How can i tell if my gun I bought was actually used?


desert gator
March 20, 2009, 09:47 PM
I bought my first gun, a walther pps. I was under the impression that it was a new gun but some things have caused me to question this.
1. There is slight wear on the finish of the barrel in one spot
2. The case it came in was broken where the plastic acts as a hinge for the two sides
3. The registration card it came with had what looked like a dirt smudge
4. It was inspected in March of 2008, one years seems like a long time for it to go from the inspection to the gun shop I bought it at?

How can I tell if this gun was used? Do gun shops sometimes sell used guns as new? If I am not the first owner do I still have a warranty on the gun?

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chris in va
March 20, 2009, 09:49 PM
Look down the barrel. If it's all shiny and clean, probably NIB. Sometimes guns sit around in a warehouse for a while before heading out to the gun stores.

desert gator
March 20, 2009, 09:52 PM
yes very clean and shiny down the barrel

March 20, 2009, 10:02 PM
Look at the breach face closely.

desert gator
March 20, 2009, 10:15 PM
sorry jeepmor I dont know what the breach face is. Ill google it and come back

Yo Mama
March 20, 2009, 10:24 PM
Really, they are all used! Most companies fire a round before you get it for legal purposes.

March 20, 2009, 10:28 PM
Really, they are all used! Most companies fire a round before you get it for legal purposes.

Unfortunately, this makes it sometimes tough to tell if what you're buying is really NIB or not.

What would be nice is if they cleaned it afterwards - or do they?

Yo Mama
March 20, 2009, 10:39 PM
What would be nice is if they cleaned it afterwards - or do they?

I've never had them do me the favor :D Wish they did!

March 20, 2009, 11:58 PM
Like most machines, a factory will quality test. It's possible it sat some where for a while -- you know, as long as you got a good deal -- just enjoy it!

desert gator
March 21, 2009, 02:34 PM
Thanks for the replies guys, I love the gun and it works great. I was just concerned about it possibly being used because the guy told me it was new, if he was not honest I will not give them anymore business. (Unless its a killer deal:))

2nd 41
March 21, 2009, 04:50 PM
I bought a Gold Cup Trophy from Cabelas. There are 2 small abnormal nicks on the frame rail and some light scratches on the stainless slide. I wondered if it was a NIB also. Must be something wrong with us. We expect a perfect finish with no noticeable flaws on new purchases.

March 21, 2009, 05:02 PM
A 1 year old gun still in inventory is not unusual at all. It depends on where it was purchased. Bigger buyers such as Walmart buy guns by the truck load and they may sit for years before they sell all of them.

Several years ago when the K-Marts in California stopped selling guns they sent their inventory to K-marts in other parts of the country. I picked up a "new", 10 year old Marlin 336 with walnut stock. It still had the 10 year old price tag on it. It was $20 less than the new birch stocked version setting in the case beside it.

March 21, 2009, 05:22 PM
Remember: manufacturer to shipper to importer to distributor to store to you. A year is not really all that long.

The smudge on the card was probably caused by someone with dirty hands handling it.

Plastic case - plastic breaks.

March 21, 2009, 05:26 PM
Nothing that you mention, even all together, would lead me to suspect that the gun was fired by a previous owner.


March 21, 2009, 05:55 PM
Look at the breach face closely.


Breech face is the best indicator that I know of, and is easily accessed.


March 21, 2009, 10:40 PM
sorry jeepmor I dont know what the breach face is. Ill google it and come back

If you can see where the firing pin comes out of the slide to strike the primer you're looking at the breech face.

desert gator
March 21, 2009, 10:45 PM
Yes looked at breach face and I can definently see the outline of where the bullet sits

Guns and more
March 21, 2009, 11:23 PM
Used to you means that the gun was fired.
Used to a dealer may mean the gun was never sold and transfered.
It may have sat in his showcase for a year and been handled thousands of times, or taken to gun shows every week. It's still new.
I thought all guns are fired once at the factory, most include the casing.
After that, if you're happy with the gun, keep it and move on.

March 23, 2009, 12:34 AM
If you've taken it to the range and shot it, it's used.

It sounds like you need to take it to the range and shoot it! That way you'll know for sure.

There's not enough difference in price between a new and a like-new used gun to be worrying now about whether you were ripped off. If the bill of sale says you bought a new gun then you have the warranty.

