New or Used


November 10, 2004, 12:39 AM
What do you think new or used? In the past I always bought brand new revolvers. I got into rifles and didn't purchase any revolvers for awhile. Recently I went back to revolvers again. To my suprise Smith had changed alot since my last purchase. So I started looking at used. I found used Smiths for less than new with none of the new improvements (or cheap junk or locks). Also it appears to me that used Rugers are cheaper than new and the triggers are better because someone else has already broke them in. It seems that there are alot of people that bought guns 20 years ago with 1 box of ammo. Shot that first box and put them in a door for 20 years. These are just like new except for the price. Great for me!! I don't know if I'll ever buy new again. What do you think?

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November 10, 2004, 01:15 AM
The 2 most accurate guns I own I bought used. One is a shotgun put out by Marlin. The other is an ancient rifle made by a company called Ranger? It shoots so good I sold my brand new Browning lever action within a year.

November 10, 2004, 04:34 AM
Sadly, several years ago if you bought used you ran a check such as Jim March's on it. If it was brand new you didn't need to bother. Things have changed over the 30 years I've been buying handguns.

I'm sorry to say that back then under 3-5% of the new guns and maybe 15% of the used didn't pass the check. Today a gun made thirty years ago still has a probablity that 80 % will pass inspection. And also today there are runs of new guns where 25 to 30% fail.

The numbers are pure guestimate, but still reflect a trend toward poorer QC

Al Thompson
November 10, 2004, 06:29 AM
I'll buy used in a minute. It's rare for a used gun to have many rounds through it, mostly cosmetic flaws. Do (!!!) use the checkout and a good flashlight to examine before purchasing.

November 10, 2004, 06:53 AM
I buy mostly used, but only from the shop I frequent. They have a thorough testing process and are upfront about the ones that are golden, need slight adjustment and are total junk. They even write any known flaws on the tag. But since they can't be perfect, they have a 90 days warranty (in-house gunsmiths) on all used guns except the jennings, bryco type POS's. Heck, just this last year, I got a SP101 for $175, Blackhawk 357/9mm for $225, Rem 870 sup mag for $250, Rem 700 300wm w/ 3-9 weaver scope & leupold basses/rings for $300ish I believe.

Yup, I have no troubles w/ used guns; but, that doesn't mean I wont buy a new one if the price is right :)

November 10, 2004, 07:14 AM
I think if you know how to inspect (a particular model/type) weapon, then buying used should be safe. I've only made one used (S&W 686) purchase from an employee of the gun range I visit. It was his personal gun and the trade was great. What scares me is the guys who list problems with guns (on gunsites) and can't seem to get it fixed. Then it is traded away. That's the gun I'm afraid of buying. On the other hand, I bought a NIB S&W 629 that had to be returned to the factory. My theory is: when in doubt...don't. If you're not totally comfortable, don't buy it. One last thing. Don't count on the gun store employee (unless you know and trust his opinion) to point out any negatives. All he sees is a commission sale.

Ala Dan
November 10, 2004, 09:15 AM
I think there are several correct answers to that question.

If you find a used weapon that fits your needs, for an excellent price,
and can pass my friend Mr. Jim March's criteria for used guns; then by
all means give it a new home.

Likewise, if a weapon is brand new on the market and there hasn't
been enough sales to put used ones in circulation; then you certainly
would have to buy a new one, provided it fits your needs/wants/etc.

Either way, price can be a major factor! BTW, as an example we have
a blued Ruger .45 caliber Blackhawk Convertible in .45 Long Colt, with
the extra .45 ACP cylinder. It wears a set of Pachmayr grips, there
are NO other accessory's or box with this weapon; therefore it is
priced accordingly at $275.00. Overall, the gun would rate as about
a 95 per center!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Jim March
November 10, 2004, 10:24 AM
Not too much to add except to stress that unless we're talking about a Freedom Arms or Korth or something else VERY high end, such as a custom wheelgun prepped by Bowen or Linebaugh or Jim Stroh, every single new AND used gun needs a checkout. Period.

