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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I went to visit a friend who owns a shop and smithing and he had a first model Jennings J-22 waiting for a mag. I liked the look and feel so I did my research, and despite the bad reviews and reputation, I decided to get it anyway if he got a mag for it.

I picked it up and will be playing with it tomorrow.

Anyway, is there an unwritten rule out there that a collector has to have or have had a bad gun at one point?

Anyone have any fun or good stories about the J-22 or bad guns in general that they'd like to vent about?
 

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I've had some bad luck...
Ruger SR9C...
mag release would pop the mag in holster. Enamel flakes off, trigger would stick and not reset.
Traded that for a gen3 G19.
S&W SD VE...
Terrible shooter. Just would not hold a group for me.
Sold it
Bear Creek .458 SOCOM...
Would not go into battery or feed rounds. Sent back twice until they fixed it.
Sold it bought a RRA upper.
Taurus G2C...
Improper drilled hole in slide. Guide rod went out the front of the pistol. Sent in, they replaced .
Traded for a safe.

So, yeah... id say ive had a few clunkers, junkers and stinkers.
 

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So I went to visit a friend who owns a shop and smithing and he had a first model Jennings J-22 waiting for a mag. I liked the look and feel so I did my research, and despite the bad reviews and reputation, I decided to get it anyway if he got a mag for it.

I picked it up and will be playing with it tomorrow.

Anyway, is there an unwritten rule out there that a collector has to have or have had a bad gun at one point?

Anyone have any fun or good stories about the J-22 or bad guns in general that they'd like to vent about?
Hell, I own several of them, Jennings 1st and 2nd gen, couple Brycos, and a trio of Jimenez J 22s. It all started with mom's black orginal safety J 22 dad picked up, when he went on exercises in Honduras, with 6th MEB.

Now, here's something we both wish we had known when we bought it. On the old slide safety ones, if the safety is on, and you can still rack the slide, have it checked, and find out why before shooting it. The weapon is broken if it moves more than a twitch, and it is more likely to have an AD happen as a result. First hand experience, and yes, it was pointed down range, when it happened.

Even with that safety working right, it can still happen, while racking it. Mine don't get a round chambered until I am ready to fire, even though it has never happened to me, I have seen it happen, more than once.

Now, magazines. The original one has a slot down both sides. Avoid them if possible, because they gum up and get crapped up easily. Look for the updated magazines with a couple small holes drilled in them, late Bryco and Jimenez. Much better design, that just runs better in the weapon.

Ammo. They don't like HP or cheap bulk ammo, as a general rule. High velocity LRN or JRN rounds.As it is a first generation, going by the safety, it should be broken in, which lessens the odds of it not running right, with good ammo. But, they were known as jamming machines since day one. Two options to resolve this.

1. take it down, remove the slide, and insert the mag with a snap cap in it. Push it forward with your finger, and see how it lines up with the feed ramp, while checking for resistance as the cap comes forward. Adjust the mag feed lips as needed, and reassemble, and function test. Load the mag with caps, and cycle the slide to check for issues, then range test it with live ammo.

2. As dumb as it sounds, run about 300 to 400 rounds through it, taking care of any jams that come up. Most I have seen have a mag or two through them, and that's it, even with the ones pushing 50 YO. Bought, run a few through it, maybe clean it, then drop it in the drawer. Maybe take it out and clean it every few years. I've seena few that looked like they had been dropped off a building in a bag of hammers, with brand new looking internals, because they had brand new internals. They just sat in the dresser drawer for most of those years, not taken out and fired.

"Fixed" more than one for a friend, that had that exact problem, in just that manner, followed by a good clean and lube.

Now, accuracy. It's straight blowback, with a fixed barrel. It's just small with small sights, and a short sighting radius. It is more accurate that you are, simply by design. You just have to deal with the small size, and a crap shoot if a trigger (Seriously, I have 4 with good triggers, 3 with "meh" triggers, and 3 more that the triggers are pretty mush like squeezing a stone, or mush. One with a great trigger.) It can be a great plinker, and practice weapon, as it is easy to control. One a good day I can cover a 25 yard group with a half dollar, out of one of mine, 10 yards, a quarter.

