Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Featured Gun: Jennings J-22

This featured gun is one of those pistols that would be categorized as a "Saturday Night Special" by the hoplophobes. A Saturday Night Special is an affordable gun, sometimes of dubious quality that has been vilified by the leftist media and their minions.
I did a write up regarding the history and reality of the Saturday Night Specials, see it here.

The pistol we are examining today is the Jennings J-22.

The Jennings Arms Company set up shop in Los Angeles (Chino) in 1978. The founder was a guy by the name of Bruce Jennings. 
Bruce is the son of George Jennings, who you may know as the man who started the "Ring of Fire" gun manufacturing in Southern California (see my write up on the ring of fire here).

His Father had copied some of the European guns (that were no longer being imported), to produce his Raven P-25.

Bruce also copied a European pistol (at least in part), the Walther PPK, which incidentally was also banned from importation by the '68 Gun Control Act. The Jennings, however, was considerably smaller than the PPK. 

Here are the two guns for comparison:

 The Jennings J22

 The Walther PPK

The early guns even had a PPK type grip panel

Jennings also produced a model chambered in .25 ACP (called the J-25).

The company logo was a swash buckling pirate (I'm sure there is a story to that....) and the guns were shipped in a blue cardboard box measuring 3 5/8" x 5 1/4", which perfectly fit the gun, spare magazine and the owner's manual....no wasted space.

The parts for the Jennings, Bryco and Jimemez arms pistols are cast from a zinc alloy, called Zamak (or Zamac). 

Zamak gets its name from the alloy Zinc, Aluminum, Magnesium and Copper (Kupfer in German), although it is 99.9% zinc.
This is not your typical pot metal, it is actually very well suited to this type of manufacturing (although not the best material for guns). There is one notable advantage of zinc construction: no rust.

The guns came in three finishes: Black (I'm not sure if the finish was paint or some sort of black chrome), satin nickel and bright chrome. The grip choices included black plastic (called "combat"), faux ivory and walnut. Giving a customer nine different combinations to choose from.

Bright Chrome with faux ivory
 Bright Chrome with walnut
 Black with walnut
 Black with plastic
 Satin Nickel with plastic

Construction of the guns was pretty straight forward. The zamak frame had a hole cast in the top of the frame for the steel barrel to be fitted and pinned into. The barrel remained fixed like a Walther PPK. The recoil spring slid over the barrel (also like the PPK) and the slide went on from the front, lined up in the rear with a keeper that also captured the firing pin spring as well as guided the firing pin when cocked.
The action was blow back and the trigger was single action only.
The magazine release was the simple "European style" by means of a catch at the heel of the grip frame.
The magazine held 6 rounds and the gun was usually shipped with two magazines.
The safety blocked the rearward movement of the slide and prevented the trigger from releasing the sear.

Here is a picture of the gun disassembled:

And the exploded parts diagram

Apparently the factory had some slides engraved, I don't know if these ever made it to production, but Gun Parts Corp was selling them for a while, but they are sold out now.

in 1985 Bruce, facing a felony assault charge, sold his business to a friend and former co-worker Gene Johnson. The new company was called Calwestco. After a plea bargain allowed Bruce to maintain his Federal Firearms Manufacturing License, Bruce created a new venture called Bryco Arms. Bryco Arms made the guns and Jennings Firearms became the distributor. Bryco was named for Bruce Jennings's son Bryan. The company eventually became owned by Janice Jennings, Bruce's ex-wife.
In 2003 Bryco lost a product safety lawsuit and went bankrupt. The assets were sold at auction to Paul Jimenez a former foreman at Bryco for $510,000.
Jimenez Arms relocated to Nevada and continues production today.

Virtually every "budget" priced gun has had detractors and the Jennings is not immune to the vitriol. 
Many have complained of issues ranging from the sear not catching if the slide is not pulled far enough back (causing a slam fire), to the gun going off if dropped.
I wont go into detail about all of the various claims.

I purchased this particular gun in 1991 from a home based FFL dealer. The finish was satin nickel, grips were of the combat variety and the price was only $49.99.

I also owned this black one for a short time, which I got as part of a trade.

My Father also ended up buying one of these.