March 23, 2009, 12:05 PM
If the seller says it's new, then it's new? No seller would ever misrepresent or ask an unreasonable price.:cool:

March 23, 2009, 01:38 PM
The PPS is made in Germany and Walther does not have that great a distribution network in the USA, nor is it as in-demand as more 'famous' firearms as Glock, S&W, etc. It could easily take one year from manufacture/proofing, shipping, warehousing, distribution, final sales.

If you "love" the gun and can't tell whether new or not, why should it bother you?

Ala Dan
March 23, 2009, 03:32 PM
As my friend chris in va has pointed out, once a handgun is completed on the
assembly line, it does not mean that it is shipped to a distributor the very
next day. They process orders as they come in; often times sitting in factories
of origin for weeks (maybe months), before heading to their next destination.
Then, upon arrival at the distributor they are logged into the warehouse
[federal tracking system]; where they may again sit for awhile. Finally,
when a dealer places an order for that particular make and model; these
weapons are pulled from inventory and shipped too your local FFL.

On its travels, things can happen~! I would be willing too bet that all en-
route firearms are not treated equally~! Handguns are boxed into much
larger cardboard boxes with NO identifying marks on the outside; before
being loaded onto FedEx or UPS trucks that will make its way to shipping
and receiving. There it again will be processed for shipment, and most
likely overnighted to the receiving FFL dealer. All along the way, the
federal tracking number is used for each firearm; in case of theft-fire
or what have you.

As a footnote, I would bet that a dockworker late in his shift on a Friday
afternnon, is not going too take the greatest of care when handling these
shipments~! :eek: :uhoh: :(

PS: Also, only buy from reputable FFL dealers~! Last week, I sold a Stoeger
Cougar .40S&W NIB to a customer, only too find out upon closer examination
that one on the case hinges was broken off in shipment. I ask the gentleman
if he wanted me to knock $5.00 off the sale price, or give him a new Dosko
Sports hard case~? He opted for the hard case, and everybody left happy.

This helps elimate almost all of the problems associated with shipping.

March 23, 2009, 04:08 PM
Don't forget all the people who may have looked at it during the year before you bought it.

Taurus manuals says that every gun is fired before it leaves the factory (and left dirty! :banghead:)

With the barrel being clean, I would be suspicious! :uhoh:

March 23, 2009, 05:24 PM
take the gun apart and see, but if you shot it already, then it could be your use.

I clean my guns after every time to the range. lol, call me anal.

It could of really been sitting on the shelves for a while, or box cracked during transport.

If it shoots fine, and you didnt overpay, be happy and go enjoy it.

Rod m1
March 23, 2009, 07:56 PM
It could have been a display gun.

March 23, 2009, 08:03 PM
I clean my guns after every time to the range. lol, call me anal.

OK, you're anal. :D

March 23, 2009, 08:36 PM
you can check the grease on the rear of the slide if it is copper colored and the barrel is clean the gun was probably NIB

March 25, 2009, 01:05 AM
Once I was looking at a Remington 870 Wingmaster shotgun at a local sporting goods store (not a chain store). The guy checked the inventory book, and the gun had been in stock for six years! (It was a 28-gauge, which might be why it hadn't sold.) A lot of moving, bumping, smudging, etc. can happen in six years.

Sometimes, used guns that were purchased new-in-box and kept pristine by really "anal" owners are in better condition than "new" guns that were on display in busy gun shops. If you're having a hard time telling if your gun is "new," it probably is. No dings, dents, rust spots (all of which I've seen on "new" guns)? Congratulations: you've got yourself a new gun.

March 25, 2009, 01:08 AM
take the gun down to slide and frame... often you can see a difference in that new guns have the factory lube which is usually thicker than your typical oil, if this is gone, it means someone used it, cleaned it well, and tried to pass it off as new... not sure about the pps, but you can easily tell with a Glock and well as many others...

March 25, 2009, 06:38 AM
I have had some guns in inventory fo up to 2 years. Any time I handle the gun or give it to a customer I check to see if it is clear. So it will have been cycled a hundred times or so. Some barrels will show wear marks. The best way is to check for the grease on the slide rails, Breech , remembering that it has been test fired, and shiny barrel.

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