And it can be more than just a range toy. Mine were close range varmint, small rodent, tools for the most part, and snake guns, when we lived down south (Rare as it was that we used them, mostly for injured snakes.) A few ammo manufacturers now make defensive .22 LR ammo. I'd never see it as a primary, but as a last ditch option, it will always beat nothing.

As to it being a rule, nope. No rule saying we have to own one, or several "Junk" guns. And as far as that goes, I don't call them junk guns, just lower cost alternatives, that exist for a reason.

I have a close friend who wanted a house gun, that fell in love with a Colt 1911A1, and was about to drop his full $300 he had to spend on a down payment on it. I talked him into a Hi Point JHP that day, and .45 ACP was on sale at the shop. Left with the JHP, 2 extra mags, 200 rounds of ball ammo, and a couple boxes of Critical defense. All for under that $300. He already had an LCP for CC, so that was covered.

He could have gone for the 90 day layaway, and had about $350 he could spare per month, so the $950 they were asking was easy to swing for him, and still, I talked him out of it.

About a month later, he and his girlfriend were sitting on the couch, his son was visiting that weekend from NY, where he lived with his ex, when someone kicked in his front door, with a couple friends, and came in armed. He grabbed that Hi Point out of the end table drawer, and dropped 2 of them, DRT, the other two hit the bricks, past haste. Good shoot, security footage got them entering the yard, and coming to the door, weapons in hand. DA sent it to the grand jury, SOP here in any shooting case, and it came back no bill. he managed to hit all 4, one turned up at the local ER, and survived, and ended up turning on his buddy when questioned.

Now, imagine going through that with nothing but an LCP, or that LCP only, knowing your Colt is sitting in the shop safe, and you can't afford to pick it up for another 2 months.

Yes, he did end up getting a Commander length Kimber later that year, and a G19. Recently addone one of my Mossberg 500s as well, and is starting an AR build with her dad. He stopped by and thanked me for steering him to that Hi Point, because him having it there kept the three of them safe.

People bask the Ring of Fire guns because they are cheap, and "Won't hold up to 10,000 rounds."

And I don't argue that fact. But I do look at them ask if the poor have a 2A right, and a right to SD. What I do is this, ask them how often they shoot, and how many rounds when they do.

If you shoot less than 500 rounds a month, it's still a decade at that 500 before you hit the 5,500 round mark, and close to 20 years before you hit 10,000 to 12,000 rounds.

Most people shoot about 100 to 150 every couple months, max. Which means that $200 Hi Point will still have thousands of rounds to go, when your kid takes over ownership, and odds are you'll be passing that ruger down to your great grandkids, with several thousand more left in it's service life.

If we want to talk about junk, look up ROHM. Great paperweight, lousy revolvers. (Have a .357 I got, and use as a paperweight in the office at the shop, that jumped time within 200 rounds. Cut off the firing pin, and welded the hole for it shut, and it sits on my desk.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Now, here's something we both wish we had known when we bought it. On the old slide safety ones, if the safety is on, and you can still rack the slide, have it checked, and find out why before shooting it. The weapon is broken if it moves more than a twitch, and it is more likely to have an AD happen as a result. First hand experience, and yes, it was pointed down range, when it happened.
Thanks for the info, looks like I have a wore trigger sub assembly that is allowing it to cock when the safety is on. I'm looking for a replacement right now.
 

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Can't say that I've ever owned a "bad" gun.

My first was a Browning BDM 9mm pistol. Maligned by 1911 traditionalists who despised the reversed-direction safety on the thing (given that it was an integrated safety/decocker). But once it was broken-in it turned out to be a nearly perfectly-reliable gun. Probably the single most-reliable sidearm I've ever had. Like a noob I ended up selling it to fund another acquisition. Didn't know what I had 'til I'd been out of it for a decade and had learned just how rare "perfect" reliability was. Live and learn.

