Used ar 15 questions


November 28, 2012, 05:12 PM
Ok guys I am going to look at a dpms not the sportical it is used and the guy wants 650 he is including a centerpoint red dot scope 5 mags 4 being 30 rounds 1 ten rounder ammo for all mags hard case and sling. What specifically should I look for in a used AR 15?

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November 28, 2012, 05:47 PM
Not a bad deal. $650 could get you a S&W Sport that I am sure someone will say but then again you are getting some extras too.

$40 optic I think?
Say $20 for each mag assuming they are decent, although you can get them cheaper, so that is $100
130 rounds of .223 is about $45 nowadays just make sure it isn't steel case stuff
Sling, I wouldn't value since you may want to swap it out for a different one immediately anyway.
Hard case, also tough to value but even the cheapo ones go for $30 nowadays.
So you are getting like $200 worth of goodies, if you want to look at it that way, I think $450 for a used DPMS is not bad if it is in good shape, but you could maybe talk him down a bit.

As far as what to look for, aside from the usual wear and tear, I don't know. Never bought one used. See if it has m4 feed ramps, check the fit of upper/lower, break apart and look down bore, take out the BCG and see how it looks, pay extra close attention to the bolt and lugs of the bolt, cycle the bolt, it should return to full battery when released from half-pulled, see how the trigger feels, put in an empty mag and pull the bolt back to verify the bolt catch works.

November 28, 2012, 06:02 PM
bring a bore light
check that the finish matches on the upper and lower- if there is a slight difference in color you are probably looking at a frankenAR and probably worth 20% less especially if you dont know the maker of upper.
if it looks less than 90% on the exterior I would suggest buying a new AR in the $650 ballpark

November 28, 2012, 06:20 PM
I would value the mags at about 10-15 each for the 30 rounders, maybe 15 for the used case , the RD and sling I would not care much for.

DPMS makes a lot of different setups, I would expect to pay a bit more for a bull or fluted barrel, chrome lined barrel, 1/7 twist on the barrel, aftermarket stock or guards (if I like them or they have resale value), upgraded trigger, or free float handguard.

Check the fit b/w the upper and lower, check that the bolt moves freely and locks back on an empty mag. Check that mags drop free when released. Remove the handguard and look for any signs of gas leaking from the gas block or front sight base. Check the crown if it is exposed. Remove the bolt and carrier and check to make sure the gas key is tight and the screws are staked in securely. Look at the extractor on the bolt, check for wear or brass shavings in the bolt cut for the extractor. Check the bearing surface of the bolt lugs for uneven wear or chips/strain. Remove the bolt from the carrier and confirm three gas keys, and see if they are excessively worn.

November 28, 2012, 06:37 PM
That is a decent deal assuming the rifle is GTG. It doesn't take much to inspect the rifle for fit and function. The rifle alone is going for $599.00 - $650.00 not including sales tax, FFL transfer, or shipping. Everyone forgets about this and that adds 10% - 15%.

November 29, 2012, 01:17 AM
I'd open up the rifle, pull out the BCG and look over the bolt, extractor, feedramps, check to see if there's any strange wear marks on the inside of the upper receiver and do a close look over on the fit and finish for any parts or components that looks out of place. There are so many kitchen gunsmiths out there and with ARs there are so many parts, I'd stay away from any Franken guns or anything that it looks like it's been beaten to hell. The BCG and bolt assembly is very important.

November 29, 2012, 03:21 AM
You said it is not the Sportical model, so I'll recommend you check if it has the following: Dust Cover, Forward Assist, A2 front sight, and Brass deflector.

It will be hard to tell what other specs the AR will have without seeing pics or knowing its exact model. Good things to look for as mentioned already are milspec buffer tube/stock, M4 feed ramps, Chrome-lined barrel (may or may not be a big deal), properly staked gas key on BCG, etc.

For $650 it sounds like a decent deal since he is throwing in mags, ammo, case, and accessories. I would ask how long he has owned it and how many rounds has been fired. Normally I'm not a fan of DPMS AR's, but if this rifle is in good condition, then it might be a decent buy.

Just remember that you can also buy a brand new Smith&Wesson M&P15 Sport for around $650 and be getting a new quality rifle instead.

November 29, 2012, 12:30 PM
If it has a dust cover and forward assist it could be the oracle. The oracle is made with better material, but I bought mine a couple of years ago NIB at Cabelas for what he is asking. I do not take magazines, and such into account but I would hold out for a little less money if you can.

