Do you buy guns on credit?


April 8, 2005, 01:41 PM
I'm a huge anti-debt freak...I got no car payment, no credit card payments, no second mortgage, my primary mortgage is paid well below 80% in three years of get the gist.

I would rather not own something than have it and owe money on it.

BUT...I have found a few guns I really want bad -- a RRA NM A2, a Cooper Montana Varminter in 6.5-284, and a 12 ga. Beretta Silver Pigeon III -- that I don't have the cash to buy. I thought about putting them on the card for about 30 seconds.

I'm going to pass on them due to my own inclinations, but it got me thinking: How many of us put guns on plastic, and to what extent?

*For clarification, layaway is not credit in my book.

Have a great weekend,

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April 8, 2005, 02:00 PM
I can accept some debt, such as for a home, car, or student loan. Otherwise, I have a CC because I don't like carrying around a lot of cash and I like to order things from a catalog and website and don't want to have to bother sending a chack or a MO. My wife and I tend to pay off the cards every month or so. I would get a gun on credit if it were an excellent deal and I could pay it off in a reasonable amount of time (1-2 months).

April 8, 2005, 02:05 PM
I have, I do, and I will again but I pay my card off every month. It's just faster and I only deal with a couple of sellers.

April 8, 2005, 02:14 PM
I always put them on plastic, but I don't carry a balance. I did carry a bit for a little while just prior to the 2000 election, when I found a couple of decent deals on things that could have been difficult to get had the election gone the other way. After things went for the better, gun control wise, I decided the debt wasn't worth it and got back to the way things ought to be.

lee n. field
April 8, 2005, 02:29 PM
No. I might do layaway someday, but haven't felt the need yet. I stash cash away towards what toys and accessories I want. It's about "that time" again. :)

I did go into debt to a buddy of mine once on a "grab it right now" private sale deal.

April 8, 2005, 02:34 PM
A local store has a deal 2x a year, where you can buy guns and pay them off over 12 months, no interest. I usually take them up on it, so that I don't have any huge outlays of cash at once.

April 8, 2005, 02:37 PM
I save up my money and I only buy when I have enough. This is a "hobby" category, its priority is lower than other expense.

For me, it is not worth it to pay high interest for them.


M2 Carbine
April 8, 2005, 02:45 PM
No, I pay cash for everything, cars, guns, house, etc.

I keep a credit card to buy guns and ammo on line but then it's paid off at once.

I learned a long time ago that a working man can't afford to throw money down the toilet for credit charges.

Now, no interest deals like Drizzt's I would consider the same as cash.

April 8, 2005, 02:52 PM
Only thing I use my credit cards for is the cash back and building a credit history.

April 8, 2005, 02:57 PM
I use a CC, especially on line or catalog, but only when I can write a check when the bill comes. Paying interest for anything other than a home or a vehicle is nuts to me. I may have to add college to that list when my kid starts in 4 years. I will finance a rental prpoerty as long as the rent makes all principle, interest, tax, and insurance payments and leaves a little cash in my pocket.

April 8, 2005, 03:20 PM
Only every once in a while, and it is usually paid off that month.

I got myself into some trouble (not much, but it did take me about three months to pay off) when I got my first card. Now, everything I can manage gets paid off with the Check card or cash.

Old Fud
April 8, 2005, 03:20 PM
Web-buys, yes, but face-to-face, NEVER!!!!

I would not do that to my dealer.

He's a good man, working on close margins.
He pays something like 4% of the amount to the credit card company for the privilege of accepting your card (and the guarantee he will be paid.)
On guns and bulk-purchase Ammo, that is a significant amount of money.
If I insist on sticking a credit card into the deal, One of us is going to have to eat it.

Seeing as CA has the 10-day waiting period anyway, I will pay him by check, he gets his money cleared before I come to pick up the piece, there are no added processing/insurance charges, and we're both happy.

I once asked a bank person why they charged so much interest on credit cards. (at that time, as now, you could get bank loans for 6 or 7% per eyar while credit cards were charging 1.5% per month -- gulp)
Her answer was "that rate is set by LAW, sir".
Found out later that she was right. It is set by USERY LAWS -- it was the maximum they could charge before they committed the felony of loan-sharking.
I've paid off my card monthly ever since that day.


April 8, 2005, 03:26 PM
I've only done so once. Honest. That was because the deal was too darn good to pass up. However, I now pay only cash (or use the card knowing it will be paid off in full). Actually, I use the card for most purchases now and pay off at the end of the month.

April 8, 2005, 03:32 PM
I have one specific credit card that I use for some of my gun/accessory purchases. I have a "deal" with myself that I will pay off what ever purchase I make, no matter big or small, before I will use the card again. Most of the time I can pay it off the same billing cycle but on occassion I've had to stretch it out for a few months. I never dip into the checking or saving account to buy stuff related to my hobby.

