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    Thread: Jimenez Firearms

    1. Member Uberhare's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 12:33 PM #1
      http://jimenezarmsinc.com/

      Who has first hand experience with these firearms? I just picked up a really cheap brand new JA 380 for my bedside nightstand as a backup to the shotgun. Haven't fired it yet. From what I've read it seems to be a highly debated gun in terms of reliability and accuracy. Some call it a Saturday Night Special. Others call it a POS that makes a better paper weight than a gun.

      I'll take some pictures and post up my impressions once I get a chance to throw lead down range.



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    2. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 07:43 PM #2
      I have shot one before and it did not impress me. I would not suggest using +P ammo with it. I would choose a Kel Tec or a surplus handgun over the Jimenez pistols.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    3. 03-23-2012 08:53 PM #3
      Some call it a Saturday Night Special. Others call it a POS that makes a better paper weight than a gun.


      I think that about sums it up.

      but seriously..
      why would any one buy such a low end firearm? thats a decision that could prove to be VERY dangerous...

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      03-23-2012 10:07 PM #4
      If you get failures to cycle properly, try other brands of ammo in your caliber. This was found to make a friend's Jennings J-22 work as intended. I have a good collection of 22 ammo brands and we found that some brands were not strong enough to reliably cycle the action. Jimenez, as you might know, took over the Jennings designs and production. He later said that his Jennings must be kept clean and lubricated as well. I like cheap guns too, might want to get one and am doing some shopping lately. I might want one with a visible hammer so the gun can be uncocked for an additional measure of safety if there should be a round in the chamber and to eliminate any need for dry firing.

    5. 03-23-2012 10:27 PM #5
      Something with that kind of reputation should never be put on "hey this might have to save my life..." night stand duty.

      Just sayin'.

    6. Member Roketdriver's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 10:43 PM #6
      The quality/appearance/fit+ finish of that appears to be on-par with a 8$ airsoft bb pistol.
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      03-24-2012 09:47 AM #7
      Hi-Points don't look so bad now.
      Now go get your shinebox

    8. 03-24-2012 11:09 AM #8
      I feel like that pistol should be the selling point for eye-protection while shooting firearms.

    9. 03-24-2012 08:36 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Obin Robinson View Post
      I would choose a.... surplus handgun over the Jimenez pistols.

      I think a $99 Nagant loaded with .32H&R would be the best choice. That Jimenez thing spooks me. If memory serves, they are pot metal. I would be they are good for about 2 "clips" worth.

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      03-24-2012 10:27 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by winstonsmith84 View Post
      I think a $99 Nagant loaded with .32H&R would be the best choice. That Jimenez thing spooks me. If memory serves, they are pot metal. I would be they are good for about 2 "clips" worth.
      Nobody with more than a half a brain would make a gun from potmetal. A Jimenez is more likely made from Zamak 3 or Zamak 5, a legitimate and sound engineering material when used within it's capabilities like steel, aluminum, plastic or whatever. How does a plastic Glock or a metal Zamak Jiminez sound as a choice?

      I'm not here to defend Jiminez but lay people can't make informed choices about engineering materials based on preconceived notions.

    11. 03-25-2012 03:57 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Toy View Post
      I'm not here to defend Jiminez but lay people can't make informed choices about engineering materials based on preconceived notions.

      Right. I'll buy the ammo if you want to see how many rounds one of these will go. I'm not a engineer, but I did find a few pictures of Jiminez metallurgy online, like this one



      Solid looking, isn't it.
      Last edited by winstonsmith84; 03-25-2012 at 04:05 PM.

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      03-25-2012 04:46 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by winstonsmith84 View Post
      Right. I'll buy the ammo if you want to see how many rounds one of these will go. I'm not a engineer, but I did find a few pictures of Jiminez metallurgy online, like this one



      Solid looking, isn't it.
      Ya got me there. Is that a 22 or a 9mm?

      Google Images for "blown up revolver" and "blown up pistol" for more pictures of steel guns. "Blown up Glock" gets you some too.
      Last edited by Tinker Toy; 03-25-2012 at 04:55 PM.

    13. 03-25-2012 04:53 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Toy View Post
      Ya got me there. Is that a 22 or a 9mm?

      .
      .40, based on file name.

      I'm familiar with Zamak (from scale model applications years ago) and powdered metals to a degree. I'm just saying that you get what you pay for. In a new pistol, that means reconstructive hand surgery with a $99 new pistol.

      Obin's suggestion of a surplus pistol is spot on. They are proven, built with quality materials and cheap. $200 will buy a lot of gun for the dresser drawer.

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      03-25-2012 05:14 PM #14
      This isn't over yet. Why, when I Google Images for "blown up Jennings" and "blown up Jimenez" do I not get any pictures of exploded guns?

    15. 03-25-2012 07:10 PM #15
      Because not that many people buy them?

    16. Member VDubby18's Avatar
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      03-25-2012 08:00 PM #16
      Yea, finding pictures of blown up guns doesn't really say much.


      I've seen videos and pictures of Smith & Wesson guns blown up. Not many people would say that's anything but a great gun maker. I've seen the same type of pics and video of just about every other firearm maker as well.

