Moving forward from a tragic story and lessons learned by repairing a Jennings J-22.
by Scott J.N. Smith
I am a graduate of Sonoran Desert Institute and have my own gunsmithing business in Arkansas, Stay RED Industries, and hold a type 07 FFL for the manufacture of firearms and ammunition. Whether you have been in the firearms industry for decades, weeks, or you are simply an enthusiast; there is a good chance that you have heard some interesting, wild, and exciting stories about a firearm and the story behind it. Here’s one of mine.
Recently, I had a client bring in a firearm they wanted to have a “pin” made for. Curious, I asked what pin they were needing made. It was then I was informed that they had taken the firearm to three other shops before stumbling across mine. They also informed me they had been told by the last “fella” that the pistol was missing a pin and he was going to make them one. Unfortunately, due to an arrest for illicit substance possession, that individual was never able to accomplish their goal of making the much needed pin. While this was being explained to me, I began inspecting the firearm for a missing, broken, or damaged pin. I was not able to ascertain where this pin would have been located internally or otherwise.
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The firearm the client brought in was a Jennings J-22 pocket pistol chambered in 22 Long Rifle. This was not a firearm I was familiar with. Initially, when attempting to remove the slide I was stumped. There was no slide release, no slide lock, there really was not much to this firearm at all. None of those parts were missing, they simply were not part of the design. It was then I noticed what Jennings calls the Takedown Button (part #7 listed in the schematic by Numrich Gun Parts as of 2022) near the rear of the slide which I surmised needed to be depressed in order to remove the slide. Having no experience with this firearm, I did not want to make a fool of myself in front of the client trying to disassemble the firearm. So, I explained to them that I would take their firearm into the back and “really go through it” later. Afterwards, I would call them and let them know how long it would take and what parts were required along with the pin, if any.
While I was fumbling around with the firearm and searching for this mystery pin the client proceeded to tell me a story about the pistol. He explained to me that he and his wife knew the firearm was not particularly valuable but that it was all that his wife had left of her…
Read more in the October 2022 issue.
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