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Buying Used Expensive vs. New Cheaper Guns

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by JDR, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. JDR

    JDR Well-Known Member

    My three .40s were bought used (HK USP 40, Sig P226, Early Gen4 Glock 22). I bought my Gen4 G-21 new from the latest shipment that my LGS had received from Glock.

    The H&K always runs great the way I bought it. The Sig needed a Hogue Monogrip put on it to help control the snappy recoil. I also needed some gunsmith work to get it to run reliably. The Early Gen4 G-22 needed the ejector upgrade and also had a little gunsmith tune to get it to run really good. But I now have more in this used Gen4, then a new Gen4 would have cost in the first place. The Gen4 G-21 has been a winner since day one, I would not change a thing on it the way I first took it out of the box, it shoots great with cheaper, dirty Tula ammo that I will only shoot in .40 out of the G-22.

    On future gun purchases I think I'm better off going with new & cheaper guns in warranty rather than used & expensive pieces that I need to pay my gunsmith to get right. I feel like I would need about a $75.00 discount off my next used gun purchase, to cover the cost of having it thoroughy gone over by my gunsmith. What are your experiences?
  2. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    If you think about it, there are reasons why someone would want to sell a gun. If a gun shoots well for the owner, they tend to keep it. ;)

    I would never buy a used gun unless I got to inspect it closely and range test it for accuracy and reliability.
  3. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    You needed a gunsmith to get the Gen 4 Glock running right? What could he possibly do that you could not do yourself?

    You make it sound like "an early Gen 4" is a pretty old gun. They've only been out a year or so! Did you contact Glock about fixing it?

    Buying used is always a risk, but knowing what you're looking at or looking for can go a long way in determining if a given gun is worth buying.

    Just a couple years ago I saw a used Charter Arms .38 snub on the shelf for $85. I checked it out, knowing I'd find the reason it was only $85. Nope, it checked out fine! I bought it and it's been 100% from day one. New cost was $300+ at the time.

    But you're right, you run the risk of buying someone else's problem that's out of warranty.

    I bought a Smith Model 25-5 from a friend for.....$75! The only problem was, the 8 3/8ths" barrel had a bulge in it. Well, that's not quite true...it had FOUR bulges in it. I didn't know said friend had already called S&W and found out they did not have any replacement barrels, so he "dumped it off" on me. Unaware of this, I called a different number at Smith and they looked in a different drawer and told me they had ONE 5" barrel left. $250 later, I had a 5" barreled 25-5 I'd wanted for a very long time.

    Buying used can be risky, but it can be fun and very worthwhile.

  4. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Well-Known Member

    It's not always a reliability issue. Sometimes a gun just doesn't feel right to a person after a while, or they decide they need the money for other toys. I've sold guns for both reasons where the guns had absolutely no issues other than the fact that I just didn't want to own them anymore. Though in all fairness, I have sold a gun because of reliability issues before - with full disclosure (and a very hefty discount) to the buyer.

    OP, I've come to almost the exact opposite collusion as you have. All of my high quality used guns (Sig, HK, S&W revolvers) have functioned flawlessly without any smith work necessary. Even the guns I haven't been able to inspect personally before hand. I tend to interview the sellers through email (gunbroker/forum PMs) to make sure they sound knowledgable about the gun, and if they do there's a pretty good chance they took good care of the gun. I've gotten some good guns for very reasonable prices by doing this.

    The one gun I purchased new, with factory warranty, turned out to be a lemon that neither the dealer nor the manufacturer would fix/replace. It had what I would classify as severe reliability problems (malfunctioning trigger, many failure to feeds and failures to extract) but the dealer had the attitude of "you bought it, it's your problem now" and the gun spent 3 months at a "company certified repair facility" and came back worse than when it left. Sometimes that warranty isn't all it's cracked up to be.
  5. sigarms228

    sigarms228 Well-Known Member

    I have bought two used guns. A like new German P226 with case, manual, and test target for $500 and it has been flawless BUT the LGS I bought it from had 30 day warranty on it for peace of mind. I also bought Zurich Swiss Police P228 that was rated Excellent+ by Top Gun Supply and also has been flawless. Those are two SIGs I REALLY wanted and were simply not availble new anymore and I could sell each for WELL more than I paid for them.

    Other then that I buy NEW or SIG Ceritifed Pre Owned of which I have bought two for $500 and they have been flawless and came with factory warranty for a year. CPO SIGs are terrific buy. Like new P226 and P229 at CZ prices :D.

    I have purchased new SIGs, Walther, and HK center fire pistols all have lifetime factory warranty. I doubt I will ever need factory warranty service from any but it is nice to have and I have piece of mind that I do not own a pistol that some amateur tinkered with or pistol was otherwise abused or simply a lemon.

    However I would not hesitate to buy used from my LGS with their 30 day warranty if I ever see someting I really want.

