Lemons ..... and lessons? And honesty.


October 19, 2003, 11:27 PM
I wonder ... have most of us gone this route in early days. I did! Just found this pic ..... my one and only real lemon.!


Bought this from a gun shop .... quite simply ..... ''wanted it'' but did not really check it out too well. Reason for wanting was that, at the time, it represented a good pocket size piece, even if a mouse. Remarkable thing was .... it felt great .. small revo but the grips felt great! I am not exaggerating.

It was (past tense!) a Charter Arms ''Pathfinder'' and i soon discovered that it would not D/A too well ... S/A, that was fine. Even trigger was smooth too. I stripped it and found a sorta ''fish shaped'' piece which I guess had too much wear ... made another out of gauge plate but .. never really got it reliable on D/A.

It went ... but that brings up another question ..

IF you DO get caught with a lemon .. do you sell it as a lemon .... or STFU!!?? I sold that as was ..... not perfect and the guy who took it on accepted that ... anyways I didn't ask much cash so .. reckon he did OK.

Are you honest with a lemon sale??

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October 19, 2003, 11:32 PM
IF you DO get caught with a lemon .. do you sell it as a lemon .... or STFU!!??

Like you, my pesky honesty gets in the way of profit-making. I am somehow less than upset with that, though.

October 19, 2003, 11:38 PM
Yeah....I tell em what is wrong with it.
Sleep better.


October 19, 2003, 11:51 PM

October 20, 2003, 12:05 AM
I have had a few guns that were lemons and I would not sell them to a private party at any price because I feel it is wrong. I will not screw my comrades like that.

I have been flat out cheated and lied to by a few of the gun dealers that are in my area and frequent the local gunshows. I am not talking about being gouged on an item or something like that, I am talking about illegal and down right dishonest dealings. I have sold a lemon or two to dealers that deserve it. I recently sold a 9mm semi-auto to a dealer at a local show that cheated my friend. He sold my friend some "Cor-Bon" .40S&W loads that turned out to be mixed reloads. When my friend tried to take them back, he was rude and refused. The box said "Cor-Bon" and he sold them as Cor-Bon with a high price to match. It was a blatent attempt to defraud and cheat and it worked. I waited until the next show and sold a gun that I would not have made much money on in the condition it was in.

I don't feel one bit guilty. Dealers like that deserve what they get.

October 20, 2003, 12:10 AM
Makarov - you raise one very good point. Sure .... if a dealer craps on you then .. IMO justice is needed......... and if that includes ''disposal'' of a lemon then so-be-it. Some are downright unscrupulous.

Maybe the only worry would be .. a poor sucker the dealer may palm it off to.!

Overall .. as Sam said ... it is very much down to being able to ''sleep nights'.

Also ... ''do unto others etc''. I am old enough to be ''old school'' ...... my word is my bond etc. I place high value on honesty and integrity --- and honor.

October 20, 2003, 12:12 AM
I've only really had one lemon and I sold it to a dealer at a gun show. I told him that I wasn't impressed with it's inability to get through a full mag at the range, and he said something to the effect "..it has to be broken in". As he was eager to take it off my hands, I took two bills for it and we were both happy.

Peter M. Eick
October 20, 2003, 07:43 AM
The only lemon I dumped was my stainless PPK/S that eat ejectors. At least when I sold it I put the last working ejector I had in it and told the dealer what was going on. As Tamara said. "Honesty gets in the way of profit-making".....

El Tejon
October 20, 2003, 07:47 AM
Dumping lemons? Isn't this the purpose of gun shows?:confused:

Old Fuff
October 20, 2003, 09:19 AM
I try to be careful when I buy something, but on two occasions I found myself with two “unfixable” lemons. My solution? I stripped them for spare parts. If I couldn’t figure out how to fix it, and the maker couldn’t either, I didn’t way anyone else too be stuck with the darn thing.

Gun Shows …. Yup, this is where people dump their “mistakes.” And as long as I can fix whatever it is, I buy them - if the price is right. At the shows I regularly frequent some dealers/exhibitors know this and sometimes they’ll come looking for me.

