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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Daniel Xu
3/20/15


One of the most commonly asked questions from gun owners—or those who want to be gun owners—is how to buy a used gun. What kind of gun holds onto its value the best? Should I buy it online and have it shipped, or buy it from a gun show? What is a good price for a specific gun? What should I look for in wear and tear?

Buying a used firearm is a good way to cut down on cost, but it comes with many hurdles that don’t come with factory fresh guns. If you’re lucky and smart, you’ll be able to come out with a bargain. In the worst case scenario however, you might find yourself handing over your hard-earned cash for a firearm that is not only a clunker, but could very well be dangerous to use.

Here are our top five basic steps you should take before buying a used gun.

1. Research who you’re buying the gun from

Whether you’re buying online or in person, be sure to do some research on who exactly is selling you the gun. This is easiest when you already know the person, but that is not always the case.

Online marketplaces—There’s plenty of reliable marketplaces for the prospective gun buyer to visit, but buying online also means you won’t be able to inspect the gun in person. This means relying on pictures, descriptions, and essentially trusting the seller not to scam you. First, research the trustworthiness of the marketplace itself. Some sites are less than reputable and you may want to consider taking your money elsewhere. Secondly, look up the seller’s previous sales, customer feedback, and their rating (if there is a system that keeps track of that). Read what unsatisfied customers have to say and make an informed decision.

Gun Stores—As brick-and-mortar shops, gun stores are in many ways much more reliable than buying guns off the internet. Go online to check out customer reviews of a certain store, of if that’s not possible, simply go there and have a chat with store employees. A short conversation will often tell you everything you’d want to know about the shop and its sales policies. Buying used guns at a gun shop, like pre-owned cars at a dealership, also have the benefit in that most stores will not sell you a broken or potentially dangerous firearm.

Pawn shops—Pawn shops often get a less than stellar reputation, especially when it comes to guns. However, there is nothing inherently bad about buying guns from one, as long as you ask the right questions. People often assume the pawn shops carry nothing but overpriced junk guns (or even hot guns), but reputable stores work much like any other gun shop.

Gun show—Gun shows are the best for variety and making that rare find, and vendors are generally more than happy to oblige. That said, treat a deal made at a gun show the same as you would with any stranger selling you a firearm. Since gun show purchases usually are made on impulse, you may not get the chance to do much research on the vendor, but try to glean as much information as you can. Above all, use common sense.

2. Google it

So you found a gun you might like, but you know relatively little about it. Perhaps it’s a foreign-made firearm, or just one of those strange, exotic ones like the Dardick pistol. You don’t know how much you should pay for it, how many were made, or if the gun is known to be a joke. This is the easiest step: Google it. A simple web search on most firearms will reveal all you need to know, and if it doesn’t, it would at least give you some idea of a price range. You could look through a gun price book, but the internet often has the most accurate and up-to-date prices. Plus, you might even find a better deal.

3. Ask Questions

Questions like who was the previous owner? How much was it used? What was the gun used for? How old is it? Why are they selling it? Was it ever customized? Does it have a history of malfunctions? And so forth. Don’t worry about annoying the seller, any reputable dealer would be more than happy to tell you what they know.

4. Examine the gun

The most important part of buying a used gun: examine it as thoroughly as you are allowed.

Wear and tear—Are there any visible signs of damage or wear? Cosmetic issues will often drop the price, but generally not affect the function of the firearm. Look for things that affect the gun’s operation, such as damage to the bolt, a non-functioning slide release, adjustable sights that won’t adjust (or fall out), etc.

Rattle it softly—is anything loose? Check to see if the screws are damaged or missing. If there are too many parts that jingle, perhaps you should consider moving off somewhere else.

Is it customized?—Do you see any modifications to the firearm? Has the trigger been swapped out or the stock replaced? Do the modifications make the firearm more desirable, or less? If you’re looking for something that’s as close to the factory version as possible, then you probably don’t want to pay top dollar for something that’s been tricked out.

Dissemble it—Some sellers will agree to dissemble the gun for you, or even allow you to field strip it. This will allow you to examine the working parts more closely. Inspect the bore for rust or fouling and check the chamber for pitting. Are there bulges on the barrel? Guns can look great on the outside and horrible on the inside, especially if it belonged to someone who knew nothing of proper maintenance. The inverse is also true. As always, be sure to follow safe gun handling practices.

Dry fire it—If the seller allows, dry fire the gun a few times. Operate the firearm as you would if it was loaded. Any sort of stickiness or trigger trouble will make itself known fairly quicky. Eject the magazine and rack the slide a few times.

Online buying—Ask for as many clear photographs of the gun as you can get, including some of the gun dissembled. If they are willing, even ask for a short video of the gun being manipulated.

5. Barter before you pay

You want to pay as little as possible, the seller wants as much as he can get. Meet somewhere in the middle. Armed with the research you’ve done on the gun (and the seller) you are now in a good position to negotiate a price. Point out the flaws in the gun and ask them to lower the price accordingly. Be polite, yet don’t be afraid to barter with the seller a bit—too many people just take the first price that they are offered. Even with sellers who say they won’t budge on the price, it never hurts to ask.

However, keep in mind that if you’re thinking of doing business again with the same seller, it might be advisable to not to argue over pennies.




5 Things You Absolutely Must Do Before Buying a Used Firearm | OutdoorHub
 

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Thanks Popeye, good Info...good post:thumbsup:
 

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Daniel Xu
3/20/15


4. Examine the gun

The most important part of buying a used gun: examine it as thoroughly as you are allowed.

