Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > General Firearm Discussion

How to buy a used gun

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I have even bought those sucky guns, called the manufacturer, sent them in for repair, and ended up with a almost new gun.

As an example I just bought a used Ruger Mini-14, every time I fired it the trigger group would fall out, Ruger repaired it sent it back (NO CHARGE UNDER WARRANTY) for all intent and purposes I ended up with a new gun for about half of the price of a new one.

Another good way to buy used guns, find police dept. trade ins, these guns have not been fired much,but do have alot of holster wear. Not a big deal, if that bothers you have it refinished. You end up with an almost new gun for a large savings if it needs some work internally send it back to the manufacturer.


--- Quote from: TANK on January 05, 2011, 09:19:32 AM ---
Another good way to buy used guns, find police dept. trade ins, these guns have not been fired much,

--- End quote ---
Not true. Most depts shoot their pistols, shotguns, and rifles regularly.

Another reason to look at used handguns is that a gun that ideally fits your needs (and hands) may no longer be in production. A 4" Police Positive or Cobra (Colt), 6" Military and Police or Combat Magnum (S&W) come to mind. For that matter, a 3" skinny barrel Chief's Special makes an excellent "Super Kit Gun". None of the above are currently available new.

Don't be afraid to look at guns that were not commercially successful - the S&W M-61 Escort comes to mind. Universally panned for crappy ergonomics, a lousy trigger pull and a 5 shot magazine, it had the best sights of any vest pocket pistol I've seen, and was the only one to go <bang> every time the trigger was pulled.

Here's a hint: look at the screw heads. If they're buggered all to hell, its a good sign that someone who didn't know what they were doing was trying to access the innards. IF IT CHECKS OK OTHERWISE, you might get the seller to knock off a few bucks on the price because you don't know what they might have done to it.

Another thing: Once you decide on a certain kind of gun - say a S&W Military & Police, go online and read up on it. Read the Owner's manual and other sources so that you can tell if something is broken or missing, and get an idea how it is supposed to work. If you cock a hammer on a Smith, for example, you should hear a <click, pause, click> as the bolt drops into the cylinder notch and the hammer engages the sear. If you don't there are problems - avoid the gun.

Good luck and good hunting,


I'd add patience to the list of how to buy a used gun. 

Once I decided I needed a new 9mm I started looking about every week at the local Pawn Shops, and other places.  After about two months I walked in on a Sig p226 Tac (threaded barrel) that was like new without even a scratch on the original mags.  After a day or two of haggling I got it for under $600.

I may be the biggest twit on the planet, but what does AR mean? I THINK that it comes from the military, I know that M-16 means model 16.



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