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Buying used rifles?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Mitchell Gard, Jan 1, 2012.

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  1. Mitchell Gard

    Mitchell Gard Member

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    What is everyone's take on purchasing a used rifle? I'd like to because I know there are some great rifles for great prices but how do you know what your getting if you can't get hands on? I'd hate to buy something from a private seller and it turn out to be more useful as a bat than a rifle. Advice?
     
  2. Carolina Kalash

    Carolina Kalash Member

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    well, if your buying on off the internet, you cant really do this, but if yur gonna buy a gun in person, get a good look at it, cycle the action, if it has a detachable magazine, check for mag wobble, make sure the sights aren't misaligned, stuff like that...
     
  3. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Live and learn, Most I own come from the used market and once in a while you get a stinker.
    Check the obvious, stock, barrel, metal finish, mechanical function. Don't pay to much and you will be fine.
     
  4. Mitchell Gard

    Mitchell Gard Member

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    Chances are it would be an Internet purchase if any, purely because the Internet would afford me opportunities for better prices.
     
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I've always bought used whenever possible, but only when I can inspect the gun. The only gun I ever purchased online was a new rifle that my local dealer couldn't get.

    Other than that 1 instance, I've never found a gun online that I couldn't get locally cheaper.
     
  6. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    I recommend buying form good web forums. Most of the ones that I'm a part of really are communities and people care about their reputations. More often than not, everything will be as described, and if something goes wrong, the person will make it right.

    Though, I will say that occasionally you find a bad apple. If you are worried, ask if you can call the seller and talk. It doesn't even have to be negotiation, just enough to get a feel for the guy and make sure he's not trying to rip you off. If he gives you a bad feeling, just call off the sale. It's not worth the second thoughts while the weapon is in transit and the possibility of winding up with nothing, no matter how good the deal is.

    As far as personal experience, all of my guns are used. 2 were FTF (from a web WTS post from locals) 1 was used from a shop, and only one was from someone online requiring shipping of the rifle. (I called him and made sure I was comfortable before transferring the money-turned out to be a pretty nice guy.)
     
  7. Mitchell Gard

    Mitchell Gard Member

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    What is FTF and WTS? Not a bad idea to call
     
  8. fallout mike

    fallout mike Member

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    Remember to factor in the shipping charges and ffl transfer on too of your online prices.
     
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I had a gunshow table some four times a year for right at 30 years. Lots of used rifles traded in. I meddled around some with most of them and most of them shot just fine.

    I guess the key points are no dings in the crown of the muzzle, no rust in the bore, and with a borelight, check the very front edge of the chamber for burning of the leade. Burning there is indicative of many shots fired through the rifle.

    Pawn shop rifles can be good deals for somebody who is good at bargaining. Odds are that they only have about half the asking price actually invested in the rifle.

    You can check a scope by looking through it wrong-end-to. That will let you see any chips in any internal lens.
     
  10. fallout mike

    fallout mike Member

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    When buying used I would much rather pay a few $ more to buy in person so I can thoroughly inspect it.
     
  11. Vaarok

    Vaarok Member

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    Know what you're buying and it's pretty difficult to have troubles. It's a rifle, not a car. At the worst there's fifty parts, and barring gross damage or defect, very little can or does go wrong.

    Verify decent bore, works as it should, good appearance, send money.
     
  12. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    FTF is face to face, the buyer and seller meet to exchange goods for cash.

    WTS is Want to sell


    Most internet sellers offer a three day NON-firing inspection, this is your only real chance to look over, cycle the action and evaluate if the seller accurately represented the gun.

    As far as buying used, I have bought probably 20 times MORE used guns than new, its very very rare for me to buy a brand new gun.

    I would urge you to be FAIR when evaluating a gun during the inspection period. Be sure to look at the add ( if possible ) while looking the gun over, taking particular note of anything mentioned in the ad.

    My final thought is to ask questions BEFORE agreeing to buy the gun, if you want to know the condition of the bore and its not listed, ASK, do NOT assume anything, either ask or accept what you get ( provided the seller fairly/accurately described thegun ).
     
  13. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Member

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    I have bought several used guns on-line and benefitted. I agree with the positive statements above and Art Eatman's key points.

    I would only add that
    a) Pay with a USPS postal money order and send the check by postal mail. You get, theoretically, at least, the full resources of the Postmaster General in investigating and prosecuting Mail Fraud, a federal crime, if you file a complaint against a seller who totally rips you off. Make copies or scan the check and counter receipt along with a printout of what you think you're buying, the item identifier (for ex., Gun Broker item #), the sellers photo/words about it, etc. Then you have some proof of your side of the the transaction.
    b) Unless you ARE an FFL, you're going to have to receive the firearm through your local FFL, pay a transfer fee and pass a background check. Ask the folks at the gun shop/FFL to handle the gun, have a look at it, ask "what do you think?", etc. Most of these folks are fine with spending half a minute checking it out and telling you what they think. At some shops, you could pay for a real inspection, with bore light, partial tear-down, etc. (but I never have).
    c) I agree with talking with each seller on the phone, but also writing some E-mails. See how responsive (timeliness) and willing they are. Mention their seller rating (most forums and auction sites have some sort of "community" rating system) in a friendly way so they know you have checked it out and are going to give them a rating.

