Always be careful when purchasing used guns!


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Atom Smasher
February 1, 2014, 06:21 PM
I had a slam-fire on my Win 70 30-06 when I flipped the safety from middle-safe to fire. I was surprised, as I had never had a malfunction like that in the ~600 rounds I'd fired through it since I purchased it last August. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I immediately took the gun to the smith. He told me that someone had mucked around with the trigger to make it extra-extra-light and through my repeated use (which was probably considerably more than the previous owner's 20 rounds a year) finally wore down the catch that held the firing pin in place. He reset everything and made the gun safe to operate, but it taught me an important lesson: even if everything looks good at the time of purchase, it can always be a good idea to get a second opinion!

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herrwalther
February 1, 2014, 09:52 PM
Almost makes you wish firearms had something similar to Carfax for vehicles. Like entries for Bubba gunsmithing :D Thanks for the reminder.

9mmfan
February 2, 2014, 12:22 AM
Yessir, learned that lesson the hard way. Brazilian contract 1917 had a hitch in its gitty-up when I got the zip tie off at home. Decent deal turned into, ahem, more than it shoulda been once the gunsmith fixed her up. But I wanted a 1917. That's what I keep telling myself.

New guns aren't immune either. My brand spankin' new Thunderer was quite hinky once I got it home. Warranty work from Mr. Ryan Hoover at Hill Country Precision Gunsmithing got her runnin' right. Now it's one of my faves.

How's that go? Burn me once, shame on you...

Redlg155
February 2, 2014, 09:58 AM
"Custom trigger job" always sends off warning lights, especially with no documentation of the work, yet some places use this "undocumented" modification as a positive selling point.

I once had a luger type .22 that was famous for a mag dump when you fired the first round. bought used of course.

medalguy
February 2, 2014, 12:51 PM
That's one of the reasons why I never buy a "customized" gun. :scrutiny:

Welding Rod
February 2, 2014, 01:08 PM
I won't buy a gun I am not confident hasn't been mucked with. Even then, I am very hesitant as most stock "bad" guns get traded in for something else when the owner realizes they got stuck with an inaccurate or malfunctioning lemon.

ball3006
February 2, 2014, 02:44 PM
If you have shot 600 or so rounds through the rifle, if the trigger did not seem right, why did you wait so long to get it looked at? Sounds like the new owner mucked around with the trigger to me.....chris3

bearman49709
February 2, 2014, 03:47 PM
You shot 600 rounds and couldn't tell the trigger had been worked on and was exta-extra-light:what: Oh and a gun firing when you take the safty off is not a slam fire!

bandur60
February 2, 2014, 05:16 PM
Mine was an Interarms PPK; first two shots, bam-bam, one trigger pull. Second two shots, bam-bam, one trigger pull. Gunsmith charge brought a "low" price up to ~~ normal. Could have probably returned where I bought it but dang, I really wanted a PPK and hadn't seen one in months. That was years ago and I'm all better now.

ridgerunner1965
February 2, 2014, 06:48 PM
heck in the last few years ive seen more posts dealing with problems with brand new guns than with older guns.

i dont buy new guns rarely if ever. i cant even remember the last new gun i purchased.

before i decide to buy a used gun i research it and look for problems and parts availibility.the internet is great for this. and i dont do impulse buys. ever. if i dont know everything there is to know about a certain gun then i dont buy it.

a used buy on a common gun like a win 70 doesnt scare me at all because i already know i can get about any part i need for it.as the OP said it was a easy fix on his rifle.

a used gun is like a used car, look for evidence of buggering.messed up screw heads, scratches around pins and screws, does it look like its been werked on a lot?check the bore well with a light, if its dirty make the seller wipe it out. is the front site way off to one side?the rear site? if your buying from a individual id ask to shoot it with your known ammo.you got to do your home work.

ridgerunner1965
February 2, 2014, 07:00 PM
heck in the last few years ive seen more posts dealing with problems with brand new guns than with older guns.

i dont buy new guns rarely if ever. i cant even remember the last new gun i purchased.

before i decide to buy a used gun i research it and look for problems and parts availibility.the internet is great for this. and i dont do impulse buys. ever. if i dont know everything there is to know about a certain gun then i dont buy it.

a used buy on a common gun like a win 70 doesnt scare me at all because i already know i can get about any part i need for it.as the OP said it was a easy fix on his rifle.

a used gun is like a used car, look for evidence of buggering.messed up screw heads, scratches around pins and screws, does it look like its been werked on a lot?check the bore well with a light, if its dirty make the seller wipe it out. is the front site way off to one side?the rear site? if your buying from a individual id ask to shoot it with your known ammo.you got to do your home work.

frankenstein406
February 2, 2014, 07:04 PM
I always stay away from refinished guns. They seem to look nice but are hiding bigger flaws.

Lex Luthier
February 2, 2014, 08:14 PM
I have never had a problem with any used firearm. Lucky I guess.

jrdolall
February 2, 2014, 08:21 PM
I bought a PF-9 that had a P-11 barrel on it. KT basically rebuilt the gun when I took it to them.

