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Old November 8, 2012, 05:48 PM   #1
new_camper
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Jennings j 22 safe to shoot

I have a relative that just got a jennings j 22 and was wanting to know if it is a safe pistol to shoot. I have never heard of them and was trying to be safe.
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Old November 8, 2012, 06:25 PM   #2
lee n. field
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Safe? I guess.* Not what I would call reliable, though, speaking from my own experience with one.


---edit to add---

By safe, I mean it's not going to blow up in your hand. I wouldn't trust the safety.
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Old November 8, 2012, 06:45 PM   #3
BigJimP
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If you're worried about it - you need to have someone knowledgeable - check it in person ( we can't do that on the internet obviously ). Yours may or may not be safe to fire....

Among many of us ....they are considered junk.../ most of them fire safely - but they're notorious for being very unreliable....
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Old November 8, 2012, 07:30 PM   #4
new_camper
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I will look it over for them next time i am there, I had never really heard of Jennings before that's why I was wondering.
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Old November 8, 2012, 07:52 PM   #5
shortwave
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A special warning:

Do NOT trust the safety as far as carrying a chambered round. The safety mechanism is prone to failure and if pistol is dropped, it may discharge. This happened to me.
Others have reported if a round is chambered with the safety on and you squeeze the trigger hard enough the pistol will fire. I've not tried this

As far as being safe to shoot? Can't answer that question on your specific pistol. No way of knowing its condition.

I've had two of them for many years. Used to shoot the snot out of both. As long as I kept them relatively clean they fired CCI Stingers and Rem. .22 ammo quite well.
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Old November 8, 2012, 10:08 PM   #6
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^ What he said
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Old November 8, 2012, 11:19 PM   #7
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Might be OK to shoot.
GF's grandmother had an almost new jennings. It broke after 4 or 5 magazines of bulk pack .22LR.
I think she still has the pistol --- not worth fixing.
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Old November 10, 2012, 12:49 PM   #8
Gen3Glock22
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My jennings 22 will only shoot cci. Anything else and it double fires. And if I don't make darn sure I pull the slide back all the way when chambering the first round it will fire. The round is chambering before the sear catches the firing pin and when the slide goes forward, caboom! And if the load isn't hot enough to bring the slide back far enough, double or triple shots!!!

I would sell mine but it's un safe and I won't sell an un safe fire arm to any one.
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Old November 11, 2012, 08:42 AM   #9
Rifleman1776
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I have one. In a word 'junk'. Works but, as said, not well made or fitted. Do not trust the safety. They are/were sold under many different names. My best friend is a gunsmith and he will not work on them. He advises destruction with a sledge hammer.
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Old November 11, 2012, 11:49 AM   #10
BrthrB
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Put mine out of it's misery with a chop saw! Also experienced a round discharging while cycling the action loading a first round! Prior to that it wasn't reliable.
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Old November 11, 2012, 07:42 PM   #11
Crunchy Frog
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I have one; it once discharged as I was loading it. My finger was outside the trigger guard.
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Old November 11, 2012, 08:02 PM   #12
Gen3Glock22
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Looks like I'm not the only one who didn't pull the slide back far enough for the sear to catch the firing pin, causing a round to discharge when chambering a round!
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Old November 11, 2012, 09:29 PM   #13
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I have one also. It typically cannot get through a full magazine, though occasionally it gets lucky.

I shot another one once that would fire just a bit out of battery. That is indeed dangerous -- the very weak rimfire case head design will simply NOT withstand detonation without full support under & behind it. When the pistol fired out of battery, all of the case head blew in to bits and came out of the pistol and the rest of the case had to be extracted with tools.
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Old November 12, 2012, 05:02 PM   #14
Gen3Glock22
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Try cci mini mag 40 grain. That's the only round I can get to shoot correctly in mine. My dad went to a gun show with me, I was looking at it. He wanted to get me something for my birthday. He got the gun, I've had it for 30 years give or take. I'm to lazy to look at my receipt.

I always shot the mini mag in it with no problems. Then last summer I tried federal. I was confused the gun was double shooting and triple shoot once! I got home and cleaned the sear real good thinking it was sticking. Went back out, same thing. Got some cci mini mags and it was ok. Tried the federal, nothing but problems again so cci mini mag it is!
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Old November 12, 2012, 06:02 PM   #15
W.E.G.
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I sold mine to the DC police department for twice what I paid for it.

Should have bought ten of 'em.
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Old November 13, 2012, 08:23 AM   #16
2000ShadowACE
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I have had none of the problems mentioned above. Mine is not the Jennings, but the Jaminez J-22. Same gun just different name. I used the mini mags, but have also had good luck with remington bulk ammo. The remington ammo is dirty and causes the gun to jam more often, but I have the same problem in my Beretta as well.
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Old November 13, 2012, 08:42 AM   #17
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I've owned a J-22 since about 1990. Mine is the chrome one with wood grips, and metal "safety". Have fired many many rounds through it over the years. The only thing I've ever had to replace is a spring I lost on takedown. It's 99% reliable when clean and shooting CCI Stingers; about 95% reliable shooting cheap 22LR; and unreliable when dirty.

J-22's are not Glocks - they need to be thoroughly cleaned OFTEN, while shooting and oiled. I've seen some pretty beat-up J-22's - I wonder if these folks treat their 1911's the same way???

