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Old July 4, 2011, 05:58 PM   #1
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S&W Bodyguard .380 or Ruger LC9?

I'm looking for a new carry piece and I am torn between the two. I have a S&W CS9 that is about 26 ounces loaded. It's a bit too heavy for pocket carry, and even IWB carry is kind of annoying. I love S&W third gen guns, so I'm not gonna sell the CS9. I figure it will be my cool weather carry on a belt. Now, the Ruger LC9 has everything I like in a semi auto. I like the manual safety and the mag disconnect. The dimensions of the LC9 are almost identical to the CS9, but it weights about 20 ounces loaded, a 6 oz savings. The Bodyguard is only about 15 ounces loaded, but I don't own any .380 guns, and ammo is more expensive that the 9MM I currently stockpile (all my semi auto's are 9MM). I know the Bodyguard is pocket carry ready, but my wallet, cell phone and car keys generally take up my pocket space, so I'm not sure how often I would pocket carry, although it is a nice option. I usually carry IWB at the 3 o'clock position. Let's hear some feedback!
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Old July 4, 2011, 07:07 PM   #2
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Last edited by shanzlik; July 4, 2011 at 07:23 PM.
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Old July 4, 2011, 07:14 PM   #3
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I'm asking about the LC9, not the LCP.
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Old July 4, 2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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Sorry, should have read more closely.
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Old July 4, 2011, 07:32 PM   #5
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Having had both as demo guns I personally would pick the LC9, first of all I find the laser on the bodyguard too difficult to activate, especially under a stressful situation. The majority of the time the button takes a fairly hard push to activate. It is not a bad pocket gun, but it is a 380 and as mentioned ammo prices are a bit high. I like the LC9 a lot, the down side is that the trigger is initially a bit 'gritty" although after about 200 rounds it broke in very nicely. Below is a review I wrote on the LC9 for those who may be interested... In all fairness the Bodyguard did not impress me enough to write a review, although I am sure that many happy Bodyguard owners would disagree with me.....

Since a LC9 came in I decided to take it for a spin and see what it was made of. I was able to see one at the Shot Show and my initial impressions were positive. I would like to start by mentioning that I am not a fan of the LCP at all, there is nothing that I personally like about that gun. No flaming necessary, I know that many people and the amount of them sold tells me that many would disagree with my feelings on this.

Initial Impression:

The LC9 weighs in at 17.1 oz empty and the size fit my medium hands very well. It seemed to fit well in the back pocket of blue jeans although I did not have a holster to test with. I really like the profile and rounded edges, almost a “melted look. The gun can shoot +P ammo but is suggested that it does not receive a steady diet of it, +P+ ammo is to be avoided. The trigger system is double action only, hammer fired and it requires a long pull although it is smooth all the way through and is not “gritty”. Trigger reset requires releasing it almost all the way out before the next shot. There is no second strike capability (negative #1). The gun only comes with 1 mag that holds 7 rounds and has a finger grip extension installed and a flat bottom for those who want it for pocket carry.

As with all new firearms I break them down for a thorough inspection and cleaning. I found the breakdown to be a bit of a pain. After the typical remove the mag and check that it is unloaded the next step involves pushing down an access plate and utilizing the separate “key” to push a holding pin from the right side to the left for removal. Personally I see this as negative #2 as one will need to carry some type of small tool to break down the gun while in the field. Upon breaking it down the first thing I noticed the plastic recoil rod and a 2 spring set up, a smaller spring placed under a larger one. Now I am wondering exactly how much recoil to expect, I would replace the plastic rod with a metal one once they become available but that is just me. Once cleaned greased and assembled it was time to dry run the functionality. The gun has a mag safety, remove the mag and the trigger will not move, it also has a manual safety as well that is flicked off with ones thumb, for those who like a manual safety this is a plus, activating the safety was not as easy. It has adjustable 3 dot sights that for my older eyes are just a bit too small yet still manageable to see.

At the Range

I brought the Ruger to the range with my wife and met a good friend Greybeard there (it is his range) to take the LC9 for it‘s initial test run. I found the trigger to be as long as previously mentioned but it can be mastered with some practice. The first 7 rounds went without a hitch although the slide did not lock back after the last round was fired. This was the only time this happened and I feel it was just part of the break in process. After that the gun performed flawlessly. My wife did have some initial problems due to the trigger being so long and she anticipated the recoil and was shooting low. I need to get her to the range more often. Greybeard and I had no problems with it but it did take some getting used to and will require a good amount of range practice to master it and feel comfortable as a CCW. During a rapid fire exercise at 11 yards all rounds landed within the paper plate I used as a target, this was a plus and I feel the accuracy was excellent for such a short barrel and concealable handgun. I was actually amazed at the low recoil, I still cannot believe how manageable it was, I only shot Federal and Winchester and no +P yet, did not feel like feeding it $1.25 per round ammo during this initial test that will come later. I would have no problem attempting a 50 foot shot if the need ever arises with the LC9. This gun is surely a winner and I see it displacing many of the 380’s currently on the market once they become generally available. Forget the LCP’s and similar micro guns the LC9 is far superior in everyway and only slightly larger, plus shooting the 9mm will help keep some cash in your pockets or longer range sessions…… Being a so called “Sig Snob” this LC9 will join my Sigs in the safe and possibly on my waist. I never thought that I would own 2 Ruger’s, the LCR and LC9 should be included in best of breed and not overlooked when looking to add to the collection. Kudos to Ruger on the LC9, they nailed it with this affordable firearm.

