Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > General Firearm Discussion

How to buy a used gun

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Adam Campbell:
I just used to buy a Beretta Stampede SAA 45 long colt with a 7.5" barrel that is pretty nice for $325 recently. He even threw in a box of 50 rounds to go with it. The cheapest I could find that gun online was just over $500 — and this guy claims he paid $700 for it new, but I don't know about that.

I see SEVERAL overpriced AR and AK rifles every single day going up trying to take advantage of the great assault weapon scare of 13' — BUT — on the FLIP SIDE... Several people are also LIQUIDATING their guns in order to raise money to buy an overpriced AR / AK rifle right now, and THOSE guns are a steal.

I almost bought a nice 9mm conceal carry "kit" with a holster, gun, ammo, and some other goodies for $225 — when my S&W bodyguard I picked up at the gun shop was a bit over $400 without any goodies.

If you are NOT looking for the guns everyone is after right now you can find sweet deals every day on

I saw a decent looking .22 for $70 the other day. The cheapest ones they sell at WalMart are over $100 and this one was nicer.

I came across this in-case anyone wants to buy a revolver:

Revolver checkout:
How to tell if a particular specimen is any good

You're buying a revolver. New, used, doesn't matter, you want a good one, right?

How do check one over without firing it, right at the dealer's counter or gun show table?

This is how. All of this works with DA or SA wheelguns..."close the action" on most DAs means swing the cylinder in, on SA types, close the loading gate, on breakopens, close 'em. UNLOADED.

WARNING: Most of these tests require violation of the "finger off trigger" rule. Therefore, be extremely careful about safe muzzle direction and making sure the gun is unloaded ahead of time, PERSONALLY, as you begin handling it.

Note: Bring a small flashlight, something small and concentrated. A Photon or similar high-powered LED light is perfect. You also want feeler gauges if you're not used to eyeballing cylinder gaps; at a minimum, bring a .002", .004" and .006".

Note2: No dry firing is required or desired at any point. It just pisses off the gun's current owner.

see link below for rest of article:

Do the research on the gun you may buy.  Some else mentioned getting the owners manual to check for proper operation.  This is a great idea, but you should go farther.  I recently got a used Marlin 336w.  I came in to the gun shop looking for a winchester,  but settled on a Marlin.  I saw the gun on Fri. and spent the weekend doing research on it and came back on Mon. to buy it after looking at more details on the gun.  My research found that Marlin was sold and moved to New York in 2010 and the quality of the gun went way down.  The guns you want were made in 2009 or before and have a JM proof mark.  In today's gun buying panic it is hard to get the time to do the research.


--- Quote from: Mountain State Prepper on October 19, 2012, 11:54:08 AM ---OK guys, I'm new to the forum and this is my first post.    This thread fits into the first question/topic I have....well, sorta......

I'd like to TRADE one gun for another, but I am (forgive the pun) "gun shy".   What do you do to record a private transaction, trade or buy, to cover your butt?   How do you know that the gun you are getting hasn't been used in a crime, or acquired illegally?   And reverse that, you get rid of a gun that in turn is used illegally. 

I actually was going to start a thread on the specifics of what I had and wanted in trade, but I don't think that is as important as getting this answered first.

I sounds like most folks replying here have a network of like-minded gun owners, where I do not.   I would have to deal with strangers at first.  Which brings up another issue of safety and anonymity.   WHERE do you do your transactions?  Would I be better off taking my gun down to the local pawn shop first and see what they'd do?   Advertise in a local paper or tack up my number on a bulletin board?

Thanks for the input!

--- End quote ---

I want to follow up again.   It has been over two years since I made my first post to this forum and recent events brought this back to my memory.   Back in October of 2012 I was a seller of an pre-ban Cobray Mac 11.   I was worried about my sale because I didn't have a network of "firearm friends" and didn't want to sell to a total stranger.   I also didn't want to get taken at a pawn shop either, where I know I wouldn't get as much money as I would in a private sale.   My main worry was how do I cover my butt?   I didn't want to sell to a felon or anyone not legally able to own a gun.   Subsequently, my biggest fear would have been that gun being used in a crime after I sold it.

Fast forward to last week, to the story of a local man killing four people, then himself.   As the story unfolded we find he was a felon, not allowed to own a firearm, but obtained a 9mm handgun from a private sale (originating online).   The seller in this case was not charged with anything.   That is both good and bad.   Obviously, I don't think the seller should be charged, there are no laws requiring him/her to do a background check.   However, I can not imagine what that seller is thinking today.   As a seller, I think we have a personal responsibility to make sure we are selling to an appropriate buyer.   Even thought the law works in the FAVOR of the seller this time.   If that were me I'd be beside myself, losing a lot of sleep as I processed the fact that my old gun was used in such a horrible way.

I just started a parallel thread on "How to Sell a Used Gun" offer up the advice and experience of the forum.


--- Quote from: Mountain State Prepper on December 10, 2014, 06:56:38 AM ---   As a seller, I think we have a personal responsibility to make sure we are selling to an appropriate buyer.

--- End quote ---
Yep I agree. There are 3 ways to do that.
1. Have the weapon transfered though a FFL.
2. Have the buyer posses a valid CCW permit and make a copy of it.
3. Have the buyer go to the local sheriff and get a purchase permit and you retain the permit.


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