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Old September 29, 2007, 01:40 AM   #1
tank mechanic
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Scammed at the gun show

When I finally realized I was old enough to own a pistol, I got my behind down to a gunshow to buy my very first gun. I had three hundred dollars in my hand and my eyes were as big as saucers as I perused the various tables.

I eventually stumbled upon a gentleman who had a personal 1911 for sale for350 dollars. It was a essex slide on an ithaca reciever, (or maybe it was the other way around, it has been awhile) and he was eager to sell it. After consulting my compadres I decided I just had to have it. I borrowed 100 dollars from my friend and bought it from the seller, with fifty dollars left over for ammo and a cheap nylon holster.

The whole way home I was giddy with excitement. That is until the next day when I took it out shooting. A failure to feed, or a failure to extract every other round. It took forever to shoot two hundred rounds.

I took it to a smith who then charged me 250 dollars to fix my problems.

The gun worked fairly well up until 2000 rounds later when the barrel bushing flew off the gun while shooting it. I took it back to the same smith and he said the locking lugs were peening from the slide and the barrel. He said he the gun was officially dead and he could do nothing to help.

I was very upset to say the least. Especially when I realized I could have spent that six hundred dollars on a brand new pistol that I could still be shooting today.

I learned a costly lesson and have vowed to do my home work when it comes to buying guns.

If the gentleman who sold me the pistol reads this, please pm me so we can exchange some heated words.

If you have a similiar story of being hood winked, please share, it would make me feel better.
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Old September 29, 2007, 02:01 AM   #2
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I hate to say this, but this is the exact reason I ask to do an inspection on any used handgun I get. If the seller wont let you take-down a tool-less takedown handgun, then run away.
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Old September 29, 2007, 02:19 AM   #3
MAX100
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I had someone pay for a gun with a fake money order for gun I was selling out of the paper. I lost $350 that way.

Sometimes mistakes don't come cheap but those are the ones you usually don't repeat.

$700 total. Don't forget to pay your friend back his $100.




GC
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Old September 29, 2007, 04:23 AM   #4
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I think you need to find another smith.
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Old September 29, 2007, 10:06 AM   #5
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I think you need to find another smith.

I agree.

What work was done that cost $250 that didn't address the locking lugs? New extractor, ejector, magazine, even a fitted barrel would have been less than $250 and should have solved 99% of your problems.

The gun worked fairly well up until 2000 rounds later when the barrel bushing flew off the gun while shooting it. I took it back to the same smith and he said the locking lugs were peening from the slide and the barrel. He said he the gun was officially dead and he could do nothing to help.


How about a new barrel bushing? The gun was shooting great untill that broke.

I bet this smith even gave you $20 for the junk gun for parts Right?
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Old September 29, 2007, 10:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
I hate to say this, but this is the exact reason I ask to do an inspection on any used handgun I get. If the seller wont let you take-down a tool-less takedown handgun, then run away.
Exactly right! Always inspect any used gun you're wanting to buy. Know what to look for. if not, you can't blame the seller 100%. It's that whole buyr beware thing all over again.
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Old September 29, 2007, 12:24 PM   #7
Texas Moon
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Oooo where to start?!?!??!?!?!?!

Enfield No.1 Mk.III 1914 - All there, even the volley sight and mag cut-off.
Paid me moola and took it home. Ran a patch down the bore to clean it.
***????? Barrel had a BULGE in it!!!!!
Now I know why the bore was left "dusty"!


Colt Python - reasonable deal on used one. Got it home and apart.
Insides were CAKED with rust. Had the incorrect hammer spring in it too! Which BROKE while I was fiddling with it!


Italian made modern copy of an Enfield 3-band 1851 .58 muzzlelaoder.
Everything looked great on it. Clean outside. Bore looked good too(from what I could see).
Got it for a song. Got it home. Had a charge in the barrel!!!


