First off, kudos to you for looking into getting a carry-gun for your wife. I personally love the "concealability" of .380 pistols. About five years ago, I completed an extensive research on nearly every conceivable .380 pistol on the market at that time. (My OCD got the better of me
). I carefully compared the features of every model and weighed the pros and cons between each model. My wife and I also went to numerous gun shows, gun shops, etc., and handled a number of different models to see what suited us the best. The Smith and Wesson Bodyguard was definitely a contender on my list. Fortunately, I was able to experience a coworker's Bodyguard prior to making a purchase. My coworker explained that she "didn't like the heavy trigger pull (at 12-15 lbs)" on the Bodyguard and also that the "trigger pull was so loooong." Interesting. I did a little research and found that the Bodyguard has a double-action trigger, which explains the long trigger pull. I also looked into the "heavy trigger," but I did not find any conclusive evidence that it was factory set at 12-15 lbs. (However, I did learn from a gunsmith friend of mine that 12 lbs on the Bodyguard's trigger is probably fairly accurate).
In the end of our search, my wife and I had it narrowed down between two models: The Kahr P380 and the Sig Sauer P238. At that point in time (five years ago), both models were roughly the same price, but the Kahr was lighter and a hair thinner than the Sig P238. In the end, my wife chose the Sig Sauer P238 Tactical Laser model because it had all of the features that were important to her, namely, an external safety, external hammer, half-cock feature, night sights (standard), and short and light SA/DA trigger. I personally chose to go with a Kahr, but I went with the CW9 (9mm) in place of the P380 because I really liked how well the gun fit my hand and I it was not too much larger overall than the Sig P238.
Shortly thereafter, my wife and I took our new pistols to the range for some testing. We both cycled the perfunctory 200+ rounds through each pistol as recommended as part of the "break-in" process. Now, what happened after this shocked me beyond belief. To my utter amazement, my wife proceeded to out-shoot me with her little .380. Bear in mind, my wife had virtually no prior pistol experience and I used to be on a handgun league while in college and was probably a fairly decent shot at one time. But no--that little blessed Sig literally blew my Kahr 9MM out of the water. We switched guns, and I ran a few mags through the Sig. WOW. This gun was for real. Very low recoil and a very smooth, silky action. It made my Kahr feel almost unpleasant to shoot. We ran probably another 150 rounds through the Sig and only had two stove-pipes (from what I can recall).
Fast forward five years. In April '16, I FINALLY decided that I had to have a P238 of my own. At present, Sig now also offers the P938, which is nearly identical to the P238, but is chambered for 9mm vs. .380. I looked at both, but decided on the P238 because it was the gun that stole my heart and NO OTHER .380 has even come close to changing my mind. In all fairness, prior to purchasing my Sig, I've looked heavily at the Glock 42, S+W Bodyguards (both with and without the built-in laser), Ruger LCP, Ruger LC9, Kahr CW380, Kahr P380, Kimber Micro, and Colt .380 Mustang. None of these were quite like the Sig. Now, I may be a bit biased, but I have been so pleased with the quality, accuracy, and functionality of Sig's products, I knew that the Sig would be the right choice. I've never regretted that decision. In fact, I am now looking at trading in my Kahr on another Sig.
For some reason, I can't stand the long DA trigger pull any longer. After shooting the mini-1911's, I guess I've been spoiled.
The Sig Sauer P238 is my recommendation to you for your wife, hands-down. Please look and have your wife look at the Sig P238 in person before you make a choice. If you are able, try to find a gun shop that will allow you to shoot several of the guns you are interested in before you commit to buy. It will be worth it.
Granted, the P238 will cost about $250 +/- more than the S+W Bodyguard, but you will certainly notice a marked difference at the range and also in quality. My wife and I both carry our P238's with confidence and are extremely pleased with the performance and quality of these fine firearms.
Sorry to ramble. I hope this can be helpful to you.
For more info, please see a thread I created on this very topic: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=70446&p=1080289&hil ... 8#p1080289