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jennings j-22 (bryco arms)

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Old 03-21-2012, 03:27 PM   #1
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Default jennings j-22 (bryco arms)

A friend gave he his deceased wife's handgun, a Jennings J-22 by Bryco. I did a little reading online about this gun since I hadn't ever heard of this brand before and found it was a saturday night special. The info mainly mentioned the 38 and the 9 mm models. I am planning to use a 22 for target practice and cc. That's because I at least can get proficient on it for 2 reasons 1) less recoil which makes it very uncomfortable to shoot enough to become proficient, thus comfortable carrying and 2) lower cost ammo for practice, also a factor in shooting enough. (I'm a 5'2" woman, and have small hands, also a factor in selecting.)

My son-in-law, a fed. gun instructor and who has a serious collection agrees with the proficiency angle. Even though he would prefer to have me carry my j-frame 38, becoming proficient so it will be 2nd nature is better, and he suggested using hollow-points when carrying for personal protection.

The question is, is this gun one that will hold up for practice on the range and then be reliable for PP, or will I be best served by using it as a trade for something like a ruger or walther (their smaller 22 handguns -- my husband wanted me to get a compact M&P 22 which just came out but that thing is just too big for me to carry!).

Any advice will be appreciated!
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
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For target practice and gaining familiarity and accuracy the Jennings is fine. I would not bet my life on it or any rimfire pistol for that matter. There are many small framed .380, 9mm even .45ACP caliber pistols available. Ruger, Glock, Springfield, Kahr and S&W all market lightweight, small framed handguns for personal carry and easy concealment.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
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One problem, you can't safely carry it with a round chambered. Also you'll find for target shooting at 20 ft you will be lucky to hit a 4x8 plywood sheet let alone a target.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:25 PM   #4
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I will confess to having a J-22. It stays in the second shelf of my fishing tackle box for snakes.

I WOULD NOT carry a J-22 as a self defense weapon. The selling price on these is very, VERY low (about $80 new) for a reason- reliability and accuracy are just not there.

They seem to function best on VERY high energy 22s- such as CCI Stingers.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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Consider the j-22 a "fun" gun for plinkingand get some lighter loaded .38 special ammo for the Jframe for carry, IMO.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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The Jennings line stopped producing under their name several years ago. The guns did not have a reputation for reliability and they did have issues with firing if dropped with a chambered round. If you want a .22 for practice, better to get something else.

Proficiency is important, for sure. If you feel that you'd be best served by practicing with a smaller caliber, by all means. For carry, though, you'd be much better off with anything more significant. Still, if you wish to hone your skills with a .22, make sure you spend time with the larger caliber weapon also to develop some comfort using that one.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:00 AM   #7
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Just to add to the J-22 comments, I did find mine to be fairly reliable until it decided to go full auto. It would sporadically go spastic and slam fire all the remaining rounds in the magazine so fast you could barely tell what happened. One time it did it on the first round which sent 6 bullets down range sounding like a short burp. I sold it to a gunsmith at my club after explaining to him what it was doing. I later found the Phoenix Arms HP-22 to be a much better little .22.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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C3 and Orangello are right on the money with this gun. The Jennings is a CHEAP pistol for a reason, a great gun to shoot for plinking or target practice, as for PP/SD NO WAY.

I like the lighter .38 loads for women that can't handle/don't like the recoil, after several hundred or so rounds the regular .38 rounds should be fine for you. A lot of people don't like rimfires for SD but there are some great .22 pistols/revolvers on the market today if that is what you have your mind set on.

Go to your local gun store and look and handle several different pistols and revolvers to see what feels right to you, then go to a gun range that rents guns and try a few out, finding out what you don't like is as important as what you do like.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
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I had a jennings "bryco" .380 a long time ago, they are definately nothing to brag about. One day mine decided to go full auto out of the blue, it has been resting at the bottom of my pond ever since.
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