried and true.