Range Report: Jennings/Bryco .380


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glocksman
February 27, 2004, 05:56 PM
One of my bosses at work gave me an unfired Bryco/Jennings .380 pistol that he found among his father's effects after he passed away.

The gun was in the original box with a sales receipt dated 1992, and both magazines were fully loaded with 6 rounds each. Randy (my boss) told me that it was in that condition when he found the gun in his dad's dresser drawer.

I bought a box of cheap Silver Bear .380 FMJ ammo at the gunshow a few weeks ago and finally got out to shoot the gun today.

I loaded the magazines with 5 rounds instead of 6 when shooting the SB ammo.

First up were 2 magazines of Silver Bear .380. The first magazine fed with no problems. On the 2nd magazine, I had a failure to feed on the 4th round.

Six of the 12 hollowpoints that came with the gun fed and fired normally, but I had a stovepipe on the 2nd magazine full. This was the same magazine that I had the failure to feed with on the first string.

It could have been the ammo however, as report and recoil varied from round to round. In fact, I believe the ammo was reloaded, and not commercial because of the varying headstamped cases using the same hollowpoint bullet.

For the rest of the box of Silver Bear, I had one more failure to feed and it was with the same magazine that I had the previous failures with.

http://glocksman.webhobbit.net/bryco1.jpg

Accuracy was acceptable at close defensive ranges. The trigger was stiff and heavy for a striker fired gun. The target above was shot rapid fire at 7 yards with 2 magazines of 5 rounds each. There's more recoil and bite to this gun than you might think, due to the small size and sharp edges on the front of the magazine floorplate.

To make it more shootable, I cut off part of the lip of the mag floorplate until it was flush with the housing.

After the 50 rounds, I inspected the gun and the only sign of visible wear was the chrome on the end of the muzzle starting to flake away.


My impressions:

Hell, I'm surprised the gun fed at all after the magazines were left fully charged for almost 12 years. I suspect my failures were magazine based because all failures happened with one magazine, but not the other one.

It's accurate enough, but I wouldn't want this to be my primary handgun.

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arinvolvo
February 27, 2004, 09:28 PM
Keep shooting it until the extractor peens away, then use it as a door stop.

RatFink
February 27, 2004, 10:52 PM
I owned a Jennings in about 93, it had tons of problems feeding anything but ball ammo, and stove piped on a regular basis, but the most shining poopitude about it was the 40 pound trigger pull. It was a stellar example of garbage.

dsk
February 27, 2004, 11:11 PM
I once had a Jennings J-22 .22 pistol. As in your case one of the magazines worked fine, while the other caused numerous failures. I bought a spare and it too gave issues. I diagnosed the problem as being feed lips spread to ofar apart and gently squeezed them in a vise. After that all three mags worked fine for a few hundred roudns, after which I began to have problems again. I miked the feed lips, and sure enough they'd spread back out again.

In other words, these guns simply don't hold up.

Marcus
February 28, 2004, 12:16 AM
I had one exactly like that many years ago when I didn`t have the money for anythign else. Mine would jam on FMJ sometimes but NEVER on JHPs. I guessed that it was due to the JHPs shorter OAL. Accuracy was on par with yours,not bad for $69 or whatever I paid for it back then. I only put 200 or so rds. through it but it was reliable (with JHPs),reasonably accurate and gave me a lot of piece of mind when I needed it. I sold it to a friend for $50 years ago,he`s still happy with it (for what it is). They`re not much but they`re better than nuthin. Marcus

denfoote
February 28, 2004, 07:57 AM
Your problem may be that Silver Bear is steel cased ammo!! The Jennings has enough problems feeding brass!!! Switch ammo and see if that clears up your problem!! If not, then consider the door stop plan!! :rolleyes:
You may also have a bad mag!!

Scooter .45
February 28, 2004, 09:25 AM
My little Jennings 22 isn't big enough for a doorstop :( Make a good paperweight though. Wont feed anymore, and lost the little safety detent ball, so it's not only unreliable, it's also unsafe. Pretty though, with nice wood grips. Should probably remove the firing pin and make some sort of display piece.

