New Bodyguard 380 Pistols Without Thumb Safety

Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 without thumb safety

Smith & Wesson will introduce a pair of new Bodyguard 380 pistols without thumb safeties at the SHOT Show next month according to two sources. One of the guns will have a Crimson Trace laser, while the second will not have any laser.

Ever since they were introduced, many in the Smith & Wesson camp have decried the inclusion of the thumb safety. While there are some people that absolutely insist on having a thumb safety on their pistol, there is another group of shooters who won’t buy a gun (or at least a double action only pistol) with one installed.

Smith & Wesson was faster to respond to similar demands from their customers with the M&P Shield pistols. At its introduction, the Shield could only be had with a safety. However, Smith & Wesson corrected this rather quickly and now consumers have a choice in pistols.

Although slower, I see this introduction much the same way: responding to customer demands and offering each camp the gun of their choice.

Smith & Wesson has made several changes to the Bodyguard 380 line over the years. Whereas the guns were built with Insight Technologies lasers, the guns now ship with Crimson Trace models.

Additionally, guns only were available with integral lasers initially. However, many people who liked the gun but did not want the laser, prompted S&W to release versions of the gun with iron sights only.

If you were not already aware, Smith & Wesson previously made special models of the Bodyguard 380 for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD.) The LAPD models were a special SKU that deleted the manual safety. Additionally, officers who wished to carry one had to have the laser deactivated by a department armorer.

Those LAPD guns, first made in 2011, were the forerunners of what the company is offering now and will be offering soon.

SHOT Show Update

Bodyguard 380 without thumb safety shot

As predicted, the Bodyguard 380 without a thumb safety was present at the SHOT Show. Other than the lack of the thumb lever, everything else seemed the same on the pistol. I’m glad to see this offered as an option by Smith & Wesson.  If sales of the M&P Shield without an external safety are any indication, this will sell well for the company.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

6 replies on “New Bodyguard 380 Pistols Without Thumb Safety”

The trigger on the Bodyguard is terrible. Would have thought that S&W could have done a much better job.

Hi Rick,

Following the basic rules of firearms safety, which includes keeping your finger off the trigger, prevents unintentional discharges. A thumb safety is unlikely to overcome negligent handling.


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