Ky Larry
October 20, 2003, 11:07 AM
I've only had two lemons. One was a S&W Model 29 6inch. It shot left even with the sights moved all the way over. The other was a TEC-9.(I still don't know why I bought it. Jam-o-matic P.O.S.) In both cases, my dealer took them back and gave me full credit. Honesty IS the best policy. It helps me sleep at night.

October 20, 2003, 11:16 AM
I had a S&W 629, 6" bbl .44 that had a real bad timing problem. I took it to a gunshow to see what I could get for it. I was forthright with the dealer about the problems and he made me an offer. As I was considering it, the guy that was standing next to me offered me $50 more than what the dealer was offering. I made sure he heard about the problems with the gun and that it was too unsafe to fire. He acknowledged the problems and said he knew a guy who could fix for him. After ensuring that the dealer had heard the entire converation so that I had a witness, I let him have it. I figured if he knew the problems and still wanted it, so be it. If his friend was able to fix it, he got a nice gun real cheap, IIRC he got it for $250.


October 20, 2003, 11:37 AM
Dumping lemons? Isn't this the purpose of gun shows? El T .. you serious?! Or was that tongue in cheek?

I know there are plenty of dealers at shows who are themselves way short of scrupulous sometimes but .... is this the right philosophy? Like I said earlier .... dump a lemon on a dealer even ... and then what? Some poor newbie maybe gets suckered into getting the same.

I admit ... if a specific dealer has screwed me before then I'd have little concern over returning the favor! ........ except for what I have just mentioned. Where does the lemon finish up?

Guess with me, it's case of - if I screwed up by accepting the lemon then ... pretty much I could be stuck with it .... not wanting to ruin anyone else's Cheerios!

As ever of course ..... ''caveat emptor'' .........

Bob F.
October 20, 2003, 11:48 AM
Yeah, being raised "old school" can be a PIA! But I'm trying to raise my kids the same way!
If ya' unload a lemon on an unscrupulos (don't look right-sp?) dealer, He'll still make a profit on it and just screw another victim.

October 20, 2003, 11:57 AM
The only lemon I dumped off was the Street Sweeper at a gunshow. Not to a dealer. I told the guy that I am not a gunsmith but that this piece while new isn't 100% right and should be gone through and proven before he staked his life on it...

As honest as I could be. He had Street Sweeperitis though so jumped on it.

4v50 Gary
October 20, 2003, 12:39 PM
In all my years, I've sold only one gun and given away others as gifts. Virtually all guns bought are kept.

Kentucky Rifle
October 20, 2003, 12:47 PM
I've only had a couple. I did sell a "not quite right" pistol to a real good friend and member of this very forum. However, I wouldn't accept his offer. I took about *half his offer plus a new holster. (He makes great holsters.:) ) He was completely aware of the pistol's short-comings. I was happy, he was happy--we BOTH slept well. I couldn't go to a gunshow and "dump" a lemon. I'd keep thinking, "What's going to happen to this guy if he ever NEEDS this gun to WORK"?
Just me.


October 20, 2003, 03:46 PM
I have only owned one real lemon. I sold it, but I also told the new owner about the problems I was having.

October 20, 2003, 04:31 PM
When I consider the trade in value I am offered for a pistol, and the way the gun dealer commando usually tries to belittle the value of a trade-in, I am no longer in the least ashamed of not revealing a problem.

I recall a PPK/S that I traded in on a deal I wanted. I had installed sambar stag grips, and still had the originals, as well as the case. The pistol was less than a year old, with under 500 rounds. I had radiused the slide to remove the Walther bite. I wanted a Gold Cup for sale in the case though, and my wife had a problem chambering a round in the PPK. My trade in value was $350. I traded it in. A week later I noticed the shop owner's wife carrying it in a holster on her hip. I'm not bitter, I like my Gold Cup, and would still have traded in the PPK, it just did not suit my needs. After that though, I just lost any feelings of needing to reveal a defect to that particular dealer. He certainly finds enough on his own with anything that is traded to him. I'm attaching a pic of that little PPK/S. My Gold Cup, which the dealer swore shot beautifully, pinged me on the head with 80% of the ejected brass before I replaced the ejector. He failed to mention that although he "routinely shoots everything he sells to establish reliability". I guess it did shoot beautifully like he claimed, if you could dodge the brass. One Nowlin ejector and a bit of work and all was well in Gold Cupville though.