    17. 03-25-2012 08:44 PM #17
      I will say I have never seen a slide break in half like that though. Normally long fissures/cracks etc...some of which are barely noticeable to the naked eye. I've seen a brand new Glock sh_t the bed due to bad metal work, and I've seen a half dozen or so old Beretta service handguns with cracked frames.

    18. Member nevermas's Avatar
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      03-26-2012 07:38 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      Something with that kind of reputation should never be put on "hey this might have to save my life..." night stand duty.

      Just sayin'.
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      03-26-2012 11:22 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by VDubby18 View Post
      ... I've seen videos and pictures of Smith & Wesson guns blown up. Not many people would say that's anything but a great gun maker. I've seen the same type of pics and video of just about every other firearm maker as well.
      Hell, I used to see a rifle or shotgun barrel banana peeled or had the breech blown out nearly every weekend. I'd sit there and in my head I'd be screaming, "Don't pull the trigger!" But, Elmer never seemed to care that Bugs stuffed a carrot in the end of the barrel...
      It seems the government is currently saying, "While we're conducting this unspecified, unwarranted surveillance, we're totally thinking about how to not violate the 4th Amendment that we're currently violating. Because terrorism."

    20. Member Uberhare's Avatar
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      03-26-2012 06:16 PM #20
      Alright finally had a chance to play with this gun. Contrary to what you've read/heard, this gun is actually fairly well built. I think there is a LOT of snobbery going around with people who have neither shot one or held one in their hand. Is it a high quality piece? No. Does it have a fairly smooth action? Yes. I took about an hour smoothing some edges and improving the slide action.....MUCH better. I think people who knock this gun have never shot one or even held one.

      Not a bad little gun for the price. It shoots fairly good. No a super accurate gun but it isn't intended to be. 50 rounds of typical round nose 95grn ammo without any problems. It's actually kind of a fun gun to shoot despite it's reputation.

      $100 is a good deal for a brand new gun with two magazines and a child resistant trigger lock.

      I'd give this gun a 5 out of 10.
      The lion does not concern himself with the opinion of the sheep.

    21. 03-26-2012 07:37 PM #21
      It's not snobbery. Firearms can be inherently dangerous items. Couple that with any defensive use ideas, and I give all firearms a guilty until proven innocent start. Heck, even my PPQ's are still on the "you f_ck up and you're gone" probationary period, and will be for thousands of rounds.

      Having a gun set on a bedside for defensive use, is almost like carrying a gun on police duty. I'd NEVER carry anything that hadn't been ridiculously tested, by more hardass/knowledgeable people than myself. Buy a fun gun for range plinking? Sure.

      That's what my 1851 revolver is...but it's not a defensive/duty style gun, nor would I treat it or consider it such. That's all, I don't give two sh_ts what gun you buy or pay for, more concerned with the idea of you relying on it for a defensive situation.

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      03-28-2012 06:54 PM #22
      I have an old Bryco 59 9mm, which is the same as the Jennings Nine, and Jiminez whatever the hell they call it now 9mm.

      Don't run ANY hollow points, or it will jam.
      Don't fill the mag all the way up, or it won't feed, and you'll be left with rounds pinched in there.
      Don't shoot more than 3 mags without cleaning it, or it won't cycle properly.
      Don't ever, not even once think about +P. You will not have a hand.

      That said, with a regular FMJ, I've made it through 3 full mags before it had an issue. Cleaned it, and it did it for 3 more. 3 mags really seems to be the limit before it gets gummed up.

      Do not rely on this gun to function. It's a crapshoot, and likely will fail you multiple times.
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    23. 03-28-2012 07:35 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by DustinM View Post
      That said, with a regular FMJ, I've made it through 3 full mags before it had an issue.
      That's pretty impressive!

    24. Member DustinM's Avatar
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      03-28-2012 07:47 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by winstonsmith84 View Post
      That's pretty impressive!
      You're telling me. I honestly expect it to never eject anything, and if it does eject, I'm expecting it to fail to feed.

      These guns were designed with one thing in mind, and that's to be used and thrown away. They're made of junk metal that gets stress cracks after less than 100 rounds, and they're known for breaking in half.

      If you're going to buy a throw away, at least buy a used Kel Tec. I would seriously tell you to buy a Hi Point before any Jennings/Bryco/Jiminez/any other name they've used to avoid their terrible products and service.
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      03-29-2012 12:43 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by DustinM View Post
      I have an old Bryco 59 9mm, which is the same as the Jennings Nine, and Jiminez whatever the hell they call it now 9mm.
      I have a question: Did Jennings make internal improvements to Bryco's design and did Jimenez make internal improvements to the Jennings design? I don't know, am just asking.

