Compact .380 or Compact 9mm: Everyday Carry Pocket Dump of the Day

A Smith & Wesson Bodyguard is front-and-center in this pocket dump. Other items include a tobacco box, a lighter, and a bike chain spinner. The Bodyguard is made for deep concealment with an overall empty weight of twelve ounces and a 2.75 inch barrel length. It’s chambered in .380 ACP, a cartridge with quite a few fans (many of which are among us – hello).

Serious question. If you choose a micro carry with a six round capacity, would you choose a .380 ACP rather than a 9mm? The Bodyguard’s a nice little pistol, but inquiring minds want to know.


  1. avatar daveinwyo says:

    LCP most always. But an NAA mini mag is with me always. Sometimes an LC9. LCP & LC9 both have many mags and extended mags for both.

  2. avatar Jeff says:

    Well if your talking deep concealment with minimal exposure I would have no problem carrying a .380. Depending on what I’m wearing I carry both a 9mm and a .380 at times. I much prefer my .45 acp though. It isn’t always adventagious to do so though. Depends on ones capabilities on which gun they best handle also. So once again I think this is a useless question.

    1. avatar Geoff "Kill a Commie for Mommy" PR says:

      Video of you firing it, or it’s a Photoshop…

      1. avatar Geoff "Kill a Commie for Mommy" PR says:

        I’ll be damned. (More than usual!)

        Bond makes that, but it’s non-firing…

    2. avatar Dee Dee says:

      I totally love my Bond Arms!

      I only have one problem with my BA: I cannot fire it with my left hand… and I’m a southpaw.
      So I do fire it with my right hand. That leaves my left hand for my other firearms.

  3. avatar Gregory Peter DuPont says:

    9×19 these … although for the record; I still use the 9×18 for a lot of every day carry.
    There’s better.380 ammo and more choices these days though so it’s all good .
    Carry what you are comfortable,competent and confident with.

    1. avatar Perry says:

      My metric is grains-of-lead on-target per second. I am FOR any variation that allows you to maximize that metric.

      Personally, my variation is .40S&W 180 gr. JHP, of course.

  4. avatar Michael Buley says:

    I have a couple .380s. A PT738, and a Ruger LCP. I just don’t like ’em. Going to give them to my daughter and her husband to have around their house. So long as someone carries a gun, any gun, that’s better than being empty-handed.

  5. avatar Randy says:

    I went for the Bond Bullpup — 7+1 in 9mm. Pricey, but quality does cost.

  6. avatar ToddR says:

    I carried the SW-BG .380 for a few years. Small, lightweight, add the pocket clip, easy to shove IWB, stays put. Sucks to shoot, trigger deeper than a…well it’s a long pull. It’s my summer time PT gear choice. Otherwise, I’ve grown up to a 9 shot XDS.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      Pocket clip as in no holster? Sounds like a bad idea. Someone posted a video on here recently about an off duty cop accidentally shooting himself while using one of those.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        It’s not. If you’ve pulled the trigger on the Bodyguard, you’d understand (plus it does have an external safety). There’s no way that trigger is getting pulled through pants material IWB.

        1. avatar ToddR says:

          The Dude is right. The trigger pull is crazy-deep and probably requires several pounds. And, the external safety makes it a non-issue. If you’re considering this piece (which I don’t actually recommend), get the clip. Amazon; $30(?) and took all of 60 seconds to install. I’d also recommend getting a few re-usable ice packs for your wrist.

        2. avatar ToddR says:

          The trigger pull is crazy-deep and probably requires several pounds. And, the external safety makes it a non-issue. If you’re considering this piece (which I don’t actually recommend), get the clip. Amazon; $30(?) and took all of 60 seconds to install. I’d also recommend getting a few re-usable ice packs for your wrist.

    2. avatar Jay W. says:

      I have the S&W BG .380 too and it does suck to shoot with its long and stiff trigger pull. I wish someone like Apex would make a kit to improve the trigger. I carry it in a Remora pocket holster and only when I am so lightly dressed, mainly in the summer, it is my only choice. Otherwise, I am typically carrying my S&W Shield in 9mm.

    3. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      I’ve been carrying the S&W BG in my pocket for several years in a grippy DeSantis holster, it’s part of my daily routine like putting my wallet in my pocket. It’s so unobtrusive and routine that I get on autopilot sometimes, which is a problem when I go to the airport. I got all the way to the point where you take your shoes off and load the bins one time before I had the OMG moment and had to go back to the truck because I “forgot something.”
      I bought this for my wife and she preferred the Ruger .38 I bought for myself, so I end up with the BG. I love big bores and have several, but as for power, I feel I have plenty for daily carry and I don’t find BG too snappy for my tastes. I mean I wouldn’t want to spend hours on end shooting it, but for 200-300 round a session it’s not a problem. Shoot the Buffalo Bores a few times and you know it, for sure.

      1. avatar Perry says:

        I’m glad you “went back to the truck”, sir. We don’t need any more Incidents.

        Because, you know, it’s what Free Men do. Get up, take a shower, shave our face, strap on the sidearm.

        “The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.” Lk 22:38

        1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

          Great comment, thanks

  7. avatar jwm says:

    I found a Leatherman Wave in mint condition while on a walk. I don’t carry it around with me. I added it to my emergency bag in my 4runner. Nice bit of kit but I find multi tools a bit bulky for everyday carry.

