Advantage to buying surplus rifles from Big 5??


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Antihero
December 21, 2006, 12:25 AM
Is there any advantage to buying milsurp rifles from Big 5 versus gun shops or online dealers? Maybe the rifles at Big 5 are refurbished or ? Im just thinking out loud here, but maybe since they are put in stores, looked at and fondled Big 5 would want to have better condition rifles in their stores?

Or maybe they just charge more:scrutiny:

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Antihero
December 21, 2006, 12:26 AM
Hmm i spelled "advantage" wrong.....how come i cant edit the title?

razorburn
December 21, 2006, 12:38 AM
You can select a rifle by hand, instead of sight unseen as with an online retailer. Probably have a better return or exchange policy than most gun shops too. And around here, the guys there are fairly apathetic, but at least you don't get met with a bad attitude like most of the local gun shops.

Outlaws
December 21, 2006, 12:40 AM
You can edit the title by clicking Edit Post, and then clicking the square green button that says Go Advanced.

Jackal
December 21, 2006, 01:02 AM
I have had very negative firearms purchasing experiences in Big 5. The problems were always faulty rifles, but those were "new" rifles and not mil surps. All of the surplus rifles that I have seen in Big 5 have been very poor condition at best. The one that stands out in my mind is the K31 that was literally rusted shut. It wasnt worth $10, let alone $120.

Antihero
December 21, 2006, 01:16 AM
You can edit the title by clicking Edit Post, and then clicking the square green button that says Go Advanced.


ah HA! thank you!

I have had very negative firearms purchasing experiences in Big 5. The problems were always faulty rifles, but those were "new" rifles and not mil surps. All of the surplus rifles that I have seen in Big 5 have been very poor condition at best. The one that stands out in my mind is the K31 that was literally rusted shut. It wasnt worth $10, let alone $120.

Thats discouraging, ive only looked at guns at Big 5 once and the salesman was busy with another customer in the surplus gun part of the rack.

I did get to look at a Norinco Coach gun and i wasnt impressed, it literally was nearly impossible to break it open:barf:

Ed Ames
December 21, 2006, 02:04 AM
Big 5 surplus rifles are typically imported by Century or other "standard" importers... but the quality, at least of what I've seen, is not good.

A few months ago they were advertising various Russian rifles (M44s, 91/30s, etc) for $69/ea around here. I went and looked at them. They looked like they had been dug up from a field. No finish on the stock, dirt in the cosmoline... really rough. I later ordered some $69 Russian rifles online (w/ my new C&R) and the mail order guns are so much nicer it is laughable... of course, they were re-arsenaled, but that's fine by me. And the non re-arsenaled rifle I bought looked better than any of the Big 5 guns I looked at too. For a total price of $80/ea ($69 +$10 shipping) there is no question which is the better deal.

The milsurps I've seen in standard gun stores tend to match the quality of the stuff I've ordered. I suspect Big 5 negotiates rock-bottom prices and gets rock-bottom quality as a result. If you know that's what you'll be getting (e.g. I bought a mossberg 500 from them a few months ago and am happy) it is fine.

Beetle Bailey
December 21, 2006, 02:29 AM
I rarely go into a Big 5 to look at milsurps since I have a C&R license and I agree with the posters who said the milsurps often look horrid. However, they do sometimes (maybe by accident? :rolleyes: ) get good examples of rifles. I once saw a gorgeous M91/30 Mosin Nagant that looked unissued and I almost bought it even though I had just gotten an M39 a week before. A friend got a pretty good Swiss K-31 at a Big 5, but he went to five different locations to find it.

And that's the problem. Most of them are gonna be pretty bad and it's probably not worth the effort to drive around to all the Big 5 locations looking for a needle in a haystack.

BamBam-31
December 21, 2006, 04:31 AM
Actually, Big 5's sale prices are pretty darn good (IIRC, the aforementioned K-31 was something like $80). As mentioned, however, you really have to look around to find one that's in decent shape.

The problem with buying milsurps online is, assuming you don't have a C&R, the transfer and DROS fees alone can almost double the price of what you're buying. A local shop here charges $80, and if you add in shipping, that's a cool bill right there. If you're saving more than $100, or if you're looking for something particularly rare, or if you found something that's just cherry, then maybe it's worth it. IMHO, a C&R is pretty much a must-have if you're going to buy online.

Gunshops aren't guarantees, either. I've seen some real dogs at shops, and the asking prices were outrageous, too. I'd say your best bet (short of getting a C&R) is to hit up your local gun shows with cash in hand. Selection is usually better both in terms of condition and variety. Just know that a gunshow "discount" usually means +10% for some strange reason. Bring cash, make a fair offer, and be prepared to walk away.

