During my time on the gun counter I took part in a Smith & Wesson program that rewards gun store employees for selling S&W products and was able to pick up a Bodyguard 38. This is, so far, our only revolver and was primarily acquired so that we would have it as a revolver option for students and friends to shoot. It’s a nice gun with a smooth trigger but the factory grip has no finger grooves or padding and can make shooting more than a couple of rounds tough to handle. So once I heard about the Hogue Tamer grip and got to handle a set at the NRA Convention in Nashville, I was sold. Shipping was fast and prompt and I finally got a chance to sit down tonight and work on it. The installation instructions that came with the new grip were quite good but there were no instructions on removing the factory grips. Luckily I found a very good post about that subject on the S&W forum that made that job very easy (I’ve included pictures along with the instructions below).
This is the Hogue Tamer. I had my choice of black or pink. I didn’t have any guns with pink on them and this is such a good shade of pink to put on a gun that’s otherwise straight forward and all business that I HAD to get the pink grip. The package comes with everything you need for the installation. There are 3 main parts to the new grip. The pink (or black) main grip part, the small black end cap and a spacer inside the cap. There is also a new pin screw in the package. Don’t lose it!
On the factory grip there is a pin anchoring the grip to the frame. To remove this was actually quite simple. The forum post I referenced above suggested using a small punch and hammer but I couldn’t find any so I used a small screwdriver (shhh, don’t tell my husband lol) and a towel. Insert head of punch into the pin and tap CAREFULLY. It takes a few minutes to get it out but it wasn’t hard. Once the pin is out the grip slides off rather easily. I put all the old parts in the package for the new grip in case I need to change the grip back.
That completes the factory grip removal. The first step to the new grip installation is to put the new pin in the frame.
The important part here is to make sure the new pin is centered once you’ve finished putting it in…not quite how it is in the first picture.
Inside the new grip are 4 spacers (or dohickies). These need removed for a Bodyguard 38 installation (the same grip fits another S&W model with the spacers left on) but come out quite easily with a little help from the same…punch…you used to remove the original grip pin.
The first picture above is the spacer by itself. The next is partway installed and the last is installed. The last thing to install is the end cap piece. It slides on fairly easily though the instructions mention using a 38 shell casing to help.
And with that, the installation is finished. I really like the way it looks and feels. My hand has a lot more grip to grab onto. As an additional bonus, I don’t think anyone will think it’s my husband’s gun anymore. I can’t wait to get it to the range and try it out and I will be sure to update this post afterwards.
Update: The gun is MUCH easier to shoot with this grip over the factory grip. It’s still not a gun I really want to go shoot though. I’m just not a revolver girl. HOWEVER, if you like revolvers, look into this grip.