A rundown of how Gun Tests magazine rated handguns manufactured by companies in southern California. (Gun Tests calls
itself "the consumer resource for the serious shooter" and is considered the
Consumer Reports of firearms products. The magazine is published
monthly by Belvoir Publications, Inc., Greenwich, CT.)
Bryco Arms J-22:
"Considering this Bryco Arms' low price, we weren't expecting the J-22
to be much of a performer. However, we did expect it to function much better
than it did. Due to the large number of malfunctions we encountered with this
pistol, we cannot recommend it."
"Some of our shooters liked the way the Lorcin L-22 felt in the hand,
but we wouldn't pay any amount of money for a gun that self-destructs in a
couple of hundred rounds. Stay away from this one."
Phoenix Arms HP-22:
"Our shooters didn't like that Phoenix Arms HP-22's magazine interlock,
and it was a pain in the butt to reassemble. But, due to its steel construction
and reliable functioning, we do think it is worth considering as an inexpensive
Jennings Bryco Model 59:
"Lackluster accuracy is not exactly unexpected from a pistol that barely
costs $100, so we won't quibble about the Jennings/Bryco pistol's performance
in that area. A somewhat reliable performance isn't too much to ask, however,
and we didn't get that. Jennings needs to refine its magazines before we would
even consider recommending this 9mm."
"A marginal finish isn't enough to disqualify a $160 gun. A magazine
that doesn't work correctly from the start and a sear that breaks after 37
rounds is more than enough. Stay away from this one."
"The Lorcin L-25's best attribute was that it didn't bite the
hand. Though adequate in most areas, feeding problems and inferior accuracy
prevents us from recommending it."
Phoenix Arms Raven:
"For a gun of this type, the Phoenix Arms Raven isn't bad. The
malfunctions we encountered were well within a pistol's normal break-in period,
and its overall performance was acceptable for its intended use. Its durability
will be limited due to its alloy construction, but for less than $75 that's to
Sundance Model A-25:
"The Model A-25 was comparatively accurate and we like the location of
its magazine release. However, we don't think those are enough to offset such
an inconsistent trigger and blood-letting ergonomics."
"From a practical standpoint, the BOA had far too many malfunctions, a
trigger that needed considerable improvement and only marginal ergonomics. From
a theoretical standpoint, the grip safety could lead the uninitiated in the
wrong direction. Sundance should take this one back to the drawing board."
"Discriminating shooters won't like the Davis P-380's alloy construction
and rudimentary features. However, it met our number-one requirement -- it
functioned reliably. If you're on a tight budget, this pistol should meet your
basic shooting needs."
"Lorcin's L-22 has the makings of a decent pocket plinker. However,
until the slide bite and functioning problems are fixed, we aren't going to
"The Bryco performed as well, and is made as well, as anyone could
expect of a gun in this price range, and we were pleasantly surprised to note
that it digested hollowpoint ammunition reliably. If we were going to choose an
inexpensive .32 ACP pocket pistol, we'd pick the Bryco."
"The Davis .32 is reliable to the extent that the manufacturer says it
will be. They recommend using Federal ammunition, and if you are in a state
that has good distribution of that brand (not all of us are; even Federal
admits that), then the gun will serve its purpose. If you're in a location
where Federal ammo is hard to buy, don't buy this gun."
Bryco Model 48:
"Removing a sharp edge or two and improving the trigger would go a long
way toward making the Jennings/Bryco Model 48 pistol better. As it is, we find
it just acceptable, primarily because of its low price."
"The failures to feed a couple of rounds per magazine of hollowpoints
defeats the purpose of a gun made for personal defense. Some internal smoothing
is in order before we can recommend the Lorcin L380, despite its accuracy and
Jennings Model 25:
"Magazine problems are often the only things we find wrong with some of
the budget guns, and here, the Jennings Model 25 is no exception. Some
improvements in this area would eliminate the feeding difficulties and probably
wouldn't add that much to the cost. In any event, the price is low enough to
make us consider purchasing this pistol."
"If the primary reason for purchasing a .25 is security, and the buyer
does not expect to do much serious shooting; the price, appearance, and
manufacturer's warranty may be attractive. Those factors aside, there are
enough reasons (the trigger, ejection, and accuracy) to warrant shopping around
a little before coming back to the Lorcin L-25."
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