NEVER trust a gunshow gun.
Do your homework. Know what you're looking at and for.
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Old September 29, 2007, 12:46 PM   #8
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This is why I don't recommend buying used for your first gun, unless you can get to shoot it first to be sure it works correctly. The maker's warranty is worth a lot when you don't know what warning signs to look for in a used gun. But you always take a risk as some problems just don't show up untill you actually shoot the gun, but in my experience these have always ended up being magazine issues.

I agree something seems fishy with the "smith".

--wally.
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Old September 29, 2007, 01:23 PM   #9
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Before I knew the difference I bought 1500 rounds of the wrong ammo, it all got throw out.

Live and learn
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Old September 29, 2007, 01:35 PM   #10
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Scammers are the rule and not the occasional, I have found at many a show.
To bad, really, many have had bad experience's. I believe that Glocks really helped the industry.
I can remember when every would-be gunsmith was working on the 1911's
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Old September 29, 2007, 02:14 PM   #11
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Sorry I can't make you feel better by telling you I got beat but it hasn't happened. I try to look anything I buy used over very well before I buy and I make sure I get a business card from the salesman before we exchange money. I usually call the number from me cell phone to make sure there at least is a phone on the other end of the business card. Not fool-prof but better than nothing.

All that being said, the best protection is to look the gun over very well, do the standard checkouts for the type of gun you are buying and use your gut to tell you whether or not the seller is a thief or not.
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Old September 29, 2007, 02:25 PM   #12
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Traveling Gypies.. lol

...

Seriously though, it never ceases to amaze me at how many do this for their living, basically, 24/7.. and I keep reminding myself, they give you a "out of sight guarantee" with any purchase. Good until you, or they, are out of sight.

Used stuff, guns, etc, usually means one of 2 things. Either it has given the owner grief, and they want to get rid of it. Or, they need the money.

That's the fine line one must deal with, IMHO, buying anything used, and sometimes the savings of money is good, and many times the savings of money is a money trap you just bought from a traveling gypsy, moving on, around this big country of ours, year round.


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Old September 29, 2007, 03:51 PM   #13
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I guess I have been lucky (rap of the knuckles on the brow). I have dealt with the automotive equivalent for years before I got deep into guns, Automobile, parts, and equipment auctions. I would have to look over a vehicle within a couple miutes or so, and decide on a maximum bid price that I was reasonably sure I could safely and reliably repair the car for, sell it and still make a profit. There are many things that you can look at, and a lot of things you can't, but often times judging the seller is more telling than judging the car. I always bring a little flashlight and a small electronic scale(reloading components), and a set of feeler gauges to look over anything of interest. You can usually tell if someone is on the level from the look on their face when you pull out the flashlight. I do remember people who have treated me right, have the good deals(not neccisarily the best price), and let others know.
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Old September 29, 2007, 06:39 PM   #14
tank mechanic
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Quote:
What work was done that cost $250 that didn't address the locking lugs?

I don't remember all that was done the fist time I took it to the gun smith. I do remember a big part of the bill was for a ramp and throat job.

Quote:
I bet this smith even gave you $20 for the junk gun for parts Right?
No, I kept it and eventually gave it to my Dad, who uses it for a paper weight on his desk.

Quote:
I hate to say this, but this is the exact reason I ask to do an inspection on any used handgun
I was just young and stupid. It was the first time I had even looked at a handgun. I was so happy that I could buy one that the logic and reason portion of my brain shut down.

Ever since that fateful experience I have mainly bought new guns and the few others that I bought used were scrutinized inside and out.
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Old September 29, 2007, 07:29 PM   #15
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I really don't know in which way the OP was scammed by the gun show seller.

