I got a T-380

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I got a T-380

Postby Flowmaster » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:04 am

I got a T-380 as partial trade for working a gun show over the weekend. The dealer I was helping out had two of them and let me chose which color combo I wanted. He had the silver slide on a black frame and he had the black slide on a silver frame.
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I never knew these guns had a mag safety. I haven't shot it yet but I will say that the gun feels good in the hand and the frame is very slim. Its pretty heavy so it should be a rather soft shooter, but the narrow grip may prove otherwise. The manual with it says Las Vegas. They must have printed a bunch of those before they moved to Henderson.
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International Die Casting did the frame. It is really marked Jimenez and not just an old Bryco mold/die like you've probably seen on the JA22s.
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Re: I got a T-380

Postby jeffchance » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:46 pm

Cool. Keep us posted on its progress.
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Re: I got a T-380

Postby Flowmaster » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:48 pm

I took a few more photos of it.
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The mags seem to be typical ROF fare. They seem like they may be Bryco 48 mags with a cutout for a push button magazine release but I'm not sure.
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Look at the mold mark on the trigger. Maybe its supposed to be grooved or something.
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A lot of space in that rollmark between Henderson and NV
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The takedown button protrudes a little too far for my liking. I had a similar problem on my JA32 and fixed it by filing down the button just a little until it sat flush with the back of the slide.
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Just working the slide by hand I started to see a wear mark on the underside of the slide, presumably from where the front part of the frame makes contact with it.
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I did start the fluff and buff process on a small nub on the underside of the slide. I could see that this nub was already wearing into the frame as I hand-cycled the action. I decided to do away with this little nub so the gun would feel smoother. The nub is probably part of the slide casting process and is not visible when the gun is assembled. Its not my best work, but all I had on hand was a little file. Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do to cover/seal the metal in this area.
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Re: I got a T-380

Postby Banned for Life » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:10 pm

Has anyone had any long term experience with these? Do they develop the frame crack like the ja-nines do you think?


I have been looking at them here and there because my wife wants one since Jimenez sent a brochure for them. She has a Nice pt58 but its super hard to find parts for.
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Re: I got a T-380

Postby David Vincent » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:17 pm

yes they crack. Frames crack and it is not uncommon that the thin dust cover snaps rendering the gun inoperable. The slides crack in the front where the slide impacts the frame. As cool as they feel and look they just dont hold up. If they were made in 32 they might hold up in the slide area better but the frame is some very thin zamak in the dust cover. There are some pretty severe design flaws in this SNS in terms of durability. I have had the compact j38s hold up to more rounds than these and those are nothing to get excited about in terms of durability either.

Sucks because they really handle well. Acurate enough, thin making them easy to conceal, gentle shooting etc. If Jimenez would thicken the dust cover, add a little mass to the slide at the front impact area, and maybe use a stronger recoil spring they would be just about perfect. Alas Jimenez refuses to fix these issues and keep pumping out junk with the larger caliber SNS guns. The actual operational design is as solid as any other decent SNS gun.

I have owned them and shot them... they all broke and as much as I liked them I decided I wouldnt own anymore until they beef it up a little.... if ever. Same goes for the 9mm JA9. Handle great, shoot well..... slides and frame break all the time. Dont even get me started on ja9 magazines. It should have been a single stack from the get go as most of the functioning issues with ja9s are a direct result of them having the worst double stack magazines ever made.

Also.. Zamak is not like steel either. When steel cracks it tends to fracture for a while. When zamak breaks is just seperates and snaps off. I went through this on so many underbuilt bigger caliber sns guns I was a little scared to shoot them. The exception is when a big bore sns gun is downsized in caliber as in 9mm chambered in 380....380 chambered in 32 etc. etc. 25s and 22s dont have very violent slide battering so even if it does snap its not a major safety concern. The way slides snap on the Ja380, 380t, JA9, davis p380, lorcin l380, Lorcin L9 etc can cause some issues in terms of slides becoming reward projectiles. The only thing stopping it on those models is the fireing pin retaining button.

