Jennings Nine doctoring help.


August 6, 2008, 05:02 PM
Yes I know this is near futile, but I have a Jennings Nine that belonged to a friend of mine. I had a few bucks I could afford to invest in a paperweight and did so. Now, to make this thing functional,, ahh, maybe,... more functional.:rolleyes:

Anywho, the machining on this thing is pitiful. The slide and trigger feel as though there is sand in them. I have managed to get a grand total of three successive rounds off without a stovepipe or some other such malady. What do I need to work on smoothing and polishing or whatever to make thing actually work,...well,....better?:o

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August 6, 2008, 05:25 PM
Most folks rail at these guns. I don't, as not all can afford a Browning Hi Power, and while nowadays there are better options for a affordable self defense gun, at the time most of these where designed they where the only game in town. And still, What options do you have for a gun who under $200 that can be concealed? Not many :uhoh:

That, and building a gun out of Zinc Alloys is just kinda cool.

This is a guide on the .380, some might match for the 9mm.

I know someone who played around with one of these Zinc speicals and learned a lot of home gunsmithing and is proud to show off a decent little gun. I am tempted to buy one of these as a one to mess around with one day.

August 6, 2008, 05:52 PM
There are two tools you need to gunsmith a Jennings.

1. A flat, hard, surface, such as an anvil or a flat rock.

2. A hammer. No, not that hammer, a BIG hammer. Think Sledgehammer.

Then follow these insturctions.

1. Place unloaded Jennings firearm on item 1 (the flat rock).

2. Using item 2 (the hammer) apply concussive force to the Jennnings firearm. Use large swings. Repeat.

3. Dispose of zinc debris and remains.

4. Buy a different gun.

If you follow these instructions, your Jennings will give you as good a service as it ever would.

August 6, 2008, 05:54 PM
+1 Trebor

August 6, 2008, 06:08 PM
I will be highroad on this, also another trick is download it to 8 rounds, some have reported they get better results.

I know it is not a great gun, ok, it not a good gun, band Hi Point has taken over the market by producing a much better product, but before Hi-Point became decent guns, what else could you buy for ~$125 or less?

August 6, 2008, 06:59 PM
Well Trebor, I hope you won't mind if I don't dis my friend that way. It really doesn't matter if it shoots well or not. Being the paperweight it is, it is still something that belonged to a very good friend. IF I can make it shootable, I would like to, not because I need the gun, but because I'd like to try.

If it never fires another round, it'll still be something I shall keep and cherish for what it is.

August 6, 2008, 07:56 PM
How about taking some fine wet sandpaper and smoothing out some of the roughness internally?

August 6, 2008, 08:06 PM
Engrave highpoint into the slide then it will somehow become a great non jamming gun according to some on this forum. Jennings, Low-Point, Lorcin, RG, and Bryco are all about on the smae level as far as I'm concerned.

1 old 0311
August 6, 2008, 08:09 PM
Start by polishing the feedramp, gently, but DON'T change the ramp angle.

August 6, 2008, 11:29 PM
Holy cow.......I wouldn't waste my time......but, have you checked the springs (recoil and magazine)? As someone else suggested, try polishing the feedramp.....

By the way, there are options under $200 that are much better.

FEG PA-63 (9x18)
Bulgarian Makarov

Good luck and let us know how it turns out,


August 8, 2008, 12:22 PM
Where can you get a Bulgarian Makarov for under $200? As a Makarov is one of my options for a future Conceal Carry gun...

August 8, 2008, 12:46 PM
These people can probably help out.

For parts or might have something.

August 8, 2008, 01:01 PM
Where can you get a Bulgarian Makarov for under $200? As a Makarov is one of my options for a future Conceal Carry gun...
You can't anymore, with the exception being the rare lucky find. Prices are typically $250+, closer to $300.

But, start here ( if you're looking.

August 8, 2008, 01:59 PM
+1 on checking springs. Also clean the mag out and make sure the inside is smooth. Cheap mags can kill the most exspensive gun.

I also have a Raven .25 if anyone wants to stand in front of it. From everything I've read online about this pistol and cartrige it should jam all the time or just bounce right off you.

Any takers?

August 8, 2008, 02:26 PM
I actually been thinking about buying a raven just to have one, and a friend who likes cheep, small inexpensive pistols has told me the raven is not nearly as bad as some of the other Zinc guns.

Of course, I will get the raven after some much needed guns... :)

August 8, 2008, 06:28 PM
You can't anymore, with the exception being the rare lucky find. Prices are typically $250+, closer to $300.

But, start here if you're looking.

Thanks, Hopefully I can find one and handle it before I jump into it...

August 9, 2008, 12:17 AM
P.m. sent to Drgong with links to several options.

You might also consider the CZ82 (9x18).....they can still be had for right at 200. Check J&G sales........

I gotta tell you though, if you are going to put your money into all these zinc pistols (jennings and ravens), you might as well save for a mak, or cz82. They are solid pistols that function properly all the time.