    In the $500 to $550 price range their are so many fine pistols to choose from I would not even think of buying one in that price range used such as Walther PPQ/P99 AS, Beretta, Glock, and S&W M&P. I have very high regard for the SIG SP2022 and own one even though they can be purchased new for as little as $400.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  6. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

    One gun I don't think I'll ever buy used is a 1911, and I like 1911's. There are just too many guys that think they are gunsmiths (they aren't) messing around with 1911's. Most of these guys take their perfectly functioning 1911's, and after a few credit card charges at Brownell's, they "customize it" to their liking, or get rid of the "subpar parts" as it came from the factory, end up with a non-functioning paperweight. Their next step is to sell it on the used market. Not to me at least.

    On the other hand, nobody is "tuning" their S&W autos, or Ruger P-Series, or other similar guns. They shoot them, or they've sat in a drawer for years, until they don't want them anymore and then sell them. Those guns are probably a safe bet on the used market.
  7. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    I pawned and sold many very nice guns a couple years ago. It had nothing to do with reliability. Some were brand new and never shot. It was simply a money issue.
  8. JDR

    JDR Well-Known Member

    Yep, getting wacked in the forehead with hot brass was getting old, so I contacted Glock, & found out I bought an early Gen4 that had to have the no cost ejector upgrade. Glock wouldn't send out the part to anybody other than one of their certified armorers. I shoot my guns pretty hard, so I figure $45.00 to have my guy go over the ones that I do shoot often once a year is money well spent. I believe good gunsmiths are a dying breed and deserve to be supported!
  9. Grunt

    Grunt Well-Known Member

    I have zero problems buying a used gun. If I did, I wouldn't own some great guns at more affordable prices. I also wouldn't have as many mil-surps as I do to include pistols like my Makarov, an CZ82 just to name a couple. I am still looking for a Colt Official Police after I get back home in a few months and the only way you are going to get a discontinued firearm is to buy one that is used. My primary carry gun is a USP-40C that I got used as well and I've had not a single problem with it. The only thing buying used is you have to know what you are looking at when it comes to spotting problems or steering clear of Bubba jobs. Some folks are more into the new gun and warranty and all and if that's what blows their skirt up, that's the way to go with what works for them. Myself, I won't turn down a good deal simply because it's used.
  10. Esoxchaser

    Esoxchaser Well-Known Member

    I buy used firearms all the time for hunting and plinking. For personal defense I only buy new, I want to know the guns entire history.
  11. PabloJ

    PabloJ Well-Known Member

    That logic does not apply to United States where many people own dozens of guns and like to buy something different by rotating their inventory through trading and sales. Over dozen handguns rotated through my safe and most were bought as used guns. There was only one bad one among them and it was POS H&R nine-shot .22LR revolver, hardly surprising.
  12. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    I've had very good luck buying used; has let me afford things I never would have been able to buy new like a Pardini.
  13. JDR

    JDR Well-Known Member

    Same with my H&K USP 40 that I bought used; I'd like to find a similar deal on a P30!
  14. frankenstein406

    frankenstein406 Well-Known Member

    Not all orphans are bad but keep in mind if your paying someone to check it over it better be a good deal or you might wanna buy new.
  15. dondavis3

    dondavis3 Well-Known Member

    @ JDR

    Sorry I completely disagree with you.

    I believe in buying high quality used - over cheaper new.

    I too bought a used Glock 4th gen used - mine was a model 34 - I had to send it back to Glock to get it right - runs fine now.

    I've bought used Sig's / HK's / S&W's / CZ's - never had a problem with any of them.

  16. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    Virtually all of my guns have always been bought used, at least 90% of the ones I currently own. Most people will never shoot one enough to really break it in.

    Most people sell their guns simply because they don't like it, the chambering, or they need the cash. Most are just fine.

    I've been able to own and try a lot of guns over the years by purchasing used. If I like it, fine. If I buy a new gun, don't care for it I'll only be able to sell it for about what I'd have paid for it used. I've bought a lot of used guns and sold them at a profit. Play it smart and trade up a few times and you end up with Colts at Ruger prices.
  17. dondavis3

    dondavis3 Well-Known Member

    ^^^ I agree

  18. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    I always make out much better on used than new. You have to know what you are looking at and how to do a proper mechanical checkout. Many of the firearms I like are no longer in production, often the older versions are superior to current production. Most used guns are shot very little.
  19. JDR

    JDR Well-Known Member

    Hey No Problem, now if the right H&K P30 in .40 S&W comes across slightly used but $300 under the price of new I'll eat my words.
  20. sigarms228

    sigarms228 Well-Known Member

    You must be listening to broadcasts of our liberal media propaganda who have an agenda to ban firearms against our Constitutional Rights. In reality only a very small percentage of firearms owners fit your description. We don't all shoot our pistols sideways either.

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