I have had other dealers swear that a pistol was NIB, with me knowing my buddy traded it in the week before. One swore to the previous owner the pistol was NIB!

With a private sale, I will tell all. I will let the buyer shoot the pistol if he buys ammo. I strongly advise the buyer to shoot it. I get him in the range with one of my range passes. Shooting a pistol often clinches the deal. With a dealer, he is in the business of making a profit off me coming and going, and I think he should know enough about guns to figure it out for himself. Chances are, he will not tell the next buyer anyway.

I'm not one of these guys who refuses to sell a marginally reliable handgun because some schmuck may get killed when it fails. I establish reliability in my carry pieces with my carry ammo myself, as should all people who pack a weapon. If joe Schmo does not and he gets shot when his Jennings jams, then I can simply say he should have. It's kind of like trying to throw a karate kick you saw on TV instead of running. He should have learned.

FWIW, I have not owned a pistol that I could truely consider a lemon, although I have owned several that I had to replace a couple of parts on to get to function reliably. I research on the net pretty heavily before I buy. I advise others to research the track record of a given pistol prior to purchase just as I do. If I never buy a lemon, I will never have to sell one.

Flame away!

Edited to add that there is one dealer whom I deal with that I tell all to. He owns the gunshop/indoor range I shoot at. He tells me all on a prospective buy, (except how much he gave of course) and will let me shoot a used pistol that is for sale. He's straight up with me, I'm straight up with him.

Navy joe
October 20, 2003, 04:40 PM
I dumped one lemon, it was my cosmic justice against a pawn shop that I've gotten a couple of good deals out of but in general has ludicrous prices and several asinine staff when the owner isn't there. Charles Daly 1911, bought it new, fired 6K rounds over six months, sold it to the shop for 100 bucks. Best deal I ever made. It still safely goes bang, just had an occasional go into battery problem, the ambi safety only functions on the main side of the safety and the barrel bushing is cracked right down the front. I forgot about this gun. Three years pass and I walk in one day and there it is in the case. True to this shop's form it's priced at 495 which is incidentally a little more than when it was new.

Other than that I buy quality guns so when they act up I like to fix them, helps me learn my gun plumbing skills and satisfies some of my mechanical urges.

If I sold one face to face all problems however minor are revealed and price can be adjusted accordingly.

October 20, 2003, 06:17 PM
I did feel bad about someone buying my lemon after I sold it to the crooked dealer but then I thought, the dealer will have to take it back once the guy sees that it is broken and he will be out of money. That is my hope anyway. I would never want to hurt my fellow man but some dealers aren't quite human so there is no harm in hurting them.:D

I would never buy from a known thief/scumbag dealer but I sure would sell something I wanted to unload to him. Someone brought up a valid point, if you do reveal the defects to a crooked dealer, he probably won't tell the next guy he sells it to anyway. He will just give you less for your honesty.:banghead:

I buy mostly from two local dealers and I trust them but I have been to all the dealers in my area and some are blatent criminals. I know the buyer should beware and all that but it is hard to protect yourself against flat out lying and cheating. Most people are not used to so called bussiness men acting this way. It seems only in the gun world is this type of behavior tolerated. If a used car salesman pulled some of the stuff that I have seen pulled by gun dealers, he would be sued. Why is it the norm to expect to get taken by certain gun dealers? There are plenty of good dealers but there are also plenty of bad ones and the bad ones seem to get away with murder!:fire:

October 20, 2003, 07:26 PM
I've sold some lemons. I just tell the person what its doing wrong, give them a good price. If they buy it they have been warned of the problem and I feel better. I couldn't ever sell a gun meant for self defence and not tell someone it had a problem. That would be like selling a car with bad brakes and not telling someone. I can't gamble with someones life like that. But I will never keep a gun that won't work the way its should. I'll let someone else take up that challenge.

Standing Wolf
October 20, 2003, 09:03 PM
IF you DO get caught with a lemon .. do you sell it as a lemon .... or STFU!!??

I discovered at a fairly early age honesty leads to far fewer complications than dishonesty. It doesn't always seem convenient at any given moment, but it's always less inconvenient over the long term.

