Skip to comments.The .380acp – A review of Jimenez Arms and Ballistics
Posted on 06/01/2010 5:21:55 AM PDT by beericus
I've been shooting several compact pistols in the Jimenez Arms lineup, including the JA-380 chambered in 380 Auto, for a number of years. My interest in the pistols really blossomed when I finally got tired of waiting on non-polygonal Glock barrels for my cast bullet design work. These pistols are part of the "Ring of Fire" linage from Southern California, the Bryco-Jennings line-up, but have survived and are doing well as they cycle pistols out of the plant on the outskirts of Las Vegas. You can find a lot of negative stuff about them on-line but after approximately 10.0K rounds through the various models I think those writing the comments have never laid palm to stock. I've found the pistols dependable and accurate.
(Excerpt) Read more at bangicus.com ...
Has Jimenez improved since changing ownership? My brother-in-law tried to pawn off a JA9 on to me and I was very hesitant to even consider it because of the reputation under the previous owner.
Jimenez - BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
(Just be sure to wear Kevlar gloves and a full faceplate when you try to shoot it.)
lol, the reviewer seems to think they are not so bad
Bought one at the gun show. Some $250 less than competing .380s. Action was very stiff, but basic construction was good. Took it to my gunsmith, $40 bucks later, had an action job on it, all the burrs were gone, quick and easy magazine drop, easy chambering. Very accurate little gun. Now its my favorite conceal/carry piece.
I have only one .380 — an old West German Walther. Points great, comfortable, accurate. ...but reliability and trigger pull are less than adequate. Haven’t shot it in over a decade — just a collector piece now.
Heard good things about the CZ 83, but haven’t shot one. It’s pretty large for a .380 though. I’d like to get a Keltec for summer carry.
If it’s got to be little—I’ll take the little .380 Colt.
Hungarian FEG PA-63, 9X18 Makarov
No way - those guns are JUNK. With all of the .380 choices out there (Taurus TCP, Keltec P3AT, Ruger LCP, Sig P238, Bersa, Diamondback, etc.) there are MANY better choices to go with. One thing people need to realize...you’re potentially betting your life on the functionality of the firearm you carry...and this isn’t the time to tell your buddies you got a carry gun for cheap. If it goes “click” when it should go bang, or if it goes “boom” when it should go bang you’ll potentially be in a world of hurt. When I’m betting my life on a piece of equipment, I want the BEST...regardless of cost.
I wouldn’t shoot one.
I’ll stick with my S&W Model 641 .357 revolver with a 2” barrel. I fired a .380 for th first time over last Thanksgiving and it was horrible compared to the Smith.
Love my Russian Mack in .380
Bump for later.
The manufacturer or your brother-in-law? :-P
(Sorry. Couldn't resist)
I picked up a Sig Sauer P230 in .380 about a year ago. I think I paid about $225.00 for it. Great little pistol.
I’ve got a Ruger .380 that I just love.
Maybe they're lots better made now, but the broken gun I saw was made of the finest faucet metal known to mankind.
These guys wouldn't even put rifling in the barrels if it wasn't a BATF requirement.
Those look nothing like the older Jennings/Bryco I recall. Like to handle one or two.
I’ve got a Mauser via Interarms .380 HSc. Nice little piece. No complaints.
If you really want an inexpensive gun that is a good value and high caliber you should consider getting a CZ-82.
They’re a relatively inexpensive police surplus gun that can be had for <$200 from some suppliers. The 9x18 caliber is more powerful than the .380 and the mags hold 12 rounds. I bought a couple so I could keep one in my truck and one in the house. All in all they’re a very nice little pistol.
The “a high caliber” is a typo. I meant to write “high quality.” It’s that post-lunch food coma.
Amazing they're considered C&R weapons...
That company has been thru about 30 name changes in the last few year’s Jenning’s was the last I knew of.
Over thirty years ago, I purchased an Iver Johnson 380 Pony. Not a particularly well made pistol but adequate.
Iver Johnson was located in Jacksonville, Arkansas and went out of business. I understand they are back in business; at least the name is back.
When I was a boy Iver Johnson and Harrington & Richardson made a wide range of affordable guns. I owned an H&R 16 gauge shot gun and many of my friends had Iver Johnsons handed down from fathers and grandfathers.
Does anyone know if either of these companies is in business and is there anything positive about the Iver Johnson 380 Pony?
Thats a great question, I will ask the Men.
The author lost my interest when he began his custom bullet stuff...
Sounds like he has more interet in internal ballistics than defensive gun work...
Better to have one of these I guess, when you need a firearm, than nothing at all.
My advice to the sage, learn how to carry the G36 in all Wx conditions. Just because it is “really hot” outside, doesn’t mean you run around nekkid, dress for success.
cant please everyone. Thanks for reading.
On that note, I love my G30... 10 rds of .45 goodness! :)
“Maybe they’re lots better made now ...”
They’re not. The safeties and trigger bars still slip when the grips warp, the firing pin springs are weak, and they still contain the lifetime RDA of zinc.
If you want a really cool paperweight, get a plated one for twenty bucks and take a plumber’s torch to the front of the slide. The zinc runs out and makes a puddle, but the plating retains the shape of the slide.
H&R got folded after Marlin bought them along with New England Firearms. I have a little Iver Johnson .22 pistol. The trigger is awful, but the thing is solid.