Also, not all J-22's are the same. Many, especially the later produced guns, were made with plastic safeties, and those can be a problem. Even with a steel safety (which mine has - verified with a magnet), I never felt comfortable carrying it with a round chambered. IT'S A $69 HANDGUN! I have carried mine in the inside jacket pocket of a leather jacket while riding a motorcycle from Florida to New Mexico and back, through some nasty weather. It didn't rust, corrode, or experience any chrome flake, but I did try to keep it clean. I haven't shot it in a while, I'm thinking it's due for another beating.

Oh, the one thing you need to watch out for when shooting a J-22 is not to ride the grip too high (easy to do) - or that slide will bite the web between your thumb and finger!

Last edited by Skans; November 13, 2012 at 08:53 AM.
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Old November 13, 2012, 09:56 AM   #18
Mystro
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They are absolute junk. So much so my large small town gun dealer won't carry them anymore. Way too many better entry level choices.
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Old November 14, 2012, 10:21 AM   #19
BfloBill
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They are a cheap pistol. My Uncle loves his and has never had a problem, one of my co-workers shot himself in the hand while loading it. (finger was not on trigger) I have one in my safe that I won in a raffle and have never even fired it, and I doubt I could get anything significant for it on a trade so it will probably sit there till I croak!
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Old November 14, 2012, 11:03 AM   #20
Skans
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Quote:
...one of my co-workers shot himself in the hand while loading it.
I'm not sure how this is even possible? I've loaded my J-22 countless number of times, and it loads just like many other guns: insert loaded magazine; pull slide back, release. Anyone who shoots their hand with a J-22, would do the same with a Colt Mustang. Clearly operator error.

Maybe there's someone out there who shot their eye out with the "dangerous" J-22!
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:56 PM   #21
BfloBill
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The problems with the J-22 are fact and NOT speculation or hearsay. The person that shot his hand had over 30 years experience as a gunsmith/firearms dealer at the time of the injury. I'm not sure of the exact details of the accident but he has no reason to lie, and a disfigured hand as proof.


See Below:


JENNINGS FIREARMS
MODEL J-22,
22 LONG RIFLE CALIBER SEMIAUTOMATIC PISTOL

WARNING: These pistols may create an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CONDITION and a POTENTIAL FOR SERIOUS INJURY by firing when dropped.

This model pistol trigger/disconnector bar and sear level may have too small a gap between them such that a sharp movement of the slide rearward could cause the weapon to discharge without the trigger being pulled.

The discharge is created by the moving slide impacting the disconnector and driving the trigger bar/disconnector rearward into the cam lever before it can pivot downward and out of alignment.

Source:

AFTE Journal, Winter, 2001; Volume 33, Number 1:48-49
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Old November 14, 2012, 01:37 PM   #22
Skans
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Dropping a firearm is operator error...and that still doesn't explain how the guy shot his hand with a J-22. The J-22 is not some kind of AOW, oddball firearm that has the barrel hidden in any manner (ref. GRAD knife). How does hand get in front of the barrel of a loaded firearm??? Somebody ACCIDENTALLY put it there - it's the only explanation, and yes, that is in itself user error.

I suspect that what happened was the guy who shot his hand was trying to get the gun apart before clearing the chamber and checking to see if it was loaded. And, in the process the firing pin was released on a loaded gun. I have disassembled my J-22 many times. If you disassemble a J-22, I'd bet you would quickly figure out the mistake the guy made who shot his hand.

Hey, I have over 20 years of owning, shooting, disassembling and cleaning a J-22. That's probably more than most gunsmiths! The bottom line is that I am not suggesting that anyone run out and buy one of the many versions of the J-22. But, not all J-22's are the same - they have been in production for something like 30 years. Their weaknesses tend to be (1) the safety, (2) the extractor spring, (3) the firing pin. I have actually had more problems with my Ruger Mark II than with my J-22. There are parts in the Ruger Mark II that, when dirty, cause the gun to only fire intermittently when you press the trigger, (click click click BOOM click BOOM click click click BOOM - you get the idea) and these parts are near impossible to get to or see without a complete stripping.

PS: My J-22 has outlasted a Taurus PT-99 I once had by about 19 years.

Last edited by Skans; November 14, 2012 at 01:58 PM.
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Old November 14, 2012, 02:42 PM   #23
FlySubCompact
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I had one of those J22's a few years ago. Bought it from a buddy for $30. I mainly bought it out of curiousity.

It was the worst cycling pistol I ever shot. Bang, bang, click. Click (clear) bang, click (clear) click (clear) bang, bang, click (cuss)....etc. That is until I tried some CCI Minimags. It loved those. It would only jam every fifth magazine running those.

Had my fun with it and later traded it for an old Bear recurve bow......awesome trade!
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:09 PM   #24
Gen3Glock22
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Quote:
I had one of those J22's a few years ago. Bought it from a buddy for $30. I mainly bought it out of curiousity.

It was the worst cycling pistol I ever shot. Bang, bang, click. Click (clear) bang, click (clear) click (clear) bang, bang, click (cuss)....etc. That is until I tried some CCI Minimags. It loved those. It would only jam every fifth magazine running those. End quote:

Bingo, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that found out the cci mini mags are the correct round to shoot in a Jennings 22.
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