October 20, 2003, 09:12 PM
I'm up front with people.
Life's too short.
Make friends, not enemies.

October 20, 2003, 09:17 PM
Standing Wolf, Agree.

When I hastened the wear on my BullDog, with help from my gunsmith, and "warm' loads we were honest. A mutual friend wanted a desk gun to hide in his business, he fired 5 rounds, and probably still in the desk and not shot since '80 (?), but it fills a niche, just what he wanted.

Estate sale , 2 C notes nice LNIB WM 870, LNIB model 36 ( obviously years ago) I also got a RG 38 and Davis, and bunches of ammo. RG was disabled and spray painted orange for a training tool. Davis ended up encased in Lucite as a shadow box pc.

I figure it all comes out in the wash...that Karma thing.

October 20, 2003, 10:26 PM
funny thing is that i had a .22lr pathfinder 3" just like that and it was the best little revolver i ever owned. sold it to buy something else. damn.

i have a bulgie arsenal mak for trade in virginia for a pathfinder .22lr 3"!!

let me know, im serious.

October 20, 2003, 10:43 PM
I'll tell ya what jerry ... if I found another and it was halfways decent - I too would snap it up ... leaving aside the malfunction aspect of that one I had ...... I truly LOVED the feel and handling ...... just felt ''good''!:)

Didn't actually shoot too bad either ... well, S/A!:p

October 21, 2003, 12:01 AM
I've never owned any lemons (knock wood) but if I sold one I'd have to be honest with the buyer about it ... even if the buyer was a crooked dealer.

I couldn't be happy about myself if I picked up the paper and read a story about somebody harmed or killed by a criminal because their home defense gun didn't function properly ... even if it wasn't the gun I sold it would bother me.

And it would give the antis one more stat in their "guns don't save lives" column.

October 21, 2003, 09:49 PM
Like Granny always said, "when life hands you a lemon - make lemonade".
Fix it ...or sell it to someone who can...or someone who doesn't care. One man's lemon at $200 might be another man's bargain at $100.

October 21, 2003, 10:05 PM
Like you, my pesky honesty gets in the way of profit-making. I am somehow less than upset with that, though.

Thats truly honorable especially for someone who works in a gun shop. Gun store salesmen and women can be like used car salesmen.

October 21, 2003, 10:25 PM
My lemon was a EAA Witness 40S&W. That had to be the worst handgun that I have ever owned. Jam after Jam.

October 22, 2003, 10:45 AM
In the honesty dept., after being a salesman of the old school way, for over a decade...I wont lie. Hell, I honestly love the ones who do..at first they seem great, but after they get caught in the act a few times, those of us who dont...reap the rewards. Simple.

As far as a lemon, the only REAL LEMON Ive had was an Accutek..after multiple times of being rebuilt by the OEM...they refunded my money...plus the shipping I spent getting it to them to be fixed, all three times.

In dealings with other people...Im always honest. In regards to guns...to much to risk by not being responsible. If its had any problems that were not fixed correctly or what have you...they know about it and make it worth their time to buy the damn thing.

Shoot well.

October 23, 2003, 10:44 PM
Only had one lemon that I couldn’t fix or get fixed. A High Standard Trophy that would shoot 10 into 2” at 50 yards but wouldn’t go 25 rounds between malfunctions. Multiple types of malfunctions.
Traded it to a guy for a S&W kit gun. I told him of the problems, but he was jones’n for the gun so bad that he didn’t care. He never got it fixed, he just put up with it.

George Hill
October 24, 2003, 12:42 AM
I traded off an AR-15 once...

Before we closed the deal I said "You know, this IS an AR-15, right? You sure you want to trade?"
He did...



October 24, 2003, 06:24 AM
I believe in the Golden Rule, and I don"t mean the guy with the gold rules.

October 24, 2003, 07:40 AM
It is not worth any small reward to basically sink your reputation.

When my P9 turned out to be a lemon....I immediately asked for a replacement weapon.

So I could sell it N.I.B.......with no concerns.

Otherwise I would have marketed it as a P-9 that is great for malfunction drills!

lee n. field
October 24, 2003, 12:07 PM
Two lemons. Jennings j-22 (need I say more?), once I had safely upgraded myself to somthing else, I gave it to a buddy to do with as he would.