That being said, other than a broken hammer pin neither my oracle or sportical gave me any troubles.

November 29, 2012, 12:43 PM
I sold a DPMS AP4 with about 2500 rounds on it for $500 last year but it came with nothing at all.

November 29, 2012, 02:21 PM
For the extras, it just comes down to how picky you are about stuff. If you are very particular about the type of case you use, or mags, then it isn't such a great deal.

And if you are going to try to get a better deal, just like buying a car, pretend like you aren't to crazy about any of the extras.

"Yeah it is a decent optic but I'll probably want to upgrade"

"Those mags are okay but I like magpul better"

"This case doesn't come with a lock?!?"

Et cetera :)

November 29, 2012, 03:06 PM
My buddy bought a brand new DPMS last weekend for $650 before tax. It was the lowest priced one at the entire gun show.

I'd follow the advice here and break it open and look it over. If anything makes you feel iffy, then pay the extra in tax and buy a new one.

November 29, 2012, 08:02 PM
Well, considering you can build a better rifle than DPMS makes for $650, the CP dot sight is basically junk, and Pmag 30s can be had for under $12/ea, I'd say pass.

I personally wouldn't pay more than $400-$450 for an AP4 carbine. And 4 or 5 GI mags is a deal sweetener, not a price increaser. I can buy good, used GI mags for $6/ea. locally.

November 30, 2012, 07:19 AM
Too much for a used DPMS AR. New GI mags are $9.50 and Pmags are $12. The red dot is $27 new on Amazon. It's a $500 rifle at best. It is used, no warranty.

$700 well buy a mil-spec PSA.

2nd 41
November 30, 2012, 07:42 AM
Used is used. Just my and buy a new one. You'll never regret it.

November 30, 2012, 08:09 AM
take 3 minutes to do this:

push rear pin only and hinge-open rifle
remove bolt carrier group & inspect locking lugs
light-up the bore & inspect (beware corrosive ammo)

if you have more time continue visual inspection, here I let folks shoot used guns before purchase

November 30, 2012, 09:43 AM
Too much for a used DPMS AR. New GI mags are $9.50 and Pmags are $12. The red dot is $27 new on Amazon. It's a $500 rifle at best. It is used, no warranty.

$700 well buy a mil-spec PSA.

I agree, and I am a big fan of PSA, but you are discounting the shipping and FFL transfer fee, so add another $15 + $30 (where my LGS charges) to that. Last I checked they include one pmag, no ammo, no case, etc. Assign value to that however you'd like but there is value. I think if he talks the guy down to $600 that is fair.

It is easy to say "for just a little bit more..." over and over, and then by the time he has an AR with all the same goodies, plus tax, shipping, and FFL fees, he has to pay $300 more. I know, I know, you'll spend that much in ammo in a few months, but again, it's easy to fall into the trap of "well I spend $250 on ammo every month so an extra $500 for this gun is almost nothing" no it is TWO MONTHS WORTH OF AMMO

PS...Where are you finding these PMags?!? let me know! Every place I have seen online as low as $15 the shipping is just absurd, I may as well buy them from Cabela's for $18 (plus tax)

OP, buyer beware, if they are junk mags or junk ammo,

November 30, 2012, 10:24 AM
PS...Where are you finding these PMags?!?

LOTS of vendors selling them for $10-$12. I just got some from Kentucky Gun Co for $9.99/ea +shipping ($170 shipped for 15 mags). IIRC, they were $12.99 on the window mags.

Heck, I won't pay more than $14 for standard or $17 for window mags (+ tax) locally.

Just search Pmag for sale.

November 30, 2012, 11:11 AM
Thanks for the heads up. That is definitely a good deal, especially when buying a lot like that. I usually only buy from places I haven't heard of it people on THR mention it and can vouch. Got burned once buying mags from a smaller-scale online store.

OP not to derail the thread. If you can't talk him down another $50-100 and the rifle looks to be in great shape, probably pass.

November 30, 2012, 12:38 PM
Pass. The optic is garbage and mags are cheap. You can buy a new AR for under $700 new and you can build one from a stripped lower and a complete upper for around $550 that will be the same quality as the DPMS. You can get a S&W Sport at WalMart for $660. The only good thing about the cheap DPMS rifles are the barrels. AR's are delightful with a light pencil barrel and I can vouch for the accuracy of the DPMS pencil.

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