Minor parts failure is not that big of a deal IMO. At worst the gun might have a runaway but its rare. Typically the gun with just fail to operate. Major parts failure is a whole different thing. Slide fails, frame fails, and barrel fails can give pretty horrific injuries. This is not a SNS thing but goes for all guns... even glocks.



better gun is the cobra fs380. Heavier and bulkier but they dont have major component failures and once dialed in they are reliable. Cobra took the lorcin L380 and beefed it up so that the slides and frames can take high round counts. They are heavy but still thinner than hipoints. I have had minor parts failure on the fs380/fs32 (most of the time its extractors) but never a major parts failure which is fairly impressive for an all zamak 380. They way my main shooter fs380 is going I think it will outlast the hipoint 380 as the barrels dont shoot loose.

anyways.. Jimenez 380t. Cool gun to have but it gets a thumbs down for durability for me. If you want one go for it. Buy one, put a box of low powered 380 through it to dial it in, and then put it away. It will last a long time if you dont shoot it. like my sedco still going strong after all these years because its never been shot. No issues whatsoever with that gun and its 100% as long as it stays inside the case.
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Re: I got a T-380

Postby David Vincent » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:24 pm

Banned for Life wrote:Has anyone had any long term experience with these? Do they develop the frame crack like the ja-nines do you think?


I have been looking at them here and there because my wife wants one since Jimenez sent a brochure for them. She has a Nice pt58 but its super hard to find parts for.


a Taurus PT58???? Yeah...stick with that and buy a parts kit next time one pops up. Or just buy another cheap PT58 for parts.

what parts are breaking on that gun? Its fairly beefy 92 modded for a blowback 380. They are nice easy shooters that handle like a combat pistol. Quality of build and durability is leaps and bounds above 95% of the junk throwaways on the market today.
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Re: I got a T-380

Postby Banned for Life » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:03 pm

Parts Re just hard to find for it. The mags all seem to be $80 or more. She only has one and it's been super finicky and it's beat to piss. It needs springs bad and people have had problems finding firing pins and the like.


I've seen the fs380s a lot lately. I may look into one of those.

I don't really want to start back up with frame cracks again like I had on my 3 janines.
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Re: I got a T-380

Postby Flowmaster » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:03 pm

I really think I'm going to shoot this one until it fails. I help out a couple of FFLs so they can ship the gun back to Jimenez for cheap if/when it breaks. I don't go shooting all that often so it'll probably take me years to break this one. I shoot a box of 380 every other month so it should last me a while.
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Re: I got a T-380

Postby David Vincent » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:35 pm

Flowmaster wrote:I really think I'm going to shoot this one until it fails. I help out a couple of FFLs so they can ship the gun back to Jimenez for cheap if/when it breaks. I don't go shooting all that often so it'll probably take me years to break this one. I shoot a box of 380 every other month so it should last me a while.


please do. I would love to see the round count you get. I was getting around 1,500- 2,000 rounds per pistol with recoil and fireing pin spring changes every 500 rounds. 2,000 sounds like a lot but its only 40 boxes of ammo which I thought was kind of weak for a "target gun". Unlike the jimenez lc380 jamamatic, the ja380t never jammed once I worked it over. The magazined look weak but for a single stack with a 380acp straight case they work fine and none had any durability issues IE cracked feedlips etc.

they were a nice shooting pistols when it held together. Probably one of my favorite sns guns as far as shooting comfort. If the frames held up I would have just kept with them and ordered some extra slides. But frames are such a pain to replace It wasnt worth it to me and I dumped the whole project. I never did find a stronger recoil spring substitute and I tried.

If you get A high round count on yours and it holds together I might give it another try and figure out sort sort of frame buffering system. i do think with a stronger recoil spring and stronger magazine spring the slide cracking could be resolved to a degree but I never could figure out a way to strengthen the dust cover area the way it broke on mine. LC380 doesnt have this issue because it is thicker in that area.... but boy does it have other issues! I even toyed with the idea of having someone sleve the barrel for 32acp but the cost combined with haveing frames keep cracking kept me from going forward.

Honestly its probably jimenez most problematic gun. With a JA9 you could at least download 9mm to 380acp level as close as possible and not beat your gun to death but with the 380t your kind of stuck because of the frame fragility.
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Re: I got a T-380

Postby David Vincent » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:29 pm

Banned for Life wrote:Parts Re just hard to find for it. The mags all seem to be $80 or more. She only has one and it's been super finicky and it's beat to piss. It needs springs bad and people have had problems finding firing pins and the like.


I've seen the fs380s a lot lately. I may look into one of those.