Go ahead and take a peek when you're in a Big 5. Doesn't hurt to look, and who knows? You might get lucky. Go to their website, too. Sometimes they have 10% off coupons that are even good on items currently on sale. I bought my Marlin 1894c from them that way (originally $400, on sale for $330, down to $300 w/ coupon, ended up being $350 OTD ;) ).

Good luck. :)

Ed Ames
December 21, 2006, 11:26 AM
the transfer and DROS fees alone can almost double the price of what you're buying. A local shop here charges $80

Yikes! At those prices, get the C&R at $30.00/3yr.

DnPRK
December 21, 2006, 11:31 AM
While Big5 prices are good, the quality of the surplus rifles they sell isn't. I've had to pick through dozens of rifles at several stores to find a rifle with matching numbers and a shootable bore. Most were mismatched or had sewer pipes for bores. Their rifles probably rate NRA fair or good. If you want very good or excellent, go to another retailer.

dm1333
December 21, 2006, 01:53 PM
I live in a pretty remote area with only 4 gun dealers within a 1.5 hour drive. Big 5 is one of the local dealers and the gun guys are ok, especially since I took the time to get to know them a little. Some of their guns are crap but I was able to pick through all of their Enfields a few years ago and find a really nice Savage No. 4. The wood is pretty nice and the bore is just about perfect. It shoots about 2.5 moa with surplus ammo. Two of the other dealers are so crappy I don't even bother with them any more. One of them did not want to have to order a gun because it would have taken him some time.

Antihero
December 22, 2006, 10:48 PM
So in my dazed Mosinitis state i went to some pawn shops today to look and fondle all available Mosin like objects. I saw a couple of bubbas that were just fugly and one way too nice 91/30. It had been lovingly reblued and the stock was in good shape. Of course the bore was terribly pitted, but thats ok i dont want no stinkin' fancy looking mosin, i want a dirty, unfinished but in good shooting shape mosin:D <starts mock bayonet charging trees:D

But then i got to Big 5 they had a mosin rifle and a 8mm mauser. I mentioned to the salesman,after waiting 10 minutes to be reconized as a person who is willing to give them money, that i was looking at some old surplus rifles. He hands me the 8mm and what do i see?

Rust, dirt and literally dripping cosmoline. So i though"hey what the heck i dont care about looks i can just refinish it myself" so i draw back the bolt.......

So i draw back the bolt..

so i DRAW BACK THE BOLT!!!:(

Seriously it felt as if i was trying to draw sandpaper across tar.:cuss:

So i hand back said Mauser and pry my hands off of stock(not because i wanted it, just because it was that sticky) and get my hands on the one Mosin 91/30 they have left in the store.

Surface rust everywhere and a very dark bore:cuss: Forget i ever said anything about a higher grade of surplus rifle at Big 5:o

I need to get my C&R......

MisterPX
December 22, 2006, 11:55 PM
We don't have Big5 out here, but the situation is the same. If the price is compatable to mail order, I'd rather be able to go look through and pick the best of 4-7 rifle, than get whatever shows up at the door.

Antihero, getting your C&R won't mean you get a better rifle. That beater you handled may be the type that shows up at your door.

Antihero
December 23, 2006, 01:30 AM
Antihero, getting your C&R won't mean you get a better rifle. That beater you handled may be the type that shows up at your door.

Oh i know, but at least ill have a better selection and the ability to pay a bit extra for hand picked or better condition.

Around here its Nagants and Enfields mostly,and i already have an ishapore 308 but id like to get my hands on a k-31 or a functioning mauser or....

BamBam-31
December 23, 2006, 02:27 AM
Gunshows, my friend. Gunshows. :)

Spiggy
December 23, 2006, 03:08 AM
a freind once told me, "Buying a gun from Big-5 is like buying gourmet cheese from a hobo"

c_yeager
December 23, 2006, 03:21 AM
a freind once told me, "Buying a gun from Big-5 is like buying gourmet cheese from a hobo"


I wonder what your friend would have said about buying gourmet cheese off the internet.

At least you get to sniff the Hobo's cheese before you buy it.












:D

Thin Black Line
December 23, 2006, 08:26 AM
A few months ago they were advertising various Russian rifles (M44s, 91/30s, etc) for $69/ea around here. I went and looked at them. They looked like they had been dug up from a field. No finish on the stock, dirt in the cosmoline... really rough.

They probably were dug up where they were dropped. Must've run out
of guys with a stripper clip of 5 rounds that day in WWII:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYEqP4_cZ5I

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