When firing a Jennings you must use high velocity ammo and keep a stiff wrist. This is typical of any blow back operated pistol. 
When we followed these guidelines the guns did work most of the time. 
You could not expect Colt or Sig reliability from a $50 gun, so we didn't. The guns were just for fun, we never carried the guns for self defense.

My opinion on this gun (if you care): 
If you can afford a better quality gun, then by all means go that route, but if you simply cannot afford anything more than a $100 Jennings/Jimenez J-22, follow these guidelines:
  • learn to shoot it
  • learn to dis-assemble and re-assemble the gun
  • learn its idiosyncrasies
  • use high velocity ammo like CCI Stingers
  • ALWAYS follow the four rules of gun safety

We'll finish this post with a little Jennings Gun Porn

I was surprised to find so many examples of suppressed J-22s

These pictures were found freely on the world wide web and are used under the guidelines of Fair Use, per Title 17 of the U.S. Code.
If you own the copyright to any of these images and wish them to be credited or removed, please contact me immediately.

Friday, November 25, 2016

2016 Christmas Ideas for the Gun Nut

It's that time of year again folks.....

You have heard of the Wine of the Month Club and the Jelly of the Month Club, why not a Tactical Item(s) of the Month Club?

That is what the guys at Tac Pac did, from their website:

A TacPack is a gift box full of tactical gear that gets delivered to your door step every month. Each month you will receive a package through the mail with 3-7 pieces of new tactical & EDC gear inside. Your TacPack subscription will automatically charge you monthly on the 15th. You can cancel at anytime without any strings attached....

Get more info here

Like Cousin Eddie says: "Clark, that's the gift that keeps on giving the whole year"

Another gift that keeps giving is a Subscription to a magazine....Guns and Ammo is a good choice

As is a membership in the NRA, the receiver of this gift gets their choice of four different monthly periodicals, free insurance (injury, life and gun) as well as discounts to nationwide retailers. They are also giving away a free duffel bag again this year....click here for more details

We'll kick this off with some small items that can also act as stocking stuffers....

 This unique .44 magnum revolver ring is a bit pricey, but they are handmade.....see them here

These solid copper Molon Labe rings and coins are available from Etsy

Now that we have a Republican run government, the calls for gun control and the ensuing panic buying will come to an end....so why not pick up some .22 LR ammo, 100 round boxes of CCI Mini-Mag and Winchester Super X work perfect for stocking stuffers

CCI is producing special edition Christmas ammo just for this purpose...

While we are talking about 22 ammo, why not get them a magazine for their .22 rifle or pistol?
Ruger recently introduced a new version of their BX-25 magazine with one side made from translucent plastic.
 Also available now (after a lengthy wait) the high capacity Mag Pul Pmags for Glock pistols
 Your loved one might appreciate a speed loader for their AR rifle magazines....these ones are made by Pops Cabinet Shop

Picking up spent brass is made much easier with this device from Ammobroom.com

 If your gun nut is a fan of revolvers, these unique speed loaders from Maxfire might be just what they need, get them from Midway USA

How about some items for the man cave? These 12 gauge coasters will protect the furniture, Amazon has them

Also from Amazon are these couch pillows with the image from an old Iver Johnson advertisement....

Round out your shopping on Amazon with these "Freeze" ice cube trays.....a great gift for the your hoplophobic friends...see them here

Ugly sweaters were all the rage a few Christmases ago, you could get one of these
If your gun nut is a fan of '80s movies here are some neat shirts to remind them of their favorites...this 1st one is from the 1988 action thriller Die Hard. get them here

From the 1984 movie Beverly Hills Cop, the Beverly Hills Gun Club T-shirt, get them here

Or the 1984 film Red Dawn....Wolverines! get them here

While not a "gun" film, it was a favorite of many....the advice given to the bar bouncers by Dalton (played by Patrick Swayze): "Be Nice unit it is time to Not Be Nice", get them here

We have recommended books by RL Wilson in the past and this is another good one, Amazon has them in new, used and digital (Kindle) versions

How about a BBQ lighter that looks like a rifle?

How about a US M2 "Pineapple" Grenade made of chocolate?

 A politically incorrect desk lamp?

If you are getting them the desk lamp, you might as get them the pen holder to go with it:

If your gun owner's safe is getting a little crowded, one of these door organizers from American Security will help, the folks at Dean Safe will help you pick the right one

If none of these items are what you are looking for, see my previous years suggestions: 2015 and 2013