Bryco-Jennings, Lorcin, Raven, and Davis are all gone. Bryco-Jennings was formed by Jennings’ (the Raven founder) son and Davis was formed by his son-in-law. Lorcin was a friend of Jennings’ son.
The Raven plant was destroyed by a fire. Phoenix Arms bought the patents.
Lorcin was shut down by ATF. One of the employees was making pistols and not recording the serial numbers, then stealing them and selling them in California, often by the case lot. How this could happen is beyond me. No one at Lorcin noticed that they were missing enough parts to build 2,000 guns.
Davis was sued out of businees, as was Bryco-Jennings. Both companies wer sued by the families of morons in California who put thier fingers on the triggers and were amazed that the guns fired. Cobra bought the Davis tooling. Jimenez worked for Bryco and bought the Bryco tooling.
I recently read that the kid who closed Bryco tried to get Jimenez. The little brat was shot when his friend pointed a loaded gun at him and pulled the trigger. A jury of mental midgets in California awarded $24,000,000 and ordered the patents and tooling sold to pay the debt. The little bastard is upset because someone bought all the patents and tooling to make guns and is making guns with them. He thought someone was going to buy all that stuff and dump it in the ocean.
Of course, he couldn’t spend any of his own money to do that.
dead on, well said. “how much is YOUR life worth OR, a loved one’s”? that is something I heard many years ago and it still applies. do not scrimp on this. if all one can afford now....fine, but, set your course to upgrade as soon as you can with better equipment, training and classes.
the CZ-83,,if its the 14 shot one that can be carried cocked and locked then it might be a cool pistol to own. I’d get a couple more high cap mags for it and keep that gun on hand for a back up to my back up.
Its like a Walther PP in the Makarov caliber. Id like one if it didnt have a 52LB trigger pull like the one I had years ago.
A $30 trip to the local gunsmith gave me a lighter trigger pull, and a heavier recoil spring (14lb vs 12lb) yeilds far less recoil.
Now it’s got the concealability, the added punch of the 9X18, and it’s easy enough to handle that my wife, who has had two hand surgeries can shoot it easily.
Here is your reply:
June 1, 2010 @ 17:52
Yes, Iver Johnson is back! We are manufacturing a whole new product line.
NEW PRODUCTS AVAILABLE FOR ORDER: 1911 style 45s in 6 differenet models. 22 Converison Kits for Series 70 & 80 1911 models.
Soon to follow will be a line of lightweight 1911 style .22s with an aluminum slide and frame. About the same time, we will be introducting a 4 barrel Derringer in 22LR. Soon to follow we will be introducing the M1 Carbine in 30 cal. in stainless, parkerized, and blued, along with the Pony 380. Check website for availability on these items.
We do not have any parts, guns, or info related to the old Iver Johnson name. Please contact your local gun dealer for any questions related to old Iver Johhnson products. Thank you.
H&R no longer produces sidearms, but are still very active in long guns.
Hope this info helps!
So—hypothetically—it one found oneself an accidental owner of a Jimenez Arms JA-380, what should one do with it?
LOL! A local gun “buyback”? Like they ever owned it in the first place. Or get a IWB holster. ;>}
Assume that the current owner is legitimate. Is the gun trustworthy?
“The best” and “works reliably” are two completely different things. There’s no reason to spend 2 grand on a top of the line piece when a good reliable alternative is under $400.
Looking at some of the other posts, it’ kinda hard for me to say. If they were Jennings at one time, I don’t know. As far as I know (which ain’t far) they were inexpensive (cheap) sorta reliable. Would I trust my life on it? Only if I had no other choice. Trade up maybe. Colt Mustang II’s are pretty pricey these days. Maybe a nice little Ruger? I’m looking at a S&W 9mm Shield model for everyday carry right now. Just gotta decide if Momma really wants to let me trade her Walther PP22 or not. Probably better to just sell it myself and use the cash I get + a little more out of pocket. Scheels has them for around $429.00
Yeah—those were my thoughts as well after doing a little research. I’d hate for the thing to disintegrate on the user when needed the most.
Apparantly not. I bought the JA .380 about a month ago. I put almost 100 rounds through it. Every other magazine had either stovepipes, failure to feeds, or failure to ejects.
Eventually, I noticed that the bullets became much easier to put into the magazines. This was because the springs had lost their compression. Both magazine’s have springs that’re so weak, they won’t feed rounds. I’ve used five different types of ammo in the gun from reputable makers. They were FMJ bullets since the gun will NOT shoot hollow points.
I sent the mags to Jimenez. In a week I got an envelope from them. In it, were either my two original mags that hadn’t been touched or two more mags that’re just as bad!
Even though it shoots accurately, the reliability is atrocious. When your life is on the line, you better have something that will work and work well.
You would be much better off taking the $120 bucks you would spend on a Jimenez and buy lottery tickets. At least you some type of chance with those. With the Jimenez, you have no chance at all.
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I too own the Jimenez Arms JA-380 as well as the Jimenez JA-9. I am very pleased with both pistols and have not had any problems with either gun. I personally carry the JA-380 on a daily basis for personal protection and use the JA-9 for a home defense weapon. I find both to be reliable and they both shoot very well. I could not ask for better than that.
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