Probably 60% of the guns I own were purchased used and that's the only one I had a problem with other than just cleaning and lubing. One of the first things I check on a used rifle is the trigger. If it's very light then I assume "bubba" and immediately check it out or, if I don't feel comfy, I take it to my smith. Homemade trigger jobs are fairly easy and can be downright dangerous.

the_skunk
February 2, 2014, 08:26 PM
Used guns get expensive fast - cheaper to buy new with warranty

SC Shooter
February 2, 2014, 08:39 PM
As a collector, I buy a lot of used guns. For the most part, i take them to my gunsmith to be checked out before I fire them.

Resto Guy
February 2, 2014, 08:42 PM
I bought one very nice looking used revolver that ended up needing work. The second time I took it out I was having light strikes, so I ordered a set of Wolff springs and had my 'smith go into it.
Even with repairs, I'm ahead $150-$200 on it because I bought it at a good price.

GBExpat
February 3, 2014, 07:10 AM
Every used firearm that I buy (mostly milsurps) is detail-stripped, cleaned, carefully-inspected, lubed and reassembled prior to firing the initial one or two shots from a protected position ... and then I closely inspect the resulting case(s) for sign of any problem.

... but ...

It sounds like I might have missed the mod on the OP's Win70 if it was a clean job.

JRH6856
February 4, 2014, 08:54 PM
Almost makes you wish firearms had something similar to Carfax for vehicles. Like entries for Bubba gunsmithing :D Thanks for the reminder.
Seeing as how something like CarFax for guns would need a registry of some kind, I don't think so. :uhoh:

Grassman
February 4, 2014, 09:43 PM
Gee wizz, people buy used guns all the time, and I'd bet 98% are in fine working order.

herrwalther
February 4, 2014, 10:54 PM
Seeing as how something like CarFax for guns would need a registry of some kind, I don't think so.

Yes but I am thinking more along the lines of what I do with firearms. For example, my Ruger had a manufacturer's defect on the barrel feed ramp. Nothing major, just a small burr that I took off with a file and smoothed with sand paper. I put that on a piece of paper inside the Ruger box, just in case I ever sell that firearm.

JRH6856
February 4, 2014, 11:15 PM
Yes but I am thinking more along the lines of what I do with firearms. For example, my Ruger had a manufacturer's defect on the barrel feed ramp. Nothing major, just a small burr that I took off with a file and smoothed with sand paper. I put that on a piece of paper inside the Ruger box, just in case I ever sell that firearm.

That works. I keep a record of anything I do or have done to a gun, including things done beofre I got it when I notice it. I also note the things I can easily reverse if a buyer so desires.

Ryanxia
February 6, 2014, 09:41 AM
I buy a lot of used guns and the worst I've had so far is a missing firing pin :D

GBExpat
February 6, 2014, 10:00 AM
Gee wizz, people buy used guns all the time, and I'd bet 98% are in fine working order.
Perhaps even 99% ... but why not, at least, spend a little extra effort to assure yourself that the used firearm you just bought is not one of those OnePercenters.

It may be just me but performing the detail-strip/cleaning/inspection/lube makes me feel better, more confident, about the piece. O'course, every time before I get in my car/truck to go somewhere, I eyeball each of the 4 tires to make sure they look OK ... preflight mentality. :)

I have never taken one of my firearms to a gunsmith and probably never will ... but ... I have developed the skill set and acquired or made the tools required to give my new acquisitions a safety inspection prior to firing them.

buck460XVR
February 6, 2014, 10:20 AM
Always be careful when purchasing used guns!

Guess why the phrase "Buyer Beware!" has been around so long.

Buying a used gun is no different than buying a used car, used motorcycle or a used couch at a garage sale. In the majority of cases, unless one is buying from someone they know personally, one never really knows how it has been cared for or abused or the real reason why the original owner is getting rid of it. Even with good knowledge of what you are buying, and checking it out thoroughly, one is still rolling the dice. One reason so many folks always buy new. Threads pop up all the time on gun forums about trading or selling guns with known issues. The difference in responses is an education. I'm sure there are many folks that are more noble on the internet than in real life.....especially when it comes to money.

But.....new guns can fail too, and even a used gun that was perfect when bought can wear or break. ADs are one reason, besides NDs that responsible gun owners practice safe gun handing 100% of the time.

Arizona_Mike
February 6, 2014, 12:22 PM
I bought a low profile Mauser safety that was not case hardened. It did not take too long for harder bolt to turn the step into a very smooth ramp.

Was bringing up the rear in a small hunting party circa 1993 carrying the gun across my upper belly (I was heavy at the time) when I noticed my thumb being pinched under the safety along the side of the gun. We were walking single file and the muzzle was pointed to the woods to the left.

I announced I was having some kind of gun malfunction and asked everyone to stop. I said my thumb was being pinched hard under the safety and I suspect my gun will fire when I pull it out. I aimed at the soft earth about 50yd away and did just that and I was right.

Looking at how I was carrying the gun it became pretty clear that a shirt button had found the 2lb Timney and the worn safety did not hold.

At the time I has access to a high precision tube furnace at work and did a case hardening job on the replacement unit.

Mike

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