May 30, 2019 4 min read

The Smith & Wesson M&P series of semi-automatic handguns are built to be reliable and durable for a lifetime. When it comes to choosing the best M&P model for your lifestyle and needs, there are a few aspects you can compare and contrast.

If you’re looking for a concealed carry handgun, the M&P series offers some of the best options on the market. Known for their lightweight sleek design, along with their textured grip and low recoil, these handguns are both accurate and comfortable for all-day concealed carry purposes.

The best step you can take is head to the range and try out a few of the M&P Shield models to see which one feels the most natural in your hands. If you find yourself torn between the 9mm M&P 2.0 and the Bodyguard 380, as many people do, here are some interesting factors to keep in mind.


When it comes to caliber choice, a lot depends on the personal preference of the user. A 9mm handgun is going to have more “stopping power” than the .380 ACP, but there are benefits to carrying a .380. The lower recoil of a .380 allows for greater accuracy and faster recovery time in between shots.

9mm 380 live ammunition

While the 9mm is often touted as the gold standard for self-defense concealed carry handguns, .380 ACPs can also stop a bad guy in his tracks. The more accurately you can point, shoot, and shoot again, the better chance you will have of stopping your attacker’s advances. For those who struggle with the recoil and weight of a 9mm, the .380 may be a much better choice.

Magazine Capacity

When you’re thinking about self-defense, the magazine capacity is an important factor to consider. If you don’t go to the range often to practice, or if you just want to ensure you have plenty of bullets, choosing a concealed carry handgun with a high magazine capacity may be one of your top priorities.

On the other hand, if you train often or feel that you don’t need a large magazine capacity, a smaller gun may be the better choice.

Size and Comfort

Luckily, when it comes to the Smith & Wesson M&P series, size and comfort are some of the top priorities in their handgun design. If you are planning to carry your handgun concealed, you want something that will fit nicely into one of the specially-molded Smith and Wesson holsters and is comfortable to carry all day.

When you’re carrying concealed, you also don’t want your handgun to be conspicuous. A small, lightweight, slim frame design is the key to keeping your handgun your business only.

bodyguard 380

Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 9mm

It’s important to look at some of the key specifications between these two handguns before making a decision on which one to buy. Here are some of the important details of the M&P Shield 9mm:

  • Magazine capacity: 7+1, 8+1
  • Weight: 18.3oz
  • Length: 6.1”
  • Width: .95”
  • Trigger pull: 6.5 pounds

The M&P 9mm is a lot of gun in a very slim design. Not only does it have a decent magazine capacity, but it has a crisp trigger pull, and it’s very lightweight for easy carry and accurate aim. If you go to the range and shoot this gun, you’ll likely notice how easy it is to line up the steel white dot sights. Some models even come with the Crimson Trace Laser for added accuracy in both practice and self-defense.

If you’re on the fence about a 9mm, take this Smith & Wesson 9mm for a test run and see how it feels. You’ll likely find it to be easy to practice with, and its recoil to be insignificant.

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380

One of the best selling points of a Bodyguard 380 is that it is more affordable than most 9mm handguns. The lightness of the gun, combined with the relatively low recoil of the .380 ACP rounds, make it popular to train with and to carry. Here are the key specifications of the Bodyguard:

  • Magazine Capacity: 6+1
  • Weight: 12.0oz
  • Length: 5.3”
  • Width: .77”
  • Trigger pull: 6.5 pounds

When compared with the M&P 2.0, the Bodyguard 380 is an all-around smaller and lighter gun. It has a smaller magazine capacity, but it still features the same crisp trigger pull with a quicker recovery time from little-to-no recoil. You can also purchase the Bodyguard with the Crimson Trace Laser to help you increase your accuracy at the range.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the debate between 9mm and .380 caliber handguns, there are staunch loyalists on both sides of the fence. Ultimately, it is up to you: Which gun do you feel most comfortable holding and shooting with, and which gun gives you the best accuracy to defend yourself? The Smith & Wesson M&P series of handguns offer some of the best handguns on the market for self-defense concealed carry pistols. Go to the range and try some out today.

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The Smith & Wesson 9mm M&P 2.0 vs. M&P Bodyguard 380: Pros and Cons