Joshua Hutchison
February 28, 2004, 02:05 PM
disable it and incase it in lucite :D

stans
February 28, 2004, 03:08 PM
disable it and incase it in lucite

Oh no, not again!

Bainx
February 28, 2004, 05:36 PM
And, Joe Friday took the case:

"On February 28, 2004, a trial was held in Los Angles county against an unfired Bryco/Jennings .380 pistol.
In a moment, the results of that trial.":D

Josey
February 28, 2004, 05:56 PM
Mine fell apart. I ordered it with PINK pearl grips for a lady friend. I took it out to shoot a box though it before giving it to her. I got her a pretty Taurus instead.

glocksman
February 28, 2004, 07:21 PM
Yeah, it's a piece of junk, but it beats a rock for some poor person who can't afford much better.

Though if a poor person asked my advice on what to spend $100 on, I'd say 'Add $50 more and buy a Makarov'. :D

This isn't my first Jennings.

Years ago, someone gave me a Jennings J-22. Surprisingly enough, it was totally reliable until you'd fired 100 rounds or so through it. Then it was so dirty it wouldn't cycle consistently.

The problem is that its' accuracy made the Bryco .380 look like a target gun by comparison and that it was ejecting empty cases while the powder was still burning in them.

Shooting it at twilight was interesting. It didn't have 'muzzle blast', it had 'ejection port blast'. :D

WebHobbit
February 29, 2004, 02:09 AM
You do like "dem pimp guns" dontcha?

:D ;) :p

glocksman
February 29, 2004, 03:23 AM
If you're referring to my Taurus PT-22, it's not a pimp gun.
Pimp guns have pearl grips, not wooden or ivory ones.
Just ask General Patton. :D

tomkatz
February 29, 2004, 04:09 AM
Yeah, it's a piece of junk, but it beats a rock for some poor person who can't afford much better.

Nah, I'd go with the rock :D

seriously though, if this gun was my only option I'd pass and go straight to my spyderco.......tom

wally
February 29, 2004, 07:48 AM
Nah, I'd go with the rock

seriously though, if this gun was my only option I'd pass and go straight to my spyderco.......tom

I'd bet on the guy with the Jennings, they are reliable single shot pistols and usually allow you to get off a whole mag worth when clean.

Sounds like the gun of the OP did what it was designed to do, sit around in case its ever needed, and emptied the mag when called upon twelve years latter. These are not guns for someone who likes to shoot, but that doesn't mean they are worthless junk. For someone on a very low budget these are a lot better than throwing rocks! OTOH I'd certainly encourage anyone who asked me about one to save a little longer, pick up aluminum cans, whatever to buy a better gun -- like a Mak for only about 2X the cost of the Jennings.

--wally.

silent one
February 29, 2004, 09:41 AM
glocksman,
I wouldn't shoot it, period. These guns are unsafe. I bought one a couple of years ago. I wanted to get the feel of a small .380 and didn't want to spend a lot of money just in case I didn't like it. Well I can tell you, I didn't like it. When I brought it to the range, I loaded both mags with S&B ball ammo. I inserted the mag, took aim, and got three rounds off when I felt something hit my face. When I looked at the weapon I saw that the loaded chamber indicator was gone, along with the firing pin and spring. that's what hit me. The parts blew out the rear of the slide under pressure leaving the weapon useless. I sent it back to the manufacturer, and they sent me another one. This time I again loaded a mag, took aim, and got a full mag off without problems. I loaded the second mag, and got two rounds off when suddenly the slide got stuck half way into battery. I dropped the mag from the weapon and attempted to move the slide, no luck. Upon looking more carefully, I noticed a crack in the frame that went from the feed ramp to the bottom of the frame just forward of the trigger guard. That's what caused the slide to hang up. I again sent it back. They sent me another weapon. Needless to say, it is in my safe in the original box with the paper work. I keep it there as a reminder as what not to buy.

I learned a valuable lesson from this. Save your money, and buy a quality weapon, it's worth the extra cost. Not to mention the safety aspect. Since then I have bought a Colt Mustang .380, and a Beretta model 86 .380, and haven't had a single problem with either of them. I guess the old addage that you get what you pay for is true.

good luck, and be safe.