    26. Member DustinM's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 10:12 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Toy View Post
      I have a question: Did Jennings make internal improvements to Bryco's design and did Jimenez make internal improvements to the Jennings design? I don't know, am just asking.
      Well, Jennings was the start, and then it went into a Calsmithing or whatever name they used for a few months during a change of leadership, and then on to Bryco. AFAIK the Jennings Nine had a better reputation than the Bryco 59, due to less feed issues. Something about the mag spring, and feed ramp that changed, and tended to suck in the 59.
      The new Jiminez stuff I haven't heard anything about. AFAIK some of the parts are interchangeable between all of these weapons, but there's so few people with them that still function, it's hard to figure out what works, and what doesn't.
      I do know they're all made out of Zamak, and have very poor tolerances. Some parts like to rub, others shake apart. There's no real quality control, so one 59 could be great, but the next could fail in the first three shots.
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    27. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 11:49 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by DustinM View Post
      If you're going to buy a throw away, at least buy a used Kel Tec.
      The funny part is that my Kel Tecs have been more reliable than other people's pistols which cost 2-3x as much. I know friends with Kahrs and Rohrbaughs which have more problems than my Kel Tecs. Kel Tec has figured out the formula for making the most inexpensive, reliable, and durable guns. They aren't pretty but they work very well and are very well made. Their customer service is excellent as well.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    28. 03-29-2012 02:24 PM #28
      I'll second what Obin said.

      Kel-Tec may not be the best looking, but they are reliable and when it comes to light weight sub compact conceal carry I don't think theres any better.. especially not in the same price range.

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      03-29-2012 03:03 PM #29
      Bersa makes a decent gun as well, in my experience. I bought a Thunder 380 for my wife a few years ago and have put ~1000 rounds through it. Only had problems with one box of Winchester, otherwise the gun has been accurate and reliable. Though I would probably not buy another gun in .380, ammo is too expensive. They can be had for <$300.
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    30. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 04:23 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by LinkATX View Post
      Bersa makes a decent gun as well, in my experience. I bought a Thunder 380 for my wife a few years ago and have put ~1000 rounds through it. Only had problems with one box of Winchester, otherwise the gun has been accurate and reliable. Though I would probably not buy another gun in .380, ammo is too expensive. They can be had for <$300.
      I'll agree with this. The Bersa Thunder .380 is one of the BEST .380 handguns I've ever fired. I have been wanting to get one but I need to find a threaded barrel first. I would happily get one for conceal carry.

      obin
      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

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      04-01-2012 02:00 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by DustinM View Post
      Well, Jennings was the start, and then it went into a Calsmithing or whatever name they used for a few months during a change of leadership, and then on to Bryco.
      Some history I found online... I use it as a reference to know what brands to simply avoid. Snobbery be damned, unless it is free and chambered in .22 or less, I'll pass.

      A machinist by trade, George Jennings founded Raven Arms in 1970. His son Bruce Jennings joined Raven two years later, but left in 1978 to start Jennings Firearms. In 1982, George Jennings helped his daughter Gail and her husband Jim Davis, formerly the office manager at Raven Arms, start Davis Industries. Jim's brother John Davis, a machine operator at Raven, also went to work at Davis Industries.

      In 1985, faced with the prospect of losing his Federal Firearms License for a felony assault charge, Bruce Jennings sold Jennings Firearms to Calwestco, owned by a his former office manager, Gene Johnson. After plea bargaining the charge down to a misdemeanor, Bruce Jennings converted Jennings Firearms into a firearms wholesaler and established a new company, Bryco Arms, controlled by his ex-wife Janice, to manufacture firearms. Jennings Firearms, the wholesaler, bought guns from both Calwestco and Bryco Arms, and resold them to distributors. In 1991, Calwestco closed.

      In 1987, John Davis left Davis Industries to start his own gun manufacturing business, Sedco Industries Inc. John Davis was in business for only three months before a $45 million dollar lawsuit alleging he stole trade secrets was filed against him by George and Bruce Jennings, and his own brother, Jim Davis. Sedco closed in 1989, and John Davis declared bankruptcy three years later. That same year, a nephew of George Jennings started Sundance Industries.

      Jim Waldorf, a childhood friend of Bruce Jennings, set up his own gun manufacturing business in 1989, Lorcin Engineering. He brought in John Davis as plant manager and by 1993 Lorcin was making more pistols (341,243) than any gun maker in the U.S.

      The original Jennings company, Raven Arms, was destroyed by fire in 1991. But soon after the company re-emerged as Phoenix Arms. Phoenix is equally owned by Bruce Jenning's ex-wife Janice, his three children, Jim Davis' four children, and Raven's former general manager, Dave Brazeau. George Jennings has since died.

      Jimenez Arms, also known as "J.A.", is an American firearms manufacturer based in Henderson in Nevada. The company was started in August 2004 using the molds and machinery from bankrupt Bryco Arms and currently makes four models of firearm.
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    32. Member Uberhare's Avatar
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      04-02-2012 11:56 AM #32
      I had a chance to shoot this gun over the weekend. 95gr FMC Megatech ammo. Ran about 50 rounds through it without a single problem. Cycled ammo just fine and seems to be reasonably accurate. Kind of a fun little gun to shoot. 380 Auto has a lot more punch than I thought.

      I took the gun apart and did some polishing/deburring. That seemed to help a bunch.
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      04-02-2012 12:47 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Uberhare View Post
      R380 Auto has a lot more punch than I thought.
      That's what this take-down button thought too... I think it failed and allowed the gun to fall apart...

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