I don't really want to start back up with frame cracks again like I had on my 3 janines.


the fs380 shoots a lot like a 380 version of the old 9mm mavericks and stallards. Clunky but comfortable and reliable. Unlike the old zamak and aluminum framed hipoints there is no weak area in the frame so they dont crack. The grip is also more ergonomic as thats one thing the old lorcins really had going for them (other than the L9s). Parts are avaiable.....everywhere.. even stainless fireing pins which are great and dont break without serious neglect. They are heavy though...and they feel heavy. Great for shooting... not so much if your weight sensative in terms of concealed carry. Accuracy... my 380acp fs380s were fine. The fs32 is another story. 32acp is all over the place in terms of barrel to bullet size. Magtechs would keyhole.... fiochi did all right. But my 380s will easily outshoot them.

I will say that they all need to be tweeked to run well. Extraction mainly. 380 seems to not have as many issues and the fs32.

Now we are talking SNS junk here. These guns will not come close to performing like a PT58. FS380s are well built and fun for the range but a PT58 they are not. I think they are well worth the money for a blaster and tinkertoy. Durability and reliability are very good. PT58 is another level gun though. They have real extractors, barrels, safeties, fire control groups etc. If this is going to be her go to gun then I would say no.. to crude... not safe enough for loaded chamber carry etc.

If its a go to gun for safety and defence you would be better off finding something.... better. Lots out there.... browning BDA, beretta 84, makarov etc. etc. All easily obtainable used and parts are easier than the pt58. I would steer clear of most of the junk being released these days as its mostly....junk that looks nice and doesnt hold up.

Also lots of soft shooting 9mms out there. Tokarevs are very nice in 9mm and hold up... parts are easy....soft shooting..very flat for ccw. You need to learn how to carry them though and the 9mm norincos are very soft steel compared to yugos so they need more maintinance.

Then you have old classics like the ruger P85/89 which is the softest shooting 9mm I have ever shot and parts do not break... ever. The P85/89 has less recoil or snap than the PT58.

Also Taurus 92s. Parts are easy to find if they break....not common. And the full size guns are about the same if not less than the PT58 blowback.

I understand the desire for spare parts though. Its a determing factor whenever I get into a new platform these days. Lots of companies dont sell parts to the public these days and I just dont buy their guns anymore. This is more of an inventory issue than anything else. I was going to pick up a taurus TCP in 380 but taurus stopped selling parts on there home page so once its axed (which it has been) your kind of stuck hunting for parts to keep your gun running. And the small 380 pocket guns always have durability issues with higher round counts. This is a big reason I like Keltec. Anything you want is on there home page outside of the subframes and they are not expensive. Add to that in that keltecs use far better steel in the P11, P32, P3ats than anyone else in there clones and they dont drop guns off their catalog every twelve months like everyone else. I like taurus guns but they dump designs at the drop of a hat leaving the consumer with hunting down used parts to keep guns running.

I like the PT58 though. Whats it doing thats giving it fits? Breaking firing pins? Thats very strange. Have you done a detailed cleaning. I am guessing you have one of those inexpensive imported surplus guns from some jungle third whole s-hole. No telling what its been though but they are pretty darn strong for 380s. Strong enough and well built enough to put some effort into getting it running and paying a little more for parts. Yes magazines are a big pain with that gun but they are durable so a couple extras and you would be good to go. With a little percistance I think you would find them. If the cosmetics are an issue you could get it refinished or do it yourself. Oxphoblue takes really well on taurus steel and the frame is aluminum so you could just rattlecan it with appliance epoxy or engine paint. Aftermarket checked grips are out there if yours has those smooth hardwood grips on it. Springs.. I think mabe a beretta 84 wolff magazine spring might be an option. Recoil spring.... maybe a beretta 92compact wolf spring kit would get you there. Might have to play around with weights.

In the end I think if she likes that platform maybe stick with it. Its a good platform and possibly easier to fix than you think. Fireing pins are pretty darn tough on 92 based guns. The design itself has pretty legenday torture testing and proved itself under conditions that put most modern fad guns to shame. The PT58 might be the black sheep of the 92 based designs but its a very well made and simplified blowback 380 based around a 92 compact giving a pretty wide range of ammo options. With a buffer you could probably shoot buffalo bore out of that if you wanted all the way down to the weakest 380 plinker ammo.
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