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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife's late husband left her one of these in .380 ACP. (He got 2 of em trading off a tv, apparently.) This is the one that's left. It is not comfortable to shoot, nor does it shoot particularly well, as I remember. I had lost track of it, and just pulled it out of the safe this evening to discover it will not cock, nor can I get it apart.

As I rack the slide, oil appears out of the takedown button, so I likely flooded it w/ oil when it was last at the range in an attempt to get it to work. I come to you, oh Bryco and Jennings experts, please diagnose this supplicant's pistol from afar!
 

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My #1 guess, broken recoil spring.
 

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I'd agree with SWAGA, but my nephew will be along soon with a definitive answer
 

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Thanks Uncle.
@backbencher Which model Jennings in .380? There's a Model 38, Model 48, a T380, and a Model 58 -all in .380.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mfg by Bryco Arms
Jennings Firearms
Model '38'
VERY IMPORTANT
THESE INSTRUCTIONS SHOULD BE CAREFULLY READ AND NOTED. 8/03

ETA: Got it apart. Now have to see if I can get it back together again. Very simple little dude, pity it's never run right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Recoil spring looks intact. Turns out I wasn't applying the required 30 lbs of pressure to cock the striker. Any guides on getting these to run right? Fluff & buff the feed ramp w/ a Dremel? Buy new Jimenz magazines? Convert to .32 ACP?

Just dry firing the thing makes me fall in love w/ my JHP all over again. :)

ETA: Thanks for the help, fellas. Will have to take a look @ the Jimenz table @ the next gun show.
 

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Recoil spring looks intact. Turns out I wasn't applying the required 30 lbs of pressure to cock the striker. Any guides on getting these to run right?
Jennings took two approaches to absorbing recoil on the Model 38; earlier guns had a small buffer in the frame (#24 & 25 in the diagram below) that the recoil spring slipped over. However, it makes the gun a beast to cock.

Font Line Parallel Auto part Engineering


Later versions of the Jennings did away with the buffer entirely, and Jimenez continued to leave it out (see below). I've removed the buffer from mine as well. If your pistol has the buffer, all you need to do is remove the barrel pin (#12) which is used to capture the buffer. Don't be surprised if the buffer doesn't just pop out; you may need to apply some penetration oil and elbow grease to it.
Font Rectangle Auto part Parallel Drawing
 

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Recoil spring looks intact. Turns out I wasn't applying the required 30 lbs of pressure to cock the striker. Any guides on getting these to run right? Fluff & buff the feed ramp w/ a Dremel?
I wouldn't take a Dremel to the feed ramp unless you see it's been chewed up. What I do is to take a little steel wool and polish the surfaces of the moving parts to remove any rough edges. So hit the edges of the trigger ass'y (#14) and the cam (#5). Also take a look at the frame itself and remove any crap that may be there, paying particular attention to to sear area. I also run a brass brush down the firing pin channel of the slide as I've discovered a lot of crud gets caught up in there.

Once you're done, run a 2-3 boxes of ammo thru it; staying away from hollow points to avoid feeding issues. You'll find it's a snappy li'l sucker.
Oh, you might call up Jimenez and ask for replacement recoil and F/P springs.

Font Rectangle Auto part Parallel Drawing
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, no buffer. Sprayed some Hoppe's No 9 in the firing pin channel and ran a q-tip down there before I put it together. The gun would seemingly run on the striker spring energy alone.

I remember shooting it and it being uncomfortably snappy, as well as being a jammatic. The trigger is so heavy you can legitimately wonder if you left the safety on.

ETA: Is it worth converting to .32 or .25? Or just find someone I don't like very much and give it to them?
 

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I haven't experienced jamming on mine (I've got two in .380 and one in .32) but one of the .380 triggers is noticeably heavier than the other... and I don't know what the root cause and I haven't bothered to do any messing around to find out. It's not my favorite pistol; truth is that if it wasn't for filling in a spot in the collection I wouldn't even have it.

The Bryco M38 has earned an ignominious place in Saturday Night Special history; it's the gun that paralyzed the late Brandon Maxfield resulting in the lawsuit that bankrupted Jennings Firearms. (You can read about it here: http://www.brandonsarms.org/index.php )

You could convert it to .32, the barrel is the same outer diameter so it should fit properly in the frame, and the same magazine is used for .32 and .380. While converting it to .32 won't help the trigger pull issue, it will be less snappy. I use a Hogue Handall grip sleeve
on mine, if nothing else it gives me a better grip.

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Airsoft gun
 

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ig·no·min·i·ous
/ˌiɡnəˈminēəs/
adjective
  1. deserving or causing public disgrace or shame.
Yer welcome
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You could convert it to .32, the barrel is the same outer diameter so it should fit properly in the frame, and the same magazine is used for .32 and .380. While converting it to .32 won't help the trigger pull issue, it will be less snappy. I use a Hogue Handall grip sleeve
on mine, if nothing else it gives me a better grip.

View attachment 50941
Thanks for the help. Bbls available on eBay, I presume? Looks like Jimenez isn't making the .25 or .32 right now, but do print the old Bryco manuals for those models. From the parts diagram, looks like the .32 ACP shares most of its parts with the .380 ACP model.

If I could convert it to .32 ACP, it would suck slightly less, and I'd be more interested in trying to improve the trigger. Seems like the trigger return spring is part of the world's most awful trigger.
 

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From the parts diagram, looks like the .32 ACP shares most of its parts with the .380 ACP model.
The gun is exactly the same except for the barrel and the slide roll marks. Recoil springs and F/P springs are the same part number.
 

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Yes, punch out the pin and work the barrel out. I put a spend casing in the barrel and gently tap it out using a brass drift. No difference in extractors between the calibers. There is a difference in thickness but it's related to production date, not caliber.
No, a Cobra/Davis barrel will not fit.
@backbencher Numrich has the .32 barrel in stock: https://www.gunpartscorp.com/gun-manufacturer/bryco-arms/38-bryco?page=3
 

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I had to build my .32 from parts kits; I started out with a bare frame.
For the longest time my .32 caliber was sporting a slide with a .380 rollmark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks much. Waiting to get into my eBay account so I can message this seller, see if he has a spare bbl to sell.
 
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