I added in a few pictures of the LC9 and the rapid fire target as well as a size comparison to the LCP in case anybody is interested.

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Old July 4, 2011, 08:30 PM   #6
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Im sorry I just think the S&W Bodyguard 380 is a much nicer pistol.
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Old July 4, 2011, 08:37 PM   #7
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Salty, do you know the loaded weight of the gun? The Bodyguard MAY be a nicer gun, and it surely is easier to carry since it's smaller and lighter. I'm just wondering if the 5 ounce difference is worth the higher price of ammo that's gonna be required to feed the Bodyguard. Not to mention I can't find them anywhere. I held one once and it was small, all right. I also held the LC9 last week. It felt much smaller than my CS9, even though it isn't. Certainly is "rounder" than the CS9.
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Old July 4, 2011, 08:40 PM   #8
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If you're generally going to carry IWB, definitely go with the 9mm over the .380. The extra weight won't be a big deal outside of your pocket. The longer sight radius and superior cartridge is worth the extra weight. The LC9 appears to be a reliable, generally unproblematic pistol. I know the Bodyguard has had some teething problems, but perhaps S&W has resolved these issues.
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Old July 4, 2011, 09:10 PM   #9
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LC9, because it is 9mm instead of 380.

It has more power, more variety, and a lower price. $11/50 instead of $21/50.

Easy decision there, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old July 4, 2011, 10:31 PM   #10
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I'd go with 9mm

I agree with what Smaug and the others have said, go with the 9mm. Another thing about the LC9 is that it's a Ruger, so it's built to be utterly reliable from day one. The Ruger LC9 would be perfect for pocket or ankle carry, primarily as a backup weapon to something slighly larger.
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Old July 4, 2011, 11:26 PM   #11
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LC9 without a doubt as others have mentioned above.
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Old July 5, 2011, 03:12 AM   #12
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This ongoing poll might help:
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Old July 5, 2011, 02:34 PM   #13
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FWIW, when I was looking for a pocket pistol, I spent about 3 months doing my research. Of course, each person has to decide what's best for what they want, but in the end I got the Bodyguard. Better in the hands, better sights, easier to rack the slide, a little heavier than most of the other pocket pistols which modulated the recoil, quick and easy takedown, all the bugs from earlier versions have been worked out (serial #'s EAA, EAB, EAC), it's small enough to place in my back pocket without printing and is very accurate. I felt the laser was just a bonus since any pocket pistol to me should be considered an 'up close and personal' (5-8 ft) weapon and not likely to use the laser in most situations. Factor in S & W reputation and that did it for me. Been very happy with it, shoot it and carry it regularly.
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Old July 5, 2011, 03:00 PM   #14
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I looked long and hard at the pocket 9mm's for a few months and had a chance to compare the Kahr CM9 (which you should also look at, by the way), Ruger LC9, and Keltec PF9.

I ended up going with the Keltec due largely to the price ($260 out the door). If I had to rank the triggers, Kahr wins by a decent margin - Keltec second, Ruger a distant third. I also preferred the PF9 over the LC9 due to the lack of manual safety, LCI, and mag disconnect.

My little PF9 has been rock solid reliable over about 500 rounds of 115/124 gr FMJ and around 100 124gr gold dots. I did a fluff & buff before shooting it and its never malf'd on me, even trying to limp wrist it. I pocket carry it in a desantis nemesis.

Just my experience. YMMV.
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Old July 5, 2011, 07:19 PM   #15
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i've fired both, and would take the s&w bodyguard without question. better trigger, better accuracy, stone reliable. the cheap eBay laser is the only bad thing about it lol
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Old July 5, 2011, 11:31 PM   #16
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Bodyguard. Both are great but the bodyguard is such a great size, that it's tough to beat for CC.
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Old July 6, 2011, 05:19 AM   #17
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Friend just got an LC9 out of layaway. He's owned many guns, likes this one real well. I would stick with the 9MM. More potent round, not much bigger or heavier than LCP. Personally, I find recoil on compact nines to be equal or less than 380, maybe it's just me. I had one of the stainless Walther/S&W PPK's. That was just plain nasty to shoot, surprisingly so, I thought it would have less recoil. NOT!
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Old July 6, 2011, 09:44 PM   #18
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I know a guy at work that is going to pick up one of the S&W .380 bodyguards. He is a firearms instructor so I will see what he says after a range trip. I wouldn't mind to try something smaller than my Glock 26 and I would consider a .380 for some summer time carry.
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Old July 6, 2011, 10:11 PM   #19
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Of those 2 I would go with the Ruger I don't like the bodyguard . I bought a KelTec PF-9 last week and it has feed and shot Ball and HP with ease. This is my 5th so far trouble free Kel Tec. The price of 380 has got to much and I can buy and shoot the 9mm cheaper.
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