Wear and tear—Are there any visible signs of damage or wear? Cosmetic issues will often drop the price, but generally not affect the function of the firearm. Look for things that affect the gun’s operation, such as damage to the bolt, a non-functioning slide release, adjustable sights that won’t adjust (or fall out), etc.

Rattle it softly—is anything loose? Check to see if the screws are damaged or missing. If there are too many parts that jingle, perhaps you should consider moving off somewhere else.

Is it customized?—Do you see any modifications to the firearm? Has the trigger been swapped out or the stock replaced? Do the modifications make the firearm more desirable, or less? If you’re looking for something that’s as close to the factory version as possible, then you probably don’t want to pay top dollar for something that’s been tricked out.

Dissemble it—Some sellers will agree to dissemble the gun for you, or even allow you to field strip it. This will allow you to examine the working parts more closely. Inspect the bore for rust or fouling and check the chamber for pitting. Are there bulges on the barrel? Guns can look great on the outside and horrible on the inside, especially if it belonged to someone who knew nothing of proper maintenance. The inverse is also true. As always, be sure to follow safe gun handling practices.

Dry fire it—If the seller allows, dry fire the gun a few times. Operate the firearm as you would if it was loaded. Any sort of stickiness or trigger trouble will make itself known fairly quicky. Eject the magazine and rack the slide a few times.

Online buying—Ask for as many clear photographs of the gun as you can get, including some of the gun dissembled. If they are willing, even ask for a short video of the gun being manipulated.


Very good information. I would like to add some additional thoughts (forgive me if I appear to be over thinking the issue). Make sure, especially on a rifle, to check the crown of the muzzle for any scrapes, gouges, excessive wear. A damaged crown can interfere with accuracy, in some cases quite severely. If the screws are buggered then be especially cautious, because that might indicate someone without the appropriate tools or even enough knowledge worked on it and may have created an unseen problem.

And secondly, better to take a knowledgeable friend to the gun shop with you because I find too many "clerks" will steer you wrong just to make sale or really don't know what they're talking about.

Otherwise, good article. :thumbsup:
 

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Grand Imperial Poobah
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One other point I can think of ...... find the best price of the same make/model goes for NEW.

I seen people buy used guns for more than they could have bought a new one for.
 
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Really some excellent points Popeye although I've never bought a used gun. But ya never know so thanks.
 
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RELOAD=More PEW PEW
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Good points, i bought my 226 in a gun store, you cant deal much there, but like Popeye said they will not sell you a broken or dangerous gun. Most are second hand, very well cared for (mine was any ways) and in top shape. If there's anything wrong with it you know it has been viewed/inspected by a qualified gunsmith and it's on the paper that comes with it.
 

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One more thing to add. Bring a good LED flashlight at the least. You can see a lot more with filth and wear with a good light, and don't forget your glasses.

Great advice Popeye Thank you.
 

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used fiream

The only time I buy a used gun is if it a buddy of mine that we have shot
it together. Also the pawn shop here does have a lot of used, but mostly
rifles. The Ruger SR 22, and Ruger SR 1911 were both new so I didn't
hesitate. Used guns are kind of like cars and trucks. The guy that sold it
is getting rid of it for a reason. Guns are like cars and trucks. They either
get rid of them cause they need the money or because it is a piece of sh&t.
Occasionally they do it because they just don't use it anymore.

But yeah Popeye is right check that thing out. I good friend of mine
carries around a borescope for the barrel cause he says a flashlight
is just not enough. With a borescope you can see lead deposits that
a flashlight misses.

Forgot to mention that the borescope will show much more rifeling
groove wear if there was thousands of rounds thru it.

A vehicle has an odometer to tell you miles. A gun does not tell
you how many rounds went thru it.
 

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What I do remember is a lot of fun owning and shooting guns I could not otherwise afford. Sometimes I have even made a slight profit when it became necessary to sell a gun that I originally purchased used. (Usually because I needed the money to purchase some other used gun I could not resist.) Buy used, save money and have more fun shooting!
 

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I prefer used market for pistols. For some odd dang reason the new ones fall apart and Customer service has been taught to blame the ammo. Ammo manufactures blame the pistol makers and I am still out cost of repairs. Screw That I buy used rip em apart right at the counter in front of the store employee..Final test of a used fire arm I use a hollowed out bic pen run it down barrel pull trigger if pen ejected from barrel firing pin is ok..
 

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What I do remember is a lot of fun owning and shooting guns I could not otherwise afford. Sometimes I have even made a slight profit when it became necessary to sell a gun that I originally purchased used. (Usually because I needed the money to purchase some other used gun I could not resist.) Buy used, save money and have more fun shooting!
I have made a lot of money buying used guns and selling them at a profit. Gun Broker is a great place to sell guns you really don't need to sell. If you're in no rush you'll find someone willing to offer $500 for a High-Point Pistol. I bought a G43 used for $300 and sold it for $545 on Gun Broker a couple weeks later.
 

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If they won't let you dry fire it, and it's a bolt action rifle or a pistol with a hammer, hold the cocking piece or hammer, let them know you're going to decock it, and pull the trigger, easing the hammer or cocking piece down. This lets you verify the trigger function but shows respect for their gun.
 

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AZHerper
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You know, a few years back I bought a used Ruger P89 9mm. When I shake it, the slide rattles quite a bit but it shoots fine. I guess it's the way that the P89 locks up. I have some other semiautomatics and this is the only one that rattles. It's a little perplexing but, as I said, it shoots fine.
 
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