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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all -

I'm sure this has been answered before but what do I look for in purchasing used guns? My local gun store has Sig p226 9mm (non-rail) for $470. They all look worn and according to the shop they were acquired from LE officers. The finish is worn which I can understand from the holster.

Thanks
 

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$470 sounds low for a 226. Most of the used 226's I have seen are around $600. It is either a great deal or the gun is very used. Most LE trade ins have a lot of finish worn off from training. The first thing I would look for is how tight the slide is, usually you can just shake it to see if it rattles at all. If it rattles it does not mean that it is bad. I have a LE trade in 226 that rattles pretty good, but it still shoots like a dream. Only be worried if the rattle sound excessive. Next I would ask them if you could take off the slide and look at it. Some gun shops will let you some wont. If they let you take it apart look for wear along the rails, there will be some of course. If you see any pitting in the metal or anyplace the metal is changing shape or thinning out you might want to pass on it. Of course check the standard things like the feed ramp and the extractor.

I hope this helps. If you don't mind sending me a PM and letting me know what shop this is I would appreciate it. I could always use another 226. Thanks
 

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Shine a light down the barrel, this wont tell you whether the gun is in good condition, but it will tell you if it's in a state of ill repair. You should be able to clearly see spiral grooves down the barrel, that's the rifling.
 

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I bet I'd be suspicious if someone wouldn't let me take down a handgun for a quick peek at whats going on inside.
 

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I know it does not make sense. I have been into several gun shops in California where they will not let you break down a gun. Makes it hard to make a decision on a used gun.:mad2:
 

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Fomalhaut
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i can understand the shops not wanting the customer to field strip it, as they don't know the person, and wether or not they will damage the gun in some way; but, if they won't do it for you, then they're either hiding something, or they're just ass holes.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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River City Gun Exchange
2370 Fruitridge Road
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 428-0377
10:00 - 6:00 Tuesday through Saturday.

We have many Agency trade-in SIG Sauer P.226 pistols priced at $449.95.

Stop by and ask to see me. I will tear the pistol down in front of you. I will show you what to look for. I will bring out three, four or five pistols for you/us to examine. I am working the counters on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I will be working the counters this Saturday morning (tomorrow).

Everyone at the shop knows who Popeye is.

Fair enough?
 

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The 500 S&W stare...
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I would also ask the store what kind of warranty they offer on used guns. The one I go to offers a one year warranty on all used guns and they will stand behind what they sell.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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No store warranty. That's why examination is critical.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Popeye,

Does your "no warranty" mean also absolutely no return policy? Highly unlikely but if firing pin breaks, cartridges won't eject, etc..
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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If the gun breaks or doesn't work properly in the first 30 days, bring it back. We will work with you.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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You will find very few independent shops that will warranty used firearms.
 

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super noob
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Wow thats a good deal Popeye our sales are final. I know it seems unfair but the shop doesnt know what happens to the gun after it leaves the door. When the gun comes in for trade we strip it, check it out, and clean it if its necisary. We dont allow people to field strip firearms at thte counter either, we used to but someone decided to swipe some parts from an AR.........
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
River City Gun Exchange
2370 Fruitridge Road
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 428-0377
10:00 - 6:00 Tuesday through Saturday.

We have many Agency trade-in SIG Sauer P.226 pistols priced at $449.95.

Stop by and ask to see me. I will tear the pistol down in front of you. I will show you what to look for. I will bring out three, four or five pistols for you/us to examine. I am working the counters on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I will be working the counters this Saturday morning (tomorrow).

Everyone at the shop knows who Popeye is.

Fair enough?
Popeye, do you have any used 226 9mm left?
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Yup...
 

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everyone looks for different things when shopping for a used gun. and i've never seen a gunstore with a used gun warranty, or for that matter a new gun return policy. perhaps its just not common round these parts

one of the things i look for of course are visible cracks or other obvious signs of extreme wear or abuse. but something i also look for is NEW parts. if the slide is all worn out and the barrel is brand new i am leery of it. makes me think she's been blowd up.

and grips. if the grips look worn appropriately to the gun then it probably means they have been on the gun while it was being used. if the grips are new and the gun isnt, it could be an indicator of abuse. if the grips were so bad that you replaced them before selling the gun then how well did you treat it.

its always a good idea to feel how strong the recoil spring appears to be. if it feels weaker than another example of the same kind then inspect it closely to be sure it isnt damaged from never changing the spring. some people, myself included tend to neglect a gun if it is still working fine, let it go too long without a spring change and crack... the frame is just trashed.

a few minor dings and scratchs and some holster wear are nothing to worry about and actually i prefer a gun with some character.

another thing i look at is the mag. although this isnt always a good indicator, because some people, myself included, do not include a premium mag when selling a gun. dont get me wrong. never give up one that is trash and will not function reliably, but dont give the new kimber mag you just bought either. my point is that if a person doesnt care enough about the next person that is buying the gun to include a magazine that functions with the gun, then what else have they changed or done to it?

i've been to some gunshops where they would let me strip any gun in the case. i've been to some that would do it for me and they give me a heck of an attitude as well for asking to see its guts. just depends on the place. if a place will not let me dry fire the gun im fixing to buy, or field strip it, it would have to be the deal of a lifetime for me to buy a gun there.

~john
 

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well i am glad to help. i've bought a lot of guns, most of them used. so i've developed my own list of things to check for. everyone has their own way of course.

one thing that a lot of people do is look up the bore. and i do as well. but it isnt as important to me, on handguns at least, that the bore be perfect. if the bore has a little discoloration, or even a little pitting it may still shoot just fine as long as the crown isnt messed up. of course this is evidence of abuse so i take that into consideration... and as bargaining material.

since i buy guns to shoot, and i enjoy shooting them. they normally dont stay perfect for long. they all have scratches or dings. proof that i use them. none have rust however, proof that i love them.

i try to always inspect the chamber. if it is pitted or messed up in any way i stay clear.

i always ask the local gunsmith a lot of questions anytime im there. if there has been anything odd or that i wasnt sure about on a gun that i've encountered i'll ask him about it. also any guns that i know i am going to want or be looking for i ask him what is prone to wear or what to look for on those particular models.

~john
 

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The 500 S&W stare...
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I bought my Witness used and tried to shoot it the next day. It was broken. My shop sent it back to the factory for repair and it never cost me a cent. I like their warranty on used guns.
 

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ONly bein the owner of " junk " firearms , I will wait until I have a real
one to comment.
 
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