Take care, Mike Arnold

August 9, 2008, 03:34 AM
The Jennings 9mm can be reliable if you use the correct ammo and keep it clean. They don't like ammo that is too long overall from the base to the nose of the bullet. Also make sure the mag is in good working order and not bent. I have a Bryco .380 and it has never jammed once in over 500 rounds. Yeah I know, I got lucky.

August 9, 2008, 03:45 AM
Dont Rely On That Gun

August 9, 2008, 10:28 AM
I am not surprised your bryco hasn't hiccuped......they are made to function properly, and you probably take good care of it.. There is a place for inexpensive guns like these...........however, a couple of people asked on this thread if there were any options under 200 for CONCEALED carry. Taking a Jennings/Bryco/Raven to the range or out in the boonies shooting is one thing.........but given the OVERALL reputation of these pistols, as memphisjim stated, I WOULD NOT RELY on these guns for self defense or concealed carry. God forbid you find yourself in a situation where you are required to defend your life or the life of a loved one. You are much better off saving a little longer and getting something you can truly rely on. I am not trying to flame anyones pistols, because I am very aware not everyone can afford a hi-power, or a kimber...........there are just MUCH better options out there. I am also aware the original poster is just trying to make his function better and is probably not going to carry his Jennings9.

BTW Picknlittle........keep us posted as to if you can get that pistol running better.

Take care, Mike Arnold

August 9, 2008, 11:10 AM
as for me, I would buy one "for fun" and a jennings is better then nothing, but I personally have much better options.

Also in the Sub $200 catagory is the Nagant revolver, which I would put as a better self defense gun then a Jennings.

August 14, 2008, 10:46 AM
Here's the update on my repair attempts. Actual range testing will come tomorrow.

I fine sanded all slide contact points and the ramp. It was all pretty pitted or galled. I then oiled it good and was impressed by how much smoother the slide operated, so off to shoot we go,......not much help yet. Still stove piped nearly every round. I noticed that even when operating the slide manually, bullets were coming out of the mag pointing almost straight up. This was long before the fed ramp came into play. I took the mag apart and low and behold the spring was turned so the terminal end was installed to the mag front. This allowed the front of follower to dip as the bullet moved forward, and this allowed the bullet to drop. Anyway, I reinstalled the spring after a good cleaning and a touch of oil. Now, I have loaded ten rounds ten times and manually cycled the slide, both as fast as I can and slow and deliberately with zero failures.

Last night I added finishing touches to the fine sanding by using a polishing compound on those contact points and feed ramp. The ramp shines like a mirror now,...tomorrow I feed it and see how it eats.

Any advise for smoothing out the trigger? Would it be a good move to replace the recoil spring with a lighter spring?

Later, and thanks for all the good pointers.

August 14, 2008, 10:59 AM
let us know how it shoots!

August 14, 2008, 11:10 AM
I'm sorry, I would consider it rude for a friend to give me a jennings, or bryco, or hi point or lorcin etc...

August 14, 2008, 12:35 PM
I wouldn't go to a lighter recoil spring. May have problems returning to battery. Not sure on the trigger may be able to smooth up a few pieces so nothing is dragging on the frame.

New User
August 14, 2008, 01:25 PM
Thanks for posting your progress on your cheapo fix-up project. I think the expression is something along the lines of "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." But, it sure is fun (at least for me) to try. I like fixing up beater guns, or trying to.

Like Jim147 said, I would use a Dremel (not any harsh attachments) or sandpaper and try to smooth out contact and friction points in the trigger group. Before playing with any of the springs, make sure you can get replacements.

I have used Numrich's parts catalog for a number of my projects and they may have replacement springs.

Good luck and keep us posted.

August 14, 2008, 03:16 PM
I think your time would be better spent trying to make a revolver out of nothing but paper mache and jelly beans.

August 14, 2008, 04:10 PM
You can't make a purse out of a pigs ear... BUT you can oil up a Jennings, load the mag with some short OAL 9mm ball, place it in a ziplock, and hide it away for when you might need it.

August 14, 2008, 04:58 PM
I hope you get it taken care of. If you keep having problems you might put this down in gun smithing. Might get better answer then some of the great opinions by people who didn't read your OP or can't understand it.

And if you have an opinion that doesn't answer the OP I guess you could start your own post about shooting jelly beans out of your nose or whatever you do for entertainment.

August 14, 2008, 11:35 PM
I fully understand the snobbery. There are two thoughts that immediately come to mind. I don't own this gun because I need the gun. I bought it because my friend needed money and I knew he'd be insulted if I made a gift of the money, so I took the paper weight. Now, my curious nature makes me want to find out why they are considered unreliable. If I can use a little spit and polish and well intended TLC, and make it shoot reliably, then I've learned something about the cost of sloppy machining, and gained a truck gun that like any other gun, I hope I never have to use. The next thought is that someone else, who can not afford a more widely accepted gun, may be able to take my lessons and make a sows ear reliable enough to get themselves out of a spot, should it be necessary.