Had a number of the PM-series Kahr micro pistols. All perfectly-shaped for my hands, ergonomically. But not one of which was a gun that ended up reliable, in my hands. Always had the occasional jams. Every one of them. Wasn't limp-wristing. Used high-grade ammo. Had tried polishing the ramps and lips and other minor tweaks. Nada. Great units, for some folks. Pile of junk that couldn't be relied upon, for me. (Sold them all, because of it.) Sad, since they fit and shot so well. The Kahr PM9 is still a gun I'd carry with me daily as a backup, if only the thing could be reliable for me.
 

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SIG P226 in 40cal, the recoil and slide movement to the rear timing was significantly different. This coupled with a high bore axis made it a terrible shooter. Traded for a G23 and $100 cash back to me.
 

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So I went to visit a friend who owns a shop and smithing and he had a first model Jennings J-22 waiting for a mag. I liked the look and feel so I did my research, and despite the bad reviews and reputation, I decided to get it anyway if he got a mag for it.

I picked it up and will be playing with it tomorrow.

Anyway, is there an unwritten rule out there that a collector has to have or have had a bad gun at one point?

Anyone have any fun or good stories about the J-22 or bad guns in general that they'd like to vent about?
It is not one, it is a ratio. I am not sure of the exact formula, but yes, if a collector has three guns, one should be a stinker.
 

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I do not currently own a bad gun or one I would call a ‘stinker.’ But there have been a couple.

Taurus G2C would never feed right and Taurus would not or could not seem to get it right....that was my one Taurus! Said goodbye!
JRC .40 carbine had some feeding issues that I was able to solve and runs great to this day.
 

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Do not have any now, but I have had a few

RG .38 Special, textbook exampled of "Saturday Night Special". It would go bang, but a total piece of junk. To load, release cylinder latch, pull pin, remove cylinder, load, reassemble. SOLD that CRAP.


F. I. E. Ranger, birdshead, SA .22LR. Neat looking, fun, little .22. Couldn't hit a 5 gal bucket @ 10 yards. SOLD that CRAP.

2 Heritage SA .22LR, 6-8" groups @7 yards, with every ammo. Picked them up for grandson to use at cowboy shoots, with me. Load, make ready, MAKE SURE that worthless hammer block safety is OFF and start time of shoot; that POS safety would be ON, every time, in both guns. SOLD that CRAP. Got 2 quality Ruger Single Sixes.

I have had and still have some what would call, bargain, cheap, lesser quality arms. They are accurate, dependable and fun. Can't ask for more.
 

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Small .22's by their very nature, are more prone to jamming than .25 acp's or .32 acp's. FMJ's don't gum up stuff like soft lead. The rimmed cartridge of the .22 is harder to get "right" than the rimless calibers in identical guns.

Worst stinker I've owned was a Mossberg 500 Ducks Unlimited "Youth Special". Magazine-fed rounds not only jammed but actually broke open. Although it was brand new, apparently DU had purchased these several years prior and sold them at DU dinners. Customer service refused to honor warranty. Traded for an 870 youth model which has lasted over 20 years without a hitch.
 

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242507

While everybody giggles at the .25 autos, those 2 Baby Brownings have never failed to feed, fire or eject.

The bottom right revolver is a Robin Hood- made in 1894. .22 Short. SMOOTHBORE. They were too cheap to rifle them.
 

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I picked up a J-22 a dozen or so years ago out of nostalgias sake: a J-22 was the first handgun i'd ever shot back when i was 9 or 10 years old. The one i bought must've had a worn sear or something goofy going on inside it, occasionally it would light off 2 or 3 shots with one trigger pull. The last time i shot it, i was clearing a failure to eject & when i let the slide go, it fired a round as it chambered it. At least i had it pointed downrange. The next day i traded it at a pawn shop as partial payment on a guitar. In hindsight, i probably should've thrown it in the bottom of a lake.

One of my aunts had one too. My cousins were in the pasture, near their property line, shooting it & it jammed. My aunt was struggling to clear the jam & when she let the slide go it fired. She had it pointed towards the neighbors property & it shot out the small window (roughly 4" by 6") on the bottom of the door on the neighbors parked tractor. At 50 yards.
She was horrified, & rightfully so, when it happened but later joked it was the best shot she had ever made, saying that there's no way someone could have aimed that gun & made that shot.
 