    Generally you benefit. I recommend non-FTF buy/sell/trade of used guns. But there is no escaping that there is an element of trust that must be extended and received between buyer and seller. Thank God you live in a society where this is generally working well as a rule rather than the exception. See Francis Fukuyama's book Trust for why/how this works and what happens if it doesn't.

    I suppose there are rigorous methods by which you could remove all doubt. But that would cost more that the firearm and/or spook away the honest, good sellers/buyers. I would not buy/sell from/to someone who made me jump through a bunch of hoops...
     
  14. cal74

    cal74 Member

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    Have bought and sold a number of different guns and I'm not in a financial situation to take a bath on a bad deal either, so take into consideration how long a forum member has been around. Look at feed back if possible, etc.

    Would be very reluctant to buy from a new member that just posts in the classifieds. See if they've contributed to the forum at all and don't be afraid to ask questions.

    Get a physical address and number and even verify them if possible.


    With all that being said, there's many great deals out there and sometimes if you're just looking for something that isn't made any longer the internet (used market) is the only way to go. There's lots of people who buy something to shoot for a season or try out or just buy/sell for enjoyment.

    Personally I'm more reluctant to buy something new, let someone else take the first loss.
     
  15. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    About 90% of my guns were bought used. I have purchased about 50 or 60 from Internet sites and so far only one was disappointing. This doesn't include the Garand I got from the CMP that proved to be in awful shape.
     
  16. Rshooter

    Rshooter Member

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    I have bought guns from Auction Arms and Gunbroker. Pour over the pictures and read the description. Most good sellers will be glad to answer questions and provide more pictures. All of the guns I have bought over the internet were guns I could not find locally and were in the shape described by the seller. Most buyers and sellers are very careful of their online reputations.
     
  17. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Almost all of my firearms were used !
     
  18. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I've only ever bought one rifle as a new from the factory gun. Oddly, it was the 10-22 which was my first rifle. Since then with due diligence, I've never been dissatisfied.

    Now that I think about it, I have bought several NIB old guns - figured I'd qualify the above for accuracy's sake.
     
  19. JohnnyK

    JohnnyK Member

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    I've bought some used rifles off Gun Broker for hard to find stuff... an AK made the year I was born... etc... be sure to use a seller who has a good reputation and all should go well... sellers want to protect their reputation... at least decent ones do.
     
  20. jk2008

    jk2008 Member

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    Yes, buying used firearms can be worthwhile (I collect military-surplus bolt-action rifles, so most of my collection is used). If you buy used, you can get good firearms at a decent price, but, as always, it depends on several factors and YMMV.

    First off... it pays to do your homework. Learn as much about the firearm as you can before you buy. In general, the simpler the design of the gun the easier time you'll have judging whether it's in good enough shape to buy (fewer moving parts means there are fewer things to break.. and fewer things to check on when inspecting). This is easy enough to do in person at a gun shop or gun show, but on-line auctions can be harder.

    Buying on-line can be more of a crap shoot, but you can protect yourself by buying from sellers with good feedback scores (look for lots of transactions without problems, or if there are problems, look for trends). Also, look for return policies... if an auction doesn't allow for a return, it may be better to pass on it.
     
  21. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    I live in an area with limited choices in used firearms and so I've purchased quite a few on-line. If I can, I want to buy from a seller with a good reputation from many buyers and most online sources have ways of showing the sellers "satisfaction rating". But you need to be prepared for the occasional problem child. I have one such on my bench right now. It's a Marlin Camp 9 that came to me in like new condition, I certainly would have bought it had I found it at a shop. Problem is it can't shoot groups worth squat. I'll find a solution, and I have the time to do it. My point is there's no sure fire way to get a winner every time when buying on-line. Nor is there one for buying from a shop, it's just easier to return it in that case.
     
  22. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Member

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    I have bought more than a hundred guns from online auction sites. I believe that one - that I can remember, and maybe possibly two, weren't as good or better than described. If they are made anywhere post WWII, I truly believe most rifles get sold with far less than 500 rounds fired through them, and if they are sporting/hunting rifles, probably less than 250 rounds. (that's 12 1/2 boxes...)
     
  23. Mitchell Gard

    Mitchell Gard Member

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    I've seen a few "deals" that say like new, yet have an asking price almost a thousand dollars cheaper. Are "too good to be true" offers usually too good to be true?
     
  24. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    I am a curio and relic junkie. I have bought some used rifles......mostly face to face at gun shows. Lots of gun shows here.....chris3
     
  25. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Member

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    They still make new rifles?

    I thought they stopped making them in the 70's and we've just been trading them around for for the last 40 years!

    I've only bought used. Hard to find a new Mosin or Makarov.
     
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