buying from pawn vs. buying from gun shops vs. buying online


January 19, 2008, 03:36 PM
So, I was out looking today for a good WASR-10 in my local gunshops, and was quite apalled at the prices: $450 on average for WASRs, and $600 for yugo underfolders. SKSs were $230. Pawn shops did not carry anything outside of shotguns and hunting rifles (and told me that what I was looking for comes in once in a blue moon).

However, I've heard people talking about WASRs averaging at $300-350 when they come across them online. I was happy to get out there until I saw the overpricing, so I figured it would be good to ask the good guys at THR for some advice.

My main question is: What price range should I expect for a WASR-10 AK? Also, when buying online, what should I expect in shipping time, quality of product, etc.? Anything else useful I also need to know?

If you enjoyed reading about "buying from pawn vs. buying from gun shops vs. buying online" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 19, 2008, 03:42 PM
i tend to stay away from gun or pawn shops.keep a check on your local iwanna etc i've ran across some great deals there.try and not lett your wants get the best of you if you do you'll pay full price every time

January 19, 2008, 04:55 PM
$325 is about the price that i would pay for a wasr. i did get my mak 90 for $350 though so that might have something to do with it. you are gonna pay more for the yugo's but they are well worth the money not just becasue they are underfolders either. in my opinon they are the best ak's out there for the money, and the best all around, of course not counting american made custom jobs like krebs, but thats another story.

i have and do buy from gun shops mostly, have bought from pawn shops but they were more like gun shops because the have and sell more guns than anything else. i have no problem buying from pawn shops if the price is right.

buying on line, you should get what you order pretty quickly as long as the seller does his part and gets it sent out quickly and dosen't beat around the bush. but you have to have an ffl that will accept the gun, then expect to pay a $20 minimum transer fee, as well as shipping on the firearm. yes prices on line are good, but you have to facor in shipping and the transfer fee, which for me the local shop price is about $25-$50 more than the online sales places, so i keep my business with the loacl small business owner. plus in a gun shop/pawn shop you can see what you are buying and fonde it before you pay for it.

January 19, 2008, 05:28 PM
I go anywhere and everywhere that sells guns. Pawn shops are very hit and miss. They also tend to be the worst pricing - until you find one that actually has a couple gun guys.

If you are looking for something rule is one know what you are looking for. All details, specs and possible variants. Rule 2 is know what fair market value is before you go in the store. If you think you can get it cheaper on Gunbroker, get it on Gunbroker.

Rule 3 is like a car or house, never ever fall in love with THAT gun until after it is yours. Rule 4 be prepared to fall into an occasional deal. I found a Weatherby that was as far as I could tell brand new on a gunshop rifle rack last year for $350 OTD, including scope rings. Why I ask the salesman? Because the guy couldn't handle the recoil, was his response. What that had to do with selling it so cheap is beyond me, but you better believe I jumped all over it.

Last rule is trust your gut. If you think something just ain't right... something you can't put your finger on, but something ain't right... listen to it and pass until you can do some research. Then come back and get it. If it's gone - hey... we have ALL done that. Better to lose one that get stuck with one you can't now get rid of without a loss.

January 19, 2008, 05:32 PM
I work on building a relationship with 3 local gun stores and try to buy 80% of my stuff from them. My rational is i want them to stay in business. That being said I do play with gun shows, from time to time.

January 19, 2008, 06:14 PM
Theres an FFLee up a few miles from me who only charges 30 bucks (25 transfer - 5 for NCIS check), so getting it shipped to the right place is not a problem.

Another thing that bothers me is that I'm mainly looking for a WASR (unless I find a very good deal on a M70b1 Yugo type that is worth the extra 120+ bucks), and we've all heard people griping about WASRs either for cosmetic or performance reasons. I can always swap out grips and stocks and refinish it to make it look glammed up, but all I'm concerned about is accuracy; as long as I can hit the target from at least 200 yards then I'm fine with a WASR, unless having one decreases my manhood in the faces of the other shooters around me

January 19, 2008, 06:17 PM
What in the heck is a WASR?

January 19, 2008, 06:21 PM
the Romanian AK-47 variant, WASR-10.

also, there are only three actual gun-dealerships around me, one being a pawn-and-gun. I live in Virginia Beach, and am only 15 minutes from Norfolk, so I may go looking out in that direction soon because of my luck.

January 19, 2008, 06:25 PM
as long as I can hit the target from at least 200 yards then I'm fine with a WASR

Are you sure you want a WASR then? I have one, and I really like it, but it is not a 200yd rifle in my book, at least with my skills. I can hold 1/2 pie plate accuracy, maybe a little better at 100 yds. At 50, it is tin can accurate. I haven't shot it at 200, but I have a feeling I would not hit a thing with it at that distance judging from my 100yd groups.

I saw them new at the funshow today for $350. I bought mine online from AIM a year or so ago when they were $319, paid $13 shipping, and $25 ffl transfer fee. AIM doesn't have them anymore, but you should be able to find them online for around that price and have it shipped to your FFL. Good luck.

January 19, 2008, 06:32 PM
i've had very good luck with pawn shops, most of my best guns came from them. it may be 6 months to a year between good deals but they are there & most of the people working in them have no idea what they are selling or how to price it.

Bazooka Joe71
January 19, 2008, 06:46 PM
Aimsurplus has yugo underfolders ( for $430.00.