In some cases where the warrantee support on used guns is as good as on new (RUGER!!!), there's very little downside to buying used. And sometimes that's the only way to get certain combinations of features that have either been dropped (short-shroud 6" barrel GP100, fr'instance) or was a limited non-catalog run (Vaqueros in 45ACP/45LC dual cylinder, other oddball calibers like 40S&W/10mm/38-40).

If you're not shopping for wheelguns with the checkout or some close variant, you're missing out :).

The :( is that it's needed even on new.

November 10, 2004, 11:41 AM
If you know how to inspect a gun, then nothing wrong with buying used. I would caution against buying sight unseen, unless seller has references. Last year I made the mistake of taking seller's word, and I had to ship gun to manufacturer for repair. On the other hand, not too long ago I bought a like new 4" blue Ruger Speed Six on an online auction for $215.00, and that included shipping and transfer fee. It is an older model with a pretty nice stock trigger pull--not as good as a S&W but close. I don't even look at new anymore. I only spend up to $350.00 total per gun. (My next purchase will probably be a a S&W model 25, 29, or 57... if I can find one for that amount.)

November 10, 2004, 11:53 AM
I have no problem buying used. Many many used guns on the market have little to no use on them and folks either simply sell them or trade them in.

I have no problem letting someone else suck up the depreciation for me. :D

So long as the firearm checks out mechanically and meets your requirements, I don't think you'll run into any issues that don't also apply to new purchases.

Standing Wolf
November 10, 2004, 06:07 PM
Used for me, thanks all the same: Smith & Wessons now include locks, and high quality Colts are no longer made.

Black Snowman
November 10, 2004, 06:45 PM
I look for the deal. Ballence the cost vs the pros and cons. So I buy new used, private, online and local gun store. Whoever will do right by me.

November 10, 2004, 08:05 PM
I buy a lot of used guns.
Bonus for me, is the shop I frequent also has an on site range, and you can rent used guns for $10, taken off the price of the gun if you want to buy.

Another good thing is I like magnum handguns, and a lot of them are traded off because people just can't handle recoil, so I find a lot of "partial box of ammo" syndrome.

November 10, 2004, 08:33 PM
I haven’t purchased a new revolver since 1994. Bullet’s comment on shooting a box and then put away for twenty years rings true to me. I recently purchased an almost unfired, nickeled S&W Model 13 that was almost thirty years old with very minor finish blemishes for a very reasonable price.
I think that most of the used guns with problems are the result of poor handling and amateur gunsmiths rather than being shot out.
Jim March’s revolver check out is an invaluable resource. After giving a copy to a novice friend, he was able to avoid a Model 10 with serious problems and pick up a mechanically perfect Model 19 for a great price.

Bill B.
November 11, 2004, 08:28 AM
I buy most on the used market. One problem I have got myself into is that I have bought several things broke or not working correctly and think it was an easy fix. In one case this pistol had not been made in about 80 years and no parts were available. It's still broke!

4v50 Gary
November 11, 2004, 09:59 AM
Most of the handguns I buy are used.

November 11, 2004, 10:38 AM
I have purchased most of my revolvers used and from non-dealers. No paperwork on them is best. All purchased from good people. Saved a lot of money and got good firearms.

November 12, 2004, 02:22 PM
Brand new is nice because you can track the exact number of rounds fired, maintenance and any modifications. Used is nice because you can't buy a nice firearm for a lot less than new. If you know what to look for and the warning signs of an abused firearm, you can do very well buying used. Most of my firearms were purchased used.

November 13, 2004, 10:36 PM
I prefer used. In fact I haven't bought new for about the past twentyfive guns! You get a better gun for a lot less money. No locks, no graffitti, and you can shot before you buy as well. Who can argue with that?

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