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Buying a broken gun...

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by KingMedicine, May 16, 2013.

  1. KingMedicine

    KingMedicine Well-Known Member

    Opinions. I was about to go purchase a revolver for 700, when the owner called and explained that the last person who checked it out pointed out a frame crack. This revolver (a rhino) comes with a lifetime warranty, so I believe even at a second owner, that they would repair it. Now, it's being offered to me for a steep discount since he does not want to deal with it. I'm torn, since I don't mind putting in the legwork, and would like a new revolver, but spending any kind of money on a broken gun is not computing. Opinions?
  2. Thor88

    Thor88 Active Member

    I would verify that the lifetime warranty transfers to the new owner, and maybe get an ETA on the turn around time.

    If everything checks out, and its a gun you want, I'd personally have no problem picking it up.
  3. BRE346

    BRE346 Well-Known Member

    Taurus has a lifetime guarantee, no matter who owns it. I think a few others do too.
  4. KingMedicine

    KingMedicine Well-Known Member

    It's a chippa rhino. There website states a lifetime warranty on defects, which I'd think a cracked frame would fit that bill.
  5. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Well-Known Member

    Make sure it doesn't have bulged chambers or other signs it has been fed too-hot hand loads. Not likely but it would void a warranty.
  6. sgt127

    sgt127 Well-Known Member

    It would have to be really cheap to be worth the hassle. I once bought a S&W Model 10 frame, barrel and sideplate. Thats it, for $25. I paid about $120 for all the parts, used, and installed and fitted them all but, could not get the ejector star to work, sent it to Smith for a new ejector star to be fitted. That was about $50 plus shipping to them about $25. All told, I was into it for about $220 bucks. A fair price for a really nice model 10. But, I did all the work and knew I either had all the parts I needed laying around, or, I knew I could find them cheap.

    IF the only thing wrong is a cracked frame...and, IF they honor the lifetime warranty and IF they determine it wasn't abused, you are likely to have a new gun minus shipping, for a good price. But, if one thing goes wrong, you have a paperweight.

    If the Model 10 I bought had a sprung frame or something, I knew I was screwed, but, I was only out $25 bucks. So, it was worth the gamble.

    Good luck, sometimes its kinda fun to do something like that.
  7. SilentScream

    SilentScream Well-Known Member

    Yeah definately check with Chiappa on that warranty. A cracked frame does not automatically mean new frame under warranty. As stated earlier it's quite possible the previous owner got a little too powder happy with hand loads. It wouldn't be the first time someone off loaded a damaged gun to an unsuspecting person under the guise of "They'll cover it under warranty" sales pitch.
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Run, don't walk away!!

    The Chippa Rhino is new and unknown enough already, without starting out testing the second owner factory warranty & turnaround time.

    Let somebody else be the Beta Tester on them in general.
    And one with a cracked frame in particular.

  9. Swing

    Swing Well-Known Member

    Ditto what rcmodel said. Don't touch this one with a 10 foot pole.
  10. KingMedicine

    KingMedicine Well-Known Member

    I emailed Chiappa and explained the situation. I figured I have no reason to coat it, but I wanted opinions too. I might pass on this obe
  11. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Well-Known Member

    I buy "broken" all the time but only pay what I feel is a parts price. If I get over eventually - fine, if not - then I gots parts.

    I never - ever factor a potential warranty into a flawed item, be it a firearm, vehicle or a house. If the previous owner didn't exercise the warranty then I'm going to get a major consideration in pricing for his procrastination.

    Should a warranty be present and transferable, so much the better but I never assume anymore.
  12. RaceM

    RaceM Well-Known Member

    Run away.
  13. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    On the one hand, if you can be certain you'll get a brand new revolver out of the deal, through their replacing it, it might not be too bad. On the other hand, it's a used, damaged gun, selling for a price that's, at best, $250 off what a brand new one would cost.

    My advice: Walk away and check out Gunbroker.
  14. silversport

    silversport Well-Known Member

    I often read or been told by people that their "for sale" item can be fixed free or for not too much money and have always wondered that if it is no problem...the owner would have done it...anyway...like with so many things...know the seller...if you trust him, maybe it's a good deal...if not...pass...there will be another one coming up soon enough...

  15. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Good move to contact Chiappa directly to learn whether the lifetime warranty extends beyond the original owner. If not, I'd run.
  16. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Well-Known Member

    Too many unknowns here.

    A lifetime warranty may, in fact, be good no matter who owns the gun. But the fact is you do not know WHY this crack exists. Such warranties cover manufacturer's defects and not abuse and generally state this in writing.

    One aspect which may void such a warranty, depending on the wording, is the use of non-factory reloads.

    If you are seriously considering making this purchase, I'd advise you to get on the phone and talk directly to the manufacturer and be totally up front with the circumstances. You don't have any money invested in this so there is no loss whatsoever in being frank about everything.

    You need to explicitly ask whether or not the warranty will cover this or if there is a significant chance that they may not upon inspection of the gun.

    My two cents here is that you should walk away from this unless you can work an arrangement out whereby you can first send the gun in to verify that it can be repaired under warranty. You may be able to do with with a deposit and some kind of written contract about intent to buy upon confirmation from the manufacturer that such repairs are covered. You may also sweeten the deal by offering to pay any shipping and handling involved.

    The bottom line is the dealer wants to sell the gun. If you demonstrate you're willing to buy it under certain circumstances which you are willing to do the legwork for, then he may see this as an opportunity to easily cut his loses at little added expense and time on his part.
  17. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    Good thinkin'. I'm sure a wise decision can be made once you hear from them. Until then, it's anyone's guess.
  18. KingMedicine

    KingMedicine Well-Known Member

    I walked. It was a nice idea, but not worth the risk.
  19. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    My experience with Chiappa's "warranty" on my 1911-22 would say run away from the deal, Let the original owner deal with it and maybe buy it if it gets fixed right,
  20. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    But did you get an answer from the manufacturer?

    I agree and also think you made the right decision to walk...

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