Maybe by his "gunsmith", but certainly not by the seller. How about another slide and barrel assembly? The "firearm" part of the weapon should still be OK. It has been a long, long time since I purchased a 1911 lower for $350.
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Old September 29, 2007, 11:41 PM   #16
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You really thought that you could buy A decent 1911 for under $400.00?
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Old September 29, 2007, 11:53 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Never No More
Quote:
Before I knew the difference I bought 1500 rounds of the wrong ammo, it all got throw out.
You threw away 1500 rounds of ammo because you bought the wrong stuff

That was a darn good reason to buy a new gun in that caliber


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Old September 30, 2007, 12:01 AM   #18
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I think your smith scammed you!

I am guessing it was an Ithaca slide on an Essex Frame. Unless the frame is trashed you can replace every other piece on a 1911 for under $250 and that's using quality parts. I think you got a fair deal on the gun a year ago you could sell an Ithaca slide on ebay for $200 in decent shape.
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Old September 30, 2007, 01:03 AM   #19
tank mechanic
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I felt scammed because the 1911 was a parts gun that I think the seller put together that morning to make a quick buck. And if he had shot the gun, he would have known it didn't work. But he assured me that the gun was a great shooter and would be a great first gun.

Earplug- I had no idea what a decent priced 1911 went for. I was a complete newb in the fire arms world at that time.
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Old September 30, 2007, 01:38 AM   #20
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I was at a gun show, walking past a gun dealer's set-up when I heard one of the guys behind the table telling a couple looking at self-defense revolvers for the wife that Taurus made all of Smith & Wesson's revolvers and had since the Bangor Punta group owned both companies. I had to stop and listen for a moment to see if I heard what I thought I'd heard. When the moron behind the table repeated it, I asked him what Smith & Wesson built in those buildings in Springfield, MA, if Taurus was making their revolvers. I also asked him if he knew that Bangor Punta hadn't owned either company for decades. His mouth opened and closed a few times before hateful sounds emanated therefrom. I told the nice couple that there wasn't anything wrong with Taurus or Smith & Wesson revolvers but they weren't made in the same place.

The moron was still yelling at me as I walked away. I saw the couple at another dealer a while later buying a used Smith & Wesson Bodyguard Airweight with Pachmayr grips.

Not a scam, I guess.

ECS
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Old September 30, 2007, 07:14 AM   #21
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Not sure if this is a scam, maybe you guys can be the judge. At the last gun show I went to me and a buddy of mine were checking out prices on .50BMG rifles that we decided to go in halfs on, anyway we saw one guy selling one for $20,000 I asked what was so special about it to justify the price tag and he said "This rifle was used in Iraq to kill a diplomat" or something to that effect. I just rolled my eyes and walked away.
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Old September 30, 2007, 07:42 AM   #22
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In all seriousness this can happen with a NIB firearm. I got to the point that I developed a spreadsheet, simple check list, to assess all of the major components of a firearm prior to buying it. I take that checklist and I use it.

It has already been stated here that one should walk if the seller does not want you to break the firearm down and assess it. I suggest that you purchase a couple of inexpensive books about making repairs to your own firearms. There are sales rip-offs and repair rip-offs. Don't be one of the ripped-off.
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Old September 30, 2007, 09:31 AM   #23
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Looks like the smith ripped you off more than the seller, could be ammo brand!
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Old September 30, 2007, 09:51 AM   #24
alucard0822
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Quote:
The gun worked fairly well up until 2000 rounds later when the barrel bushing flew off the gun while shooting it. I took it back to the same smith and he said the locking lugs were peening from the slide and the barrel. He said he the gun was officially dead and he could do nothing to help.
I wonder if a longer barrel link was part of the original $250 job. A longer barrel link designed to "tighten things up" has ruined many a nice 1911 by peening the lugs (too long will jam the barrel into the slide with excessive force), and can eventually break the link mount clean off, break the slide stop, and as a result can cause the barrel to shift, bind and put the entire force of a round into the bushing, normally takes from a few to a couple thousand rounds for bad things to happen.
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Old September 30, 2007, 10:23 AM   #25
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So should he retreive the gun from his father and take it to another smith? Is it indeed salvageable, and it it worth it? It's not like the gun is gone forever, he still has access to it...
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