FIE .38 derringer with Bianchi leather holster. Gun shop gave me $30 credit for it, I got a holster and some ammo.

October 24, 2003, 02:01 PM
I almost claimed a halo, based on the meticulous job I did of telling a buyer about the sticky extraction on a M940 (which he bought anyway), until I remembered about the Contender. It was a spur of the moment thing, and I (shamefully) didn't point out that when the prospective buyer (a dealer) dry-fired it, he launched a part out of the hammer and across the floor.

October 24, 2003, 05:23 PM
I've only had 4 guns I would consider lemons.

An RG 66 SA that hangs on my wall in a cowboy holster that hasn't made it around my waist in many a year. It can't hit nothing with normal ammo, but the wife used it on a few buzz worms with CCI shotshells.

A Charter Arms Explorer pistol which I think is still in a storage closet in Arizona. Traded a perfectly good little Pheonix HP22 for it, worst trade of my life. Thing never met an ammo it liked, or a target it could hit.

S&W Sigma 380, don't even ask about all of it's problems. Sold it to a guy after the 12th time he begged me for it. Took 50 bucks for it, would have taken a can of soup and half a sandwich and considered it a good trade.

And then, not a pistol but still a lemon, A New England Handi-rifle in .223. Never could get groups smaller than around 3MOA. Sold it to a fella who said that was just fine, he just needed something to get rid of the dogs that were chasing his cattle thru fences but managing to stay out of the range of his shotgun. Got $100 for it and a scope, I was happy, he was happy, and last time I checked with him, cows were happy.

October 24, 2003, 05:27 PM
would have taken a can of soup and half a sandwich and considered it a good trade. Sheesh!!! THAT BAD!!!!

http://www.bedford.net/design/images/smilies/lol.gif http://www.bedford.net/design/images/smilies/lol.gif

October 24, 2003, 05:47 PM
"Sheesh!!! THAT BAD!!!! "

You don't know the half of it. For the most part I don't talk bad about guns. I have had great luck with guns that other people hate, grendels, pheonix, Mitchells (oh please let my luck hold when I get my new Mitchell), and I've had rotten luck with some guns that people love, Bersa for instance. But I'll trash mouth the Sigma 380's any chance I get.:cuss: Inaccurate first shot, slow follow ups due to almost continual FTF's, the worst mag design ever put on a gun. Would have used it as a paper weight, but paper's too valuable. Could have used it as a jugline weight, but would have gotten a fine for water pollution. Might have been a good suicide weapon for those who aren't really that committed.

October 24, 2003, 06:11 PM
Thx for the added metaphors Okie .... LOL :D ...... needed something to lighten an otherwise rather evil day!!

October 27, 2003, 08:04 PM
Okie!!! You had an Explorer II pistol too!!! So there were TWO of them!!! I thought I had bought the only one. I think I traded mine for a bottle of cheap whiskey, and then broke the bottle.

October 27, 2003, 10:25 PM
ive been cheated alot.put a rifle on layaway,went back,the dealer sold the scope off it then wanted the same price.bought new guns that were absolute junk.tried to return them and the dealer wouldnt help,he gave me the distributers number instead who gave me the runaround.i try to get my money back but usually told.."you fired it so now its used,cant give you that now ..besides,ill have to send it away to be fixed..."so he just made another 75 bucks off me just so i can be rid of it.:fire:

October 27, 2003, 10:28 PM
I was honest enough not to file the AMT off the slide. Since I sold it to a gun dealer, he should have known whether he would have a future sale.

October 28, 2003, 04:06 PM
"Okie!!! You had an Explorer II pistol too!!! So there were TWO of them!!! I thought I had bought the only one. I think I traded mine for a bottle of cheap whiskey, and then broke the bottle."

Yep, there's at least two. I've wanted one since I was just a little fella. Kinda a poor man's broomhandle mauser I always thought. I've run into a few more since then and they all seem to have the same problem with accuracy and jamming. I think it has something to do with the barrel/reciever lockup. I've seen more than a couple that even when the lug is cranked down, still have a little wiggle to their waggle. Kinda puzzling because my cousin has an old AR-7 rifle that can put most 10-22's to shame. I think mine will eventually become a shadowbox.

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