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are they junk or just getting bad raps like we get from the snobs?

2394 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Dave_H
What is the real story with Byrco , Jennings, Jimenez, Corba? I hear them bad mouthed as much as Hi Point, and i know nothing about them.
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I gave my wife a cobra derringer for a wedding present. Its a solid, well made little gun. It is suprisingly accurate for a derringer. Plus, they are another firearms company that is 100% American made. I don't know about the other guns they make, but imho, the derringers are good little guns.

They are all good guns. They are just cheap guns. People that have $$$ to spend just put down the cheaper guns. If you SEE any gun that you like and its in your price range...get it. Snobs are everywhere. They are a dime a dozen. Just my 2 cents. :yes: ;)
It varies from model to model and company to company. Some of the bad press is justified, some is not. If you want to know about a particular model, ask. Someone here probably has experience with it. Several members here are also members at:

i own a cobra 380. it only lasted about 100 rounds and the slide cracked. judging by the way it cracked it was just a bad casting.I plan on getting a new slide soon and wi report back after I put another 100 rounds through it.

A big +1 to the suggestion of going there. Some of the regulars at that forum own or have owned an example of all the SNS types you have heard of, and probably some you haven't heard of.
That is the place to go to find out information. You can also get pointers on how to get the most out of a particular type of cheap gun.
Here are a couple interesting things over there. Ranch dog took a Jimenez JA-9 to Front sight training, and he went the extra mile to find out if he could get the kinks worked out of a JA-9 to make it a worthwhile carry piece.


356 has a Jimenez JA-22 with a current round count of 11,400.

I use to have a Jennings 22 pistol back in 1985. I bought it new for $59.95. It was ammo finicky, it would usually jam once or twice with a full magazine of 7 rounds. However, it did like CCI Stingers and rarely jammed with them. Accuracy wasn't bad at about 10 yards.
How about the old R&G revolvers in .22 short.
Now I have never shot one but after handling & checking a few of these out I certainly can't recommend them.
They are known to have bad timing issues but most work fine to my knowledge.
I did read a story once about a woman that borrowed one of these & had to shoot her boyfriend with it. He did die with 6 holes in him so it worked good enough for her.
I had the Jennings J58 (or was it the J59?, I can't remember) .380

I hated it.

It never jammed on me, but the trigger SUCKED. It would bind up constantly and wouldn't shoot. I tried everything to get it to function properly. I even had the LGS have their gunsmith look at it to no avail.

If the trigger wasn't such an issue, I would say that I would have really liked that gun.
I have a Phoenix Arms HP22. It's accurate and shoot great! Great purchase.
I have a jennings .22 and it isn't too bad. It really doesn't like anything Winchester period or it jams like crazy. I bought a pack of federal bulk ammunition a couple of weeks ago and it actually really seems to like it. It still jams but not quite as much as with some other ammo.
I worked on many a Jennings .22 trying to get them to work reliably with standard high velocity "promotional" ammo, failed on every one. The only load they would consistently cycle was Stingers. Finally concluded the recoil spring rate/slide weight was off a bit. If you weakened the recoil spring to get enough slide velocity for reliable ejection the return stroke was so weak the next round would often fail to feed. Full power recoil spring was so strong and the slide so heavy that only high pressure ammo could overcome it. Turns out most people buy a $40 .22 expecting to be able to shoot the cheap 99 cent box of ammo through it, not the $5 stuff. Go figure.

My brother had a Bryco, .380 IIRC. Cheap potmetal slide was worn away on the breechface (unknown round count) and was in general bad condition after just a few years. Plastic grips were brittle, chunks broken off the corners.

My Dad bought an RG .22 single action back in the late 70's/early 80's that wasn't too bad. The trigger spring broke after a few hundred rounds but it was easliy replaced. LR and Mag cylinders, plastic grips and a potmetal frame. Other than finish wear off it was in pretty good shape when he sold it 15 years or so later.

OTOH, got an RG double action .22 sitting in the shop right now with a broken grip frame on the frontstrap. The stress of the mainspring pushing down on it snapped it in two, looks like a early 70's vintage. I am told by metal guys that some cheap alloys actually "evaporate" one of the metals over the years, weakening the remaining metal. Similar problem is found in chromed car emblems on classic rides, real easy to snap them after 20+ years of the alloy degrading.
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i have a jennings j22 , and all it does is jam , but i specifically bought it as a project gun so it's all good . i think my problem is the chamber is worn too large , i keep splitting cases and i have lots of extraction problems , pretty much what i expected for a well used cheap gun . once i finally get paid i'm going to get a new barrel and see how she does , hopefully that sorts it out . i like the small 380 they make too (not the one thats the same size as the 9mm) . any gun can be reliable , most of the time all you need is a fluf and buff .
I picked up a bryco 38 in .380 at a gun show this year for $40 used .. You could tell it has had at least 1000 rds through it by the wear marks on the feed ramp and the wear in the barrel .. Unfortunatly after I put about 50 rds through it the reciever on the barrel cracked :'( . Its a small crack so I just keep it in my glove box for a back-up .. I'm sure it would hold up through a few clips in a pinch .. i will look for a new barrel when I get the funds ..

Zaostar, I found out recently that Jimenez will work on older Jennings and Bryco guns, for a small fee + shipping. Not as good as Hi points warranty, but not too bad.
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