S&W has sold the bodyguard style j-frame revolvers since the 1950's for a reason. They are simple, reliable, and extremely well made. This is the 3rd generation bodyguard .38 special rated for +P ammo. The frame is designated 'airweight' for the aluminum alloy frame that comprises most of the gun. The barrel, and cylinder are still Stainless Steel. In an age of more polymer revolvers (like the Ruger LCR) the bodyguard bucks the trend.
The Hammer is shrouded by the frame, but still can be cocked in SA. I found the spring very tight on the first 50 rounds, but loosened up afterward. DA pulled in at roughly 16lbs, and SA is every bit a hair trigger. No matter how proficient you are with CCW, do NOT leave the hammer cocked while holstered.
The grips are very comfy, but are a bit too high up on the frame to work well with speed loaders. I'd just use a speed strip, or changing the grips altogether. Bantam or Hogue make j-frame grips that are specially designed not to interfere with speed loaders.
Because of the barrel size, 5 shot capacity, and recoil this is a firearm meant for home defense use and CCW. In these fields, it is superb. That being said, this is a firearm that you will only become proficient with by practicing regularly.
This is a gun that will be in your collection for years. S&W has a reputation for excellent customer service, and their warranties are usually life time limited. There is a reason why it is exceedingly difficult to find a S&W j-frame revolver now a days, and its because no one wants to part with them.
I'd recommend this to anyone concerned with home defense, with an added emphasis on reliability, build quality, and overall handling. Buds made the process very simple, and prompt. Will definitely buy again from Buds.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!