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Thread: Buying used firearms.

  1. #1
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Default Buying used firearms.

    I stopped at a couple local pawn shops the other day. I was looking for a local ffl for a possible receiving order. It has been awhile since Iíve looked at used firearms. Looking at their inventory, the stuff looked tired. Anyway, I inspected a couple that caught my eye. You know how it goes. Like a magnet. Oh, look here! However, after the inspection you leave a little sad. From what I saw, after the purchase and maybe repair, you could have new. That made me think of this thread.
    * What do you look for in a used firearm?
    * What inspections do you do?
    * What firearms would you consider bombproof?


  2. #2
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    My criteria is probably different than most. I look for something that would be considered odd and obsolete. For example if I were at deer camp with a bunch of guys. A quick look at the gun rack and it would be obvious which rifle was mine. That's me, those are the type that I enjoy.
    so the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law and you want me to believe that somehow more laws make less criminals?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Pawnshop vary greatly - some are better than others.... I end up kicking tires and not buying anything... I would be looking for reliability and small, something that I know I can afford and good gun shops provide that "expertise" that I am looking for. And lets face it the prices right now for "new" are not bad at all. Generally speaking guy at the pawn shop counter only knows how to buy and sell - and knows nothing about firearms. If you are on a budget like I am... get picky.

    Hope that helps.
    "Never work against mother nature"--Caesar Milan.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    In this day and age NEW is the way to go.

    It is real difficult to find a deal better than a Thompson Center rifle for .less than $200 or a Savage Centerfire at just a hair more than that.

    I just got an e-mail notice that several handguns were being discounted to less than $200 at local dealers.

    Besides the guys that pawn stuff due to need of cash or trade it in on a better gun, there has always been a group of folks that found out their guns did not shoot right and dumped them at the pawn shop/gun shop.

    Add to that the fact that almost no one can diagnose and inspect a used gun at the shop and catch every flaw or weak part. I have been at it for years and I still fail to catch everything.

    It is virtually impossible to catch some flaws until you are sitting at the shooting bench at the firing range. The number of times I have gotten a "great deal" only to get home and discover that the little semi-auto would not fire, feed or eject, that the rifle had a worn firing pin and they ran out of replacements in 1948, the .22 had a swollen chamber and split cases, or the shotgun stomped the snot out of you every time you pulled the trigger.

    I still have boxes of parts left from my gunsmithing days so I could take care of the things that were always bad on certain guns. Even then it was difficult to convince people they needed to pay me $35 ($10 for the part, $10 shipping and $15 for labor) to repair a gun they only paid $39.95 for new!

    And I am sorry, but those old guns are not made to shoot like modern rifles shoot. "Back in the day" we worked our butts off trying to get a rifle to shoot inside 1". Most people were happy with 2-3" groups. Now TC offers a MOA guarantee with a $200 rifle!

    I was looking around at the LGS just this week and laughing over the fact that they were asking $350 for Mosin rifles and on the other side of the rack they had Savage Axis rifles in every caliber offered for $275.

    Buying used guns has always been a crap shoot. It was never the "buyers paradise" one imagines.
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Graf's Avatar
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    Bore light Ck barrel, check action for smoothness, check stock, recieved, barrel for loose or ****ness
    Semper Paratus

  6. #6
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Thatís been my experience. A roll of the dice. Same for most of the stuff given to you by relatives. They usually require something thatís hard or impossible to find.

  7. #7
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Never bought firearms from a local pawnshop....
    Did buy a muzzleloader from a shop in Kansas....that could be shipped without any paperwork.

    Wisconsin made pawn shops legal maybe a 20 years ago.....so not many around.
    The fact that an FFL is needed for modern guns....I don't know of any that deal in firearms.

    I bring this up, as I have never went in a pawn shop and picked up a Purdy 16ga SXS or 1955 Win '94 for $50 bucks that everyone seems to come with????

    Anyway most of my used guns came for shows, raffle prizes, private sales, a buddy or guy in the saloon that need a few bucks....

    All dealing are driven by price...a beater for really cheap,may be a good deal....That's up to you.

    My first question is...Does it work?...Don't laugh, got a good deal on a couple of auto loading single shots....
    The bore and chamber with a light, obvious sign rust and abuse
    Action should work smoothly.....

    Next is the wood...I look for cracks where the action meats the wood stock...standing in a gun cabinet but down allows oil to run down and force the end grain of the wood.

    Last but not least....I won't pay for a scope/mounts, sling, trigger work.....or custom work...unless I really want it......
    May people think you should support their vision......
    You want to dump ammo, dies molds, bullets etc....separate deal.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by hunter63; 10-29-2017 at 02:36 PM.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I have a gunshop that will give me a call on occasion if he gets estate guns on consignment. Even then it can be iffy.

  9. #9
    Tool & Die Maker
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    It really pays to know your market. I see guns for sale at Florida Flea Markets all the time. Lots and lots of them last winter. The guns looked like way overpriced junk to me. But for the unaware they look good. For example, I bought a Ruger mark III about 3 years ago for $265, new. Then I see the same gun, kinda rough, at a flea market for $250 or $300 or at a gun show for even more money. These sellers are looking for the uninformed buyer to come along with money in his pocket. Best to spend your time shopping around for new stuff. One thing I learned about guns in Florida is somewhere there is going to be rust.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    There is also the problem that with flea market finds you are taking a chance on buying a gun that was stolen during a break in.

    Even if you have a CCW it is normal for the police to run the numbers on the gun if you are stopped in your vehicle and you may find yourself in possession of a stolen firearm.

    Not so much a problem with pawn shops since they must submit a list of firearms and most other items that are brought in for pawn to the police. That is one reason they give so little in pawn value for firearms.

    That brand new Hotshot What-you-callit you just paid $600 for is going to get you $50-$75 pawn value.

    You can raise more money selling blood than pawning guns.
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

  11. #11
    Senior Member alaskabushman's Avatar
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    The only used guns I've ever purchased are from private sales. Always someone I knew was local. I've never been burned by this, but almost always the gun went away eventually because it wasn't quite what I really wanted. I've never purchased a used gun from a pawn shop personally. Kyrat is pretty much spot on, anything you want is probably cheaper and higher quality than older guns. Personally my wants are fairly specific, and I've learned that if I am going to spend my hard earned cash, then I am spending it on EXACTLY what I want.
    There ain't too many problems you can't fix with $500 or a 30-06.

    Him-"Whats the best knife for survival?"
    Me-"the one that's in your pocket."
    Him-"I don't have one in my pocket."
    Me-"Exactly."

  12. #12
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    90%+ of the guns I own were acquired used. That is a conservative estimate. Of those that required some work, it was minor, missing screw or such. Numrich Gun Parts always came through. But, I don't buy junk. I picked up a Colt Woodsman at a pawn shop about a year ago. It was a very good price and was in very good condition. It's a shooter. I've used it on several occasions. I've had good luck and can't really think of one that has been a lemon.

    Like others here, I've been at this game for a while and know my limitations.

    Alan

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