Saturday Night Specials

No doubt you have heard the old saying, "you get what you pay for ".
Never has this more true than with the "Saturday Night Special".

In years past, handguns of this category were cheap single shot derringers or rather fragile revolvers. Today, they are mass manufactured semiautomatic pistols made in the good old U.S. of A. and there appears to be a surprisingly large market for them.

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Chief among these are pistols sold by Lorcin, Davis, Jennings and Bryco. Oddly enough all these companies are the bastard children of a company called Raven Arms. Raven arms was started by a machinist name George Jennings in 1970. After the Gun Control Act of 1968 banned the importation of cheap poorly made handguns, Jennings saw an opportunity to make a profit, manufacturing cheap poorly made handguns. As the years passed a few of his relations and former employees spun off new companies all making cheap blow back pistols and the rest is history. Today they account for the bulk of new handguns sold in the U.S. today. The common product among these companies are cheaply made single action blowback pistols. While there are no doubt many customers who are satisfied with the performance of these products, successfully firing a couple of hundred rounds through a pistol in not much of a test. Most if not all of these pistols are unsafe to carry with a round in the chamber and are not reliable enough to be carried as a self defense arm. Another thing to consider is that many of these pistols will only reliably feed full metal jacket bullets and will choke on ammunition loaded with hollow point bullets.

If you merely want a 100 dollar pistol to plink with then these may be fine but I donít think that they are anything to bet your life on.

Pistol manufacturers related to Raven Arms

Hi Point

Another Well Known group making cheap blowback pistols is Hi Point, The handguns sold by this company test the limits of the blow back action. Using a zinc aluminum alloy for the slide and a polymer frame they tend to be rather top heavy and suffer from the same deficiencies as the Raven Arms Group.

Haskell JS- 45 Pistol

Previously sold as Stallard Arms. This is a massive clunky looking pistol is of questionable quality. Chambered in 45 ACP, the frame and slide are made of die cast metal, a zinc aluminum alloy.

Hi Point JHP-45

This is an updated version of the JS-45 with a polymer frame but it suffers from the same drawbacks as its predecessor. There are those that like these pistols but please heed the warning in their manual to never carry this gun with a round in the chamber. The danger of accidential discharge is too great.

Pistol manufacturers related to Haskell


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