Regardless, the gun is what it is and will be either useful or not. I can't say it's any less useful than my muzzle loader pistol for home defense, but then again it beats the heck out of a rock!:D

August 15, 2008, 02:12 AM
And still, What options do you have for a gun who under $200 that can be concealed? Not many

Off the top of my head:

FEG PA-63 - $130
FEG AP-MBP - $120
Polish P-64 - $170
CZ-82 - $190

All well made, all reliable. The top 3 are pocketable, specially the P-64. The CZ easily conceals in a holster.

None made from zinc alloy.

Sorry for the thread hijack.

August 15, 2008, 09:40 AM
If the discussion had anything to do with preference to purchase, these choices would have merit, but that is not at all the case.

That said, the 9x18 round is precious little more than a .380. Ammo choices are very limited and when compared to 9x19 can be expensive. I have no doubt that most here wouldn't be caught tote'n a Jennings, but some would, since Jennings Nines can be found for $50 and maybe less.

August 15, 2008, 10:08 PM
I know I am nuts, but if I found a jennings .22lr for $50, I would buy it as a plinker...

Bufford t. Justice
August 16, 2008, 05:17 AM
+1 Trebor The jennings don't need doctors they need explosive demolition teams.

August 16, 2008, 07:05 PM
Well Bufford, many have you actually owned? If none, then how can you judge. If so, why? What was the attraction.

Bufford t. Justice
August 16, 2008, 07:34 PM
One. When I was young, dumb and full of....rates right up there with hi-points and lorcins n such. Purely criminal to have ever produced such an unsafe, malfunctioning pos.

August 17, 2008, 02:38 PM
I took the JN out today. It is improved, but I think I still have magazine issues. I'll start looking for a new or good one. There is a new wrinkle though. It often locks open while the mag still has rounds in it. Release the slide lock and it goes to battery just fine,...most of the time.:)

August 17, 2008, 10:42 PM
Do you have any shorter bullets to try. The nose of the bullet may be hitting the the edge of the slide stop.

Blind Bat
August 17, 2008, 11:21 PM
Any chance you are hitting the slide lock (assuming it has one) with your thumb? I let one of the guys at the range try my P6 and the slide locked back a bunch of times. It's never happened to me in close to 1000 rounds. I'm left handed so I concluded his hands must have just been too big for the gun.

(This thread could use more turd polishing and less turd bashing.)

Bufford t. Justice
August 18, 2008, 05:44 AM
Yea? And when that pos blows up in his face and injures him? Then what ya gonna polish? Destroy that thing while you're still whole.

August 18, 2008, 07:26 AM
I wouldn't put a Jennings in the same league as a HI-Point. Hi-points are the only cheaply made handguns that actually work. I can't bring myself to bash them. The Lorcin /Davis/Raven/Cobra are all pretty dubious and I would count yourself lucky it doesn't take your fingers off when you shoot it. Snobbery aside I'm REALLY against the idea of using these guns with full powered ammo like 9mm. A 380 is the max I would consider at any price for fear of hurting my self with those things. Personally, I wouldn't even fire it.

August 18, 2008, 09:09 AM
Someone posts a question about a Jennings/Bryco/Lorcin
Then the gun snobs reply with insults.

I am shocked I tell you, shocked!

August 18, 2008, 11:09 AM
Let them rave, Picknlittle. I know where you're coming from.

I, too, enjoy the challenge of making clunky machinery work properly. Especially if that stubborn old hardware has some other personal meanings.

I think that almost all of us know that this gun will never be used for anything but fun.

So what's the problem, folks?

Bufford t. Justice
August 18, 2008, 12:37 PM
The "problem" as I see it, is that firearm should not be used period. Not for any reason because it's not safe. We just don't want to see anyone hurt. Potmetal guns should be boiled back down and reworked into something useful and safe.

Blind Bat
August 18, 2008, 04:08 PM
It does look like these guns may have a kaboom problem:

Although, I've only found one lawsuit to confirm that. According to the Bryco history page ( (last paragraph) the safety tests may have also been biased.

August 18, 2008, 05:26 PM
Interesting links. I have been searching for any confirmed stories on these ka booms but have only been able to find them for Taurus, Sig, Kimber, Smith & Wesson etc. Almost all of the cases are confirmed to have happened with reloads.
Maybe we shouldn't be shooting anything.

August 18, 2008, 06:11 PM
Frankly, I find more certified cases of explosive disassembly among Glock .40s than I do among Jennings', Brycos, and all of the other cheapies. The cheapies are more likely to FTF than anything else.

August 18, 2008, 06:22 PM
I left the Glocks off my list of what I found because I have always heard it related to lead reloads.

Should we start a new thread about handgun blow ups so Picknlittle can get back to getting his Jnine working?

August 19, 2008, 12:55 AM
Bufford,...I understand the way you see things. Thing is, I ain't wearin yer glasses, so don't expect me to see the way you do. I'm not shooting with or at you with it, so don't sweat the small s*&#!

As for the actual recommendations, I thank you each and every one. I'll look for or load some shorter bullets, and I'll be looking for another mag. I don't mind tinkering,...that's how I learn.

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