January 19, 2008, 06:47 PM
you should have no problem hitting a shillouete target at 200 yds, my mak and the yugo that i shoot can do it.

January 19, 2008, 07:55 PM
In addition to these sources... I like to hit up the local estate auctions. Depending upon how knowledgable the bidders are, you can sometimes find a jewel for cheap.

Or if you are mechanically inclined, you can buy the rusty old guns that have been in a closet for half a century at a discount... since most bidders would see no value in them.

January 19, 2008, 08:47 PM
I live right next door to a pawn shop and regularly find great deals there.

Picked up a great Winchester 97 for a little over $300... they regularly have WASR-10's for $300-325 (with the bayonet lug/slant break), M44's are $59.99 regardless of condition, 91/30's are $79.99 regardless of condition (these range from poor to excellent, just whatever they get in... right now there are 3 ex-snipers with refinished wood stocks and straight bolts over there in this bunch), and the best part? Ammo prices! $3.50 a box for Wolf 7.62x39, $4 per pack of 20 7.62x54R, and pretty much everything else is dirt cheap, too.

There are about 3 gun stores around here, all of them about equal in terms of price. The one I frequent most charges a flat $20 fee for transfers. If I need something ordered, I pay cost of what I want, shipping, tax, and a $20 transfer fee. That's it.

January 19, 2008, 09:20 PM
I think aimsurplus has my full attention now. Those are easily the best prices I've seen thus far on anything what I'm looking for. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction, BazJoe.

Also, those ammo prices are just plain awesome

January 19, 2008, 11:50 PM
I love pawn shops, mostly common junk, and mostly overpriced, but occasionally they will have something they don't know about, and it will be underpriced, and that is the one to buy. Once bought a marlin 3030 for 39 bucks, they thought it had a trigger prob. Once bought a british 303 mk 4, with a locked trigger for 75 bucks, figured out how to unlock it with the safety. once bought a 8mm mauser carbine for 70 bucks, they thought the bolt was coming apart.

January 20, 2008, 01:48 AM
In addition to these sources... I like to hit up the local estate auctions. Depending upon how knowledgable the bidders are, you can sometimes find a jewel for cheap.

How do you find out about local estate auctions?

January 20, 2008, 02:12 AM
The best local gun shop I've found is a pawn shop - nice selection, reasonable prices, good people behind the counter.

When it comes to buying online remember that you'll need an FFL to accept the item and do the transfer - and they can charge whatever they like for the service.

January 20, 2008, 08:39 AM
I've bought mostly from online sales or auctions, once from a gunshow, and never from a gunshop or pawn shop.

January 20, 2008, 09:01 AM
I FFL through a local pawn shop. They claim their prices depend on consignment. I got a very cool Marlin 60 from them. The beater stovepaint-finished Model 60 cost $10 more. :confused: They said it was the consignment...

They had a WASR w/a bunch of stuff incl. mags for $500. The mag well was all wallowed out.

$430 for a Yugo underfolder? Those things are nice. With transfer & shipping that's still a good price.

January 20, 2008, 09:03 AM

January 20, 2008, 09:11 AM
I was just informed of Bud's gun shop last night. He really does have excellent prices, my next pistol will probably be from his shop.


January 20, 2008, 10:00 AM
I purchased my wasr from classic arms.The rifle came to $390 after shipping and transfer fees.

January 20, 2008, 01:00 PM
When buying a WASR, you want to be certain the sight isn't canted and that the trigger is tight. Personally, I'd like to look over a WASR before spending my money. I guess my situation is slightly different as my shop has the high cap WASR 10s are $389.

January 20, 2008, 03:57 PM
so yea, figure in shipping/transfer fee, ship time, and the possibility of getting something that isnt up to spec, I can see how gun shops get away with selling a WASR for 450 bucks. I'm thinking about just keep saving up for a Yugo of some sorts, underfolder or whatever, now.

I figured that I can walk out with an inspected sure-thing WASR for $480 from my gun shop, or pay $400 and hope that I get a good one in 2 weeks. Or pay $475 for a Yugo online, or fork over $650 for one at the gun shop. The way I look at it, an aim Yugo is better. Better quality for the same price as a gun shop WASR for me.

another thing to ask: what about gun shows? What could I look for there? Richmond is only a two-hour drive from me, and I go up there frequently to visit friends attending VCU up there.

January 21, 2008, 04:50 PM
It seems to me that Century is the current importer of WASR-10s, so you might as well buy from them directly. They list several variants. You will need a friend with an 01 FFL and an internet connection. You can look up registered dealers from Century's website and give them a call to see who wants your business.

January 21, 2008, 05:05 PM
How do you find out about local estate auctions?

Back when I used to go to autions, I would see listings for them in the Trader publications or the local newspaper. Usually the ad will state the larger items being sold, such as any guns. The only problem with most of these auctions is that most peoples "estates" only have a couple guns, if any, and it can be a lot of wasted time if you get there and the are not what you want or they end up being sold to someone else.... but sometimes the work really pays off...

Oh yeah, there are some online sites for auction listings now, but I have never tried them. I think a google would bring up some answers though.

January 21, 2008, 06:06 PM
I cruise the pawn shops on occasion. There is no way that they can always get top dollar on everything, especially some of the older mulsurps. It pays to keep an eye on em.

If you enjoyed reading about "buying from pawn vs. buying from gun shops vs. buying online" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!