April 8, 2005, 03:37 PM
We use credit cards for all purchases, but we never purchase more then we can pay off at months end.

The "points" from American Express purchases have in the past, and will in the future, give us free vacations. That's a good thing. :) I also like using plastic as it allows better visibility on what you're buying and spending money on. If the bills seem high, I can sit down with the wife, look at what's going on, and adjust accordingly.

Our only dept is our house and we owe very little on it.

April 8, 2005, 03:40 PM
Our only debt is our house and we owe very little on it.

I notice you're from Los Angeles?!?!?! :eek:

Congrats on being able to make that statement in one of the most expensive housing markets on planet Earth.

My hat is off, sir!

April 8, 2005, 03:41 PM
Most that do are not going to confess. Best not to take debt on anything that does not appreciate in value. Yes I have charged a must have before (really a must want badly) , but know better now. Bought my last car (new ford expedition) cash. Felt good. With 2 girls headed to college, it won't be as easy next time.

Jay Kominek
April 8, 2005, 03:42 PM
If I'm buying from an establishment that takes visa, I give them visa. If not, I'm happy to write them a check or whatever else. The card then gets paid off in full at the end of every month. I've only been late maybe twice since I got my first credit card. Once they changed the due date on me and I hadn't read the bill carefully enough, and the other time I put a stamp on the envelope but forgot to mail it. Oops.
So, yeah, four of five guns were bought on plastic. Fifth was from a private individual, so he got an envelope full of $50's. :)

April 8, 2005, 03:58 PM
Richard, we bought in 1997 when the market was highly depreciated. It's a small 1000 square foot house in West LA, but for our little family of 3 it works.

There is no way we could ever afford to buy at the current prices. Our mortage is 1/2 of comparable rent. I really feel for recent college grads, etc trying to buy in. Starter homes in our area start at $500k. :(

Teaching my wife to save has been the biggest challenge. :)

April 8, 2005, 04:00 PM
Absolutely! I'm an impulsive buyer; so much so that I have my credit card memorized so I can buy online. If I really, really want a new gun, and don't have the cash, I'll charge it. :D

Control Group
April 8, 2005, 04:04 PM
I'm going to go ahead and be the odd man out, here.

While I have not purchased any firearms on credit cards, it's only because I don't have any credit cards (after racking up significant balances in college, some necessary, some the result of poor spending habits), and will not until I'm at a zero credit balance. So I say this as someone who knows the dangers of credit cards, and is self-imposing a credit moratorium.

There is nothing inherently wrong with CC debt, even if you're carrying a balance you're paying interest on. You just have to do the cost-benefit analysis. Is the extra money you'll pay while eliminating the balance worth having the item for x months longer than you would have it if you waited?

For example, say you're contemplating a $1000 purchase. You know if you put it on your CC, you can pay the balance off over 5 months. Assuming 18% interest, equal payments every month, a 1 month grace period, and ignoring other CC activity over the time frame, that's an extra $31.50 you're going to pay. Is that money wasted? In a sense, certainly - you've paid $1031.50 for a $1000 item.

On the other hand, say you saw the same item for $1031.50, and knew that it would drop to $1000 in six months - would you wait for six months to purchase it?

Obviously, your answer might well be yes, in which case, you're right, and don't buy it with a card. For a lot of people, though, the answer would be no, in which case there's no financial down side to buying it with a card, even if you can't pay the whole balance immediately.

I speak from experience - and experience I'm still struggling with - when I say that abuse of credit cards is a terrible thing, and the CC companies are only too happy to let you put yourself in a hole that's going to be torture to climb out of. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean that all uses of credit are horrible financial decisions. If you've got the acumen and the responsibility to not put things on credit, then you probably also have the acumen and the responsibility to buy things on credit wisely, knowing the costs and deciding for yourself whether they're worth it. The only situation you positively must avoid is having a rolling balance for which you don't have a definite pay-off point.

Byron Quick
April 8, 2005, 04:16 PM
I never put firearms on a credit card, even on a web purchase. However, I've got a dealer that I've been doing business with for over twenty years. His layaway terms are 90 days. He'll let me take possession of the firearm today and hold three checks. That has led me to excess from time to time. A couple of years ago, I bought a Remington 700 PSS with a Springfield scope, a Springfield Loaded 1911, and a Carolina Precision Rifle custom rifle in .35 Whelen built on a 1909 Argentine Mauser action. Good thing that when I leave the table that the family is fed. On the other hand, if I had dependents then I wouldn't have made the purchase.

Not long after that my girlfriend told me that I wasn't husband material. I asked why not? She told me that I couldn't afford her and my toys, too. And that she had no confidence in me foregoing my toys. She might have had a point as she was high maintenance.