SILENT ONE

Route 66
February 29, 2004, 11:33 AM
I went to the range yesterday with my brother-in-law and his friend. I was shooting my Taurus Total Titanium 4" .357 revolver which I dearly love. My brother-in-law's friend brought his Jennings .380 along and asked if I wanted to shoot it. Not knowing any better I said yes. One mag through it and I was done! Two, yes two slide bites and a kick that seems harder than my .357 Taurus! I think a good sling shot would be better.

He told me that he's only had it for a year and still breaking it in. He is still getting FTFs but he says it's getting better. Not my idea of a carry gun or home defense solution. :eek:

tomkatz
February 29, 2004, 12:37 PM
I'd bet on the guy with the Jennings, they are reliable single shot pistols and usually allow you to get off a whole mag worth when clean.

.....of course I was funnin a little, but really seriously, if the jennings doesn't fire(which is totally possible)and we are at contact distance he is cut and bleeding and wishin he'd have bought that mak......

He told me that he's only had it for a year and still breaking it in. He is still getting FTFs but he says it's getting better.

....by the time this thing is "broke in" it will be worn out :rolleyes::D ......tom

Whitey
February 29, 2004, 12:44 PM
It's accurate enough, but I wouldn't want this to be my primary handgun

Nor would you want it to be your backup gun either. Take the advice of others and use it as a doorstop. But be fore warned... it will most likely fail at that too. :D

BluesBear
February 29, 2004, 07:05 PM
Take the advice of others and use it as a doorstop. Unless I misread the original post, the range report on this gave it a passing grade. I have seen members post worse range reports on $1000+ weapons.

Members have expressed worry over leaving a $30 magazine loaded for more than a week and here we have two that were left loaded for 12 years!

Nah, I'd go with the rock :rolleyes: That'll look great on your tombstone.

seriously though, if this gun was my only option I'd pass and go straight to my spyderco :confused: Does this imply that you would take a knife to a gunfight?

tomkatz
February 29, 2004, 09:21 PM
bluesbear, you must have not read my second post.....



.....of course I was funnin a little

I stand by what I said though, I'd use a knife before one of these POS, I have known two guys who owned them and they either broke to pieces or wouldn't fire or both.....I never get into the threads on badmouthin hi-points since they at least do what they are supposed to, but jennings etc. is a different story, they are junk from what I have seen, and as always, this is just my opinion. Sorry if I have offended some folks......tom

albanian
February 29, 2004, 09:40 PM
Whatever you do, don't carry it with a round in the chamber!:what: A few back, some deer hunter was in a tree stand with a Jenning .25acp pistol in his shirt pocket (illegal in my state) and it somehow went off and shot him. He died. They found him on the ground below his stand. I can't remember if he died from the bullet or the fall. The gun was still in his shirt pocket so they ruled out suicide.

I am not a gun snob and I really like getting a value on guns but those guns are crossing a line I am not willing cross. I have had a few when I was young and dumb and I don't think much of them. They are dangerous and unreliable. They kept getting sued and had to keep changing the name of the gun company. Jennings, Bryco, and a few others are really the same company under different names, These guns should be taken out of circulation asap.

For not much more than $100, you can get some good guns. AIM has Maks with 4 mags for $119. A used Beretta or Bersa would be a good gun.

BluesBear
February 29, 2004, 11:20 PM
tomkatz, my remarks were intended to also be in jest.
Except fot the rock part. I would rather have a Jennings than a rock. But I'd rather have a Gerber Mk I or II.


If you showed up with a Jennings and a Spyderco would it be a gunfight or a knifefight? :confused:

Insread of Rock, Paper, Scissors you could play Jennings, Paper, Knife. Except that both would beat Jennings.

tomkatz
March 1, 2004, 12:21 AM
Insread of Rock, Paper, Scissors you could play Jennings, Paper, Knife. Except that both would beat Jennings.
bwahahahaha, good one........

tomkatz, my remarks were intended to also be in jest.
well, I thought so but just trying to keep myself somewhat on The High Road......tom

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