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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I picked this gun up in 2010, put 100 rounds through it, and it's been in my carry rotation ever since. I generally shoot one magazine through the gun every time I go to the range just to keep familiar with the gun but I don't particularly enjoy shooting it like I do my larger framed guns.

Before I go any further... using the 380ACP cartridge for self defense is controversial (Is it enough power? JHPs or FMJs? ect...) but in my opinion the old cliche' applies––-having 7 rounds of 380 in your pocket when you need it is better than having 9 rounds of 45ACP in your glove compartment...

To me, this is the ultimate back up gun. Fits in the pocket of most pants/shorts without printing much if at all, is extremely reliable, and has more than acceptable accuracy at 10m and in. If you're concerned about only having the little 380 with you than there's still room on your waist for your G19 or 1911 should you feel the need.

-Reliable (over 800 rounds with 0 failures)
-Accurate for a pocket gun
-Usable sights and aftermarket night sight availability
-Built in Insight laser
-Good trigger for a pocket gun
-Lightweight (12oz)
-Durable melonite finish
-Great S&W customer support

-External safety
-Laser is not very visible in bright sunlight (I generally don't use the laser however)
-Button on the laser is relatively hard to actuate; an instinctive Crimson Trace style activation would be a much better option in my opinion
-2.75'' barrel doesn't maximize the 380s potential

All in all, it's a great gun and I'd buy it again. Heres a video with some shooting, disassembly and assembly of the pistol, some size comparisons with other popular carry guns (Shield, CM9, G26) and some chronograph testing:


Chronograph data:

Speer Gold Dot 90gr JHPs: 911fps, 166ft/lbs energy
Dynamic Research Technologies 85gr frangible HP:1184fps, 265ft/lbs energy
Magtech 95gr FMJs: 797fps, 134ft/lbs energy

One thing I just have to say about these little guns––-people often ask me, "My wife/mom/girlfriend/ect... has never shot a gun before and she wants something small and cute. What gun should I get her?" A small and lightweight gun is the hardest type of gun to shoot well. So, the lightweight snub 38 or this BG380 are absolutely not ideal for new shooters or those who are recoil averse. The have (relatively) difficult sights to pick up and their triggers are more difficult to master than a typical striker, SAO, or DA/SA gun. That's my $.02 anyway...

Premium Member
2,473 Posts
Good review!

I've got a document compiled by a police officer over 10 years. While it has some things in it that I thought could have be done differently, all in all it's real research from real events. The upshot is that the difference in performance in the real world of 32 - 45 cal weapons is remarkably close for real situations. The data was gathered from autopsies, police investigations, and crime labs. Even .22 cal are remarkably often fatal. Probably because they are used at close range.

Basically, accuracy counts, accuracy counts, accuracy counts. Everything else is a way distant second. Get someone a weapon with which they are accurate and they are protected as well as can be.
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