April 8, 2005, 04:17 PM
Absolutely not. The only debt I have is my mortgage and some of my wife's old student loans. This has saved me in a major way when personal crises hit and the finances took a blow as a result.

I may not have every toy I want, but the ones I do have I own, not the bank.

April 8, 2005, 04:21 PM
I'm with Drizzt. My favorite LGS (Carter's Country) also offers 12 months same as cash a couple times a year. I jump all over that. Free money is good. One caveat worth mentioning. The credit comes from a financial institution and it is a 24 month loan. The coupon book has 24 payments. If you take 24 months (or 13 months for that matter) to pay off the loan you pay through the nose, something like 20% interest. However, if you pay it off in 1 year or less there is no interest.

It is not a scam, I just believe that it is how they get the bank to agree to offer the credit for what I would guess would be no charge to the LGS. The bank wins when people opt to pay it off slowly. The LGS wins because it brings saps like me in ready to take advantage of the free money. When you buy the gun they tell you exactly what you would need to pay every month to pay it off in 12 months. However when you get the statement from the bank it just shows the 24 month payment schedule.

April 8, 2005, 04:23 PM
I bought my USP 45f at Galyans a couple years ago because they had 12 months same as cash. I bought my safe at Gander Mountain the same way. Other than that I save up for them.

April 8, 2005, 04:38 PM
in california you can only buy 1 gun a month so that does not allow me to buy on credit if there is a good deal. if there is a good deal at the same time im already purchasing my one gun limit for the month i can put it on layaway for 60 days so i dont miss out on the deal. if i lived elsewhere like in A FREE STATE i would be in so much debt. :what:

April 8, 2005, 06:16 PM
A Stealth, you're still shopping new. Enter the world of consignment and PPT handguns and all sorts of things are possible. My best so far was 5 pistols in December 2003.

1946 2" M&P
1917 Colt New Service
S&W 2" M15
1943 Webley & Scott
USFA Rodeo (the only new on of the bunch)


April 8, 2005, 06:18 PM
I've made an occasional impulse buy on credit when deals have arisen. Charges have always been paid off by the end of the month, however.

April 8, 2005, 06:19 PM
I have had lots of debt in the past. got it all paid off once, then turned around and ramped it up again with some expensive emergency car repairs. So, I am once again on the verge of having all my debt paid off, outside of my house.

So, long answer for a simple poll response of: Nope.

April 8, 2005, 06:32 PM
Nope... Wouldn't do it even if I could.

You might want to put on your tin foil hats. You do know credit card information is tracked. Any one of the .gov agencies is only a request away from knowing you have bought X number of items from JimBob's Gun Jobbery.

April 8, 2005, 06:42 PM
You might want to put on your tin foil hats. You do know credit card information is tracked. Any one of the .gov agencies is only a request away from knowing you have bought X number of items from JimBob's Gun Jobbery.
Time to take off the hat. :)

Credit card companies and/or banks would only know that you bought SOMETHING at JimBob's Gun Jobbery. It would be impossible for them to tell the guys in suits and sunglasses (who no doubt in your scenario just exited a silent, black helicopter) WHAT you bought.

The NICS form on the other hand...

pete f
April 8, 2005, 06:43 PM
only when they will not take a check and i am not at my home gun shop or out of state. when i travel and i see something i want, flop out the card and say here it is, I want that, send it here, giving them the card of my friendly FFL holder. that way if i buy a gun in west hicksville arkansas and i geet back home and it has not shown up, i have a recourse of calling the credit card company and saying, " my duly purchased goods did not show up as promised, please cancel this sale." and this has happened twice. Once they said they lost his (ffl's) address. second time they sold the gun out from under me. I will not pay cash for something i can not take with me immediately. I also carry a large chunk of cash for those purchases i can take with me so the wife does not know. not that i lie to her, I just tell her it is an old colt, not a prewar .38 super commander with ivory grips and factory engraving. She also knows that for every pair of new shoes that show up, and old pair has to get hidden, I built her a shoe rack with 20 cubby holes. she fills that up and i see another pair, I just smile and say I see it is time for me to go shooping again.....

April 8, 2005, 07:18 PM
I work for guns. :evil:

I work part time at a gun store/range. What ever I make there is my play money and it usually goes into the register to pay on a lay-a- way. I almost always have atleast 1 gun in the safe on lay-a-way. In fact I just paid one off today and I need to decide what's next!

Bear Gulch
April 8, 2005, 07:20 PM
Will wotk for guns!

Will beg for ammo!

April 8, 2005, 07:29 PM
Nope. No cash means can't afford.

Got stupid with credit cards when I was young and still suffering the effects on my credit-report years later. I might not be a smart man but I do learn my lessons.

River Wraith
April 8, 2005, 07:31 PM
I have bought some guns on credit, but I paid the balance off at the end of the month when I got paid and accrued no interest charges.

