Purchasing a used firearm - what to look for


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RiveraRa
May 2, 2008, 02:37 PM
What should I look for when purchasing a used pistol? Shotgun? Rifle?

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larry_minn
May 2, 2008, 02:46 PM
That really is a open question. It also depends what kind of gun. I would be more picky on a Kimber then a Enfield.
Also some "wear" marks are normal in even hardly shot guns. I.E. many revolvers will have a "ring" around cylinder with little use.
The best is to have a friend who is familiar with THAT brand/model of gun. (or take it to a gunsmith $$$)
Look for cracks in stock,frame, barrel. (after checking that is is unloaded) look down barrel for bulges/damage. Run action by hand and feel for binding. Ask seller questions. It is amazing how often liars will trip up. Follow your gut and be ready to walk away.

strat81
May 2, 2008, 03:04 PM
Dried blood is a Bad Sign.

Fire it if you can. Ask local LE to run the serial for you.

jakemccoy
May 2, 2008, 05:09 PM
I look for used guns that still need to be broken-in. That's potentially like buying a used car that was just driven off the car dealership lot.

bigdaddydan
May 2, 2008, 05:09 PM
yeah I agree I would definitely try to fire one if you could or I would definitely go through all the firing motions and safety checks and go over it with a fine tooth comb check out every facet of the firearm :evil::evil::evil::D:D:D:D

RP88
May 2, 2008, 05:17 PM
always buy them via FTF through an FFL if buying from a non-FFL.

ask for a disassembly to check for rust, corosion, etc. Make sure the pieces and safety all work.,

if you get an inspection/return period or test firing session, then make sure to check for slamfires and other possible malfunctions.

Ghost Tracker
May 2, 2008, 05:22 PM
What should I look for when purchasing a used pistol? Shotgun? Rifle?

Pistol - Look for a SIG P210.
Shotgun - Parazzi or Souza Grade Ithaca.
Rifle - pre-'64 Safari Grade Winchester Model 70 or Krieghoff.

Or that's at least what I look for. :evil:

Furncliff
May 2, 2008, 06:30 PM
At first you need to look for a seller you trust, even if means paying a little more. And if not exactly trust, someone you can find after the purchase. After gaining experience with buying used guns you'll pick up the knowledge necessary to pick out the good from the bad. And you can always come here for specific info.

I know were-of I speak, I have made the mistakes.

klover
May 3, 2008, 01:28 AM
I look for a large difference in money savings over a new one listed on say Gun Broker.
Ask about or look for rust or corrosion pitting. Internal parts are weakened by rust (a real deal breaker for me). Lots of oil usually means a well preserved gun by someone who knows little about what they own. Guns need and want very little oil.
On Sigs, the smilleys on the barrel should not be below the surface although they will still shoot fine.
Check the revolver sticky on checking for a nice revolver.
On auto loaders, I look for slop on the slide sides, wear on the bullet ramp where rounds first leave the magazine, metal specks anywhere, and fractures or bulges. Put a finger on the barrel and wiggle it around, WITHOUT A CHAMBERED ROUND. Try to get new one for a comparison feel of tightness. Tightness varies by design differences as well as wear. Wiggle everything you can get your hands on to see if it is loose.
Firing auto loaders is a great idea to see if they will jamb, and fire it with full magazines on all the magazines offered with the gun. Ammo may have everything to do with jambs or fail to feed.
If it is a Sig, you are probably trouble free and accurate on all their popular models. Sig is why I trust auto loaders at all.
Use the search function on this great web forum.

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