Pocket guns, such as the Sig Sauer P238, and even subcompacts, like the Ruger SR9c, have a lot of advantages for concealed carry. They are light, slim, easy to conceal, snag free, and in .380 and 9mm, they are controllable in rapid fire. However, their sights are often inadequate for fast, defensive shooting. The integral sights, as seen on the Ruger LCP, offers very little feedback and forces a CCW holder to take their eyes off the threat at a critical moment. Adding a laser to a defensive firearm changes the focal plane of the shooter; instead of having to look at the front sight, a CCW holder can keep their eyes on the target. This is critical in a defensive situation as the dynamic nature of a self-defense incident can change rapidly.

The laser also offers an increase in the critical area of speed. The ability to simply place the dot on the target and press the trigger eliminates the need to take a traditional sight picture, shaving seconds off the time it takes to get that pistol into action. In a defensive situation, those seconds could be the difference between life and death. Another area where a laser greatly benefits a pocket pistol is accuracy. Using a Crimson Trace-equipped Sig Sauer P238, the author was able to make hits at 25 yards on a USPSA C Zone target much quicker than possible when just using the iron sights. While most defensive situations will not be at those ranges, the laser, when properly sighted, gives a citizen or LEO the ability to reach longer ranges if the need should arise.

Because lasers can greatly enhance a pocket pistol, 2010’s pocket pistol revolution also saw a tremendous increase in laser products for defensive use. A shooter is now able to get the best sighting system possible for their firearm from a variety of manufacturers.

Smith & Wesson

Smith & Wesson has long been a leader in the pocket pistol department. The J-frame revolver is the standard for all defensive revolvers, but S&W wasn’t content to rest on its laurels and introduced the Bodyguard line-up. The Bodyguard line features two different pistols, one a compact .380 ACP semi-auto and the other a .38 Special +P revolver. Different from previous offerings, each Bodyguard pistol features an integral laser, giving the shooter a laser-equipped firearm without having to purchase a separate accessory.

The Bodyguard .38 also features a unique departure from S&W’s J-frame lineup. The J-frame has traditionally carried the cylinder release on the left side of the frame, in a location difficult to actuate for left-handed shooters. The new Bodyguard .38 has a truly ambidextrous cylinder release located directly on the top of the revolver, just aft of the cylinder. The .38 Special Bodyguard revolver has a five-round capacity, and will fit many holsters designed for the S&W J-frame revolvers.

The semi-automatic .380 ACP Bodyguard pistol offers a 6+1 capacity, a 2.75-inch barrel, and a true double-action trigger mechanism. The laser system, manufactured by Insight Technology, is integral to the frame of the pistol, which means there are no external parts to worry about and the shooter never has to worry about their laser coming loose at a critical moment. Both of the Bodyguard pistols present a ready out of the box solution for someone looking for a laser-equipped firearm.

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