S&W Shield vs Bodyguard: A Complete Guide

S&W Shield vs Bodyguard
Alfred Mendoza
The subcompact pistols that the M&P offers are small yet reliable for your all-day concealed carry. In this review, we give you two entirely different pistols. One is a 9mm striker-fired gun, while the other is a double-action-only. Here are some of the things you can consider when deciding between the Smith and Wesson 9mm Shield vs Bodyguard 380.

The difference between S&W Shield and Bodyguard is especially apparent in their sizes. You’ll see how the Shield is longer and bigger than the other gun. Following this, Bodyguard 380 makes a lighter gun that you might find better for a concealed carry. The Shield also features a fiber-optic sight with the front and rear sight having the steel-white dot style. Whereas, S & W Bodyguard has stainless steel drift adjustable front and rear sights.

Specification Chart

M&P 9 M2.0 Shield

  • Brand: Smith & Wesson
  • Height: 4.6 inches
  • Weight: 18.3 oz
  • Length: 6.1 inches
  • Trigger: Striker-fired
  • Barrel: 3.1 inches Stainless Steel
  • Calibers: 9mm Luger
  • Capacities: 7+1 and 8+1

M&P Bodyguard 380

  • Brand: Smith & Wesson
  • Height: 3.78 inches
  • Weight: 12 oz
  • Length: 5.3 inches
  • Trigger: Double Action Only (DAO)
  • Barrel: 2.75 inches Stainless Steel
  • Calibers: .380 ACP
  • Capacities: 6+1

In-Depth Comparison

S&W Bodyguard & Shield Pricing

This is an early victory for Smith & Wesson Bodyguard as affordability is one of its main selling points against its 9mm competitors. Although, according to some M&P pistol users, it is easier to find a reasonably priced ammo for a Shield rather than the Bodyguard. Regardless, you can get a pretty good deal with both guns, especially regarding their ballistic performance and reliability.

Design & Ergonomics

For small hand shooters, the very short grip of Smith & Wesson Bodyguard feels exceptionally comfortable in the hands. But they also have slightly extended mags to accommodate those with larger hands.

But based on our observations, many find the S&W Shield to have a better grip. Its aggressive texture enhances gun control. Plus, the 18-degree grip angle contributes to a natural point of aim.

More on comfortably-designed pistols in this Walther PPQ and Walther P99 article here.

SnW Bodyguard Design

Size & Weight

The size and weight of Smith & Wesson Shield vs Bodyguard set them apart from each other, especially with the 6.3 oz weight difference of the two. You can find both guns to be lightweight for a concealed carry, considering how they work similar to a full-sized rifle.

Besides the slim and light design of Bodyguard, we expect it to take this one because of the .380 ACP rounds’ relatively light recoil.

Ammunition of S&W Shield & Bodyguard

The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard and Shield include two magazines that perform well with several ammunition types. For instance, the 90-grain XTP hollow point Hornady American Gunner worked great with the Bodyguard.

However, we found out that both Smith & Wesson guns may experience some snap when a high pressure +P ammunition is loaded. We recommend that you try different types of ammo and see what suits you best.

Are you looking for good ammo for the next hunting season? Read about 300 Blackout vs 6.5 Grendel here.


SnW BG Trigger

Since we prefer a lighter trigger pull, this one goes to Smith & Wesson Shield. It features a crisp trigger with an audible and tactile trigger reset.

With an approximately 6.5 lbs striker-fired trigger pull, the Shield is relatively lighter than the 9.5 double-action-only (DAO) fire of S&W Bodyguard.

Still, many users described Bodyguard’s DAO as smooth and easy to use. You may also find the recoil to be lower.


Despite a 9mm handgun’s greater stopping power, the lower recoil of the Smith & Wesson .380 Bodyguard gives it better room for accuracy and faster recovery. Yet, we think that if you’re a beginner, you might find the Bodyguard a little challenging to handle due to its short sight radius. Regardless, you can get the Crimson Trace Laser on both guns to increase their accuracy

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard Pros & Cons



Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Pros & Cons



Smith & Wesson Bodyguard or Shield? Our Pick is…

For the S&W Shield vs Bodyguard, our pick is Bodyguard. This small and lightweight pistol could be a better-concealed carry, especially if you struggle with the weight and recoil of the 9mm Shield. Additionally, its relatively heavier trigger pull appears to be smooth and easy to use. 

Yet, for those who prefer higher capacity and lighter trigger pull, Smith & Wesson Shield is another option. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make. So, go ahead and check these links for added reference. 

If you want a good read on what’s the best ammo option, check out our 350 Legend and 300 Blackout comparison here.

SnW bodyguard2

Our #1 Recommendation

Smith & Wesson Bodyguard

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