    1. avatar Bitter says:

      The wave is an amazing edc, I added the pocket clip to mine and now it doubles as a knife.

    2. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

      Try the Skeletool, can be used as pocket knife and still has pliers, screwdriver, and bottle opener.

    3. avatar David Barkley says:

      I carry a Gerber center drive around every day, in a belt pouch. It is bulky but I use it daily for work so I can justify it.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I got my first multi tool, Gerber, for my job. But I’m retired now and can travel lighter. My Gerber rides in my range bag these days.

    4. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      I have carried the Gerber Diesel longer than any other gear I carry, it was a little awkward at first but now I love it and would very much hate to lose it. Had to buy a new Nite Ize pouch, but works well.

  8. avatar Dude says:

    I’m happy with my pocket 380, but prefer a 9mm when carrying a slightly larger gun on the hip.

  9. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    For the size difference between most small 380s or a 9mm in my case. A Sig P238 vs a P938. I haven’t touched the 380 in 5 years. No reason to. The best 380 in a short barrel wont touch the best 9mm from the same size barrel. Give or take a quarter inch.

  10. avatar Michael Buley says:

    The cigarette box is cool. Lighter, too.

  11. avatar roguesam says:

    SIG P938, all day.

  12. avatar strych9 says:

    I’m not the biggest fan of .380 but hey, the gun is meant for up close type events.

    At the range it’s meant for missing would be almost a challenge and if you plant 2-7 .380 hollow points in the BG’s chest you’re gonna ruin their day.

    1. avatar Michael Buley says:

      True. I’ve shot my .380s at the range but only a couple of times. I’m definitely not accurate at 7 to 10 yards with it, let alone 15. But something 10 to 15 feet? Good chance of hitting the bag guy.

  13. avatar Frank says:

    380? May as well carry a BB gun. The SnW bodyguard is a junk pistol. Fact.

    1. avatar Tom T says:

      I would agree about the Bodyguard being junk. I don’t know why anyone would still buy one (or and LCP) with so many better options now. But a .380 HP at close range will definitely end a threat.

  14. avatar Sheep dog says:

    I’d go with the 0.9mm over the 0.380mm

  15. avatar Vicrattlehead says:

    Though I get wanting a nearly invisible gun that doesn’t print, I hate the way those pocket pistols feel in my hand (WAY too small).
    As far as the Bodyguard, if I have to be limited to 6 shots I prefer a .38 snubby. To each his own though and Id happily take the BG over my fists.

    1. About that snubnose… Have you seen the YouTube of a guy shooting a snubnose vs semi thru his jacket pocket? Both did well on first shot. Only the revolver could shoot all 6.

  16. avatar NM says:

    It would be 9mm for me (by way of a G43 or an LCR) if I had to go lo-cap … The biggest reason is that I’ve not wanted to stock another caliber when I am so invested in 9mm, but also because I have been less than impressed with .380 ballistic performance.

    1. avatar Tom T says:

      Same here. I tried an LCP II at the range one day, and I really liked it. But the wife & I both have 9mm’s (in addition to long gun ammo) so why add another caliber to keep up with?

  17. avatar Parnell says:

    P938 fits my pocket perfectly in a Blue Force Gear holster. Can’t see the need to go 380.

  18. avatar Ardent says:

    I’ve been carrying one of these on my ankle as a BUG for many years. It’s light and small enough to forget it’s there with a decent holster. With careful ammo selection for the short barrel it’s a capable little gun, and I don’t find it all that unpleasant to shoot. The 10lb long trigger isn’t conducive to easy marksmanship, but if mastered, the little gun has good sights and is surprisingly accurate out to about 10 yards, which is quite a bit more than I suspect it’s intended for.
    It’s always been 100% reliable for me, extremely light, far more than accurate enough, and with good ammo, not exactly a negligible weapon. I favor it as a back up to an EDC G19, but also use it as a pocket/pajama gun around the house and very occasionally for a deed concealment piece where other, more capable pistols aren’t welcomed.

  19. avatar ATTAGReader says:

    It’s all about personal preference, hand size, recoil tolerance, and clothing style. I don’t like wearing oversize pants, and do like pocket carry. The Taurus TCP and Sig 238 are small enough and the TCP (like LCP, BG, and many others) weighs next to nothing. Yes, I have a very nice Ruger SR9C but it is just uncomfortably large unless I wear oversize baggy pants and of course the heavy belt. Maybe when I retire and can dress more casually, the Ruger can be carried more often. The Sig has no recoil to speak of, night sights, and is fairly small, which make it great for carrying IWB. The TCP has a good bit of recoil but fits neatly into a wallet holster in a back pocket, and in an Uncle Mikes in the breast pocket of a suit jacket or the front pocket of pants. I am accurate with both at the distances intended and have an extra mag in the opposite pocket. Probably because I have smaller hands, I find the micro 9’s to have too much recoil to be accurate. I would rather have the accuracy I can achieve with the micro .380’s. For me the little TCP fits and points nicely, so the recoil does not affect the accuracy. Someone with larger hands would have a completely different perspective. To each his or her own.

  20. avatar raptor jesus says:

    Bodyguard is a miserable gun to shoot.

    The P938, which is roughly the same size and shoots 9mm, is a joy to shoot.
    The P238, which is even smaller than the P938, shoots .380s like they’re .22.

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