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Not a collector, (not intentionally anyway), but my bad gun was one that, IMHO, shouldn't have been. Picked up a new model S&W Bodyguard 38 revolver. It had timing and lockup issues right out of the box that only got worse. Sent it to Smith, wasn't any better when I got it back.. Finally, the gunsmith at my LGS said it was beyond hope. Took a beating, traded what little I got for it on a Chief's Special.
 

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Now.... I really hate to imply that one of us would... stretch the truth- but you actually expect us to believe that a Jennings would be able to fire more than one shot without jamming??? 😁

Just kidding- I used to keep a J-22 in the bottom of my fishing tackle box, loaded with shot rounds- snakes when fishing.
 

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Donn- know what you mean. My department picked up 10 brand new S&W Mdl 65 revolvers- cleaned them, went to the range. One of the 10 when fired double action would lock up with the hammer halfway back.

Houston- we have a problem. That one went back to the factory- they send us a replacement. But it put a hurt spot in my feelings for S&W quality control (this was back about 1979 or so)
 

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The last time i shot it, i was clearing a failure to eject & when i let the slide go, it fired a round as it chambered it.
Common problem among the ROF models. Actually had the sear snap off on one, and damage the friring pin channel in the slide. Ended up using a chrome one from the parts bin, and making a flip safety two tone with it. Also seen the levers come loose, it get put back together, and it never cock, because the sear was put in backwards.

Now.... I really hate to imply that one of us would... stretch the truth- but you actually expect us to believe that a Jennings would be able to fire more than one shot without jamming??? 😁

Just kidding- I used to keep a J-22 in the bottom of my fishing tackle box, loaded with shot rounds- snakes when fishing.
Doesn't count. That requires manual operation between shots........

that was the main use for ours, when dad bought it at that J Ville pawn shop in NC.

Never had jamming issues with it until last year, when it needed a cleaning, and a couple springs replaced, extractor and firing pin, but we are talking about an almost 40 year old pistol here. Dad came down and got it, took it back to NY, and my step mother was training with it (yes, it is still on two permits back in NY.)
 

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Thanks for the info, looks like I have a wore trigger sub assembly that is allowing it to cock when the safety is on. I'm looking for a replacement right now.
I just packed away most of my parts. Let me look for the box, as I got a few with damaged frames and sldies, that had good internals, so I just might have one kicking around still, in almost new condition. Just need to remember where I packed them.

I'll check later, and if I find one, send you a PM.

Strange as it sounds, check eBay and Numrich as well. Look under Jimenez, as that was the last company making them, out of Henderson NV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just packed away most of my parts. Let me look for the box, as I got a few with damaged frames and sldies, that had good internals, so I just might have one kicking around still, in almost new condition. Just need to remember where I packed them.

I'll check later, and if I find one, send you a PM.

Strange as it sounds, check eBay and Numrich as well. Look under Jimenez, as that was the last company making them, out of Henderson NV.
I already found one, there seems to be a lot of spare parts floating around. I checked to make sure the one I ordered looked more like the ones in the schematics and less like mine. My trigger sub assembly was so worn on the slide safety catch that it looked like an isosceles triangle instead of a square with the corner lopped off, which allowed the slide to push down the safety catch and glide right into battery.
 

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Donn- know what you mean. My department picked up 10 brand new S&W Mdl 65 revolvers- cleaned them, went to the range. One of the 10 when fired double action would lock up with the hammer halfway back.

Houston- we have a problem. That one went back to the factory- they send us a replacement. But it put a hurt spot in my feelings for S&W quality control (this was back about 1979 or so)
Dad, (RIP), was never a fan of S&W, had issues with them years ago. When I had problems with said Bodyguard, I could almost hear him from the Great Beyond, "I warned you about those blankity-blank Smiths." In fairness, I have other S&W's, the Bodyguard was the only one I had trouble with.
 
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