April 8, 2005, 07:59 PM
All the time. You guys would die if you saw our credit card balance.

The good news? We paid maybe $25-$50 total in interest in the last 2.5 years. We just keep the balances on whichever one of the credit cards offers the 0% interest at the time (and it does not require applying for new ones, one of the existing ones always ends up offering us 0% for a year).

We are planning on paying everything off at the end of this year, fingers crossed.


April 8, 2005, 08:10 PM
I never use a Credit card!!!! I do use a debit card for buying things, but not guns. I have used lay-away for about 40 years, mostly at my favorite gun shop. Then I'll go in and put $10- $20 on my lay-away every week or so.
I've bought a lot of fine firearms this way. It takes away from the "instant gratification" thing but I also have the time to determine if I really want to buy that particular firearm.
I look at my firearms purchases as a kind of Savings Account, as I know that I'm getting a good price , and if I really need the money I could sell some of them and get my money (or more) back. So far I've never had to sell a firearm for any reason. I have money in the Bank, but I do get more enjoyment out of the great guns I've purchased over the years. Much more than having the money sitting in the Bank. And my Son's and Son in Law will have a lot of fine firearms when I'm gone. Already in my Living Trust-will. :)
My kids like guns nearly as much as I do!!! :) And I have a Hell of a nice, big Collection. :D

Harry Paget Flashman
April 8, 2005, 08:21 PM
I use my credit card as often as I can when I special order a gun I have seen on the Internet(CDNN, etc). I give my FFL my card number and he uses it when ordering from the point of sale. I pay tax only on the $25 fee he charges, and also $5 for the call-in. At the end of the month I usually pay my credit card bill in full. The Citi-bank card I use rebates me 1% too. Win-win.

April 8, 2005, 08:50 PM
Nope. I keep what little available credit I have for emergencies. If I don't have the cash, no purchase. Keeps my collection on the small side, but it does keep the wife happy. And that is a good thing!

April 8, 2005, 08:54 PM
I get points for gift cards on my credit card. I charge everything (groceries, gas, etc) and I pay it off in full every month. So, I buy guns with it too. I get a $50 gift card every 2 months (I get 5 pts for every dollar for medicine, groceries or gas, 1 point per dollar for everything else).

April 9, 2005, 07:21 AM
Like a lot of folks here, I use my credit card to purchase most of my firearms, but only if I have enough ready cash to comfortably pay the balance in full at month end.

April 9, 2005, 07:26 AM
I'm saving my available credit for the next ban!


April 9, 2005, 08:06 AM
I voted option three, because I pay off my credit card as soon as I get the statement. Only exception to that was in january I bought two saigas, and a hipower and didnt finish paying them until this month(tuition and books came first). Rest of the time, credit card has a balance of zero, though I use it for most of my online and big everyday purchases, and debit for all my regular everyday stuff.

April 9, 2005, 08:28 AM
Cash only for guns. Credit cards for online ammo purchases and accessories/parts.

April 9, 2005, 08:38 AM
I've never bought a gun on credit. Layaway, yes, but never on credit.

April 9, 2005, 09:14 AM
Why do you think I am stuck doing contract work in 3rd world cesspools now!!?? :what:

April 9, 2005, 09:18 AM
Never thought of it before, but I guess I have bought some with cash and others on my card. I am a pretty responsible cc user as is my wife. No need to put ourselves in the poorhouse because of sky high interest rates. If I do buy a gun on credit I would prefer to use my Amex card because of the buyer protection plan and because I would have to pay it off on the next bill. I have the money in advance before buying, unless it is that special gun at a wonder price that takes me by surprise.

Have a happy,
Glenn B

April 10, 2005, 04:01 PM
one gun shop aroud here sometimes runs a 0% intrest sale, offering up to 12 months at 0%, so yeah i've done it.

April 10, 2005, 04:09 PM
I've used mine a few times, but not recently. Actually that's not true, my Yugo was purchased with my card just 6 months ago because it was ordered and shipped, not purchased at a store. I buy ammo and accessories with card if it's being shipped to my house, but a lot of times I get stuff shipped to my gunsmith because he's always there during the day. In those cases I'll do COD or money order.

April 10, 2005, 09:30 PM
one gun shop aroud here sometimes runs a 0% intrest sale, offering up to 12 months at 0%, so yeah i've done itHeaven, you're in heaven...

April 10, 2005, 09:32 PM
Your poll choices don't have No or Never.

That would be my pick. If i don't have the cash, I don't buy.

April 11, 2005, 12:22 AM
I have a special "gun card" with a low limit, it's also the only credit card I have. This is how I order online since local pickings are slim and I will NOT use my checking debit card to buy online. Seldom do I carry much of a balance for more than 3 months which happens to be my quarterly bonus cycle :cool:

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