Rules of thumb for buying rifles


November 16, 2009, 09:48 PM
I was just looking at a thread by a fellow thinking of buying a particular gun, and I thought "you shake it, it makes noise...therefore, it is junk."

There's a huge spectrum of what motivates people to buy, or not buy, a rifle...what general indicators (besides the grossly obvious) do you go by?

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November 16, 2009, 10:02 PM
I work the action several times and really try and feel any resistance. How loud is the safety. How well does the gun come to the shoulder. Overall looks of the gun. I always ask but I won't buy a gun that I can't try the trigger on. I bought a remmy 700 CDL .260 not long ago. I asked if the would remove the trigger lock so I could try the bang switch. I was told no it was agaist their policy. Well I bought the rifle and wished I never had. I got it at a great price but the trigger required a team of oxen and a couple pack horses to set off. So the rifle I thought was a good deal cost me $300 for a new trigger to make it shootable. Never again.:banghead:

November 16, 2009, 10:58 PM
#1. Make sure it doesn't have a big R on it anywhere.

#2. I shoulder it and see where my eye is. It has to fit, just like a shotgun. If my eye isn't looking where the scope would be, I'm not interested.

#3. For bolt guns: does it have a bolt lock? If not, I'm not interested.

#4. Is it in the stock straight (look at the barrel). This tells you a little about how much care went into it.

#5. How does the action feel? (Same reason as #4).

#6. How does the trigger feel? (See previous poster.)

I'm sure there are others.:)

November 16, 2009, 11:11 PM
ArmedBears comment about Remingtom made me really think. I used to bleed Remington Green, but after a Model 7 300SA Ultra that was an ABSOLUTE ABORTION :cuss::fire::banghead: I have really steered clear of Big R. My Model 7 had a gouge in the chamber, the bolt barely closed and the plastic stock was warped. After returning to Big R they did nothing but polish the gouge in the chamber and the ammo only dented in a little less,:fire: Needless to say I quickly turned it into a Kimber 8400 in 300 WSM and I never regretted doing it. I bought a 300 LA Ultra when they first came out but after that the quality control on R guns just went to H##L:evil:, was it Cerebus taking over? I love my OLD Model 7's but I think for what R wants for their guns now $700-900 bucks, I will pay a little more and get a Kimber that I know has been put together a whole lot better. My 2 cents.

November 16, 2009, 11:59 PM
Usually I always carry in my car a borelight, a magnifying glass and few tools, just in case i come across an interesting buy.

Things I look for:

- Rifling and crown (obvious)

- Any loose piece of furniture, parts, etc... other than normal wiggle and rattle in some type of action (pumps for example)

- I try to take it apart as much as I can, if the owner refuses, I walk away.

- I hate missing parts, even the most insignificant non crucial ones (for example, iron sights if there is a scope), it is a pet peeve of mine

- The stock has to fit me right

- Straight barrels/stock, canted sights.

- How smooth is the action...any impediments??

- Deep rust...I do not care for the occasional surface spot, scratches/fading in the bluing, dings/scratches in the wood...if the price is right.

- Look for even the tiniest cracks (both metal and wood)

- Any misalignment or forced match of stock with the action and barrel (for example poorly sporterized military rifles or milsurps put together from cannibalized parts) and I walk away....if is a milsurp, I want matching numbers at least of the most crucial parts (for example receiver and bolt)

- With a screwdriver, I try to verify if there are stripped screws (in particular stock and butt plate/recoil pad) happened more than once that I unscrew the butt plate/pad and the screws were literally wrapped in electrical tape or regular scotch tape to fit in big stripped screw holes or. worse. a cracked stock.

- Overall you can see if the gun has been well taken care of even if used in a harsh environment.

- Take your not rush

- I try to verify on the spot (if is a gun shop) the headspace,,,if i cannot, I try to negotiate a few days of return window if the headspace is excessive or cycling issues with live ammo.

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