Gun Report

S&W Model 438 Bodyguard 38 Special, $625

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We believe S&W is going to sell plenty of these revolvers. The easy double action (compared with the two older guns) and the small grip help make this a gun anyone can handle. We thought the laser added a great deal to the package. It makes night sights unnecessary, and can add a measure of tactical advantage to the holder of this handy revolver.

S&W Model 438 Bodyguard 38 Special, $625

Gun Details

Model Name
Home Defense
Law Enforcement
Concealed Carry
Caliber Plus Cartridge
Weight Unloaded
Overall Length
Barrel Length
Sight Radius
Overall Height
Front Strap Height
Back Strap Height
Maximum Width
Grip Thickness Max
Grip Circumference Max
Frame Material
Barrel Material
Grip Material
Trigger Pull Double
Trigger Span Double

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Note the clever frame-mounted “star” that engages the cylinder, and also has the lone locking point for the cylinder in the form of that hole in its center. This star engages the real star on the rear of the cylinder, and as the trigger is pulled this rotates the cylinder—in the wrong direction, if you know Smiths. Also note the laser’s front window in the upper left of the photo.
Note the real star, which has slots to accept the rotating mechanism housed in the frame. The small pin in the center of the star locks the cylinder closed. See also the bevels on the chamber mouths for easier reloading. However, the ejector edges are not similarly beveled.

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